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This profile was last updated on 3/1/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Robyn Doolittle

Wrong Robyn Doolittle?

City Hall Reporter

Phone: (416) ***-****  
Toronto Star
5Th Floor Editorial, One Yonge St.
Toronto , Ontario M5E 1E6

Company Description: Founded in 1892, The Toronto Star is Canada's largest daily newspaper, reaching more than 2.2 million readers weekly. The Star is a wholly-owned subsidiary of...   more

Employment History

193 Total References
Web References
Robyn Doolittle Staff Reporter ..., 10 Sept 2007 [cached]
Robyn Doolittle Staff Reporter
Published by Penguin Canada, it's written ..., 10 Feb 2014 [cached]
Published by Penguin Canada, it's written by Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle, one of three journalists who viewed a video that appeared to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.
Ford last year made international headlines for admitted to having smoked crack while in a drunken stupor and also threatening "murder" in a viral video. He still draws attention for erratic behavior, but has resisted pressure to step down and is seeking re-election.
TORONTO (CUP) - Over a decade ..., 8 Oct 2013 [cached]
TORONTO (CUP) - Over a decade ago, in rural Forest, Ont., Robyn Doolittle walked into her Grade 11 English class ready to pick a fight. She was wearing a winter hat - contrary to her school's dress code - because she'd been told that women were allowed to wear hats indoors. Her teacher asked her to remove her hat, and jokingly told her that women could only wear them inside if they had matching gloves.
Doolittle showed up the next day, gloves in hand.
When her teacher once again asked her to take off her hat, she held up her gloves. "He was like, 'Why are you doing that?' And I didn't really have a good answer," Doolittle says. "I like to poke things, I guess."
It's been more than 10 years since the glove incident and Robyn Doolittle, now a reporter for the Toronto Star, is still poking things.
The first 10 months of her new position was focused on the mayoral election, which Doolittle says became fascinating after Ford entered the race.
A number of gaffs, including public drunkenness and domestic disputes, would lead Doolittle to pen a story in December 2011 about a series of 911 calls made from the Ford home. By March 17, 2012, St. Patrick's Day, she started to receive tips about an incident involving the mayor that had taken place at The Esplanade's Bier Markt, a popular downtown bar.
A year later, in March 2013, Ford was asked to leave the Garrison Ball, a military ball featuring a number of prominent local figures, and Doolittle ran a story breaking down the mayor's alleged substance abuse.
"And then about a week later someone phoned and said, 'I have a video that you should see,'" Doolittle said.
Doolittle and the Star's investigations editor Kevin Donovan's story about a video being shopped around the city of the mayor appearing to smoke crack cocaine while making homophobic and racial slurs divided the city and spawned truckloads of outrage.
It was one of the largest stories in Toronto's recent history, and Doolittle was right in the middle of it.
Journalism was a backup plan for Doolittle, who had never considered a career in reporting.
Instead her aspirations were on the stage. When the time came to consider prospective universities, she chose Ryerson for its theatre program but she decided to also look at journalism. Just in case.
In order to fulfill portfolio requirements, Doolittle had to get published examples of work. She turned to her local paper, and eventually to the Sarnia Observer, where she asked for a meeting with the editor-in-chief and got it - along with a column in the newly minted teen page.
"I wrote a lot of stupid things," Doolittle says. "I think there was something like a take down of Britney Spears, which is kind of ridiculous because I love Britney Spears. I was just trying to be contrarian."
Somehow, though, Doolittle found herself falling in love with journalism, a career she'd never envisioned for herself. She'd grown up questioning rules and authority and finally she'd found a career that would not just let her do it, but encouraged it. When she finally applied to schools, she didn't apply to Ryerson's theatre program - just journalism. She would go on to work at The Eyeopener for three years, including a year as editor-in-chief, and take a series of internships at the Star, which eventually led to a full-time job.
"Suddenly it was like it all clicked. This is what I want to do," she says.
"I think that Blair coming forward and saying he has the video was a victory for journalism," Doolittle says.
Huddled outside the studio, in the throng of reporters waiting to speak to the Fords after the show, Doolittle continues to doggedly follow the story she helped to break. She, like many other reporters in the city, hopes to get a response out of the Ford brothers after they exit the studio.
Doolittle says she does not feel vindicated, but it's hard to miss a hint of pride in her voice.
Though Ford's approval rating actually went up five points after Blair's announcement, Doolittle says her sources on the mayor's team have confided in the past that it would be very difficult to re-elect the mayor if the video does become public.
"I think certainly his chances at re-election, it would stand to reason, [are lower]," Doolittle says.
It hasn't been an easy road to get to this point for Doolittle. Following enormous backlash from the crack scandal, she was placed under immense pressure by swarms of supporters from Ford Nation.
