Open Mike

Open MikeHey Toronto, It's yet another Open Mike!

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These past 3 years have been the greatest years of my life. No folks, its not my wedding anniversary but rather Rob For just celebrated 3 years as mayor of Toronto.

October 25, 2013 @ 8:56 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I suspect many folks who live outside Toronto and hate the big smoke have enjoyed these past 3 years.

It's pure schadenfreude.

October 25, 2013 @ 8:58 AM


My dad got out of the hospital last night… all appears good again.
Curling season starts on Monday - off to Abbotsford, BC on Monday!


October 25, 2013 @ 9:07 AM


Not exactly.

Toronto is flourishing as a city. Whether Ford has anything to do with that, who knows. However it has been fun watching media outlets like the Star, Globe and CBC fall over themselves trying to get Ford at every turn. They keep coming close but he's still in office - and he still isn't going to that "parade".

October 25, 2013 @ 9:14 AM


Congratulation to Mayor Ford on 3 years of solid fiscal management.
On another note I went to the Argos game last night and it's a shame that this city doesn't support and realize what a great team this is.
Ray, Owens, Kackert, what will it take to get the people down to the rogers centre.
I know I'm dreaming.

October 25, 2013 @ 9:19 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Speysidephil and Argie are Ford's greatest protectors... too bad neither gets a vote.

October 25, 2013 @ 9:23 AM

Lyle Lanley

Toronto news would be boring without Rob Ford. One day this will make an awesome movie.

October 25, 2013 @ 9:31 AM

Al Reda

Cardinals or Red Sox?

Who are you all rooting for?

October 25, 2013 @ 9:31 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Al Reda

I will never, ever be able to root for the Red Sox.

Maybe if they're playing the Yankees, but that's it.

I'm cheering for the Cardinals.

October 25, 2013 @ 9:36 AM


Red Sox!!!

October 25, 2013 @ 9:46 AM

Ryan G

Two things.

1)On Indie's morning show the other day the female host read a story about a guy who went swimming and had to "beat off a shark". She clearly didn't mean what my mind immediately went to, but I'm surprised the other hosts didn't take advantage of that bit of radio gold served up on a platter.

2)I went to a stuffy banquet recently comprised mostly of old white guys, and it really gave me a snapshot of what Toronto was like 50 years ago. There were 2 or 3 younger, more diverse members of the same organization also in attendance, one of whom was (and presumably still is) black.

Given the presence of these younger guys, one old white guy gets up to talk about how progressive the organizations was in the 50's, integrating it and paving the way. Fair enough I suppose, yet I still found it cringeworthy when this same gentleman used the term "coloured"... several times. Now I realize that was an acceptable term back then, but I found it somewhat unsettling that he'd use that outdated word so casually in 2013, in the presence of a couple of black dudes. His tone was self-congratulatory, and I think his heart was in the right place, but it was extremely ironic given the point of his speech.

The cynic in me made me think of an 1860's era slave owner who would justify his stance by ensuring his slaves were treated very well compared to other slave owners.

October 25, 2013 @ 9:46 AM


Mike: I'm still learning how Twitter works. I follow you, but you don't follow me. I wrote a tweet a couple days along the lines of "@TorontoMike Learning to use Twitter. Do you see this on your timeline?"

So-- did it show up, or does Twitter work where the other person doesn't get my Tweets because "reasons" (newer account, few followers, not important enough).

Just wondering because I've Tweeted information and questions to people before. I usually get a response if it's a "Reply" Tweet, but never hear anything back if I initiate.

October 25, 2013 @ 9:46 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I now follow you. Yes, if you include @torontomike in your tweet, it appears in my "Connect" tap.

Remember, we had a Twitter exchange the other day when I wrote about Hail Hail from Pearl Jam....

If you're on twitter, leave your twitter handle below. I'd love to follow all of you guys and gals.

October 25, 2013 @ 9:50 AM


@Mike Yeah, that's what I mean. If I reply to a Tweet, I always get a reply. But if I start a whole new tweet with @, I'm never sure if it shows up on the other person's timeline.

