Archive for August, 2006

That Dreaded Time is Coming…

Back to School… Yes, I know. This is that dreaded part of the Summer where as usual the Shopping Malls and stores painfully remind us that Summer is nearly over. Supposedly MP3 players, laptops, and camera phones part of your essential back to school items. If you aren’t in class simply to rock out, edit your MySpace page, text your friends or snap pics of the hottie in English class you may want to get some paper and notebooks.

You may want to check out Grassroots. A great alternative if you are trying to avoid the MP3, camera phone, computer rush at the mall… The re-use centre is also a great way to save on binders, clip boards and furniture. Threre and of course there’s Goodwill and “Sally Ann” to help stretch your student cash…

This is what happens when you do a laundry marathon before a long weekend…Damn. Well I’ll be enjoying my clean towels on the beach this weekend sippin some cool one’s to delay the ominous onset of “back to the books” phobia…

TTC Tales: Caring Commuters

Torontonians are a lot friendlier than people think.

On my way to work this morning, as I lie slumbering on the southbound train, I hear a thud. Surprised, I look for its source. Before I could, someone cries out, “give her a seat.” Like a chorus line, I got to my feet as did the two people to my left. I still didn’t know where the thud came from and the haziness from my dozing off didn’t help matters.

I turned around as a strange man holding a magazine asks, “Are you okay.” He was talking to an asian girl, maybe 20 years old, who was now the centre of attention in an overly packed train.

“I’m just kind of dizzy,” she answers.

A shabbily-dressed elderly lady hobbles over to the sitting girl and gently asks, “Do you want a drink?” and offers her waterbottle. The girl, still lookiing quite shaken, took it swiftly and sips.

An auburn-haired woman who looked like a college student asks if the girl would like something to eat. She promptly produces a peach from her purse and presents it to the pale passenger. She graciously declines and takes another swig from the waterbottle.

Everyone’s looking at her and I’m looking at everyone thinking, Toronto’s a lot friendlier than people think.

Big Smoke in the Big Smoke

No word on the cause yet but the tire fire in the West End is pretty serious. Though Ministry of the Environment officials have not yet assessed the hazards it’s hoped that this fire is more contained than the Hamilton area’s toxic tire fire years ago.

A Case of Fool’s Gold

Remember that Gold stock fiasco BRE-X? Almost 10 years after the BRE-X went belly up on the Toronto Stock Exchange the insider trading case against John Felderhof is about to come to a close.

Considering that BRE-X had rights what was supposed to be 200 million ounces of Gold (which would have been one of the largest if it actually existed) the stock soared. Gold was trading around $350 an ounce then, it’s climbed to double earlier this year and even with with some lost steam is about $630 now! Well it was too good to be true…

Buskerfest – St. Lawrence Market

Tomorrow (Aug 24th) marks the start of Toronto’s Buskerfest. With over 7 stages and street performers from Canada, the US, the UK and even Japan there will likely be some surprises. Swordswallowers, Jugglers, musicians even a Skateboarding clown?. All of this excitement around the St. Lawrence Market is benefiting Epilepsy Toronto. I’ve seen festivals like this in the past and they’re always a blast.

The Toronto Busker Festival
Runs Noon till Midnight
August 24th to 27th
Admission is FREE
(with a donation of choice to Epilepsy Toronto)

A moment of contemplation on Birchmount

Heading south on the #17 – Birchmount bus, we stopped at Lawrence to wait for the green light. A group of birds suddenly rose as one from the roof of a nearby building and started to slowly wheel in a full circle. When they had come back fully they started to land when suddenly they rose again and in a faster style performed a tighter circle. Again, as one they went to land except that this time 2 of them took off. They flew straight out about 20 feet, wheeled fast and returned. It reminded me of two high school kids who decided to have an impromptu race.

Sometimes I forget that we do have wildlife here. It was very peaceful to watch and wonder.

Betty Confeddy


The Girls are all right!

Continuing this month female skateboarders have a chance to hone their skills at private sessions at CBMK Skate School. The Betty Rider Confederacy hosts PRIVATE ALL GIRL Skateboard sessions Monday nights this month from 6pm to 9pm. Of course this is open to skaters of all skill levels. The best thing is that it’s meant to be a low intimidation session. These nights are for girls and are hosted by girls! Learn at your own pace with your new friends…

This girl’s night out is only $5!!!
(you get a break on the regular session cost to skate as well!!!)

For more info check out
CBMK Skate School
2390 Haines Road, Unit 17, 18
Mississauga, Ontario L4Y 1Y6


Maybe it isn’t magnificent but we do have a pretty interesting city, especially as seen driving along the Gardiner. I’m eastbound, heading past the downtown core, and every time I pass the Fairmont Royal York I look left and marvel at the play of light on the windows. As things get illuminated and hidden quickly. I love the viewing vantage point that this highway offers.

But, before I got to that section, as I left the Old Mill I took Riverside Drive south instead of S. Kingsway by accident. Try it one day and take it all the way til you hit S. Kingsway towards The Queensway. It’s just a nicer drive full of hills, nice old houses, big trees and a few historical markers along the way. Plus the Humber River marshes are visible too and are nicer to look at than any southern part of the Don River!

Love / Hate about the TTC – a suggestion

Let me start off by saying that I live and work on Eglinton Ave East and take the bus almost every day. Eglinton is blessed with an almost constant stream of #34’s going from Kennedy Station to the Eglinton East Station. I can’t complain for a lack of buses on this line during peak times. And even during non-peak, early AM times it isn’t too bad. I know I could always dream about the longed for Eglinton Subway but that is still a far off dream an out of work city planner is having. (Out of work because no one working right now seems to be taking this proposal seriously.)

From the corner of Don Mills and Eglinton you can see pretty far west, all the way to Leslie. When a bus is coming it is very apparent. Newer style buses have a bright-orange coloured text announcing the route name and number. They also have these piercing blue lights up top. These announce very clearly that a bus is coming coupled with the fact that the bus is in the right hand lane. You step out of your 1am shelter and shuffle over to the stop, only to hear the sighs as the 3rd “Not in Service” bus rolls by.

Please for the sake of all of our hopes (hope is a very good thing) turn off the blue lights at least when the bus is not in service. This is not a big thing to ask, nor a costly change if any change is needed. But it would be a nice improvement. We could call it an improvement in communication.

I beg you!

Quay to the City!

Just heard about the Waterfront Revitalization’s Quay to the City but it’s great. The events last until this Sunday. Sunday starts with a family run and ends with performance by JACKSOUL. Festival or no the Waterfront is a great place to be on a sunny summer’s day…

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