Tag Archives: Toronto

Campaign Rally

I did something today I’ve never done before. I went to a campaign rally. Here’s photographic evidence. Ignore that it’s a bad shot, as it was taken on my iPhone. Ignore Kristin’s head in half the shot. Ignore the fact that Councillor Mike Layton is giving me a death glare.


Not only did I go to a campaign rally for the first time, I’ve also donated to a political campaign and have volunteered to help out Ms. Chow’s campaign.

It’s no secret that I think Rob Ford was the worst possible choice for mayor. Amongst the three million possible Torontonians, he’s definitely near the bottom, but we’ve had to put up with him for four years1. Since the election campaign started on January 2nd, we’ve had Rob Ford, Karen Stinz, John Tory, and David Soknacki throw their hats in the ring. That’s a lot of right-wingers. The left has stayed quiet. Three days ago, Olivia Chow announced her candidacy, and finally we have a mayoral candidate who I can get behind. So I decided to go to her campaign rally. I stood near the front, as Kristin wanted to photograph the event… I’m sure she has better photos than this one.

What I learned:

  • O-liv-i-a O-liv-i-a is a terrible chant. Too many syllables.
  • “New mayor, better city” is also a terrible chant.
  • Ms. Chow looks good in a yellow dress.
  • Councillor Mike Layton, her step-son, is supporting her bid for mayor.
  • Deepa Mehta, who spoke before Chow, is fucking amazing.
  • “It’s time to pack up that circus tent at City Hall.” Okay, I knew that before, but I like the line. It’s clever.
  • I feel awkward cheering along to soundbites.

Seriously, here’s the problem, a campaign rally is no place for intelligent discourse, it’s a way to rally your troops, get people excited. It doesn’t get me excited. Tell me about your plan. I’m not here for hero worship and idolatry, it seems others are, but I want to know how you will make the city better. I know you’re intelligent, and I’m putting a lot of faith in you, just tell me what you plan to do. Give me details, and talk to me like an adult.

What do I want to solve that? A debate, I guess. One on one discussion would be nice.

I’m not a member of the cult-of-Olivia, and I never will be, I can never blindly support a single candidate, but I will work hard to ensure that Ms. Chow becomes the next mayor of Toronto, as she is the best option for this city. Just don’t expect me to chant “O-liv-i-a.”

  1. or is it Ford years? []

Dear Mayor Ford,

I felt I had to email my mayor…

Dear Mayor Ford,

I was pleased to hear you finally admitted to the allegations against you. Finally you answered the questions put forward to you. This is an amazing step towards Toronto forgiving you. You’re lucky to live in a city with 2.7 million wonderful people who want the best for you, even if you are unable to admit you need help.

There are still some questions that the people of Toronto feel you have inadequately addressed:

  • Other than your conviction for a DUI in Florida, have you ever operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics?
  • Have you ever brought a toddler to a drug deal?
  • What were those packages that Mr. Lisi was delivering to you?
  • Will you apologize to Mr. Trudeau and to the LGBT community of Toronto for the alleged comments you made?
  • Will you apologize to all Torontonians of all ethnicities for the alleged comments you made?
  • Will you apologize to the media for the disparaging comments you made about them?
  • Will you assist the Toronto Police Services (or Ontario Provincial Police) in any and all investigations that may require your help?

It seems pretty obvious to everyone that you have an addiction. An addiction to alcohol and an addiction to narcotics. I hope that I’m wrong and you’re right, that you don’t have an addiction, but from where I stand it seems doubtful.

You said on the radio that you will continue to drink, but you will do so at home. This scares me, Your Worship. Your wife and children live there, and there have already been police calls in regards to domestic violence. I fear for your family’s safety. If you can get so drunk that you are comfortable trying crack, then what does that say to your ability to control your rage.

For the sake of your family and the City of Toronto, please get help. We hope to see you fresh-faced and healthy in time for the 2014 election.

Adam M. Anklewicz

NXNE Part 7: Gabriel Minnikin

I was surprised by a friend when she handed me two North By Northeast wristbands. I promptly started scouring the NXNE schedule, these are the stories.

