Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search


Elvira Cordileone

I got on a ship with my mother in sunny Naples, Italy in 1952 at the age of 3. We landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and got on a train to Montreal to join my father. I learned French on the city's poorer east-end streets with neighbourhood children, However, like most Italian immigrants at the time, my formal education was entirely in English.

I graduated from Sir George Williams University (since renamed Concordia) with a bachelor's degree in English literature in 1972. The degree equipped me for little other than teaching. But teaching didn't appeal to my sense of adventure so, instead, I took on and left or got fired from a long series of jobs: an invoice clerk in a jewelry factory; a child care worker in a prison for adolescent girls; a magazine production coordinator; a cost accounting clerk; an administrative assistant in a public affairs department, and publications manager for a national business association, among others.

I moved to Toronto in 1983. Six years later, after more dead-end jobs, I found my berth when the Toronto Star hired me as an editorial assistant. Another decade went before the Star promoted me to the job I'd long for - full-fledged reporter. I relished the work and kept at it for the next twelve years.

I left the Star in 2011 to devote myself to writing full-time.

I live in Toronto's Riverdale area with my dog, Jojo.

Books by Elvira Cordileone