Archive for October, 2007

The Effect of Coddling

I was ruminating the other day on the explosion of school buses in the city of Toronto in the last decade or so and wondering just how molly coddled and thus unprepared for life kids are, and then today I heard a caller on the Bill Carroll show, a police officer talking about the kinds of calls for help that are coming in now to the police stations.
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GO Transit Improves Service to and from Toronto

It’s back and hopefully for good. One of GO Transit’s most traveled routes, Lakeshore West, is upgraded starting today, October 28, 2007. Yes that’s right FULL SERVICE to Aldershot on the weekends. A big win for GTA transit riders in the West. If only this could have extended to Hamilton.

Perhaps Hamilton is in the horizon. Maybe GO could create a transit link to Hamilton Airport with train service to Toronto. With increased local and international flights it would be a perfect alternative to Toronto Island or Toronto Pearson. A new shuttle link there is more logical and cost effective Airport-Public Transit link than a bridge to Toronto Island.

A Hamilton link a dream maybe, but at least we can be sure that fewer 905 cars WON’T enter the city on the weekend. The old bus service could barely accomodate one train car worth of people so having a 10 car train roll further Westward is a godsend. Mike Harris cut the service shortly after the NDP put in the stations and every Provincial government since has been flicking the switch on and off. Hopefully its here for good, then taxpayers will actual have the services we pay for (woo hoo a minor win Joe and Jane public!!!)

What’s Happening?

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Will we see the Red Rockets turn to Green Rockets if the province takes over the TTC? Reports have played down the take over and everyone is saying no, it won’t happen. Oh yea, it’s going to cost me 100 dollars plus to buy a metropass to ride into Yorku everyday. Thank goodness for York’s staff discount. How do feel about a GO-TTC combo? Holla back…

Bill Gates’ buddies at Microsoft are so addicted to Facebook they are buying a piece of it. Soon a Facebook window will pop up as MSN IM does when you turn on your computers. I wonder if Toronto is still the Facebook Capital of the world. By the way Metroblogging has a Facebook group setup. So do MB San Jose, Vancouver, Portland and Istanbul. Good to know…

SimToronto is coming to MB Toronto. What is SimToronto? Well, for the longest time I enjoyed playing SimCity, a video game by Electronic Arts that allows users to create and control cities. Urban design is fun but it seems even more exciting when you see you creation come to life. Users control everything from layout, zones, taxes, transportation education, by-laws and everything else you can think of. SimToronto is temporarily being posted on my personal blog , it will have its own home soon. It have also been a previous reoccurring post on BlogTO. It has now made its move to MB Toronto.

The trash talking has begun for our friends at MB Denver who have called out the folks at MB Boston guaranteeing a victory for the Colorado Rockies over the Boston Redsox. Oh yea by the way, the Redsox thrashed the Rocks 31-1 in the series opener. Orange County, we have not forgotten. The Ducks are Champs!

MB Toronto is looking for teamates! Interested in showcasing your creative skillz through writing, blogging or photography? Email me we’ll talk about it… alad1n@yahoo.com

Photo by: Tyson Williams – Metroblogging Toronto Flickr Group

World Press Photo 2007

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One of my favourite photographic events to hit the city and now in its 6th year at Brookfield Place, World Press Photo. The exhibit showcases the finest in photojournalism. Art that makes you think, laugh and cry. (There are some disturbing images though they are tactfully displayed and shielded from general public view).

I was interested to hear there is little to no budget for this project and that it survives on sponsorship and donations. Amazing! They have even gone so far as have a Globe & Mail photographer, professors, photo editors and other media professionals providing free lectures for the public. Better yet high school students have had tours of the show as part of their curriculum. I couldn’t think of a better idea. All the sponsors and volunteers should be commended for their efforts. You make Toronto proud!

Well check it out before 6pm today because the exhibition will be on its way to Belgium… That’s right Montreal and Toronto are (or were) the only Canadian stops for this International exhibit.

World Press Photo 2007

Allen Lambert Galleria,
Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place)
181 Bay St, Toronto
October 2 – 24, 2007

7am – 10pm daily – including Sundays
Closes Wednesday, October 24 at 6pm

(Today is the last Day!!!)

Whither Our Garbage?

