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Don't Be Afraid If You See This Guy Tonight

halloween 2012

Halloween 2009

It's only me.

Happy Halloween, everybody.

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Subway Thoughts by Kurtis Scott

Subway Thoughts by KurtoonsKurtis Scott is a Toronto animator who posts funny videos he calls Kurtoons on his blog. My personal favourites are his Subway Thoughts because they're so damn true.

Here are a few of Kurtis Scott's Subway Thoughts.

Boz & Coco

Crazy Eye Contact

Dinner Time

Breathing Room

The Old Man

That Guy From That Party

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The Steve Nash Dilemma

The Steve Nash DilemmaSteve Nash is far and away the greatest basketball player this country has ever produced. This is Nash country, so we all want Steve Nash to win an NBA title, right?

That was a slam dunk when he was with the Suns and Mavs, but Steve Nash is now a Laker. That's a tougher pill to swallow. To root for Steve Nash is to root for the LA Lakers. Yuck.

This is the Steve Nash Dilemma we're all faced with now. We have to hold our noses and root for another Lakers NBA championship. The man is greater than the sum of his parts.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 11: 38 Years Old

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 11Here's the 11th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie and I chat about me getting carded and the media frenzy around Sandy before welcoming Andrew Stoakley, former CFNYer and the guy who makes the Blue Jays audible. This episode is exactly 37:05.

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

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Canadians in the NBA

canadians in nbaWhen the Toronto Raptors released Toronto native Jamaal Magloire the other day, it brought the number of Canadians in the NBA down to 8.

Here are the 8 Canadians currently playing in the NBA:

  • Joel Anthony - C - Miami Heat
  • Samuel Dalembert - C - Houston Rockets
  • Cory Joseph - PG - San Antonio Spurs
  • Kris Joseph - SF - Boston Celtics
  • Steve Nash - PG - Los Angeles Lakers
  • Andrew Nicholson - PF - Orlando Magic
  • Robert Sacre - C - Los Angeles Lakers
  • Tristan Thompson - PF - Cleveland Cavaliers

Nash playing for the Lakers presents an interesting dilemma I'll address in episode 11 of Toronto Mike'd, which just happens to be recording tonight.

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Sending SMS from Gmail - Not in Canada!

Sending SMS from Gmail - Not in Canada!Canada remains a digital ghetto. It's always been this way and it's only gotten worse.

The latest evidence comes from Gmail where they now allow you to send text messages to cell phones via their handy Google Chat client, which is also built into Gmail. Unfortunately, not all carriers support this, and a visit to the supported mobile operators page leaves this Canadian feeling glum.

  • Afghanistan
    Afghan Wireless Communication Company
  • Algeria
  • Angola
    Movicel telecomunicações, SA.
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
    ETISALAT Bénin
  • Botswana
  • Cambodia
    Cell Card
  • Cameroon
  • Congo, Democratic Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
    Moov Cote d’Ivoire
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Guam
    iConnect Buddy
  • Guinea
    Cellcom Guinea
  • India
    All mobile operators
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgystan
  • Lao
  • Liberia
    Lonestar Cell MTN
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Territories
    Wataniya Mobile
  • Philippines
    Sun Cellular
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
    True Move
  • Togo
    Moov Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
    Uganda Telecom
  • Ukraine
  • United States
    All operators
  • Uzbekistan
    MTS Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

Did you see that? Not a single Canadian carrier is listed. Meanwhile, Zambia and Uzbekistan each have three listed, India is all-in with the United States, and Guam's hooked up.

Just throw it in the pile of mounting evidence that we Canadians are getting screwed by our telecom industry.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep Calm and Carry OnKeep Calm and Carry On posters have become iconic. You see them everywhere, in original form or parody, a relic of the second world war.

The poster is so iconic you'd be excused if you thought these were all over Britain during WWII. In reality, they were rarely used by the British government as they were being saved should the Germans invade the UK.

In 2000, the poster was rediscovered in a bookshop in England and the rest is history.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 10: Impossibilium

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 10Here's the 10th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, Rosie talks about her ex who was drafted by the Royals, there's a wedding update and I reminisce about City-TV from the Moses days. This episode is exactly 22:22.

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

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Best Toronto Ghost Story

halloweenMy favourite Toronto ghost story, without a doubt, is the story of a ghost named Reznikoff who haunts University College at the University of Toronto, my alma mater. Here's the haunting tale of Ivan Reznikoff.

According to accounts, the ghost, "a heavy, thickset figure, with black curly hair and a beard," typically appears on the road in front of UC's main entrance or near the Roundhouse on the western side of the building. His appearances are said to indicate approaching disaster, such as a Fenian raid in 1866, and the death of two faculty members in 1892. The so-called phantom was often "seen" flitting about around Valentine's Day and Halloween.

Ivan Reznikoff and Paul Diabolos were sculptors who worked on the construction of UC. Reznikoff, a muscle-bound Russian from Poland, had been saving his money and planned to marry his long-time girlfriend, but then discovered that she had been conducting a secret affair with Diabolos. A good-looking Greek from Corinth, Diabolos had somehow convinced her to steal Reznikoff's hard-earned cash and run away with him out West.

Furious, Reznikoff confronted and attacked his co-worker on the UC construction site. But Diabolos, armed with a knife, killed him and dumped his body down a well. Denied a proper burial and ticked off about the whole betrayal/murder episode, Reznikoff began a long career of haunting the historic college.

As legend has it, a gash in the door that leads to University College was the result of an axe swung by Reznikoff as he pursued Diabolos. Several years ago, I revisited my old haunting grounds and took a couple of photos.

