Archive for the ‘information’ Category

If Halloween Wasn’t Scary Enough For You

The CBC have tracked the fall of the TSX in pictures. You can see the one month 17% carnage from several views around Bay Street and the Financial District. Hoping this horror story ended with October but a horrible sequel could be added in the months to come. I’m sure the Christmas decor is already lining the malls as I write this. Time will tell if the consumer hibernates this winter.

The Urban Water Cycle… Best Yet!!!

The Urban Water Cycle Pools Together Near Trinity Bellwoods

The Urban Water Cycle Pools Together Near Trinity Bellwoods

Glad I had a chance to check out this year’s Human River – Urban Water Cycle on Sunday. It was a brilliant idea to try the event as a bicycle adventure through the streets of Toronto. Of course it helped that the ride was downhill (basically the path of Garrison Creek toward the lake).

A big bonus were the speakers and stops along the route which brought new insight into Toronto, past and present. L.E.A.F. , Toronto Public Spacing Committee, Human River, Lost Rivers, The Toronto Green Community, River Sides, Coach House Books and the many volunteers should be proud of their efforts. A job well done on improving on what was already such a great event! Four years strong, here’s to four more!

Urban Water Cycle


It’s back again for another year! The Human River. This year’s event, The Human River Urban Water Cycle, is a leisurely bike ride. The downhill ride will have riders follow the route of the now buried Garrison Creek, Toronto’s biggest buried river, toward Lake Ontario. Urban Water Cycle promises to be a great family friendly event that will enlighten and entertain while providing a different take on Toronto neighbourhoods and the environment. The ride starts at St. Clair and Humewood and ends at Old Fort York’s Blue Barracks. There will be food, raffles and a photo show at the Blue Barracks at 3:30pm.

So if you are not too much of a ZOMBIE Sunday morning dress up in blue and join the Human River!

Human River – Urban Water Cycle
October 19th starting at 1pm
Free (Donations are Welcome)

7Km ride Starts at 1pm – North West Corner of St.Clair and Humewood
(Waiver Required)
Stops include Bickford Park (approx. 1:45 – 2pm), Trinity Bellwoods (approx. 2:20 – 2:40pm) and Old Fort York (approx. 3:10 – 3:30pm)
Food and Photo Show at 3:30pm after the bike ride at Fort York’s Blue Barracks

Non-cyclists are encouraged to join in the fun at Fork York or at other Water Cycle stops (Bickford Park or Trinity Bellwoods).

Voting is HOT!

Yes, voting is hot. Don’t let the opinion polls fool you. Any prospect of another minority government means that every vote could be a tipping point for anyone in the running. The recent turbulence in the financial markets and proposals made by each party should be incentive enough to help shape our government. In my opinion, voting is not just about picking the winner. Whether it’s a spoiled ballot or vote for a particular candidate voting is a reaffirmation of the rights so many have fought for. Get out and vote add your voice lest others speak for you. Of course whomever wins it never hurts to keep them honest by contacting your MP.

Remember you need ID this year to vote (or have you a neighbour with ID make a sworn statement that you are eligible). The Toronto Star has some excellent info today. Get informed and get out and make a difference.

Local Food PLUS!

A lot has been said about the relationship between what we eat and our health. Recently emphasis has been placed on where and how far our food travels before it reaches our mouths. From the 100 Mile Diet to 50 Mile Diet people are increasingly trying to put this thinking to the test.

With plenty of amazing farm land in Ontario is crazy to see mega grocery stores still buying produce and fruit from the USA and Mexico when local produce is available. Shopping today at my local independent I came across Local Food Plus. Local Food Plus is a non-profit organization matching environmentally and socially responsible farmed goods to consumers. Local Food Plus have goods inspected by third parties and then label and certify goods. These goods arrive at your grocery store and can carry the LFP logo.

So far it seems that food price inflation has been lessened by Canadian grocery stores keeping prices down to fend off the likes of WalMart. Canadian stores may have some short term advantages especially when dealing with their neighbours (local farmers). Loblaws advertising campaign regarding Canadian produce appears to voice that. The Loblaws ads have the potential to pay off, if only in transport and fuel prices. In the end if local farmers benefit and so do the people that eat fresher locally grown food. After all farmers feed this city.

