Alex Trebek I

Canadian Geographic - - REVEALING CANADA -

I spent three years in board­ing school at Univer­sity of Ot­tawa prep, and then three years at the univer­sity it­self. They were some of the most for­ma­tive of my life, so Ot­tawa holds a spe­cial place in my heart. I grew up in Sud­bury, but it didn’t reg­is­ter all that much. When I got to Ot­tawa, though, I had to take things se­ri­ously. My par­ents had di­vorced and I got in trou­ble a lot. I was a re­bel­lious kid. The priests at the prep school helped me re­form. When harsh dis­ci­pline didn’t work, they be­friended me and showed me the right path. They turned my life around. The high school was in the univer­sity ad­min­is­tra­tion building, and the dor­mi­to­ries were up­stairs. I re­mem­ber I had a crush on a girl who used to walk by ev­ery day on her way to Lis­gar High School. We’d be out­side play­ing and I would just … well, I never talked to her. We had three rinks set up out­side school that we had to shovel the snow off, so I think I might have skated on the Rideau Canal once. I used to walk along it a lot, though, and have al­ways liked that there’s so much green­ery in the city. When we were out of school on the week­end, we’d take the street­car over to Hull and go to the Gatineau Club, the Chaudière Club or Chez Henri, or just wan­der around the By­ward Mar­ket. We had a good time. In univer­sity, a favourite haunt was the Château Laurier ho­tel. They had a great pea soup, a fan­tas­tic in­door swim­ming pool and a bar­ber­shop that made us feel spe­cial — when we had enough money to go there. They used hot tow­els on our faces and trimmed our side­burns with a straight ra­zor. You felt like a rich busi­ness­man be­ing pam­pered.

Jeop­ardy! host and Honorary Pres­i­dent of The Royal Canadian Ge­o­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety rem­i­nisces about his years in Ot­tawa

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