Ivan Reznikoff Vs. Paul Diabolos

Ivan Reznikoff Vs. Paul Diabolos

If you have a better Toronto ghost story, I'd love to hear it.

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Haunted Open Mike

Open MikeI hadn't been to Wonderland in decades, but I went last night for the CPR Undeading. With perfect weather and almost no line-ups, we had the best time. The Leviathan is as fun as it looks.

And there were zombies everywhere. Lots and lots of zombies. In that spirit, here's where you can get something that's been haunting you off your chest. Anything goes in this haunted Open Mike.


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Lincecum is Still Dazed and Confused

Lincecum is Still Dazed and ConfusedEvery time I see Tim Lincecum pitch for the San Francisco Giants, I think about Mitch Kramer in Dazed & Confused. The resemblance is uncanny.


Mitchy. Mitchy, Mitchy, Mitchy...

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 9: The Kids Don't Get It

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 9Here's the 9th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, The Momfessional joins us to chat about my forced segregation in grade 11 history class at Rosie's request, phony reality shows and her unique parenting challenge. This episode is exactly 30:45.

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

Relevant links from this episode:

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Who Wants an iPad Mini?

iPad MiniMy Twitter feed was jammed yesterday with news about the new iPad Mini Apple has unveiled. You can think of it as a smaller iPad or a larger iPod Touch. Here's a picture of the new iPad Mini:


The cheapest version will sell for $329. That's a pretty big chunk of change. I don't pray at the Apple alter, but those who do already own an iPhone and iPod. I can't imagine someone who owns an iPhone and iPod would want a device in the middle, but Apple heads are a surprising bunch.

If you don't pray at the Apple alter, you might want an iPad Mini if you can't afford or are unwilling to shell out the bucks needed for an iPad. But at $329 USD, it's not that cheap. I'd go with a Nexus 7 at $199.

Of course, I don't have an interest in any tablet. Heck, the Samsung Galaxy S III Virgin Mobile has lent me is almost that size. I'd stick with that and simplify things.

So tell me, who wants an iPad Mini? And if you want one, please tell me why.

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Iconic Celebrity Glasses Throughout History

The following entry was written by guest blogger Brittney.

Celebrities have long been known for their unique fashion statements, sometimes one’s that we consider so obscure that we don’t think they could possibly become a trend. We catch ourselves saying “I’d never wear that!”…and then the next thing you know you can’t get your hands on a “pair of those” or an “edition of that” for the life of you! It happened with Ugg boots, with the return of skinny jeans in the latter half of the 2000’s, trucker hats, tribal prints - you name it. One trend that took off in a similar fashion is glasses.

Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic celebrity glasses throughout history.

Wayfarer’s – The Wayfarer has been called one of the most enduring fashion icons of the 20th century. First released in the early 1950s, we haven’t really seen this style disappear for longer than a decade since its creation, and it will likely continue to be a classic style until the next big game-changer rolls around. Here are some of the celebs who ignited the flame on the Wayfarer trend:


President JFK.

Source: http://ellegirl.elle.com/teen-fashion/2011/the-ray-ban-wayfarer-a-style-staples-history/


Johnny Cash was famous for his Wayfarer-wearing.

Source: http://www.imgspark.com/image/view/4f86ee111f9221bd040010b5/

Aviators - One of the oldest styles that has stood the test of time. Originally designed in 1936 by Ray-Ban, this style initially took flight (no pun intended) among pilots and then with army personnel, and is currently worn by hipsters, parents, grandparents – people of all fashion genres. Although the style has been around since the 1930s, Tom Cruise is known as one of the most influential celebs to hugely kick-off the aviator trend when he wore them in 1986 in Top Gun.


Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

Source: http://www.whatspacking.com/index/2012/7/12/ray-ban-foldable-aviator.html


Usher wearing a different shape than Tom Cruise’s Aviators…but aviators nonetheless!

Source: http://www.celebrity-sunglasses-finder.com/Usher-Sunglasses.html

Shutter Shades – Believe it or not, Kanye didn’t actually start this trend! Shutter Shades were once referred to as Venetian Blind Sunglasses and have been around since the 1980s. However they were more recently popularized when rapper Kanye West sported the look in the music video for his 2007 hit “Stronger”. Shutter Shades are clearly an example of fashion over function, which is likely why the trend hasn’t seen huge adoption since the hype of its re-birth. Here’s how Kanye wore them:


Source: http://fashionbombdaily.com/2010/02/11/black-history-fashion-trend-kanye-west-shutter-shades/

Cat Eye - Initially sported on the world’s most iconic women in the 1950s and 60s, Cat Eye Glasses are another fashion statement that have reappeared over the decades. Today, they instantly up the trend notch on almost any outfit, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Take a look at how Marilyn Monroe & Audrey Hepburn wore them:


Marilyn Monroe.

Source: http://www.glamazondiaries.com/2011/10/fashion-flashback-marilyn-monroe-in-cat-eye-glasses/


Audrey Hepburn.

Source: http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/slaves-to-fashion/2012/05/summer-must-have-15-pairs-of-p.html

Math Glasses: In the last couple of years, wayfarer-shaped plastic framed glasses have been everywhere. Some call them Geek glasses, Hipster Glasses, or Math glasses. Semantics aside, they share a dual role of making you look both smart and trendy. In Flo Rida’s most recent single “I Cry”, the rapper’s young self is wearing a pair of math glasses featuring distinct multiplication and division symbols on either side of the frames, adding a twist to the classic wayfarer shape that has been iconic in the history of fashion.


