Jian Ghomeshi

“That Was Then, This Is Now” explores the beginnings of some of Canada’s favourite writers and journalists.

Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC’s arts and culture show Q, started as a music artist on the other side of the microphone, just like those he interviews daily.

Ghomeshi was raised in Thornhill, just north of Toronto. While his family is originally from Iran, he was born in England. When they first arrived in Canada, Ghomeshi and his family lived in an apartment on Don Mills Road.


Even as a young man, Ghomeshi had that musical itch. When they were in Grade 9, Ghomeshi and a few friends started a band called Urban Transit. Unfortunately, it didn’t get far.

His next attempt was much more successful: Moxy Fruvous, a four-person folk-rock group, started up in 1992. At first, they just busked on the streets of Toronto. But a year later they were opening for Bob Dylan and many other big bands.

Moxy Fruvous toured internationally and recorded three albums, enjoying its fame for eight years.

After 2000, Ghomeshi focused on writing and reporting about Canadian arts and culture. He wrote a few opinion pieces for The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and The Washington Post. 

Ghomeshi started occasionally co-hosting CTV’s The Chatroom—a sort of precursor to eTalk—with Ben Mulroney. With that broadcast experience, Ghomeshi finally was hired by CBC to host the music program Play for three seasons. Ghomeshi co-created and started hosting Q in 2007. It has gained an all-time high audience share for a morning program on CBC Radio One.

A long-time radio listener recalls when Ghomsehi was interviewed years ago with Moxy Fruvous on CBC’s Morrningside with host Peter GzowskiGhomeshi—a relatively famous musician living the dreams of many—told Gzowski that he wanted to have Gzowski’s job. Now, Ghomeshi finally does. 

Lead image via the Toronto Star.

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About the author

Matha Beach was the Head of Research of the Summer 2012 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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