Ontario has hit peak ribfest. This is a distinctly heartland phenomenon: More than two-million people will visit one of the province’s 65 ribfests this summer. (There are only three dedicated ribfests in British Columbia; Alberta has two.)The surprising politics of Ontario's growing ribfest industry.
Retrontario remembers Johnny Cash advertising for Canada Trust, along with several other advertisements from the 80s.
Today, the Ontario Government released a video called #WhoWillYouHelp (TW; potentially triggering scenes in video relating to sexual assault) as part of the $41-million It's Never OK action plan to end sexual assault and harassment within the province. [more inside]
"We need to deal with the fact that our kids are starting to go through puberty much younger than they used to," said Sandals, Education Minister. [more inside]
A presentation about Ontario's lost villages, ten communities which were flooded as part of the creation of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1958.
A 2000 report leaked to the Toronto Star details how the Harris government struck a sweetheart deal to ensure major brewers a stranglehold on Ontario beer retail. Long suspected but never before proven, the report details how the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) was forced to submit to a subsidiary role in beer retail in the province; the then-LCBO head has confirmed that Harris forced the deal onto the province. Martin Cohn reports in the Toronto Star.
Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier. Things did not turn out exactly as predicted. [more inside]
Winter on Georgian Bay : “Highlights of a four-month time-lapse taken from a cottage overlooking Lake Huron, during an absolutely epic winter.” [via mefi projects]
Following a new (audio) tape of Rob Ford drunk and swearing at a bar and a new (video) tape of his smoking crack in his sister's basement both earlier this week, the Toronto Mayor has announced that he will be taking a leave from his campaign to attend rehab. [more inside]
Someone is leaving what appear to be coded messages in the stacks of Weldon Library at the University of Western Ontario. (via)
...sure gas is cheap but fuck if they don't even have all-dressed chips in that shithole. [more inside]
Truck carrying fireworks hits moose on Trans-Canada Highway, shuts down road for 5.5 hours and lights up the sky. (pictures and video, driver and passenger unharmed.)
You've probably never heard anything quite like the musical documentary More About Henry. Remixing interviews with musical interpretation, composer Adam Goddard has woven a unique work of art from the stories of his grandfather, Henry Robert Tindale Haws, who spent a half-century farming in rural Ontario. More About Henry first aired on CBC Radio's Ideas. [more inside]
Should viewer discretion be advised for pictures of children with congenital deformities? One Ontario woman doesn't think so: "I am 'deformed' and reading that viewer discretion warning ahead of the article (amounted) to telling me that every time I left the house I should wear a similar warning." [more inside]
In a surprise move, Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty has resigned. CBC National Post Globe and Mail Toronto Star. [more inside]
Years of labour peace between the government of Ontario and teachers came to an end this year. Like their colleagues in British Columbia, Ontario teachers and support staff are complaining of unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional legislation -- the Putting Students First Act, 2012 -- that gives the Education Minister, Laura Broten, unchallenged power to ban strikes, job actions, set compensation and benefits, and to take over local school boards who are non-compliant. Ontario school boards are unanimously opposed to the Act, which reduces their power, and so are teachers and support staff, who feel the government is manufacturing a crisis. Most see this as a cynical ploy to capture public support for two by-elections this week that could nudge the Liberal government into majority status. ETFO and OSSTF, two of the teacher unions involved, have repeatedly pointed out that "the school year is not in jeopardy", that they had already accepted a wage freeze, and that local bargaining is proceeding well. As legislation looms aheads, teachers, support staff, and labour activists are wondering: is this the end of collective bargaining for the public sector? [more inside]
Guerrilla art group hacks dozens of Astral info pillars. The city's new, redesigned info pillars that have been rapidly popping up around Toronto have made plenty of enemies: road users claim the large, flat sides block sight lines, pedestrians say their positioning blocks sidewalks, and many others are concerned about the large amount of space given over to advertisers. A team of artists, cARTographyTO, hacked into roughly 35 of the signs' ad spaces over the weekend and installed maps, artwork and other visual displays.
