oRONTO oday February 2011
Jane Jacobsâ€™ Place Architect Terry Montgomery talks about his famous home on Albany Ave.
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Of character and characters
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reat cities, like the great neighbourhoods that are their constituent parts, are considered so when there is character and there are characters to celebrate. Toronto is a great city. Midtown is a great neighbourhood nestled within that city. In this issue we reflect on both the character of how our neighbourhoods are constructed and some of the characters that bring them to life. In the cover story, Toronto architect Terry Montgomery chats with Joshua Freeman about his sober approach to renovating the home he purchased in the Annex – a house once belonging to legendary urban theorist Jane Jacobs. A force to be reckoned with in arguing the case for “community” in 20th century urban development, Jacobs will go down in history for, among other things, her role in the demise of New York’s Lower Manhattan Expressway and Toronto’s Spadina Expressway. Speaking of characters, Shawn Star intoduces us to Howard Jerome Gomberg, who chronicles his observations in snatches of rhyme rather than theoretical blueprints. You may have already
Dan Hoddinott Managing Editor seen him: on TV, rapping on some street corner – or campaigning for the position of mayor of Toronto. You’ll get to know him here. We also salute those who feel compelled to arrive – to venture, to accomplish. Brian Baker and Tristan Carter bring us the stories of two local individuals who have reached for the sky – Baker on Angela James becoming one of the first female players to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Carter with a recounting of entrepreneur Matthew Von Teichman’s excellent adventures in business start-up. Enjoy these and other characters alive on these pages.
On the cover: Architect Terry Montgomery Photo by Joshua Freeman
every man is the architect of his own character
Men of Character from Boys of Promise
crescentschool.org FEBRUARY 2011 TORONTO TODAY
Perspective begins at home joshua freeman/toronto today
What to add? What to subtract? Architect and designer Terry Montgomery, in renovating his famous home on Albany Avenue, had to ponder these and other questions in determining how to strike the right balance between modernization and preserving historical character.
By Joshua Freeman
hat might it be like for a painter to live in Picasso’s old house, or for a writer to hunker down at Hemingway’s old home by the sea? For an idea, one might ask Terry Montgomery. For some time Montgomery, an architect who designs everything from bridges to hospitals, had pondered the idea of moving to the Annex to be closer to work and his children. But no house seemed to click well enough to entice him and his wife to leave their comfortable home in the Beach. Until, that is, he heard about one particular house on the market — that of the late urban theorist, Jane Jacobs. “I’d never met her, actually,” Montgomery says. “But I’d heard her speak and I had read her books, so that kind of got our curiosity up.” An icon, Jacobs’ ideas about how to make cities liveable have been lauded by thinkers around the world, but especially in her adopted home of Toronto, where in the 1970s she helped defeat the Spadina Expressway plan that would have uprooted the Annex. After her death in April 2006, Jacobs’ son decided to sell the house. When Montgomery saw the listing, he bought it. “It was still furnished with all her furniture when we looked at it. There was a jigsaw puzzle on the table and her study was all there. That certainly made it attractive to us, so we ended up buying it.” Now, although the move has brought Montgomery mere minutes from his office, he likes
TORONTO TODAY FEBRUARY 2011
to work at home when he has the chance. “I often think that if I have to write something I tend to write it here rather than at the office, because I think her writing skill might permeate the house a bit,” he says with a laugh. Whether or not he’s aided by her spirit, Montgomery is certainly aided by Jacobs’ ideas at his firm, Montgomery Sisam, as he works on projects such as a new bicentennial bridge to Fort York and the athletes village for the upcoming Pan Am Games. Although his own interest in buildings began as a child growing up in Lawrence Park, he says his thinking shifted when he encountered Jacobs’ ideas. “I always thought about architecture as the
‘Her writing skill might permeate the house a bit’
