Thursday, 30 July 2015

It's Always Fun Til Someone Gets A Blue Dot

Wandering, as I like to do, through one of Toronto's many ravines, I came across some trees marked with blue dots.

Does it designate a hiking trail?

Unfortunately no - these trees are being eaten alive by the Emerald Ash Borer.

These bug eyed green - er - bugs (or beetles) bore inside the ash trees and lay their little bug eyed babies.

And the city has almost one million ash trees!  Or used to.  And we are very likely to lose the rest of them.

The city is treating some of the trees with an injection to kill the Emerald Ash Borer ($300 a pop).  Successfully injected trees are marked with a green dot (I didn't see any).

 Blue dots mean, we tried our best, and we're watching you, but....

 ...chances are you're doomed.


Huge sections of trees are being cut down.

Orange dot trees mean we're through watching you - and you're next!

There were also some interesting orange markings intermittently along the trail itself.

I was disappointed when I found out these only meant; Watch Out Dummy - Don't trip.

Sheesh.  Ouch.

Still it was a nice afternoon for a hike.

Except now I just couldn't make eye contact with any of those Blue Dot fellows.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Just Don't Park Here

And on another note.....

Just Don't Smoke & Loiter Here
So where is this sign?

You can't quite see it, behind all the people smoking and loitering.

There it is......
So what is this?

A street party?

Flash mob?

High level diplomatic negotiations?

No, this is an ESL class, taking a break.

I see these guys out here everyday, three times a day.

So I guess ESL stands for Everyone Smokes & Loiters.

BTW, a few minutes later - as soon as I pointed out the sign to them.

And then I went over a busted up a Hell's Angels meeting.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Knew It.....

....wouldn't take long.

The Story So Far
After the demise of our beloved hero, Conrad the Raccoon, and the subsequent labouriously slow response time of city workers to collect him from the sidewalk..... impromptu memorial sprung up.

Which I hypothesized that the city would go to great lengths to remove any memory of Conrad.  And of trying to have a little fun.

The next morning the memorial was gone with obvious - and unsuccessful - attempts by workers to eliminate Conrad's memory from our consciousness.

Well yesterday, they came back and eradicated any lingering memory.

I wonder how much this cost?

They claimed they are too busy to collect cadavers quickly, but not so busy as to spend hours scouring the sidewalks.

Maybe we should transfer the Animal Services guys to sidewalk cleaners.  Best I've seen that sidewalk look in years.....

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Labour Of Love

Some of these old homes in Toronto are really pretty impressive.

This is a turn of the (last) century home in Toronto's tony Rosedale neighbourhood.

Impressive, considering the attention to detail with the brickwork on this one.

The polychromatic design must have taken workers forever.

There are the standard yellow and red bricks used here, but also a much darker brick and even a burnt looking brick.

Although these - unintentionally - burnt bricks were originally thrown away, they were soon burnt intentionally and became very popular when used as a decorative feature in some well to do homes.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

That Didn't Take Long

Although it took city workers over 16 hours to remove Conrad, the deceased raccoon, the first time, they sure got rid of the tribute to him in a hurry.

Here was the original tribute to him - while he was still waiting to be unceremoniously tossed in a green garbage bag around midnight.

After he was taken away an impromptu memorial sprung up.

A chalk outline and orange cones mark the spot of his demise.

Even local businesses were getting into the act with tributes.

I suggested the city - to do a complete job - would likely tear up the sidewalk to get rid of any reminder of this little guy.

Although they didn't do that, they did try awfully hard to wipe out even a hint of his presence.

But stay tuned.  We'll see if this is enough for Toronto The Good.

Bah, humbug to having fun.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

How Did I Miss This?

Does this street corner look familiar?

How about now?

How about now?

Ahhh, now you get it

This poor little guy made headlines around the world and here he was lying on my corner for 16 hours and I didn't notice him. [Love the framed photo and condolence card.]

But lying there 16 hours on the busiest street in Toronto?

City officials said, of course, nothing unusual with waiting that long to pick up a dead raccoon.  They have 24 hours to pick up cadavers.

I guess......

But come on - they were first told of this fellow's demise at 7am.  Then Twitter got it at 9am.

Then a city Councillor repeatedly pleaded with them to come and pick it up.  All to no avail.

Until close to midnight, when the "vigil" was in full swing, when a city employee came by and dumped him in a green garbage bag, with the comment to bystanders, Come on people, it's a dead raccoon.

And you wonder why people often think these city employees are uncaring doofuses. They just can't help themselves.

So this morning, when I finally found out about it......

....somebody has taken the time to memorialize "Conrad".

Wonder how long the city will take to get rid of this tribute.

Probably will have to rip up the sidewalk - city procedures, people.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

I Don't Believe It!

What don't I believe?

Not that this beautiful turn of the (last) century home hasn't been torn down - although that by itself is an accomplishment.....

But that.... 

It Is Actually A Subway Station!
Wow, for them to go to those lengths is amazing.

And the comment about it not being torn down;  it almost was when the subway was put through in the '70's.  The city bought the property to tear it down to build a proper (see below) station.

But locals and the Toronto Historical Board banded together to convince the city to preserve it.

Now This I Believe!
Nothing says "You're special" more than plastic and concrete.  And the more the better.

This is the next subway stop, just up the street.

What a difference a block makes.

I'm sure the transportation planners are glad those pesky locals didn't interfere this time!

And This I Believe, Too

Nothing says "You're special"  (Part Deux) more than a welcoming entrance.

Although it's not - either welcoming nor an entrance.

It's hard to make out, but what it says is, "Don't enter here, go all the way to the end of the block, pay your money, then come back here to catch your sad, sorry bus. Do you think this is here for your convenience?"

So I think I will walk the other direction and enter the subway through another era in time........

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

I'm Not Alone!

A while back I posted that some total idiot - sorry, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee  -  thought now would be a great time for Toronto to bid for the 2024 Olympics.

I guess there are also others not enamoured with the idea, based on this article.

She has a very good take on it, though, some repeated here;

On the second day of Toronto’s temporary affair with high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for the 2015 Pan Am Games, commuters stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic were offered a bit of news surely designed to goad a few to veer off the road (and thus, keep traffic moving along): “Pan Am Games seen as possibly setting the stage for a Toronto Olympics bid.”

You start to giggle. “Did the radio host read that right? Could Toronto really be that masochistic?” More giggling. You’ve been in the car for an extra hour by now. 

Try cracking the window — that recirculated air might be getting to your head. “The Pan Am Games haven’t even started yet! They want the Olympics?” Your giggles harden and coalesce, transforming into booming, maniacal laughter. “The Olympics!” 

You feel a pinching in your side and don’t even notice that the car in front of you has progressed an extra ten feet. “Oh God,” you gasp, tightening your fingers over the leather of the steering wheel, “I’m really going to need the bathroom soon.” 

Laughter consumes you once again and you sit there, delirious, until the sudden blast of a horn behind you snaps you back into reality. You release your death-grip on the steering wheel, if only to free your hands to gesture in your rearview mirror. 

Mayor Tory [Toronto's mayor] says he will wait to see how “the overall Pan Am story goes” before making any sort of decision. To that I say: Dear God, no. Stop. Turn around. We already know how this story ends; I can’t fathom why we’d want to repeat it. 

I know exactly how she feels.   Except there would have been several expletives-deleted's during the car part.  Olympics!!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Finally The Name Makes Sense

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