A catastrophic freeze has wiped out about 80 per cent of Ontario’s apple crop and has the province’s fruit industry looking at losses already estimated at more than $100 million. "Warm temperatures got fruit trees blooming early and when temperatures plummeted Sunday morning it damaged or wiped out much of the $60 million apple crop and 20 to 30 per cent of Ontario’s $48 million tender fruit crop which includes peaches, cherries, pears, plums and nectarines." Also see Michigan (tart & sweet cherries, apples, pears - "what sets this year apart is not just the severity of the damage but the variety of fruits affected") and western NY ("The erratic Rochester weather has taken its toll on local fruit crops... as much as 90 percent of apples, peaches, cherries, and raspberries in the area [are] destroyed").
Ontario’s highest court has legalized brothels in a sweeping decision that condemned current prostitution laws for adding to the hazards of a highly dangerous profession.
RETRONTARIO: Yours To Rediscover. "RETRONTARIO was created to celebrate the neglected corners of Ontario’s rich televisual history; to put back into circulation material which rightly or wrongly had fallen into a black hole and was for all intents and purposes, lost."
Catch 167: Harper government pulls rug out from under non-Canadian gay couples who married here in good faith
Ottawa does about face on same-sex marriage for non-Canadians. The Harper government has served notice that thousands of same-sex couples who flocked to Canada from abroad since 2004 to get married are not legally wed. The reversal of federal policy is revealed in a document filed in a Toronto test case launched recently by a lesbian couple seeking a divorce.... The government’s hard line has cast sudden doubt on the rights and legal status of couples who wed in Canada after a series of court decisions opened the floodgates to same-sex marriage. The mechanics of determining issues such as tax status, employment benefits and immigration have been thrown into legal limbo. [The lesbian couple's] divorce application will be considered next month by an Ontario Superior Court judge. They are asking the judge to either craft an exemption allowing them to divorce or to strike down any legislative provision that has the effect of preventing them from doing so. [more inside]
The history of Toronto in photos is 90 some odd posts linked to provide a thematically organized visual overview. The vast majority of the photographs featured derive from the Toronto Archives. Should you be interested in a less visually oriented take on Toronto history, there is also the Nostalgia Tripping series, which was designed to be a bit more about storytelling than just the photos.
With the Ontario provincial election campaign still extremely close (warning: PDF link) in its last days, the Conservative party sends out a gay-baiting and trans-baiting direct-mail ad. [more inside]
[T]he parties have repeatedly shown that they are immune to reason. Consequently, in my decision, I have tried ridicule as a last resort."
An Ontario Family Court judge was not very happy with the parties involved in a divorce case [PDF] before him.
Starting in the summer of 2009, Southern Souls began by capturing unique performances by musicians that call southern Ontario home. Seeing musicians play in the places that they live and breathe, places they themselves have chosen—in the street, in a store, in a kitchen or bedroom—is almost a homecoming for the music itself, returning it to the places in which it started.[more inside]
Winded - a journey to find out the real truth behind Wind Turbines [SLVimeo].
Forty years of incredible programming from Ontario's public broadcaster now viewable on the Web at The TVO Public Archive. Samples include: Imprint 1993: Leonard Cohen talks about his poetry and music. The Education of Mike McManus 1977: Timothy Leary talks about what freedoms the drug culture wrought and reflects on his own role in bringing about these changes. Talking Film 1980: The Cinema Of John Huston offers anecdotes about Orson Welles, Humphrey Bogart, and Truman Capote. Allan Gregg in Conversation 2007: Carol Off/Alvin Toffler, authors of Bitter Chocolate and Future Shock. [more inside]
Cracking the Scratchie. With cheating and money laundering and statistics, this story seems like it should be about something more exciting than scratch-off lottery tickets. But it isn't.
A superior court judge in Ontario has struck down several prostitution laws, on the basis that they endanger prostitutes. That is all.
News, photos and video of the devastation has begun to appear online, as power is restored to the area: the storm that hit Leamington Ontario early Sunday morning was part of a system that killed 7 people in Ohio, but which incredibly caused no fatalities when it hit in the Canadian town of 20,000.
Charges dropped against the former Attorney General of Ontario despite video evidence showing Bryant first striking the bicyclist with his car and then attempting to get away. Previously [more inside]
Bono and Bob Geldof worked in The Globe and Mail newsroom on Saturday to guest-edit a special edition of the paper on the future of Africa for today... Monday, May 10, in advance of the G8/G20 summit in Huntsville, Ontario, from June 25-27, 2010.