For reference, the experiment tweet was:


October 25, 2013 @ 9:53 AM


The Director of Operations and Logistics for the City of Toronto, ladies and gentlemen:

October 25, 2013 @ 9:54 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Ah yes, I see it under "Mentions" but I was looking under "Interactions". I will start looking at "Mentions"!

October 25, 2013 @ 9:59 AM


I have to ask this and this forum might be the best to ask this question and it's to all Canadians who visit this blog:

Why don't Canadians support the Canadian made tv shows as much as they do the American ones? I agree that there is no way you can compare the pool of talent, budget and production values in some cases but I & other non-Canadians, do love a lot of good Canadian shows and find some of them to be better and more interesting than their American counterparts.

Among my fav Canadian shows Flashpoint (which is one of my fav cop shows), Corner Gas, Little Mosque, Cold Squad (looks a lot cheap compared to most shows but the plots are quite dark in some of the episodes) etc etc.

And that goes for some movies too!

October 25, 2013 @ 10:15 AM


@Mike: Aha! I didn't even know that Mentions things existed. Hurrah for learning.

October 25, 2013 @ 10:17 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


For the same reason I own a Samsung phone and not a Blackberry.

Canadians support quality. If the Canadian-made show was worth watching, I'd definitely tune in. For example, I loved Kids in the Hall and The Newsroom (the Canadian one, not the new one).

If I chose to watch Breaking Bad instead of Heartland, it wasn't because I wanted to watch an American show over a Canadian show.

October 25, 2013 @ 10:21 AM

4x4 Time

I am not an online shopper but will be now. I buy a lot of books, and was looking for a specific cook book. Found it at Chapters, $38.00. My daughter told me to try Amazon and I did. The same book, delivered to my home $17.84!

October 25, 2013 @ 10:21 AM


@Toronto Mike

Roshan has me wondering what % of readers here are Canadian.

I'd guess the number is pretty high but could you quickly provide the actual stats?

My guess is 90%.

October 25, 2013 @ 10:22 AM


All of those shows you listed are unwatchable - at least to most Canadian viewers.

Lately, I'm finding British detective shows are much better than their US counterparts.

October 25, 2013 @ 10:24 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I love this question.

Here's how the last 100 visitors break down:

72.00% Canada
17.00% United States
4.00% India
2.00% Europe
2.00% United Kingdom
2.00% Germany
1.00% Spain

And here's the past five years:

October 25, 2013 @ 10:42 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

And here's how Canadian visits break down:

October 25, 2013 @ 10:46 AM


So I was wrong. 69% Canadian...

But 90% North American!

October 25, 2013 @ 10:50 AM


There is a long legacy of unwatchable Canadian TV shows. Even though quality has improved significantly over the last decade, there are a lot of bad memories. I admit I have preconceived notions of Canadian shows that gives them a built in disadvantage. Can't really comment on new shows because I don't have a TV and don't watch most network TV.
For me, there is an unmistakable look and sound to Canadian TV. Not sure I can describe it, but I know it when I see it. It looks 'staged'. The colours always looked unnatural, the sets unnatural. There's something about the lighting that gives it a certain look.
The exception is sketch comedy. We have always had quality sketch comedy.
And Canadian game shows- notorious for prizes vs US shows. You can be a grand champion on a Canadian game show and still only walk away with a coupon for 25% off a toaster.

There is no star system in Canada (except Quebec). The joke is that a Canadian actor can be in a hit tv show and still do commercials, dinner theatre, and voiceover work to make a living, and they have to introduce themselves when they meet people with the inclusion of 'I'm on that tv show..' In the past, great Canadian celebrities would probably end up having a variety show or seasonal specials.
I think writing has suffered in the past, as many writers go to the US. Lots of US tv is written in part by Canadians.
I agree, The Newsroom was an exceptional series, written by and starring Ken Finkleman- who came back from the US (where he has been a top writer for many years) to do that series.

October 25, 2013 @ 11:10 AM


@ Anon&on

I had the amazing experience of working on Finkleman's The Newsroom. It was an amazing experience and one of the best ones in my career.

