We chatted with the ROM’s new managing director of contemporary culture about her experience of the city.
What are your first memories of Toronto?
I grew up in Willowdale, and I remember my mother taking me on shopping trips downtown to what was then Simpsons and Eatons. We would catch the bus from the corner of our street.
Describe Toronto using one word.
What would you change about the city?
I’d like the city to be more connected to the waterfront. It would be nice to be able to see the lake, rather than have it obstructed by the Gardiner and all the condominiums.
I live in Leslieville, and I love it.
What food does Toronto do best?
I’m a little biased about this one. I founded the Reel Artists Film Festival, so I’d have to say that’s my favourite.
What’s the most underrated tourist attraction?
Seated at Table 17’s bar for dinner with my husband. The polenta served with ragu on a wooden platter is the best!
Favourite musical act that’s come out of the city?
Rough Trade—they were way ahead of their time. I loved Carole Pope’s raunchiness and provocativeness.
You’re faced with designing a new flag for Toronto. What’s on it?
That’s a hard one. I’m not a designer, so I would call upon design talent for advice—but a raccoon does come to mind. Perhaps that’s because my yard, like so many others in the city, is inundated with them.
Favourite local visual artist?
There is too much talent in this city to choose only one.