A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

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[PHOTO] Some final WorldPride pictures

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Rooftop WorldPride celebrants, Yonge and Wellesley

Rooftop WorldPride celebrants, Yonge and Wellesley

A Pride-themed storefront in the Annex

Pride-themed storefront in The Annex (1)

Pride-themed storefront in The Annex (2)

Pride-themed display window at Dudley’s Hardware, Church and Wellesley

Pride-themed display window at Dudley's Hardware

Written by Randy McDonald

July 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm

[PHOTO] Alexander Wood on Church, 2012 and 2014

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The photo below of the statue of Alexander Wood is one of several orphans pictures of mine taken during Pride.

Statue of Alexander Wood in the Village, from below

In October 2012 I took night-times photo of the statue. Below is one of the photos, and what I wrote at the time.

Alexander Wood at Nuit Blanche (1)

On the night of Nuit Blanche, I went to the northwestern corner of Church and Alexander–just two blocks south of the fabled intersection of Church and Wellesley–to take photos of sculptor Del Newbigging‘s statue of Scottish-born merchant Alexander Wood, unveiled in 2005. Located next to the compass painted on the sidewalk at the same corner, Newbigging’s statue of Wood has become something of a community landmark, quite literally a touchstone–apparently some locals rub the statue for good luck before dates.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 6, 2014 at 11:55 pm

[PHOTO] Crossing Bloor from Honest Ed’s

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Since my upgrade to a proper smartphone earlier last month, I’ve joined Instagram. I find myself really enjoying the experience. Instagram feels like more of a community than the more professional Flickr, I think. The app’s editing features are decent–I’m still not sure what I think of filters, so I use them sparingly–and the site lends itself well to conversations. Facebook was right to buy it.

Crossing Bloor from Honest Ed's (original)

Crossing Bloor from Honest Ed's #toronto #torontophotos #honesteds #bloor

Written by Randy McDonald

July 6, 2014 at 11:16 pm

[PHOTO] Miscellaneous shots of WorldPride Toronto, 2014

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The Pride crowd at Yonge and Bloor


The Pride crowd at Yonge and Wellesley

The Pride crowd at Yonge and Wellesley

The Pride crowd on Yonge south of College

Pride crowd on Yonge south of College

John Tory at WorldPride, Toronto

John Tory at WorldPride, Toronto

The Pride crowd on Church south of Maitland

The Pride crowd on Church south of Maitland

WorldPride parade (1)

WorldPride parade (1)

Parade watchers on rooftops at Yonge and Wellesley #worldpride

WorldPride parade (2)

WorldPride parade (3)


The WorldPride street fair on Church

The WorldPride street fair on Church

Written by Randy McDonald

July 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

[URBAN NOTE] On #shirtlessjogger, Toronto, and Rob Ford

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blogTO’s Chris Bateman wrote the first overview I came across of the #shirtlessjogger incident on Canada Day.

Things were already going badly for Rob Ford when the shirtless jogger arrived at the East York Canada Day parade. Booed and heckled as he and a small group of sign-carrying supporters brought up the rear of the walk, the scene was turning more embarrassing by the second.

“You disgusting man,” shouted one person. “Shame on you!” “He’s scaring kids!” “Get out of my neighbourhood!”

And then a topless Joe Killoran, a local teacher who has previously expressed his opinion on education in the pages of the Toronto Star, arrived on the scene.

I daresay a large part of the reason Killoran’s frustrated outburst went viral was his lack of a shirt, but his anger was articulate and, best of all, drenched in the frustration of a Rob Ford-weary Toronto. “Answer one of the million questions people have for you” he said. “People have a million questions about your lying and your corruption.”

The television clip went viral, first across Toronto and then worldwide. Among the blogs I read, Joe. My. God. and Towleroad picked this up internationally, noting–quite appropriately–that Killoran was cute. (It was a humid dog so shirtlessness would make sense for jogging.) Doug Ford’s statement that Killoran’s comment was motivated by a ridiculously redefined “racism” fanned the flames.

In subsequent interviews and articles, with The Globe and Mail and the National Post, Killoran explained coherently that he was frustrated with Ford’s many and continuing incompetencies and errors. Indeed, Ford still refuses to talk to police about his various problematic issues, and he and appears to have lied even in his post-rehab interviews.

Am I alone in finding it amusing that the man who has so visibly challenged Ford, the man who has helped reveal the falsity of Ford’s claims to have reformed–the man who has confirmed that the Emperor has no clothes–is known as the shirtless jogger.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 5, 2014 at 3:59 am

[URBAN NOTE] “Adam Vaughan trap”

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NOW Toronto‘s Jonathan Goldsbie writes about the NDP reaction to the outcome of the 2014 by-election in Trinity-Spadina. This election saw Liberal Adam Vaughan take an absolute majority of votes cast, beating NDP candidate Joe Cressy by a sizable distance. Many prominent NDPs are now saying that Vaughan would have been a better fit for the Liberals, and that his allegedly NDP-ish aspirations won’t be satisfied in the Liberal party.

