All in the (Goldhar) family

Kathleen Goldhar. Courtesy of CBC.
Kathleen Goldhar. Courtesy of CBC.

If the name Kathleen Goldhar rings a bell, it should: she is the daughter of the founders of Leaside Life, Ruth and Harry Goldhar. To say she has journalism in the blood would be an understatement.

A prominent and prolific member of Canada’s broadcasting community, Kathleen Goldhar got her start in journalism right here in Leaside. After graduating from Leaside High School in 1989, she attended York for her Bachelor of Fine Arts and then Ryerson (now TMU) for journalism, graduating in 1996.

Kathleen’s first job in journalism was as a summer reporter for the Goldhars’ Town Crier, the precursor of Leaside Life. Kathleen originally wanted to be a poet, but upon realizing she needed deadlines to motivate her, decided that reporting “might be the perfect career.”

After graduating, the budding journalist did internships at the Toronto Star and Vancouver Sun before working for the Whitehorse Star. Then, when living in Winnipeg, she found there were no jobs at the time in newspapers so started working at CBC Radio. While she didn’t enjoy radio at first, with her father’s encouragement, she grew to love it. As she says, “telling a story through audio is wonderful. I find it much more creative.”

Kathleen Goldhar. Courtesy of CBC.
Kathleen Goldhar. Courtesy of CBC.

Back in Toronto at the CBC national newsroom, Kathleen says her life changed on September 11 when, after working for two days straight, her bosses “noticed how good” she was at her job. She was soon working at As It Happens and was asked to join the new flagship affairs show The Current as a producer in 2002. There, she made documentaries all over the world and produced many live and special episodes across Canada.

While at the CBC, Kathleen produced her first podcast, Escaping NXIVM, with her colleague, Josh Bloch, who had a friend who was leaving a destructive cult. The success of that project and others made her realize that she had a future in podcasts.

So, in 2019, Kathleen started working at Antica Productions, a Toronto-based media company, where she acted as a reporter, producer and executive producer on several podcasts, most notably, The No Good, Terribly Kind, Wonderful Lives and Tragic Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman.” One of her favourite projects, Do You Know Mordechai? deals with a friend’s experience with a serial scam artist. She was gratified to receive several awards for it, including the International Women’s Podcast Award for 2021. 

Since the fall of 2023, Kathleen has been hosting and producing a weekly podcast called Crime Story for CBC. During the podcasts, released every Monday and broadcast on CBC Radio One on Sundays at 7:30 p.m., Kathleen discusses crimes such as fraud, abduction and murder with “the storyteller who knows them best.”

One highlight for Kathleen was interviewing Gilbert King, who did a podcast series on the Bone Valley murder of 1987 in Florida. She says she “loves doing this kind of work” and being her own boss. She adds that she enjoys “talking to people and getting their stories out there,” especially with Crime Story, which highlights the “amazing work” of her colleagues.

As for the future, Kathleen admits, “I don’t know if I can keep up the pace, but I love long-form podcasts.” She would also like to do a television documentary and is contemplating a project about Argentina. With her daughter, Kelvey, at film school in London, and her son, Nathan, off to university next year, she and her husband, Neal Hall, who is in the film industry, hope to be able to work on some projects outside Toronto. One thing is certain: wherever Kathleen goes, she is sure to discover new projects along the way.

About Janis Fertuck 107 Articles
Janis Fertuck is a retired English teacher who spent the last 30 years of her career at Leaside High School. She enjoys writing about the vibrant Leaside community where she and her husband have lived for 22 years. Her other favourite pursuits include a part-time job at a boutique on Bayview and volunteering with the Bayview Pixies.