Vern McAree was born on 1876 on June 26th at 180 Parliament Street in Toronto. Vern came from a close knit Irish Methodist family in the Cabbagetown area. His aunt, Mary Ann Verner, or more commonly known as Aunt Polly, was a local fixture in the Cabbagetown area with her little general store and her notorious generosity. Vern McAree’s father often traveled out to Western Canada leaving his mother to raise her family in the attic of Aunt Polly’s store in 1883.
He was educated at Lord Dufferin Public School and at Jarvis Collegiate Institute. In 1898 Vern McAree joined the staff at the Mail and Empire and by1908 he began to write his first column as a criminal reporter. He eventually became one of Canada’s earliest newspaper columnists having his daily articles appear in the editorial page of the Globe and Mail and his writings were even anthologized in the Globe and Mail in 1934. Vern McAree’s writing spanned over 4 decades and had over 25,000 published newspaper articles both in Canada and United States of America. His final published work was a book written about his formative years in the Cabbagetown community called the "Cabbagetown Store" in 1953.