Thinking about last night’s post on the position of religion in <I>Star Trek</I>, I realized not for the first time that I think way too much about the way that fictional universe plausibly works.
I am quite fine with that. It is a source of interest for me, an intellectual game playing with a setting that plenty of others know and can engage with. It can be fun, so why not go ahead?
That is me. What about you? What fictional universes do you like to try to analyze?
Chris Selley writes in the National Post about Tory’s defense of his road toll plan.
Mayor John Tory visited the National Post editorial board Thursday to defend his plan to toll the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway, putting the proceeds toward some $33 billion in approved-but-unfunded capital projects, notably public transit.
“There was no sense having a traffic and transit plan … if you didn’t have the answer to the one question that’s been elusive over time: How are you going to pay for it?” Tory said. “Our map of transit lines is pathetic, compared to any city (in the world) of our size, sophistication and wealth.”
And if you don’t like his plan to pay to improve it, he said — to everyone implicitly, and explicitly to Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown — where’s yours?
It remains a remarkably bold gambit. But the plaudits died down by the end of the day he announced it. Then, and since, Toronto’s air raid siren of complaint has been fading back up toward full volume.
“In Toronto, whenever the going gets tough, politicians turn to the panacea, road tolls,” Coun. Shelley Carroll wrote, bizarrely, on her website. No one suggested tolls were a panacea, and it is demonstrably not the case that Toronto politicians always turn to road tolls when the going gets tough. Hence the lack of road tolls.
The Toronto Star‘s Laura Beeston reports on a new wave of TTC merchandising that I will have to investigate, personally.
The TTC has expanded its online shop, stocked with official merchandise, just in time for the holidays.
Items such as a $90 TTC-themed shower curtain or a $29 T-shirt are available at ttcshop.ca.
The TTC officially launched the website Nov. 28 after a limited-run of merchandise two years ago revealed consumer interest.
“It’s something that people wanted or expected us to do,” said Cheryn Thoun, head of TTC customer communications. “The TTC is integral to the Toronto experience, so this kind of offering really helps to … extend our brand.”
The shop was created to promote Toronto’s subway system and fleet of iconic street cars, which are an increasingly rare site on modern roads.
The RE/MAX annual Housing Market Outlook Report says real estate in Hamilton-Burlington shot up by 19.8 per cent this year compared to last. That’s a few notches ahead of second place Fraser Valley, which rose by 19.5 per cent.
But unlike the B.C. community, which is expected to see a 5 per cent decline in prices next year, the report predicts another double-digit increase next year in the Hamilton area. Prices here are predicted to jump by 11 per cent, again putting Hamilton on top in Canada.
That means next year the average house in Hamilton-Burlington will spike to $594,427 from $535,520 this year.
The jump next year is consistent with predictions by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corp., which sees the hot market continuing over the next two to three years.
“As long as we keep seeing people move from the GTA to Hamilton, this will not slow,” said Abdul Kargbo, a senior market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Frances Bula’ takes a look at Vancouver to see how heritage designations are being resisted by many homeowners.
Bruce Pearson is furious that the city is trying to tell him what he can do with his house, a modest 1921 bungalow near Hastings Park on Vancouver’s east side.
Mr. Pearson, a retired machinist who has lived in his house for 48 years, is angrily arguing with the soft-voiced city planner sitting across the table from him. They are at one of Vancouver’s recent open houses to consult the public on policies to encourage the preservation of the city’s character houses.
Planner Tanis Yarnell is trying to explain to Mr. Pearson the bonuses the city wants to offer homeowners like him who own character houses in four large swathes of Vancouver: much of the west side, Point Grey, part of the central city and a pocket in the northeast where Mr. Pearson lives.
But the proposed enticements – the opportunity to build additions to their existing houses, to create multiple suites in a house, the chance of building a laneway house that’s much bigger than rules currently allow – aren’t going over so well with Mr. Pearson.
“That’s what it’s about is to force increased density,” grumbles Mr. Pearson, who believes his property value will go down when he sells if a new owner can’t build something larger.
“It’s a conspiracy against homeowners.”