Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

Four After-Debate Thoughts

Four After-Debate ThoughtsI tuned in for the first 15-minutes of this evening's 2014 mayoral debate. That was all I could stomach. So much sound and fury, signifying nothing. If you watched the entire thing, kudos to you.

Here are four thoughts I had after I flipped off the television.

Those Who Support Rob Ford Won't Care if He's Arrested
Those in Ford Nation who are still voting for the man are going to support him no matter what. If he's arrested next week, it won't change their mind. There's almost nothing he can do to lose their vote at this point.

Debates are Useless (and Annoying)
Debates are useless, and annoying. It's the same talking points over and over and over again. The vast majority of people enter a debate with a favourite and leave favouring that same person. It won't be someone's performance in a debate that will change your vote, it will be strategy. (See below.)

Strategic Voting is OK
As I get older, I become more and more comfortable with strategic voting. For example, one might think David Soknacki would make the best mayor for Toronto, but Soknacki can't win this election, so one might vote elsewhere to block Rob Ford from winning again. I'm okay with this. In fact, it's for this very reason that I'm encouraging all my friends and family to support Olivia Chow. In my opinion, she's our best chance to keep Rob Ford from winning.

This is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
It's only March and the election is in October. I'm already pretty tired of all the campaigning, but there's a long way to go. I'll keep a casual eye on what's happening but I'll wait until Labour Day before I completely plug myself back in.

Self-preservation, after all, is the first law of nature.

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Toronto's New 80,000 Capacity NFL Stadium?

Toronto's New 80,000 Capacity NFL StadiumThe Canadian Soccer Association wants Canada to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. They're proposing games in 11 stadiums in 10 different Canadian cities. Toronto would be the city with two stadiums used for World Cup matches.

What's most interesting is that the final match would take place at Toronto's NFL stadium. That's right, this sketch of Los Angeles's future Farmers Field is being used to represent our new 80,000 capacity NFL stadium.


The other games would be held at a renovated BMO Field.


Apparently, that new NFL stadium would open in 2020. No word on where it would be located, who would pay for it or which NFL team would play there, however.

Here's the ten cities in Canada that would host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.


Update: About two hours after I published this entry, I learned Ralph Wilson had passed away. Ralph Wilson was the owner of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills will now be sold.

Update 2: These images are not from the CSA. A fan put this together based on FIFA's requirements and the knowledge that the CSA will indeed be bidding on the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

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Pulse Check: Who Should Be Mayor?

Pulse Check: Who Should Be Mayor?Now that Olivia Chow has entered the Toronto mayoral race, let's check our pulse seven months before the election.

Leave a comment listing your preference among these top five candidates (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Olivia Chow
  • Rob Ford
  • David Soknacki
  • Karen Stintz
  • John Tory

Everyone is welcome to chime in, regardless of where you live, but let me know if you actually live in Toronto.

Who would you like to see win in October?

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The End of WWII in Toronto

The End of the War in TorontoThis photo was taken by the Sterling Tower at 372 Bay Street after the end of World War II.


[Via reddit]

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Damn This Winter

Damn This WinterLast fall, I promised myself I'd bike through this winter. Sure, there'd be the odd deep freeze and snowfall in the way, but Toronto winters are typically pretty good for winter biking.

Not this winter. This winter has sucked. It's wave after relentless wave of polar vortex windchill warnings and snowfalls. As I type this, snowflakes the size of marbles are falling to the ground. It's another wrench in the winter biking plans.

Yes, I'm aware this is Canada, and Canadian winters can be both cold and snowy, but in my 40 winters in this city I can't recall a winter as shitty as this one. I can't remember a winter that toggled so consistently between deep freezes, ice storms and snowstorms.

Can you?

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Toronto: The World's Most Youthful City

Toronto: The World's Most Youthful CityAs reported in The Independent, Toronto has come out on top as the world's most youthful city.

The YouthfulCities Index takes the top cities and rates them on 16 aspects of city life, including economic status and culture. Youth is classed from 15-29 and over 1,500 youth participants helped to compile the index from the cities across the world.

