Rick Madonik

Toronto’s summer of 2005 became known as the “summer of the gun,” with an unprecedented number of deaths by gunfire. The Toronto Star had already begun a summer-long series, a look inside the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre critical care unit. It was there that reporter Tanya Talaga and photographer Rick Madonik encountered Carlos McIntosh. Carlos was shot twice, allegedly for leaning against the wrong car at 3 a.m. His injuries were life-threatening, and in fact, cost him his entire right leg, his left leg below the knee and three fingers on his left hand.
The story ran at the end of the summer, detailing the intense critical care of Carlos (from his initial wounds through post-op infections). In highlighting his story and his recovery, the article and photographs helped to force a discussion about senseless violence—and the serious need to provide support and programs to disenfranchised youth—to the forefront, if only for a couple of months. “In the end, it’s hard to decipher whether this individual story had any lasting impact,” says Rick. This type of crime continues today. In 2012, Toronto witnessed two desperate shooting incidents (at the Eaton Centre and in Scarborough) that again highlighted the need for public discourse and creative solutions to an ongoing issue.

Rick Madonik was hired at the Toronto Star in 1999, after 8.5 years of contract and freelance work, including 4.5 years of that in Ottawa covering federal politics. Madonik began his career in 1984 working at small weekly publications (Gravenhurst Banner, Pickering Bay News, Markham Economist and Sun), to a small daily (Chatham Daily News), to the Toronto Star, since 1991, when first hired on contract.
Madonik has covered events both big and small, foreign and domestic. He’s covered famine in East Africa, war (Afghanistan, Israel, Libya), politics, sports, and everything in between. 
Away from work, Madonik is an avid traveller, dog owner and yoga enthusiast.