This summer I was meandering around my neighborhood in North York (fine, I was playing Pokémon Go and was on a poke-walk! Don’t judge me!) when I noticed this weird building to the west of the Allen Rd in what was either Downsview Airport or the grounds of the upcoming Downsview Park TTC Station. It looked like it was a medieval castle but not. I knew I needed to find out what it was so I came back with my point-and-shoot camera that has 21x optical zoom and took a bunch more snaps.
I asked friends and neighbours if they knew what it was and showed the photos but no one had any better idea what the mystery building was.
Fast forward to September 28 when I watched the second episode of the new Kiefer Sutherland show, Designated Survivor made by ABC and aired here in Canada on CTV. The show’s plot involves the destruction of the US Capitol building and they were showing the destruction’s aftermath when I noticed some familiar shapes.
This is my library card which I use every time I visit the Toronto Public Library to take out a book or 3. It looks nothing like the current Toronto Public Library card and is from the early 1990s when North York was technically a city unto itself and a part of Metropolitan Toronto. I am pretty sure this meant that I could use any library in Metropolitan Toronto but never really tried to because when Toronto amalgamated into the “megacity” and North York became fully a part of the city of Toronto it was 1997 and I was 15-16 years old. Still, I have kept this library card because Read more…
You probably remember my mentions of my return to the Toronto Public Library (and using it) as of late. I walked in to the Barbara Frum branch of the Toronto Public Library, the branch I have used since the early 90s when they opened it at Bathurst and Lawrence, the other day to pick up my books and was stunned to see how drastically the front area inside had changed. Gone was the giant desk that had dominated the central area in front of the entrance. In its place were some recommended books on tables sort of like you see in a book store. There were ‘shoplifter detectors’ at all the entry/exit doors which they put in to replace the turnstiles that we encountered in the old set up where we were funneled around the front desk – east side in and west side out.
To my right (with my back facing the doors) I saw 2 computer terminals and to my left I saw the desk that used to be the place where there would only be one librarian on occasion for the kids’ section was fully staffed. Read more…
I was walking to Wilson Station in Toronto on November 28, 2011 at around 6pm and saw that some people in my area on Goodwill Avenue had already gotten their Christmas decorating well underway.
This was one of the most extravagant demonstrations I have ever seen in my neighborhood! It was complete with motorized/moving decorations and its own soundtrack – which I hope you’ll be able to hear.
I am sure there are crazier displays out there but didn’t know the hardcore people started it up this early! I always they did it progressively not in one fell swoop. Maybe they wanted to get it done before it REALLY cold? (If so, good timing because today we got out first stick-on-the-ground snowfall, light though it was.) I would love to know how many people it takes to set this up and how long. I am guessing they did it over the weekend.
As I say in the video, easily one of the most insane lawn decorations at someone’s house I have ever seen. You also gotta love it when they do this level of decoration outside a house which is not a massive house. These people are really into the holidays and are taking joy out of it and good for them! I can say this even though I’m Jewish because I am all for people enjoying the positive aspects of any religion and spreading cheer and joy at any time.
Know of any other over the top houses in the Christmas decorations category? I am sure there are plenty around Toronto and I am sure there will sooner or later be some sort of geeky twist on someone’s Christmas decorations – like the family who hooked their lights up to the internet and let people control it at certain times during the day and see the livestream on a webcam. You also got to appreciate this amount of dedication in celebrating any holiday.
Tonight was the birthday party for one of my favorite North York sports bar-restaurants – Boston Pizza at Yonge & Sheppard.
It was an absolute blast with great giveaways and drink tickets for Coors Light, Stella Artois, Captain Morgan’s, and wine from Jackson Triggs Winery. I didn’t get a chance to try some Coors Light or white Jackson Triggs Winery wine but everything else was superb. It was a great time celebrating a very fine establishment.
I would continue this blog post but my presence has been demanded by @cdot_in_tdot aka Calvin to chug a pint of Guinness. Duty calls!
Today, I had to go to the North York General Hospital to visit someone and before I went I took a look at Google Maps which told me there was a trail I could walk through – slightly out of my way – right by the hospital. I decided I would take in some nature and walk through the “Betty Sutherland Trail”. In order to get to the trail I decided to park on Manorpark Court. When I was walking into the entrance of the trail between the last two houses on the north side of Manorpark Court I saw what I would have called a memorial but I found out is actually called a ‘cairn’. There was a plaque on it, so being a history geek I had to go over and check it out.
Honestly, the area looked pretty abandoned and if it wasn’t for the fact that there were houses on either side of the lot where this cairn was sitting I would have believed that nobody ever even looked – or noticed – this memorial. It almost looks as if it would be a great place to sit and read – there is a bench that goes around the bottom as you can see – but I think the lot would benefit from something more, maybe a garden but that would probably cost the city way more money than they’d be willing to spend in terms of maintenance. I will maybe have to head out here one of these days when the sun is shining and see how it is for reading and just general chilling.
I had never heard of Henry Mulholland before I had seen this cairn and its plaque but it turned out he was a pretty interesting guy. I got a picture of the plaque on the front of the cairn up close and posted it below: Read more…
Writing regular posts to this blog in the Post A Day Challenge has driven home a lesson that I learned in an OAC (Grade 13) Canadian History class a long time ago during the summer of 1998 at Earl Haig High School in North York, Toronto:
The more time you leave after you write something the better you will be able to edit it. Try to leave at least 24 hours after writing a paper before you go to review/edit it and then hand it in. If you can leave longer that is even better.
God, I wish I could remember the name of the teacher who taught us that.
That lesson has been one of the lessons that has really stuck with me over the years being the kind of person who almost always wrote his papers and essays at the last minute in school. My educational career’s essay writing experiences and attitude could be summed up in a quote from one of my high school friends:
The best minute is the last one.
I would tell you who it was but I don’t know if wants to be quoted on that and he is a twin so I don’t 100% remember which one of them said it – although I am somewhat sure I know which, but I digress. Read more…