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.
The 2014 Toronto “EDM Ban” was unexpected.
Electronic Dance Music events were banned on City of Toronto property at Exhibition Grounds. This was effective immediately.
This meant that shows which were already planned and contracts which the city had already signed with private businesses were null and void on the whim of the “Board of Governors of Exhibition Place,” a committee of 9 people made up of a “Mayor’s Designate,” 4 City of Toronto Council Members, and 4 “Public Appointments.” Even a show which was planned for less than 2 weeks after the meeting which made this ban happened was victim to it. The show had to be moved and it was.
Eventually, the City of Toronto City Council got together and checked if they could legally overturn this ban (they could) and vote on if they should overturn the ban (and they did). Tonight, there was another discussion about the ban because the Board of Governors decided to have a “public consultation” about it. Only one thing, they didn’t really invite the public.
I found out about this taking place at about 3:30pm today, less than 3 hours before it happened.
When I was asked why I didn’t attend to make my voice heard I informed them that I had no knowledge of this event occurring until it was way too late and if the City Councilor who is involved in this discussion truly wanted to bring the community of people who listen to dance music and attend these events in they could have done a lot better job of making this meeting known. Someone else replied that the councilor’s local newsletter email and the councilor tweeting about it was sufficient. I said how about going to the venues where the events take place weekly and handing out flyers or putting up signs? Most efficient and direct way to reach the community I’d say.
According to the Councilor he sent out a “ton of emails” about it:
Strangely enough, none of those emails seemed to have reached the Toronto Star (link goes to search results for Exhibition Place), the National Post, the Toronto Sun, CP24, 680news, or DJ Mag Canada. I could continue looking to see if anyone actually received these emails who reported on the issue in the first place back in April-May but it seems that no one did until it became a story this morning when a City Councilor called the residents of Parkdale pedophiles on Twitter. (Yes, I am serious.)
When I voiced this displeasure with regard to attempting to let the community know I was asked if I would write to City Council my thoughts on the matter. At first I said no because from what I can tell it would be a waste of my time, energy, and breath but the conversations continue to happen so fine, I will write down my thoughts.
In terms of the “EDM Ban” on City of Toronto property at Exhibitions Place I think a couple of things:
– 1 – The ban itself contradicted a recommendation by Toronto Public Health from more than a decade ago that the city lease property for large dance parties, specifically to prevent “problem conditions” at underground raves after the death of a university student. They researched this specific thing years ago and found out people in their late teens and early twenties were making bad decisions at these parties – as we do at that agee – and when the parties were held “underground” there was no support staff on hand to help prevent loss of life.
– 2 – The ban came into existence immediately with no regard for pre-existing contracts to hold events on the Ex grounds. An event had to be moved with little more than a week to re-plan everything, offer refunds, make new plans, etc all because some sub-council of the city council changed the law effective immediately.
This is a way larger issue than just banning concerts, that is the city negotiating contracts in bad faith. What business would ever want to enter into a contract with the city if they can’t trust that the city will change its mind on a whim and screw over months of negotiations and planning? Why would Hollywood continue to film up here in Toronto if they have to worry that one day some council member or sub-council will decide to make filming downtown illegal and all the contracts they’ve signed, permits they’ve filmed out, and talent/accommodation bookings they’ve made are for naught? If I were planning a major event or movie shoot or something of the like I would want to steer clear of Toronto…because I clearly can’t trust anything anyone in the Toronto government signs. (I am not a lawyer but I am pretty sure the city also opens itself to lawsuits for breach of contract when they pull a stunt like this.)
– 3 – I don’t care about the ban. I really don’t. I think the city is stupid for banning a genre of music from their venues because, quite frankly, there are enough other private venues in the city for these events to happen. The city is just losing out on money to be had from permits and rentals for these events and in a cash strapped city like Toronto that is something we cannot afford to do.
– 4 – This ban made international news at a time when the city of Toronto is already an international laughingstock for its crack smoking mayor. You’d think Toronto’s City Council would want to hang its head low and not kick up any more attention to itself but apparently that isn’t the case. Good job, elected officials of Toronto!
