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For 30 years, Mark Dailey was not just the voice of Citytv, but, in some ways, the voice of Toronto.
After living with cancer for six years, Dailey passed away on Monday at Sunnybrook hospital at the age of 57.
He began his career as a crime reporter on the radio. And before that, he was a police officer in his native Ohio in 1968. After stops in Detroit, and the CHUM station in Windsor, Daily joined CityPulse in 1979.
He took over the crime beat on CityPulse, always wearing his trademark fedora, and gained respect from law enforcement and audiences across the city.
Adam Vaughan, the city councilor who cut his teeth at Citytv along side Dailey, had this to say:
"If you've ever walked into that newsroom at 11 at night, whether it was two minutes to air or five minutes after the first story aired, Mark's personality was front and centre and you heard it in his voice and you also saw it in his friendship and you could hear it in any story that was every told on Citytv."
Gord Martineau, another iconic Citytv anchor, remembers him this way:
"My first reaction was who is the beanpole, this tall, thin guy with the big glasses, the notebook and the pen? But it didn't take long for us to realize his true value and his value has always been there."
Many others, though, will know him for his memorable voice.
Most will remember his absurd, sarcastic introductions the station's Late Great Movies features. He could be so lovingly dismissive of whatever awful movie was playing, you had to watch. Call it reverse psychology, I guess, but it remains one of the most unique ways to get viewers to tune in I've ever heard.
When I first came to Toronto in the 90s, Dailey's baritone was one of my earliest memories. His voice a welcoming sound. I recall him announcing street corners for Citytv promos ("At the corner of Pape and Danforth, Citytv everywhere"), and immediately wanting to go there. My brother and I would often mimic his voice, using the tiniest intersections around our house or school we could find to make each other laugh ("At the corner of Broadway and Redpath..." "At the corner of Mt. Pleasant and the Chick'N'Deli..." and so on).
His voice tied parts of the city together for me, and I'm sure many others who landed in Toronto without much of an idea where to go. He will be missed.