Gabriel Minnikin

14 JUNE 2013, 12AM


Gabriel Minnikin

Gabriel Minnikin doesn’t seem to play in Toronto too often. I’ve been a fan of his former band The Guthries for quite some time and his sister Ruth’s for just as long. I think that his living in the UK and not performing in Toronto was what led me to never check out his solo records. I bought two records of his a couple years back at the Zunior Boxing Day sale. While I liked the record, I still don’t know the songs inside and out. Buying it amongst 30 other records didn’t help.

Minnikin seemed to be playing at inopportune times. Either during the massive Murderecords show or 15 minutes after an artist in the other end of the city. I had decided to drive that night, and so getting from Queen and Ossington to Bloor and Brunswick in 15-20 minutes wasn’t that difficult.

Minnikin has a charm to his show. He was all on his own playing to a room of a dozen people, and his humour and music kept him afloat.

NXNE Part 6: Cœur de pirate

I was surprised by a friend when she handed me two North By Northeast wristbands. I promptly started scouring the NXNE schedule, these are the stories.

Cœur de pirate

13 JUNE 2013, 11PM

The Great Hall

Cœur de pirate

Apparently Béatrice Martin, aka Cœur de pirate, was recovering from a illness, but the audience was none the wiser until she pointed it out before her last song. He voice is beautiful and he songs are pretty. I generally don’t understand what she’s singing about, but it was a nice and strange sight to see a room full of Torontonians singing along to songs in French. Maybe Canada’s French/English divide isn’t as strong as many believe.

NXNE Part 4: Arizona Lily

I was surprised by a friend when she handed me two North By Northeast wristbands. I promptly started scouring the NXNE schedule, these are the stories.

Arizona Lily

13 JUNE 2013, 8PM

Rancho Relaxo

Arizona Lily

I don’t really have much to say, since bass player Jessica is my friend. 

Arizona Lily

Arizona Lily

Jessica looks like a smurf in this lighting. Oh Rancho, you do so many things terribly, lighting is amongst them.

NXNE Part 3: The Super Friendz

Matt Murphy

I was surprised by a friend when she handed me two North By Northeast wristbands. I promptly started scouring the NXNE schedule, these are the stories.

The Super Friendz

15 June 2013, 12am

The Great Hall

Drew Yamada

The last time I saw The Super Friendz perform in Toronto, I left the show with such a high that lasted me for a whole week, and no it was no artificially induced. It was teh first time I saw The Super Friendz live, and I expected it to be the only time I’d ever see that classic ’90s Halifax rock band. Fate seems to want to correct me.

Fate seemed to have a different plan for me. With NXNE came an announcement that The Super Friendz would be playing at The Great Hall. I usually avoid NXNE, as I’m not doing the whole blogging thing much any more and it’s at a terrible time for those of us who have day jobs in schools. Then when I was handed a free wristband, I was able to pass on my ticket to another and make some stranger happy.

It didn’t feel like the band hasn’t played together for a decade (except two shows) and the band members seemed to be having a great time up on stage. I don’t know what to say other than I left with a giant grin on my face. I loved watching the people in the audience during the encore going crazy to hear “Karate Man” live. Watching Matt Murphy in his Murph-tastic zone is always a pleasure.


  1. When They Paid Me
  2. Undertow
  3. Better Call
  4. Come Clean
  5. Rescue Us From Boredom
  6. Restricted
  7. Boots
  8. Up and Running
  9. Just Say So
  10. Down In Flames
  11. 10 lbs.
  12. <encore break>
  13. Absurd Without It
  14. Karate Man
  15. Super Friendz Theme1
  1. I think []

Pride 2012

Today is Canada Day, but it is also Pride. I took my camera with me for the first time to Pride, and took these photos.

Politics – City and Province

Today was a productive day.

Councillors Mary Fragedakis and Paul Fletcher of wards 29 & 30 respectively held an information meeting today in Eastminster United Church. During this event they had speakers from many organizations, including the Toronto Library, Animal Services, and many other fantastic Toronto services speak about the KPMG report’s recommendations for service cuts.

This event was simply the left preaching to the left. It was good to hear from these organizations, and give faces to the proposed cuts. Sadly all they talked about was “SAY NO TO CUTS!” It wasn’t anything to motivate those already against the cuts, it did nothing to move the masses. So I asked a question… well, two.

