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oday May 2012

The great

Divide Disaster or progress? Two years later, do we know who’s right about the St. Clair line that continues to split politicians and the community?

Special issue focusing on the midtown

project all Toronto is still debating

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ST. CLAIR RIGHT-OF-WAY: Disaster, transit model, or something in between?

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e didn’t really want to devote so much of a Toronto Today issue to the St.Clair right-of-way. Especially not two years after it was built. You’d think all that controversy would be behind us — behind the city, that is. But the streetcar line has remained a political football all this time in the context of the debate — if you can call it that — over whether we should be planning subways or light-rail lines under and over the city. For the “subways, subways, subways” people, St. Clair has been exhibit A, the disaster that inevitably follows building surface routes. This has been annoying to lightrail proponents who argue a) St. Clair turned out pretty well and b) LRTs in other parts of town won’t be much like St. Clair anyway. The latter point is valid for several reasons. St. Clair is really just a streetcar right-of-way, not all that light rail can be. And we’ve learned, it is hoped, from the St. Clair experience how to avoid the inherent pitfalls in such transit projects. Toronto’s LRTs will be both

Eric McMillan, editor-in-chief different from and better than the St. Clair line — partly because we’ve done the St. Clair line. Yet the argument continues. Now, however, it seems both sides are expressing some willingness to look at the facts about St. Clair. If anything, our own journalistic research indicates no one side is entirely correct. St. Clair is neither a disaster nor an urban paradise. After facing the facts, the next step is to get past St. Clair. TT

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MAY 2012 TORONTO TODAY 


Can we get past this? Facts may be emerging over whether the St. Clair streetcar line is a disaster or a model for transit — or something in between

I

By Karolyn coorsh

t’s the 6.8-kilometre stretch of rail track that has divided neighbourhoods and forced an entire city to question how it builds transit. Seven years after the plan for an exclusive streetcar right-of-way along St. Clair Avenue West was rubberstamped at city hall, and two years after construction ended, we’re still wondering: was it worth the seemingly endless construction and cost overruns? And, is it truly a disaster, as Mayor Rob Ford is wont to say, or a model poised to lead us into the future of transit? Depends who you ask. Some observers say the exclusive right-of-way became so politicized during city hall’s most recent transit debate that gauging success or failure will be next to impossible. Others say for better or worse, it is here to stay. Time to move on and focus on promoting neighbourhoods that are still recovering from the long construction period. Emerging statistics tell a story of marginal to significant improvements, including a reduction in travel times for streetcar commuters. Now, in an attempt to get the full scope of the

impact, the TTC has commissioned an independent review of the right-of-way with the intent of setting the record straight.

More riders — better ride?

In 2003 when the TTC was grappling with how to replace aging streetcar tracks, the prevailing idea was to increase the speed and reliability of the 512 route by removing it from mixed traffic. Now, early numbers indicate the new route is indeed faster. “We have been able to reduce our travel times quite dramatically as a result of the right-of-way,” the TTC’s chief planner Mitch Stambler says. Pre-construction in 2005, it took 64 minutes to travel by streetcar from St. Clair Station at Yonge Street to Keele Street during morning peak times. According to Stambler, spring 2011 statistics indicate it now takes 56 minutes, shaving eight minutes. A less dramatic change is in the afternoon rush hour, down to 58 minutes from 64. Ridership has improved as well, with peak-period numbers up 16 percent. That’s faster growth rate than the system as a whole, which grew 10.6 percent. Stambler admits, however, the TTC has not delivered fully on reliability. Gapping, when streetcars “bunch up” and create inconsistent waiting times for riders along the route, is an ongoing problem. It’s no minor matter. With the streetcars protected from traffic and given signal priority, the configuration is intended to provide greater reliability and eliminate gapping. “In many, many ways we have an operating environment where we should be able to run very, very reliable and fast service,” Stambler said, adding the TTC is revisiting route management practices to fix the problem. “There’s no question it’s running much better than it was when it was in mixed traffic, but it’s going to get better.”

Business blues

Arguably, the right-of-way has had an impact on

Hitting home prices? At the back of some homeowners’ minds may be the question of whether the St. Clair right-of-way — and the long-running controversy over it — has affected local house values. Neighbourhoods along St. Clair have indeed seen a spike in property value, but it’s mostly in line with a red-hot housing market across Toronto, says Jason Mercer, market analysis manager at the Toronto Real Estate Board. “What we’ve seen in the city of Toronto and in the GTA more broadly over the last, say, year  TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

the businesses of the commercial drag. Both critics and champions of the right-of-way agree the mostly institutional and residential stretch between Yonge Street and Bathurst Street — along the Deer Park and Forest Hill neighbourhoods — was not greatly affected by construction. And the Wychwood Heights neighbourhood just west of Bathurst that had already been undergoing revitalization is by all accounts continuing to flourish with new boutique shops, highrise development and high-end restaurants. But few deny the mainstreet neighbourhoods further west — namely Oakwood, Regal Heights and Corso Italia — were hit hard by torn-up streets and continual construction. In 2009, a local lawyer attempted to launch a class action lawsuit, alleging damages as a result of prolonged construction and concerted effort to drive away mom-and-pop businesses. The action fizzled out on technicalities, but the initial support for compensation was further evidence of lingering anger and frustration. Margaret Smith, who headed the Save Our St. Clair group opposing the right-of-way, maintains today that longstanding businesses suffered enormously from a loss of clients. Many storefront businesses shut down during or soon after construction ended, she says. “I’m not saying that the construction of the rightof-way is responsible,” Smith says. “What I am saying is it was the icing on the cake. When we had an economic downturn in 2008, we’d had construction all along the street before that.” Llewellyn Accam, owner of Boubah’s Pet Store, near Oakwood Avenue, says he saw businesses take a dip and not recover. “I think the intention was good, but it wasn’t well thought out.” Though the TTC insists the number of onstreet parking spots has remained largely unchanged, Accam says a lack of parking in front of his shop post-construction drove clients away. It’s a concern echoed by many local shopkeepers. “From a city standpoint they’re making more revor so has been strong demand for home ownership but at the same time, we’ve seen listings somewhat constrained and so there’s been a lot of competition between buyers. “As a result, we’ve had strong upward pressure of pricing and that’s certainly been the case for the type of homes that predominate in the neighbourhoods you’re talking about: low-rise, single-detached and semi-detached homes.” In short, St. Clair-area real estate values are still rising, and we can’t discern a positive or negative influence from the streetcar dispute.


enue, but it’s killed a lot of businesses,” says Accam, who added he making deliveries to retain some clients who don’t want to drive in the area. A few blocks west on the south side of St. Clair, Theresa Bove says the area experienced a lot of challenges before the right-of-way construction. “St. Clair has gone through so many transitions,” says the proprietor of Bove Aesthetics. “I mean, it was a great place 27 years ago. Things change, the dollar stores all came in — but that was even preconstruction.” Unlike many of her neighbours, Bove says she liked the right-of-way concept from the get-go, and was pleased with the result. “The streetscape looks better. After it was done, you really noticed a lot of

people coming out.” A lifelong area resident, Bove says maneuvering in traffic is less chaotic, and she has more parking for her customers. “Now at least when you have to make a left-hand turn, you don’t have to scoot behind or stay behind the streetcar or stop at everything,” she says. “Even for the streetcars —they don’t have to stop behind a car waiting for a left turn.”

Boom and bottlenecks

St. Paul’s councillor Joe Mihevc, a champion of the right-of-way, says his section of St. Clair from Spadina Road to Winona Drive, is now booming. “Before the right of way, St. Clair, in my section, was a miserable strip. We had a dozen dollar stores.

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ow does a $65-million project turn into a $106-million project? Ask the mayor or one of the TTC’s critics, and you’ll learn the St. Clair right-of-way is a testament to the TTC’s inability to manage and deliver a project on time and on budget. After all, it is the St. Clair Disaster. Or is it? In a 2010 report commissioned by the TTC titled Getting It Right, authors Les Kelman and Richard M. Soberman point out the project grew far beyond the TTC work. “The project scope changed while the project was under construction,” the report says. Those changes included decisions to replace existing hydro services with underground service, upgrade water services, enhance street lighting, and implement sidewalk and roadway enhancements. Initially, $48 million was budgeted to replace the track, which was subsequently amended to $65 million to make it a right-of-way. That was only for the TTC work: track replacement, platforms and shelters, intersection improvements such as turn signals, public art, streetscaping and property acquisition. Ultimately, $68 million was spent on transit work. TTC chief planning officer, Mitch Stambler, says it’s not the TTC’s fault that costs went off the rails. “The great irony is it did not get out of control, nor did the costs get out of control,” Stambler said. “It’s a bunch of other things that had nothing to do with the original project, had nothing to do with what was approved in the environmental assessment. But everybody else jumped on board.” Ward 21 councillor Joe Mihevc, who advocated on behalf of the project as former vice-chair of the TTC, says there were conversations about replacing the hydro plant on St. Clair five years after the rightof-way was to be completed. Much of the area’s infrastructure had to be replaced. The watermain between Yonge Street and Vaughan Road had to be upgraded to abide by provincial water regulations introduced after the Walkerton tragedy. “We said if you’re going to do that, do it now HOW Page 8

We didn’t have the fine restaurants that we have now, or the patios that we have now. That doesn’t happen accidentally. You have to pitch your area.” But some things can’t be fixed that easily. Councillor Cesar Palacio, whose ward covers the west end of the right-of-way, says the biggest problem is the gridlock created at the rail bridge near Old Weston Road where St. Clair traffic is reduced to one lane in both directions. The bottleneck is a prime example of the shortsightedness and political interference that went into planning the right-of-way, Palacio says. “I said from the beginning, no provisions were being made to deal with that problem....They didn’t want to listen to the AN END Page 7

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The word on the avenue

So much for the experts. What do the people who use the street say?