buildings themselves,” he says. “Where Jane flipped it around for me was (in her) thinking about the space between buildings being almost as important – maybe more important – than the buildings themselves.” But attracted as he was to the idea of the house’s legacy, Montgomery didn’t buy it to turn it into a museum. “It needed a lot of work… It hadn’t had any work done on it since (Jacobs) had moved in. That was 1970.” Some of Montgomery’s changes include the subtraction of a back staircase and the addition of new floors, lighting and washrooms. Jacobs’ former study is now a bedroom and the kitchen has been reconfigured as well. Continued page 6
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n o M t h i dtown g i l t o p S
You are now entering a murder-free zone Itâ€™s the ultimate selling point, isnâ€™t it? â€œQuiet neighbourhood, good schools, steps from subway, and youâ€™re unlikely to get killed!â€? We knew midtown Toronto is a realtively safe area, but we didnâ€™t realize how free it is of the most violent crime until we plotted last yearâ€™s homicide sites on our familiar ward map of the city. And there we are, in the middle spotlight with nary an incident reported within a knifeâ€™s throw of our neighbourhoods. A word of caution though: the killing sites are estimated, based on locations as reported in initial police reports. Information may have changed after first reports. And note how we are practically surrounded by a murderous ring around midtown, except for the relatively clear subway route north of us. So step lively when roaming beyond our bordersâ€”and stay that way. â€” Eric McMillan
Homicide sites (2010) Shootings Stabbings Other homicides
a series of local tours inspired by Jacobs and designed to get people acquainted with the urban spaces that surround them. One of the walks stops at the house. But Montgomery doesnâ€™t mind the visitors. In fact, he welcomes the neighbourhoodâ€™s pedestrian traffic, even if it does occasionally stop at his front porch. â€œIâ€™ve never lived in a neighbourhood where someone walks by almost every minuteâ€Ś itâ€™s really nice,â€? he says. With a large number of students, seniors and families on the street, he says itâ€™s also the most diverse street heâ€™s ever lived on. â€œItâ€™s ideal and itâ€™s what Jane always espoused -- mixed income, mixed useâ€Ś for a healthy neighbourhood. â€œThereâ€™s quite a group of people who knew each other before we came and who knew Jane as well. People seem to have potluck suppers and things. Somehow we seemed to fit into that same group, which has been quite nice for us.â€?
Cont. from Page 4
â€œIt was a tricky house to renovate because, on the one side, I wanted to be kind of fresh and modern, but I also had a lot of appreciation for this period of Edwardian houses,â€? Montgomery says of the nearly century-old home. â€œThe geography of the house is very much the same as it was.â€? The outside remains almost unchanged as well, and some of the main features, such as the central staircase and distinctive stain glass windows, are also intact. â€œI think she would have approved of the fact we renovated the house, but certainly didnâ€™t change it from the outside,â€? he says. Itâ€™s a good thing too, as the house sometimes serves as a backdrop for the occasional photo op. â€œThereâ€™s a group of people that come up from some American university every year and have their picture taken on the porch,â€? Montgomery says. Thereâ€™s also the annual Janeâ€™s Walk,
With the neighbourhood still calling to mind so much of what Jacobs stood for, Montgomery says he sometimes feels she hasnâ€™t left. â€œSometimes I sense (her) spirit is
here. The thing is she was a really independent thinker, you know. And you donâ€™t come across really independent thinkers that much. She probably left that spirit here, Iâ€™d say.â€? TT
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Activism can bring about revolutionary change City Views
Kris Scheuer “
ou say you want a revolution,” the Beatles sang. “Well, you know, we all want to change the world.” Even if it’s not a revolutionary change you are seeking, here are some tips on preserving a cherished service or advocating for a new policy at city hall. As I wrote in the last issue, you can achieve small changes by calling 311, your municipal councillor, or by making a deputation at city hall. But if you are seeking larger policy changes or want to protect services from being slashed, you’ll need a stronger game plan. Do your research Councillor Gord Perks is no stranger to activism, dating back to 1987 when he was involved with Pollution Probe, Greenpeace Canada and Toronto Environmental Alliance — all before he entered politics. “You will have opponents so your information has to be as good or better,” he said. So know your facts: why does it make economic, social and political sense for policymakers to agree with you?
