Mike Filey
DiedJuly 30, 2022 (age 80-81)
Mike Filey, 2016
Mike Filey, 2016

Mike Filey (1941 — July 30, 2022) was a Canadian historian, radio host, journalist and author. He was awarded the Jean Hibbert Memorial Award in 2009 for promoting the city of Toronto and its history.

Early life

Born in 1941 in Toronto,[1] Filey attended high school at North Toronto Collegiate Institute and earned a degree in chemical technology from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.[2][3]

As a child, Filey lived with his family on Bathurst Street, just south of the iconic Honest Ed's.[4]


Filey began his career at what is now the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, working there for nine years. He then worked for five years at the Canadian National Exhibition and four years at Canada's Wonderland.[2]

In 1972, he was an organizer of Heritage Toronto, a citizen's group interested in Toronto's history.[5] From 1975 to 2020, he wrote the column, The Way We Were for the Toronto Sun.[2]

He is the author of more than two dozen books about the history of Toronto. Among the topics covered are Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), books with old photographs, and twelve books of Toronto Sketches. Over the years, Filey was a regular guest on several radio stations including CFRB,[6] CKFM,[7] and CFHI and hosted his own weekly radio show, Mike Filey’s Toronto, on Zoomer Radio 740.[2][8] His guided walks included topics such as Toronto, Then and Now.[2]

According to his friend Alan Parker, another columnist at the Toronto Sun, Filey has been called "Toronto’s best-known historian".[9] For his love for Toronto, his extensive research, and his "consistent willingness to share his knowledge" in the history of Toronto, he was bestowed the Jean Hibbert Memorial Award by the Etobicoke Historical Society in 2009.[2]

Personal life

He lived in Willowdale, Toronto with his wife, Yarmila.[3] Filey died on July 30, 2022 from prostate cancer.[10][11]



  1. ^ "Lecture: Mike Filey". Harbourfront Centre. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mike Filey - 2009 Recipient of The Jean Hibbert Memorial Award". Etobicoke Historical Society. Retrieved June 4, 2018. However, over 25 years ago now, Mike turned his interests to his true vocation – researching, documenting and speaking about Toronto's history.
  3. ^ a b "Mike Filey". The Belleville Intelligencer. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  4. ^ Mike Filey (2018-11-17). "Memories of old Toronto". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2018-11-14. No, more than that, because 758 is where I grew up while attending Palmerston Public School, playing in the back laneway that ran between Lennox and Bloor Sts., going to events at the K-Club in the basement of the old church at the corner of Bathurst and Lennox and watching movies at the Metro, Midtown or, most likely, Alhambra theatres.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Three city halls still stand in Toronto". The Ottawa Journal. November 27, 1972. p. 24 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "October 19, 2019 - Toronto: Spirit of Place - NEWSTALK1010".
  7. ^ "CKFM-FM | History of Canadian Broadcasting".
  8. ^ "CityNews".
  9. ^ Alan Parker (2008-11-09). "Five Questions for Mike Filey". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2016-07-24. As a researcher, writer and raconteur, Mike has been chronicling the life and times — past and present —of the beloved city of his birth for four decades. He’s been called "Toronto’s best-known historian" — and deservedly so.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Warmington, Joe. "Former Sun writer Mike Filey lauded as 'guardian of Toronto's history'". Toronto Sun.
  11. ^ Beloved Toronto Historian Mike Filey Dies of Prostate Cancer At 80

Further reading