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e hit the pavement and cement of St. Clair Avenue West to talk to residents, riders, drivers, shoppers and business people. From one end of the streetcar right-of-way to the other, we found folks with views on how the controversial project turned out. And what did we discover? Well, it seems the

hoi polloi have as diverse opinions about the rightof-way as the politicians do. And they are as vociferous in making their judgments known. Little consensus was found, though some rough generalizations may be drawn. Shopkeepers tend to oppose the right-of-way more than residents. Tran-

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Commuting is okay. It’s close to my work and everything, so it’s all right. [But] it takes up too much space. It’s a waste of government taxes. There’s too much traffic, especially when people are turning and everything. It’s not good what the government did. Sandra Carmo, commuter

It’s better because it’s not trafficky, but for the cars it is kind of iffy. I take it all the time. It’s fast though. I have noticed a difference. Matina, Dufferin and St. Clair resident

I don’t like it. You try to drive down to the west-end Home Depot. It used to take me 15 minutes. Now it takes like, maybe 45 minutes. One lane. Tony Araugo, Via Italia resident

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It’s not better for us. It’s worse. The street used to be wide enough, people had lots of parking. Now it’s not wide enough, traffic is not going through very well because it’s stuck all the time. Charanjit Seehon, co-owner D & S Grocery & Variety

It’s going a lot faster than it was. You’re getting places a little bit quicker. I lived seven years here in this area and it was under construction most of the time so it was a little bit of a hassle. It seems better though. Jen Parsons, local resident

sit riders seem to like it more than drivers. People interviewed at the east end of the line are on the whole more favourable than those at the west end. One thing for sure: don’t believe any pundit or politician who claims universal support or opposition to the line among the people most affected.

In every way it’s made the place better.... It makes no sense to me to call it a disaster. I’ve written to Ford and said come down and I’ll give you a tour of the neighbourhood. He didn’t respond. James Mckee, local resident

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I think it’s pretty good, reasonably fast. Usually it comes. It’s only like an 8 minute wait at most, it gets me to the subway quickly. I like it. It’s way better than the Queen [streetcar]. Allison Moore, commuter We lost a lot of the walk-in traffic but for us, we’re more service oriented, so our trucks have to go on the road, which is very difficult now because we can’t just turn wherever we want — we have to turn wherever we can make this U-turn.... But it doesn’t really affect our business as much as, say, a restaurant or a shoe store because people are just not going to come. It’s very sad. Gerry, employee Remington Glass It stinks. You’ve got too many lights. People don’t know when to turn, when to go. Everything is chaos.... It’s improving a little bit. The streetcars are a little bit more on time now. Before they were awfully slow. Nick Fiorella, owner Renzo Nick Shoes  TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

A waste of money. Sarah Fernandez, local resident

It’s really helped out the community. Thing’s move more smoothly. It’s a lot faster, especially for emergency vehicles. Overall it just worked out for the best. It’s just very easy to get anywhere. It just made everything more convenient. Gabriel Roias, local resident

People cannot really park anywhere now during rush hour. Because of the streetcar going by all the time now, people see us more. [Business] went down a lot [during construction]. We were about to close. After the construction was finished, there were a lot more people going through, so it increased a little. Daniel Garcia, manager Domico

It’s a lot longer, that’s for sure. My mom takes it everyday and she says it takes her a good half an hour, if not longer, every day to get home. I bike, it’s a lot faster. Kevin Peressini, Lansdowne and St.Clair resident

If we were doing as well as we were before, [our store] could have stayed in the area because there are a lot of open storefronts. But because of the fact that we didn’t do that well after the construction, we said, okay, we’ll just find a different location. I drive — traffic is really bad, parking worse than before. You’re reduced to one lane now. Jemimah Osei, former owner of New Latitude salon

They took away a lot of the parking spots that were available.... I’ve lost a lot of clients.... I used to actually ride the streetcar over to Yonge and this saves me barely two and a half minutes. So the amount of money they spent to save two and half minutes — whoopee — it’s not worth it. Llewellyn Accam, owner Boubah’s Pet Store

Right now it’s organized chaos whereas before it was just chaos, it was cars triple-parked. Now there’s some organization with the left-turns, I just find it more organized. You may have to sit in traffic a little bit longer, but it’s the city. There’s traffic everywhere, there’s just more cars in the city, that’s what people don’t seem to understand. The streetscape looks better. Theresa Bove, owner Bove Aesthetics, and Winona-St. Clair resident

The only good thing about it is that right-ofway transfer thing. It’s not a hugely known fact you can get on and off as many times as you want without having to pay again for up to two hours. Robert Ashley, owner, Robert Ashley Hair Design


Fine, good, absolutely. It’s fast. If there’s been an accident, you don’t get held up. Virginia, commuter Yonge St.

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I don’t mind it — no complaints. The only problem is long waits at some lights. David Lee, commuter

It’s an improvement from what was there before.... It’s faster. Probably not noticeably faster for people because they forget this was a very crowded, rotten route. Ray Oster, Davenport resident

I’m happy with it. The openness of it is good. It takes me 15 to 20 minutes to ride to the end and then one more bus home. Nestor Supnet, commuter

The streetcar is faster [now]. The cars are a little slower because the lights are not well synched. Rebecca Sutherland, stylist at Jini Jung Hair Artisans

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From a cyclist’s point of view it’s a slight improvement. Traffic flows just as well as it ever did. Mary Beth, local resident

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I drive — it’s a pain in the ass. It’s worse now. You have to make a U-turn. There are one-ways everywhere, it’s inconvenient. But at the same time, I’m sure they have their reasons for doing it. I get by. Addy, local resident

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I have one customer from west of Bathurst, the others all left. They couldn’t get here. They would try, ‘I’m in front of your office, but I can’t get to you!’ Judy Rosenberg Ben-Israel, owner, Chiropractic Clinic on the Park

I think it could be better in terms of service. It sucks because it ends at Gunns Loop, and I live at Jane and St. Clair, so I have to take a bus and then the subway and then another bus. If it has to be on St. Clair, it should go all the way. Katie, employee, La Boutique Parpar

[Customers] keep saying it’s not so good anymore because they have to make U-turns, but they still come, no one told me they’re not going to come anymore.... For me, it’s not a big deal. Zsolt Bede, owner, Pannonia Books When I drive, heading into the city is better. Heading out [west] past Dufferin is more difficult, but for me it’s fine. It’s working quite well. I don’t know how to justify the $100 million, but for me, it’s certainly more reliable and faster. Lynda Champagne, local resident

I hate it. Hate, hate, hate, hate…. It’s terrible, it’s dangerous with the lights going in different ways. People around here are old and they don’t understand it. It is a disaster. Anita Rapp, realtor, Royal LePage Real Estate Services

It is very, very good. It’s a great improvement. In the olden days, if a streetcar conked out, traffic would just have to sit behind it and wait for it. Now it doesn’t. Ford is wrong. Michael Doyle, St. Clair resident If Joe Mihevc had to deal with this everyday, he wouldn’t put up with it. It’s a waste of $100 million. John Hopper, local resident

It’s much faster now because it has its own lane, no one can go in the streetcar lane. Sometimes [the road] can get congested, but otherwise it’s okay, I can’t complain. Joe, local resident

— Interviews and photos by Tristan Carter, Karolyn Coorsh, Manuela Garay-Giraldo, Eric McMillan, Omar Mosleh, Ann Ruppenstein, Paula Sanderson and Shawn Star

An end to St. Clair bashing Continued from Page 5

small details and now we’re facing the music.” Palacio blames the TTC and the previous council administration under David Miller who, he says, in their quest to build, ignored what they knew would be problematic. “Now what people are saying out there is ‘we told you so’.” However, Palacio sees things beginning to pick up, thanks to cost-sharing beautification programs with Business Improvement Areas associations. He says it’s time to put an end to St. Clair-bashing. “It’s not going anywhere but what we have to do is correct some of the wrongs.” If there’s one thing St. Clair friend and foe can agree on, it’s the negative attention needs to end. “This never-ending critique is not good for business,” Mihevc says. “We want to normalize St. Clair.” It’s the reason he requested a review of the St. Clair right-of-way. His request was approved by the commission. Mihevc says there needs to be an analysis of ridership data, rental rates, traffic counts,

accident rates and parking spots. “We will be getting into light rail in a fairly big way in the suburbs. You want to have baseline data and a methodology to find out if it’s the right thing to do.” Though Smith insists the right-of-way is as problematic as she had anticipated in terms of traffic congestion and parking, among other things, she too says incessant reference to St. Clair as a disaster isn’t good for recovery. “We don’t want people to see us that way, they won’t come and shop in our neighbourhood. We’ll die.” However, Smith and others say an independent review will never be just that, and the city is wasting money on a conclusion already pre-determined. “The people in this community don’t believe we’re going to get an independent review, we don’t believe we’re going to get the true story,” Smith says. Palacio too, is skeptical that an independent review will be impartial, but he’s hopeful for the future of St. Clair. “Some businesses are recovering, they’re still struggling to survive, but there is that sense of hope that things are getting better.” TT

Code Red for emergency access? Apart from the charges of general traffic congestion on St. Clair Avenue East, there have long been concerns about emergency vehicle response times in the area. The issue of limited access for firetrucks was raised in 2009 in a 20-page report by then-district fire chief Bob Leek, who called the right-of-way unusable by Toronto Fire for emergency response and warned it would cause delays in response times. However, Leek died soon after the report and the fire department has not publicly commented on it since. TTC chief planner Mitch Stambler says the TTC has never been presented with reports showing deterioration of response times. Councillor Cesar Palacio has asked that emergency services on the right-of-way be addressed by the independent review about to get underway. So far there is no word on whether it is to be part of the review’s agenda. MAY 2012 TORONTO TODAY 


$

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The final(?) numbers Overall cost

Initial capital investment: $48 million Amended to: $65 million Reported cost: $106 million Actual cost: $143.4 million?

