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The podcasts and the city: Really Awful Movies, Invisible City, and more

This week, we've rounded up some of the podcasts made in Toronto and threw a couple of our favourites produced elsewhere, for good measure, so you are bound to find something new and interesting.

By: Vibhu Gairola

This City Is Mine
In brief: The project, which will launch in May, is already making waves as part of the City of Toronto’s TOcore Downtown Planning Project, collecting, recording and editing interviews, so if you would want to participate, act quickly! Host and producer Siva Vijenthira is a youth engagement official with TOcore, and is still collecting interviews from the under-30 age group to figure out their favourite and least favourite things about Toronto. Young professionals get to discuss what matters to them, from streetcar delays to the job market, and one can only hope the city uses that info to grow in the right direction.
For fans of: The relatable choice of topics on Cities Alive, which is sadly on hiatus, or the tongue-in-cheek confessions of Slowly Becoming Canadian

The Humble and Fred Show
In brief: This five-year-old daily morning podcast, currently produced out of a studio in Etobicoke, is a labour of love for a small team of four and an exercise in how refreshing a lack of censorship is. Easily the most amped-up and unassuming podcast of the list, veteran radio hosts Humble and Fred talk you through the day’s pop culture hits, misses and question marks in between interviews with musicians and newsmakers.
For fans of: The plainspoken logic of Common Sense with Dan Carlin or a more contemporary Taggart & Torrens

Really Awful Movies
In brief: Few podcasts deconstruct horror, sci-fi and exploitative films with this much integrity. Instead of going for the jugular when ripping apart some of the most overlooked movies from decades ago, like Crucible of Horror or Society, co-hosts Chris and Jeff plunge into the direction and plot of the movie, sometimes even concluding that the movie isn’t as awful as it initially seems. With an optimistic eye for redeeming details and performances, Chris and Jeff’s alternate careers as journalists and writers make each podcast a well-composed joyride in B-movie criticism.
For fans of: The no-holds-barred discussions of How Did This Get Made or the hyper-rational tone of The Pod Delusion

Todd Shapiro Show
In brief: Irreverent, jocular and boisterous, The Todd Shapiro Show may be strong medicine but it’s also the closest thing Toronto has to the amped-up, special-effects heavy radio shows so often mocked on The Simpsons. Fans may remember Todd Shapiro from his shock jock antics on the The Dean Blundell Show, but Shapiro’s eponymous show is tamer and more positive, engaging in introspective conversations with impressive guest interviewees like Jeff Goldblum and Carmen Electra.
For fans of: The anything-goes rambling of Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People or the testosterone-fuelled bravado of The Joe Rogan Experience.

The Urbanist
In brief: Monocle’s podcast is a comprehensive class on the culture or urbanism.  That means episodes cover anything from state-of-the-art subways to the design behind Portugese lime calçadas and deconstructing heritage and city culture itself. The Urbanist is as educational as it is encouraging. If nothing else, it teaches you how to appreciate your own city with brand new eyes, and, in many cases, with advice from experts as well.
For fans of: The incredible reach and enthusiasm of Stuff You Should Know or the attention to detail of Longform

Invisible City
In brief: Toronto's Chief City Planner Jennifer Keesmaat talks us through the issues most salient to any burgeoning metropolis, tackling anything from green spaces to food production in the city. With a strong, ambient soundtrack and key industry interviews to boot—a recent episode featured Larry Beasley, the former co-director of planning for the city of Vancouver—Invisible Cities is the go-to for anyone looking to engage with how policy makers see city planning.
For fans of: The sheer depth of ideas presented in Freakonomics Radio or the lecture-like quality of Permaculture Voices

In brief: Bite-sized and conversational, Veg Out or the Toronto Vegetarian Podcast is the downtown core’s foremost authority on leafy greens, and the official aural arm of the Toronto Vegetarian Society. Hilariously abbreviated as TVP, the same letters that mean “textured vegetable protein,” each episode tackles different ares of the vegetarian lifestyle, from date ideas and vegan bake-offs to day-to-day pantry and kitchen tips.
For fans of: The self-improvement focus of How Bad Do I Want It or the subcultural exploration of Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack!

See You Next Wednesday
In brief: Good-natured ribbing, games and the latest films all come together in See You Next Wednesday. Friends Dan Gorman, Greg Legros & Casey Lyons roll a single die in a game of “film roulette,” and the die roll gives one of them the power to assign the others movies to see. The weekly podcast weaves pop culture commentary through movie reviews, and while you may not agree with all their opinions, when one of the boys watches a really terrible movie, you can breathe a sigh of relief because now you don’t have to.
For fans of: The frank, meandering conversations of The Nerdist or the singularly anecdotal tone of The Truth

Vibhu Gairola--or just Vibz--is a freelance writer and editor with a flair for the details. Currently based in Toronto, he has previously lived in Singapore and India, which has given him a soft sport for cultural, design and urban trend reporting. His work has appeared in Toronto Life,The Toronto Star, Reader's Digest and W Dish, and he's gone by Vibz for so long that some friends routinely forget how to spell his legal name.
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