Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
O Canada? Peaceful G20 Protest at Queen and Spadina
Published by Toronto Mike on June 27, 2010 @ 20:25 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
This video footage of a peaceful G20 protest at Queen and Spadina is jarring. It's clearly a peaceful protest, something we're allowed to do in this city, and the protesters are even united in their singing of O Canada.
Then, the police charge. Watch this.
That footage turns my stomach. This isn't my Toronto.
That same intersection is the subject of more controversy tonight. I understand hundreds are being held there by police without explanation. Thanks for coming out, G20.
[via Jonas Naimark's Flickr]
G20 Protest Photos
Published by Toronto Mike on June 27, 2010 @ 10:59 in Links to External Web Sites, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
If you're looking for great photos from the G20 protests taking place in our city, I highly recommend the Toronto Star Photo Blog, particularly this entry.
G20: Just One Spark Starts a Fire
Published by Toronto Mike on June 26, 2010 @ 15:51 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
I'm watching live footage from the massive downtown G20 protest. Two police cars are burning at Bay and King and it appears they're simply going to let them burn out. I've been watching it burn for a while now and there's no sign of firefighters.
The police presence in downtown Toronto right now is intense. It's just massive. I'm hearing the protesters currently number 10,000. Subway service in downtown Toronto has been suspended by the TTC, with no service for the time being in the loop between Bloor and St. George stations. As well, there are no streetcars running in the downtown core. Also, the Eaton Centre is in lock-down.
I'm sticking with my G20 Survival Guide. Here's hoping nobody dies in downtown Toronto today. Things are starting to get ugly.
[via Chris Young/Canadian Press]
Update: It seems the more aggressive protesters like to break windows. I almost get why they're breaking the windows of Starbucks, but why break the windows of Fran's Restaurant at Yonge and College?
My G20 and G8 Survival Guide
Published by Toronto Mike on June 19, 2010 @ 10:48 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
Hey Toronto, have you heard the G8 and G20 Summits are being held June 24-27 at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, respectively? Major highways such as the 427, 401, QEW, Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway will experience frequent closures.
I live west of downtown, where the majority of headaches will be found, so my survival plan for June 24-27 is pretty simple.
June 24 - I'm going to go to work and play my regularly scheduled softball game in Etobicoke
June 25 - I'm going to go to work and play my regularly scheduled slo-pitch games in Mississauga
June 26 - I'm going to enjoy my birthday lunch
June 27 - I'm going to High Park to watch the Jays vs. Royals in tee ball action
I'm think I'm going to survive this G20 and G8 Summit.
Toronto Police Pursue Bad Guys on Twitter
Published by Toronto Mike on June 2, 2010 @ 10:54 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
Officer Tony Vella of the Toronto Police Service uses his Twitter account to catch Toronto's crooks.
Here he is tweeting for Patrick Barrett to turn himself in, after speaking with a lawyer.
I don't think Bunk and McNulty would approve of this kind of police work, but it might have merits. For example, if I knew Patrick Barrett, I'd sure be breaking his balls right now.
Rocco Rossi's Sympatico Spam
Published by Toronto Mike on April 22, 2010 @ 15:09 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
I just got an email from Rocco Rossi regarding his Toronto mayoral campaign. The subject line reads "A message from Rocco Rossi on Practical Change" and it's identified as "a special paid message for sympatico.ca special offers subscribers.
Here's a screen cap of the email, sent to my personal email account. Click it to see it full-sized.
I should disclose that I do a great deal of HTML email marketing as part of my job. I know the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 like the back of my hand because I obey it fully, although that's an American act. The Canadian spam laws are less known to me, but this Sympatico list
purchased rented by Rocco Rossi does include this statement.
You have received this message because when using one of our Websites, you have asked to receive information on news and updates from Sympatico.ca and its partners at email@example.com
In theory, if I had opted in with Sympatico to receive updates from Sympatico.ca's partners, this isn't spam. Rocco Rossi "rented" the list and there is an opt-out mechanism within the email. So Rocco Rossi didn't just spam me, if I had opted in with Sympatico.
But here's the thing. I'm very web savvy. I always, always uncheck such checkboxes when I register for anything. And, I don't believe I've ever dealt with Sympatico. Everything I have is with Rogers, and I've never received an email from Sympatico before.
Maybe I was just spammed by Rocco Rossi.
High Park Cherry Blossom Map
Published by Toronto Mike on April 20, 2010 @ 23:39 in High Park Cherry Blossoms, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
The cherry blossoms in High Park are in full effect. Before you grab your camera and make the trip to snap great shots like these, I can help you plan your day.
I know High Park very well, so I can tell you where you'll find the best Somei-Yoshino cherry trees. Take Cherry Hill down from West Road to Grenadier Pond and you'll find this.
You can thank me later. Here's where those kick ass cherry blossoms are on the map.
Second Harvest's 25 Years of Hunger Relief
Published by Toronto Mike on April 15, 2010 @ 15:21 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
You might notice the CN Tower looking a little green tonight. The CN Tower is going green in recognition of Second Harvest's 25 years of hunger relief.
I like the folks at Second Harvest. It's a great organization, and if you're ever looking to volunteer or donate, I can hook you up.
Happy 25th birthday, Second Harvest!
Published by Toronto Mike on April 14, 2010 @ 22:33 in Toronto Argos, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto FC, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus, Toronto Raptors
It seems like we were just talking about the Raptors gunning for fourth in the conference and a home court advantage for their first round in the playoffs. For those who don't follow the Raps, we finished ninth in the conference and that means we missed the playoffs for the second season in a row.
At least the Raptors played a playoff game three seasons ago. Our Leafs haven't played a playoff game since 2004. That's five seasons ago and six years. My daughter's about to turn six and she's not been alive for a single Leafs playoff game.
Of course, if we're talking playoff droughts in this city, the Blue Jays are the top dogs. The last Blue Jays playoff game ended with Joe Carter touching them all, and that was back in 1993. What's that, 17 seasons ago? Do we count the year they cancelled the World Series? Is it really 18 seasons ago?
At least it's tough to make the playoffs in baseball. Our Argonauts play in an 8 team league in which 6 teams make the playoffs, and they haven't qualified since 2007. It's not looking good for next season, either.
I could drag Toronto FC into this mess, but they're only in their fourth season. We'll excuse their three years of missing the playoffs. And the Marlies missed the playoffs, but they were there last year, if we're desperate for a silver lining.
Who am I kidding... there's no silver lining. The three teams with the largest fan-base, the Leafs, Raptors and Blue Jays, have collectively been absent from the playoffs since the Raps lost to Orlando in the first round back in the spring of good 'ol 2008.
High Park Cherry Blossoms Not Yet Bloomed
Published by Toronto Mike on April 10, 2010 @ 15:07 in High Park Cherry Blossoms, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
This past week, I've seen more and more people visiting this blog after searching Google for information on the cherry blossoms in High Park. I rank highly for such searches thanks to this entry in 2008 and this guide to finding High Park's best cherry blossoms I wrote last spring.
I was in High Park this afternoon, and I'm here to tell you it's still too early. The cherry blossoms have not yet bloomed. If you visit High Park today, this is what you'll see.
If you visit in a couple of weeks, this is what you'll see.