Robyn Doolittle

The perceived differences in our cities—downtown vs suburbs—hurt us all.

Globe and Mail Investigative Journalist and #1 Bestselling Author of Crazy Town

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Robyn Doolittle | Globe and Mail Investigative Journalist and #1 Bestselling Author of Crazy Town
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Downtown vs. the suburbs. Cities vs. rural Canada. Why do these divisions exist, and how harmful are they? #1 bestselling author and whip-smart Globe and Mail investigative journalist Robyn Doolittle looks at how citizens and government can come together to enact real change. And, she explores the pressures facing women, and why some environments—police forces, politics, and newsrooms—remain male-dominated. 

Robyn Doolittle is a former Star city hall reporter and now Globe and Mail investigative reporter. In addition to her reporting, she has appeared on CNN, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and elsewhere. Her book, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, released in early 2014, debuted at #1 on the Globe and Mail and bestseller lists, and the film rights were immediately optioned. Doolittle was also awarded the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Crazy Town


The Rob Ford story is arguably one of the most popular Canadian news stories ever: full of violence, drugs, alcohol, sweeping police investigations, a media circus, a city divided, and, at its core, a seemingly untouchable populist mayor. Doolittle helped break the scandal, and she continues to tell us what, exactly, is going on in North America's fourth largest city—and across the nation. 

Speech Topics

A Country Divided Why Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Governments Need to Come Together

Downtown vs. the suburbs. Toronto vs. Calgary. Cities vs. rural Canada. Does it really have to be this way? In this talk, Robyn Doolittle explores these perceived divisions, and why they should be broken down. She examines the relationships between municipal, provincial, and federal governments, and how the complicated dynamics around the collection and distribution of government money affect us all. Should people in cities be taxed more, because they use more services? Who should pay for public transit, tax breaks for farmers, or new hockey arenas? What’s “fair,” and what’s just politics? Doolittle describes her vision for the future of our country: one in which citizens, government, and the media work together to make real, substantial change. She provides a roadmap for transparency, engagement, and communication. And, she offers a measured perspective on what to do when things go off the rails, while reminding us that it’s our job—whether we’re citizens, journalists, or elected officials—to ensure that our country is the best possible place to live.

Gender & Sexuality
Women at Work Saying No to Photocopying and Other Important Lessons from the Newsroom
Women at work have come a long way. But some environments—such as police stations, political arenas, and newsrooms—are still very male-dominated. In this talk, Robyn Doolittle examines the pressures facing women today. She explores why traits that are praised in men are still negatively perceived in women: too “aggressive,” too “ambitious,” too “Hollywood.” And, she explores the power of the personal brand—how we need to be more aware than ever of who we are, how people view us, and how our lives are documented and portrayed online. An intelligent, graceful speaker, Doolittle uses her own personal story—and the challenges she faced reporting on Toronto’s most controversial news story in decades—as the backbone for this essential keynote.