Build momentum “You should build popular support across the city for whatever change you want,” Perks told me. “Identify who your allies are and recruit them. “Find out who your opponents are and the people you can convince in the (undecided) middle.” Stick with it “Working for a better world has to be fun if it’s going to take you months or years,” Perks advises. So perhaps try out some street theatre to get your point across with a goofy protest. Remember, you aren’t going to be successful by making a five-minute deputation at a committee, so plan on advocating repeatedly in as many ways as possible. You can make a difference This is not a time to be quiet and assume the government will do what you want, Councillor Joe Mihevc said. “This is a time for active democracy and taking action,” he added. “Every issue has community people who stood up and said, ‘I want to make a difference in student nutrition, hunger, urban renewal, public health, public transit’.” Media attention As a news reporter for eight years, I’ve interviewed my share of groups looking to shine a light on their causes. Media attention should be one of the tools you use to effect change, but it has to be done right.
I remember two stories I reported on about saving school pools that stand out as examples of what worked. In 2002, Torontonians were facing the possible closure of 85 school pools as provincial funding was going to be pulled. Swim advocates got creative and invited 100 kids and students from across the city to a protest/swim party in a Beach school pool. And they invited the media. I covered the event, where I spoke to Michelle Agnew and Mikaela Kraus-Glover, a pair of 8-yearolds, who told me why their pool should stay open. “I’d feel bad. You need to learn how to swim because people might drown,” Agnew said. Kraus-Glover added: “My school pool is where I learned how to swim, so it’s important to me.” A few days later the province said it had a change of heart. Of course it wasn’t that simple. And the school board has since raised the issue of pool closures almost yearly. In 2008, faced with the possible closure of the Malvern CI pool, student Hannah Gladstone helped organize a mock funeral for her school pool. “We decided to do a eulogy and funeral because we are feeling our pool is dying,” Gladstone said. My advice: if you want to start a media campaign then know your facts, plan an event, have a website, use Twitter to let people know what’s happening, start a Facebook campaign, send out press releases, get a crowd of supporters behind you and have an articulate spokesperson. TT
FEBRUARY 2011 TORONTO TODAY
Old rapper’s got By Shawn Star
Subsection 1, Paragraph 3/ Item 9, Addendum D/ “See above” – What do you know?/ It says up there to “See below”/ And that’s the way of the system
e’s done nearly everything in his life, but one thing he’s never been is an everyman. Born Aug. 16, 1939 in Brooklyn, N.Y., he has always done as he pleased, from his youthful days trying different career paths, to his nearly 100 TV and film credits, to a questionably successful run for mayor of Toronto. Meet Howard Jerome Gomberg, Through his own poems – and raps – he gives some insight on who he is, and how he got here. This is the way we educate/ Guideline, administrate/ Back to basics, that’s the fad/ Bored to death? Isn’t it sad/ But that’s the school of the system “I was one of the glorious dropouts of Thomas Jefferson high school,” says Gomberg, who is just as animated a character over the phone as he is in person. “I got what they call an equivalency thing a dozen years later.” Gomberg said he was never one for the structured classroom setting, and left at age 16 to pursue his own interests. The schooling system, he feels, is too streamlined and only caters to one type of thinking, leaving some behind. “Even though you may be a genius at mechanics – fixing cars and toasters – you still have to learn American history or Canadian history, stuff like that, and people fail at it.” Yeah, I’m an old rapper/ word-trapper/ mind-zapper/ finger-snapper/ toe-tapper/ now look what’s happened/ and that’s no crap Gomberg says coming out of school he had a bunch of interests – and he pursued them, whether it was wrestling, communism or football. “I wrestled professionally for a couple years; I was Erich von Hess,” he said, before impersonating his old character. “‘Ein, zwei, drei dummkopf, I take you, I break you, I throw you from zee ring!’ That kind of guy.” Then he tried politics – sort of. “I was actually the troubadour, for the socialist Labor party in New York for the better part of a decade,” he said. “And I did play five years of semi-pro football and had a tryout with the New York Jets, so I was a commie-jock before I became an actor.” Once he made the move to acting, Gomberg says his family breathed a sigh of relief, feeling that it was actually a step up from his prior endeavours. Now, over 40 years later, his acting credits include commercials, voiceovers, television and films, including a part in the recent film, Barney’s Version. “It was a pleasure to be involved with a film of that calibre,” he said. “In making movies, I also got to work with Leonard Nimoy in a film called The Good Mother with Liam Neeson and Diane Keaton way back when. I also got to be in the (David) Cronenberg film Naked Lunch.” The biggest notch in his belt though, Gomberg says, is being
