Not Anytime Soon – Linda Chamberlain

Linda Chamberain is one of those people you remember meeting, and someone you never forget. I first met her on a WRAP facilitator course. Now there’s a book so the world can get to know something of her story and her spirit.

The text below is from Today’s Toronto Star – on their website you’ll also find a couple of short videos too. You may not get to meet Linda Chaimberain in person, but you don’t need to: you’ll never forget her.

And she ain’t going – Not Anytime Soon.

Toronto Star
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Catherine Porter

Linda Chamberlain’s story of Toronto’s mean streets is inspiring, healing

Linda Chamberlain did it all, from burlesque dancer to cat rescuer. After a life of struggle, her biggest battle is against bone and liver cancer

linda chamberain and cat

Catherine Porter  Published on Wed May 22 2013

Linda Chamberlain has been a child worker, burlesque dancer, schizophrenic patient, escaped prisoner, homeless person, peer support worker, supportive housing champion, cat rescuer, bongo drum player and life saver.

Oh, and she’s been acquitted of murder.

She really should have written a book a long time ago.

But she was too busy, criss-crossing the city in a pink blur, enroute to part-time jobs, speaking engagements, the apartments of mental health patients to feed their pets so they could rest easy in hospital. Plus, since her mother yanked her out of school at age 8, she didn’t learn how to read or write until she was in her 40s, and recovering after a decade living on Toronto’s mean streets.

A year and a half ago, Chamberlain was diagnosed with bone and liver cancer. Facing her own death, she definitely was too busy to write a book — helping more people, enrolling in clown school.

So, her friends did it for her. They’ve published the amazing story of her life and called it “Not Anytime Soon! The life & times of Linda Chamberlain”

It’s a scrapbook, with photos and hand-written cards and newspaper clippings. There she is, on the cover, dressed head to toe in pink — her signature colour. She is smiling widely.

It covers her decade living on Kingston Road under a hedge, with only her cat Giorgio and the voices in her head for company. It documents her climb back into society, first with some volunteer jobs at Progress Place and then with her very own apartment in supportive housing. And it reveals her remarkable legacy: founding the Dream Team, a group of psychiatric survivors lobbying for more supportive housing, and launching her own charity called People and Pets.

If you are looking for inspiration, get this book. If you are looking for healing, get this book.

It is a testament to the strength of the human spirit in face of mountainous odds. It is a story of hope and love. And it is a call for kindness — something this city desperately needs.

Not Anytime Soon! The life & times of Linda Chamberlain

Print copies from John Stapleton for $10 by emailing ,

or an on-line version for $5 here

There will be a book launch on June 11.

About recoverynetwork:Toronto

We believe people can and do recover from "mental illness" - because we are living it. We believe in the power of supporting each other: learning from and with each other. You are welcome to join us..
This entry was posted in my story, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Not Anytime Soon – Linda Chamberlain

  1. Dorothy says:

    What a difficult journey she has traveled in her life. What strength and hope for survival. Wishing her peace and love to a beautiful lady. I can’t wait for the book.


  2. Denise Hisey says:

    What a beautiful woman!!
    Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!!!
    We all have something to learn from Linda!
    Can’t wait to read her book 🙂


  3. Christine Foster says:

    She is an inspiration to everyone.


Comments are closed.