For those of you who want a good laugh today, here is the classic Orson Wells going off on a director and producer during a commercial session. This is a new animated version, but the The Pinky and The Brain version is still the best.


October 25, 2013 @ 11:17 AM

Jason from Sudbury

I'm a big fan of Ice Pilots NWT. New season just kicked off on Wendsday.

October 25, 2013 @ 12:08 PM

Bottom Feder

Russell Brand is a genius:

October 25, 2013 @ 1:21 PM


It must be killing the usual haters that they cant blame Ford for this - too bad their pals in the Liberal party and the former mayor deserve the blame for it:

October 25, 2013 @ 2:37 PM


I used to always dismiss Russell Brand. Having listened to him a little closer....I have gained a whole new respect for him.

October 25, 2013 @ 2:55 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Argie - Nope, not killing me, Ford has effed up enough, he doesn't need to be blamed for everything.

October 25, 2013 @ 2:56 PM


When you say "effed up" do you mean like the gas plant scandal, e-health, ORNGE? Like that? Do you have an example of said "eff up"?

October 25, 2013 @ 3:06 PM

Mississauga Phil

Hey Argie - you keep throwing the Libs mistakes at me like I'm a supporter of theirs. I rip on the Libs all the time.

October 25, 2013 @ 3:28 PM


@Roshan 10:15
Jack Miller died this month. Who was Mr. Miller?
Miller was the Toronto Star's former TV /later Science Beat column writer. Before that he worked another 16 years at their now-owned Hamilton Spectator newspaper. Approximately 37 years combined.
James Bawden called it in to them. Accordingly, even the Star couldn't care less. Miller may as well have been (Toronto hospital deceased) leading pulp writer John Lawrence or original Degrassi franchise actor Neil Hope.

I was skimming through last Saturday's Star newspaper. They included an Entertainment Section's page two(?) obituary article about an American woman from the 1960s Motown era. Was she a singer? No. Songwriter or a pioneering female producer? No. For perhaps, maybe, a decade or so she led that U.S. music company's in-house 'finishing school' for its young adult-aged singers. For that this woman got a local weekend write-up at Canada's biggest newspaper.

When we (Canadians) won't appreciate or simply acknowledge the past, we shouldn't expect to succeed in our futures.

October 25, 2013 @ 3:54 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

My Toronto Maple Leafs have more Canadian-born players than any other team in the NHL.

We're 81% Canadian!

October 25, 2013 @ 4:24 PM


How about those Habs last night. Great win even though with still some injured players including Daniel Briere. What curling in Abbotsford? My trainer curls in cookstown next weekend. He isn't going to Abbotsford. The pretrials are in November, but my trainer isn't in that. As for baseball, I don't care. I hate baseball. I just want it to end so we have no baseball left. It's nice to have a few months without that slow boring game and someone please make the players unhappy so they can get locked out and then we can have a couple years with no baseball. Baseball lockout here we come. I cheer for a team called The Cardinals, but they're Arizona Cardinals in football.

October 25, 2013 @ 4:47 PM



Can you use your bloggy powers to convince John Tory NOT to run for the mayor of Toronto next year?

Honourable men don't belong in politics. He can better serve Toronto by his volunteer work, talk show, and serving on boards in the GTA.

You have to be super greasy (to use a Trailer Park Boys term) to be in politics.

Tory isn't one of them.

October 25, 2013 @ 5:17 PM


How do all those voters in Justin Trudeaus demographic that are dazzled by his tousled locks and non-threatening femininity reconcile with his pro-Keystone pipeline stance? Suddenly looking less than the anti-Harper, no?

October 25, 2013 @ 5:22 PM



I fail to see how supporting Keystone is going to affect Trudeau's popularity in Canada. Keystone is an entirely American thing. It might be different if he supported the Northern Gateway. It has little impact on Canada, outside of narrowing the price gap between WCS & WTI crude.

Truth is all the "oil sands is the end of the world" is mostly bullshit. The real enemy to the environment is coal, not heavy oil. It's a mix of a misinformed populace & an industry which has did the SHITTIEST job ever in public relations.

