Toronto’s Most Awesome celebrates our city by interviewing high profile Torontonians about what makes our city great. For our first issue I was very pleased to chat with Jeanne Beker who many of us grew up with at home on the television, and continue to do so.
Jeanne started as a working actress in her teens and later went to school in Paris and New York to perfect her trade. This led to her being the co-host and host of a variety of shows including The New Music, CityPulse, and Rockflash. Jeanne stepped into the roll of host for the show Fashion Television in 1985. Watched worldwide the show’s success led to the FashionTelevisionChannel being created in 2001. Her ambitions led her to jobs as editor-in-chief of FQ and SIR Magazines. Jeanne is currently host of Bell Media’s FashionTelevisionChannel, a contributing editor for The Toronto Star, a columnist for Metro, and a published author of five books.
What are your favourite things about fashion in Toronto?
There are a lot of great vintage finds. There is a great website vintagecouture.com that is based out of Toronto. I love the eclecticism of Toronto and the fact that it is a city of neighbourhoods. You can go to Little India and Little Italy. These areas also have their own distinctive shops where you can get some really interesting finds.
Do you have a favourite Toronto neighbourhood?
I don’t really have a favourite. I love Kensington Market. Every now and then when I was a little kid I loved going there with my dad and we would buy a live carp and keep it in the bathtub for a few days before we made it into gefilte fish. So many cool places there. My daughter performs at open mic there as well. There are lots of restaurants and cafes on there.
I love College Street West, I love Chinatown with the wonderful little dumpling restaurants there. I love the neighbourhood that I live in, Rosedale. The houses are so beautiful there and they have some great parks.
I love going to the Danforth to the greek restaurants. It’s (The Danforth) filled with lots of great spirit and shops.
I can’t forget The Beaches and Queen Street West. There are so many great neighbourhoods in Toronto it is hard to single one out having grown up here and lived in many neighbourhoods. There are a quite a few that I adore.
Do you have a favourite Torontonian?
Haha I would say my dog Gus. He goes on the subway and goes to visit my daughter at her art studio sometimes. He walks the streets with me, he hangs out at the park.
If I gave you 100 bucks to spend in Toronto what would you buy?
I don’t know what I would buy but I would probably find something at the St Lawrence antique market. I love going there on Sundays. There are so many wonderful treasures to be found there. I can’t really say what it would be cause you never know what you are gonna find there. You can really get lost there. It’s always a great way to spend an afternoon.
Do you have a favourite band you like to see in town?
There is a jazz band in town that I hear every once in a while called Kollage. They play at The Pilot and they play around town. I think they are fabulous jazz musicians. I would say my daughter is a singer / songwriter who plays around Toronto. Her name is Joey O’Neil. She just released an EP. I love going to The Communist’s Daughter at Dundas and Ossington on a Saturday afternoon. The guy that plays the trumpet and sings is fantastic. I also like going to The Rex. Greg Wyard is a one man band that is fantastic as well if you can find him around town.