Toronto Explosions – Sunrise Propane

In the early morning, a propane fire started at Sunrise Propane, a propane depot. The site is along Murray Road. The power has been cut in the local area to avoid additional issues as the fires are still raging and have been since about 4am. The 401 has been closed from the DVP to the 400 and the TTC has closed Downsview, Yorkdale and Wilson subway stations. The following TTC bus routes are also being diverted: 29 Dufferin, 84 Sheppard, 96 Wilson, 107 Keele North, 108 Downsview, and the 165 Weston.

At least 5 houses in the area have been damaged and a perimeter (Keele to Dufferin north of the 401 to Sheppard) have been evacuated. The situation has improved but burning tires and smoke from the fire still force a no fly zone in the area. Major airlines are NOT effected and flights continue to move in and out of Toronto Pearson Airport. Although one person is still unaccounted for the city has been lucky this didn’t happen on a work day. About 12,000 people live in the area. Kudos to the Toronto Fire department,
Toronto Police, the OPP and the TTC. Your co-ordinated efforts have many saved lives.

Youtube footage posted by bcochrane14

Say NO! to the NFL in T.O.

Facebook has a Toronto Argonauts group page (or two or a few) which I, as any self-respecting Torontonian would, belong to. Today, I received a Facebook message about a protest next week against sneaking an NFL franchise into the city that belongs to the oldest football club on the continent. Yes, that’s right, the Argos are the oldest club in North America! Why any old, geezer wannabe-American Canadian would want to bring in some boring NFL franchise into Argos territory is beyond me. But then so is how Rogers managed to get around the name-in-perpetuity-rule and rename the Skydome after themselves.

Without further ado, here is a copy of the Facebook message, with Chris’s blessing:

HELLO EVERYONE!

The first of eight Buffalo Bills games in Toronto is to be played 1 week from today.

Ticket sales for the Bills in Toronto are selling, by comparison, as poorly as the Toronto Phantoms of the Arena Football League did in Toronto.

With the sky high ticket prices for the Bills in Toronto it’s hard to say if they can sell the last 20,000 seats and if they do…GREAT…but that’s only because of the change in regulations to purchase these tickets. If the game doesn’t sell out, Rogers will give away the rest of the tickets to fill the stadium and then claim a sell out.

The Toronto Argonauts are the oldest professional football team in North America and part of the most exiting football league in the WORLD. Why would anyone want to replace the Argos with either the Bills or a Toronto NFL franchise? These NFL games in Toronto are guaranteed to be boring just the same as 90% of NFL games.

As Canadians, not only football fans but all Canadians need to be patriotic at this time and realize the CFL is just about the only All Canadian institution left in this wonderful country.

With the threat of losing the CFL to the NFL or the Argos and Ti-Cats to the Bills is like losing Much Music to MTV or CBC to CNN, I’m sure we can all agree we don’t want to turn on channel 6 or 26 and see CNN. We need to stand together to protect the CFL, one of the few institutions in Canada we can call our own and still be proud of. The Canadian football league has such a strong and lengthy history (Football in Canada is as old as Canada itself) that we can not lose to the power of the dollar, the Rogers dollar. Losing the CFL will go down in the most regretted Canadian decisions right next to the cancellation of the AVRO ARROW.

I am calling on all CFL fans, Argo fans, Canadians, Patriotic Canadians, NFL fans or not CFL fans or not, No to the Bills in Toronto supporters, absolutely EVERYONE to help Protest the Buffalo Bills in Toronto next Thursday at 6:00pm (meeting time)

If you do not already have a shirt please contact me and provide me with how many people you are coming with and I will supply the shirts for the protest.

PLEASE REPLY: e-mail me at chris-fischer [at] live [dot] com if you are interested in attending this historic Protest. Please leave me the number of people you wish to bring and if you are willing to car pool.

The meeting place will be sent to you after you have e-mailed me.

LET’S GO CANADA!
SUPPORT YOUR LEAGUE!
LET’S KEEP THE CFL ALIVE!
THIS IS OUR LEAGUE!

