Archive for November, 2007

What’s your favorite Toronto Landmark 2?


Last week we started our quest to find MB Toronto reader’s Top T-dot Landmark. The results are in and the CNE’s Princes’ Gates (NOT PRINCESS!) is the winner of the first group beating out Union Station, Old City Hall and Gooderham’s Flatiron.

This week Gooderham gets another stab at it along side his buddy Worts as their Distillery District has made it in our second grouping along with The King Edward Hotel, St Lawrence Hall, Maple Leaf Gardens and the Sunnyside Pavilion.

This week I have also included some links for further information on these landmarks. Do you have a landmark in mind? Leave a comment and well get it on our list. Happy voting…

web surveysTake Our Poll

Gooderham and Worts Distillery photo by manfus on flickr
King Edward Hotel photo by echerup on flickr
St Lawerence Hall photo by Metrix X on flickr
Maple Leaf Gardens photo by Michael Clesle on flickr
Sunnyside Pavilion by imnop88a on flickr

New Hydro Euphemisms to Increase Your Bill

Have you looked at your Toronto Hydro bill recently?

There’s a new charge on it called the “Lost Revenue Adjustment Charge.” Gotta love that euphemism. It’s code for we’re charging you for conserving energy.

First they complain we’re energy hogs and we’re about to crash the entire grid, then they say they won’t be able to keep up with future demand as the province has been too slow in replacing aging generators, then they whine about our conservation efforts and get the bureaucrats to devise a brand-new charge while, at the same time, reduce electricity rates.

Next new charge, right below that one, is one called the “Shared Savings Charge.” Shared. Isn’t that a feel-good word meaning “you pay sucker!” That one is higher than the LRAC. And apparently by charging me for nothing to do with electricity generation or distribution they’re giving my electricity distributor an incentive to conserve. Huh? I thought the LRAC was their incentive. Besides, what about my incentive? My mistake. Hydro deserves it more.

It gets better. If you decided to ignore those pesky electricity retailers, then Hydro is charging you 25 cents per 30 days for being so lackadaisical; on top of that, they’ve discovered those smart meters are expensive and are passing the cost on to you. (It must be because unlike it taking 10 Hydro guys to wire up your house, it takes 20 to plunk on a smart meter.) And the Bank of Canada says there’s hardly any inflation.


It’s at ADRIFT this Thursday. SHOOT TO THRILL!!!

Toronto’s Thomas Morrison, Andrew Norton, Nathan Olokun, Lee Yankou and Jeff Folgmann were among the 5 teams (consisting of 3 skaters, a photographer and a filmer) that took to the streets with only 72 hours and 10 rolls of Super 8 film to come up with a video. Leave it to COLOR magazine to come at the skateboard contest thing from an entirely different angle…

Check out how the Toronto crew faired against the competition from Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Barcelona…

Shoot to Thrill – Toronto Premiere
Adrift Skateshop
299 Augusta Ave
doors open at 8:30

Crumbs, Critters, and Crud

Well, I’m back from my time off from blogging. It’s been quite interesting. Went out for lunch recently, something quiet, something good to nosh on, a time to relax and let the mind go blank. But then a young woman came breezing in and plunked herself down at the table beside me, opposite a very patient man. He’d been waiting about the time it took me to order, get my meal, make serious inroads into it, and watch him finally order a bowl of soup. He quickly ordered a main. She was talking through her own soup when his steaming hot lunch arrived. She stopped waving her spoon around and dove it into the end of his loaf, the end closest to her, and said, “This looks so good, you don’t mind if I try some.” Now, what’s a guy to do? He was gracious and said, “Go ahead.” I wonder if he just didn’t care about her slobbered-on spoon desecrating his meal or decided to eat up to but not that portion of his loaf. I left before I discovered the answer to my question.


Sitting semi-comatose on the subway train, waiting in the station for who knows what reason, I stared mindlessly out the open train doors. Into view scurried a little hump-backed, deep brown-furred creature with a thin, long tail. Blink. Pause. Blink, blink, blink. The hallucination didn’t disappear. Instead it sniffed between the raised yellow circles on the yellow warning band that edges the subway platform, and it went hither and thither on the trail of crumbs and kleenex bits dropped by your typical TTC patron. I sat up. Was it coming closer? Nope. It swooped away from the doors and scurried out of view. The chimes sounded, the doors closed, and I had no photo of this first-in-a-lifetime event. (Acutally it’s the third rat sighting I’ve had late this year, and I don’t think I’ve seen 3 in all the decades before that.) The shock made me forget all about getting a photo! It even struck me dumb. And I became rather nervous when I had to leave the train, looking hard to the floor to the left and right of me. I should’ve shouted, “RAT!”


