The List: Rocco Rossi

The List: Rocco Rossi

Ten things the Liberal strategist and mayoral candidate can’t live without

1. My favourite book
I first read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl at McGill, and I’ve reread it at least once a year ever since. I find
it incredibly affirming of the human spirit. It’s out of print now, so I look for copies at used bookstores to give to friends.

2. Dancing With the Stars
I was rooting for Nicole and Derek all the way. My wife, Rhonnie, and I tape it and make it our date night. We wouldn’t last on the show—our dancing is limited to weddings and parties.

3. Motown
Growing up, I hung out with my older cousins a lot, and they were into Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Sam and Dave.

4. My power breakfast
The servers at United Bakers (506 Law­rence Ave. W., 416-789-0519) are mostly older women who tell everyone to sit up straight. I go every two weeks and order the scrambled egg whites and lox, with a really nice caraway rye. It may be the best breakfast in the city.

5. A stroll on Palmerston
I grew up in East York and Scarborough, but we would always go to College Street for the Italian shops and festivals and take a walk up Palmerston. The houses seemed like castles to me then.

6. My Spanish memento
I received this scallop shell after completing the Camino de Santiago Christian pilgrimage through Spain. I’ve done it twice now.

7. My dream team
The World Cup is the greatest sporting event ever. It brings the best parties to Toronto. Only because Canada is not playing, I was rooting for Italy—Gli Azzurri.

8. The pedal boats on Centre Island
When our son, DJ, was young—he’s 20 now—he adored the swan boats. I would lower him down so he could reach the pedals. It was awkward because I’m six-foot-four, but these are the things dads do.

9. City cycling
People think I’m anti-cycling because of my opposition to bike lanes on arterial roads, but I cycle 10 months of the year. I would take on any of the mayoral candidates in a bike race. When I was with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, I rode from Rainy River to Toronto—1,900 kilometres in 19 days.

10. Cheese
It’s my biggest vice: I like a cheese that bites back, like pecorino or romano. I go to Alex Farm on the Danforth
(377 Danforth Ave., 416-465-9500).

(Images: Rossi, shell, shirt and CDs by John Cullen; cheese from; sign by Devin Jeffrey)