Andy Barrie 'humbled ' by Order of Canada

CBC Toronto's erstwhile Metro Morning host Andy Barrie has been named a recipient of the Order of Canada.

Andy Barrie returns

10 years ago
Duration 6:29
Former Metro Morning host Andy Barrie returns to the studio to talk about his Order of Canada.

CBC Toronto's former longtime Metro Morning host Andy Barrie has been named a recipient of the Order of Canada.

He was awarded the distinction, "For his achievements in Canadian broadcasting, as the voice of a diverse Toronto, and for his advocacy on behalf of those living with Parkinson’s disease."

It's a voice that helped to make Metro Morning Toronto's top morning radio show.

Living with Parkinson's

Barrie returned to the Metro Morning studio on Monday to discuss his award with Piya Chattopadhyay, who was filling in for host Matt Galloway.

"I'm enormously humbled by it and really grateful," said Barrie. "It feels good."

People are awarded the order for having made an exceptional contribution to Canadians at a local level.

Former Metro Morning host Andy Barrie returned to the studio on Monday to talk about being named to the Order of Canada and the challenges of living with Parkinson's disease. (CBC)

The broadcaster, who revealed in 2007 that he had been diagnosed with the degenerative disorder Parkinson's disease, retired in March 2010.

Barrie spoke with Chattopadhyay about the challenges of living with Parkinson’s.

"I'm doing OK, but it would be a disservice to the people who have Parkinson's if I didn't tell you that the reason I can do this interview is the yellow pills and the brown pills and the red pills that I take. I take them every two hours. If I don't, I couldn't do this interview. 

"I haven't fallen over the physical cliff yet. It's a disease that's well managed these days but there's no cure for it and you have to put up with a lot of bad time to get to the good time."

Born in Baltimore, Barrie got his first taste of broadcasting at the age of nine, when he was asked to wake up campers every morning over a public-address system at a summer camp.

After he graduated from university, he got radio jobs in various cities, working as an announcer and reporters. He then got his own program with Metromedia Radio in Washington.

In 1969, he left the U.S. and moved to Canada during the Vietnam War.