Mike Filey

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Mike Filey, 2016 Mike Filey, prior to a ceremony at the Distillery Loop, 2016 06 18 (27751979955) (cropped).jpg
Mike Filey, 2016

Mike Filey (born 1941) is a Canadian historian, journalist and author. He was awarded the Jean Hibbert Memorial Award in 2009 for promoting the city of 4 and its history.


Early life

Born in 1941 in Toronto, [1] Filey attended high school at North Toronto Collegiate Institute and earned a degree in chemical technology from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. [2] [3]

As a child Filey's family lived on Bathurst Street, just south of the iconic Honest Ed's. [4]


Filey began his career at what is now the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, working there for nine years. He then worked for five years at the Canadian National Exhibition and four years at Canada's Wonderland. [2]

In 1972, he was an organizer of Heritage Toronto, a citizen's group interested in Toronto's history. [5] Since 1975, he has written the column, The Way We Were for the Toronto Sun. He has written more than two dozen books about the history of Toronto. Among the topics covered are Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), books with old photographs, and nine books of Toronto Sketches. He also has a radio show on New AM 740. [2] His guided walks include topics such as Toronto, Then and Now. [2]

According to his friend Alan Parker, another columnist at the Toronto Sun , Filey is known as "Toronto’s best-known historian". [6]

Personal life

He and his wife, Yarmila, live in Willowdale, Toronto. [3]


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  1. "Lecture: Mike Filey". Harbourfront Centre. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Mike Filey - 2009 Recipient of The Jean Hibbert Memorial Award". Etobicoke Historical Society. Retrieved June 4, 2018. However, over 25 years ago now, Mike turned his interests to his true vocation – researching, documenting and speaking about Toronto's history.
  3. 1 2 "Mike Filey". The Belleville Intelligencer. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  4. Mike Filey (2018-11-17). "Memories of old Toronto". Toronto Sun . Retrieved 2018-11-14. No, more than that, because 758 is where I grew up while attending Palmerston Public School, playing in the back laneway that ran between Lennox and Bloor Sts., going to events at the K-Club in the basement of the old church at the corner of Bathurst and Lennox and watching movies at the Metro, Midtown or, most likely, Alhambra theatres.
  5. "Three city halls still stand in Toronto". The Ottawa Journal. November 27, 1972. p. 24 via Newspapers.com.
  6. Alan Parker (2008-11-09). "Five Questions for Mike Filey". Toronto Sun . Retrieved 2016-07-24. As a researcher, writer and raconteur, Mike has been chronicling the life and times — past and present —of the beloved city of his birth for four decades. He’s been called "Toronto’s best-known historian" — and deservedly so.

Further reading