Source: http://www.clearlycontacts.ca/thelook/flo-rida-math-glasses/

Some of the most iconic stars in history have worn the most exotic styles. Will modern day Hip Hop artists like Kanye & Flo Rida be the next timeless trendsetters?

Glasses are an interesting piece of the fashion puzzle because their initial use was functionality, but are often used today for fashion - as one’s staple or signature look. Eager to get some new specs or shades but don’t know where to start looking? Clearly Contacts is an online Canadian Retailer, offering hundreds of the trendiest styles and designer name glasses at half the price! You can check out their styles and buy glasses here Clearly Contacts for both women’s and men’s glasses including the Derek Cardigan 7004 Black Math Glasses seen in Flo Rida’s “I Cry” video.

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5 Things I'm Sick and Tired Of These Days

5 Things I'm Sick and Tired Of These DaysThere are a few things I have no patience for any more. Some of these are news stories that are all over the place, but I just can't get into it. I can't even fake an interest for you guys.

Rob Ford's Conflict of Interest
The Globe and Mail (hopefully that link still works for ya) is reporting that Mayor Rob Ford ordered city staffers to beautify the area within three weeks for Deco Labels and Tags’ 50th anniversary party. More than a dozen city employees at the supervisor level or higher were involved in making the mayor’s request happen. Deco Labels and Tags, if you didn't know, is Rob Ford's family's business.

It's another in a long line of Rob Ford conflict of interest stories. There are so many Rob Ford conflict of interest stories, I can't be bothered writing about them any more. I'm sick and tired of 'em.


Obama vs. Romney
I didn't watch the debate last night. The bipartisanship of US politics upsets me, so I chose the game 7 blow-out. I'm so sick of Republican talking heads telling us how dominant Romney was and Democratic talking heads telling us Obama kicked ass... I'm going to play various poker games online until election night.

John Farrell
I never felt Farrell was a particularly good manager, and I'm more than fine with him bolting for the Red Sox job. I could have managed the Jays to a similar record. Good riddance, let's move on.

NHL Lockout Updates
The only thing worse than the NHL labour shortage is following the NHL lockout news. Much like the bipartisanship politics in the USA, it's all about spin doctoring and PR. Let me know when this thing is over, but until then, I really, really, really don't care.

Bloggers who complain about stuff
Can you believe some Toronto bloggers use their blog as a forum to complain about stuff? They'll even do it in lists to tell people why they don't care about certain current events or popular topics. Think about it... they care enough to write passionately about why they don't care!

I'm sick and tired of bloggers like that...

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The Globe Tries to Close Pandora's Box Once More

newspaperI try not to do this too often, but I'm going to start this entry by sharing something I wrote almost four years ago. I called this How Should Newspapers Make Money Online? and I originally published it on February 17, 2009.

I actually feel sorry for the newspaper industry. I don't know about you, but I read almost all of my news now online and I don't pay a cent for any of it. I want it all, I want it instantly and I want it for free.

When people Google Andy Barrie's name, looking for information as to when he'll return to CBC Radio One, my blog entry on the subject is ranked #2. One of the few mainstream press articles on the subject belongs to the Globe and Mail, only they've hidden their article behind a form. You can't read the Globe article on Andy Barrie's leave of absence without buying 30 days access to it for $4.95 + tax. You can buy four articles for 30 days for $17.95 + tax.

At first this angered me. I don't want to spend over $5 just to read a single article online. The web is about articles being online forever and for free, right? And isn't $5 steep for a single article to be available to me for only 30 days?

I don't really know how newspapers are supposed to make money online in this day and age. I know I didn't pay the $5, and I'm not sure how many people out there would. In fact, just having the article offline will likely push people to other newspapers.

How should newspapers earn an honest buck in this age of the Internet, or are they S.O.L?

I still feel sorry for the newspaper industry, so I don't fault the Globe for giving the paywall another shot. The Globe and Mail has just launched Globe Unlimited. Here are the highlights:

There is no additional cost for Globe Unlimited for those who have a five- or six-day home delivery newspaper subscription. For those with partial week subscriptions, including Friday/Saturday and Saturday only, we are offering Globe Unlimited for a substantial discount at $4.99 per month.

For those who prefer to read online only, we are offering a trial subscription to Globe Unlimited for 99¢ for the first month, after which the cost will be $19.99 per month.

Casual visitors to globeandmail.com will still have access to 10 free items each month (including articles, videos, slide shows and other features), after which they will need to subscribe to Globe Unlimited to see more. The Globe homepage, section fronts, videos, stock quotes and Letters to the Editor will all remain free and accessible to the public, and will not count toward the monthly limit.

This model is definitely better than their previous paywall model, but will people be willing to spend $19.99 per month for something that was completely free until yesterday?

Be honest, would you spend that kind of money to access quality content online?

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Why I'm Rooting for the Giants Tonight

Why I'm Rooting for the Giants TonightI don't know about you, but I only have one home team in Major League Baseball. That is to say I only have a passionate interest in one team winning it all, and that's my Toronto Blue Jays.

When the Jays are out of the playoffs, and that's been every year since Joe touched 'em all in '93, I use a complex system to determine my rooting interest. Usually that involves rooting against a particular team, as is the case this year.

I'm rooting for the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS because the Cardinals won last year and in my mind, the less teams to repeat as champions, the better my Jays look for having done so in '92 and '93. Yes, I realize the Yankees repeated since then, but that's it. Only the Yankees have done it, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Then, when the Giants win tonight, I'll root for them in the World Series. I have some serious hate for the AL East teams that challenged us in the 80s, and the Tigers fall into that group with the Red Sox and Yankees. And I'll never, ever forget what happened in '87.