Non-project-related additional costs

Hydro under grounding: $28.2 million Water main and service upgrades and replacements: $10.5 million Sidewalk reconstruction: $4 million Mid-block street re-paving: $3.4 million Upgraded streetlights: $8.5 million Direct delay costs: $800,000

Additional TTC work: $5 million Total = $60.4 million

Non-project-driven additional costs

Court costs: $3 million Scope and escalation (timing) costs: $15 million (construction going up over time, labour and materials going up over time, alternate replacement transit service due to extended delay to project, etc.) Total = $18 million

Numbers courtesy: • Peter Crockett, Executive Director, Transportation Services, City of Toronto • Mitch Stambler, Chief Planning Officer, TTC • Brad Ross, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, TTC

How $65 million became $106M—or $150M

Continued from Page 5

and underground it, rather than five years after,� Mihevc said. “It wasn’t the TTC’s job to replace them, but because the TTC was into the ground ... I said now’s the time to do it, let’s not dally.� Enbridge also decided to get in on the action to replace its cast-iron pipes

with PVC pipes, because the cast iron pipes were breaking at a rate of one break per four kilometres per year. Furthermore, as a result of the underground work, $4 million had to be spent on sidewalk reconstruction, $3.4 million on street re-paving and $8.5 mil-





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 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

lion was spent to upgrade street lights, arms and luminaries. “That was part of the deal,� Mihevc said in regard to the streetlight improvements. In addition to cost overruns, the project experienced significant time delays. Following the completion of an environmental assessment, the Minister of the Environment ordered additional public consultation as a pre-condition for project approval because of public outcry. In August 2005, all construction work had to be halted because of a lawsuit against the city and TTC for allegedly contravening the city’s official plan. The Divisional Court of Ontario ultimately overruled a ruling in favour of the complainants, but the legal proceedings cost the city $3 million in court costs and another year in delay, which created additional challenges. “As a result of the injunction and the stoppage ... the labour cost went up, the material cost up, we had to keep running buses to replace the streetcars which cost a lot more because they don’t carry as many people,� Stambler said. Stambler pegs that added cost at another $10–15 million. Finally, the hydro, water and Enbridge work all had to be done separately. “Utility people do not like working on top of each other because of liability issues,� Mihevc said. “So it was four years of pre-work basically just so TTC could get in.� The track work was the final part of the project and only took about six months, Mihevc said. “They were actually the fastest contractor, but they’re wearing the per-

ceived delays,� he said. The Getting It Right report identifies the lack of a cohesive scope as one of the St. Clair Right Of Way’s major issues. “In other words, construction commenced in the absence of a comprehensive design of what was to be constructed,� it says. The report also notes construction planning was fragmented and uncoordinated. “Various elements of the project were neither centralized nor controlled by any single entity,� it says. “More than 20 separate, relatively small construction contracts were awarded this 6.8 km transit improvement.� Perhaps exemplary of the lack of coordination between various city departments, the Getting It Right report states that according to the 2010–2014 TTC and city budgets, the estimated total expenditure for St. Clair is now $106 million. However, when individual additions from different city departments are all added to the original TTC budget of $65 million, the final number is closer to $150 million. City officials were not able to explain the discrepancy in time for publication. The TTC says it will use the St. Clair experience to keep costs for future projects on track. “It’s one of the big lessons learned,� Stambler said. “If you’re going to be doing a major civil works project on a road, if there’s other agencies, whether it’s Enbridge, whether its water, whether its sewer ... don’t come at the last minute and say, ‘Hey, can I have a piece of the action too.’ “Come get coordinated at the beginning so we can all work in a coordinated way,� he added. “That didn’t happen (with St. Clair).� TT


Dragging the lines Two reporters race each other along midtown’s premier crossstreets — one on St. Clair’s new streetcar line, the other on Eglinton oldstyle. Place your bets. By ann ruppenstein

By shawn star

Route I rode the 512 streetcar on St. Clair Avenue W. from Gunns Loop to St. Clair subway station.

Route I rode the 32 bus on Eglinton Avenue W. from Black Creek Drive to Eglinton subway station.

the trip As I leave Gunns Loop at 8:58 a.m. with four other passengers, I begin to wonder if traffic will be backed up by the time we hit the railroad bridge at Weston Road. Earlier this week, while talking to nearby residents about driving and commuting along St. Clair Avenue West, a number expressed how often they were stuck in traffic near the bridge since the double lanes were reduced to a single lane in each direction to make way for the streetcar right-of-way. As I gaze out the window and see a lack of traffic built up on either side of the CN bridge, in fact, cars appear to be moving as swiftly as my 512 streetcar, I can’t help wonder if maybe I’ve already missed rush hour traffic. Should I have started the ride at 7:58 a.m. instead? Would that have made a difference? Hardly a complaint, I feel the longest part of the trip is when the streetcar pulls into St. Clair West station because it seems like a detour off our direct course. I check my phone and realize only two minutes went by as we pull back out of the station. Compared to my former daily commute on the Queen streetcar it was like we were zipping along, not to mention the fact that even at a peak of 30 people around Bathurst Street, the St. Clair streetcar was much less crowded. I should also note, before heading to Gunns Loop I got on the streetcar at Lansdowne Avenue after waiting for less than two minutes at the stop. The rest of the ride continues to be quick and painless. I pass vehicles along the way, but no part of the stretch stands out for having a noticeable amount of traffic. ST. CLAIR Page 10

the trip Reminiscent of the construction of the St. Clair Right-of-way, there are reduced lanes immediately after crossing Black Creek Drive on Eglinton Avenue. What would normally be two westbound lanes are blocked off for LRT construction, leaving the two eastbound lanes to handle traffic travelling in both directions. Despite this, there is no gridlock and the bus goes through very smoothly. In fact the entire ride to Eglinton West station is smooth and quick, covering almost four kilometres in just 13 minutes. I found it strange that some larger streets, like Oakwood and Marlee avenues, had no one getting off or on, but this could just be sheer luck of the draw. Going east of Eglinton West station is another story. With the first major “half” having 18 stops and being completed in 13 minutes, there is almost a complete flip of those numbers, as the last half has 15 stops and was completed in 20 minutes. It was most noticeably slow from Bathurst onward. Part of this was due to a lane reduction at Chaplin Crescent, which actually saw the bus stop displaced such a distance that it was nearly moved all the way to the next stop. However, this was the slowest portion regardless. Some stats: Bathurst Street to Eglinton station is approximately 32 percent of the total distance covered, but it took 43 percent of the total travel time to cover it. A higher volume of stops in this stretch, meaning they are much closer together than on the portion further west, might also explain part of the EGLINTON Page 10

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The great crosstown race is on St. Clair

Continued from Page 9

After travelling 6.9 km we pull into St. Clair station 27 minutes after departure, one minute longer than Google Maps estimated my journey would take. I had planned to stay on the streetcar to ride back en route to our office but my driver informs me that I have to get off. I walk through the pathway to where people are loading into a streetcar and quickly realize it’s the same car I was just told to vacate. My driver is no doubt wondering what I’m still doing on board.

TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO

STUCK IN RUSH-HOUR TRAFFIC on the 32 Eglinton West bus.

Extoggery

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THE TIMES 8:58 a.m. Leaving Gunns Loop with four other passengers. 9:02 a.m. Eleven passengers on board by the time we hit Laughton Avenue, 15 by Caledonia Park Road.

Eglinton

SUMMARY Start time: 8:58 a.m. at Gunns Loop. Number of stops: 26. Distance: 6.9 km. Final destination: 9:25 a.m., St. Clair station. Total trip: 27 min.

Continued from Page 9

slowed service. I actually started from Kipling Avenue and began timing once I hit Black Creek Drive. From Kipling Avenue to Black Creek Drive, the bus took 10 minutes to cover the total 5.6 km. Stops along this portion, again, are fewer in number than those of the western portion of the timed stretch. Still, can a drop in the number of stops account for the difference between taking 10 minutes to travel over five and a half kilometres versus taking 37 minutes (minus four for the idling at Eglinton West) to travel just over seven? I wonder. I can’t help but think that the fewer stops, at least in some part, play a role in travel time. This being said, I also can’t help but think the LRT will therefore drastically reduce the travel time. As well, given that weaving in and out of traffic affects travel time, I imagine the St. Clair Avenue ride from Gunns Loop to St. Clair station must have been faster.

