If you got an email from a stranger who said they'd donate $200 to a charity of your choice if you would invite him and a friend over to your place for dinner, would you say yes? Toronto artist Franke James did, and now she now thinks it might be an interesting idea for fundraising.
Bill Ayers, arriving in Toronto to lecture on inner-city education, has been denied entry to Canada. [more inside]
Offshore wind farm stirs up a tempest. Lines are being drawn in the battle over a proposed windmill development to be built in Lake Ontario two kilometres out from the Scarborough Bluffs? Is this just another case of NIMBYism? Or are wind farms unreliable, dangerous to migratory birds, and a source of health problems for people who live near them?
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
Remote control Toronto's City Hall by iPhone during Octobre 4th Nuit blanche. Project Blinkenlights will again transform a huge building into a computer display. This time 960 windows of Toronto's City Hall. Everybody can submit animations to be shown and there will be client programms for iPhone and OSX to receive the signal and interact with the installation. Watch the previous installations in Berlin [Mefi thread] and Paris [Mefi thread] on Google Video.
During last year's Toronto International Film Festival, there were stories about Colin Farrell taking a local homeless man on a shopping spree. This year, the Toronto Sun follows up. via
A large series of explosions erupted this morning from a welding chemical storage facility in North York (a suburb of Toronto) at approximately 4am EST. The highway 401, North America's busiest, has been closed in sections, and thousands of local residents are still being evacuated, with several of them injured. Police and fire officials are currently not sure of the possibility of further explosions and are taking precautionary measures. The whole situation has produced some apocalyptic-looking pictures.
Igor Kenk was arrested for bicycle theft in Toronto on July 17. Here's an audio documentary that includes an interview with the man himself: Steal This Bike (be warned, a lot of profanity, and a little pretentious). [more inside]
Montreal Graffiti/Street artist Roadsworth, who was arrested in 2005 and faced up to 250 000$ in fines, is back on the streets, this time with a permit and a commission. Interestingly, the title of the new piece (which stretches across multiple intersections on downtown Sainte-Catherine street) is "Défense d'Afficher", which means "No Postering". It seems as though he's commenting on the role of art and advertisement in public space, but maybe that's just my take. Thoughts? For a more in-depth discussion, read the Torontoist's article on graffiti), and for more examples, check out Vandalist, the same blog's photostream of T.O. street art, Streetsy, a great photoblog showing off various street art from around the world, and, of course, Flickr's STREETART pool.
Another one bites the dust, and Canada's largest city reaches its yearly average cyclist fatality tally, less than half-way through 2008. While Toronto is a moderately bike friendly place, its 2001 plan to join up 1074km of city bikeways within 10 years seems to have fallen flat (as have the city coroner's cycling safety recommendations). Could this be the first opportunity for the newborn Toronto Cyclists' Union to make a mark? Will a Canadian city ever join the world's best? Ah well, let's just go for a ride. In Quebec. [more inside]
In a pilot project with Canada's National Film Board, Katerina Cizek is Filmmaker-in-Residence at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital (Flash site with videos). She directed The Interventionists: Chronicles of a Mental Health Crisis Team, a film about a unique crisis team in downtown Toronto. A mental health nurse and a police officer ride the streets of the inner city together in an unmarked police car, responding to 911 calls involving "emotionally disturbed persons." The team is a partnership between St. Michael's Hospital and two downtown police divisions. Their mandate is to de-escalate crises and avoid unnecessary arrests and emergency room visits by providing referrals, services and resources within a patient's own community. [more inside]
CityTV to apologize for photos stolen from Flickr. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has issued a ruling that CityTV must make a rare on-air apology for broadcasting pictures taken from Flickr without crediting the photographer.
Global Warming Video, From Still Images Twenty days. Twenty thousand still images. A single message. Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk captures the issue of global warming in a video created entirely by using still images.
It's been going on in Britain for a while. Now hundreds of men in Toronto are receiving welfare for each wife. Is this what Rowan Williams has in mind?
Toronto trustees have voted in favor of an 'Afrocentric' school. City staff endorsed the plan, while other groups in the city have not been so supportive.
Toronto: Justice Denied. Mark Kingwell writes about Toronto. The article is a great read even if you've never stepped foot in the city.
