A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘holidays

[URBAN NOTE] “Labour Day ’29”

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Torontoist reposted Jamie Bradburn’s 2009 essay looking at Labour Day in 1929, just before the onset of the Great Depression.

What were the ingredients needed to produce a Labour Day weekend in Toronto 87 years ago? A visit to the CNE? Check. Tourists crowding local highways? Check. A day at a beach? Check. Union members proudly marching in a parade wearing white suits and straw hats? Check. Controversy in the sporting world? Check. Rumours of a provincial election in the offing? Check. Economic worries? Not yet (wait a few weeks). Thieves with a penchant for stealing trousers? Check…?!?

A flip through the local newspapers during the last long summer weekend of 1929 provides almost no hint of the economic darkness to come. From all appearances, the 1920s were still roaring and Torontonians could sit back, relax, and enjoy the holiday with few cares.

Headlines early in the weekend screamed in shocked tones over the poor sportsmanship shown by American swimmer Eddie Keating after his victory in the Wrigley swim marathon over German-Canadian Ernst Vierkoetter on Friday night. The trouble began when Keating was brought to the winner’s podium to speak to the crowd and a radio audience after the eight-hour, fifteen-mile race wrapped up.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 12, 2016 at 8:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Is it time to rethink Toronto’s air show?”

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I wonder. From CBC’s Metro Morning:

It’s the sound of the city this weekend: the roar of planes overhead as the Canadian International Air Show features vintage and modern planes in aerial displays. It’s been running since 1949, and draws thousands of people to the waterfront.

Some people love the spectacle; others hate the disruption, or object to the military display.

But for some in the city it can also have an unsettling, perhaps even traumatic, effect.

Maya Bastian is a writer and filmmaker with family roots in Sri Lanka. In 2009, as the war in that country was ending, she went there to work in conflict zones. “I had never seen anything like it,” she told CBC Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway.

Bastian returned at the end of the summer, shortly before that year’s air show. Standing out on the street, “any time a plane flew over I was paralyzed, I couldn’t move … I was reliving a lot of the things that I saw and experienced and heard in that moment.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 3, 2016 at 3:59 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Pride Toronto to decide future of police parade floats through review panel”

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CBC News’ Nicole Brockbank reports on the continuing controversies over police and race and Pride Toronto.

Pride Toronto has accepted, and plans to review an official complaint from Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) about the inclusion of police floats in the city’s annual pride parade.

The LGBTQ organization clarified its stance on the hot topic issue at a Tuesday evening townhall event hosted at Ada Slaight Hall on Dundas Street East.

“We signed the agreement with a commitment to work with Blackness Yes!, Black Queer Youth and Black Lives Matter and our communities to strengthen our relationship,” said Pride Toronto board co-chair Alica Hall.

In July, the Pride parade was temporarily blocked by a Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) protest. The event resumed 30 minutes later after top Pride executives agreed to a list of demands for next year’s festival, including a ban on police floats in the festival’s penultimate march.

The next day, Pride Toronto’s former leader, Mathieu Chantelois, said the organization never agreed to exclude police from its events, but would have discussions with the force about what its future involvement would look like.

On Tuesday night, Pride Toronto representatives distanced themselves from that statement, saying the comments made “in the media suggesting we had no intention of meeting these demands … misrepresented our organization’s position.”

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 5:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “CNE Youth Day in jeopardy after fights, crowds force shutdown”

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CBC News reports on last night’s crying shame at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Youth Day could be scrapped at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) after a series of fights forced the popular event to abruptly shut down, setting off what some called “sheer chaos” in the crowds.

Virginia Ludy, the CNE’s general manager, said she was forced to shut down the event due to a dangerous “crowd dynamic,” among a few groups of teenagers in the midway area. Video of the fights show swarms of people surrounding the fighters, while others rush away from the scene.

Ludy said some 70,000 people were at the Exhibition grounds, a large area of downtown land near the city’s lake shore, so organizers who were monitoring the crowds had to power down rides and call in police around 9:30 p.m.

“You don’t want to create panic and you don’t want to create chaos,” Ludy told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.

But, she said, organizers could not hesitate to close with patrons’ safety at risk.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 4:45 pm

[PHOTO] Eight photos from the Bloorcourt Arts & Crafts Fair (#bloorcourtfestival)

I was off work yesterday evening early enough to catch the last hours of the Bloorcourt Arts & Crafts Fair, on Bloor Street West east from Dufferin. Even at 6 o’clock, there was still a healthy crowd on the streets, looking at the vendors’ displays or eating and drinking on the patios or just hanging out. They only began putting away the inevitable bouncy castle by 7.

West on Bloor past Concord #toronto #bloorstreetwest #bloorcourt #bloorcourtfestival

Organic cotton dresses #toronto #bloorstreetwest #bloorcourt #bloorcourtfestival #organic #cotton #dresses

Angofest #toronto #bloorstreetwest #bloorcourt #bloorcourtfestival #angola #dance

Bloor beyond Havelock #toronto #bloorstreetwest #bloorcourt #bloorcourtfestival

Garage sale #toronto #bloorstreetwest #bloorcourt #bloorcourtfestival #romancatholicism #statue #christianity #stanthonys

Beehive #toronto #bloorstreetwest #bloorcourt #bloorcourtfestival #bee #beehive #insects #honey

Bouncy castle #toronto #bloorstreetwest #bloorcourt #bloorcourtfestival #bouncycastle #bouncy #castle

Moving the cell #toronto #bloorstreetwest #bloorcourt #bloorcourtfestival

Written by Randy McDonald

August 28, 2016 at 9:57 am

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes the all-gender washrooms of the CNE.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly looks at ways people can preserve themselves.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos of homeless people, by themselves and dressed in their childhood dreams.
  • False Steps looks at a proposed Soviet orbital tug.
  • Far Outliers looks at the Navajo, at their pastoralist lifestyle, at their adaptiveness, and at their 1864-1865 deportation east and their 1868 return.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the extreme dependence of Australia on China.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers the question of scale in a Mars photo.
  • Towleroad notes the impending success of Frank Ocean’s album.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is undercounting Ukrainians, despairs for the future of Russia-Ukraine relations, and notes the Hitler-Stalin alliance’s legacies.

[URBAN NOTE] “CNE touts ‘extremely aggressive’ waste-diversion”

This human-interest story in the Canadian National Exhibition, by the Toronto Star“s Jessica Botelho-Urbanski, interests me. I am going this year, I know. (Will I try the food? Maybe.)

Even the “greenest” fair in North America couldn’t avoid throwing out an estimated 300,000 kilograms of waste on its first weekend, according to the facility’s services coordinator.

Brian Dow said over 18 days, from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5, the Canadian National Exhibition collects about 1.8 million kilograms of waste. The CNE also boasts an “extremely aggressive” waste-diversion program designed to offset the fair’s environmental impact, said general manager Virginia Ludy.

And though CNE staff says they’ve diverted about 86 per cent of waste from landfills in the last decade, they’re still looking for ways to improve.

“There’s still 14 per cent to get better at and hopefully at some point in time, we’ll get to a complete 100 per cent diversion,” Ludy said.

Food waste is especially focused upon, with at least 111 vendors in the food building this year, 26 food trucks scheduled to arrive next weekend and about 1.6 million visitors — most of them hungry — to the fair.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 23, 2016 at 8:49 pm