Archive for November, 2006

city of clouds


Came across this entry on BoingBoing

It was super foggy in Toronto last week and a worker in the CN Tower snapped some shots of the fog from up on the deck. They’re some real fun pictures.

Rather reminiscient of a Star Wars Cloud City type scenario.

Another reader also points us to a panorama view from the tower.

Focussing on A Councillor

The other day Andrew accused me of focussing too much on the Mayor. I was a mite ticked. After all not only do I not have the resources to cover 44 wards, but also the Mayor is the visible leader, the one who represents our city to the upper echelons of government, our vision (or not, as the case may be) in spite of being only one vote. And, anyway, I had several times blogged on the city council. And then it hit me — that was on my personal blog. D’oh! So herewith is my first MetBlog posting on a city councillor who for some reason manages to use his incumbency to win despite having “poorly served in council.”

This is a man who has interfered in TTC management, who benefits the union at the expense of fare riders and the General Manager, who got himself in such hot water back in June that the papers were full of his backroom shenanigans, and finally the piece de resistance, not taking the subway car purchase to tender, but unilaterally awarding the contract to Bombardier.

And the Leafs Win!

Haven’t made it out to a game since early last season. Didn’t know what to expect from the boys in Blue tonight. Last game I saw it was depressing. There are a lot of new faces out there and some real talent. An impresive 4-2 win over the Islanders that actually had me out of my seat. Yeah, and this was against a pretty solid team (DiPietro is no joke but he got rawked in the 1st period).

Well with two home games in two years I can’t call myself a hardcore Leaf fan. More of the I’ll-check-out-the-game-for-free-rather-than-drop-a-weeks-pay-on-these-seats kind of fan…

(The game does look great on a tv with the company of friends and some cold ones too… LoL)

Garbage Truck Questions

I was watching a garbage truck trundle down the street towards me the other day and noticed that right after the worker tossed in the contents of a blue box, she picked up a green bin and tossed its contents in as well. As it passed by, I saw that it’s one of those divided trucks. Into the big “half” went the recylables from the grey and blue boxes; into the small “half,” the green bin bags. The last time I saw them use this kind of truck was for cardboard in the small half and the rest of the recyclables in the big half.

So that got me thinking: if all of the recyclables, including the cardboard go into the wider area of the truck, why do we still have to fold, cut, and tie the cardboard into tiny squares. Except for small packages, cardboard has to be bent against its will to achieve the perfect size. This requirement is insane, especially for those who have trouble with their hands or don’t have the strength to fold, cut, squeeze into the grey bin, or tie this stiff material.

Is Toronto Getting Too E-Wasted???

Not sure if you any of you have seen MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, the feature length documentary about Toronto’s Edward Burtynsky but I highly recommended it. An excellent documentary that, in one scene, brings up the topic of e-waste.

E-waste is being talked about more and more especially as we begin to try and attack Toronto’s garbage problems. E-waste is simply obsolete electronics (cellphones, microwaves, televisions, computers, etc) that are thrown away as newer gadgets are adopted. It’s not yet illegal to throw out these items but soon might be. The problem is that landfills are beginning to team with e-waste products that can either be re-used or properly recycled. Even worse is that much of e-waste contains toxins which can contaminate soil and water like Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, and Phosphorus. The problem is not new as our technology bent society creates obsolescence as fast as it innovates.

The politics of transit

So having been through Stephen’s previous post I started to think a little bit. It’s not too often that I think so I might as well jot down what i thought of here before I forget it all.

We’re one of the only major cities on the planet in a developed nation that has no trains to its own airport. How shitty is that. Let’s take it one step further. North America, the promise and hope of the world is also the only continent with developed nations that don’t have high speed rail. Let’s see who else does have it? UK and every major European nation, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Turkey, China, and the list goes on and on. Obviously we’re doing some wrong here.

And I started to think for a while more. What is the reason for all of this? Is it because we’re doing something wrong as consumers? Are we not worthy enough? Is it because of the big 3 constantly lobbying against our governments?

Survivalist Toronto


A survivalist is a person who anticipates a potential disruption in the continuity of local, regional or worldwide society, and takes steps to survive in the resulting unpredictable situation.

With every new condo built downtown and with every widening of major highways outside of the GTA we see only a rise in congestion but no new solutions. For these we have to go for other options.

Obviously nothing will be done if funding cannot be figured out for the TTC or if new major roads are not built somehow and somewhere. And the tear down or rebuilding of the Gardiner is not what I am talking about either.

What of Trustees?

As I was heading to the polling station yesterday, I was pondering who to vote for for School Trustee. I’d done some reading on the subject, but it’s always such a crapshoot because unless you’re a parent active in your kids’ school(s) or a high school student who has had dealings with the School Board, you have no idea whether your Trustee is any good.

It occurred to me that it would be very useful to have a group of students from each high school write a short paragraph on the performance of their local Trustee and post it on a website or publish and distribute it to all households. Parents could also write a short blurb on how they found their Trustee treated their school and helped them with the issues, as well as a blurb on the School Board overall. I would find these opinions far more valuable than anything I read in the paper, especially since as a high school student I always thought the voters sucked in knowing who to elect.

Post Vote Banter

Not much a surprise that David Miller was declared a winner in our city’s mayoral race. It was bad form for City TV to declare their prediction of Miller victory about sixty seconds into their coverage. Ummm, wait for the polls to confirm your “guess” (likely outcome), especially if you are to be “unbiased” members of the press.

Which Segment Are You?

Environics Analytics has produced a very interesting segmentation system for Canada. They call it PRIZMce and classifies all Canadians into 66 distinct segments.

From Single City Renters, to Aging Quebecers, to Grads & Pads, everyone is apparently classifiable.

It seems pretty comprehensive. I’ve only been able to read about 2/3 of the segment descriptions, and I can think of an example in my life for every single one. However, I don’t believe this project is by no means finished. Will it continue to evolve as the population does, expanding as the country grows?

The better question is this: which segment do you belong to?

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