How Glen Metropolit Beat the Streets of Toronto’s Inner City

Glen Metropolit’s unexpected rise from Toronto’s mean streets

When Metropolit, now 40, was a teenager he saw it all. He saw crack cocaine being sold and smoked. He saw prostitution. He saw fights and he saw thefts.

“When I was a kid, Regent Park was pure energy,” Metropolit said, via a phone interview from his new hockey home in Mannheim, Germany. “I remember walking through there from the rink and I’d see men fighting, people selling drugs, bikes being stolen. It was crazy.

“It’s nothing like when I was growing up. I don’t know anybody there anymore when I come back. I dropped by the rink last summer and it was empty. All the buildings are being torn down.”

The Regent Park social housing neighbourhood was built just east of downtown Toronto in the 1940s. A few years ago work began to soften the hardscrabble area.