TORONTO TODAY FEBRUARY 2011
great form the founder of the Canadian Improv Games, a nationwide high school competition that’s seeing its 33rd year, and is continuing to grow. “We have teams coming in from Australia now,” he said. “So if there’s a legacy that I have, that’s it – tens of thousands of young people learning the skill and art of improvisation.” This is the way we pass a law/ To cover the way we screwed up before/ Form a committee, it’s ever such fun/ Form another to study that one/ And that’s the way of the system Perhaps an underappreciated performance from Gomberg was his unsuccessful run for mayor this past fall. Though he had his own “Gomberg 4 Mayor” umbrella, it wasn’t enough to sway the votes his way. He managed only 477, which put him 33rd out of 40. Or did it? “Rocco Rossi’s votes, I count them as mine since he endorsed me,” he said, referencing a televised debate where frontrunners at the time were asked to endorse another candidate. “He was the last voice heard, endorsing me, so I claim his votes as my own, coming in fourth place.” Gomberg’s platform relied on creativity as a means of moving forward. “The principle was a city of creativity, and not just creativity in the arts, but creativity in our financing, in our culture, our hospitals – creativity everywhere!” he said. “That was the idea – to establish the world’s municipal university…a place where cities of the world come to learn how to be great cities.”
His platform relied on creativity
I’ve been a Buddhist/ a nudist/… I’ve whirled like a dervish/ I’ve worked with Ed Mirvish!/ I’ve sat in Indian sweats/ I mean, how weird can you get?/ And I love it all Faith is also a major part of Gomberg’s life. He says while he used to speak very sternly against religion, now he can’t get enough of it. “I’m a God intoxicant,” he said. “I love God in every manner, shape or form. “I lived my own faith for 40 years, having been born and raised Jewish. First 20 years I was an atheist – hardcore, prosthelytizing, anti-god, anti-religion atheist. The next 20 years I was anything but Jewish.” For the last 20 years, Gomberg says, he has returned to the faith of his birth through the study of Kabbalah. He then listed an array of faiths, teachers and mentors he has followed. “I’ve studied the wisdoms of every culture in every time in history,” he said. “So I have a very rich and full spiritual life. “How about you?” TT
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elcome to 2011. There is no doubt about it. The well-to-do residents of midtown, and in fact the neighbourhoods that line the waterfront and the Yonge subway up to Hwy. 401, are the privileged demographic increasingly surrounded by poorer populations on either side and in the inner suburbs. This has profound implications for city services and municipal politics. It was this poorer population that voted overwhelmingly for Rob Ford – the voters who bought into the argument that well served, self satisfied elites in the old Toronto tolerated flagrant abuse of taxpayer dollars. It is they who will benefit more from the cancellation of the vehicle transfer tax and the land transfer tax, and from a Sheppard subway that will make it easier to come to jobs. David Hulchanski, Associate Director of the Cities Centre at the University of Toronto, caused quite a stir recently with his widely publicized study that showed Toronto is indeed becoming a city of stark economic extremes as its middle class is hollowed out and replaced by a bipolar city of the rich and poor. He found that a predominantly middleclass metropolis just three decades ago is increasingly dominated by two opposite populations – one with an average income of $88,400, and another of $26,900. It is the richer neighbourhoods who are not as car dependent, who have far better transit and better city services in general. On the other hand, they also have the anxiety of the gangs and crime that neighbouring poor communities produce. And, curiously, the old Toronto, despite its economic divisions, is for the moment at least largely liberal (both small and large “L”), while the inner suburbs and the 905 communities that surround them are becoming more and more conservative. Note the election of Julian Fantino for the Harper government in formerly resolutely Liberal Vaughan. The polarized city means that an increasing burden of welfare, community housing and social services falls on the shoulders of the inner city and midtown taxpayer. We have to ask ourselves, what are the implications for our sense of social justice with