That's why I'm cheering for the Giants in tonight's game seven. Who are you rooting for?

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 8: Blow at High Dough

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 8Here's the 8th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, elvis joins us to chat about couriers, smart phones, Google and more. This episode is exactly 32:16.

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

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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The Adam Sandler Matrix

The Adam Sandler MatrixThe kids and I just watched The Waterboy. It's as bad as I remember it, but they thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Waterboy came out in 1998 and was the first in a long string of unfunny Adam Sandler movies. Some will argue that Adam Sandler movies have never been funny, but I distinctly remember laughing out loud several times during Billy Madison. Happy GIlmore wasn't too shabby, either.

So what happened to Adam Sandler? I wouldn't dare watch his recent movies like That's My Boy, Jack and Jill or I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. I accidentally stumbled across You Don't Mess with the Zohan and I'm still trying to delete the memories from my psyche. That was one unfunny comedy.

I want to know which Adam Sandler movies you've enjoyed. I've enjoyed Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Punch-Drunk Love and didn't hate Mr. Deed. Here's a matrix to help you.


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50 TV Characters in Halloween Costumes

50 TV Characters in Halloween CostumesSome of the funniest (and most complicated) Halloween costumes in TV history.

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Free Steam Whistle UNSIGNED Prize Pack

Free Steam Whistle Unsigned Prize PackI've got a Steam Whistle Unsigned Prize Pack for a lucky commenter. The prize pack includes two tickets to Steam Whistle's UNSIGNED Indie Music Concert on November 16 and a "swag bag" which is refreshment tickets, an UNSIGNED shirt, a bottle opener and Steam Whistle brewery tour passes.

If you'd like this Steam Whistle UNSIGNED prize pack, courtesy of Steam Whistle, simply leave a comment below before Wednesday, October 24 at midnight. Don't forget to put your email address in the email field!

Steam Whistle is an active supporter of independent Canadian musicians and the craft brewery’s UNSIGNED concert series is now in its fifth year running. The November 16th show will be hosted in the Toronto Brewery’s Beer Hall and will feature Digits, Babe, and Beta Frontiers. Doors open at 8pm and admission is only $5 at the door with all proceeds from ticket sales going back to the community through the Artists’ Health Alliance.

Who wants a Steam Whistle Unsigned Prize Pack?

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Lincoln Alexander, Dead at 90

In MemoriumLincoln Alexander was 90. He was lieutenant governor of Ontario from 1985 to 1991 and Canada's first black member of Parliament, elected to the House of Commons in 1968 as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Hamilton West.

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Lock-Out Apathy Open Mike

Open MikeApparently the NHL did something, and then the NHLPA did something, and now nothing is happening. Whatever... ping me when it's over, this is your apathy Open Mike.

Have something to get off your chest? Perhaps an interesting opinion, an agenda to push forward or a question for the hive mind? This is the place.


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Happy 27th Birthday NES

Happy 27th Birthday NESThe Nintendo Entertainment System is probably my favourite gaming console of all-time. I came from the Atari 2600, which was great, and left the NES for the Super Nintendo, which was also great, but I played the shit out of the old 8-bit Nintendo. It came out on October 18, 1985.... 27 years ago today.

Whether it was Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, RBI Baseball, Tetris or Blades of Steel, I have so many great memories of playing on that console. I was the perfect age for such things when it invaded my universe.


Who else loved the NES?

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Favourite Wedding Songs: Building a Definitive List

Favourite Wedding SongsSix years ago, I put together a wedding playlist for my brother's wedding. I shared the wedding playlist in an entry entitled 100 Wedding Songs.

I have renewed interest in updating this list of wedding songs. I'm not a fan of cheesy, poppy wedding songs, but cooler tunes like Pearl Jam's cover of "Throw Your Arms Around Me" and U2's "All I Want Is You".

I'm going to start building this list in this entry, but I need your help. Please leave a comment with cool songs you think would be ideal for a cool Toronto wedding.

No "Last Dance" and the like... not interested. I'd rather hear Radiohead's "True Love Waits".

The living and breathing list of our favourite wedding songs:

  • 311 - Love Song
  • Band of Horses - No One’s Gonna Love You
  • The Beatles - In My Life
  • Ben E. King - Stand By Me
  • Bill Withers - Lean on Me
  • The Black Keys - Howlin' for You
  • Blue Rodeo - Try
  • Blue Rodeo - Lost Together
  • Bruce Cockburn - Lovers In A Dangerous Time
  • Bush - Comedown
  • Cat Power - Sea of Love
  • Crowded House - Something So Strong
  • Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You into the Dark
  • Depeche Mode - Somebody
  • Etta James - At Last
  • The Flys - Got You (Where I Want You)
  • Feist - Mushaboom
  • Foo Fighters - Walking After You (X-Files Version)
  • Foo Fighters - Everlong
  • Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
  • INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
  • Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
  • Joel Plaskett Emergency - I'm Yours
  • Johnny Cash - Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
  • Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire
  • Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
  • Lou Reed - Perfect Day
  • Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
  • Mumford and Sons - I Will Wait
  • Neil Young - Act of Love
  • New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
  • Nirvana - About A Girl
  • Oasis - Let There Be Love
  • Odds - Love Is The Subject
  • Pearl Jam - Throw Your Arms Around Me
  • Pearl Jam - Just Breathe
  • Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes
  • The Pretenders - I'll Stand By You
  • The Proclaimers - 500 Miles
  • Radiohead - True Love Waits
  • R.E.M. - The One I Love
  • Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody
  • Sarah McLachlan - Hold On
  • Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything
  • Smashing Pumpkins - Today
  • Sonic Youth - Superstar
  • Stars - Ageless Beauty (The Most Serene Republic Remix)
  • The Stills - I'm With You
  • Stone Roses - Love Spreads
  • Tears For Fears - Sowing The Seeds Of Love
  • The Tragically Hip - Long Time Running
  • U2 - All I Want Is You
  • Van Morrison - Into the Mystic
  • The Verve - Lucky Man
  • The Watchmen - All Uncovered
  • Weezer - Perfect Situation
  • The White Stripes - Fell in Love With A Girl
  • Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps

