Archive for December, 2007

Onley Carries On Northern Ontario Literacy Program

David Onley, Ontario’s 28th Lieutenant Governor, has continued James K. Bartleman’s literacy program. In fact he will partner with Bartleman and expand the program “to include an Aboriginal youth computer literacy initiative”. Great to see that Mr. Onley is improving on the legacy James K. Bartleman left in the office of Lieutenant Governor.

Onley has been working with OPP and Toronto Police to collect donated books. From Jan. 1 to 18, You can drop off new books at any OPP detachment or any Toronto police station. From noon to 2 p.m. you can drop in at Queen’s Park and meet Onley yourself at his New Year levee. And bring a book.

During his term, Bartleman advanced many causes including that of the Aboriginal Youth Literacy, a program that addressed the third world conditions of Aboriginal communities in Ontario’s Far North, where books were few.

Four Aboriginal Literacy Initiatives were implemented:

• 2.3 million books to establish libraries in First Nation Communities across the north were collected,

• a School Twinning Program linking nearly 150 Aboriginal schools with non-Aboriginal schools across Ontario and Nunavut.

• Thirty-six Aboriginal Summer Reading Camps were established in 28 fly-in First Nations communities.

• ‘Club Amick’ was launched last year to provide books and newsletters four times a year to 5000 Aboriginal children in Ontario’s North.

Joyce Hunter —

GO Free after 7pm, TTC Free After the Ball Drops


It’s official if you haven’t already heard. GO Transit is offering free rides after 7pm New Year’s Eve. Seems that they have received corporate sponsorship from a US Fortune 500 Bank/Finance company. I stand corrected. I had thought the TTC would face the same fate as last year but the same sponsor will pay people’s way home on the TTC. Sad that no Canadian banks or corporations chipped in but such is life.

Have fun Toronto, just leave the driving to your friendly neighbourhood GO Transit, TTC or cab driver.

What’s Happening in Pakistan?


So, another holiday season is upon us and things seem to get busy, real busy. I’m in Ohio again and haven’t been around the T-Dot to know what’s going on. What I do know is that Pakistan is under the radar since the assassination of former Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto. News reports even from the major networks seem to be conflicting and no one seems to know what really happened. Our friends at MB Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore have been blogging about the situation. First hand accounts, voices from the street and great pictures from the ground, pretty interesting read if you are interested.

Photo by Mudsi MB Karachi Flick group

What’s Your Favorite Toronto Landmark 4?


So here we are at week 4 of MB Toronto’s Top T-Dot Landmark Poll. Week 3 was very interesting with the Rogers Centre beating out Toronto City Hall; I didn’t think it would happen. Our finalists thus far are the Princes’ Gates, Distillery District and the Rogers Centre. This week we have some new Landmarks to choose from and its a toughie. We have the Hockey Hall of Fame, Queens Park, Ontario Legislature, Fort York, St Lawrence Market and the CN Tower. Which of these 5 is your favorite?

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Hockey Hall of Fame photo by Condo TECH
Queen’s Park phot by Eric Giberson
Fort York Photo by Patrick Landers
St Lawrence Market Phot by nor dicshutter
CN Tower phot by William Self

Forget about the Leafs, Get into the Raptors!


Every since the NHL strike a few years back I never got back into watching any hockey. To be honest I never really did before the strike but atleast I sat shotgun on the Leaf bandwagon. Last night was the first time in almost two years that I sat down and watched a Leaf game in its entirity. You figure, they are on a little winning steak, they have been playing good as of late, so you kinda get into it. What a stinker! Up two nothing for most of the game and let in 2 goals in the last two minutes only to lose the game in overtime the way they did. They permantly turn off the Leaf switch in me. Forget about the Leafs, they are a waste of time and money. I can’t believe people spend the money they do to watch such a losing team. And we wonder why the Leaf organization does nothing to build a winning team. It’s because we give the Leafs the time of day. So let’s just forget they exist. It’s for their own good!

Here’s some advice, get into the Raptors. You may not be a basketball fan but hey, there’s something to cheer about. Defending Atlantic Division Champions. An Allstar with winning attitude. Europeans players that make a difference. A coach who was voted coach of the year by his peers. A general manager was was named executive of the year. A team that we know for sure will make the playoffs. A city likes nothing more than a winning team! The Maple Leafs are as dull as a butterknife. So do me a favor, forget about the Leafs and get into the Raps!