the size and extent of low-income neighbourhoods on the increase in our midst. The demand for more social housing. The revitalization of Lawrence Heights – the largest Toronto social housing complex after Regent Park – is at our doorstep. Note that another study shows what has happened to Toronto’s so-called middle class. It has quite simply migrated out of the City of Toronto and has settled in the outer suburbs. Urtaza Haider, a Ryerson professor, argues convincingly that “(the suburban) middle class comprises growing families with children who need more shelter space at affordable prices, which is abundantly available in the outer suburbs. Furthermore, financially stable and multigenerational immigrant households abandon Toronto at an increasing rate since they crave affordable shelter space”. These outer suburbs have a growing, not shrinking, tax base – like Toronto. They are more egalitarian; there is little poverty in Markham or Vaughan or Mississauga. For these communities the car is king and roads, not public transit, the priority. They drive long distances to work, or to the GO station. And they will shift the political balance both provincially and federally. So what’s the bottom line for midtowners? Perhaps it is that we are going to have to adjust to the new demographic reality which forces economies and different priorities a la Ford on Toronto not faced by our 905 brethren. It’s clear that Toronto can no longer afford a “politics of irresponsible profligacy” as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman pointed out in a Sunday column. “The leaders who will deserve praise in this new era are those who develop a hybrid politics that persuades a majority of voters to cut where we must so we can invest where we must,” Friedman wrote. Let’s make sure that this is what a Ford administration delivers. Get ready: the new Toronto is not about us getting more. It’s about getting used to less. And being prepared to invest in a more equitable Toronto. TT
ubway riders who aren’t sure they’ll be able to find Cupid on Valentine’s day should probably head over to Bathurst station. There may not be any secret stashes of chocolate or strategically placed bouquets of roses awaiting your arrival, but you never know just where Cupid will be hiding, bow drawn. Until you check Craigslist Toronto’s Missed Connections ads, that is. According to a recent study of Missed Connections postings, the romance hotspot on Toronto’s transit system is Bathurst station, a major transfer point for subway riders looking to connect with buses, streetcars – and lonely eyes. Craigslist names the Yonge-UniversitySpadina line as Toronto’s most romantic train line, defining it in a news release as “the one offering the best odds of a fellow passenger falling for you across a crowded train, platform or ticket hall, and then posting a Missed Connections ad on Craigslist Toronto.” The second most romantic station was Davisville. The most unromantic was Scar-
borough Centre on the Scarborough RT line. The findings come from an analysis of 285 ads mentioning any of the 69 stations or four lines on the Toronto subway and rapid transit system, and posted over an eight-week period during the summer and fall. The ads in the study were posted by those who had fallen for a fellow passenger but failed to get his or her contact details and had therefore turned to Missed Connections in the hope of getting in touch. Bathurst emerged as the station with the most Missed Connections mentions per passenger – or, as the study calls it, the highest “TRIST (Train Romance Index Score Total) Romance Score”. Bathurst’s TRIST score was 4.95; Davisville’s 4.79. High Park placed third with a score of 4.60. College had 3.45, followed by Summerhill with 3.38 and Dundas with 3.33. Rounding out the top 10 were Christie station (3.32), Runnymede (3.14), Wellesley (3.03) and Eglinton (2.97). TT
You oughta know
When and where did the first traffic lights crop up in midtown Toronto? — Eric in North Toronto Although it’s difficult to believe now, there was a time when it was rare to see a traffic light around Hogtown. According to data provided on the city’s website, midtown Toronto’s first traffic light was installed at the intersection of Yonge and Bloor on Aug. 28, 1925. It was followed by a light at Yonge and St. Clair in April 1927. The next year, other lights