If Trudeau should do anything with energy, it should be a focus on an east/west pipeline. Canada has the highest oil reserves on earth now yet it imports more oil per capita than the USA. It's like being an egg farmer & selling your own eggs & then buying them back at a higher price.

October 25, 2013 @ 6:19 PM



It's pretty easy to rip on the Canadian TV show industry dude but remember 1 thing. The second largest centre for TV production is Vancouver, Canada. It's a huge industry and there have been hundreds of TV shows filmed & produced in Canada.

The reason Canadian born/bred television aint like America is almost all of it is produced on a tiny budget. Unlike Hollywood, there ain't a lot of major financial backers for Canadian TV. But there are still programs which have been successful in the USA. Trailer Park Boys, Flashpoint, Blackstone, Degrassi, Being Erica..etc.

In fact, pound per pound, Canadian TV compares pretty well versus the rest of the world (when removing Hollywood). It's much like the Hong Kong Film scene. It's good just it's relatively unknown.

October 25, 2013 @ 6:29 PM


I didn't rip on the Canadian industry, I explained why it has a knock against it (it's a hangover from back to the early 70's). We've always had excellent original current affairs, science and nature programming. There has historically been a garish look to Canadian tv shows (drama, situation comedy). And, how many period costume dramas can one nation be expected to support? Ditto movies.
Until the past is a blurred past, Canadian TV will have that preconceived knock against it deserved or not. If you're a 20 something or early 30 something, you may already be clear of that legacy.

October 25, 2013 @ 6:57 PM


@Toronto Mike 16:24
Welcome to the dark side.
As multiple of the commenters then stated, Grapes wasn't talking about drafted Ontario hockey players that were assigned to the Leafs' minor team.

October 25, 2013 @ 7:01 PM



Well I'm old enough to remember the Beachcombers on CBC TV dude, but I don't let the past blur my vision of today. Canadian TV, film & music has come a LONG way in the past 30 years.

Honestly, I think this could be a great era for Canadian TV. Most of the best TV programming isn't on network TV. It's much more small time & it grows organically. That's a perfect place for Canadian television to be just as it's a perfect place for Canadian music to be (especially indie rock). I'd argue that is Canada's secret weapon. Unassuming, organically grown stuff without the big ego attached. It's genius in it's own unique way.

We aren't the USA. We can't be everything to everyone but I think somethings we do very well at.

October 25, 2013 @ 7:35 PM


Lots of hockey today. I have my coyotes this afternoon and Habs tonight. Ha ha, the Leafs lost. the Leafs will be on a big long losing streak. My Cardinals play the Falcons tomorrow. Hope Cardinals win. that will be nice.

October 26, 2013 @ 7:56 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Maybe to shift the discussion from Rob Ford to the Ontario Liberals and the little fund raiser held by Bruce Power for them. No cronyism here folks, move on.

Liberals’ decision to scrap nuclear reactors followed high-priced fundraiser
The head of privately owned Bruce Power hosted an exclusive $100,000 fundraiser for the Liberals shortly before Premier Kathleen Wynne shelved publicly owned rival Ontario Power Generation’s new nuclear reactors.

The major shareholder in Bruce Power, which operates the Bruce A and B nuclear facilities, is TransCanada Corp., the company behind the Oakville gas-fired plant the Liberals cancelled in 2010 at a potential cost to taxpayers of $815 million.

October 26, 2013 @ 8:13 AM

4x4 Time

I have solved the CLUE to the whole Senate Scandal...Nigel Wright, in the Board Room, with the Check book...Case solved, carry on.

October 26, 2013 @ 9:10 AM

4x4 Time

At least Dwight Duncan was honest if not incredibly condescending about his comments on the Gas Plant scandal and his opinion of how Ontario taxpayers have already forgotten about it. This disgusting show of public arrogance demonstrates just how much rot and no social or moral conscience the Ontario Liberals have as a group. If we had strong opposition leaders they would be having a field day.