Since the dawn of the e-cigarette and e-hookah, “vaping” – as they call imbibing in them instead of smoking – has occupied this gray area in terms of whether or not you are allowed to do it in enclosed public places. All that is about to change for those in Toronto who use the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). Minutes ago, the Head of Communications for the TTC, Brad Ross, told me on Twitter that “Bylaw No. 1 will be amended later this year to prohibit it officially.”
In case you’re wondering what this “Bylaw No. 1” that Brad Ross is referring to says here’s a link. The relevant portion which will (I am guessing) be amended is:
“3.32 No person shall smoke in or on TTC property or carry a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, other tobacco product, or any other lighted smoking equipment or material while in or on TTC property.”
I wonder if Toronto is the first to ban it but I am trying to get this post out so I don’t have the time to research at all. Do you know of any other transit systems or public places that have banned vaping? Let me know in the comments!
Also, do you agree with this move? Or do you think that vaping should be allowed in public places? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
On Wednesday, February 5 I was given the opportunity to taste the new creations from the brilliant minds over at The Macallan distillery in Scotland, their brand new 1824 Series. The series was named after the founding year of The Macallan distillery.
When I got to #RaiseTheMacallan which was at the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Toronto I was given a wristband to prove I was legit and, because I had run a bit late, I went straight into the tasting room as opposed to the cocktail time which had preceded the tasting session. (Wish I had made it for that! That’ll teach me to leave really super early when there’s a snowstorm!) I was riding solo because of the snowstorm so I was lucky that my friend Carly-Anne aka @carlyannedotcom was there to hang out with…because no one wants to drink, er taste, alone!
The Macallan Scotch Whisky Tasting was hosted by Marc Laverdiere, a Scotch Ambassador for The Macallan and a man who knows his whisky…interestingly enough though, he has a French accent!
When we sat down it was a very similar setup to the previous time at an event hosted by The Macallan, #MacallanTO. There are 4 new types of The Macallan in the 1824 Series. Going from lowest to highest price point they are: Gold, Amber, Sienna, and Ruby. They were, as expected, each delicious in their own ways but my favorite was the Sienna. It was also interesting how the folks over at The Macallan are now moving away from telling us ages of the single malt scotches and instead are referring to them by color.
Because I am a helpful guy, I have included links to all of the 1824 Series listings on the LCBO’s website below along with the price as of March 19, 2014.
- The Macallan Gold (750mL) at the LCBO for $64.95
- The Macallan Amber (750mL) at the LCBO for $99.95
- The Macallan Sienna (750mL) at the LCBO for $174.95
- The Macallan Ruby (750mL) at the LCBO for $299.95
Have you tried the 1824 Series yet? If so, which was your favorite?
There is a whole bunch of news today about how the TTC has unveiled a pilot program of new signage which is supposed to make everything clearer and easier to understand because they’ll be using numbers as well as names for each of the subway and streetcar lines. What the folks at the TTC don’t seem to get is that people – especially those who aren’t from the city – is that the U shaped Yonge-University-Spadina Line is in of itself confusing to people. As I mentioned in a post in March of 2011 “Spotted: TTC Referring To Subway Lines By Color!” I think that this would end up making navigating the system way easier. Read more…
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…
OK, I just got word about this contest I can run for you, my loyal readers. Electro-pop sensation Lights will officially kick off the Pepsi Taste Challenge at the all-new ‘Pepsi Pop-Up space’ at 315 Queen Street West in Toronto. There she’ll delight Pepsi fans by administering the popular Pepsi Taste Challenge and performing an exclusive acoustic set on Wednesday, June 26 beginning at 2:30 pm. The official Twitter hashtag for the Pepsi Pop Up is #PepsiPopUp for those of you who want to follow the action online. The contest I get to run is hooking one person up with two VIP tickets to this launch event!!! Details below!!! You know you want to check this out, I mean just look at that picture of Lights below, she knows how to play a keytar! You know a musician is awesome when they can bust out a keytar! (Although she probably won’t tomorrow, it being an acoustic set.) Read more…