followed – where Bloor St. crosses Bathurst St., Avenue Rd., St. George St., Spadina Ave. and others. In the decades that followed, the lights popped up all over the place as city traffic increased. It’s hard to say how many traffic lights the midtown area has now, but overall the city currently maintains more than 4,000 traffic lights. — Joshua Freeman Do you have a burning question you want answered? Let us know. Email what you wanna know to news@mytowncrier. ca and we’ll do our darndest to find out for you. TT
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12 TORONTO TODAY FEBRUARY 2011
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ith so many incredible stores and boutiques all around the GTA, being a yummy mummy has never been easier. When I was pregnant with my daughter in 2007, I believe I had the maternity wear market cornered. I was hip on all the best styles and was able to show off my protruding belly proudly. I am happy to report that I am pregnant again, and busy trying to hunt down the best in maternity clothing that Toronto has to offer. I am a denim aficionado. I love everything from skinnies to bell bottoms, and continue to wear them throughout my pregnancy. Kick, on Eglinton Ave. West, has the best selection of maternity jeans in the city. It carries many designer pairs cut with a comfy panel. Be sure to get a pair that you will be able to wear far into your nine months as these jeans run an average of $250 and you want to get the most mileage out of them. If like me you are continuing to work throughout your pregnancy, be sure to stop by Belly on Mount Pleasant Rd. You’ll find beautiful clothing that can take you from work to dinner – and even to a cocktail party. With great styles of dresses and dress pants, you will surely find something to make your work days fashionably chic. For the zen mama, I love the selection of yoga wear that Evy Mama (Jane St) has to offer. Not only is it Toronto’s only breast feeding boutique but it also carries a great collection of maternity wear, from “going out for dinner” pieces to sportier weekend attire. As soon as I started to “show” a little bit, I headed directly to Old Navy for basics such as long tanks and t-shirts. The prices can’t be beat and many items are available for under $10. When I’m looking to be comfy and chic I go straight to American Apparel for the best leggings around. There
are tons of great options for everything from lightweight cotton to heavy winter spandex. This should be your first stop when your jeans start to get snug around the waist, as they can be dressed up with a flowy top or dressed down with a tee. Toronto has many fantastic places to shop for those of us expecting, including great maternity stores and regular boutiques that offer pieces that can be worn as maternity wear. Check them out to make your nine months a yummy and fashionable experience. TT
Arguing over money
rom the time Canada first became a nation in 1867, the federal government in Ottawa and the provincial governments across the country have been engaged in regular and sometimes vicious battles over money. The British North America Act established a federal system for Canada. That meant that control over issues was divided between the two levels of government. The division, in the Canadian case, was not equal. The national government was responsible for big items of national significance, and the provincial governments were responsible for small issues of local significance. In 1867, defense and finance and commerce seemed to be the big issues, so they were handed to the national government; health and education and insurance seemed to be less important, so provinces were made responsible for these more local concerns. In keeping with this division, the federal government could collect money any way it chose, while the provinces could only tax directly. The federal government’s capacity for income was limitless, in other words, while the provincial access to money was severely limited. This made sense given the fact that Ottawa had what seemed to be costly responsibilities, while the provinces seemed to have control over inexpensive areas. But it meant that there would always be battles about which level of government could collect the money, and which areas each level was responsible for spending money in. As the 20th century unfolded, the size of the provincial responsibilities seemed to grow. The issues under provincial jurisdiction increasingly seemed to be necessary, and they were invariably terribly expensive to provide. Government responsibility shifted from regulating services
