Not Criminally Responsible

“Sualim’s crimes—a series of mid-level robberies, followed by a speedy arrest—were always of limited interest, and the story would have disappeared from the public record had it not been for a series of events last summer that had little to do with him. First, in early June, Kleiton Da Silva, who’d been given NCR status after killing a man in a street brawl, went missing from CAMH and allegedly robbed a bakery. A month later, Zhebin Cong, who’d been found NCR for stabbing a man to death in a boarding house, went AWOL and then fled the country. In late July, Sualim also left CAMH under the supervision of a hospital staff member and then walked off on his own.”

Simon Lewsen – The Local – October 2019


Battle at Rowntree Mills

“The Rowntree Mills story is one of changing demographics and messy local politics. At its centre are questions that crop up every time there’s a neighbourhood dispute over common space: What do you do when community members disagree as to how a space should be used? And who gets to call themselves a community member anyway?”

Simon Lewsen – The Local – July 2019

How Do We Come to Terms with Leonard Cohen’s Legacy in the #Metoo Era?

“About a year ago, a friend who, like me, is a huge Leonard Cohen fan, confessed that she’d had a terrible thought: ‘Thank God Leonard Cohen is dead.’ I told her I’d often had the same sentiment. To understand why a Cohen devotee would harbour such feelings, you have to appreciate just how important Cohen is to the people who revere him and how defensive we can get about his legacy.”

Simon Lewsen – Sharp Magazine – November 2018

Who Says Canadian Architecture Is Boring?

“It doesn’t have to be this way. Budapest is a living art nouveau museum. Berlin, where buildings resemble tents or funnels or seed pods, is diverse and weird. And Copenhagen leads the world in green design with its dense cycling infrastructure, streets that conserve rainwater, and, soon, a waste-management centre that will double as a ski slope. If cities get the architecture their people demand, it would seem that Torontonians don’t demand much. This complacency is what Josephson, along with his colleagues at Partisans, wants to change.”

Simon Lewsen – The Walrus – July 2018

Chrystia Freeland Wants to Fix the Twenty-first Century

“Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, goes about her work in a manner one might describe as hard-nosed. The former reporter prefers direct questions over diplomatic niceties and face-to-face conversations over briefing notes. “You have to talk to a lot of people to get the real story,” she says. In September of last year, Freeland and her top negotiators and advisers met with former prime minister Brian Mulroney in Toronto, at his office in the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Mulroney had a story that Freeland needed to hear: how he pushed the North American Free Trade Agreement through negotiations. In 1992, when Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative government signed NAFTA, the Liberal Party of Canada fiercely opposed him; now, Freeland was seeking his advice in her attempt to keep the deal alive.”

Simon Lewsen – The Walrus – February 2018