City Policy

I’d vaguely paid attention to the city’s interesting new snow removal policy — let nature do it — but now I understand their new attitude. If you look out from way up on high, the sun seems to be melting all that snow, not much of the white stuff left…compared to a couple of days ago anyway. And then you walk out the front door and enter a tunnel of snow, banks knee-deep high, then hip-high, and finally waist-high. You step out onto your friendly neighbourhood road where surely the going will be easier, the snow ruts being only calf-high. But mushy is harder to walk on than packed.

The weather forecasters said there would only be a few flurries on Saturday, just lake effect flakes, they said before the big storm would hit. I’m not sure who underestimated that lake effect more: the forecasters or the city, for the city thought it wasn’t worth hauling the plows out for, according to the media, until well after the real storm hit, leading to more and more interesting driving on the day the forecasters said go out and shop for tomorrow shall be impassable. And today as we face more flurries this week, we’d better get used to those snow ruts rising as the city believes that if there’s a sun, even if it’s behind crying clouds, there’s no need for a plow. Their years-old policy of not clearing laneways has grown to encompass side streets. Our tax dollars are far better spent on parking lots and growing capital debt than on basic city services. Well, at least there is one good thing — the struggle to walk out of our side streets to the cleared main streets should build up those flabby thigh muscles and burn that spare tire. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

BJ Birdie and ACE Also to be named in Steriod Report


Former and current Blue Jays left off George Mitchell’s list of the suspected tem members taking performance enhancement drugs were named today. BJ Birdie and ACE have now been included in the hype surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays and steroid use. The current report failed to show the evidence that is clear to many Blue Jay fans across the country. Not known to many but one of the main reasons for BJ Birdie’s departure from the Blue Jay organization after the 1999 season was due to allegations involving BJ and Jose Canseco injecting each other with performance enhancement drugs.

ACE, the current Blue Jay Mascot has also been under the radar as of late. His physical abilities as a mascot outweigh most of his counter parts from different cities. He’s out and about running up and down the aisles during games and even helps with the 7th inning cleanup. Look for more of ACE’s name in and around these steroid hearings.


Today was the day of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s (OCAP) Mass Panhandle on the PATH. The Police presence was massive and many tenants were warned that a “demonstration” was going to take place, part of it during the lunch hour.

In the end the demonstrators were pretty unobtrusive and were outnumbered at least 5 to 1 by police and security. The Mass Panhandle didn’t incite violence or seriously impede business any more than the usual people traffic on a Wednesday. A few individuals handed out pamphlets while others asked for change. In OCAP’s words the demonstration was an attempt to bring light to “Huge cuts to social programs and a desperate lack of affordable housing have fueled a crisis of homelessness in Toronto”.

Jo and Jane businesspeople may have been listening. There were as many coins offered as blank indifferent stares. Both the Police and OCAP were politely respectful of everyone. Hot heads on either side of this situation would have been a disaster for everyone (especially the MERCHANTS!!!).

Whether or not one believes in the “tactic” of doing something en masse like this, OCAP succeeded in their peaceful “information demonstration” today. Homelessness is a problem that has not faded away. Charging a homeless person $125 for sleeping on the street is hardly a solution to Toronto’s own homeless problem. With all the talk and fear of crime it would be better to focus our energy on its roots. Fighting poverty couldn’t hurt.

MB Toronto is looking for Authors


Yes that’s right, Metroblogging Toronto is looking for authors to assist in sharing the good news of our great city. If you like our vibe and want to be a part of it give us a shout. If you like our vibe but think you can bring some new flavor to the dish we’ll take your recipe. If you love everything about our city and need to express yourself this is the place to do so.

We are currently looking for bloggers who can post about life in Toronto a few times a week. Since MB Toronto is part of the Original City Blog Network, your audience will not only consist of your fellow Torontonians but bloggers from around the world.

You will get paid the same amount that all us MB writers get, nada. We love our city so much we write for free. Its fun and you’ll love it! Just don’t get caught writing for us during you regular job or during your studies. We don’t compensate if you get low grades or if you get fired. Trust me, I have come close. We have a wonderful team who are very excited about adding a few new team members.

To join Metroblogging Toronto please visit our application site [mb] or email me at

What’s Your Favorite Toronto Landmark 3?


Alright, so far both the CNE’s Princes’ Gates and the Distillery District have made it into the MB Toronto’s Top T-Dot Landmark finals. This week we will take a look at another five each of which have all been built in the later half of the last century. So here’s the list, Eaton Centre, City Hall, Royal Ontario Museum, Rogers Centre (I still call it SKYDOME) and Roy Thomson Hall.

Happy Voting :)

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Eaton Centre photo by Christopher Chan
Toronto City Hall photo by rohmmel
ROM photo by End User
Rogers Centre photo by eminliney
Roy Thomson Hall photo by Johnny’s Photos

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