Steve Paikin

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Steve Paikin

Steve Paikin at the state funeral for Lincoln Alexander (cropped).jpg
Paikin in 2012
Steven Hillel Paikin

(1960-06-09) June 9, 1960 (age 60)
Alma materUniversity of Toronto
Boston University
Notable credit(s)
Studio 2
Between the Lines
Fourth Reading
Diplomatic Immunity
The Agenda

Steven Hillel Paikin OC OOnt (born June 9, 1960) is a Canadian journalist, author, and documentary producer. Paikin has primarily worked for TVOntario (TVO), Ontario's public broadcaster, and is anchor of TVO's flagship current affairs program The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Paikin was born to Lawrence Sidney Paikin and Marina Suzanne Sibulash. Paikin is Jewish.[1] Paikin graduated from Hillfield Strathallan College in 1978 and continued to university where he received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto (Victoria University, Toronto 1981). Later, Paikin received his master's degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University. He served as sports editor for the University of Toronto's independent weekly, The Newspaper, while pursuing his BA, and was the play-by-play voice of the Varsity Blues hockey and football teams on U of T Radio.[2]


Paikin was an anchor and Queen's Park correspondent for CBC Television's Toronto station CBLT-TV, and host of a daily news and current affairs program on CBC Newsworld. He also held reporting jobs in private radio and print media, including the Hamilton Spectator and Toronto radio station CHFI, where he was Toronto City Hall reporter from 1982–85.

In 1992, Paikin began work at TVO, hosting the political series Between the Lines until 1994. He also co-created the Queen's Park magazine Fourth Reading, which he hosted for 14 years. In 1994, Paikin began co-hosting duties (with Mary Hynes for two years, and then Paula Todd) on Studio 2 until 2006. In 1998, he co-created and began hosting Diplomatic Immunity, a weekly foreign affairs commentary show.

In 2006, TVO cancelled Studio 2 and replaced it with a new program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Paikin frequently is selected to be the moderator of election debates. He acted as a moderator for federal leaders debates in 2006, 2008, and 2011; and for Ontario provincial leaders debates in 2007, 2011, 2014, and 2018.

Aside from his hosting and journalistic endeavors, Paikin has produced a number of feature-length documentaries: Return to the Warsaw Ghetto; A Main Street Man; Balkan Madness; Teachers, Tories and Turmoil; and Chairman of the Board: The Life and Death of John Robarts. For 1993's Return to the Warsaw Ghetto, Paikin won the "Silver Screen Award" at the U.S. International Film and Video Festival, and received awards at the Yorkton Film Festival in Saskatchewan and at China's Shanghai Film Festival.

In February 2012, Paikin was named the Queen's Park journalist with the most Twitter influence in a study conducted by PR agency Hill+Knowlton Strategies.[3]

He holds honorary doctorates from McMaster University, Victoria University, Laurentian University, York University, and honorary diplomas from Humber College, Centennial College, Mohawk College and Fanshawe College[4]. He was later appointed chancellor of Laurentian University in Sudbury in October 2013.[5] In December 2013, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and invested into the Order of Ontario.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Paikin is married to Canadian health care lobbyist Francesca Grosso, author of Navigating Canada's Health Care System. His son, Zach Paikin, is a former Liberal Party activist.[7][1]

Steve Paikin is a cousin to the late Dr. Harry Paikin, a Hamilton school trustee for 30 years who was a Labor-Progressive Party candidate for the Ontario legislature in the 1945 Ontario election. He is also a cousin to former Waterloo mayor Harold Paikin. His sister, Carole Paikin Miller, is also a school trustee in Hamilton; her husband is New Democratic Party MPP Paul Miller.[8]

Steve Paikin is a supporter of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Red Sox, and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.[9]


  • The Life: The Seductive Call of Politics (Penguin Publishing) (ISBN 0-670-89223-8)
  • The Dark Side: The Personal Price of a Political Life (Penguin Publishing) (ISBN 0-670-04328-1)
  • Public Triumph, Private Tragedy: The Double Life of John P. Robarts (Viking, 2005) (ISBN 0-670-04329-X)
  • The New Game: How Hockey Saved Itself (Penguin Publishing) (ISBN 0-670-06560-9)
  • Paikin and the Premiers: Personal Reflections on a Half Century of Ontario Leaders, Dundurn 2013 (ISBN 978-1-45970-958-4)
  • I am a Victor: The Mordechai Ronen Story. (Dundurn Press, 2015). (ISBN 978-1459731783)
  • Bill Davis: Nation Builder, and Not So Bland After All (Dundurn Press, 2016) (ISBN 978-1459731752)
  • The introduction of Without Walls or Barriers: The Speeches of Premier David Peterson (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017) (ISBN 9781553395256)


External links[edit]

Other offices
Preceded by
Trina McQueen
Moderator of the English-language federal leaders' debates
Succeeded by