For more info and store locations visit www.extoggery.com 10 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

9:04 a.m. Lansdowne Avenue, pretty full, 19 people. 9:06 a.m. Dufferin Street, empties out quite a bit but more people get on. 25 passengers in total. 9:15 a.m. Bathurst Street, 30 passengers. 9:16 a.m.–9:18 a.m.: Inside St. Clair subway station. Clears right out but 18 people hop on. 9:19 a.m. Spadina Avenue, 18 people. 9:24 a.m.Yonge Street steady with 18 people. 9:25a.m.Yonge and St. Clair station.

THE TIMES 9:08 a.m. Start from Black Creek Drive, currently 19 people on the bus. 9:10 a.m. Three stops from Black Creek Drive, we hit Keele Street (600 metres total), 15 people on at west side, 21 on at east side. 9:13 a.m. Six stops from Keele Street, we hit Caledonia Road (1.8 km total). 25 people on bus. 9:16 a.m. Four stops from Caledonia Road, we hit Dufferin Street (2.7 km total). 23 people on bus. 9:21 a.m. Four stops from Dufferin Street, we get to Eglinton West subway station. (3.8 km total). 16 people get off. 9:25 a.m. Bus leaves the station, 15 people on board. 9:29 a.m. Four stops from station, we hit Bathurst Street (4.8 km total). 17 people on bus. 9:40 a.m. Six stops from Bathurst Street, we hit Avenue Road (6.3 km total). 15 people on bus. 9:45 a.m. Four stops from Avenue Road, we get to Eglinton subway station. (7.1 km total). 13 people on bus. SUMMARY Start time: 9:08 a.m. at Black Creek Drive. Number of stops: 33. Distance: 7.1 km. Final destination: 9:45 a.m., Eglinton station. Total trip: 37 min.

And the winner is the St. Clair route! Granted the distance is slightly longer, but not nearly enough to account for the 10-minute difference.

Afterword by the Eglinton rider

After the race, I had originally planned to get back to the office by staying on the Eglinton bus and heading back where I came from, transferring at Dufferin Street to go north. But seeing the trip between Dufferin Street and the Eglinton subway took 29 minutes, I calculated it would be faster to take the subway one stop south (the opposite direction of where I needed to go), then catch a different bus that runs northwest. It looked good on paper, but the bus had just left as I arrived, leaving me waiting 22 minutes for the next one. Eglinton would have been faster after all. Somedays it seems I just can’t win. — Shawn Star


Turning our war into Gone with the Wind

A

By ann ruppenstein

s the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 approaches, author Beverley Behan hopes to enthrall readers with a screenplay blending historical events with glamour and a good storyline. “The problem is that the War of 1812 is often taught in such a dry and boring way that people quickly lose interest in it,” she says. “That’s the issue I have sought to overcome in creating an exciting, romantic screenplay.” Behan, who lived in Toronto before relocating to New York for work, wanted to draw people in by taking key figures like Laura Secord, Tecumseh and Isaac Brock and making them relatable in 1812 in Niagara. “These were all absolutely fascinating people who were determined, fearless and terribly romantic,” she says. “It was time to portray them as such, in a way that readers can relate to them as people rather than stiff historical figures.” Although the federal government recently announced a $28 million War of 1812 commemoration plan to increase awareness, Behan says sprucing up battlefields and holding reenactments will attract mainstream Canadians only if they are already interested in the war. “The first stop on this journey has to be to tell the story of the War of 1812 from the Canadian side in a compelling, exciting way that actually captures people’s interest,” she says, adding her screenplay isn’t meant for historians or academics. “In my mind the real key to accomplishing this is to tell the story in a fun way just as Margaret Mitchell did for the Civil War with Gone with the Wind.” Although most of the screenplay takes place in Niagara, Behan says one of the most important events of the war was when the White House was burned down in 1814 in retaliation to when Americans burned the Canadian parliament building in York, present day Toronto. Behan believes her book emerged at the right time to fulfill an important purpose in time for the bi-centennial anniversary of the War of 1812. While 1812 in Niagara isn’t 100 percent historically accurate, she hopes the average person will gain a greater understanding of a significant event in Canadian history. “The War of 1812 defined Canada as a nation,”

she says. “If the American invasion of Canada in 1812 to 1813 had been successful, Canada would not exist as a country, we would be part of the United States.

“It may be the single most important event in Canadian history after the discovery of Canada by Champlain and the entry into Confederation in 1867.” TT

MAY 2012 TORONTO TODAY 11


Business

An electrifying hobby Steve Dallas wants his electric car design adapted by municipal fleet operations By Mathieu Yuill

Ask the experts Please write to our experts: If you would like to take advantage of their years of experience, send your questions to “Ask the Experts” and they will be happy to reply to you in this space. By E-mail: adsales@mytowncrier.ca, by Fax: 416-488-3671 or write: Ask the Experts, c/o Town Crier, 101 Wingold Ave., Toronto, ON, M6B 1P8. Marc Linett, a partner in the personal injury law firm of Linett & Timmis, has been practicing accident and insurance litigation in Toronto for over 36 years. His firm has established a solid reputation representing thousands of injured victims and their families throughout Ontario.

Marc Linett

Linett & Timmis Personal Injury Lawyers 1867 Yonge St., Suite 1004, Toronto

416-366-5100 1-800-363-5100 www.linett-timmis.com mlinett@linett-timmis.com

Q A

: If I fall and injure myself on someone else’s property, am I entitled to compensation?

: You may be entitled to sue for your injuries under Ontario’s Occupier’s Liability Act. If the area where you fell (such as a store, public mall, city property, private home or business) was in an unsafe condition, the owner may be responsible for the accident. Examples of accidents where victims have sued successfully include falling on walkways that have not been cleared of snow and ice, or that are in a state of disrepair, falling on dirty or slippery floors, tripping over misplaced objects or falling on steps that are not properly lighted. If your fall occurred on municipal property, such as a sidewalk, it is important to remember that there are very strict notice periods that apply. If you want to know whether you have a case, please call us for a free consultation.

12 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

T

ucked away in a building in a non-descript industrial area is a company that makes electric winches. Not the kind you might find on the front of a 4x4 or Jeep, but the kind that operate in factories to transport heavy equipment from one end of the floor to the other. You’ll also find a bright yellow hatchback that looks like a modern take on Honda’s popular CRX. It’s not a Honda concept; Nor is it the product of any other major manufacturer, and unlike the circa1990 CRX, this one doesn’t need a drop of gasoline to run — it’s electric. Steve Dallas is the president of Toronto Electric, a company that manufactures, services and installs electric winches, bridge cranes and the like. About six years ago Dallas got it into his head that he could figure out how to design and build an electric car better than the manufacturers could. So with the same focus he puts into everything he does, he set forth to prove it. Building an electric car isn’t the average activity for a hobbyist, especially with a plan like Dallas’: to see his vehicle used in commercial fleet operations by municipalities. “It’s designed for commercial application,” he says. “People ask me a lot ‘Can it go 700 kilometres?’ When was the last time you drove that far?” “People get trained to use our electric winches and how to fly an airplane which is why we’re targeting this for commercial fleet use,” Dallas adds. “People will get trained how to use it and multiple people will use the same vehicle.” As he recites the short spiel he’s probably given 100 times, he footnotes it by pointing out the interior light. “See, it’s red, just like in a plane so your eyes won’t dilate,” he says. Dallas’ electric car doesn’t start by use of a key. Rather, you punch in a passcode that will immediately load your personalized settings. Some of those settings will be set by an administrator, including geo-fencing (so it won’t be able to travel outside of a certain area) or a top speed can be set. But the user still has some options. “Open the door and panel turns on and from there you can login,” he says. “You can set your

preferences for heat, air conditioning, the lights, the backup camera, you can see what the status of the battery is and even drill in further to check on the cell status. Oh, and it’s also got Facebook.” After spending just a few minutes with Dallas you wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’s built social networking into the vehicle. Not because he’s avantgarde with the Internet, but because he’s imaginative, full of spunk and full of the entrepreneurial spirit. “We had to get the electric car out to Calgary to showcase at the Stampede,” says Paul Duffy, an entrepreneur himself and part of the team helping bring the car to market. “But Steve says if we’re going to bring out the little yellow electric car we’re going to have to bring out the 1916 Rauch and Lang, too.” The Rauch and Lang is an antique auto Dallas acquired a few years ago. It was the Bentley of its day and one of the continent’s early electric cars. The problem with bringing the Rauch and Lang to Calgary is it’s about 6,000 lbs. and eight feet tall — not exactly conducive to typical transportation methods. “Within two minutes Steve was on the phone commissioning a custom-made trailer and finding a diesel-powered truck to pull it,” Duffy says. “He insisted him, myself and another partner drive it out together so the three of us in our 50s and 60s drove 42 hours straight making stops for Gatorade and beef jerky like we were still in college.” The car, dubbed Project Eve for now, is full of the same problem-solving intuitiveness. While the technology to limit a car’s speed remotely exists in Ford’s MyKey solution, Dallas thinks it’s flawed. “Defeating that system is just getting a hold of mom and dad’s key to drive the car,” he says. “It’s much harder to retrieve a password stored away in your head.” The taillights are another exercise in problem solving. There are 28 individual bulbs in each taillight and each one is independent of the others. Open up the trunk, peer in the taillight compartment and you’ll find a matrix of wires. Why such overkill on the taillights? “In today’s cars, if a bulb burns out you lose the whole brake light,” Dallas says. “It’s just common sense to do it differently.” TT


Home&Garden

Clear the way for yard sale season Preparing the whole family for the big day By Mary Fran McQuade

I

t’s May — time for flowers and yard sale signs to pop up in the garden. The best yard sales are a family, or even multi-family affair. So get your husband or wife and the kids involved, and ask your neighbours if they’d like to join. Then follow this timeline:

At least one to two weeks before‌

• Think about what you can sell. Popular items are kids’ toys and gently used/outgrown clothes, garden equipment, tools, books (especially paperbacks), small serving bowls/platters, old fabrics, older furniture and glassware. Kitchen items should be dishwasher safe. • Gather what you’re going to sell. Go from room to room, piling things for the sale in a box for each room, or one box for each floor of the house. If you haven’t cleared your clutter already, this is a good time to do it. Anything you’re tired of, bored with or haven’t used in donkey’s years goes into the sale pile. • Tag everything with a price. You want to make it easy for people to buy your stuff. If several sellers are involved, use differentcoloured ink or stickers to identify who takes the cash for which item. Be generous about pricing—your first goal is to get rid of things, not to make big bucks. (Leave some wiggle room for bargaining, though. Some folks love to haggle.)