October 26, 2013 @ 10:09 AM


Politics before principle

Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta's Wild Rose party now says she & her party believe in global warming. Same woman was on TV not so long ago denying it. The party has also decided to open their arms to gay people ignoring not so long ago one of them wanted gays to burn in a lake of fire. Oh and the Alberta firewall they touted (alberta pension, etc). Off the table. Why? They had their ass handed to them in the last Alberta election.

Another reason why politics is filled with slime.

October 26, 2013 @ 10:23 AM


My coyotes won. That was the best thing. My Habbies lost. That's no good and the Leafs unfortunately won. Anyway, let's hope my Cardinals beat the Falcons. Go cardinals go. My trainer will win next weekend. I'm sure he will. There are no big guns like Howard, martin, Koe, and McEwan in that spiel. My trainer's team is the best in Cookstown. they'll win.

October 27, 2013 @ 7:57 AM


@ Everyone Canadian - unless you support, they are not going to get more money. More money = better talent pool, better writers, better sets, better budget.
I think there are atleast 10-20 shows made in Canada that are worth supporting, probably more. Funny how many regular actors I found in some of the older shows. Also when I watch a show I do take the plot and what kind of a show it is and grade/watch it accordingly. Mike - I can't compare Heartland to Breaking Bad because they are way too different types of shows. I'd compare it to a show of similar settings. Anyways cheers guys!
Looks like I'm the 4% from India visiting your site Mike!

October 27, 2013 @ 12:05 PM


Lou Reed passed away today. RIP.

October 27, 2013 @ 3:18 PM


My Cardinals won today so that's a great thing. glad they won over the Falcons. They have to win a lot more though.

I had my flu shot today. I usually wait until I go to my doctor's office, but I had it at Shoppers Drug Mart. Now I'm protected from the flu, thank goodness. Sometimes the shot will give me a touch of the flu later on, but that's better than actually getting the flu.

October 27, 2013 @ 8:13 PM

Jason from Sudbury

I couldn't be bothered with the flu shot. I think I've had it 4 or 5 times and only once did I not get sick.

October 27, 2013 @ 10:49 PM


I usually don't get sick with the flu shot. I've only been sick for about one day a couple times after it which is better than being sick for weeks and weeks. Anyway, Habs are at the rangers tonight. Hope Habs win. They didn't play well on Saturday.

October 28, 2013 @ 10:47 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The flu shot cannot give you the flu. It's impossible. The vaccine is made of dead virus cells. Dead. Dead virus cells cannot make you sick. Period.

October 28, 2013 @ 11:07 AM


Canadian television discussion is an interesting one. But I don't think it's a quality problem but a quantity issue. Even in the great and powerful TV industry called Hollywood, 70% of shows are cancelled within the first season and 81% of shows were cancelled in the second season. Source NY Times

So about just 20% of American shows have any success what-so-ever, but what they have going for them is quantity. There's a hundred shows green-lighted in American broadcasting, so even with just a 20% success ratio you still get twenty quality shows out of it and forget the majority of the crappy shows. But in Canada we have just the CBC really producing TV shows, let's say they produce a dozen shows. If we hold it to the same standards we give to America with a 20% success ratio, that means realistically they should have two or three quality shows.

If we have Global, CTV, CITY to produce first-run, prime-time Canadian made show, you will have more diversity and more quality Canadian shows. Let's say there's 21 hours of prime time TV (3 hours x 7 days) and you have each network a certain amount of those hours being Canadian (let's say a third of that time being Canadian) the chances of a good Canadian TV connecting with people will go up when Global, CTV & City producing 7 hours each of Canadian TV a week.

Sometimes we mock CanCon in music, and it did cause over-playing of some crappy Canadian music. But it also allowed some pretty good bands and musicians to be able to be heard and succeed when music radio program directors were forced to play 30% Canadian content. Otherwise we might have not have even had an opportunity to hear them due to lazy radio program directors. If we did the same thing with the major TV networks, I think overall numbers of quality shows will for certain go up.

October 28, 2013 @ 4:20 PM

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