Gearing Up for GZA!!!

One of the legends of the Wu-Tang Clan stops by the Sound Academy tonight. GZA the Genius is in town and a great way to see one of the best Wu members live. Long live Liquid Swords

GZA @ Sound Academy
Doors Open at 8pm
19+
11 Polson Street
$20 – Ticketmaster

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And The Axe Falls At CityTV…

CityTV once a jewel on Queen Street West has been hit with yet another blow. Now a plaything for larger media corporations CityTV is now owned by Rogers Media.

“Today’s changes, although difficult, are necessary to align our operations with the economic and regulatory realities of our industry,” says Leslie Sole, CEO, Rogers Media Television. Today’s press release adds fuel to the fire that the consolidation of media outlets has not only reduced real “choice” but has resulted in fewer jobs. (Some would argue consolidation has meant less quality too!) It seems the bulk of job losses are related to markets outside of Toronto. It is likely that some CityTV Toronto on-air personalities, writers, producers, editors and camera people are affected by this announcement.

Love it or hate it CityTV’s new home is Yonge and Dundas Square. Hoping that this “rationalization” doesn’t further erode what was once one of Toronto’s best stations. My condolences to those that have lost their jobs in these uncertain times.


CN Tower To Be Lit With National Colours Of Haiti

The Red Cross has estimated that the death toll due to the magnitude-7.0 earthquake in Haiti as high as 50,000. As a small gesture of solidarity, remembrance and aid The CN Tower will be lit with the national colours of Haiti.

Canada has said that it will match charitable donations for the relief effort up to C$50 million. The department of Foreign Affairs and International trade has listed ways citizens can help contribute to the relief effort.

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6 Milliards d’Autres

Just barely survived the worst of the holiday rush. As if traffic, malls and parking lots are not treacherous enough the other 364 days of the year!!! Perhaps more people should contemplate the 6 billion others on the planet we share.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand is an awesome photographer. Both “The Earth From Above” and his latest “6 Billion Others” project are amazing.

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The Right To Accommodate Is Well Established But…

It’s maddening to think that people continue to be oblivious to mobility issues. I’m sure that the latest fight won by a man in the GTA may be a good reminder that the fight is far from over.

With an aging demographic and well established rights for elderly persons and those with mobility problems it’s hard to believe such a fight was so difficult. Paul DiSalvo had to wait a year and a half to have his condo to equipped with an accessibility ramp.

Why the condo was built without some form of accessibility in the first place? An entirely valid question. Too often simple design features like a wheelchair ramp are omitted or simply excluded from the plans. This often means expensive retrofitting for relatively inexpensive enhancements that add value. Unfortunately the dwellers of the condo will get tapped for the Halton Condominium Corporation’s damages/fees. Sad since the condo corporation’s board were not doing them any favours by fighting such an easy accommodation and for so long. Wouldn’t take a genius to come up with the cost benefit of accommodation (of a legal requirement) versus a year and a half of legal fees, damages and a ramp! Whoa!!!

At the end of the day whether or not one or many residents need a wheelchair ramp everyone benefits. Who knows whether a resident will eventually need one due to health or have a relative or visitor that would require it? Such a feature only enhances the value of the property and improves the quality of life of the people who use it. The more that employers, businesses, transit authorities and the general public are mindful of these issues the more we stand to gain.


In The Name Of Effeciency…

The TTC has now made measures to reduce wait times at Bloor & Yonge Station permanent. As of today barriers will be in place and extra TTC staff will be on hand to insure that people move farther down the platform during morning and afternoon rush hours. The pilot project started November 23rd has been successful. It is said that they have shaved 10 to 15 seconds worth of wait time, which amounts to one to two more trains per hour. Every extra train is approximately 1,200 more people riding the rocket to their destination per hour!

A simple example of commuter/consumer courtesy that can save time and effort for everyone. Good to see that the ridership seems to be working to make this work. The TTC are tasking fewer staff to maintain this improved service than when this experiment started a few weeks ago. Costs down and service increased. At least we have one TTC story to smile about.


Oh Deer, Oh Dear!

This morning’s financial district “visit” by a lost deer was shocking enough. The police were attempting to capture the doe and release it outside the hustle of the dowtown core. After consulting with experts, like veterinarian from the Toronto Zoo, police tried subduing the animal tranquilizer dart. After all, a runaway deer could cause a traffic accident, injure itself or an innocent bystander. Things took a turn for the bizarre after that.

The “take down” escalated when the dart didn’t seem to work. When the doe didn’t calm down it was then shot with a Taser stun gun. Whoa! The Police didn’t kill the deer but it is being monitored before being released back into the wild.

Despite the taser, it seems that the TSX, the doe and others financial types on Bay Street will survive.


Toronto To Host The G20?!

Toronto may be the new venue for the G20. The Globe and Mail is reporting that the Feds are now realizing that Muskoka may not have the resources to house and secure guests arriving for the G20. Oops. It should have been obvious that even a modest make over would fall short of delivering the necessary requirements.

The Conservatives have been trying to frantically upgrade Muskoka’s infrastructure via a $50 million G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund founded in February, another $5 million in security upgrades for the North Bay airport and other funding initiatives under the Economic Action Plan. More fuel to critics fire on the current government’s priorities favouring Conservative jurisdictions. This of course is Tony Clement‘s home riding.

The trough of course looked deep enough for locals, close to $450 million worth of applications were chasing $50 million worth of the gravy. On the upside some short term construction jobs have been created. It is hoped that local tourism would get a boost as thousands of officials and media types migrate up to the area. It’s more likely that when the summit kicks off next summer that rich government officials will be enjoying cottage land while high paid security police block off potential protesters, terrorists and cottage goers. At least the local communities will benefit by having new facilities to host future events along with improved infrastructure.

