A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘toronto

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO notes that the redevelopment of Toronto’s Port Lands is continuing.
  • Crooked Timber argues that climate denialism exposes the socially constructed nature of property rights.
  • D-Brief notes the reburial of Kennewick Man.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes there is no sign of a second planet around Proxima Centauri.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at life in Texas.
  • The LRB Blog analyzes Milo’s stumble.
  • Marginal Revolution considers the levels of disorderliness different societies, like Sweden, can tolerate.
  • The NYRB Daily reports on the poisoning of a Russian dissident.
  • The Planetary Society Blog suggests Voyager 1 picked up Enceladus’ plumes.
  • Peter Rukavina writes of his mapping of someone’s passage on the Camino Francés.
  • Supernova Condensate looks at the United Arab Emirates’ plan to build a city on Mars in a century.
  • Torontoist reported on a protest demanding action on the overdose crisis.

  • Towleroad describes the plight of Mr. Gay Syria in Istanbul and reports on the progress of same-sex marriage in Finland.
  • Understanding Society considers the complexity of managing large technological projects.
  • Window on Eurasia links to one Russian writer arguing Putin should copy Trump and links to anotehr suggesting the Russian Orthodox Church is overreaching.

[PHOTO] Barbara Frum Atrium, ready for filming

leave a comment »

Barbara Frum Atrium, ready for filming

Written by Randy McDonald

February 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Canada, Photo, Popular Culture, Toronto

Tagged with , ,

[URBAN NOTE] Rosie DiManno in the Toronto Star on the Badminton and Racquet Club fire

leave a comment »

Rosie DiManno’s long-form article “’I’m getting burned!’ Slaying the beast that was the Badminton and Racquet Club fire” examines just what happened at the recent devastating fire at Yonge and St. Clair, in detail.

Fire and water: The crisis and the cure.

But it took 20 hours of steadfastly blasting the latter to extinguish the roiling conflagration of the former last week at the Badminton and Racquet Club of Toronto.

Bringing the blaze to heel — preventing it from leaping to condos and businesses on the four corners of St. Clair Ave. and Yonge St. — required a collective yeoman effort over three days: 520 firefighters, 167 fire engines, pumpers and three tower trucks with articulating booms, hazardous materials unit, dozens of hoses pumping simultaneously, an excavator and countless air cylinders consumed.

And still, days later, small spot fires continued sparking back to life.

A tall chore, killing a fire; throttling it.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm

[MUSIC] “Don’t let Toronto’s buzz bands become bubble bands”

leave a comment »

NOW Toronto‘s Jonathan Bruce offers advise as to what Toronto’s up-and-coming bands can do to avoid getting burned by overexposure.

I saw a band the other day and it wasn’t great. On a bill of five acts, they played the weakest set to the smallest crowd of the night. Forgettable songs, negligible stage presence. The visiting team was outclassed in terms of talent and originality by the hometown Toronto bands on the bill. But somehow, according to my insider intel, they got paid more than the other four combined.

This is how a buzz band becomes a bubble band.

The buzz band is the great hope in an industry plagued by falling record sales. Buzz bands are young, hungry and up for anything. The music biz is eager to sign them and send them on the road, and promoters love them because they sell tickets.

Like the overblown real estate market, buzz bands are out of hand. These acts often come with agents and managers that make dollar demands that are out of whack with reality. Do-it-yourself schlepping is out, and the pop factory is back in. But how much longer can the buzz band factory keep churning them out?

As long as streaming pays out fractions of pennies in royalties, artists will rely on performing live for the bulk of their income. This situation puts major economic pressure on promoters to pay big fees to bands in an increasingly competitive marketplace. And if the artist fails to attract audiences, they flame out and the bubble bursts. Pop!

Having booked close to 2,000 emerging bands for local music series Wavelength over 17 years, I have watched many buzz bubbles burst. We were lucky to see some alumni go on to international fame. We were in the right place at the right time to host early gigs by Broken Social Scene, Constantines, Owen Pallett and Grimes. Many others crashed and burned, but I’m too nice to name-check those acts.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto city staff want to see Victoria University pay property tax on Yorkville land”

leave a comment »

Mike Smee of CBC News reports on the latest regarding Victoria University’s holding of extensive amounts of Bloor Street West retail property while paying few taxes.

The head of Victoria University tried to convince Toronto councillors the school can come to a deal with the city — without involving the province — about the controversial tax-free status of the land the institution owns in an upscale Yorkville neighbourhood.

William Robins appeared before the government management committee Tuesday to answer questions as city staff want the school to pay taxes on a parcel of land it owns on the so-called mink mile; the school’s tenants include names like Prada, Cartier, and Michael Kors.

“You can understand, I’m sure, that on the face of it, it looks as if some of the city’s most successful and lucrative retailers are potentially getting a break while we are struggling with our revenues at the city,” Coun. Janet Davis said.

While the school — better known as the University of Toronto’s Victoria College — does not pay property taxes on the land, it’s unclear whether it does on the buildings themselves.

“The lease arrangements are complicated,” Robins told the government management committee. “But this is very much part of the ongoing negotiations with city staff, I can assure you that.”

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “TTC union asks Bob Kinnear to quit hours after judge reinstates him”

leave a comment »

Ben Spurr and Peter Edwards go into detail about the controversies involving the TTC workers’ union, their erstwhile leader Bob Kinnear, and the messy legal issues involving the two and their United States-based parent union.

The battle for control of the TTC’s largest union has taken two more plot twists in less than a day.

Bob Kinnear won a victory in provincial court on Tuesday afternoon, only to lose a “no confidence” motion from Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union later in the evening.

Kinnear’s victory came when a provincial judge reinstated him as Local 113 president three weeks after he was deposed from the top job in the TTC’s largest union.

His loss came hours later, when the Local 113 executive board unanimously voted “no confidence” in him and called for his resignation in an emergency session, a statement issued by Local 113 said.

In a decision issued Tuesday, Justice Michael Penny of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted an interlocutory injunction that allowed Kinnear to regain control over Local 113.

On Feb. 3 the local’s U.S.-based parent union, Amalgamated Transit Union International, abruptly deposed Kinnear and placed Local 113 under a trusteeship. ATU International accused him of attempting to disaffiliate the local from its parent organization without the consent of Local 113 members.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “TTC union board votes ‘no confidence’ in Bob Kinnear after court reinstates him”

leave a comment »

CBC News reports on the latest controversies surrounding the TTC union.

The executive board of the TTC’s largest union local says it has unanimously approved a motion of “no confidence” in the leadership of Bob Kinnear.

In a statement late Tuesday, the board said the move follows a decision by a Toronto judge to reinstate Kinnear as head of the the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 and it came during an emergency session of the board held in Toronto. Local 113 represents some 11,000 TTC workers.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Penny reinstated Kinnear, who had been suspended for allegedly trying to split the local from its U.S.-based parent. Penny slammed the suspension.

The board, in a news release late Tuesday, said it condemned Kinnear’s alleged attempt to split the local from its U.S.-based parent and it called on him to “cease and desist” from continuing his alleged campaign.

It said it also demanded that he refrain from any attempt to sue the union over his suspension and hold Local 113 responsible for any damages.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Toronto, Urban Note

Tagged with , , ,