The Hippie High-Rise: Rochdale College, Toronto’s Communal Living High Rise Free Education Experiment


From 1968 to 1975 one high-rise was the heart of Canada’s counterculture. Rochdale College in Toronto was jammed full with leftist organizers, hippies, draft dodgers, students, artists, and others just looking for a good time. Rochdale wasn’t really a “college”, it was something much bigger: a political, educational, communal, artistic, and psychedelic experiment. During its time, it was endlessly lambasted by conservatives and leftists alike… until it reached its inglorious end.

Today, like much of the counterculture, it’s often remembered for its problems: its ideological contradictions, drug-addled hedonism, bourgeois individualism, sexism, suicide, and more. However, is that the whole story? Were the kids in the hippie high rise onto something, …or was it indeed just one giant waste of time? We investigate with a special documentary presentation, produced by Marc Apollonio.


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Marc Apollonio

Marc Apollonio is a podcast-producer and journalist with a background in investigative reporting, news and current affairs. His documentary, The Brightest Licence Plate In Montreal, won The Canadian Association of Journalists 2021 award for Human Rights Reporting. His current fixation is the politics of genetics and evolutionary biology.

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