Sad that by trying to snub Toronto and move both the G8 and G20 events to cottage country they will have to put at one here anyway. All lot of added expense for nothing. No question there will be immense pain with such a move for Torontonians. Traffic and security for these events, a nightmare! Perhaps the Government were trying to minimize the numbers of protesters close to the meetings by moving the summit away from an urban area? Well a private web-chat or conference call would have been preferred to the mountain of wasteful deficit spending for this circus ride.


Don’t Call It A Comeback – Thomas Morgan

Thomas Morgan keeping it Canadian in an Alien Workshop ad for his pro model back in the 90's..

Thomas Morgan keeping it Canadian in an Alien Workshop ad for his pro model back in the 90's..

I was pleased to see Thomas Morgan ripping again this past Spring at CBMK. For those who don’t know he was one of only a handful of Canadian’s that managed to make it into the pro skateboarding ranks in the 80’s and 90’s. He started out as a vert skater riding for Alien Workshop and later adapted to become one of their most technical and stylish street skaters.

Good to see that Thomas is killing it still (along with other OG’s like Bokma and Hoffman)!

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As Expected Smitherman Wants To Be Mayor

George Smitherman made it official. The Ontario MPP has said he will present himself as a candidate for mayor. Smitherman is the MPP for Toronto Centre and intends to serve his community in that capacity, at least until March 1st. He stepped down from his role as deputy premier and Ontario’s minister of energy and infrastructure on Sunday.

The potential big name challengers are Glen Murray and John Tory. Glen Murray is the chief executive officer and president of the Canadian Urban Institute and former Mayor of Winnipeg for six years. John Tory is the host of The John Tory Show and of course the former leader of the Ontario PC Party. There will likely be several more confirmations of candidates, so far Giorgio Mammoliti has put himself forward as a candidate.

While last week’s Angus Reid poll showed John Tory at the top of the list of decided voters that’s hardly cause for any celebration for his hopefuls. The poll showed that 47% of all respondents were undecided as to whom the next mayor should be. It’s early yet but I’m sure this race will be heated.

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St. Lawrence Market – 205th Anniversary

One of my favourite venues in the city celebrates a special anniversary this week. The St. Lawrence Market turns 205 this week. Stop by this piece of the city’s history on Friday and Saturday to catch up on the festivities. On Friday Bruce Bell will be leading a tour through Old Town Toronto bringing familiar Toronto landmarks to life. The fun continues Saturday with music, buskers and more. Rediscover the core.

Of course one can’t forget the the food! There will be specials and anniversary features to sample so don’t miss it. All the more reason to check out the St Lawrence Market.

St. Lawrence Market 205th Anniversary
Friday, November 6, 6 p.m., and Saturday November 7, 2009, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Human River – This Sunday

HumanRiver09

This Sunday is the 5th Annual Human River. A free event explores the natural history of our city incorporating art and education. Human River is a project of the Toronto Public Spacing Committee in partnership with Coach House Books, LEAF, Lost Rivers of the Toronto Green Community, RiverSides, vanishingpoint.ca and wade.

Put on some blue clothing and join the volunteers as they explore the history of the Garrison Creek, a creek that still flows beneath our homes and roads. The walk begins on Sunday at 1:00 pm, leaving from the Pavilion at Christie Pits Park and finishes at Historic Fort York Blue Barracks with a closing reception at 5:30 pm.

One need not walk the whole downhill route, but those who do will be rewarded with different perspectives of Toronto. You will learn how the city continues to be shaped by Garrison Creek even today. Organizers can let you know points along the route to catch up with the “blue parade” if you can’t make it to Christie Pits for 1pm. Just email them at contact@humanriver.ca. You can also go to Fort York at 5:30pm. All are welcome at the closing reception.

This a great family event put on by some excellent volunteers (donations are welcome). This year blue Human River T-shirts will be available for a $15 donation, 2 Human River buttons will be available with a $5 donation.

Human River – Sunday October 25th
Free
Donations are welcome ($5 will buy 2 commemorative buttons, $15 at T-Shirt)
Starts at Christie Pits Pavillion at 1pm
Closing Reception at Fort York, Blue Barricks at 5:30pm

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Check Out Werd Life

WERD LIFE

I was talking to Mark Appleyard about his new site during the Flip Premiere. It’s finally live, Werd Life. The new site is a collaboration between Mark, Geoff Rowley and artist Todd Bratrud. With these strong skateboard personalities the site should be epic and live up to the definition.

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Have Mac Haters at Bell Changed Their Tune?

The success of the iPhone is unquestionable. Mac vs. PC, Blackberry vs. iPhone… All users of computers and mobile phones are potential customers for the mobile giants. If Rogers loses it’s exclusive rights things could get pretty good for consumers (of expensive gadgety cell phone thingys).

In this economy service and selection are a welcome commodity. Big Bell has upgraded their network and may be realizing it can’t just throw away customers any longer. Looks as though we soon may see if Apple haters have changed their tune in November.


The Manifesto Festival Closes – TODAY

Today is last day of the Manifesto Festival. The main event, runs noon till 10pm. A free concert at Nathan Phillips Square. The highlight of the festival so far was Friday night’s Chapter III art show. AMAZING. Three floors of music and art. Great pieces by Elicsor, Fathom and Chor Boogie. If you miss out on today’s show be sure to at least head back to 52 McCaul before or during Nuit Blanche.

The Manifesto Festival – Main Event
Nathan Phillips Square
noon till 10pm
Featuring Talib Kweli & HiTek,
Grand Analog and many others.


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