Mike Strobel, Toronto Sun

Mike Strobel is a general columnist for the Toronto Sun and a veteran newspaper writer and editor. But the loftiest gig of his press career may have been his first, paper boy for Parliament Hill, a job that paid for a near-degree in journalism from Carleton University. Born on a tobacco farm near Tillsonburg, Ont., Strobel has lived mostly in the east end of Toronto, especially Scarborough. You need a rugged sense of humour to survive in that suburb of ill-repute, which is why comic actor Mike "Austin Powers" Myers, for instance, is the way he is. Strobel has since fled downtown, fending off panhandlers, geeks and poodles in designer sweaters. This has not slowed his output of at least four columns a week in the up-front news pages of the Sun, efforts which have won a dozen newspaper awards and millions of hits on the Sun's Website. Strobel's columns are an offbeat look at life on the streets and in the living rooms of Toronto and beyond. Mostly they make you laugh, but sometimes they make you rage and sometimes they make you cry. They offer skewed wisdom on the likes of love, weight loss and male enhancement. They cover City Hall, Hollywood and hockey, scammers, panhandlers and swingers. In the 1980s and 90s, after starting at the Ottawa Journal, Strobel was managing editor or editor-in-chief of the Sun papers in Calgary and Toronto, before coming to his senses and returning to writing in 2001. A collection of columns, Bad Girls - And Other Perils, was published in December 2010.

Stories

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Workers replace a roadside billboard with a Rob Ford memorial on March 22. (ANDREW COLLINS PHOTO)

RoFo, meet St. Peter

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