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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 195: Patty Sullivan

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 195In this 195th episode, Mike chats with Patty Sullivan about her years hosting TVOKids and Kids' CBC and what's next for her following CBC's complete rebranding of their pre-school morning show. This episode is exactly 1:00:42.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Patty Sullivan and Me

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Shimon Peres, Dead at 93

Shimon PeresShimon Peres was 93. He twice served as prime minister of Israel and later as the country’s ninth president.

His defining achievement was as one of the key architects of the Oslo peace accords for which he was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

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Team Europe vs. Canada: Where I'm At

Back in March, I tried to wrap my head around this World Cup of Hockey. At the time, I was disappointed the NHL and NHLPA had "fiddled with the basic premise" by introducing two teams that are not countries.

In a couple of hours, I'll be tuning in to watch Canada face one of those manufactured teams in game one of the best-of-three final. Team Europe, a team we beat 4-1 in the round robin, is tasked with trying to halt Canada's 14-game win streak in best-on-best competition.

As this tournament approached, I wasn't sure if I'd get into it. My Jays are in a wildcard spot, it sure doesn't feel like the Olympics and there are those aforementioned manufactured teams that still irk me.

But I'm definitely watching. I don't think I've missed one of Canada's games, and I caught quite of bit of Team North America. It's been awfully entertaining, even though Canada's thoroughly dominated. I've enjoyed the World Cup, but I think I'd be more excited about tonight if we were facing Sweden, Russia or the United States.

Here's hoping they go back to eight countries next time. It still won't feel like the Olympics, but we'll be a great deal closer.

Go Canada, Go!

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Shomi is No More

Rogers introduced Shomi as a Netflix alternative only two years ago, but is already shutting down the service.

"We tried something new, and customers who used shomi loved it. It's like a great cult favourite with a fantastic core audience that unfortunately just isn't big enough to be renewed for another season," said Melani Griffith, Senior Vice President, Content, Rogers. "We will be reaching out to eligible customers in the coming days as we have a wide range of premium experiences available for people to enjoy."

shomi, a joint venture of Rogers and Shaw Communications announced today an orderly wind down with service ending November 30, 2016. As a result, Rogers expects to incur a loss on investment of approximately $100-140 million in its third quarter ending September 30, 2016 relating to the carrying value of its investment and a provision related to future liabilities in shomi.

I have Shomi, but I never paid for it. It was given to me with my internet service. Although I periodically complained about the interface, I enjoyed many of the shows available there, especially Transparent.

Season three of Transparent only dropped last week and now I have a couple of months to see it before it Shomi disappears. That'll be easy enough.

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Arnold Palmer, Dead at 87

Arnold PalmerArnold Palmer was 87. He was the golfer who won seven major championships and, along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, helped popularize and commercialize the sport around the world.

ap

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Jose Fernandez, Dead at 24

Jose FernandezJose Fernandez was 24. He was the Miami Marlins pitcher who was named Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was in the midst of his finest season in the majors.

I challenge you to watch this video and not tear up.

jose

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Gilmour Tunes in For News

You'll remember that Rickey Henderson ad for Bob McCown's morning show on The Fan 1430 back in '93. I shared that one a few years ago, if you need your memory jogged.

At that same time, there was an ad with Doug Gilmour that Retrontario just dug up. It's safe to say Doug is a better actor than Rickey.

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Bill Nunn, Dead at 62

Bill NunnBill Nunn was 62. He was the actor who played Radio Raheem in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing.

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Raina Leaves Indie 88 for CBC Radio 2

Raina Douris, popular morning show host on Indie 88, has just broadcast her last show from the house in Liberty Village. Raina is moving over to CBC Radio 2 where she'll be the new morning show host, taking over for Tom Power.

Tom Power, of course, has left that role to become the new host of q. That's right, it's q, not Q. Shad was pushed aside to "explore new creative opportunities including a new radio show with CBC".

If you'd like to learn more about Raina, who previously worked at 102.1 the Edge, I urge you to listen to episode 108 of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. I'd rather you clicked and subscribed, but if you're really lazy, just click play below.

Congrats to Raina. CBC Radio 2's gain is Indie 88's loss, but if they're smart, they'll slide Lana Gay into Raina's old spot.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 194: Maestro Fresh-Wes

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 194In this 194th episode, Mike chats with the Godfather of Canadian hip hop, Maestro Fresh-Wes, about his career in music from Let Your Backbone Slide to I Know Your Mom. This episode is exactly 58:47.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Maestro Fresh Wes and me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 193: Adam Stiles

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 193In this 193rd episode, Mike chats with CityNews Meteorologist Adam Stiles about why he came to Canada from America, Toronto's craft beer scene and the art and science of reporting weather. This episode is exactly 1:25:21.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Adam Stiles and me

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Curtis Hanson, Dead at 71

Curtis HansonCurtis Hanson was 71. He was the Academy Award-winning film director who directed L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile and Wonder Boys.

