Earlier I was called out for using the words "retarded" and "handicapped" in a couple of tweets which referenced Yunel Escobar, the Blue Jays shortstop in hot water for writing the words "Tu ere maricon" ("You are a faggot") in his black eye. I offended someone. I apologized, and after an honest, open, and level- headed conversation concluded that I should be more conscientious. I wasn't foolish enough to write the words across my face, but still, for what I did in the first place, I suppose I'm pretty stupid as well.
On a recent radio segment, Doug Ford boldly proclaimed, "There's no one that helps black youth more than Rob Ford," followed by, "These are kids who have nothing." If Mayor Ford really does hold the view that the black youths he helps have "nothing" without his football program, he is only furthering the sentiment that no matter how hard black people and communities work, they still have "nothing" if their hard work and perseverance is not supported by a white saviour.
On a recent summer evening, a dozen professionals from a variety of walks gathered in the boardroom of an architectural firm in downtown Toronto. A series of drawings mounted on boards were arranged for viewing. All present were volunteering their time to peruse submissions for Sukkahville 2012, a design competition conceived to draw attention to the issues of affordable housing in Toronto.
Back-to-school season often means the return of door-to-door fundraisers hawking boxes of cookies, chocolates and other goods that have fuelled a $1.4-billion cottage industry. But executives behind Better the World, a for-profit social enterprise based in Toronto, hope to flip how Canadians give to charitable causes.
The truth is that many downtowns are currently not great places to raise families, because they aren't designed to be. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. A city and building industry gives up on kids downtown, so no one designs and plans for them. No schools. Little daycare. No playgrounds, facilities or basic public environment to make downtown kid or teenager-friendly. Most importantly, no homes built to actually fit a family. Perhaps a couple, but as soon as baby comes, they start planning the move. This perpetuates the myth that families would never want to live downtown.
While the Toronto International Film Festival is a time for celebrating the best in film (and fashion!), it is also a time for artists and others within the industry to come together and show their support for causes that matter to them. For me, that cause is Artists for Peace and Justice -- a non-profit organization that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty around the world.
Sustainable urban planning, with walkable streets and neighbourhoods, with architecturally pleasing buildings that prioritize liveability, should not be the property of only the wealthy and the middle class. Overall, having liveable neighbourhoods and buildings for people of all incomes serves as a source of pride for the city as a whole.
Change that comes this fast is not without controversy, but what's often lost in the hyperbole is the simple fact that Ontario has engaged thousands of citizens as well as small, medium and large businesses in building out the next generation of energy infrastructure.
My recent trip had me visit both Vancouver and Victoria B.C., after loving and having to leave Portland, Oregon. There is something magical, a very different energy I experience in all places west of the Rockies. I've also been interested and curious to find how many West Coast cities are far and away leaders in the green and environmental movements. I hadn't been to Vancouver for many years and found, it too was living up to its vision of creating a greener future for the city. I believe that if you want to know the future, create it. This is exactly what Vancouver is doing. With a pretty bold future oriented vision to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, they are already well on the way to accomplishing their goal. According to the city, they currently have "the smallest carbon footprint of any major city in North America and we're a leader in green building, planning and technology." Impressive.
Working out: my mortal enemy. I've never been one for strenuous activities. But I've gotten to a point where this is about being able to climb a flight of stairs without ending up winded. I've decided to not only catch up with the trendy sweaty regimens but to try them all out one by one and decide what works for me. First up on my fitness calendar was hot yoga.
An Embassy Suites' survey of business travellers published this spring revealed that travel is up and fear of an economic downturn has fallen. It also showed that the expectations and demands of business travellers are changing. As one hotel guru put it, "road warriors need to feel that they're getting more out of their hotel stay." Here are some tips for the weary traveller.
When the September issue lands on our doorstep we know our summer days are numbered. Herewith, a few must-dos in town before the cool winds blow.
After a fateful trip to Paris, Ackerman was inspired to turn her love of travel, food, art and culture into a business. So she launched Butter and Egg Road, a travel-inspired private members' club that brings together an international community of like-minded people to share their love of food, art and culture during weekend social events in different cities across North America.
I first met Wakefield last year during the first People's Poetry Festival. He struck me as a larger than life character with a magnetic energy which compelled people to listen to every word he spoke. In discussions with him he revealed that he had come from Toronto, firstly for love, and secondly for the opportunity to connect with a new audience. He is like a pioneer of sorts in the world of spoken word and has been largely welcomed into its circles in Calgary.
There is no use pretending: Our afternoon at Niagara Falls (including a soaking wet ride on the Maid of the Mist) was the highlight of a recent trip to Toronto. But the museum-going, strolling and dining were delightful too.
Hardly a parade of Pravda puff pieces, much of the ink spilled during the recent flurry of Layton retrospectives has actually been fairly critical, skeptical, or at least measured in honestly assessing Jack's pros and cons. And if you thought the Canadian press' obsession with royalty was winding down just because we've gone -- what? -- six weeks without a royal visit, guess again! Several of Canada's leading papers felt inexplicably obligated to devote many inches of concerned columnspace to Prince Harry playing a particularly rousing game of, ah, Vegas hold-em.