Archive for the ‘Toronto Thoughts’ Category
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
Courtesy of mynews.ctv.ca
Fall is one of the prettiest times of year and the leaves will be coming into their most vibrant in the next few weeks. Do you know why leaves change colour in the fall? The major factor in why leaves change color in the fall is the length of day and night. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in trees and plants. It absorbs sunlight and helps photosynthesis occur so that a tree can make its own sugar for energy and growth. The fall brings less sunlight and cooler temperatures so photosynthesis slows down, causing the chlorophyll in the leaves to break down and as a result we have breathtaking colours. The best fall colours occur when there has been a warm, wet spring, a summer that’s not too hot or dry, and a fall with plenty of warm sunny days and cool nights.
There are many places to take in the breathtaking scenery in Ontario and some places right in our own backyard in Toronto.
- High Park
- Ashbridge’s Bay Park
- Trinity Bellwood’s Park
- Centre Island
- Algonquin Provincial Park
- Renfrew County
- Lake of Bays
- Beaver Valley
- Haliburton Highlands
- Elora Gorge
- Kingston, Rideau Waterway and the Thousand Islands
- Hockley Valley
- Monocliffs Provincial Park
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
Courtesy of dcnonl.com
No one suspected that there was a drug lab in an apartment on the 6th floor of an upscale condo building on Fort York Boulevard that was used to process methamphetamines. The residents are predominantly well educated yuppies in their 20s and 30s working as doctors, lawyers and business professionals. No one suspected that they could have been blown to kingdom come as a result of cooking methamphetamines, which are very volatile.
Three people, middle dealers known to police - Nathanial Tarlo, 23, David Back, 22, and Mark Szczygiel, 24 - were arrested and police seized drugs with a street value of over $1.3 million.
- Cocaine - 2,200 grams
- Heroin - 1,200 grams
- Methamphetamines - 2,400 grams
- Ecstasy - 1,300 grams
- Marijuana - 2,100 grams
- Hashish - 430 grams
- GHB - 6 litres
In addition to the drugs, police also confiscated a loaded 9-mm semi-automatic pistol stolen in Peel in 2006, a pellet gun, unrelated ammunition, a bulletproof vest, cellphones, bags of cash, and a Lincoln automobile. Police believe that these drugs were meant for distribution to kids in the Entertainment district.
If you have information about this crime contact the 55 Division detectives at 416-808-5504 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers, 416-222-TIPS (8477).
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
Courtesy of yongeeglinton.com
After a two year battle, fought with passion and conviction, the Eglinton Park Residents’ Association has thwarted the attempt of Top of the Tree Developments from rezoning two city blocks in their neighbourhood - Yonge Street to Edith Drive, from Eglinton Avenue West to Roselawn Avenue. Top of the Tree Developments applied to build a 25 storey condo building on the northeast corner of Montgomery and Duplex Aves., northwest of Eglinton Avenue and Yonge Street. There are 100 members in this association which worked tirelessly for two years compiling written submissions and creating a presentation. After a 5 week hearing last March the Ontario Municipal Board finally denied their application.
Many neighbourhoods are facing similar problems, referred to as the “condofication” of Toronto. Putting up massive high rises in residential neighbourhoods causes many problems including increased traffic and overtaxing the existing infrastructure, not to mention changing the entire feel of the neighbourhood. However, Toronto is experience a massive condo boom, with no signs of letting up. Just look up at the skyline and count the cranes. According to developer Alan Vihant, Toronto is the top condo market in North America and one of the top five in the world.
