Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus


Crosswalks Don't Work!An 11-year-old boy is in serious condition at the Hospital for Sick Children after being struck at a crosswalk on Lake Shore Blvd. W. near Royal York Rd. Back in August, pedestrians were struck at two different crosswalks one day after the other. Pedestrians being hit while crossing at crosswalks in Toronto is becoming an all too common occurrence.

The problem is crosswalks don't work in Toronto. Far too many motorists choose to ignore them altogether. City driving has become so intense and stressful that drivers have developed a selfish "me first" mentality. Stopping at a crosswalk has become a hassle one would rather not deal with. Everyone is more concerned with saving time than lives.

It's at the point where you're risking your life using a crosswalk. Unless every lane is occupied by a car that has come to a complete stop and has made eye contact with you, crosswalks are potential death traps. Every crosswalk should be replaced by a street light that will always favour the flow of traffic with a green light unless a pedestrian presses a button. This way traffic is never impeded by unnecessary red lights but pedestrians can simply press a button, wait for a walk signal and cross safely while drivers are forced to rescind the right of way. Time has left our crosswalks behind.

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Hurricane Isabel

Hurricane IsabelAs I write this, the remnants of Hurricane Isabel are hitting the GTA. It's dark, rainy and extremely windy...up to 76 km/h they say. Other than about 10,000 people losing power, it's nothing to fear from where I'm sitting. Isabel has clearly run out of steam.

A couple of cool Hurricane Watch sites can be found here and here. The Government of Canada's release on Hurricane Isabel can be read here and they're following Isabel here.

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Blackout!24 hours and 12 minutes. That's how long the power was off at my humble abode.

Of course, the worst black out in North American history had to strike just when our food supply was at its lowest. Already due for a trip to the grocery store, it was quite the challenge putting together enough sustenance to satisfy a growing 18 month old and his two hungry parents. Barbecued fish sticks anyone? The bright side is we had very little to throw away when the power finally returned at 4:23 this afternoon.

I did learn a valuable lessen throughout this ordeal. I learned that we're entirely too dependent on electricity for our day to day lives. Heck, my phone wouldn't even work because it's a cordless. No air conditioning, no stove, no microwave, no street lights, no gas station, no lights, no refrigerator, no tv and no computer. How did we survive over 24 hours? Gotta jet...The Simpsons is starting.

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SARSstockToday is SARSstock. As I write this, the gates to Downsview Park are opening and thousands of people are streaming in to secure themselves a good spot. Up to 450,000 people are expected making this the largest ticketed concert in North American history.

Initially, I wasn't particularly interested. I don't really need to see The Rolling Stones and AC/DC. I attend a lot of concerts, but with 40,000 other fans at the most. How would I see the stage amongst a half a million people? Why would I want my ears to endure a set by Justin Timberlake?

Now, I'm 180 on this entire event. I want to go! In the days leading up to today, this concert has taken on a life of its own. There's a buzz in this city and Downsview Park is seeming more and more like the place to be. Besides, I love the Guess Who...I love Rush. I used to be a huge AC/DC and Rolling Stones fan. I should be there. Why aren't I there?

Now I'm at work and planning to catch the webcast at noon. Tonight, I'll watch SARSstock on TV while nursing a strained knee. You can't always get what you want.

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Damn Vancouver

TorontoI'm a proud Canadian, but I'm even a prouder Torontonian. That's why I'm not afraid to admit I was rooting against Vancouver's bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. As everyone knows by now, Vancouver narrowly beat out PyeongChang to win the IOC vote.

Why was I rooting against Vancouver? Because Vancouver's victory means Toronto won't pursue the Summer Olympics in 2012. If Vancouver had lost, Toronto would have bid and won and no city on this planet deserves to host the world in 2012 more than Toronto.

Congratulations Vancouver. I hope you choke on it.

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SARS IIThe morning paper tells me there are four new cases of SARS in Toronto. Like a cheesy sequel to a bad movie franchise, SARS returns.

So let me get this straight. SARS is back, the West Nile virus will be here all summer and Mad Cow disease is coming to a hamburger near me. One more funky disease in the GTA and I'm entering my plastic bubble and not coming out until the Stanley Cup parade marches down Yonge Street.

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SARSSARS Update: From the eye of the storm

The World Health Organization has just issued a warning against travelling to Toronto. Don't travel to Toronto unless it's essential, they say. Major League Baseball is issuing warnings to teams visiting Toronto. They're asking that contact with fans at SkyDome be kept to a minimum. Headlines all over the world are painting Toronto as a dangerous place to be right now. A global pariah!

I live in Toronto. I spend every day in Toronto. I've never put on a mask and my day-to-day living hasn't changed a bit. The only thing that's even slightly different, as far as I can tell, is that we're all sanitizing our hands throughout the day at work.

Last time I checked the stats, 16 people in Canada had died of SARS. All 16 people had a pre-existing diabetic condition or heart disease. If SARS kills, it gets plenty of help.

Life goes on in the big T.O. The Leafs are out of the playoffs, the Jays have slipped to last in the AL East and the Raptors haven't been seen in weeks. Sounds like a typical spring to me.

I just hope I don't accidentally cough. They'll have me locked up for 10 days without human contact. On the other hand, I am feeling a little warm...

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