I Was Here

I Was Here is a podcast and photo series featuring older adults who have interesting stories about, or long histories with, spaces and places in Toronto. Their stories reveal many events of social, cultural, and political importance to our city's history. The accompanying photo gallery showcases each of these storytellers.

I Was Here was created with generous financial support from The Accessibility Project at Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

A very special thank you to Programs for 50+ and Community Engagement at The Chang School, who supported this endeavour to give these storytellers a much-needed platform and audience.


Meet the Team

Jessica Blaine Smith

Jessica Blaine Smith has worked as a freelance photographer since graduating from Ryerson University's Image Arts program in 2003. Her camera has taken her all over the world, from New Zealand to Trinidad to France. She lives for capturing real moments in the lives of others. To learn more, visit jbsmithphotography.com.

Matt Rideout

Matt Rideout has been in the professional audio and music industry for over a decade. During this time he has worked with solo artists, bands, filmmakers, and university professors. To each of these projects, Matt brings a wealth of technical knowledge and years of artistic insight. From customizing and modifying equipment in his own studio (A&B Sound) to experimenting with progressive engineering techniques, Matt is in a constant state of innovation in his work. To learn more, visit mattrideout.ca.

Catherine Dunphy

Catherine Dunphy was a staff writer at the Toronto Star for more than 20 years, and is a recipient of the National Newspaper Award for feature writing. She is the author of Morgentaler: A Difficult Hero, which was nominated for the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award in 1997. As well, she has written two books of young adult fiction related to the much-heralded Canadian television series Degrassi High. Catherine has also written screenplays for the Canadian prime-time soap opera Riverdale, as created the CBC radio mystery series Fallaway Ridge. In addition, she's written for many major Canadian magazines and has taught at Ryerson University. Currently, she is indulging herself by writing crime fiction as a member of the Mesdames of Mayhem. To contact Cathy, email catherinedunphy@rogers.com.

Melanie Santarossa

Melanie Santarossa is the Assistant Program Manager, Programs for 50+ and Community Engagement at Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. She was the Project Coordinator and Producer of I Was Here.

Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper is the Manager, Accessibility Project, Business Development and Strategic Planning at Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. He was the Project Supervisor of I Was Here.