1) How are the politicians and the activists represented going to work with others to find a medium ground, to compromise?

2) Yes we can contact our councillors, who agree with us, we can contact the Mayor’s office, who will ignore us, we can sign petitions, but what can we do with this massive group here to make a change? How can we mobilize?

Councillor Fletcher answered the second question with the usual rhetoric, getting friends and family outside of the ward to contact their councillors, coming to city council, holding up signs. All good and useful ideas, but nothing that will move the masses. Nothing that will convince the “mushy middle” they so much deride. The first question, she didn’t even touch. She told me we had to move along to the next person.

After the event, I talked to my councillor, Ms. Fragedakis as someone asked her how to get the “mushy middle” to see the “correct” side of the picture. I then asked, “how can we get the ‘mushy middle’ to our side of the picture if we cannot work with them, and compromise to find solutions?” Fragedakis’ response was simply that the left is right, and that we have to convince them to our side.

And ladies and gentlemen, this is why I hate party politics. You have people who are living and breathing the party manifesto and putting that ahead of reason. Yes I’m against Ford’s cut, but Toronto MUST balance it’s budget, why? Because we HAVE TO BY LAW! We cannot, under provincial law, run a deficit. So we have to work with the Fords and Mammolitis to find a middle ground to our budget problems.

One of the speakers there was Mr. Peter Tabuns, who is running for re-election to represent Toronto-Danforth in Ontario’s provincial legislature… Queen’s Park1. He spoke well, and he spoke of getting the province to return to the days of Bob Rae, when Ontario subsidized the operational expenses of the TTC. He spoke well, and he spoke convincingly, and he enticed me to want to vote for him. But how can I do that, if I haven’t yet spoken to the Liberal candidate in my riding, especially because of my dislike of Ms. Howath, the leader of the NDP?

Well, it just so happens, that on my walk home from Eastminster United Church, I ran into Marisa Sterling, who is vying for a seat in Queen’s Park.

It was nice to be able to talk to her. It was disappointing, however. She seems to think that representing the city’s needs is the job of Toronto councillors, and that representing Toronto’s needs provincially is not the job of an MPP elected in Toronto. I have to say that she’s wrong. I have to say that the single job of an MPP or an MP elected to represent Toronto-Danforth in their respective Parliament, is to represent Toronto-Danforth in their respective Parliament.

The Liberals aren’t right, the Conservatives aren’t right, the NDP aren’t right, the Greens aren’t right. No one is 100% right, and we must work together to find a compromise.

  1. For to two people who didn’t know that. []

A Message from W.L. Mackenzie

Politics is the science which teaches the people of a country to care for each other. If a mischievous individual were to attempt to cut off his neighbour’s hand, would that neighbour’s other hand and feet do well quietly to permit the amputation of the limb if they could hinder it? All will say, No. This then is politics. That part of our duty which teaches us to study the welfare of our whole country, and not to rest satisfied altho’ our own household is well off when our neighbours are in difficulty and danger. The honest politician is he who gives all he can of his time and means to promote the public good, whose charity begins at home but does not end there. The man who says he is no politician, is either ignorant of what he is saying, or a contemptible selfish creature, unworthy of the country or community of which is a part.

William Lyon Mackenzie
March 12, 1795 – August 28, 1861
Mayor of Toronto, 1834
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1829-1833, 1834-1836
Member of the Legislative Assembly of the United Province of Canada, 1851-1858

Sourced from: Mackenzie: A Political Biography of William Lyon Mackenzie by John Sewell; James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers; 2002

Mayor Staypuft

Okay, so Toronto chose the worst possible option for its mayor. I propose two things.

1) We, the people, the ones who own this city, the ones who invest our lives in it, we band together and make it the best possible city it can fuckin’ be! Whether that be creating amazing art spaces for the community, working towards a greener Toronto, escalating guerilla urban planning1, anything! Let’s make this the best possible city, despite Ford.

2) 2014 is coming soon. Who do we want to run our city. We have three million possible contenders. We need to figure out who that person is, and convince them they want the job. Then we work to run a campaign of hope, a campaign of the future, and that kind of optimism cannot be defeated. This is what the 2010 election lacked.

Who’s with me?

  1. Paint bike lanes, guerilla gardening, whatever! []