The Toronto Maple Losers, um, Leafs have apparently become a hot topic. I’ve long since grown bored with the Leafs. They never win, they never even look like they’re going to win, and their owners clearly don’t care as they’re raking in the cash in bumps and hikes of millions and millions. At least in Harold Ballard’s day, his antics and controversies — which makes today’s look like so much milky mush — overshadowed their perennial losing and kept us amused. Now the faceless corporate entities don’t even do that. They just hide in their counting house, ca-chinging the money flowing in. Rats!

Speaking of Crazy Driving

I heard that there were quite a few accidents yesterday with the first real feel of winter style weather BUT 800 accidents in 24 hours! Leave it to my friend to tell me “I haven’t seen the worst of the madness” on the streets of the GTA. I couldn’t see myself driving as much as he does to work everyday.

Take it easy people. Are you really that excited to get to work?

How Not to Drive to Work…???

Somebody in an SUV managed to miss their turn from Front on to Bay so badly that they hopped the curb, took out newspaper boxes and plowed full into Brookfield Place. On the way home I noticed Police tape and a “much thinner” pillar of the building. From what I understand the driver is in hospital but there weren’t any other injuries reported (other than chunks taken out of Brookfield Place).

I was luckily already up the street and at my desk this morning. Did anyone see the madness transpire??? From what I’ve heard the “structural integrity” of Brookfield Place is intact despite the damage. Good thing. You wouldn’t want people in SUV’s being able to take out office towers like bowling pins would you?

Buy Nothing Day

Tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day. Doubt that I will abstain from consumer grid.

BUT… it never hurts to contemplate every purchase especially coming close to the holiday shopping season.

What’s your favorite Toronto Landmark?


MB Toronto is on a quest to find out what are the most popular Toronto landmarks. Our final “Tops” list will consist of winners from several polls that will go on through the next few months. Each poll will consist of 5 great landmarks in and around our city. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with the wonderful buildings and structures we have here in Toronto. Especially as cold winter rolls around.

Top left: Union Station
Top right: Fairmount Royal York Hotel
Bottom Left: Old City Hall
Bottom Left: Gooderham Building
Center: Princess Gates

Vote here:
online surveysTake Our Poll

Selling out to the American Thanksgiving…


It’s that time of year again for me to head south of the border to spend a US thanksgiving with my American relatives. Two thanksgivings a year, yay! Why does it seem that our Yankee friends are more into thanksgiving then we are ours? Our turkey day has now long past but for some reason right now seems to be the right time for such an event. Do our children dress up as pilgrims and take part in things like harvest lunches at school during our thanksgiving? More and more I like the US version just a little bit better. It almost has that Christmas festive feeling to it, filled with great football games and great Boxing Day sales.

I will probably be doing the Black Friday thing, lining up from the night before to get in on some of the great deals. And now that I have seen some of the online flyers they are definitely great deals. Why don’t we these deals here? A part of me feels bad for making the loonie and spending it in America but hey, the dollar is good, things are cheaper there and I am gonna be there anyway.

During my trip I also plan to catch a NFL game on the same day the Grey Cup will be taking place in my home city. Selling out you might say but I believe a NFL team is much needed in our city and I have never been to a NFL game so you could say I am just checking out what all the hype is about. Don’t get me wrong, the CFL and the Argos I adore but the NFL, to me, is just a little more entertaining.

So, have I sold out to the hype around American Thanksgiving? Or am I just doing what anyone else would do, be drawn near to a more festive and entertaining holiday. A long-long weekend, very festive atmosphere, good football and great deals are just a few things our Thanksgiving seem to be lacking. So have I selling out? Probably but looking forward to the weekend, I am excited to having a wonderful American Thanksgiving with family and friends. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about anyway right? See you next week!

Photo by Chapstickaddict on Flickr

Dark Hand and Lamplight Come to Toronto

Dark Hand and Lamplight are in town this week as part of Pleasure Dome. Dark Hand and Lamplight are a collaboration of Toronto musician Doug Paisley and artist Shary Boyle. A truly amazing musical and visual project. They are in Toronto this weekend after a celebrated tour in the US opening for Will Oldham (PRINCE “BONNIE” BILLY, PALACE, WILL OLDHAM, THE CONTINENTAL OP). For the project “Dark Hand and Lamplight”, Paisley wrote a collection of songs which Boyle uses as the basis for live drawings. Dark Hand creates art that surrounds Lamplight. The two feed off each other’s material often coming up with interesting improvisations.

Dark Hand and Lamplight share the stage with Liss Platt. Platt will be premiering a newly edited version of “You Can’t Get There From Here”. The film will be projected using a bicycle-powered 16mm projector ( designed by Petra Chevrier and Martin Heath).

See Dark Hand and Lamplight this Saturday as part of Pleasure Dome – Live Projections!

Performances by Shary Boyle with Doug Paisley and Liss Platt
Saturday, November 24, 8pm
Latvian House, 491 College St.
$10 at the door
$5 for members or students

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