Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Coups, Plagues, and . . . Garbage? Oh My!

2009 July 8

San Francisco Chronicle travel writer Larry Habegger recently listed Toronto at the #1 spot on his list of places around the world that should be on avoided for travel.  Toronto earned this distinction because of the garbage strike that is currently in its third week, resulting in “mounds of trash throughout the city that is known for its cleanliness.”

Rounding out the other top 5 places on the world travel advisory: Honduras (military coup), Mexico (Dengue Fever outbreak), North Africa (Bubonic Plague outbreak), and Thailand (military rule).

Larry must really not like garbage!

(photo from [daily dose of imagery])

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An Abundance of Wu-Tang Related Memorabilia!

2009 April 9

This past weekend, I went to a ‘Book Blast’ being held at this vintage clothing store called Penny Arcade (owned by my friend Gerald’s sister.)  The book being launched was called Youth League, by John O. and according to the author’s website it “depicts an uncertain near future filled with portraits of desperation, violence, and an abundance of Wu-Tang related memorabilia.” 


Truthfully, it was more of a leaflet than a book, but it was cool anyway.  And, some of the characters were wearing some sweet professional sports jerseys!

Youth League was printed in a limited edition of 50 copies and it sold out.  Good thing I got my (signed) copy!

Dust Off Your Bike

2009 March 25

Unless you’re like me and have been riding your bicycle throughout the winter, you’re probably thinking right about now that it’s high time to get your wheels out.  Conveniently, the U of T Mountain Bike Team is having a spring bike tune-up fundraiser!

Get ready to get fit, increase your vitamin D intake, and cruise past the suckers stuck in traffic!

Stereoscopic

2009 February 26

Way back in October, as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto City Hall was turned into Steroscope by the German group Project Blinkenlights.

This was pretty much the coolest part of the entire Nuit Blanche.  In fact, the installation ran for a while following the contemporary art event and I got to take in the ever-changing kaleidoscope on my way home from work each evening.

Anyway, I’m just wondering why Toronto doesn’t make this a permanent thing.  City Hall is already one of the coolest pieces of architecture in Toronto; however, if this was on display every night, it would become the most iconic monument in TZero.

It was probably mad expensive to run.

York University President on CBC

2009 February 13

After a 3 month strike, York University students returned to classes January 29.  Shortly thereafter, CBC Radio One’s Metro Morning interviewed Mamdouh Shoukri, the President of the school.

You can listen to it here:

He seemed extremely evasive, unwilling to take any responsibility whatsoever for the strike or its duration, rude and even a bit threatening to host Matt Galloway, himself a graduate of York.

If I were a York student, I would be embarassed that this man was the President of my school.

One of Many Reasons I’m Glad I Don’t Go to York

2008 November 26

York University teaching staff has been on strike for 3 weeks!  Negotiations between strikers and school officials are apparently not going that well.  Interesting fact: York’s teaching assistants are already the highest paid in Canada!

If you happen to be a York Lion, you might want to check out the school’s special site for disrupted students.

York is Canada’s third largest university, and is located in the middle of nowhere.

Popcorn Probably Costs $20

2008 November 25

For those of you who might say “nothing in life is free,” or “there’s no such thing as a free movie lunch,” here’s something you might be interested in.  Rainbow Cinemas is offering 2 Free Movie Mornings this month:

Kung Fu Panda                            Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who
Saturday, December 13, 2008       Saturday, December 20, 2008

For both movies, doors open at 10:30am and the films start at 11.  Admission is free, on a first-come-first-served basis and is limited to cimema capacity. You can bet your ass there are going to be about a thousand commercials at the beginning, otherwise I have no idea why they would be hosting these events.  Also of note – how ironic is it that KFP is rated PG (not recommended for young children).  Who else would go see this movie??

Rainbow Cinemas has 3 locations in the GTA:
Market Square (80 Front Street East @ Jarvis)
Promenade Mall (1Promenade Circle)
Woodbine Centre (500 Rexdale Boulevard)

Get Your 10-Speed Out!

2008 May 26

Today is the first day of Toronto Bike Month!