According to Mayor Miller Toronto currently has about 105 buildings over 12 storeys going up in the city. This includes residential and commercial buildings. Phase one of the Bay Adelaide Centre - 51 storeys distributed over 1.2 million square feet – just opened. Cadillac Fairview will be opening the 43-storey RBC Centre complex near University Ave. and Wellington St. and Menkes’ 780,000-square-foot Telus Tower near the Air Canada Centre will be opening in November. Toronto keeps growing skyward, but every once in a while a residential neighbourhood says NO.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
Courtesy of adaweb.net
The question shouldn’t be why is there a battle raging over bike helmets in Toronto, the question should be why isn’t there a law mandating bike helmets for adults in Toronto? It doesn’t take a great deal of intelligence to predict the potential for head injury when you fall off a bike. In a bike versus car collision the car always wins and the potential for grave head injuries and death can’t be ignored. Why wouldn’t any sane cyclist want to do everything possible to stack in deck in his favour?
The argument made by Yvonne Bambrick, executive director of the Toronto Cyclists Union representing about 800 cyclists, says that cyclists over the age of 18 shouldn’t be forced to wear helmets because “millions of people ride safely everyday without them”. If you accept that as a valid reason then motorcyclists should not be required to ride with helmets and drivers of cars should no longer be required to wear seatbelts. The reality is that research shows:
- About ¾ of all cycling fatalities involve head injuries.
- A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that riders with helmets had an 85 % reduction in their risk of head injury and an 88 % reduction in their risk of brain injury.
- Bicycle safety helmets are highly effective in preventing head injury according to HealthyOntario.com.
Since bicycles are a form of transportation and share the roads, they should be subject to the same types of laws that scooters and motorcycles are, including licensing. The bike lobby wants it both ways – they want to make roads safer for bicycles without accepting any responsibility for ensuring the safety of cyclists.
If you are in the market for a bike helmet make sure that it meets safety standards by looking inside the helmet for stickers from:
- Canadian Standard Association: CAN/CSA D113.2-M89
- Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B90S, or Snell N94
- American National Standard Institute: ANSI Z90.4-1984
- American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
- British Standards Institute: BS6863:1989
- Standards Association of Australia: AS2063.2-1990
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
Courtesy of schmidthappens.net
Canadian broadcasters including CTV, Global, and the A Channels have formed an organization called Local TV Matters. The purpose for this organization is to set up a system that will force cable and satellite companies to pay into a local programming fund. And, why should you care? Because, if the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) approves this fee-for-carriage (a fee that cable and satellite companies would have to pay broadcasters to carry their signals), the cable and satellite companies will raise their fees to the consumers in order to recuperate their payments. So at the end of the day, it’s the consumer who will end up paying for this local programming fund. And, if this fee-for-carriage gets approved, what will prevent American broadcasters from demanding the same?
The cable and satellite companies are dead against this fee-for-carriage program. Rogers has called it “an unnecessary bailout for over-the-air broadcasters and an unfair tax on cable and satellite television subscribers” and estimates that it could end up costing the cable and satellite subscribers an additional $5 - $10 per month. This is in addition to the fee that came into effect on September 1, 2009, to finance the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF), a fund established by the CRTC to provide a subsidy for smaller market television stations. According to an email that Rogers sent to its customers, “The CRTC has suggested that if the cable and satellite distributors don’t go along with the fee-for-carriage scheme, the television signals of American network stations, (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS) which we have distributed since cable TV began, will be taken away”.
What can you do? Contact your Member of Parliament. Will we ultimately be able to afford to watch television?
Monday, September 14th, 2009
Courtesy of monado.files.wordpress.com
The festival season is winding down and after a summer of eating, drinking, and film, it’s time to celebrate literacy. Word on the Street is an important event that takes place across Canada in Toronto, Vancouver, Kitchener, and Halifax on Sunday, September 27th. All of the events are FREE and it’s a great family friendly event.
Where: Queen’s Park
When: September 27th from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
What can expect to see? Famous authors will be on hand reading from their new books, most notably Margaret who will be reading from her new novel “The Year of the Flood”, and using LongPen technology her appearance will be broadcast to Word on the Street events in Halifax and Vancouver. There will be an amazing selection of books and magazines and you can get great deals. I got a fantastic price on a magazine subscription last year. Bring the kids along and take them to the Children’s Activity Tent, Children’s Reading Tent, Little Readers’ Tent, and the TVO Kids’ Stage. There will be food on site at the world food market.
