Robyn Doolittle Is More Than Rob Ford
Robyn Doolittle Is More Than Rob Ford
We've got a bit of a fan club going for Robyn Doolittle over here. One half of the reporting team who broke the news that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had smoked crack cocaine, she's one of those people you want to chat to for hours (preferably over a beer).
Not only is she sartorially smart and sassy (she recently took part, controversially, in a beautiful photo shoot for Flare) she can handle her own against the late-night titans of TV (watch Doolittle's interview with Jon Stewart here). There's also, as it turns out, more to the 20-something city hall reporter than her connection to the Ford family (shocking, we know).
On the heels of the release of her new book Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, which covers the saga-rich life surrounding Toronto's mayor, we wanted to delve into the behind-the-scenes world of Robyn Doolittle -- what makes her tick? Here, for the record, are some of the fun-filled facts and tidbits she shared with us.
What are three things you learned about yourself from the challenges you've faced in 2013?
I’ve learned the maximum I can write in one day is 3,500 words before my brain turns to mush; that I have the best friends in the world -- when I was writing a book in 91 days, I barely left my house, they brought me meals and walked my dogs and cleaned my place etc.; and that I say “um” and “you know” too much during television interviews.
What are three things you love about Toronto?
I could go on about this forever! I love this city so much.
1) I love the rumble of the red streetcars.
2) I love afternoon picnics in Trinity Bellwoods park with my friends.
3) I love watching indie flicks at the Revue cinema in Roncesvalles, where you can still get a ticket, pop and popcorn for under $15.
What are three things you would do if you knew the world was going to end?
I’m pretty morbid so I think about this stuff a lot. I actually try to live every day as if the world might end, so I never really put off things. I’ve been all over the world, had all sorts of awesome crazy experiences, I take classes all the time to learn new skills -- most recently it was quilt making. If the world ended tomorrow, I’d go out happy. I’d probably just want to be with friends and family, drinking wine, eating cheese and watching bad '80s movies.
What are your three favourite books?
The Witches by Roald Dahl, Bossypants by Tina Fey and Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.
What are your three favourite movies?
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghostbusters and Blades of Glory.
Who are your three favourite role models?
My parents -- I grew up in a household that rewarded independence. I always thought I could do anything because my parents never let me think it wasn’t possible. Both worked hard for everything they have.
Shae-Lynn Bourne -- I’ve been a figure skater my whole life. Shae-Lynn is a Canadian ice dancer who, along with her partner, really pushed the sport. She fought against long-held constraints, even when it meant suffering in the rankings. She was a fierce competitor, a stunning skater and a dynamo.
Michelle Shephard -- She's the Toronto Star’s national security reporter. She is one of the most badass women I’ve ever met, but she’s also always taken time to mentor young journos just starting out. She’s incredible at her job and beyond generous with her time.
What three things do you need to do your job?
My iPhone, a sense of humour and flexible dinner plans.
What are three things people don't know about being a city hall reporter?
Boring committee debates can be entertaining when you know all the intimate details, I still have no idea how to read a budget properly and the best stories aren’t on any agenda.
What are three things people don't know about you?
I’m a vegetarian and have been for two and a half years, I grew up in super small town in rural Ontario and my biggest regret in life is that I never learned French. I plan to tackle that in the next few years.
What are your three favourite clothing items?
My electric blue Ted Baker blazer, my black skinny Yoga jeans and these killer leather riding boots I got in Argentina.
What are your three best pieces of advice?
Be kind to people. Work really hard. Don’t assume you know what someone else is thinking.