november, 2021

18nov7:00 pm8:00 pmFeaturedThe City Imagines: Life and Death on the StreetsDenise Davy, Moderator: Shawn Micallef7:00 pm - 8:00 pm(GMT-05:00) View in my time

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Speakers for this event

  • Denise Davy

    Denise Davy

    Writer, Journalist

    Denise Davy is a nationally recognized award-winning journalist who specializes in writing about mental health, homelessness and gender issues. She worked at the Hamilton Spectator for 26 years and was twice honoured with the Journalist of the Year award by the Ontario Newspaper Association and is a recipient of a National Newspaper Award, several Ontario Newspaper Association awards and two awards from the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Denise’s writing has also appeared in Chatelaine magazine, CBC Hamilton, Broadview magazine, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and ParentsCanada. Her story on adoption appeared in the book The Lucky Ones. She is the founder of Purses for Margaret, which provides toiletries to homeless women.


    Writer, Journalist

  • Shawn Micallef

    Shawn Micallef


    Shawn Micallef is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, Full Frontal TO, and The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure. He’s a weekly columnist at the Toronto Star, a senior editor and co-owner of Spacing and teaches at the University of Toronto. His most recent book is Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness.


Event Details

A conversation with writer and journalist Denise Davy on the urgent story of Margaret, one of Hamilton’s longest sWriter and journalist Denise Davy will be in conversation with writer and urbanist Shawn Micallef on the urgent call to action for the city’s most vulnerable, represented by the story of Margaret.

Margaret Jacobson was a sweet-natured young girl who played the accordion and had dreams of becoming a teacher until she had a psychotic break in her teens, which sent her down a much darker path. Her Name Was Margaret traces Margaret’s life from her childhood to her death as a homeless woman on the streets of Hamilton, Ontario. With meticulous research and deep compassion author Denise Davy analyzed over eight hundred pages of medical records and conducted interviews with Margaret’s friends and family, as well as those who worked in psychiatric care, to create this compelling portrait of a woman abandoned by society.

Through the revolving door of psychiatric admissions to discharges to rundown boarding homes, Davy shows us the grim impact of deinstutionalization: patients spiralled inexorably toward homelessness and death as psychiatric beds were closed and patients were left to fend for themselves on the streets of cities across North America. Today there are more 235,000 people in Canada who are counted among the homeless annually and 35,000 who are homeless on any given night. Most of them are struggling with mental health issues. Margaret’s story is a heartbreaking illustration of what happens in our society to our most vulnerable and should serve as a wake-up call to politicians and leaders in cities across Canada.


Her Name Was Margaret: Life and Death on the Streets

PublisherWolsak & Wynn