Back in 1988 the City of Toronto created Bike-to-Work Day. Eventually, this became Bike week. Now, for the first time ever, this event is morphing into an entire month of bike-related activities. “The Bike Month 2008 calendar of events will include events that encourage commuter, utilitarian, and recreational cycling. Come check out Bike Month: Toronto’s Festival for Cycling Culture, May 26 – June 21 2008, from fast pace racing to community meetings there’ll be something for everyone.”

Get out there and encourage the city to create more bike lanes, install more parking facilities for bikers, and promote biking as a healthy and inexpensive – and hopefully safe – way to get around Toronto!

“It’s not fair!”

2008 April 17

Starting Monday morning at 4am, Toronto may be faced with a transit strike.  As somebody who has taken the worst transit system in the world TTC a lot over the course of the last 6 months, this is something of a conundrum of principles in my mind. 

TTC

On one hand, I think the Toronto Transit Commission really needs a freshening up.  I’ve heard that the system receives less than 1/3 the amount of money per capita than do other major cities that have excellent-functioning transportation operations, such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen.  I believe that given that about one sixth of Canada’s entire population lives in the GTA and probably closer to 1/3 comes to the city on a regular basis, all levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal) should pony-up some more cash and give this city a world-class transit system.  However, I’ve also heard somewhere that something like 25% of the City of Toronto’s budget goes towards the TTC.  How is this possible given that the service is so crappy, yet the fare is still so expensive?

On the other hand, after watching the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113‘s press conference this morning on CityTV, I can’t help but NOT feel sympathetic towards the workers.  It appeared that Bob Kinnear, the union’s President and spokesperson, used the phrase “not fair” about 10 000 times.  “We want to give him [Mayor David Miller] some time to step into this situation and do what is fair,” said Kinnear in his press appeal.

NEWSFLASH: life’s not fair.

Mr. Kinnear repeatedly compared TTC workers with both other city workers and transit workers in other areas of the Greater Toronto Area.  “Driving a street car on Queen Street in Toronto takes a lot more skill than driving a bus on Queen Street in Brampton.”  Ummm, I’m not sure if I agree with this or even understand what he means.  No offense to the streetcar drivers, but they don’t even have to steer.  The vehicles are on tracks; all they have to do other than hit the gas and the brake is open the doors and push the button so that the automated voice says “please move back.”  Forgetting about comparisons, and just thinking about this situation from a general perspective, what it comes down to is that, while this is an important service for the city, these jobs involve little skill and no education.  Is it fair for me to ask why these workers feel they deserve even greater benefits than they’re already getting – so much so that they are willing to derail (pardon the pun) an entire city, for who knows how long?

If you know me, or even if you’ve just read any of my blog posts here on TZero, you know that I am a huge proponent of public transportation.  However, I also complain a lot about the TTC because, for lack of a better term, it sucks.  The service is infrequent and sporatic, many of the drivers are unenthusiastic if not unfriendly, and a city with Toronto’s stature should have a sophisticated metro system, not these crappy streetcars.

To quote Bob Kinnear, I say “it’s not fair” that we’re stuck with the TTC.

Electoral Reform, What?

2007 October 10

Today is the general election for Ontario as well as a referendum regarding the electoral system Ontario uses to elect members to the provincial legislature.  The current system we have is generally referred to as First-Past-the-Post (FPTP), in which the candidate with the most votes wins and will be the representative for the electoral district in the provincial legislature.  After the election, the political party that wins the most electoral districts is normally asked to form a government.  The alternatively proposed system is called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), in which Ontarians would have two votes in future elections: one for a ‘Local Member’ and one for a political party. The provincial legislature would have 129 seats: Local Members’ would fill 90 seats while ‘List Members’ would fill 39 seats. The political party with the largest number of seats in the legislature, including ‘Local Members’ and ‘List Members’, would be asked to form a government.

I encourage everyone to vote, but to make an informed decision.  A super-majority (60%) of the vote is needed for the referendum to pass, and I fear that most people voting will defaultedly vote for the system we now have, only because they don’t understand the other option (or even the current one!)  It’s hard to believe that Elections Ontario spent millions on an advertising campaign to teach the population about the different systems.  My own mother told me she hadn’t even heard of this referendum until like a week ago, and had no idea about the reason for it.

Anyway, get out and vote in the election and the referendum, whatever your opinion may be!