SORRY, but those bunnies and bears will have to go. Everyone has to do his or her (or its) bit for the success of your yard sale.

Yard Sale for the Cure Saturday, May 26, is a pink-letter day for yard sales. That’s the date of the 6th annual Yard Sale for the Cure. The nationwide event supports the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s research programs. Anyone can hold their own Yard Sale for the Cure and donate proceeds to the CBCF. Go to www.yardsaleforthecure.com to find out how to register and publicize your charity yard sale with an on-line map, T-shirts, pink ribbons and signs. If you can’t make the May date, you can register and hold your Yard Sale for the Cure any time throughout the summer and early fall.

One week before‌

• Plan your layout: On the lawn? The driveway? In the garage? Do you need display tables, ready-made or sawhorses and planks? • Get lots of change from the bank — coins, small bills, and a few large bills. • Get some kind of coin belt for each person taking cash. Cheap crossbody bags, fanny packs with pouch in front, small zipper pouches that can be attached to belts are all good ideas. You want to keep your cash safe and accessible, and leave your hands free. • Round up any user’s manuals, instructions, etc., that go with items you’re selling. • If you’re a great gardener, decide if you want to sell any excess plants and pot them up now. • Offer your kids the chance to be involved. They could set up a refreshment stand, run their own kids mini-sale, or sell the crafts/art they make. • Prepare and distribute flyers to publicize your sale: date, time, place, examples of the great things on offer (e.g., “as-new kids’ toys,â€? “art supplies,â€? “collectiblesâ€?) • Gather plastic/paper bags for customers’ purchases.

On sale day‌

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• Be ready for early birds. Lots of folks cruise by before opening time to scoop up bargains. • Make yourself visible. Put up a yard sale sign. Wear a colourful hat so customers can find you easily. • Be ready to demonstrate things. Have an extension cord hooked up so folks can check anything electrical. • Be prepared to bargain. Unless you’re raising funds for charity, don’t wear yourself out sticking to a price. • Be friendly. If you have good (and true) background stories, tell them: “I got that back in 1999 at a little market in Mexico.â€? Yard sales should be fun. • Donate any unwanted leftovers to charity or put them out in a “FREEâ€? box at a future date. TT

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MAY 2012 TORONTO TODAY 13


Plant yourself in a good book City Gardening

Lorraine Flanigan

C

ompared to last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cornucopia of gardening books, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to believe that this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is an even more bountiful bumper crop. This spring, Canada Post has been kept pretty busy delivering one book after another, each one a delight to open and read. With all this knowledge, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no reason not to make the most of your garden this season. Here are some of the most helpful books.

Peter Kalcevic 416.346.5119

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urw xus tvuw 14 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

From Art to Landscape: Unleashing Creativity in Garden Design by W. Gary Smith. This book set my head a-spinning â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in a good way. I had been resigned to a planting plan that I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really love but didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to fix â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and then I heard Smith speak at a lecture at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Unconventional and infectiously exuberant, in his book Smith offers a method for connecting with the landscape thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wildly fun, liberating and â&#x20AC;&#x201D; eureka! â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it works. Follow this pied piper of landscape design to experience adventures in creativity you never knew you possessed. The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour. Homegrown vegetables are all well and good during the summer, but whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a locavore to do for the other three seasons of the year? An avid vegetable gardener who hails from Nova Scotia, Jabbour offers ways to extend the growing season by using cold frames, planting cold-hardy varieties and nurturing micro-greens â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just for starters. Already declared a winner by the American Horticultural Society, Jabbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book will win you over too with its down-to-earth practical advice and outside-of-the-planting-box ideas. In Pursuit of Garlic: An Intimate Look at the Divinely Odorous Bulb by Liz Primeau. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been waiting to read this book since last summer when I heard that Primeau, founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine, was in the midst of writing her ode to this â&#x20AC;&#x153;odorous bulbâ&#x20AC;?. For way too long, this essential

cooking ingredient has been taken for granted, which is a mystery because, as Primeau points out, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been lauded in literature, poetry, art and architecture, been valued for its health benefits (anti-fungal toenail remedy, anyone?), sought after for its aphrodisiac qualities and even used as money. But beyond the history of garlic, In Pursuit of Garlic offers plenty of planting advice, recipes, a â&#x20AC;&#x153;whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s whoâ&#x20AC;? of garlic varieties and a useful resource guide to where to buy it, where to find garlic festivals and who offers the best garlic gadgets.

Gardening from a Hammock by Ellen Novack and Dan Cooper. It was a privilege to be asked to be a part of this book, a compilation of tips, advice and gardening philosophy to make it easy â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and fun â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for anyone to garden. A whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s who of Master Gardeners, horticulturists, plants people and landscape designers, Gardening from a Hammock offers lots of timesaving ways to develop your green thumb â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with plenty of time to spare. A Recipe for Continuous Bloom by Lorraine Roberts. Owner of one of the first all-organic gardens and nurseries in the province, Roberts offers her years of experience with hardy perennials that perform best in her Zone 5 garden, just north of Toronto, in this great visual aid to plant selection. Organized by month and with a section on plants for sun to part sun as well as those for shade, Robertsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; book makes it easy to select plants that will provide a full season of bloom. Beautiful, full-page colour photos of each plant are supplemented with plant height and width as well as hardiness zones. At the back of the book useful lists help you select plants with special attributes, from those that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, for example, to ones with handsome foliage. TT


MAY 2012 TORONTO TODAY 15

Saturday • May 26 , 10-6 tH


Happy For Mom’s stuff

M

By Liz Campbell

other’s Day comes this month but instead of the usual bunch of flowers, why not give mum a really useful gift? Here are three useful and unique gifts she’s really going to appreciate. And two of them cost less than a dozen roses! When I saw this smart little device, I thought of my friend, Vera. A thief stole her purse off the back of her chair while she was sitting in an outdoor restaurant. Grab Guard is a unique anti-theft solution — a six-centimetrewide circular lock that sports a retractable wire cable “lock line”. It’s easily opened with a simple, two-digit combination. But this sturdy lock offers up to 50 pounds of pull strength. The visual might be enough to deter thieves who see it attached to the strap. Available in several colors and styles, it looks cool, not clunky like most such devices. And it works for more than purses. It’s great for briefcases, laptops, anything with a strap or handle you want to keep secure. $19.99. Visit www.GrabGuard.com.

13th

Telephone: (416) 487-6468 535 • Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto M4S 2M5 Takeout: (416) 480-9273 • www.thelongestyardrestaurant.com 16 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

Does mum enjoy a glass of wine with dinner? The problem is, the bottle isn’t empty and unless you preserve it properly, it’s going to be useless by the next day. The Platypus Platypreserve Wine Preservation System was apparently designed for campers. The idea is to be able to take your favourite wine along, while protecting the flavour and extending its drinkability. It does this by eliminating exposure to oxygen. The lightweight, reusable containers are lined with food-grade BPA-free polyethylene,


Mother’s Day! which doesn’t absorb odours. You just fill, squeeze to purge air, and enjoy wine several days or even weeks after first opening. It may be great for picnics and campers, but it works just as well at home. It holds 800 ml. $8. Available at Mountain Equipment Co-op. What does her gym bag look like? A jumble of clothes, shoes, cosmetics? The Glo Bag is the ultimate gym locker organizer. Inside, two shelves form three compartments to keep gym shoes, clean clothes and toiletries separate and easily accessible.  It’s a backpack making it convenient to transport, but it stands or hangs in most gym lockers and opens on the side for an organized and germ-free locker room experience.  If you need any more confirmation, Colin Firth uses one! $99 with a $30 shipping charge to Canada. www.theglobag.com. TT

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Health&Fitness

Are people always shouting to get your attention? Maybe it’s your hearing

I

By Liz Campbell

magine what it would be like never to hear music again, or the sound of a bird, or a baby crying. Most of us take the sense of hearing for granted and ignore symptoms of hearing loss since they are not generally associated with pain.

