Mike Boon, host of ‘Toronto Mike’d,’ displays on a decade of enlightening dialog with media superstars

“So, that is the primary one, Rosie,” Mike Boon introduced to then-cohost Rosie Ferguson on Sept. 4, 2012. “I’ll do a extra formal introduction in a bit, however I simply wished to have a really temporary dialogue about what the heck this podcast is” — to which she jokingly responded, “Podcast?”

“Yeah, it’s a podcast,” replied Boon. And he should know. Boon has been on the forefront of an audio-programming phenomenon that just about 30 % of the nation tunes into month-to-month, based on The Canadian Podcast Listener.

Along with his welcoming tone and enthusiasm for all issues associated to the town, Boon (a.okay.a. Toronto Mike) is the sort of man you’d wish to chat with over a beer or two. That’s precisely what he has been doing out of his Etobicoke house for the final 10 years — 20, should you rely the weblog he began whereas working as a digital advertising and marketing supervisor. “We lined issues I used to be captivated with,” he says, “together with the media. I’ve all the time loved radio and native TV, like previous Citytv and MuchMusic, so I’d write about what I knew and cherished.” These subjects embody how the Raptors are doing and who’s been let go from what radio station. That weblog, at TorontoMike.com, is now one of many important locations to entry his podcast, “Toronto Mike’d.”

“The little podcast that would,” as the daddy of 4 affectionately calls it, is recurrently ranked within the High 30 of Apple Podcasts’ “Private Journals” class and not too long ago reached an unheard-of milestone for a number with no earlier mainstream media expertise, having logged its 1,000th episode.

The 1,000th episode of 'Toronto Mike'd' runs five and a half hours and features 200 voices.

The roll name of friends who’ve paid at the least one go to to Boon’s suburban studio reads like a who’s who of Toronto media. Sports activities commentators Rod Black and Michael Landsberg gave emotional exit-style interviews upon leaving Bell Media. Boon rebranded George Stroumboulopoulos’ 2014 look as Episode 102.1, nodding to the music character’s adolescence at CFNY-FM. Writers from the Star, the Solar and the Globe and Mail alike have all dropped by to speak about their careers and what’s making information within the metropolis they love. In a 2020 look, Ontario premier hopeful Steven Del Duca slung mud at rival Doug Ford whereas singing Otis Redding’s praises.

Boon has by no means given anybody a time restrict; conversations have ranged from just below quarter-hour to properly over two hours. The 1,000th episode clocks in at 5 and a half hours and options 200 totally different voices. This type of endurance bleeds into his life exterior the studio as properly. When he’s not behind a mic, likelihood is Boon is biking round city, having biked 10,000 kilometres in 2021 alone.

Boon has a pair of morning-zoo radio cutups to thank for uplifting him to create his personal present. Again in 2006, his new acquaintances “Humble” Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson misplaced their terrestrial radio gig at what was then Combine 99.9 however wished to maintain broadcasting. “I informed them they need to podcast,” Boon says. “We struck a deal the place they might create the content material and I’d make {that a} podcast. We’d periodically document podcasts all through the subsequent a number of years.” Quick ahead to 2011, when the 2 realized they weren’t going to get again on the air in a standard method. “So, they determined to make a dwelling from podcasting,” Boon says, “and with me as their technical producer, they began podcasting every day in October.”

Within the first two weeks, Boon studied the way in which the pair created a present. “I by no means had expertise with the content material aspect of the published,” he says. “Lastly, I made a decision to go away my consolation zone and see if I might deal with the A to Z of a podcast.” That meant producing the content material, turning into safe about talking with others from behind a mic and turning a professional-sounding MP3 right into a podcast. He recorded the primary 19 episodes of his podcast at their studio earlier than investing in an expert studio of his personal.

Boon will not be rolling in Joe Rogan cash, however he has carved a sustainable, self-made profession out of podcasting by overseeing a number of different productions underneath the Toronto Mike Digital Companies banner, together with “Hebsy on Sports activities,” with commentator Mark Hebscher; former CTV Information reporter and climate anchor Dana Levenson’s “On the DL”; in addition to “Life’s Enterprise” from Ridley Funeral Residence.

Boon has hosted the likes of George Stroumboulopoulos and Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Elliott.

Irrespective of the invitee, Boon prides himself on fostering an surroundings the place folks will be their genuine selves, whether or not that’s critical, humorous or, say, obsessive about yacht rock. A self-described “curious cat and natural-born archivist,” Boon can also be a meticulous researcher, asking informative questions with the objective of constructing enlightening content material. If a visitor will not be prepared to be sincere and examine their ego at his basement door (or his yard patio through the summer season), they don’t have any enterprise being on “Toronto Mike’d.” Ann Rohmer of CP24 fame is amongst many who concur, telling him, “You’ve allowed me to be sincere, upfront and really private, which I’m not normally requested to do and am somewhat uncomfortable doing. However you made it really easy and so nice.”

“He has a novel capacity to attract solutions out of you that you just actually didn’t plan on revealing whenever you went into the interview,” mentioned Canadian Baseball Corridor of Famer Bob Elliott on the 1,000th podcast, “when you duck your head underneath the ceiling off the roof.”

A few of Boon’s personal highlights of the beast he stitched collectively was the “crap-ton of reward” heaped on him by Barenaked Girls’ Tyler Stewart and the thanks Mayor John Tory gave him for “being a champion of our metropolis.”

“Episode 1000,” Boon says, “feels much less just like the conclusion of an expertise and extra like the start — as if it took me 1,000 episodes to determine all of it out. I can not wait to start the subsequent 1,000 conversations with the fascinating individuals who comprise this nice metropolis.”


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