Sour groups, I wonder?

As recently as two and a half months ago, when Cressy strode into the auditorium of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre to accept his party’s uncontested nomination, it appeared he’d have the easiest route to Parliament of any NDPer in recent memory. Olivia Chow had held the Commons seat from 2006 until she stepped down to run for mayor in mid-March, and Cressy – who’d managed her very successful 2011 campaign – was understood to be the designated successor in the by-election she triggered.

But Chow’s succession plans failed once before: when she resigned from city council ahead of her 2006 federal run, she wanted her Ward 20 seat to go to Helen Kennedy, her NDP-backed former assistant. Yet the orange machine seemed caught off guard by the strength and popularity of then Citytv reporter Vaughan, who in November that year won handily with 52 per cent of the vote to Kennedy’s 35.

Vaughan’s name recognition, public profile and popularity in the area have only grown since, and were obviously the largest factors in his victory. But among those at Ryze, another theme emerges: that Vaughan could just as easily or should have run for the NDP instead.

In a brief address preceding his introduction of Cressy, leader Thomas Mulcair mocks what he perceives as a dissonance between Vaughan’s values and those of his chosen party. “Mr. Vaughan ran a very good campaign,” he says. “One of the interesting things was he had a lot of progressive ideas, but they were NDP ideas, not Liberal ideas!”

Mulcair continues the backhanded praise: “We’ll see how that goes for him when he finds out that Justin Trudeau actually is in favour of Line 9 and Justin Trudeau does want the Keystone pipelines – things that the NDP is standing up against.”

Written by Randy McDonald

July 4, 2014 at 7:23 pm

[PHOTO] 94 Wellesley Eastbound, WorldPride edition

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94 Wellesley Eastbound, WorldPride edition

This was my only shot of the rainbow-decaled 94 Wellesley bus, here photographed travelling east of Church towards Castle Frank.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 4, 2014 at 2:11 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO shares pictures of the lineups for free food on Canada Day at Mandarin’s buffet restaurants.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper identifying three thousand nearby red dwarf stars as potential sites of Earth-like exoplanets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a sober assessment of the Chinese space program.
  • The Frailest Thing considers the import of Facebook’s experiment on its user base by noting the ability of complex systems to undergo unexpected catastrophes.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Google’s social network Orkut, big in Brazil and India but absent elsewhere, will be shutting down at the end of this September.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that anti-gay activists are pleased with the Hobby Lobby ruling.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Adam Block shares pictures of colliding and interacting galaxies.
  • Seriously Science notes that not only do spiders have different personality types, but that these types contribute to the maintenance of their physical cultures.
  • The Signal notes ongoing research into data recovery methods and issues with compact discs.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes cases where putting the victim on trial does matter. (Records of past violence are noteworthy.)
  • Towleroad notes an economist observing that homophobia has an economic impact and points to an upcoming Irish referendum on same-sex marriage in 2015 that’s quite likely to pass.
  • Window on Eurasia quotes a Ukrainian about Russia’s issues with a separate Ukraine and notes a statement by Kaliningrad’s government claiming some Ukrainian refugees in Russia might be anti-Russian activists in disguise.

[PHOTO] A lovely fairy queen on Yonge

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A lovely fairy queen on Yonge

I wanted to single out this one photo from the many I took on WorldPride because I’m so pleased with the composition of this photo.

Everything worked out: the posing of the drag queen (here, on Yonge just south of College); the distribution of the audience; at a courtly distance all around her; the light struggling down through the hot humid day as if casting a divine glow from above.

It was beautiful.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 3, 2014 at 11:59 am

[PHOTO] Inside the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres

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I’ve been saving these photos of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres, a pair of stacked theatres dating from the early 20th century on Yonge north of Queen visited on the occasion of Doors Open, for posting on the first day of the Toronto Fringe Festival.

The Elgin Theatre is a conventional enough lower theatre, designed for movies and vaudeville. The Winter Garden, located above, was designed as an atmospheric “country garden under the stars”, and was abandoned for most of the 20th century.

The Winter Garden in particular was dark, making photography difficult. I only hope I responded adequately to the task.

Entering the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres

Inside the Elgin Theatre, all seemed golden.

Inside the Elgin Theatre (1)

Inside the Elgin Theatre (2)

Inside the Elgin Theatre (3)

Inside the Elgin Theatre (4)

Inside the Winter Garden Theatre, all was twilight.

Inside the Winter Garden Theatre (1)

Inside the Winter Garden Theatre (2)

Inside the Winter Garden Theatre (3)

Inside the Winter Garden Theatre (4)

The golden facades still shine under the flash.

Leaving the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres


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