In fact, noise-induced hearing loss occurs gradually over time and goes virtually unnoticed until it’s too late. Studies indicate most Canadians do nothing for about seven years after they first begin to notice the symptoms. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and irreversible. There is no medical treatment, surgery, or technology that can restore the hearing. The good news is despite some forms of hearing loss being inevitable, noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented, while further damage to hearing can be avoided even if some noise-induced hearing loss is experienced. Susan Main, director of communications for the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) offers up some advice. “Rest your ears after exposing them to loud noise for a period of time, for example mowing the lawn or going to a loud concert,” she said. “If your ears are ringing, it’s a sure indication your hair cells have been assaulted and need to rest.” The outer part of the ear, the part that we see, is called the pinna and it channels sound into the ear canal. The ear canal directs the sound onto the eardrum, a paper-thin tissue which vibrates as sound waves hit it. The eardrum is attached to three tiny bones in the middle ear cavity. These bones pick up the vibrations from the eardrum and transfer them through the oval window into the fluid-filled cochlea of the inner ear. The vibrations create waves in the cochlea’s fluid. Hair cells in this fluid bend as the waves pass by creating nerve impulses that are carried to the brain for interpretation. We are surrounded by noises on the job and in 18 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

our environment, but in our leisure time we expose ourselves to even more loud sounds. Often music is the sound source, be it in fitness classes, at concerts, in clubs, or simply in our cars or on our portable music players. Even some children’s toys emit hazardous sound levels. “It’s a noisy world,” said audiologist Rex Banks, director of the CHS in Toronto. “Sound pollution is becoming more of a problem and it affects out nervous system, our ability to sleep, even our emotional state.” He suggests we need to be more conscious of noise around us and make the effort to reduce it. For example, he says, turn off the radio or TV if you’re not really listening to it. Turn the volume down on radios and in particular on personal stereos that blast our ears directly through headphones. Don’t honk. And he suggests, avoid noisy sports events, concerts and clubs. We can’t avoid these altogether, but it is possible to buy ear protection that filters out the worst noise while allowing you to hear speech. These cost about $200 and are individually fitted.

An expert on non-occupational noise from the Central Institute for the Deaf in Washington, DC, Dr. William Clark says the ear doesn’t know the difference between an occupational noise and a leisure noise. “Each of those types of noise can be hazardous,” he said. “And unless one protects his or her hearing both on and off the job, then there is really no protection afforded at all.” A busy video arcade can reach 110 decibels — a level at which regular exposure for more than a minute risks permanent hearing loss. Even a typical fitness class with music is frequently 95 decibels, a level we should not be exposed to for more than 15 minutes a day. Some children’s squeeze toys actually reach 135 decibels, beyond the threshold for pain. And a noisy restaurant often reaches 85 decibels. A rule of thumb according to the League for the Hard of Hearing is if you have to shout in order to be heard three feet away, then the noise is probably too loud and could be damaging to your hearing. TT

Signs you may be losing your hearing Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do

most people seem to mumble or speak too softly? people complain you need the TV and/or radio too loud? people complain you are speaking too loudly? you ask people to repeat things often? you miss parts of conversations and misunderstand what is being said? you have difficulty hearing in crowds? you miss what people are saying when their backs are turned? you hear buzzing or ringing in your ears? you have trouble hearing on the telephone? you favour one ear? you think you are starting to avoid social contact?


Travel

Elvis and me Trip to Memphis lets generations relive the dream

W

By Liz Campbell

hen I was a pre-teen, my mom bought me a poodle skirt with a felt record on the pocket. But instead of the one with Elvis on its label, mine had Vaughan Monroe. It was probably her way of trying to keep me from the brink of depravity — all that hip wiggling. But whenever I listened to The King, I would turn it back to front! I was a huge Elvis fan in those early days. No one moved like he did or sang with such gusto. I watched excitedly when he appeared on Ed Sullivan — three times. Sullivan, who was initially reluctant to have the disgraceful hip-shaker on his show, pronounced after the last show, “This is a real decent, fine boy. We’ve never had a pleasanter experience on our show with a big name than we’ve had with you.... You’re thoroughly all right.” Elvis was undoubtedly a charmer. He knew how to say the right things and when to invoke his “Aw shucks, I’m just a country boy” routine. He charmed Marion Keisker, assistant to the creator of Sun Studios, Sam Phillips, who has often been called the Father of Rock ‘n Roll. He started the careers of so many rock artists. It was Keisker who suggested the young kid who had been recording a song for his mama, might do the vocals for a session. That kid was Elvis. And the rest, as they say, is history. So it was inevitable that, finding myself near Memphis more than 50 years later, I simply had to visit Graceland. Bought by Presley in 1957, the gracious, white-columned mansion with its iconic wrought iron gates of musical notes, has become something of a Mecca for Elvis fans. They come from around the world to see the rooms where he relaxed with his record collection or dined with his family, and the kitchen where he prepared himself fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches (actually, Elvis and I part company in our appreciation of this delicacy). The decor is classic ’50s — lots of gold, green shag carpets and shiny mirrors. In today’s minimalist age, it all looks a little over the top. His personal plane, with its seatbelt buckles of real gold and flashy bathrooms, is the stuff of ’50s fantasy. And his collection of cars, motorcycles and other motorized toys would probably bring palpitations to the heart of any red-blooded American boy. But for me, the highlight was seeing the displays of Elvis memorabilia. Hundreds of pins and buttons (including one in Yiddish with ‘Oy Gevalt Elvis’ — translation in today’s idiom: ‘Omigod, Elvis’), his guitars and his clothes (those incredible suits with their six-inch gem-studded belts) are on display. In one of the Graceland shops, one can even buy a replica of his

Liz Campbell/Vaughan Today

GOING TO GRACELAND: Graves of Elvis Presley and family members in the Garden of Meditation, above, bring tears to visitors’ eyes. At right, a fan hams it up, belting out an Elvis standard on the exact spot in the Memphis studio where the singer made his first legendary recordings.

If you’re travelling.... Memphis Visit www.Memphistravel.com for accommodation and travel information Graceland Elvis home and exhibits of his private planes, cars, and memorabilia. Don’t miss Icon, outlining stars whose music he influenced. $70 for the VIP Tour; $36 for the Platinum tour. www.elvis.com/graceland. Sun Studio Now a National Historic Landmark, 1.5 hour guided tours cost $12. www. sunstudio.com. Toronto The Million Dollar Quartet, July 10-29, Toronto Centre for the Arts. Tickets $62$180. www.dancaptickets.com.

flashy nail jumpsuit, complete with cape, for about $2000. Fan though I was, I had no idea how many awards and honours Elvis actually received in his lifetime. Row upon row of his gold records and prizes line a long corridor and cover the walls of what used to be his racquetball court. It’s extraordinary. The graves of Elvis, his parents, his brother Vernon, and even his stillborn twin, Jesse, can be found in the Garden of Meditation, once his favourite retreat. Fans stood, with tears in their eyes, contemplating his last resting place. A shuttle takes visitors to Sun Studios, now a museum. In the recording studio, I stood on the spot (it’s marked with an X) where Elvis stood to record those first hits. And there, I first learned about The Million Dollar Quartet. On Dec. 4, 1956, Elvis joined in an impromptu jam session with three other Sun artists: Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. It lasted four hours and Sam Phillips recorded the whole thing. They sang rock numbers like “Blue Suede Shoes”, classics like “White Christmas”, and gospel songs like “Peace in the Valley.” In between, they chatted and joked. It became known as The Million Dollar Quartet. The original recording was suppressed for

decades because Elvis was under contract to RCA, but that recording was released eventually. And in 2006, RCA’s 50th anniversary issue of the session contained approximately 12 minutes of previously unavailable material. The source of the recording was a copy of the session owned by Elvis Presley himself. In one scrap of conversation, Elvis describes the young Jackie Wilson, whom he had just seen imitating him in Las Vegas. The King pronounced Wilson’s smoky version of “Don’t be Cruel” better than his own. The Million Dollar Quartet is now a Tony-award winning musical and it’s coming to the Toronto Centre for the Arts in July. I could say for those of us who grew up in the Elvis era, the show is a must-see. But the reality is Elvis has been part of the lives of everyone born since he first gyrated his way around the stage. Indeed, a telling exhibit at Graceland features performers who were influenced by Elvis, with comments like John Lennon’s: “If there hadn’t been an Elvis, there wouldn’t have been the Beatles.” Elvis impacted so many artists, including Buddy Holly, Elton John, Roy Orbison and Sam Cooke. In fact, Elvis not only influenced the music of my generation, but that of every generation since. Bono sums it up: “He was my greatest inspiration.” TT MAY 2012 TORONTO TODAY 19