Here's the top 10:

  1. Toronto
  2. Berlin
  3. New York City
  4. Dallas
  5. Paris
  6. Chicago
  7. London
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Tokyo
  10. Seoul

That's nice and all, but I have no idea how young people are expected to buy a home in this city.

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Mimico: What's So Special About Mimico?

Mimico: What's So Special About Mimico?During yesterday's Winter Classic, Detroit's Brendan Smith was referred to as being "from Mimico". A couple of Leafs, Dave Bolland and David Clarkson, are also "Mimico boys". In high school, I heard all about the legend of alumnus Brendan Shanahan "from Mimico".

For the unaware, Mimico is a neighbourhood in southwest Toronto, part of the old Borough of Etobicoke. Mimico is not in any way separate from Toronto. Anyone from Mimico is actually from the city of Toronto.


Full disclosure: I now live in the Toronto neighbourhood that borders Mimico to the west and seriously considered buying in Mimico. My new neighbourhood is called New Toronto, but you'll never hear someone's a "New Toronto boy" or "from New Toronto". They'll just be from Toronto, or maybe Etobicoke.

My question is simple... Why are those from Mimico labelled such as if it's seperate from Toronto? What's so special about Mimico?

Screen shot 2014-01-02 at 10.29.23 AM

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It's Icy in Toronto

thermometerThis is my first winter in my new home in southwest Toronto. I was told the effect of being so close to Lake Ontario was cooler summers and warmer winters. I'm assuming that's why we've been spared the worst of this Toronto ice storm.

Don't get me wrong, it's icy out there... it's just not nearly as icy as I'd expected after reading everyone's tweets this morning. We never lost power and it's a little warm to call the sidewalks and roads a skating rink, although the car windows do need a good scraping.



How is the ice where you are?

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Rob Ford: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

Rob Ford: We Have Met the Enemy and He is UsI have a good friend who would consider himself a proud member of Ford Nation. At least he used to. Today, that same friend tells me Rob Ford has to resign. At some point over the past few weeks, a straw broke the proverbial camel's back.

Rob Ford was democratically elected by this city. There is nothing in the Municipal Act that can force Rob Ford out now, despite the fact he's a massive distraction, has lost council and the majority of Torontonians.

We got the mayor we deserve by voting for Rob Ford in 2010. His character, judgment and bully tactics were clearly on display for all to see during his time as city councillor.

I bored of posting Rob Ford's asinine comments way back in 2008. That's the same year I posted this video of Rob Ford and first used the term "Schadenford". When this neanderthal announced he was running for mayor of Toronto in 2010, I wrote "Rob Ford For Mayor? Not On My Watch...". But it did happen... on my watch.

Looking back at Rob Ford's first day in office, it's interesting to read what I wrote.

This was day one. It's going to be a very interesting time, and I'm just wondering how long it will be until this idiot implodes or our city explodes.

As I write this entry, Rob Ford is still mayor of Toronto, and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere. Meanwhile, council will strip his powers, Rob Ford will continue to live in a state of denial and all of Toronto will suffer.

It's sad, humiliating, embarrassing and unfortunate, but we have noone to blame but ourselves. We did this, and now we live with it until the next election. Shame on us all.


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Runnymede Theatre: From Chapters to Shoppers Drug Mart

Runnymede Theatre: From Chapters to Shoppers Drug MartAs a kid and teenager, the old Runnymede Theatre on Bloor Street was one of the two movie theatres I frequented. I wrote about my Runnymede Theatre memories seven years ago.

When the theatre was closing, there was concern whether the new tenants would be able to preserve the history and beauty of this old vaudeville theatre. I was very pleased with the job Chapters did, as you'll see from these photos I took.

Runnymede Chapters

I'm still awfully impressed with how they preserved the old Runnymede Theatre

Unfortunately, Chapters won't be renewing their lease and will be leaving this great historical space. A Shoppers Drug Mart is moving in, and I worry about how they'll treat the great interior.

I'll be keeping my good eye on this one...

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