Toronto #terrortunnel on This American Life

Had lots of fun helping out on the opener for last weekend’s episode of “This American Life,” the U.S. public radio show. The piece is a riff on the Toronto tunnel story I wrote for Maclean’s magazine back in March, when I got to spend a few days with Elton McDonald and his family up at their home in the Driftwood Court public housing complex. Elton, who’s 23 now, and who works in construction, spent a couple of years building a sophisticated underground clubhouse in the wooded ravine behind his house, which is in one of Toronto’s roughest neighbourhoods. That tunnel caused quite a bit of worry when authorities uncovered it early this year—people called it the #terrortunnel on Twitter, speculating it was part of a plot to disrupt the Pan Am Games, some of which were due to take place at a nearby tennis stadium. But in the end it was just Elton, trying to get away from it all. Thanks to TAL producer Sean Cole for stickhandling the piece. And thanks again to Elton and his family for putting up with me as long as they did. I believe Elton continues to crowdfund his grass-cutting club for neighbourhood boys here at Eltons Tunnel Vision Fund.

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