The body of a Canadian soldier was transported from CFB Trenton to Toronto tonight via Highway 401, one of the busiest highways in North America. Along that 170km stretch of road, citizens gathered at the overpasses to wave flags and pay their respects as the motorcade passed by, as they have been doing since the summer. [Pics of a previous such event, found on a web forum.] Following an online petition, the government officially recognized this stretch of highway as officially designated the Highway of Heroes [pic] . The families appreciate the practice, but some people find the designation overly sentimental.
An arborist in a helicopter Arborist Todd Irvine gets a ride in a news chopper, photographing and annotating Toronto’s tree canopy – still largely in place and vibrantly colourful due to winter’s late arrival. [more inside]
Looking to buy a house in Toronto? Why not buy Toronto's smallest house (about 300 square feet), built in a former driveway. via.
David McCallum's Warbike, which chimes away as it passes by (and detects) stray wifi signals. Torontonians can ride the Warbike for free until the beginning of December as part of Interaccess. [more inside]
IllegalSigns.ca tracks illegal billboards in Toronto. You can use their Google Maps mash-up to find illegal signs in your neighbourhood.
Toronto: 1977 vs 2007. Shige Sakamoto spent a week in Toronto back in 1977, and took several photographs. Damon Schreiber is retracing Sakamoto's steps, taking photos of the same locations today. He's presenting the photos on his photoblog.
A few weeks ago, the first traditional Vedic temple (or mandir) opened in Europe. Yesterday the first of its kind was inaugrated in Canada. Something of an architectural marvel, each piece of the temple was made in India, the stones all being interlocking and load-bearing, thereby eliminating the need for nails or steel supports. In fact, it's put together entirely using ancient techniques.
Hungry in Hogtown may be Toronto's best food blog. This guy goes all-out to recreate his favourite recipes, whether it requires rendering 50 pounds of horse fat to make french fries, or sourcing bunny scalps for a crispy snack. Oh, and his most recent post is about Kool-Aid pickles.
White Stripes play Toronto YMCA The duo of Meg and Jack White snuck in through the back entrance of an auditorium at a downtown YMCA in Toronto at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday for the latest in a cross-country barrage of small secret shows as part of their Canadian tour. During the short set, Jack pulled four of the children up to the makeshift stage to sing and show off the masks the campers had been creating before the arrival of the rock stars. In recent weeks the band has played on a bus in Winnipeg, at a bowling alley in Saskatoon and in a youth centre in Edmonton.Previously.
Uncle Bobby dies at 82 If you were a kid in Toronto and surrounding area in the '70's, then you watched The Uncle Bobby Show every day at lunchtime, right before the Flintstones. Previously mentioned in these threads about kids' TV shows from the past.
Yesterday, Design*Sponge added a city guide for Toronto to their small but growing list of Guides. The list also includes a Letter Press Guide, an Affordable Art Guide, a Gift Guide (2006), and guides for Brooklyn and LA.
Excellent flash photo The things that can be done with Flash. Amazing. Very slowly run your mouse over the entire photo and see the city from dawn to dusk to the city lit up at night. I like. :) ]It amazes me about what some people choose to complain about.]
Welcome to the Bathhouse: A Straight Man's Guide NSFW: Graphic, awkward, graphically awkward
We lived a secret life, imagining a world where strange bands would give Canada the bold, expressive sound that it deserved. On the eve of the Rheostatics' final concert in Toronto, Dave Bidini pens a great essay, about where the band came from and how it all went so wrong.
A major Toronto film studio gets the boot. In December, Cinespace Studios was given two months' notice to leave their facility in order to make way for a long-awaited waterfront revitalization project. Cinespace, where films such as Harold and Kumar, the Saw series and Chicago were shot, has put up an online petition to ask for more time to find a new location. The petition has received nearly 5000 signatures, many from film industry professionals including George A. Romero. The city insists that "Cinespace has been on notice for two years," but the studio disputes this claim. The controversy pits two of the city's priorities against one another - the health of the Canadian film industry versus "transforming the waterfront into beautiful, sustainable new communities, parks and public spaces.".
Jackie Mittoo. Wayne McGhie and the Sounds Of Joy. Bob and Wisdom. The Mighty Pope. And many others. A free concert back in July and a series of reissues have begun to tell the story of the Toronto reggae, funk and soul scene of the 1950's, '60's and '70's.
