Lofaro was born in Campo Calabro, Calabria, a small town near
Reggio Calabria. In 1955, his parents, Giovanni and Maria,
like so many other Calabrese in post-war Italy, moved the
family to Canada looking for a better life. Antonio was about
18 months when he arrived in Ottawa, his sister Lisa was three
years old. The family lived in many areas of "Little
Italy" before they settled on Laurel Street, where Maria
still lives today.
went to St. Anthony's School, followed by St. Agnes School,
and then on to the newly-built High School of Commerce in
1967, Canada's Centennial Year. It was there he developed
an interest in writing, and wrote for the school newspaper.
But actually, he got his love of writing from his mother.
She wrote the most heart-felt, deep and sincere letters to
her "Mama" back home. Antonio remembers seeing these
letters written in long-hand, with beautiful long passages
that covered every square inch of paper, down one side and
up the next.
high school, he attended Algonquin College and studied journalism.
He was lucky enough to begin to freelance articles to The
Ottawa Citizen. After seeing his first byline in the newspaper
he was convinced journalism was the profession for him. The
Citizen hired him as reporter in April 1976 and he has worked
there for more than 35 years.
later met the love of his life, Virginia and they were married
in 1981 at St. Anthony's Church. The couple have two wonderful
sons, Anthony and Joseph. Last summer, Anthony married Maria-Francesca
Cammisano, who is Sicilian and French Canadian, and a formerly
from Montreal. Anthony is a field sales representative at
Rogers Communications and Joseph is a reporter at Metro Ottawa
newspaper. Yes journalism runs in the family. Antonio has
enjoyed a long and interesting career at The Citizen, writing
about everything from crime to politics, sports and celebrity
profiles. He has interviewed and met such famous stars as
Paul Anka, Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Tom Jones, John Travolta,
even Zucchero. On assignment for The Citizen he travelled
to Italy to report on a documentary Anna Chiappa was researching
on the 1943 crash of a RCAF plane in her hometown of Bardi
(region of Emilia Romagna).
also co-wrote the script for SOS Arandora Star, a TV-documentary
about the sinking of the Italian ship by Germans during WWII.
He published a biography on Ottawa native Dan Boyle, a star
defenceman with the San Jose sharks, and edited a fitness
book for Ann Aberg, the former wife of Paul Anka.
has been close to Ottawa's Italian community all his life,
and has attended and written about its cultural and social
events including Settimana Italiana, the Associazione Culturale
Calabrese Savuto-Cleto's Community Achievement Awards, CHIN
Radio, and the Preston Street Arch. He has interviewed prominent
Italians, including former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli, celebrity
hair stylist Rinaldo and Mario Giannetti of Preston Hardware.
He has been a supporter of fundraising events of The Kidney
Foundation, Villa Marconi and multiple sclerosis society of
and movies are among his many passions and he's a big supporter
of Juventus, a team he has followed since 1983. He was fortunate
to attend the 1994 and 1998 World Cups where he cheered on
his beloved Azzurri national team. He counts The Godfather
and Cinema Paradiso as arguably, two of the best films ever
made. He has returned to Italy five times, and also visited
the quaint house in the town where he was born. One day he
hopes to make it to the island town in the Azores (Portugal)
where his wife Virginia was born.
a reporter and resident he has seen Ottawa grow and develop
into a thriving city. Ottawa, he believes, is a beautiful,
friendly city with a lot to offer and it is the envy of many
Canadians. And even today he still finds time to come down
to Preston Street where he has family and many friends who
operate businesses there. It's a place he knows very well,
and where he spent many wonderful years . For Antonio it will
always feel like home.