Dining&Food

You gets what you orders Liz Campbell

T

he first thing that strikes me about the menu at Morgan’s on the Danforth is the large number of beers available. The next is the large number of good wines and single malt scotches on the list. Somewhere between these two comes the food menu and it’s an appealing one. There are even suggested beer and wine pairings. Let’s be clear — this is a pub. It’s unpretentious, but you won’t find the usual pub grub here. It calls itself “A Local Redefined”. But as with a traditional pub, there’s no bread and olive oil to stave off the hunger pangs before the food arrives. No bad thing for me as I always overindulge and spoil my dinner. At Morgan’s you gets what you orders. My guest orders calamari with citrus aioli ($12) for her starter. Two things stand out about this dish: the calamari are small and sweet, and the batter is delicate. The generous por-

tion of rings (enough for two) is perfection — they’re not too chewy and the light batter means you can actually taste the squid. The aioli, however, is a disappointment, says my guest. I have to concur. It’s just got no zip. The citrus is AWOL tonight. My seared scallops with toasted hazelnuts and white truffle oil served on wilted greens ($11) are gorgeous. Succulent scallops repay every bite with a burst of flavour. The sauce left behind is so delicious, I find myself using the crisp toast points to sop it up. My guest’s main course is game hen with celeriac mash, bacon and onions served with seasonal vegetables ($22). The whole bird is halved and served with a rich sauce. The celeriac mash makes a wonderful accompaniment. We’re both impressed. And the portion is so generous, my guest takes half of it home. Unfortunately, my dish doesn’t

fare as well. It’s the special of the day — jambalaya ($21.95). Only it’s not. What I expect is the Cajun version of paella, where the rice is cooked with the meat and seafood, creating a succulent, flavourful dish. What I get is a mound of rice alongside a bowl of stewed chorizo slices, chicken breast pieces and three shrimps. I question the waitress. Has she given me the right dish? Her cheery reply is, “Oh yes, sometimes we like to change things around and serve them separately.” Then why call it jambalaya? Is my stew good? The sauce is spicy and savoury with lots of onions, but the chicken hasn’t been in it long enough to absorb the flavours fully. For a special of the evening, it is remarkably undistinguished. The waitress who had been keen to ask how we enjoyed our appetizers — we sopped up every mouthful of those — now seems indifferent and doesn’t ask how I enjoyed my dinner.

Well, half of it is, after all, left on the plate. However, it’s worth noting that Anne Sorrentini, the chef, is absent tonight. For dessert, we share a serving of apple cake made from the chef’s grandmother’s recipe ($8). It comes beautifully presented with fresh fruit and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I remember streusel cakes like this years ago — why have these fallen out of fashion? There’s a thick layer of sweet streusel and lots of apple. This one is a winner. On the whole, this place has great ambience, good food and great prices for wine and beer. There’s a lot going for it. It’s a shame about the jambalaya; it lets down what was otherwise a positive impression. Morgan’s on the Danforth, 1282 Danforth Ave. 416-461-3020. Reservations are recommended on weekends. www.morgansonthedanforth. com. TT

Recipe for flexible vegetarians

A

By Liz Campbell

pparently I’m a flexitarian. So was Einstein for most of his life, though he became a vegetarian in his last years. We flexitarians haven’t quite given up on meat — I do love an occasional roast — but we recognize it’s probably healthier for us to eat meat less often. And when we do eat it, we try to eat moderate amounts. The other side of that equation is the knowledge that meat production is not good for the planet. According to a 2006 report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation. Henning Steinfeld, chief of FAO’s Livestock Information and Policy

20 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

Branch said, “Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems.” In the five years since that report, more and more Canadians have moved to a vegetarian-based diet. That includes at least two members of my own family who are now completely vegetarian, so large family dinners in my home have become very complicated. I used to prepare a roast or a turkey, but these days I find myself preparing a second, vegetarian main course. When I heard about a new cookbook designed for people like me, struggling to marry vegetarian and meat eaters at a single meal, I was delighted. Everyday Flexitarian was conceived by Toronto culinary instructor and cookContinued Page 26


ThingstoDo

Busy week May 5, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Book Sale at St Clements Church: Hard cover, paperback, CDs, DVDs, sheet music, puzzles and games. All funds raised to support Woman and Youth Social Justice needs as well as Parish initiatives. 70 St Clement Ave. 416-483-6664. May 5, 11 a.m. North Toronto Group of Artists Spring Studio Tour: Encompasses the area of North Toronto from Eglinton to York Mills and from Avenue Road to Mt Pleasant. Sixteen participating artists.. Free. Visit www.ntgablogspot.com to download the brochure for the official tour map and artist locations.

Is May festival month? It might as well be with all that’s going on By sue wakefield

Four festivals for the whole family. The warm weather may have come early this year but the outdoor festivals are right on time. With just four good months of the year to throw an outdoor party, we Canadians like to pack in as many as we can. This month there are outdoor events popping all over with something for everyone in the family. Enjoy a community carnival and fair right in the heart of the city, mingle with some of Canada’s most talented artisans, laugh and gasp at the antics and feats of circus performers or head out of the city for a traditional agricultural fair. Rosedale’s tribute to May On Saturday, May 12 the annual Rosedale Mayfair returns with the irresistible theme: “Mayfair at the Movies”. Families are encouraged to dress up like their favourite movie characters and join in the fun. The day kicks off with a parade, collecting costumed kids along its route and arriving at the fair at 9 a.m. Enjoy rides, games, prizes, races, a climbing wall and some great market shopping with baked goods, treasures and art. When all the fun has you tuckered out, relax in the beer garden or food court and enjoy live music. May 12, 9:00am5:00pm. Rides will also be open on May 11 from 5:00-9:00pm. Admission to the event is free, additional charge for rides and some games. Rosedale Park, 38 Scholfield Avenue. 416-922-3714 x103. www. mooredale.org/events/mayfair.

Art at the Distillery The always great distillery district gets even better over the Victoria Day long weekend with the Artisans at the Distillery show. The 19th century cobblestone streets will be filled with 75 of Canada’s top artists. Shop for jewelry, pottery, toys, glass, gourmet foods, paintings, photography, clothing and accessories. Be sure to stop in to one of the district’s cafes or restaurants for a delicious bite. Kids will love a treat from Soma Chocolate and Gelato or The Sweet Escape Patisserie. And parents will love relaxing on the patio with an award-winning pint from the Mill Street Brewery. Free admission to the show. May 19-21, 11:00am6:00pm. 416-619-0953, www.artisansatthedistillery.com. High-flying (free) fun! The Victoria Day long weekend will see Harbourfront Centre bursting with acrobatics and antics during the Toronto International Circus Festival. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this year’s festival boasts many performance stages and roaming performers to entertain the family. The WestJet stage will feature performances by Zero Gravity Circus and the Canadian National Youth Circus. The Redpath Stage will showcase jugglers, interactive comedy shows and some downright strange skills while the studio theatre will feature unique puppet shows. Let the kids aged 5-14 try for themselves at the Orchard where

professionals from the Centre of Gravity Circus Training Studios will help them to tumble, spin an aerial hoop or bounce on a minitrampoline. And did we mention it is free? Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W. May 19-21. Visit web site for complete list of showtimes. www.tocircusfestival.com. Country fun close to the city Experience some good old country hospitality as The Schomberg Agricultural Spring Fair returns to the heart of Schomberg as it has for the last 160 years. Animal lovers can enjoy live sheep, beef and dairy cattle, rabbit or pet shows and a miniature horse demonstration. A live music stage will feature local performers like the Bond Head Old Tyme Fiddle Club. On Saturday at 11 a.m. the street will fill with floats and music as the Schomberg parade hits town. City slickers can learn how to grow vegetables in their flowerbed or make jam. A midway with Ferris wheel and Tilt-a-whirl make the country fair experience complete. When all the fun has your tummy rumbling, there will be lots of home-cooked food to enjoy. Schomberg Fairgrounds at intersection of Highways 27 and 9, just west of Highway 400. May 2427, times vary. Admission: Free on Thursday, Adults: $10 Fri, $7 SatSun, Children: $5 Fri, $3 Sat-Sun, Under 5: Free. Free shuttle bus from Brownsville Junction Plaza, South end near LCBO. www.schombergfair.com. TT

May 5, 2 p.m. Scottish Country Dance Gala: A colourful demonstration by adults of Scottish country dances with audience participation, entertainment and refreshments. Street parking at St. Leonard’s Church (north of Lawrence subway, east of Yonge). See www.rscdstoronto.org. $5. Toronto Scottish Country Dance Assoc.. 25 Wanless Ave. tartanshop@powergate.ca. May 6, 2 p.m. Sleepwalking to Catastrophe: a call to action Climate Change Forum and Community Town Hall. Expert speakers: Glen Murray, Alanna Mitchell, Stephen Scharper and Glenn McGillivray. Space is limited, please register at forourgrandchildren.ca. Free. For Our Grandchildren. 1585 Yonge Street. Fun and Games May 11, 3 p.m. Spring awesome sale: Bargains galore in 15 departments incl. furniture, clothing, books, jewellery, home decor and more. Baking and snack bar too. Proceeds to support local and outreach projects. Also May 12th 9a.m.-noon. Free. Leaside United Church. 822 Millwood Rd. 416-4251253. May 12, 9 a.m. Mayfair in Rosedale Park: Exciting carnival rides, midway games for kids, face painting, track and field, fish pond, candy floss, popcorn, bingo, raffle, silent auction and more. Costume parades from local parks, see details at www.mooredale. org.. Free. Rosedale-Moore Park Association. 38 Scholfield Ave. 416-922-3714 xt 103.

