Name: Maura Grierson
Occupation: Morning Radio Host on 999 Virgin Radio Toronto, TV Host & Actor
On The Web: www.mauragrierson.com
Bio: You probably know Maura from her daily show, “MadDog & Maura” on 999 Virgin Radio. Maura was a principle cast member in the 2014 MGM remake of ROBOCOP, along side Samuel L. Jackson & Michael Keaton. She’s had TV hosting duties on CBC’s “Battle of the Blades” & HGTV’s “Space For Living”.
- Where do you call home? I just bought my first house! I moved to Leslieville. I was one of those west-enders for life until I tried to buy a house on the west end. You get way more bang for your buck over here! (Oh God, I’m starting to sound like my mother) Now that I’m on the east side, I am so happy! East side is were it’s at.
- What do you love most about it? Listen… we have the best brunch spots, hands down! People line up outside in the Polar Vortex to eat in my hood. Try topping Lady Marmalade, Bonjour Brioche, Edwards, Lazy Daisys, etc… you really can’t go wrong! Local tip -> if you can, come for brunch during the week. No line ups!
- Born and raised here or Johnny-come-lately? I grew up in Guelph. Then I lived in Montreal and studied at Concordia University. When I got to Montreal, it became immediately apparent that my best bar outfit would never cut it in Montreal. So I cut my hair off, dyed it red, pierced my nose and wore tights as sleeves for 5 years. That was going a little too far, and by the time I moved to Toronto I had balanced out.My first big experience in Toronto was on the VJ search at MuchMusic in 2002. Now, I lost… but I remember thinking that working on Queen St. and being in that landmark building just felt right. I actually cried as my Via Train took me back to Montreal, so I knew it was time to consider moving, and pursuing my dreams in Toronto. Oddly enough, everything had come full circle, as the Virgin Radio Studios were just moved to that building – 299 Queen St West.
- Is it a winter wonderland or summertime paradise? Hello. Can I get a shout out for fall? There is nothing like it. The fashion is the best, and our city looks amazing!
- What’s your commute like? 10 mins… mind you I get on the road at 4:30 am! I often have to head back to work to interview an artist in the afternoon, and it usually takes me no more than 20 mins. My secret route is Eastern to Richmond all the way… I ask every cabbie how they like to get back to the core from Leslieville so I’ve done my reconnaissance.
- What do you do on a day off? SLEEP IN. There is nothing more precious! Mind you, if I can sleep in til 8 am, I’ve had a 4 hour sleep in. So it feels pretty awesome, because I get the best of both worlds… I sleep in and I still get the entire day to enjoy. Top priority after a good sleep in is an epic breakfast. I challenge you to find a better breakfast sandwich than the one at Lasy Daisys Cafe! (Ask for the “Son-of-a-Rise” made on a freshly baked biscuit, and thank me later.)
- It’s my first time in town. Where should we go? Kensington Market! I lived in the market for several years and it’s truly one of the most magic places on earth, let alone Toronto. Go for a stroll with a coffee from IDeal, get some wild boar chops at Sanagans, hit up Cheese Magic, then congratulate yourself with a crisp pint on the patio at Ronnies, where I’ve had some of my favorite nights in the city. Kensington Market is a celebration of different cultures and backgrounds coming together in harmony. You can’t get more Canadian than that. BTW hit up NuBagel while you are there – finally we have some bagels that can go head-to-head with the best of Montreal.
- Is there anything you’d change about it? About Kensington? Yes. I originally wanted to buy in that area, but the houses are for the most part way over-priced for something that is on the verge of falling part. But then again… welcome to Toronto! It’s a part of its charm I guess. My home is 100 yrs old… And that comes with its joys and pains.
- Where do you go when it’s time to get away? I’m very spontaneous so my getaways are usually quick decisions and not very far. There is so much beauty right here in Ontario. Muskoka, the Kawarthas, Collingwood, Niagara On The Lake…(I like supporting my local wineries and haven’t purchased wine from the LCBO in a while. I do a little research and find which wineries are selling off the end of batches. You can get crazy deals! Last year I bought a couple cases and my wine was working out to $5-$6 a bottle!)
- Favourite local landmark? I love the waterfront here in Toronto, but I cannot believe there isn’t a string of little cafes that I can go sit at, eat a goats cheese panini, drink a glass of wine and watch the sunset. Every other city that’s next to a body of water takes advantage of that natural beauty. We just keep slappin’ up condos.
- Best local event or festival: Toronto’s Festival of BEER! I have been lucky enough to host their Friday night festivities for many years now and I’ve watched it start out as a simple event at Historic Fort York to a massive gong show at BandShell Park, Exhibition Place. If you want to have a good night, you can’t really go wrong at Beer Fest.
- Favourite local team: I got totally swept up in the Raptors last season. I actually cried when they didn’t advance to round 2 in the play-offs! So here I am this year, watching all the games, reading the sports section, asking people at house parties to turn the channel to the game. I’ve become one of those sports fans! That’s ok… I get it now. We The North!
- Favourite local celebrity: Drizzy! “The language” is my pump up song. I listen to it everyday on my way to work. It makes my drive along Eastern seem very badass. He’s a word class talent and always gives love to his hometown. And, he certainly adds to the eye candy at the Raptors games. ;)
- Time to shop. Historic downtown or Big Box Land? At big box stores I don’t like the crowds, or the line ups, so I go with the small shops along Queen East or my local farmers market.
- Favourite Mom & Pop shop: “Pied a Terre” is a vintage store in Leslieville run by a local couple who give off such a great vibe when you go in, that you will be hard pressed to not leave smiling.
- Favourite local restaurant: Goods & Provinsions for dinner. Order the bone marrow! Best in the city for sure. No one does it better. (ed. note: CAN CONFIRM.)
- Best place to grab a coffee or tea: Merchants of Green Coffee is my new favorite coffee place. They get extra points for an awesome space!
- Grocery store or farmers market? You have to come shopping at the Leslieville Farmers Market. It is the best market I’ve been too. My boyfriend and I bought half a cow there last year! They have great bands playing live while you shop. One week it was like a 20 piece brass band… now who wouldn’t love shopping to that?
- Tell us something only locals know: There is a park right behind my house that just finished building a ice rink path… a path! It’s the perfect date spot, but you’ll have to find it on your own. ;)
- What does supporting local mean to you? It means I’m investing in my house, my hood and my city. If it wasn’t for the mom and pop places, this neighbourhood would lose its charm, then the value of my house would go down. It’s in my best interest to shop local and support the small businesses because they are what makes a community interesting, diverse and attractive.
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