If you need further inspiration or convincing please watch this video, if this video makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up…it means you should be protesting with us!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS1jCfg7Qxc

BE A PART OF SOMETHING!

Signed,
Chris Fischer

-If you think what you did yesterday is still great, then you haven’t done much today-
Michael “Pinball” Clemons

A Pedestrian Scramble in Toronto

Looks as though the infamous Yonge and Dundas intersection will become a “Pedestrian Scramble” next month. One’s sense of bewilderment in the valley of enormous billboards will be somewhat elevated when that arrives.

This would be a fairly large “cultural shift” but it may be a good thing for people. The main issue is regular traffic. Obeying a red light should be easy enough but streetcars and other traffic may have longer waits as pedestrians can cross from all directions at once. More delays and “rage” but not a huge inconvenience. Of course pedestrians CAN already cross mid block with restrictions legally. As many cyclists and pedestrians can attest, having the right of way doesn’t preclude you from getting hit by a car.

The rethinking of people and vehicle traffic is a good thing. We could use better coordination of our traffic lights in the city. This is already done on some routes for the TTC but keeping as much traffic, travelling at the legal limit, moving should be a priority. It makes getting from A to B that much easier and reduces smog. More than enough reason to try to improve the situation.

Rogers Seems to Have Caved on iPhone Pricing

The hype of the iPhone has not yet died.  If you didn’t already know Rogers will be the main service provider for your iPhone (if you haven’t hacked one already).  Rogers’ pricing plan has been adjusted as of today and some of their stores will be open early for the drooling masses at 8am on launch day, July 11th.  If you are lucky you might get breakfast and a prize too (check Rogers Plus stores like the one on 112-10 Dundas Street East).

One small victory for consumers. YEAH! Sites like RUINED I PHONE . COM were hot on the backlash trail.  Their “petition” for this product (not officially released yet) has swollen to over 57,000 names and climbing.  Rogers were smart to act.

Not in any rush to grab a new cell phone or mp3 player but at least the plan is “more” in line with those found south of the border.  Apple does have good customer satisfaction. Perhaps their pressure along with consumer outrage turned the tide on Rogers.  I’ll be watching this hype machine from the sidelines for now. Good to see that the “little guy” can better afford their nearly $1,000 phone habit. Will this mean Crackberry’s get tossed? Check your TTC or GO platform in the coming weeks for details.

Toronto the Turtle of High Speed

Awhile ago I saw a PBS documentary on so-called high speed in the US and how American telephone companies could not deliver on high speed because of not replacing copper wiring with fibre optic cables. Tonight I watched CBC’s Marketplace compare high speed services between four of the largest Internet Service Providers in Canada: Rogers, Bell, Telus, and Shaw. The Rogers user came in close to the company’s advertised speed; the Bell user came in dead last, like waayyyyy last. At the end of the program, they recommend going to their website to check your own speedy (or lack thereof) connection.

There they link to Speedtest.net. Speedtest has a nifty graphical interface and aside from the difficulty of clicking on the Toronto pyramid due to it hiding behind the Hamilton one, it was pretty easy to use and to test one’s own broadband connection speed. After testing, you can compare your speed to others using the same ISP, or see the stats for Toronto or Region or Canada.

Let’s just say that we might live in the largest city in Canada, and we might be the capital of Ontario, but we get no respect. The big players, Bell and Rogers, are absent in the top ten list of the speediest downloaders in Toronto — Toronto Hydro’s speed of about 16 Mbps easily crushes anything by the big telecoms — but the Canada stats tell the real sorry tale of Toronto speeds. Toronto is nowhere on the map, and Ontario is pretty dismal. The ocean-bordered provinces do way better. What’s up with that? Toronto is supposed to be the economic hub of the country; we’re supposed to have businesses that require both speedy connections in their skyscrapers as well as for their employees at home; we’re supposed to have upgraded fibre optic cables — after all they crowed about replacing copper wiring eons ago and, as well, haven’t we all been inconvenienced by Bell employees replacing our ancient lines and giving us new lines for the past many years?

Still, the stats paint a different picture. When it comes to broadband high speeds, Toronto is distinctly in the slow lane, except for Toronto Hydro Telecom, which the city just sold off.

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