"I think it's safe to say that over the last six months, it's been challenging for sure," she says. "And I'm not complaining because a big part of it comes with the job. I guess it would be accurate to say I've received hundreds and hundreds of letters of hate mail."
One such letter, artfully crafted on a small note adorned with a red cardinal in carefully-printed cursive has, in an ironic twist of fate, been framed by Doolittle. She thought it was beautiful despite its message, which included the words, "How do you sleep at night? The criticism Doolittle takes the most to heart, she says, are attacks based on her gender and appearance.
A column in the Huffington Post by Mark Hasiuk published shortly after the crack story broke made careful note of Doolittle's "alabaster skin" and, she says, it strived to discredit her based on her appearance rather than her work. It also made no mention of Donovan's role in the story.
"The one thing that really bothers me [are these attacks]," Doolittle says. "And that is when it gets very challenging to; that's when it's difficult to not get angry … It's not like it's hurting my feelings. I just, I get angry. I get angry that that opinion is so prevalent."
Doolittle has spent four-and-a-half years at city hall, and though she plans to stay there through the October 2014 elections, she admits that she wouldn't be opposed to a change of scenery.
"I have no idea [what's next], to be honest," she says. "I think it's good to not start being there as long as the wallpaper."
Doolittle, a woman who initially did not even want to pursue journalism, continues to live without concrete plans. But given her track record, it's safe to say that she'll continue to poke things for the foreseeable future.
Info Comment Written by The Cadre On November 7, 2013 Tagged feature, cup wire, Robyn Doolittle
the eyeopener online, 18 July 2005 [cached]
Robyn DoolittleBusiness
The kind of woman I want to be | Ryerson Folio Magazine, 28 Mar 2014 [cached]
"Crack reporter" Robyn Doolittle speaks at Ryerson, Feb. 13
Robyn Doolittle sits with her legs crossed on a throne of Toronto Star newspapers. A beige dress hugs her tiny body. Red lipstick makes her lips pop against her skin. Strappy black heels accentuate her legs. Her long, dark hair is curled and falls down onto her shoulders. She wears a confident and determined expression on her face-an expression that says: Challenge me, I dare you.
The image of the Ryerson graduate, now known worldwide for being one of the three journalists to first view the Rob Ford crack video and now the author of Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, accompanies a 5000-word feature in Flare.
Robyn Doolittle addresses her Flare shoot at Ryerson, Feb. 13
Robyn Doolittle addresses her Flare shoot at Ryerson, Feb. 13
After the piece was published, Doolittle awoke the next morning to find 10 angry emails in her inbox, many from professional women in Toronto. One email was from a lawyer telling her that her photo "undermined feminism. The other emails echoed the same message. But Doolittle didn't stand for it. She replied to them on Twitter: "I can be a feminist and wear heels and red lips. I posed because I felt like it."
Doolittle is a woman who I deeply admire and respect. It was a privilege to be in the audience when she came to Ryerson for a question-and-answer session last Thursday. I was outraged to hear that women had criticized Doolittle for looking too sexy in her Flare photo. I think that she looks fierce and beautiful. Doolittle's shoot doesn't make her any less of a strong or talented reporter.
The photo also says that women can be smart and beautiful and fierce-and most importantly, it is a symbol of triumph for females trying to compete in male-dominated industry. It practically screams that female reporters don't need to limit themselves to smaller stories because of their sex.
I want to cut that Flare photo of her out and stick it on to the side of my mirror. I write this because that image of Doolittle represents the person who I want to be-not just as a journalist but also as a woman. That person is someone who completely fearless.
And fearless Doolittle is: When she was 16, she walked into the office of the Sarnia Observer and convinced the editor to give her a job as a teen columnist. A few years later, she threw a fit when her boyfriend was asked to leave prom after being racially profiled. Then in her final year at Ryerson, she published an editorial with the headline "Fuck you, John Miller," after Miller, a professor at Ryerson, reduced her staff at The Eyeopener.
Then as a city hall reporter for the Star, Doolittle did something even more gutsy: she took on the mayor of our city. And not just any mayor, but a mayor with a reputation as a bully, with two siblings who have a history of criminal activity.
Doolittle's most fearless moment though, came after she published the crack allegations against Rob Ford. It was when half of the city called her a liar. In that situation, a lesser woman might have given up, but not Doolittle. No, Doolittle knew what she saw was the truth and was determined to make Toronto see their mayor for who he really was. And she succeeded.
If she isn't a woman other women aspire to be like and who makes feminists proud, I don't know who is. So to all of you Doolittle haters out there: don't put her down; instead, praise her. Doolittle is a strong, sexy and fearless woman who has moved modern-day mountains for her fellow women-one fearless move at a time.
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