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The Lucky Lion

My youngest son has taken a shine to a statue of a lion situated by the off-lease dog park just west of Windermere by the Waterfront Trail. Yesterday, I snapped a pic of him and his lion friend.

Jarvis and the Lion

You're forgiven if you didn't know about this lion. I have probably biked or walked the Waterfront Trail in this area over 500 times over the past three years and didn't know it existed. It's tucked away out of sight in an area you'd only visit if you were taking a dog to the dog park.

As soon as I shared the above picture, I was told by a commenter it was the Lucky Lion. Here's a good history lesson on the Lucky Lion.

TheLion-QEW-Loring-595

It was one of Toronto's most famous early monuments — so well-known to locals that many simply called it the Monument. It was erected in 1939, in the opening days of the Second World War, to celebrate the city's newest highway. The beautiful Queen Elizabeth Way would stretch from the Humber River around the bend of Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother herself came to open it that summer, on tour with her husband, the stuttering King George VI. (She was the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, better remembered these days as the Queen Mum.) It was the first time a reigning monarch had ever visited Canada — or any Dominion for that matter — a way of rallying the Empire as war with the Nazis loomed.

And so, the new monument would not only celebrate the new road, but also commemorate the royal visit and Canada's role in the Second World War. A tall column would stand at the entrance to the QEW by the mouth of the Humber River, topped by a crown. A relief would portray King George and the Queen. And at the base of the column, there would be a lion sculpted by one of Toronto's most famous and respected sculptors: Frances Loring.

In 1974, when the QEW was widened to twelve lanes, the lion monument was going to be demolished until an outpouring of support resulted in the lion being moved to where you'll find it today.

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Blue Jays to journey deep into playoffs?

After a rocky September, the Toronto Blue Jays finally sealed a wild-card playoff spot.

The Blue Jays had a quiet celebration on the field, then let the champagne flow in the visitor's clubhouse at Fenway Park after their victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Their post-season journey now begins as they face a clash against the Baltimore Orioles.

Here are a couple of reasons why the beloved Canadians could perhaps go deep into the playoffs.

The stats look in their favour. Yes, teams like Chicago Cubs boast more well-known rosters, but statistics don’t lie. The Blue Jays actually lead the American League in ERA (3.78) and batting average against (.242) – impressive numbers.

Toronto Blue Jays

Possible dark-horses Jays don’t have an AL-leading ERA thanks to a couple of players alone.

Mexican Roberto Osuna has been solidly putting in the numbers, converting 36 of 41 save opportunities with a 2.68 ERA.

Joaquin Benoit recently received a calf muscle injury and initially had a big effect on the team’s performance. However, ahead of Osuna there is the talented Joe Biagini and veteran Jason Grilli. Not to mention lefty Brett Cecil.

The odds may not be the Blue Jays’ favour, but many have given their opinion on why the Blue Jays can journey deep. Famous poker player and supporter of the Blue Jays Daniel Negreanu loves to get in involved in baseball discussion and isn’t afraid to put his opinions out on his favourite team. If you’re looking to combine both exciting online gaming whilst watching baseball like Negreanu, you need to read this for the best tips on video poker.

Toronto’s bench is deep with the likes of Darwin Barney, Ryan Goins, Justin Smoak and outfielders Ezequiel Carrera and Melvin Upton Jr. They might not be the fastest, but they provide nous and calmness.

The Blue Jays should head into their battle with the Orioles confident, they look to be over their worst form and, if they play like they did earlier in the season, should have no problem in sweeping them aside.

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Terry Fox Run 2016: We Raised $995!

My family and I participated in this morning's Terry Fox Run at High Park. It's an annual tradition for us, and this was one of the warmest and sunniest runs I can remember.

Thanks to you, we managed to raise $995 this year. A hearty thanks to all who contributed:

  • Dale
  • Blind Dave
  • Cheryl
  • Rob J
  • Pete Fowler
  • Jason from Sudbury
  • Rick C in Oakville
  • Javed Jafri
  • McNulty
  • Devin H.
  • Markosaar
  • Douglas M.
  • Brian Gerstein
  • Greg E.
  • Peter S.
  • Broni
  • Faunie
  • Mary
  • Shawn G.
  • Barry J.
  • Stephanie D.
  • Doug M.
  • Andrew R.
  • James Edgar
  • Miriam
  • Grant
  • felix
  • James H.
  • Il Duce

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men... at 8am, me and my two oldest kids started biking to High Park along the Waterfront Trail. In Mimico, I busted a tube, and had to jog the rest of the way. It was close, but I made in time for the pre-run speeches.

