Martin Streek was one of the most recognizable voices in local radio.
As an on-air personality for 102.1 The Edge for more than two decades, the goateed, tattooed Mr. Streek had introduced countless fans to the world of alternative rock each week on his popular Thursday 30 countdown and his live-to-air broadcasts from the Phoenix Concert Theatre and the Velvet Underground.
When he was let go from the station in May in a round of restructuring along with fellow on-air host Barry Taylor, the music world lamented the loss of the voice of a true music lover, who consistently pushed the station to experiment with new material.
But today they are lamenting the loss of Mr. Streek, who was found dead Monday in what friends believe was a suicide. He was 45.
In an eerie Facebook status update on Monday, re-posted by a friend online, Mr. Streek appeared to be saying goodbye.
"So … I guess that's it," he wrote. "Thanks everyone … I'm sorry to those I should be sorry to, I love you to those that I love, and I will see you all again soon (not too soon though) … Let the stories begin."
Police received a call at 5:47 p.m. on Monday from a fellow tenant at Broadview Lofts at 68 Broadview Ave.
According to staff sergeant David Lowe of the 55 division, the tenant had bumped into a friend of Mr. Streek, a woman in her 20s, who had received a worrying e-mail or text message from the former host.
When officers arrived at the apartment on the fourth floor of the building, they found Mr. Streek dead and a note on the door asking whoever found it to call police.
There is no indication of foul play, Staff Sgt. Lowe said, but an investigation is ongoing.
An autopsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death, the chief coroner's office said.
Mr. Streek began his career at The Edge during his last year at Erindale Secondary School, according to his homepage. His long run at the station was a rarity in an industry known for frequent turnover.
Despite the layoff, friends said they were shocked by news of his death.
"It just side-swiped us," said Paul Smith, Mr. Streek's agent for more than a decade. He said Mr. Streek seemed to be dealing well and was optimistic about the future.
"I swear, he seemed fine with it," he said.
Mr. Streek had already completed two pilot episodes of a new television show, Martin Streek's Backstage, said Mike Wixson, a former Edge staffer who was producing the program. The two had plans to continue filming in September, he said.
It was well-known in the industry that Mr. Streek had a history of alcoholism, but friends said they believed he had left that behind.
"He had a lot of demons he overcame," said Howard Glassman, better known as Humble Howard, who co-hosted the Humble & Fred Show for years on The Edge.
"He had healed himself up quite nicely," Mr. Wixson said. "The party days are kind of well behind us."
Staff at The Edge spent Tuesday reminiscing about Mr. Streek, who was repeatedly described as friendly, positive and energetic.
"We're incredibly saddened to hear of Martin's passing," said general manager Chris Sisam, echoing an official statement posted on the station's website. "Our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time."
Other colleagues and listeners weighed in on the loss throughout the day online.
A memorial page on Facebook had more than 7,000 members by last evening, with hundreds of comments from those who grew up listening to Mr. Streek's voice.
"He was a huge part in making me appreciate and love music," wrote Tara McLean of St. Catharines. "He represented the spirit of the radio and will be greatly missed!"