Sleepover

Toronto Skyscraper I: Judy Doesn't Have A Problem

Judy’s an octogenarian babe-o-rama powerhouse! She sings, dances, skis, and loves driving. That’s her problem. Her family is worried about her and wants Judy to give up the wheel. Faced with the realities of ageing, should Judy park the car?
Sleepover Toronto 1 2:46
Listen to the full episode27:26

Our sleepover unfolds at the top of a skyscraper next to the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto, where an endless stream of cars whiz by full of people with places to go.

One of those busy bodies is Judy Simmonds, 87 and eternally youthful. She arrives with her hair in pigtails, wearing a leather motorcycle jacket, tight jeans and mauve turtle neck with the words: No.1 GRANNY printed on the front.

Judy's an octogenarian powerhouse!  She sings, dances, golfs, and downhill skis—driving everywhere herself. Her family wants her to stop driving. They're worried that she can't see over the dashboard and will get in an accident. Here lies Judy's problem. She doesn't think she has one!

Judy hates it when people treat her like a little old lady, and refuses to give up the wheel. Struggling with the realities of ageing, Judy must decide whether to move forward or sit back.

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PHOTOS FROM THE EPISODE

This Sleepover happens in a skyscraper by the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, near the top floor, looking down on train tracks. (Veronica Simmonds)
Sook-Yin peers out the peephole and waits for the strangers. (Veronica Simmonds)
Someone runs in... (Veronica Simmonds)
It’s 12-year old Ben Goodes. He can’t believe how high up we are! Ben wears hearing-protector headphones because his autism makes him sensitive to sound. (Veronica Simmonds)
Next, Judy Simmonds, 87-years-young, strides in. (Veronica Simmonds)
She’s the NO.1 GRANNY! (Craig Desson)
Judy stakes out her room. (Veronica Simmonds)
The next stranger arrives. It’s Kai Cheng Thom. (Veronica Simmonds)
Kai Cheng is not happy with the open-concept sleeping arrangement. As a trans woman with body considerations, she needs her privacy. (Veronica Simmonds)
Judy doesn’t want to sleep in the bed in the middle of the living room either. (Veronica Simmonds)
Once we figure out the sleeping arrangements, Judy is the first to delve into her difficulty. (Veronica Simmonds)
Judy has extreme arthritis, which can sometimes pose a challenge, like when she has to put her golf glove on. (Veronica Simmonds)
She struggles as we watch her. (Veronica Simmonds)
She needs help learning how to deal with people hovering over and worrying about her. (Veronica Simmonds)
Kai Cheng and Ben are also confronted by physical challenges. (Veronica Simmonds)
Judy grabs a toy piano and bursts into song. (Veronica Simmonds)
She’s a dynamo in a blue headband and unitard. (Craig Desson)