Owen Guo, a journalist and recent Toronto transplant, was having a hard time feeling at home. In September, 2019, he decided to write about it with an article in the Toronto Star.
In his seven years as a journalist, he’d never received such an outpouring of reactions. Thousands of shares and hundreds of comments from both newcomers and life-long Torontonians. This enthusiasm prompted him to want to write a book about it.
During this town hall, you’ll break out into moderated groups, and discuss different topics that explore this culture of "niceness". Your discussions will enable him to understand this issue better and shape the contour of this book. With consent, you may be part of the many characters that help form the backbone of his book. You will be asked questions such as:
When people say we're nice, what does it mean?
How does the culture of Toronto compare to other parts of the country?
How do newcomers perceive this culture of “niceness”?
Who benefits and who loses from this cultural concept?
How do social ties vary across the country?
How does “niceness” help or hinder our ability to form deeper social ties?
How do social ties here differ from other cities across the world?
Join us for the "Un-breaking Toronto's Social Scene" Town Hall on Wednesday, December 9 from 8:00pm-9:30pm EST.
During his seven-year journlaism career in China, Owen was a researcher and writer in the Beijing bureau of the New York Times, covering business and politics in China. Prior to the Times, he was an assistant journalist for the Financial Times in Beijing, focusing on China’s energy and environmental issues. Currently, he’s writing a book about Canadian niceness and its social implications.
Adam Chen is a Torontonian, born and raised in the 'burbs of Scarborough. His work has been published in HuffPost, BuzzFeed, Greencamp, and the RRJ. On top of his role as a journalist, he is a performer and founder of Talk Media.