Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

Leafs Sold to Rogers and Bell, No Longer Pension Plan Puppets

leafsSo this just happened...

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has sold its 79.53 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to Rogers Communications and BCE for more than $1.2 billion. BCE is fancy talk for Bell. That's right, Bell and Rogers now each own 37.5% of MLSE, which owns, among other things, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, TFC and the Toronto Marlies.

A couple of thoughts immediately spring to mind... These partnerships between Rogers and Bell make me very nervous. We need them to hate each other, right? It can't be good for the competitive landscape, for those of us who need Internet access and mobile talk and data plans and cable tv, when these telecom behemoths keep jumping into bed together.


And what will become of Pension Plan Puppets, the go-to Leafs blog in these parts? I hope they keep the name for tradition, the way we secular folks still call this Santa holiday Christmas.

But what matters most, of course, is will this help my Leafs win the cup? Since we've already given Brian Burke autonomy and let him spend the cap, I'm thinking it won't make a difference. At least it won't hurt...

What do you guys think of the sale of MLSE?

Discuss "Leafs Sold to Rogers and Bell, No Longer Pension Plan Puppets" (20 comments so far)

Rob Ford vs. Toronto Star

city hallI have one more photoshopped Rob Ford football kick that I'd like to share. This was emailed to me by Patrick Corrigan, editorial cartoonist for the Toronto Star.


I agree with Torstar chairman John Honderich when he says the blatant attempt by the mayor to block the flow of public information to one newspaper cannot go unchallenged. The blackout on press releases and notifications of public events is a clear and blatant abuse of power.

Discuss "Rob Ford vs. Toronto Star" (48 comments so far)

Rob Ford's Football Kick Photoshopped

cityhallPrior to the Metro Bowl at the stadium formerly known as Skydome, Rob Ford kicked things off... literally. Here's the picture from the Toronto Star.


Over on Reddit, the redditors had some fun photoshopping Rob Ford all over the place. It sort of became a thing, so I thought I'd group a bunch of them here, for folks who actually know who Rob Ford is.














Discuss "Rob Ford's Football Kick Photoshopped" (13 comments so far)

Shark Fin Soup Banned

city hallToronto city council has voted in favour of banning the possession and consumption of shark fins. The final vote was 38-4, with only these four voting against the ban:

  • Rob Ford
  • Giorgio Mammoliti
  • Doug Holyday
  • David Shiner

If you're unsure what the shark fin controversy is about, check out this video of Gordon Ramsay from his special "Shark Bait".

If I understand Rob Ford's argument correctly, we should allow the sale of shark fin soup because it's important to Chinese culture. Once more, Ford's premise is faulty. Many an inhumane and abusive practice has been associated with a particular culture and it's our role as a progressive and civilized society to cease tolerating and condoning these barbaric actions. A shark fin ban makes sense as something we can do to reduce the demand for shark finning.

According to wildlife conservation much of the sharks' fin trade uses fins cut from living sharks, called finning. Because shark meat is worth much less, the now finless and often still-living sharks are thrown back into the sea to make room for more of the valuable fins. In the ocean, the sharks either die from suffocation or are eaten because they are unable to move normally.

Violating the ban will result in a fine of between $500 and $100,000. Good move, Toronto.

Discuss "Shark Fin Soup Banned" (16 comments so far)

Toronto Tempo Time-Lapse Video

cntowerPhotographer Ryan Emond calls this time-lapse video "Toronto Tempo". In his words:

I’ve pieced together thousands of photos that I think capture Toronto’s beautiful skyline, and the essence of the lively downtown core. All but one of the scenes in this time-lapse were shot between September and October of this year.


Discuss "Toronto Tempo Time-Lapse Video" (3 comments so far)

Maple Leaf Gardens' New Name

leafsIt seems appropriate that on a day when my path crossed with Wendel Clark's (more on that later), I'd be thinking about Maple Leaf Gardens.

MLSE sold Maple Leaf Gardens to Loblaw in 2004, and Loblaw struck a deal with Ryerson that allowed them to share the space. Ryerson will reopen Maple Leaf Gardens as an arena for their hockey team next year, only it will have a different name.

Faced with a lawsuit by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the school said it will find a different name for the site.

“We never had the intention to brand ourselves as ‘Maple Leaf,’ ” Ryerson president Sheldon Levy said. “We have a plan to use a different name.”

The building will keep its old title for the city’s records, along with a canopy emblazoned with the name over the front doors, but the rink and athletic centre Ryerson is building inside will be named for a sponsor. Mr. Levy said the word “Gardens” will be part of the new epithet.

This is a true shame. A hockey arena in old Maple Leaf Gardens shouldn't have to take on a different name. Nobody is going to confuse Ryerson University hockey with the NHL, or the AHL for that matter.

I'm disappointed. MLSE has enough money and doesn't need to be dicking with this city's history. This is ten times more offensive than what Ted Rogers did to us in 2005.

Maple Leaf Gardens

Discuss "Maple Leaf Gardens' New Name" (10 comments so far)

Nuit Blanche 2011

nuit blancheIf you see more blurry eyed Torontonians than usual today, you can blame Nuit Blanche. That's where I was until the wee hours of the night.

Tweet of the night went to @Uranowski who wrote the following:

Nuit Blanche is everything Rob Ford hates: Public Art, walking and road closures #NuitBlanche #TOpoli

It was a happening, with great fun at every turn. Here's a shot I took of Yonge Street by Dundas.

