Some journalists truly broaden the idea of what it means to go the extra mile for stories. Once upon a time in Andrew Livingstone’s early career, he packed up his things and moved to Yellowknife to write and report from the Great Canadian North. The New Brunswick native eventually moved to Toronto where he now resides, but there’s nothing like spending three years in a place that’s so entirely different than where you grew up to give you a lifetime of new perspective as a writer. Young journalists, take note! With 10 awards for his work under his belt and counting, Livingstone is proof that taking the road less traveled will bring you exactly where you wanted to be. We caught up with the writer to find out more about his life and work…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
People should know I’d rather spend a night dropping needles on my vinyl collection purchased from record stores all over the globe than go to a club. I’m becoming a whiz in the kitchen thanks to my lovely partner, and have been a full vegetarian for 16 months (cheater for four years). I keep a notepad close by to scribble ideas and thoughts on – and my scribbles put doctor chicken scratch to shame. Seven years of working at weekly and daily newspapers has netted me 10 journalism awards, many for investigative work I’ve done. Oh, I also love baseball and typewriters.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Easy: my lovely wife who has helped me become the man that I am; my record collection; and my Royale Deluxe typewriter.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it brings together culture from all over the world. It gives residents the beauty and wonders of the entire world. And the food, music, sports and arts scenes are pretty damn rad, too. And the people that come with all these great things that make me love the city I once hated for much of my life. (Ignorantly, mind you. Growing up in New Brunswick, it’s the right thing to do to hate Toronto.)
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
Sadie’s Diner. Best damn tofu scramble in the entire city. And they make incredibly yummy shakes.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Surprisingly: “Loser” by Beck. I can burn down the house with this song. Nothing says karaoke like an early-90s track about love seats, shotgun weddings, maggots and mace. If unavailable, I’ll bust out “We Didn’t Star the Fire” by Billy Joel. Hate his music outside of this fist-pumper.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
I’m pretty active on Twitter talking everything from sports to music and movies, but mostly I spill my thoughts in 140 characters about politics, the criminal justice system and social justice issues. Website, sure got one of those. I use it mostly as an online resume, but a good chunk of my body of award-winning work and magazine writing is available to browse.