Archive for March, 2007

To the point

Three weeks ago, I came back from a two month, exhilarating vacation…excited. I was excited for the start of my long awaited attempt to finally go to University. I applied, filled out forms and sent in documents only to find myself feeling a little antagonistic towards one little word: T u i t i o n.

Jonesing for Java?

To all coffee lovers, the Brotherhood of the Bean has great news: this Thursday, March 15, 2007, from 10am-12pm, Starbucks is offering free coffee. Long lines expected.

Don’t know where the nearest Starbucks is? has you covered with their Tim Hortons/Starbucks locations Google Map Mashup.


Shoddy Wire Work in the Distillery District

I photographed this building in the Distillery District on a cold, windy day, with snow blowing everywhere, which might be why I didn’t notice the wire strung across the front until after I uploaded the shot. The wire not only strings across the brick, but in one place, they even nailed it across a windowsill.

Homeowners have to keep a beady eye on Bell guys, electricians, and cable guys, else they’ll string wire all over the front of your house. They’ll even argue with you over why they have to make your nice-looking frontage unsightly with hanging wire. Only if you put your foot down, will they finally find a way to hide the wire and still get the job done. I never thought architects and owners of commercial property would have the same problem, having more clout and more money to spend.

So what happened here? As one of my Flickr viewers Maureen F. said, “it is funny when they go to such trouble to reno and restore ……and then have crappy wire hanging off of it!!”


Whoa! Upgraded my iTunes today and found the latest CURSED ep on there!!!

Get ready to RUMBLE… One of the loudest meanest bands out of the GTA less than $3 on iTunes…


The Tube on the Train?

I was a bit shocked to see screens on the Go Train this evening. Go Transit has launched OTTV (ON TRAIN TELEVISION). I wonder if the TTC can be far behind.

Where Should Subways Go?

Over on my blog, I talked about Stephen Harper suddenly discovering public transit in Toronto and Vaughan, and David asked me, “Do you think it’s the right place to invest public transit dollars or would the money be better spent on infrastructure closer to the core?” Mark later pointed out that the TTC should be deciding where our transit dollars go rather than Ontario and Canada. I agree, except that over the years the TTC has lowered their expectations in the futile hope that Ontario will once again fund it properly. If they ask for little, maybe they’ll at least get that.

A Thunderstorm of Charges

It’s a bitter day. It’s sleeting and snowing and blowing and thundering, just like Moscoe and his pundit bandwagon have been blowing and hurling hair-curling ideas at us for the last week or so. We have congestion, just like every other big city in the world. But our congestion is not on the order of London England’s or any of the Asian cities (pick one, any one) or New York’s, nor even the 905’s in places, yet we’re being bombarded by American ideas of tolls and English ideas of congestion charges. To make matters worse, while politicians bounce around ways to take more money out of our pockets, they have absolutely no intention, none, zippo, nada, to bring our transit systems up to the levels of London’s or New York’s or even Montreal’s. Where do they think all those people in those congesting cars are going to go? There is not enough subway capacity, the subways are not being expanded, there is only the Yonge parallel bus line to the Yonge subway — buses only run at night along Bloor-Danforth — and bus routes have not been restored to previous levels.

London can get away with a congestion charge because their roads, unlike ours, are truly horrendous morning, noon, and night; because they have a comprehensive Underground, unlike our puny inadequate 2-line system; because they have governments willing to force the developers to pay for subway expansion and to pay for part of it themselves. Even Margaret Thatcher, that champion of an unfettered free market, insisted that the developers (Canadian I might add) of Canary Wharf could only develop that dilapidated part of town if they funded a brand new Underground line, the Jubilee line. Imagine any Canadian government having the cajones to do that here? I can’t. Furthermore, the bus routes in London are so intertwined and at times parallel the underground lines, that you can always grab a bus if the Underground does not quite go where you want. Plus they have taxis everywhere, even if cab drivers give you the third degree before unlocking their doors. Tried to hail a cab in Toronto outside of the downtown core recently? You wait at least 10 minutes, if one ever happens to pass by, and then pay a small fortune for the privilege of being squished onto a fraying, sagging seat.

Talking about congestion charges and tolls only makes sense when taxes abound and public transit covers the city efficiently, allows people to get to their destination quickly and in relative comfort (which is why buses instead of subway expansion will never work because who wants to give up a warm car for a long wait in snow or hot humidity followed by a rattling swaying slow ride and a change or three?), and when the densest part of the city is served by a subway line not an overcrowded glacial streetcar ride.

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