As a fundraiser for literacy organizations in Toronto, Word on the Street is launching two Literacy Murals that will be signed by authors and performers on site and auctioned off this fall (date to be determined). Donate a loonie to this worthwhile cause and you too can sign the mural.
How can you get to Word on the Street?
- Take the subway to either Queen’s Park Station or Museum Station on the University section of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
- Take the 506 Carlton West Street Streetcar and exit directly south of Queen’s Park.
- Take the 5 Avenue Road Bus and exit at Queen’s Park.
Saturday, September 12th, 2009
Courtesy of t.o. night
Compact and glossy, t.o. night is Toronto’s latest edition into the free newspaper market, but this one is aimed at the afternoon commuter. Distributed daily from 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM in the downtown core, t.o. night is relying on wire stories, not reporters as their news source and they are partnering with a local blog, BlogTO for local interest stories. Occasionally it will feature a guest columnist.
Instead of paper boxes, 100,000 copies of t.o. night will be handed out by modern day paper boys called “Newsies” who will be strategically stationed near downtown Toronto’s public transit hubs. Not an offspring of another newspaper company, t.o. night’s investors include media giant, St. Joseph Communications, Richard Costley-White, owner of Blackburn Radio and a former publisher of The London Free Press, and unnamed private investors. They obviously are betting on the success of a free evening daily and can look to successes in Britain and Australia to support their theory. However, the detractors are saying that commuters would rather read their news online on hand held devices than read news wire stories in t.o. night. Only time will tell which of the opposing sides is proven to be right.
t.o. night is small, only 8.5 inches by 10.5 inches, making it very easy to handle and less likely to disturb your commuting neighbours than the larger Metro and 24. It is also published in full colour on coated magazine paper. This no doubt makes it considerably more attractive than the other free morning dailies, but on the downside, it makes it a much more costly paper to publish. Advertising will make or break the paper and it remains to be seen whether they see the value in t.o. night. Do you?
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Courtesy of i.treehugger.com
If you are truly eco-conscious and want to make the ultimate statement, you can die green by choosing to have a green funeral. Most of us don’t take into consideration that burials contaminate the ground with toxic chemicals, concrete, and metals. Cremation is not eco-friendly either with approximately 27 litres natural gas required to cremate a 150-pound body. In Ontario we have eco-friendly burial options. Smith’s Funeral Homes in Burlington, Ontario is the first Canadian funeral business to be certified by the Green Burial Council. They are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint by:
- Supplying biodegradable caskets that have no metal, plastics or harsh chemical finishes
- Offering containers for cremated remains that are biodegradable and made of 100% recyclable materials
- Planting a tree in memory of the deceased for every funeral that they handle
- Use 100% recycled paper products
- Using plant-based embalming fluids
- Using energy efficient lighting
Cobourg, Ontario is home to what is believed to be Ontario’s first eco-friendly burial ground. Located on a half hectare meadow, every effort is taken to ensure that everything related to the burial is as environmentally friendly as possible. And, eco-friendly burials may also save you a considerable amount of money.
- Nothing is put into the ground that is not harmless and biodegradable
- No pesticides are used - weeding is done by hand
- No markers, headstones or concrete vaults are permitted – wildflowers or shrubs mark the burial location
- Small commemorative plaques may also be placed on one of several fieldstones scattered around the meadow
- Caskets are simple wooden boxes
- Graves are dug by hand when ever possible
Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
Courtesy of altiusdirectory.com
It’s hard to believe that it’s already September and that the summer is gone. Considering the weather that we had, most of us are still waiting for summer to arrive and unfortunately that ship has sailed. There is always a lot of confusion about what is open and closed on Labour Day weekend. Saturday, September 5th and Sunday, September 6th are just regular weekend days and regular weekend hours of operation will apply. Monday, September 7th is an entirely different story because Labour Day is a legal statutory holiday and that means lots of closures. The TTC and GO Transit will be running on a holiday schedule.