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The Original Blue Jays Theme Song

The Original Blue Jays Theme SongIf you're my age, the only Blue Jays theme song you know and love is "OK Blue Jays (Let’s Play Ball!)".

What if I told you there was another Toronto Blue Jays theme song from their inaugural season in 1977? This disco number is by Paul's People and I heard it today for the first time.

Does anyone remember this one?

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 7: Fire in the Hole

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 7Here's the 7th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, we chat about flu shots, SongPop, Len and have an interesting discussion with elvis. This episode is exactly 36:21.

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

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Stalking Oscar Wilde

Oscar WildeOscar Wilde would have been 158 years old today. He was an Irish writer and poet who became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s.

He passed away in 1900, but that didn't stop me from stalking him last month. In Dublin, I visited the house in which he was raised.

2012-09-16 14.18.55

Across the street, in Merrion Square, there was the coolest memorial I've ever seen. It's Oscar Wilde sitting on a large granite boulder.

2012-09-16 14.21.48

Then there's the Oscar Wilde's plaque in the Literary Parade of Irish Writers in St. Patrick's Park.

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In Paris, I visited Oscar Wilde's final resting place in the city in which he died. Here's his grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery. For more pictures from Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, go here.

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Happy Bithday, Oscar!

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Free Tickets to Wonderland's Halloween Haunt and CPR Guinness World Record Attempt

Free Tickets to Wonderland's Halloween Haunt and CPR Guinness World Record AttemptThis is pretty cool...

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has given me two tickets to give away to a lucky commenter on this entry. The tickets are for October 25 when the Heart and Stroke Foundation is challenging a Guinness World Record in CPR at Wonderland's Halloween Haunt. So you get to learn CPR, be part of a World Record attempt and have completely exclusive access to the Wonderland park for the entire evening.

If you're wondering what Canada's Wonderland will be like that evening, it will be the same park you know and love with zombies, psychotic clowns and other twistedness trying to scare the crap out of you. I'm in!

If you would like these two free tickets, simply leave a comment below. I'll randomly pick someone Friday, October 19 at midnight. If you'd like 60% the regular Halloween Haunt admission on this date, the Heart and Stroke Foundation invites you to purchase tickets now at www.cprundead.ca. There's only a limited number of tickets available at $14.99 then the price goes up.

Who wants to join me at Canada's Wonderland on October 25 for the Halloween Haunt and CPR Guinness World Record Attempt?

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Dalton McGuinty on My Grandmother's 90th Birthday

Dalton McGuinty on My Grandmother's 90th BirthdayThe first mention of Dalton McGuinty on this blog was October 3, 2003. That was the day he was first elected Premier of Ontario, and today is the day he announced his resignation.

Speculation abounds, but as I type we don't yet know exactly why Dalton McGuinty has decided to step down after 9 years as Premier. Feel free to share your speculation in the comments. I think he's giving his party its best chance at winning a fourth election in a row, but I've never hated the man the way some do.

With McGuinty resigning after leading the Liberal Party for 16 years, I thought I'd share the certificate I got for my grandmother on her 90th birthday. If she hangs on for a couple more years, I'll be getting one from the Queen.

For My Grandmother's 90th

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Len Lives!

It's My NeighbourhoodSteal My Sunshine was catchy enough to make SLS2. Don't believe me? Revisit the preserved Smells Like Sour database and see for yourself.

Steal My Sunshine came out in 1999, and I haven't heard much from Len since. Toronto band Len is siblings Marc and Sharon Costanzo and they've got a new video for a new single "It's My Neighbourhood" that's chock full of Toronto scenery.

Len lives.

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Tallest Buildings in Toronto

Tallest Buildings in TorontoOn our way to the stadium formerly known as SkyDome yesterday, my son asked me a question. The CN Tower is the tallest building in Toronto, but what comes in second place?

I wasn't sure what the next tallest building in Toronto was, but Wikipedia helped me out. Here's a list of the ten tallest buildings in Toronto:

  1. CN Tower - 553 m
  2. First Canadian Place - 298 m
  3. Trump International Hotel and Tower - 281 m
  4. Scotia Plaza - 275 m
  5. TD Canada Trust Tower - 261 m
  6. Commerce Court West - 239 m
  7. Toronto-Dominion Tower - 223 m
  8. Bay Adelaide Centre West Tower - 218 m
  9. Shangri-La Toronto - 214 m
  10. Ritz-Carlton Toronto - 208 m

Of course, the CN Tower isn't technically a "habitable building", but there's no way I'm not including it on this list. Afterall, there are 7 habitable floors in that pod!

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Defending Argo Games

Defending Argo GamesMy son and I attended the Argos game this afternoon. It was a rather important game, with Montreal in town, and we lost 24-12.