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Automotive

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24 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

Infinitely better 2013 Infiniti JX model solves problem of getting to third-row seating easily

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By Mathieu Yuill

inding a vehicle with seating for seven isn’t that hard. Of course minivans have been doing this forever but so often consumers complain about the lack of cool factor associated with these typical soccer mom people movers. So the industry started pumping out all sorts of SUV models with a third row of seating that sometimes was little more than a glorified rumble seat. And even when the third row was large enough to accommodate a regular-sized adult, the passage into that third row was either through a complex series of pulleys and levers to move the middle row forward, or you had to venture into the middle of the vehicle, through the captains chairs and finally to your seating destination. No more. Infiniti recently released the 2013 JX model, which feels like a larger FX opposed to just a smaller version of Infiniti’s behemoth QX model. While there are many standout features on the JX, one stands taller than the rest: easy access to the third row via a one-handed operation, which can be completed even with a baby seat installed. Anyone who has ever put a baby seat in the middle row of a vehicle knows that pretty much spells the end of accessing the third row from that side of the car. Arriving in showrooms in May with a starting price of $44,900, it takes square aim at both the Audi Q7 and the $52,690 Acura MDX. The paired down price doesn’t mean it’s without the same luxury level as its competitors. The JX comes complete with a full leather interior, sunroof, power tailgate, heated seats and steering wheel, back-up camera, and tri-zone climate control. The maple accents are stained a dark brown and the tester I drove had several unique bird’s eye markings — a beautiful feature in some maple species. The transmission features four modes: normal, sport, snow and eco. A 265-horsepower CVT engine gives the JX its power and while the ride is certainly comfortable without being squishy, I found myself wanting to leave the transmission in sport mode, which simulated gearing in traditional auto transmission automobiles. The other modes just didn’t feel as nice. While other luxury SUVs might be the main target, luxury minivans also might feel the pinch of competition from the JX. The starting price is right around the luxury minivan range and for those looking to up their cool factor, the JX might be the answer. TT


CommunityNewsRoundup

Around town in our neighbourhoods A new feature of Toronto community news, courtesy Town Crier newspapers

Memories of forgotten war kept alive WILLOWDALE — It may be known as the Forgotten War, but Korean War veteran Leonard Wells said he hopes that can change by participating in the Memory Project. Wells, who was a leading seaman in the Canadian Navy, was one of the veterans invited to the York Cemetery on Mar. 11 to share his wartime experiences. His stories were recorded by officials from the Memory Project, a non-profit initiative that’s been speaking with World War II and Korean War veterans across the country and publishing their stories on an online archive since 2009. “I think it’s an excellent idea,” Wells said. “Let’s

face it, we read about Columbus. We wouldn’t have known about it unless someone put it down. So we’re doing the same thing, recording history.” In addition to recording their interview with Wells on audiotape, officials from the project also took pictures of the various medals and documents he brought. The photos and an audio excerpt will all be posted online along with a write up of his personal wartime stories on thememoryproject.com. The Memory Project does not speak solely with Canadian war vets. Stories from veterans on the other side of the conflicts are also shared. — Tristan Carter

Canada Post office sought for Oakwood

Belief in children wins him volunteer award

LAWRENCE HEIGHTS — Perhaps it’s Abdi Mohamed’s belief that any child can be successful that caught the eye of the Toronto Sports Council, which has awarded Mohamed with its Volunteer Award for 2012. In a press release, the Toronto Sports Council named Mohamed’s commitment to improving the quality of life of youth in Lawrence Heights through sport. When he started his first program in 1994, he was granted a few two-hour time slots on weekends. Now Mohamed dedicates over 40 hours per week to his basketball programs at the Lawrence Heights Community Centre. But Mohamed won’t take all the credit, saying it’s a community effort. “A lot of people from East Africa — Ethiopian, Somalian, Sudanese — parents with many children moved in to Lawrence Heights,” he says. “That’s how the need for sportsmanship and mentoring increased and became a necessity.” Seeing the effort he’s put into laying that foundation turn into recognition means a lot to Mohamed, but he is certainly not resting on his laurels. “So now we put more time and effort into reaching out into the community and improving the livelihood of the youth, that’s my focus,” he said. “Now we have to double all the work we have been doing.” — Shawn Star

OAKWOOD VILLAGE — Ward 15 councillor Josh Colle would like to see an additional Canada Post outlet along Oakwood Avenue because he believes the community is underserved. Several Oakwood Village residents have told Colle the nearest Canada Post locations, at St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst Street and at Eglinton Avenue and Chaplin Crescent, are simply too far for them. “In my mind there’s a real kind of hole in the donut in terms of postal services, where you have some down St. Clair and some down on Eglinton,” he said. “But for all the businesses and residents in the middle, there really isn’t anything.” He said Oakwood Village is home to many residents with mobility challenges, which is why the neighbourhood justifies a closer location. Colle has contacted Canada Post and was told the service level is currently unacceptable, considering the nearest locations are about 2.5 and 3 kilometres away. There’s a former post office on Oakwood but the building is closed. A sign on the building’s door says Station L will no longer be receiving or accepting any unaddressed ad mail. Future deliveries will go

to 66 Ray Ave. “We’re due to even lose what little Canada Post presence we already have,” Colle pointed out. — Omar Mosleh

Shopping campaign aims to revive area UPPER-BEACH — Kate Tennier is intent on breathing new life back into a once-bustling commercial district at Gerrard Street and Woodbine Avenue. And, she’s bringing her whole Upper Beach neighbourhood on board to help her do it. The 16-year area resident recently formed the Gerrard Woodbine Neighbourhood Association with one agenda item: create a grassroots Shop Local campaign to foster a renewal of the area’s main commercial strip, between Devon and Bowmore roads. The initiative is called I’m A Local. For $20 a year, households have access to deals and promotions at local participating businesses. The collected funds will go to small street beautification projects,

but that’s not the main goal of the initiative, says Tennier. The intent is to build a network of residents and businesses and, sometime down the road, attract more merchants to an area on the upswing. “The area’s picking up and yet we all think that it has even more potential than what it’s showing,” Tennier says. Tennier has 30 volunteers helping her count houses on the streets in preparation for a shop local blitz. She estimates about 38 businesses have agreed to sport an “I’m a Local” decal on their windows and offer discounts or deals to members. — Karolyn Coorsh MAY 2012 TORONTO TODAY 25


Echoed sentiments

Cont. from Page 20

book author, Nettie Cronish and Pat Crocker, contributing editor to Herb Companion magazine. Their idea is elegantly simply. Take a recipe and offer two versions: a vegetarian and a meat one, using the same flavour profiles and most of the same ingredients. So, for example, Portobello mushrooms can be stuffed with ground lamb or with ricotta and Asiago. The recipe is essentially the same with the meat portions in blue ink to clearly distinguish them. Or how about a mushroom buckwheat burger with cashew butter, which can appeal to meat lovers by the addition of a bacon wrap. Even roasted cashew curry with cauliflower and peas can appeal to meat lovers with the addition of chicken. This recipe from Everyday Flexitarians is a great summer dish — light and flavourful — and it’s easy to make and serve both vegetarian and meat versions. The meat parts of the recipe are in blue ink (as they are in the cookbook). Serve these as they have in the photo, stacked with goat’s cheese, grilled peppers and onions, and top with a fresh tomato salsa. Marinated Grilled Eggplant/Marinated Grilled Pork and Eggplant 5 tbsp (75 mL) roasted peanut oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp (30 mL)minced fresh ginger 3 tbsp (45 mL) hoisin sauce 3 tbs (45 mL) tamari or soy sauce 3 green onions, thinly sliced 3-5 ounces (90-150 g) boneless pork loin 2 lb (1 kg) eggplant, peeled and cut crosswise into ½ inch (1 cm) slices ¼ cup (60 mL) sesame seeds Rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment or waxed paper. Preheat the grill to medium high. (You can also use a grill pan on the stove over medium high heat). Combine oil, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl. Combine hoisin sauce, tamari, and green onions in a separate small bowl. Set both bowls aside. Place the chop between sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Pound, using a meat pounder (or a rolling pin), until about ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Lay chop flat on a prepared baking sheet. Lay eggplant flat on a prepared baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil mixture. Brush both sides of pork with remaining oil mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cook eggplant and pork chop on preheated grill for 5 minutes; turn eggplant and pork and cook on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove eggplant. Check pork: internal temperature should be 160°F (71°C), or the internal colour should have changed to white with traces of pink in the centre. Continue grilling if necessary. Place eggplant on a serving dish. Baste cooked eggplant slices with hoisin mixture. Cut the pork chop into thin strips and toss with remaining hoisin mixture, and transfer to the serving dish. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

26 TORONTO TODAY MAY 2012

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DOWN 1. Pointy 2. Danger 3. Confirmation custom 4. Jays’ org. 5. “Help!” at sea 6. Eat dinner again? 7. Metal that doesn’t stain 8. Lower digit 9. And, in Berlin 10. Major moon-hunting grp. 11. Least-valued part 12. Police division west of Toronto 13. British band named for its singer 19. What tennis matches are tracked in 21. Cape Town’s country, abbr. 24. ___ in the bud

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25. Walk on 26. Scottish surname, meaning handsome 27. One who is new to technology, slang 30. Diana’s boyfriend 31. Hotdog on a stick 32. Thing up for bid 33. Alternate name of Visnu or Krishna 34. Wading bird 35. High school highlight 36. Old Norse name, meaning holy 37. Cool ___ cucumber 38. Early hour 40. Icky iota 41. ___-tat-tat 46. Rowboat needs 47. 19th letter 49. Zellers’ bear 50. Duelling swords 51. Pseudonym 52. Striped animal 53. Wuthering Heights author, Bronte 54. Buy 55. Singer Turner 56. Fruit juices 57. It’s good to get some at night 61. First half of Santa’s postal code 62. French island 63. Gorilla 64. Guitar figure Paul

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Toronto Today - May 2012