Regina to try using crushed glass in roads

Through Saskboy, I’ve learnt that Regina and the private contractor that was picking up glass for recycling claim that there is no market for recycling glass and that contaminated glass is too expensive to sort out and thus cannot be reused. I’ve also heard that it costs more to use old glass to create glass than to create glass from scratch (um sand). And I’ve heard that the dirtiest air-polluting manufacturer in Toronto makes bottles from new glass and old glass — recycling old glass into new bottles not only pollutes our city’s air (so much for being green), but more interestingly, the plant uses a significant amount of new glass to make its bottles. You’d think that there is so much used glass rolling around empty that the plant could use all old glass and not need any new glass. So why does it need new? The reporter didn’t tell us that.

I’ve also heard that contamination of recyclables results in the whole kit and caboodle being sent to the landfill, in those belching trucks along the 401 to our neighbour, pissing them off. (City’s solution: piss off our near neighbours.) And I’ve heard there’s a limit to how much of our recyclables can be recycled, not just in terms of capacity but also expense.

A few months ago, Councillor Paula Fletcher said we couldn’t introduce green bins to parks for dog poop pick up as the composting program couldn’t handle it. The reporter didn’t ask the obvious question (why, on why, do reporters always not ask the obvious question!) — why is there a limit to how much the city can compost? And does that mean some of our green bin material is going to the landfill? Just FYI, the super scooper guy who cleans up the backyards of pet owners across the city takes his truckload to the sewage treatment plant — that place where our sanitation sewers, connected to city toilets, empties out in and which is set up to treat and dispose of such waste properly.

So all this begs the question: why has no major media outlet done an investigative piece on just what happens to our garbage?
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Human River Walk – TODAY!

Wear blue and head on over to Christie Pits at 1pm for the HUMAN RIVER WALK. The Human River Walk is a free guided tour with different speakers, arts, crafts and music for the whole family. The walk follows the path of Garrison Creek which still flows under the city of Toronto.

As mentioned in my earlier post a great way to spend a sunny Sunday and learn about the environment in your own backyard. There will be an art show and mini reception around 4 to 4:30pm at the end of the walk at Fort York – Blue Barracks.

Human River Walk and Art Show
Sunday October 21st
Starts at 1pm at Christie Pits Park – Pavillion
Ending at Fort York – Blue Barracks

more info: http://www.publicspace.ca/humanriver.htm

Here Comes The Human River-Get Your Craft On!

Here it comes again. The great HUMAN RIVER! Get your craft on for the upcoming Human River Walk at Fort York today. Should be a great all ages event for the whole family. On opportunity to make crafts and learn about Toronto’s urban stormwater ecology, Garrison Creek the “underground river through Toronto”…

So get ready to make puppets and musical instruments for the Human River walk on October 21, and to learn about the environment in your own backyard.

Craft Workshop – Human River
Saturday October 20, 1-4pm
Fort York,
100 Garrison Road in the Blue Barracks

Project Positivity on Display

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The fruits of a truly amazing community project are up on display until October 26th. Jamel Shabazz is a photographer, philantropist, documentarian and to some a living legend from Brooklyn NY. This past August he mentored eighteen young aspiring photographers, living in at risk communities in Toronto. The youth took up residence at the Alexandra Park Community Centre and learned the fundamentals of photography. Jamal, partnership with Manifesto Community Projects and a group of four Toronto photographers (Matt Barnes, Alexis Finch, Talia Shipman, and Angie Choi) provided workshops to teach the youths skills such as shooting, computer editing, printing, and curating. And so POSITIVITY – Seven Days In August was born.

Project: Positivity‘s goal was to help inner city youth find paths out of difficult situations and expose them to art and provide them new skills along the way. Jamel Shabazz has showcased his work along side his selections of these young photographers at 394 Queen West. Prints of Jamal’s world acclaimed work are being sold with the proceeds to go to Schools Without Borders, My City My Story and the Alexandra Community Centre. His new book, BACK IN THE DAYS, is also available at the show.

Not to be missed!!!

Jamal Shabazz – Project: Positivity
as part of the Red Bull Academy
394 Queen Street West
Runs till Oct 27th
11am till 8pm

Toronto Postcard 6: Downtown Toronto 1940

SimToronto Coming Soon to MBT!
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Miller is Listening, Sort of

TheStar.com | GTA | Nothing ‘off limits’ to spending panel

On the one hand, Mayor David Miller is finally listening to the people; on the other, he still wants to get his way.
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