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About - Biography of Dan Learn

Dan & Daryl at Port Colborne Canal Days
Daryl (left) and Dan (right)
Dan Learnís story begins in a small town on the Canada-U.S. border, where he spent most of his life growing up.

The older of two sons, Dan was born to Robert and Linda, followed years later by his younger brother, Daryl.

The early years of Danís life saw him surrounded by a close-knit and large extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents were always close while in Canada, while stateside, Dan and his family stayed in a small town in the Florida Everglades with a great-aunt and uncle every spring, as well as spending several weeks every summer along the New Jersey coast, playing in the sand and surf every day with his cousins.

In high school, Dan was well-known as a friendly slacker. His grades occasionally earned him a spot on the school honour roll, but always near the bottom. He excelled in history and business classes, while taking a fractional interest in the math, science, and English fields. It was during these years that Dan picked up several important interests.

Shortly before starting high school, Dan followed in his fatherís footsteps and picked up the guitar. He played in his first band at the age of 13, but without any serious drive, the band split before making any dents on the local music scene. Following that, Dan declined becoming a permanent fixture in any groups, opting instead to sit in with friendís bands on occasion. Dan slowly faded from the music scene by his own choosing, and hasnít played for an audience in several years. He continues to play and write as a leisure pursuit, both solo and with his brother Daryl, a classically-trained pianist.

Off-road cycling & photography - two great hobbies
Off-road cycling and photography - two great hobbies
It was also during the high school years that Dan picked up a camera for the first time. To encourage their sonís hobby, Danís parents donated a Canon SLR camera to his efforts, hoping that using older, manual equipment would make him a better photographer. In the summer of 2000, using money earned working as a supervisor in a local grocery store, Dan made the switch to Nikon and Tamron equipment with the purchase of his first professional grade camera gear. After several months of practice and adjustment, Dan began pursuing a free-lance career that saw several hundred photographs published by various media, both domestically and overseas.

Although Dan always held an interest in creative writing, it wasnít until his late teen years that this pursuit began to take hold. After submitting a story about a school trip on behalf of his high school, the editor of the local newspaper hired Dan as a columnist. Dan became something of a local fixture, keeping his space reserved for the lighter side of life, something which won him respect and admiration, both from the readership and newspaper community. Readers agreed with Dan that Opinion pages needed a breath of fresh air and a solid dose of silliness and sarcasm. Eventually, the direction of his column became a source of disagreement between Dan and the editorial staff, with the editors pushing for a tested formula that sold newspapers, and Dan vying for a different approach that kept material fresh and unique. In the spring of 2000, Dan left his post as columnist, but remained on good terms with his former workplace.

Dan & Robyn Learn
Dan & Robyn Learn
After high school, Dan turned down university educations in journalism and history, opting instead to pursue the business world. He attended Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, graduating in 2003 with a diploma in Business Administration-Human Resources. It was here that he met Robyn, an Early Childhood Education student, and his future wife.

When an industry downturn left Dan with human resources education and experience (but not employment) in the spring of 2003, he fell back on a retail career that had financed his way through college. The second time around proved to be an eye-opener: Dan became frustrated and disillusioned with the irresponsibility and greed that dominated the thoughts and actions of retail giants, and longed for an escape.

March 2004 saw Dan accepted into a pilot project organized amongst the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), George Brown College, and Canadaís railways. The projectís goal was to train railway conductors in a post-secondary environment, versus the method of in-house training performed by every individual railway.

Upon finishing his education in April 2005, Dan accepted a position with Canadian National Railway, the same railway his father and several other relatives had worked for.

Despite the responsibility of being employed full-time and still helping to raise a growing family, Dan manages to keep active in the writing and photography fields, which is what this website is dedicated to.

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