All in all a great day.

Terry Fox Run 2016

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When a Marketing Plan Falters

The marketing folks at Budweiser Canada have red goal lights and glasses in homes across this country. With the World Cup of Hockey beginning for Canada last night, there was a mighty push to get people talking about these red lights. I was even sent a glass.

Setting up the glass was easy enough. I installed an app on my Android phone and connected to the glass via Bluetooth. I tested the connection and all was well. Then, instead of drinking from the glass, it was put in on display in the living room so the kids could enjoy the show when Canada scored.

With the youngest two asleep for the night, the rest of us tuned in Canada vs. Czech Republic and waited. It didn't take long for Sidney Crosby to score, and we all looked to the glass. Nothing happened.

I tested the connection again, and it worked fine. We ended up scoring six times and the red light went off precisely zero times. It became quite the humourous joke in our home.

I tweeted about it, and quickly learned I was not alone. Nobody's Budweiser red light glasses worked last night. I actually felt bad for the marketing team that worked so hard for this Saturday night only to have technology fail them.

Budweiser did tweet at me that the problem has been fixed and it should work next game, but that first impression is shot. There's a marketing lesson to be learnt here. Take notes, kids.

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W.P. Kinsella, Dead at 81

W.P. KinsellaW.P. Kinsella was 81. He was the author best known for his 1982 novel Shoeless Joe, the source material for the 1989 film Field of Dreams.

As a young baseball fan, I read The Thrill of the Grass and was smitten.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 192: Anne Mroczkowski

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 192In this 192nd episode, Mike chats with Anne Mroczkowski about her decades at CityTV, her relationship with Gord Martineau, her time at Global and how she spends her days now. This episode is exactly 1:43:57.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Anne Mroczkowski and Me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Terry Fox Run is this Sunday - Pledge My Run Here

In 1981, Terry said, "Even if I don't finish, we need others to continue. It's got to keep going without me." On Sunday morning, I'm running for Terry.

Please visit http://www.terryfox.ca/torontomike and pledge my run. A sincere thanks to those of you who have already contributed.

  • Dale
  • Blind Dave
  • Cheryl
  • Rob J
  • Pete Fowler
  • Jason from Sudbury
  • Rick C in Oakville
  • Javed Jafri
  • McNulty
  • Devin H.
  • Markosaar
  • Douglas M.
  • Brian Gerstein
  • Greg E.
  • Peter S.
  • Broni
  • Faunie
  • Mary
  • Shawn G.
  • Barry J.
  • Stephanie D.
  • Doug M.
  • Andrew R.
  • James Edgar
  • Miriam
  • Grant
  • felix
  • James H.
  • Il Duce

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CFNY / 102.1 the Edge Episodes of Toronto Mike'd

I grew up listening to CFNY. That's 102.1 on the FM dial if you don't recognize the call letters. Today, the station is best known as 102.1 the Edge.

Since I'm interested in the station, past and present, I've invited a number of personalities from the station to my home studio for episodes of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. I thought it might be fun to assemble a full list of such CFNY broadcasters, past and present.

Past:

Present:

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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What's the Deal with CFL Television Ratings?

Television ratings are a very inexact science. Radio ratings, too, but this is about Monday's CFL matchup between the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Ti-Cats. It was the Labour Day Classic, so you knew many across this country would be tuning in.

A small collective of unknown people across this country carry PPM devices to record what they watch. Then, this number is extrapolated to estimate the number of viewers in total. It's like polling, and seems to discount streamers and such. Like I said, it's a very inexact science.

I follow Steve Simmons on Twitter, and saw this tweet from him. 2.9 million people tuned in, he wrote. That's an incredible number!

Maybe Steve was wrong? After all, he's been wrong before. A little digging reveals the source of this information. The official CFL account had tweeted that 2.9 million Canadians had tuned in to watch a regular season CFL match. Wow.

But wait, there's more. Arash Madani, who covers the CFL for Rogers Sportsnet, claims the actual number is substantially less. He has it at 902,000. That's a lot of people watching the CFL, but a far cry from 2.9 million. Arash claims this is the actual number.

So, what gives? Why is the CFL tweeting 2.9 million watched if the ratings tell us 902,000 watched?

Update:

I've spoken with the CFL's Director of Communications. He's explained the discrepancy. The average audience was 902,000, and a total of 2.9 million Canadians watched some of the coverage.

In my opinion, this wasn't clear in the tweets from @CFL or Steve Simmons, but Arash is playing a little dumb here himself. He likely knew exactly where the CFL got the 2.9 million figure.