I was offered two tickets to give away to a reader, courtesy of EcoTraction, and these tickets were already won by Luke F. when EcoTraction found another two for my boy and I. We hadn't been to a game since Ricky Williams was an Argo, so we made our way to the stadium formerly known as SkyDome for this East Division battle.

On my way to the game, I was thinking about a comment Tim left on this site yesterday. He wrote:

I have seen three Argos games. They have been the most boring, uninspired sporting events of my life. You could not pay me to see them.

I've always thought the folks marketing Argo games have it tough. As the Marlies marketing team will tell you, Toronto is a "big league" city. If we deem you minor league, we're unlikely to come out in droves. At some point over the past twenty years, Toronto decided the Bills were the majors and the Argos were the minors, and attendance and buzz has suffered.

Remember, these free Argo tickets I got came from EcoTraction, an environmentally-friendly alternative to road salt that helps to reduce tire slippage. They didn't come from the Argos. In fact, I've never heard from the Argos PR / marketing people, something that I find surprising considering I rank #1 in Google for the keywords 'argos blog'. But I digress...

My 10-year old son and I had a lot of fun today, despite the fact our team's offence was almost non-existent and the dome seemed to have more passionate Alouettes fans than Argos fans.

At the #argos game with my best man

When my tickets aren't comped, they're still reasonably priced and the product is typically good. Yes, it's more exciting when the dome seems fuller, but every time I go I'm glad I went. I didn't even mind spending $6.50 for mediocre popcorn.

It doesn't have the glitz and glamour of the NFL, but I like that. It's our game, rarely boring and often inspired. Tim and I disagree.

I just hope we have Ricky Ray back in time for the playoffs.

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Free Pair of Tickets to Argos Game Sunday (Good Seats!)

Free Pair of Tickets to Argos Game Sunday (Good Seats!)I've got two Argos tickets to give away for Sunday's game against Montreal. The game is at 1pm and the seats are in the lower level near the 30-yard line. That's pretty damn good.

No strings attached... just leave a comment here if you want the tickets. They're from EcoTraction, an environmentally-friendly alternative to road salt that helps to reduce tire slippage. They also ask that you "click this link and 'like' EcoTraction's video: http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/gamechanger/ecotraction.html".

Got that? Leave a comment below and I'll randomly pick someone. The deadline is tomorrow (Saturday) at noon. Be sure and put your real email address in the email field so I can contact you. Don't worry, your email address won't appear on this page.

Who wants to see some free Argos football?

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Mid-October Open Mike

Open MikeWhen did October get here? And where's it going?

Have a question for Toronto Mike? Have something to get off your chest? Just want to see your name (or handle) in print? You're at the right place...


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There's One Thanksgiving I'll Never Forget

There's One Thanksgiving I'll Never ForgetThere is one Thanksgiving I will never forget. It was twenty years ago today and my beloved Blue Jays were battling the Oakland Athletics for the American League crown. We were up in the series 2-1 with game four taking place at Oakland Coliseum.

Jack Morris started and stunk up the joint. We were down 6-1 when the turkey was served and we all joined the table in the dining room leaving the television on in the family room just in case. Throughout the meal, I would peek at the set just in case there was any sign of a big comeback. Entering the eighth inning down by five, it didn't look like a Thanksgiving miracle was possible.

A three run eighth gave us hope. Still, down by two in the ninth with Cy Young winner Dennis Eckersley on the mound, we weren't overly optimistic. When Roberto Alomar got to the plate with a runner on, my eyes remained focused on the television. Alomar didn't disappoint. He took Eckersley deep, tied the game and ignited a massive pile on in the family room as we literally leapt from the dining room table in pure ecstasy.


The come back was complete and we'd end up winning the game in twelve to take a commanding lead in the series we wouldn't give up. Alomar was named ALCS MVP and a couple of weeks later we'd win our first World Series title.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 6: On the Verge

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 6Here's the 6th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, I go off on the NHL, The Newsroom and read a love letter to Humble and Fred. This episode is exactly 28:51.

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

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Samsung Galaxy S III from Virgin Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S III from Virgin MobileI own a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. I love it, but folks are now enjoying the Samsung Galaxy S III running on 4G LTE speeds and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. I'm naturally curious how that experience compares with my daily mobile experience.

The cool cats at Virgin Mobile sent me such a Samsung Galaxy S III last week and I've been playing with it. They've given me a subscription to their Mobile TV app that lets me stream a variety of CTV networks and videos and it's definitely faster.

Here's a shot of me watching Conan via Mobile TV on the Samsung Galaxy S III.

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It's fun playing with new toys... Is anyone else using the Samsung Galaxy S III?

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Alex Karras, Dead at 77

In MemoriumAlex Karras was 77. He was a defensive lineman and four-time Pro Bowl selection who played for the Detroit Lions from 1958 to 1970, went on to star in the 1980s sitcom “Webster” and also played the horse-punching Mongo in the 1974 movie “Blazing Saddles".

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 5: Opiated

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 5Here's the 5th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. In this episode, we reminisce about Martin Streek and the older days of CFNY. This episode is exactly 26:40.

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

As always, I'm eager to read your feedback, good or bad. Please let me know in the comments what you thought and any topic ideas you have.

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Getting Screwed by Rogers: A Sports Fan's Dillema

televisionI watched a lot of Summer Olympics, including the closing ceremony. That closing ceremony was pretty much the last bit of television I watched via my Rogers digital receiver until the baseball playoffs started on Friday. Both the Olympics and MLB playoffs looked fantastic in HD on my LG television, though.

