Friday 8 December 2006

Hired: 1990s

When the Toronto Sun was launched Nov. 1, 1971, there were 62 employees. As the circulation steadily grew, more people were hired in all departments.

This blog will follow employees who were hired in the 1990s, from their first day on the job to where they are today. (Read our The Departed blog tributes to those employees who are gone, but not forgotten.)

(For 1990s bio and photo submissions or corrections, e-mail us)

The 1990s:

Greg Oliver
1991 - 2001
"Wow. Just got sent the link for the SUN blog and spent all morning revisiting some old friends. I started at the Toronto Sun in the library as a summer student in April 1991 and was downsized at Canoe in December 2001. I was never a full-time employee until part-way through my Canoe journey. While at the Sun, I worked in the library, proofread, worked in Advertorial (My proudest moment? A piece on Adults Only Video. I didn't have the guts to stick a byline on it), worked on the features desk, helped out on the news desk, worked on the graphics desk, and wrote stories for entertainment, lifestyle and Sunday Magazine. In all, I think I counted 13 different jobs just at the Sun. (My wife, Meredith Renwick, freelanced pieces for the books section too when Heather Mallick was there.) I was a Day Oner at Canoe. I can still vividly remember the conversation for my hiring. I was working as a desker in "Section 2" and went to Hugh Stuart and said, "When you go to start this web thing, I want to go with you." "Okay." I am fortunate to stay in touch with a few old Sun/Canoe friends. I work with Wayne Parrish and Jim O'Leary at and I also run the pro wrestling section at SLAM! Sports on Canoe. I have had two books published by ECW Press: The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams (with Steve Johnson), and The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians. A third book, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels, will be out in May.

Rachel Sa
1998 - 2004 and 2007 -
"I joined the Toronto Sun in 1998 as a high school co-op student from Mississauga. The term, literally, changed my life. I don't know where I would be today had I not landed at 333 King Street East that day. I wrote my first freelance column about the effects of the teacher strikes on student morale and that was it. (I often skipped my last class of the day at high school in order to hang around the Sun newsroom - much to the chagrin of then-editor Lorrie Goldstein.) Those were the days when the Sun still believed in mentoring young writers (and, more importantly, that was when the vets weren't so overworked and had the time to do it.) I remain forever indebted to the likes of Lorrie, Alan Cairns, Bob MacDonald (so sorely missed) Joe Warmington, Bob McConachie and Mike Strobel and so many others who took the time to teach a clueless high school student. I wrote my column, eventually called "On Campus," throughout university and, in 2002, Stewart House published a collection of my columns: "What Rachel Sa - A Field Guide for Parents." (The title came courtesy of Joe Warmington.) After graduating from U of T, I headed north to the Huntsville Forester for a year to learn reporting from the ground up. I served as a municipal reporter and photographer (and became a kick-butt wood chopper and fire starter) for one year before former Sun-guy and then National Post-publisher Les Pyette hired me on at the Post as a summer intern. I wrote for the Post from May to September 2005 and loved it. Alas, at the end of the summer, the Post was firing and not hiring, so I entered the ranks of the unemployed writers. I took a few months to write a novel and work on applications for graduate school. In January 2006, I was hired by Oeb Enterprise consultants as a writer AND accepted to the University of British Columbia's prestigious Master's of Fine Arts program in creative writing. I opted to keep the new job and stay in Toronto and study through distance education. And that's where I am now - over in the dark side of communications while keeping my creative kindling crackling with my MFA work (including a new novel-in-progress.) But I remain eternally grateful to the Sun and my time there. It gave me so much - including my partner. " Rachel returned to the Toronto Sun in May of 2007 as an op-ed columnist.

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