Who are the grandfathers of noise music? The Nihilist Spasm Band formed in 1965 when eight men, using homemade instruments, began creating noise together in London, Ontario. None of these men were traditionally trained musicians, yet they are often credited as being the major influence behind modern noise music, inspiring Japanese noisemakers like Hijokaiden and Masonna, as well as western artists like Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. [more inside]
For one year, twelve cows on a dairy farm Twitter about their lactation cycle and robotic milking activities. [more inside]
In 2007, Macleans reported that the oversupply of education graduates was contributing to the teaching job shortage in Ontario. What has been to rectify the situation? Not much, according to new reports that "Retired teachers working in 10 [Ontario] school boards [...] collected $108.3-million in the 2008-09 school year from taxpayers on top of their government-subsidized pensions, taking advantage of a system rife with loopholes that leaves new teachers scrambling for crumbs." [more inside]
Charles Vance Millar was a Canadian lawyer and financier with a love of pranks and practical jokes. His greatest and final prank was his last will and testament. [more inside]
Michael Schmidt has been found not guilty of selling raw milk in the province of Ontario. Schmidt owns a dairy co-op where consumers can purchase shares in a dairy herd and receive a portion of the raw milk those cows produce in return. His farm was raided and his equipment seized at gun point back in 2006. Experts are predicting this decision could have wide ranging effects on the rights of consumers to choose what they purchase and eat.
So I got arrested by the SWAT team last night… Jeremy Bell's office was stormed by Ontario Police looking for some Lego blocks he bought online. An eyewitness account.
Asian Carp update: since 2003(previously), the inexorable advance of Asian Carp up the Mississippi delta has brought them to within 6 miles of Lake Michigan. These invasive "100-pound Zebra Mussels" suck rivers clean and starve native fish. Asian Carp are now 97% of the fish biomass in the Mississippi delta. The "electric fence" across the canal didn't stop them. The poisoning of the canal won't stop them. Closing the Chicago sewage canal locks is the only way to be sure. But the Army Corps of Engineers have the jurisdiction. Feel safe? [more inside]
Toronto's Open Civic Data. The city of Toronto has released its data to the world via the new Open Toronto initiative: geographic data for a variety of civic divisions, lists of licensed business, public transit stops, routes & schedules, a SOAP-based geocoding API and more.
Late last night, a cyclist was killed in Toronto. "Ontario's former attorney general Michael Bryant ... will be charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death, a police source tells the Globe, after a collision left a 33-year-old cyclist dead." Accounts vary, but the sequence appears to be 1) Some collision and argument between the cyclist and the driver; 2) The cyclist grabs the driver's door and hangs on (or he may have been caught on the car accidentally) while the Saab convertible drives on; 3) The car drives into the opposite lane, across a construction zone, and the cyclist is battered against mailboxes and light posts; 4) The cyclist falls under the car's back wheels and is killed. [more inside]
In a possible sign of things to come, a group of Ontario grocery chain franchisees has split off and formed an independent co-op in order to better access locally-sourced food.
Apparently, this kind of thing happens all the time in Hamilton, Ontario.
Vigilante conservationists or racist thugs? Some residents of northern Ontario towns claim Torontonians without fishing licenses are poaching in public waters. Their solution? Sneak up behind the anglers and throw them (and their gear) in the lake. After a 13-year old and a 72-year old were both dunked, the most recent incident ended in a car chase that put a 23-year old in a coma. The catch? All the victims are Asian. The locals call it nipper-tipping.
Listen to the Newmarket Police try to deal with "Outstanding Elephants". Elephants from the circus escape. They wander through Newmarket, Ontario, munching on people's landscaping. Some people out for a late night walk happen upon them and (mp3) call into the York regional police to report the errant elephants. Then the police (mp3) deal with getting them back to their home. "Police said no one was hurt, no property was damaged and that the two well-behaved animals spent their free time snacking on plants and trees as they wandered the quiet downtown streets." Sounds like a good way to spend a summer evening to me!
The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, was founded in 1999 with the support of Research in Motion's Mike Lazaridis, and has since moved from its original home in Waterloo's Old Post Office to an award-winning building of its own. Home to such physics iconoclasts (rebels?) as Lee Smolin, Perimeter offers programs and activities for the general public as well as the scientific community, and, more importantly, makes many of its scientific outreach lectures available online.
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