Nuit Blanche 002

There were a lot of great exhibits, so I'll just share pics from a few of my favourites. This was called "Soon" and it took place in the Commerce Court courtyard. Picures didn't do it justice - you have to imagine absolute chaos with smoke and fog and spotlights and sirens. I tried to capture the essence with a little video, but you really had to be there.

After surviving the frozen moment between the before and after, I transported back to the legendary fourth set tie-break from the 1980 Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles Finals between Björn Borg and John McEnroe. Tibi Tibi Neuspiel and Geoffrey Pugen deserve great credit for this amazing trip back in time.

Nuit Blanche 021

After checking out all three zones, my last stop before home was the City Sleepover at Lower Bay Station, one of our lost TTC stations. Lower Bay had a couple of trains sitting there with blankets and curtains (sort of) where anyone could come and catch a few Z's.

Nuit Blanche 030

Nuit Blanche 032

It was a great night in the city.

Nuit Blanche 010

Nuit Blanche 004

Nuit Blanche 013

Discuss "Nuit Blanche 2011" (6 comments so far)

Lightning TO

boltJon Simonassi took some great shots of the thunderstorm Toronto got last week.

He calls this "Lightning TO".

The song is called Leg Twitch by Professor Kliq.

Discuss "Lightning TO" (0 comments so far)

Life Imitates The Simpsons at Toronto City Hall

rob fordOur classless, short-sighted, pathetic excuse for a mayor Rob Ford has my blood boiling and gut busting again. Actually, it's not Rob Ford this time, it's his big brother Councillor Doug Ford, although I half suspect they're the same person.

Dougie has a vision for our eastern waterfront, and he shared it this morning. It includes a monorail, a big ferris wheel and a megamall, whatever that is. It sounds disastrous. It sounds like an episode of The Simpsons.

Every time I point out how ridiculous Rob Ford and his brother are, I'm hit with the Ford defenders telling me I hate Rob Ford for being fat. I don't hate Rob Ford for being fat, I hate Rob Ford for being ignorant, short-sighted, classless and embarrassing. He tricked a great deal of Torontonians into voting for him so he could find gravy, and now that there's no gravy, he seems hell bent on ruining everything great about this city, including our eastern waterfront.


I'd like to hear from one person who thinks Doug Ford's vision for this city's waterfront is a good idea. Go ahead.... I'm waiting.

Discuss "Life Imitates The Simpsons at Toronto City Hall" (58 comments so far)

When Dogcatchers Attack!

silverman helpsSince Silverman is no longer helpful, I'm here for you. I'm here for the working man, the downtrodden, the prisoners and the hurt.

This note comes from Amanda who is looking for answers. Read her story and offer her advice in the comments.

I work late nights at a busy restaurant in Little Portugal. I usually sleep in late to get a solid 8 hours and was doing exactly that at around 1pm on Monday, 22 August. I live above a store on Queen Street West and share a building with two upstairs neighbours and my own roommate, none of whom were home at the time.

We are diligent about locking the door to Queen Street because, well, just about anybody could climb the stairs to our homes from there! I was abruptly awoken by fists pounding my door. I jumped from my bed, terrified, in my pajamas, and grabbed my phone. I ran to the door and through the peephole could see three uniformed dogcatchers pounding away on my door.

I opened the door, concerned that a rabid lion had escaped some twilight zone zoo, and immediately the first catcher, a grey-haired man, tried to push his way into my apartment. I demanded to know who he was and what was going on, and he asked if I knew where the puppy was. Confused, I asked again who he was and he quickly flashed an ID badge in my face. I asked to see it again to confirm a name but he had pocketed it, and the three (two men and a woman) stared me down asking where the dogs were. They claimed they were from Toronto Public Health and needed to know how to get to the other apartments. I refused, told them there were no dogs, and asked who they were looking for. They then stormed upward towards the other apartment telling me to mind my own business.

I'm fairly certain that as soon as you wake a person and interrogate them in their doorway (standing in their underpants) they should be privy to a little more information. They shouted each question at me, they were patronizing and rude, and kept telling me to stay out of their way. I told them to leave, and threatened to call the police. I then asked how they got in my front door, and the woman laughed as she retorted "it was open!". Since when is any person, city employee or not, permitted to walk into a person's front door without announcement, notice, or request? Especially because I know that the door was almost certainly locked!

They proceeded to run around the sides of my building, pounding on doors and jeering "come out come out wherever you are!" what sort of witch hunt was this!? I stood on my deck, still asking who they were and what they were doing. they indicated that they were looking for another tenant who's name I'll choose not to release as I have not been able to reach them. They leered up at me and told me to get in my apartment and mind my own business. I finally shouted that an apology would have been nice, and they laughed and marched to the street. I ran down (clothed now, thank goodness) and entered the shop below my apartment. The dogcatchers had done the same to the storeowner, and he was as confused as me. By now the team had disappeared and I was shaky and bewildered, and so I tweeted. What the hell was this? Who can I complain to? And should my neighbours be concerned for their pets?

Additionally, when did any asshole with a badge earn the right to start playing cops n' robbers? Am I late to this realization?

Discuss "When Dogcatchers Attack!" (4 comments so far)

Previous 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ... 52 Next

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.