Reading the above, you're likely thinking I don't watch much television. In actuality, I do enjoy a number of television series, and many movies, I just don't watch them on conventional television. I play them on my laptop and use an HDMI cable to see it on my LG TV. Rogers doesn't get involved.

Each month, Rogers gets approximately $100 from me. I absolutely hate spending this $100, but I haven't figured out a way around it without sacrificing live sports. About 18 months ago, I got an amplifier for receiving digital OTA signals, and tried living without paying Rogers a dime for cable. I got a few stations, in HD no less, but then the NHL playoffs started and I wanted to watch. I couldn't pull in the stations OTA, nor could I find decent, clear streams on the web, so I bought the smallest package that would get me CBC, Rogers Sportsnet and TSN / TSN 2 in HD. That's how I got to $100 a month.

There's always something coming up around the corner that stops me from cancelling the service altogether. The NHL Playoffs, the Euro Cup, the Olympics, MLB playoffs, and soon NBA and WJHC. So long as I want to sit in my living room and watch these sporting events live in HD, I'll have to pay the piper. And that doesn't seem fair to me.

Since I'm only watching one of five stations to get my live sports fix, why can't I buy these HD stations a'la carte? I figure I pretty much live on CBC, TSN and Sportsnet. $100 / month sounds crazy for a handful of stations.

Help me stop getting screwed by Rogers. Other than going to a bar to watch live sports, do I have any other option? I've looked at Bell, I've tried OTA with an antenna, and finding streams over the Internet didn't cut the mustard.

What's a sports fan to do?

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Top New Rock Song of All-Time on 102.1 the Edge

Top New Rock Song of All-Time on 102.1 the EdgeThis long weekend, 102.1 the Edge counted down their top new rock songs of all-time. I'm naturally interested in such things, so I was curious what song they'd put at number one. I had my money on Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.

I was pretty damn surprised when I heard their number one new rock song of all-time was another song on that album. They went with Come As You Are. Nirvana's Nevermind is one of my favourite albums of all-time, and as awesome a single as Come As You Are is, I'm betting most folks wouldn't pick it as the top cut on the album, let alone of all-time. In fact, wouldn't Lithium or In Bloom rank ahead of Come As You Are? And wouldn't we all agree that Smells Like Teen Spirit is the seminal track on Nevermind?

So what we have is a song that might not be one of the top three tracks on the album it appeared on being ranked #1 of all-time. Flabbergasting, ain't it?

For the record, 102.1 the Edge had Smells Like Teen Spirit at #11 and Lithium at #27.

Does anyone have a theory as to how Come As You Are leap-frogged Smells Like Teen Spirit and Lithium to top this list?

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OSU Marching Band's Tribute to Classic Video Games

OSU Marching Band's Tribute to Classic Video GamesBefore you blow this off because it's a whole 9 minutes, trust me... it's worth it.

[via Reddit]

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Royal Canadian Air Force Roundel at Temple Bar in Dublin

Royal Canadian Air Force Roundel at Temple Bar in DublinIn Dublin, I visited The Temple Bar one evening. That's the bar called Temple Bar, not to be confused with the area on the south bank of the River Liffey called Temple Bar. Of course, now we're talking Russian dolls, as The Temple Bar is in Temple Bar, but I digress...

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There was great live music, as you'll hear from this little video I took.

But what seemed most out of place and brought a huge smile to my face was this Royal Canadian Air Force Roundel on the door leading to the back. It seemed so random and immediately brought me home.

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Thanksgiving Open Mike

Open MikeHappy Thanksgiving long weekend, everyone.

You can say anything you want in these here comments. Voice an opinion, ask me a question or issue your Jerry Maguire-esque mission statement. Go crazy, go nuts.


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The Best of Down Goes Brown

bookSomething wonderful arrived in the mail today. I received my copy of The Best of Down Goes Brown, a collection from the funniest hockey blogger I know.

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I can't remember when I first discovered Down Goes Brown, but it might have been when he was fake Brian Burke on Twitter. That feed gave me many belly laughs. Shortly thereafter, Down Goes Brown really boiled my potatoes by claiming the Leafs won the Courtnall - Kordic trade. I'm getting upset just thinking about it.

Regardless, Down Goes Brown is the funny I wish I was, and I can't wait to dive into his book. You can order today from sites like Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, or directly from Wiley. And use those links so DGB can pick up a little extra affiliate cash from the sale.

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Constructive With Your Feedback

Constructive With Your FeedbackDid you hear I have a podcast now? It's true. You can visit https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/ to catch up on the four episodes you've missed. I would have recorded more on Tuesday night, but I took my kids to the Jays game instead. I'll be back in the recording studio next Tuesday.

I've never worked in radio. Recording that first episode was the first time I had done anything like this. After each episode, I listen to the show and take notes on what I thought worked and what I thought didn't work. Then, I try to make each show better than the one before. I like to think episode 4 is a great deal better than episode 1.

I also seek feedback from actual professionals. I'm lucky enough to know people who work on radio and television, including producers, and their feedback is always super detailed and interesting. The problem I now have is that I have too much feedback, and a great deal of it goes directly against my instincts. And to be honest, I'm enjoying the fact I'm driving this bus on pure instinct.

For example, I've been told I'd benefit from something called an "intro cart" that would start each show. "And now, host of Toronto Mike'd... Toronto Mike!" I dislike this idea.

I'm in a pretty cool spot here. I'm not podcasting to get rich. In fact, I'd have the same show and have the same fun if there were only a dozen listeners. There happens to be more, but I honestly don't care. I'll consider the Toronto Mike'd podcast a failure when it feels like work and there's no cash coming my way. So long as it's fun, it can't fail.

