The Sunday Edition

Bob Bossin on his father's life in the gambling underworld of the 30's and 40's

He was known as "Davy the Punk."The son of immigrants, he grew up in a tenement in a Jewish ghetto known as "the Ward", one of Toronto's most impoverished neighbourhoods at the turn of the century. But to Bob Bossin, "Davy the Punk" was Dad. ...
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He was known as " Davy the Punk."

The son of immigrants, he grew up in a tenement in a Jewish ghetto known as "the Ward", one of Toronto's most impoverished neighbourhoods at the turn of the century. 

But to Bob Bossin, "Davy the Punk" was Dad. 

The renowned Canadian folksinger, and founder of Stringband, knew nothing about his father's nickname and little about his past in the gambling underworld of the 1930's and 40's. 

One summer day in the 1970's, Bossin had lunch at Toronto's United Bakers Dairy Restaurant, a fixture of the Jewish community since it opened in 1912. There, a chance conversation revealed that Davy was said to be a gangster.

More than forty years later, after decades of digging into the nooks and crannies of Davy's life, Bob Bossin has written about his father and a Toronto that was rife with gambling, anti-Semitism and a host of colourful characters.  

Being a folksinger, he's put some of the stories to music, which he has performed in many parts of Canada. And, he has written a book which is just out: Davy the Punk: A Story of Bookies, Toronto the Good, the Mob and my Dad. 

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