What will be closed on Labour Day?
- Government offices
- There will be no mail delivery because the post office is closed
- Beer Stores
- Most supermarkets – notable exceptions are Bruno’s and some No Frills stores
- Most businesses
- Malls in Toronto, except for the Eaton Centre
- Most stores
What is open on Labour Day?
- Yonge Street from Richmond Street north to Grosvenor
- The Eaton Centre
- Queen’s Quay
- Yorkville – stores will decide individually to open or close
- Vaughan Mills will be open from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Pacific Mall will be open from 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
What is there to do on Labour Day?
- Visit the CNE.
- Attend the Labour Day Parade. It starts at 9:30 AM at Queen and University and proceeds down Queen to Dufferin and then south to the Dufferin Gate at the CNE.
- Take in Brazilian Day at Yonge-Dundas Square from 2:00 PM – 7:30 PM. It promises to be a great event and it’s FREE.
- Enjoy the Hispanic Fiesta at Mel Lastman Square.
- Learn all about Dogs with Jobs at PawsWay, located at 245 Queens Quay West.
Saturday, August 29th, 2009
Courtesy of tiff.net
The Toronto International Film Festival is one of most prestigious film festivals in the world. From September 10 – 19 an incredible list of luminaries from the film world – film makers, actors and actresses, and industry professionals – will all be in Toronto to celebrate the art of film making. Stake out a spot on your favourite patio because this is a just partial list of just some of the celebrities that have confirmed to date.
- Ally Sheedy
- Amanda Seyfried
- Atom Egoyan
- Chris Rock
- Cillian Murphy
- Clive Owen
- Colin Farrell
- Colin Firth
- Colm Feore
- Danny DeVito
- Danny Glover
- David Duchovny
- Demi Moore
- Drew Barrymore
- Edward Norton
- Ellen Page
- Emily Blunt
- Ethan Coen
- Eva Green
- Ewan McGregor
- George Clooney
- Georgina Reilly
- Gordon Pinsent
- Guy Maddin
- Hugh Hefner
- Ian Fitzgibbon
- Isabella Rossellini
- Jack White
- Jacob Tierney
- James Purefoy
- Jane Campion
- Jason Reitman
- Jeff Bridges
- Jennifer Connelly
- Jennifer Garner
- Jimmy Smits
- Joel Coen
- Johnny Hallyday
- Jon Amiel
- Jonathan King
- Julianne Moore
- Juliette Lewis
- Keanu Reeves
- Keir Gilchrist
- Keisha Castle-Hughes
- Kevin McDonald
- Kevin Spacey
- Kerry Washington
- Kristin Scott Thomas
- Kyle MacLachlan
- Liam Neeson
- Lisa Kudrow
- Marica Gay Harden
- Mariah Carey
- Matt Damon
- Megan Fox
- Sir Michael Caine
- Michael Douglas
- Michael Moore
- Michael Sheen
- Miranda Richardson
- Naomi Watts
- Natalie Portman
- Neil Diamond
- Neil Jordan
- Nicolas Cage
- Oliver Parker
- Oprah Winfrey
- Patricia Clarkson
- Paul Bettany
- Paul Schneider
- Paula Patton
- Penélope Cruz
- Peter Berg
- Peter Sarsgaard
- Philip Hoffman
- Rachel Ward
- Ricky Gervais
- Sir Ridley Scott
- Rob Lowe
- Robert Duvall
- Robin Wright Penn
- Rossif Sutherland
- S. Epatha Merkerson
- Samantha Morton
- Sarah Ferguson
- Sarah Polley
- Sheila McCarthy
- Sissy Spacek
- Snoop Dogg
- Steven Soderbergh
- Tatiana von Furstenberg
- Ted Kotcheff
- Terry Gilliam
- Tilda Swinton
- Tom Ford
- Tyler Perry
- Viggo Mortensen
- Willem Dafoe
- Woody Harrelson
The films this year promise to be outstanding and tickets can be purchased online.