It's more Rogers vs. Bell games. Grab some popcorn and hear me and Dave Hodge talk about it here.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 191: Dave Hodge

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 191In this 191st episode, Mike chats with TSN's Dave Hodge about his years at Hockey Night in Canada, the pen flip, his work on TSN's The Reporters and his hope he'll never be labelled a homer. This episode is exactly 1:34:28.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Dave Hodge and me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Top Casinos near Toronto

So you’ve arrived in Toronto and you’re looking to hit the casinos? You’ve come to the right place. There are plenty of places that you should check around the city. Lucky for you, we have some recommendations that hopefully will help you have a great night and possibly get your hands on some cash.

At times where you’ve exhausted yourself with sightseeing, there is the option of casinos online. Some of the casinos on our list are pretty far out from the city. You can find places to play at newcasinosonline.org. If you’d rather get active during the day, Toronto is a great city for cycling. Make sure that you lock up your bike securely if you venture downtown, though. However, for night time entertainment you really can’t beat the casinos. The ones below are amongst the best in the city. Just remember to set a budget, so you don’t spend all of your vacation cash in one night!

Fallsview Casino
One of the top things to see whilst in Toronto is the Niagara Falls. You’ll find a few casinos around the attraction, Fallsview casino being one of them. As the name suggests, one of the major selling points of this casino is its proximity to the Falls. You’ll be able to take in the views and the many forms of entertainment that the casino offers. Top performers such as Tony Bennett and ZZ Top have played shows in the venue, which hosts over 250 shows every year. The casino also boasts more than 3,000 slots, over 20 table games and the opportunity to win million dollar jackpots.

Niagara Falls

Casino Niagara
If you want to visit Niagara and play poker then Casino Niagara is the destination for you. There’s live music for free on Friday and Saturdays too. At the Casino Niagara, you’ll find over 1,300 slots, 10 different table games and sports betting.

Toronto Skyline

The Ex
Based in inside the city, heading to The Ex means that you don’t need to venture far to find casino games. However, it is only open for a while during the summer, so be sure to check the dates before you plan a trip.

The Great Blue Heron Casino
This casino is based in Scugog, not far from Toronto. Book ahead to play in one of the poker tournaments, or have a go on the slots. You’ll also find a wealth of different table games, aside from poker.

Casino Rama
For a casino that offers nightly entertainment, your best bet (ha!) is Casino Rama. It will take around 2 hours to get there, so planning for an overnight stay in the region is probably wise. However, it’s worth it. Expect to enjoy a tonne of table games and over 2,500 slot machines.

Toronto is city packed with things to do. It has some great casinos if you’re willing to make the trip!

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Ontario - Yours to Discover!

My pal Ed (Retrontario to you, pal!) has uncovered a clean copy of Roland Parliament's 60-second version of "Ontario - Yours to Discover".

As a child of the 80s, I remember this tune well. It was an earworm of sorts that still randomly spills out of my mouth from time to time. Now we can all enjoy the full minute version of this retro Ontario jingle.

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Four Images You'll Only Get If You're Canadian

We're a couple of weeks removed from the final Tragically Hip show in Kingston and I'm still digesting it all. Certain images are etched in my psyche and keep pushing their way to the forefront. One such image is Gord Downie in his Jaws t-shirt.

gord

Gord wore that t-shirt throughout the tour. When I saw it during the Toronto show I attended, I started wondering about the symbolism. There's no way that's a random choice of shirt, our poet laureate was saying something.

The Dark Canuck refrerences Jaws.

In the clouds of blood at the end of Jaws
In the misted cars honking their applause
At the drive-in double feature
At the heart of dark enough
It's Jaws and The Dark Canuck
Should we stay for The Dark Canuck?

Then, there's the obivious. The shark is Gord's cancer and the swimmer is Gord. He can keep swimming, but the shark is looming, preparing to pounce. It's only a matter of time...

I've decided I need to buy a Jaws t-shirt, exactly like the one Gord wore. I'd rather buy one in person than online, so if you know a place in Toronto that's selling these shirts without charging an arm and a leg, let me know.

Because I was in Cape Breton during the final Hip concert, I only recently saw Michael de Adder's "For Canadian eyes only" cartoon for the Toronto Star. It's fantastic.

4-images

One of the four iconic images de Adder chose was Terry Fox running in his Marathon of Hope. I'll be running for Terry later this month and would be honoured if you'd pledge my run. Here's the link: http://www.terryfox.ca/torontomike

This shark, swallow you whole.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 190: Steve Dangle

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 190In this 190th episode, Mike chats with Maple Leafs YouTuber, blogger and podcaster Steve Dangle about how he turned his passion into a MSM career. This episode is exactly 1:32:24.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Steve Dangle and Me

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Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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