TPUG - The Toronto PET User's Group. Founded in 1979 and still holding monthly meetings. For all your "PET, SuperPET, CBM, B128/256/1024, VIC-20, C64, C128, Plus/4, C16, C65 and Amiga" needs.
"YES! YES! YES!" He's got a website, 200+ photos on flickr, fans documenting their run-ins on youtube (    ), is the subject of a documentary, and even has an inspiring backstory. (I won't mention the inevitable myspace page.) But life is not all red Santa hats and pushups for David "Zanta" Zancai, 36, of Toronto. A local TV station got him banned from downtown, Toronto's subway won't let him do his bare-knuckle schtick on trains, and now even the bitter pedants on Wikipedia wants him deleted. Pissed? Email him!
Arrest in real-time abuse case. "An undercover police officer in Toronto's child exploitation unit, who says he's seldom surprised what he sees any more, was shaken to the core Sunday when a suspected pedophile he was chatting with on-line allegedly began sexually assaulting a preschooler and sending images of the attack over the internet to him in real time." Detective Constable Paul Krawczyk: "My heart just started going, sweating, and I felt like throwing up." Police tracked down and arrested the man within an hour and a half.
Queen Street: Thematic Preview - "Queen Street is one of Toronto's oldest, longest, and most varied routes. It began in 1793 as a line on a map, running dead straight for ten miles, in modern measure some 16 kilometres. It is the spine, the high street, the main street of many distinct, and quite different, neighbourhoods. The street's fine grain is a cavalcade of urban variety, where the grain is broken by parks, institutions, industry. Queen Street is a promenade of public life, one you can stroll for 16 kilometres. I have, all of it, often camera in hand: I wanted others to see it, to know something of its life. And its gifts — meant to be shared. Here I'll share with you some of what I have seen along, and just off, Queen Street."
From Muddy York to the Toronto of today.... My search to discover the exact age of the house I recently bought led me to the fabulous Toronto Archives. Even if you don't have the good fortune to live in Toronto and so have the ability to visit the Archives to take a free tour and check out their massive holdings, they have a whack of stuff on line. Of their million photographs dating back to 1856, over 21,000 are online. Check out some of their virtual exhibits. I couldn't begin to give you an overview of the site or even the best of its many gems, but check out Chinatown's VE day victory parade, Bay and Wellington as it was after a huge fire in 1904, old advertisements, letters and postcards (including some from the disenchanted), snapshots of a, er, less politically sensitive time (thanks, Capn!), and — inevitably! — hockey artifacts. A friend of mine makes a hobby of Toronto's history, and after this search of mine, I better understand her interest. It’s fascinating to see what lies beneath the layers of time on a surface so familiar and loved.
Newsfilter: Canadian Police (led by the RCMP) have arrested at least 17 people that were plotting to "launch attacks against targets in Southern Ontario", apparently in large part by monitoring Internet co-ordination and communication. This days after the CSIS deputy director warned of "homegrown extremists" plotting "large scale attacks".
Zanta: The Movie. If you live or work in downtown Toronto, you've seen him. Shirtless, wearing a Santa hat, and most likely doing pushups, he's David "Zanta" Zancai, and one of the city's most enigmatic characters.
Maid for a Month. On February 1, Ontario raised its minimum wage from $7.45 to $7.75 per hour. Well-known Toronto Globe and Mail writer Jan Wong: "I thought the best way to tell the story of that 30-cent raise was to work — and live — at the bottom of the food chain. I would find a low-paying job, a low-rent apartment and, single-mom-like, take my boys with me for the month and see how we survived."
Envision Toronto is a photo sharing/google maps thingy.
Images of roadrage. A Toronto motorist litters out of his car window and a bike courier calls him out on it.
The Beer Hunter I was jealous when New York got subway stations marked on Google Maps, but this more than makes up for it.
Mystery respiratory outbreak in Toronto: 73 sick, 4 dead. Yesterday the media quickly snapped up assurances [video] that ruled out influenza or SARS. Said officials, "We can certainly reassure people that this is not SARS, um, there is no SARS in the world ... Can I give you a guarantee that it's not influenza, at this time not, in a few hours, probably ... as the day goes on the public health lab has more and more results." A day has passed with no word on these tests. Affected areas are reportedly quarantined, and some Internet communities are growing alarmed over the contradictions at yesterday's press conference.