Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

Municipal Voter Apathy

Toronto went to the polls yesterday and re-elected John Tory to a second term. I haven't written a word about yesterday's municipal election for two reasons:

  1. I've been very busy
  2. The results were a foregone conclusion

Less than half of eligible voters in Toronto cast a vote in this election. I personally never miss an opportunity to vote, and cast my vote between donating blood and picking up the two little ones at kindergarten and daycare, but the majority took a pass. This is nothing new. Municipal elections are always plagued by voter apathy.

John Tory is a bland, safe choice who was always going to run away with this election. I didn't vote for him, but I knew he'd win easy. In my Ward 3, the incumbent councillor also won easily, and I didn't vote for him either. As the only incumbent running, not even his shady developer dealings could cost him another term. Wash, rinse, repeat.

No judgement here... I'm not going to puff out my chest and wave my finger at non-voters in holier-than-thou fashion. I actually get it. I understand the apathy. With so many incumbents winning, it does feel as if the game is rigged. And if you do not play, you cannot lose.

But as long as I'm physically able, I'll vote. And I'm doing my best to pass on these values to my kids. Next time we vote for Mayor, two of my kids will be registered voters. We'll see how influential I was.

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Map of Every Arcade and Pinball Machine in Toronto

416cade shows every logged machine within a 15-mile radius. By default, the map is centred on downtown Toronto. Enter your address into the map search bar or click a point on the map to change the search area.

Keep in mind, 416cade is an ongoing, open-source project. Machines have a tendency to rotate in and out of locations. They suggest contacting an establishment first before seeking out a specific machine. For example, I see they have an Indiana Jones pinball machine located at Bowlerama West and I watched that Bowlerama get demolished recently. I'm pretty sure the pinball machine was moved out beforehand.

To add a machine that is not in their map, please email


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How to Pronounce Toronto

I've lived in Toronto my entire life. I was born in Parkdale. I've never even lived in Mississauga or Thornhill or Ajax or another border town. I've always lived in the megacity.

CHUM is making another announcement (as I type!) and I predicted they were adding a third person to the Roger and Marilyn morning show and that this third person was coming from the USA. It turns out I was bang-on, but more on that later. Here's the reply I was just tweeted.

I've always been told real Torontonians don't pronounce the second "t" in Toronto. We say "Toronno" or "Trawno". But here's the thing... I often pronounce that second "t" because it's damn fun to nail that second "t".

So no criticism from me when Jamar McNeil hit that second "t". I'm more than OK with it. In fact, I'd be delighted if it caught on.

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Lake Effect

Every year at this time, it's the same story. Much of Toronto is in shorts and tee shirts, often complaining about the heat, but in my hood people are still wearing jackets.

Today, for example, I took a bike ride and experienced the dramatic temperature dip at a specific point when riding south down the hill on Colborne Lodge Drive in High Park. North of the line in this map it felt like 23 degrees, south it was closer to 12 degrees. No foolin'.


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Today's Deadly Van Incident On Yonge Street

Today, shortly before 1:30pm, a man driving a white rental van struck a number of pedestrians between Finch and Sheppard on Yonge Street. Toronto Police have confirmed 9 people are dead and 16 are injured, 5 critically. The driver is in police custody.

If you're looking for speculation and hot takes regarding this horrific tragedy, this isn't the place for you. I will report the facts as they're discovered, corroborated and revealed.

If you can donate blood, I urge you to do so as often as possible. It took me far too long to realize this, and now my biggest challenge is waiting long enough before donating. Start today - make an appointment at a clinic near you at

Update: According to NBC News, the driver's name is Alek Minassian and he is 25 years old.

Multiple U.S. and Canadian law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation told NBC News that mental illness was the leading theory based on the preliminary investigation into the incident.

Update 2: CBC reports he lionized Elliot Rodger and referred to himself as an “incel,” or an “involuntarily celibate” person who was seeking revenge on society.


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April 16 in Toronto

April Snow

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Old Toronto

This is pretty cool.

Sidewalk Labs, the sister company of Google that's partnering with Waterfront Toronto to build a "smart" neighbourhood of the future on the city's waterfront, has created an online tool that gives people a glimpse into the past.

It's a digital map that has incorporated more than 30,000 photos from the city's archives. People can pick a location and look at photos that are anywhere from 30 to 150 years old.

Visit to check it out.


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My Thoughts on the King Street Transit Pilot

As you've likely heard by now, they've implemented the King Street Transit Pilot between Bathurst Street and Jarvis Street. Rules are in place to prioritize streetcar traffic and to prevent private vehicles from driving through this stretch of King.

I don't currently drive on King Street, nor do I take the streetcar there, but this is what I know. King Street is the busiest surface transit route in the city, moving more than 65,000 riders on an average weekday. The tweets I've seen from some of these 65,000 riders has been overwhelmingly positive. Commute times have been dramatically reduced and streetcars are just cruising.

king streetcar

The 20,000 vehicles who use King Street each day have and will find alternate routes. Perhaps some of these drivers will leave the car at home and take the streetcar now that it's faster, less crowded and better spaced. Common sense suggests it's far easier to move the 20,000 vehicles than the 65,000 people on streetcars.

If you used to drive KIng Street along this stretch, I'd love to hear from you in the comments. And if you're one of the 65,000 who ride a King streetcar, please let me know how things have improved.

From where I sit, this looks like it will be a tremendous success.

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Autumn is the New Summer


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New Toronto Waterfront Driftwood Art: A Giant Known as El Corazón

Toronto artists Julie Ryan and Thelia Sanders-Shelton are set to unveil their latest Waterfront driftwood installation. It's a giant that will soon have a heart. The heart is scheduled to be installed during the grand opening on Tuesday morning.

I spoke with one of the artists today and was told this giant has a name. He's El Corazón, which is "The Heart" in Spanish.

Here's a pic I took earlier today. I'll return to snap a picture of El Corazón with his heart in place.

El Corazón

If you'd like to see pictures I've taken of their Toronto sign, here's a daytime shot and here's a shot I took at sunrise to commemorate my daughter's 13th birthday.

If you'd like to visit these awesome art installations yourself, here's where you go:

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