That ability to ignore the numbers allows me to do things a little differently. I like to start with the theme song iLLvibe was nice enough to create for me, then say hi to Rosie and Wix before stamping the episode as #2, #3 or whatever. Then, I have a short list of topics I want to chat with my buddies about, and all that matters to me is that it remain organic. Nothing is forced, nothing is rehearsed, nothing is faked... and if new topics naturally evolve from what's written in front of me, so be it. I'm the program director. I'm the boss.

This ramble is to say I read all the feedback I get, and a great deal of it I take to heart, but some of it I throw in the "contrived typical radio" bin. I can afford to do things differently. I can afford to fail.

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Natural Canadian Flags

Natural Canadian FlagsI recently came across Don Komarechka's natural Canada flag picture on Reddit. I quite like it.


It inspired another photographer over there, known only to me as Cuervo2099 on Reddit. I like this one, too.


I like this new trend. Who's next?

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The Pogues - Dirty Old Town

MP3It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for another Weekly MP3.

You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it before playing.

play The Pogues - Dirty Old Town
I love The Pogues. For my money, they do the best version of Dirty Old Town you'll find. Seriously, Grandma can keep The Dubliners, I'll take The Pogues

I recently read Shane MacGowan got his teeth fixed. Say it ain't so, Shane... say it ain't so.

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The Oldest Building in Toronto

The Oldest Building in TorontoThis handy Wikipedia list tells me the oldest buildings and structures in Toronto. After our discussion yesterday about the Mirvish - Geehry condo project, I clicked over to learn about the oldest building in Toronto.

It's The Scadding Cabin, found on the western grounds of the CNE. It was built by the Queen's York Rangers in 1794 on behalf of John Scadding, who served as clerk (essentially, an executive assistant) to the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe.


Rumour has it they're going to tear down The Scadding Cabin for a new condo tower... but don't quote me on that.

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The Real Tragedy If David Mirvish and Frank Gehry Build Their Condo Tower

The Real Tragedy If David Mirvish and Frank Gehry Build Their Condo TowerDavid Mirvish and Frank Gehry have proposed a triple-tower condo development on King Street West. I've seen some outrage on Twitter and elsewhere that the Princess of Wales Theatre would have to go to make this possible. Losing the Princess of Wales Theatre is the least of my concerns...

I'm far more upset that we'd lose four century-old buildings along King Street West. These include the Eclipse Whitewear Company Building at 322 King St. West, the Anderson Building at 284 King St. West, the E.W. Gillett Building at 276 King St. West and the Reid Building at 266-270 King St. West.

The past couple of weeks, I've been looking at century-old buildings on King and Queen Streets. I love them... and wish Toronto had preserved more of them. On my recent trips to Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin it was the preservation of old buildings that captured my heart. Toronto is part of the new world, but we do have beautiful old buildings, and I hate the thought of tearing down four of them for yet another condo.

The Princess of Wales Theatre is getting all the press, but it's only been around since 1993 and other venues will sprout up to support our theatre scene. But once we tear down the Eclipse Whitewear Company Building, Anderson Building, E.W. Gillett Building and Reid Building, there's no turning back.

I hope David Mirvish and Frank Gehry build their condo somewhere else. And, if you are a newbie when it comes to putting money in pre-construction condos, here are some things to know before investing.

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A Part Of Our Heritage Vignettes

A Part Of Our Heritage VignettesIn the 1990s, we learnt a great deal about Canadian history from the A Part Of Our Heritage vignettes that played on television during commercial breaks. Where else was I going to learn to ask aloud "burnt toast, Dr. Penfield?"

Here are a couple of my other favourites.... First, there's the story of our flag:

Then, there's the story of how Canada got its name. This one cracks me up:

Which is your favourite "A Part Of Our Heritage" vignette?

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Sunday Morning

Sunday MorningThe most popular video I host on my YouTube account, that was filmed by me, is this clip of my then two-year old daughter singing k-os's Sunday Morning.

That was almost six years ago.

I'm not re-sharing the video for any particular reason, just sharing...

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Barbara Ann Scott, Dead at 84

In MemoriumBarbara Ann Scott was 84. She was known as “Canada’s sweetheart”, capturing world and Olympic figure skating titles in 1947 and 1948.

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The Real Losers of the NHL Lockout

The Real Losers of the NHL LockoutThe NHL lockout has been going on for over two weeks now and there is no end in sight. The whole pre-season was cancelled and the first official matches, scheduled to begin October 11, are not going to take place either. It looks now that at least the first two weeks of the season will be cancelled but there is some hope of further talks later this week.

The lockout has already cost the teams losses of over $100 million, but neither the players nor the owners seem likely to budge. While the millionaires fight the billionaires over pay cuts, it is the fans who are the real losers in this battle. Instead of placing NHL odds on the results of the first games the bets are on when the season will finally start. Meanwhile, the fans are offered East-European hockey league on TV, but that is not going a long way to console a die-hard NHL fan.

But like in every fight, someone is always likely to win - this time it is the European hockey fans that are enjoying the temporary posts some big NHL stars have taken in various European leagues. Jason Demers (SJS) is entertaining fans in Oulu, Finland, while Jamie Benn (DS) can be spotted playing for a German team Hamburg Freezers. So, it seems that the only way for NHL fans to see their stars in action in the foreseeable future is to book a flight to Europe and have a nice long vacation enjoying historical sights and some top hockey.

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