By P. E. Bryden like health and education to actually providing them. The costs were huge. At the same time that provincial responsibilities became more costly, the ways that were available for them to collect money became even more constrained. For example, both federal and provincial governments can impose direct taxes; a federal example of a direct tax is the income tax, while a provincial example is a sales tax. However, once one level of government begins to tax a particular area, it closes it off, for all intents and purposes, to the other level of government. When Ottawa moved into the income, corporate and estates tax fields during World War II, all direct taxes, the provinces lost a major source of income. The federal government compensated the provinces for leaving these fields, but the provincial governments lost important flexibility in accessing money for themselves. Ever since the federal government moved aggressively into the direct tax fields during the 1940s, supposedly because of the very particular needs of wartime, Ottawa and the provinces have had to meet regularly to divide the tax fields. That first, supposedly temporary, federal grab of direct tax revenue was to last for the duration of the war. When the war was over the money was too good for the federal government to give up. Every five years since then, the two levels of government have met to discuss the formula for sharing the tax areas. The federal government has kept taxing in the direct tax fields, continuing to compensate the provinces in various ways. But collecting the money isn’t the only problem plaguing the federal and provincial governments. They also argue about which level of government gets to spend money in particular areas.
With more money, Ottawa had the ability to spend in areas that were actually within provincial jurisdiction. When the federal government introduced national health insurance in the 1960s, for example, and covered the costs of Canadians’ doctor and hospital bills, it was really working in an area that was the responsibility of the provinces. It could do this by offering to cover half the cost of health insurance in any province that passed legislation that met a set of national guidelines. Provinces that agreed could pay 50 cents for a dollar’s worth of services — a deal that they all found too good to ignore. But this allowed the federal government to dictate the terms of what ought to have been a provincial program. Since 1956, governments have also recognized that some regions of Canada are chronically poor while other areas tend to be much wealthier. Equalization — a system by which the federal government gives money to poorer areas in order to bring the region up to a national average — ensures that all Canadians, regardless of where they live in Canada, have access to the same level of services. Figuring out which provinces are eligible for equaliza-
One-time powerful cabinet minister in PM Brian Mulroney’s government, Lucien Bouchard bickered with his old friend after becoming Quebec premier.
tion payments is another regular source of friction between the two levels of government. In a federal system, the federal and provincial governments are in a near constant state of conflict over money. Negotiations over how to divide access to tax revenues occur regularly, arguments over how to spend the money are ongoing, as are debates about who needs more money
and why. But in Canada, these sorts conversations are an accepted, desirable and integral part of the way our government system functions. Next Instalment: The Myth of the Undefended Border The Canadian Experience is a 52-week history series designed to tell the story of our country
to all Canadians. Sponsored by Multimedia Nova Corporation and Diversity Media Services/Lingua Ads partners, the series features articles by our country’s foremost historians on a wide range of topics. Past articles and author bios are available at http://www.cdnexperience.ca. The Canadian Experience is copyright © 2010-2011 Multimedia Nova Corporation. TT
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By Kelly Gadzala
ebruary’s here – as is the urge to hibernate. It’s not just the holiday credit card bills, the ever-plummeting wind chill or the few extra pounds packed on courtesy of festive indulgences. To add to the general ickiness, you’ve practically mangled your dry, scaly legs from scratching, and your face is so raw and wrinkly that you look like one of those apple head dolls you used to marvel at when you were a kid. It’s no news flash that skin can get extremely dry in the winter. Your face, which is more exposed to the wind and cold than the rest of you, can suffer the brunt of the season’s effects, while indoor heating casts the final blow by sucking any remaining moisture from your skin. The good news is you can combat that dryness and dehydration, the beauty experts say, by bumping up your skincare regime in the cold winter months.
Exfoliate Exfoliation – sloughing off dry, dead skin – should be done all year round but is especially important in the winter as new, fresh skin will better absorb moisturizing creams. The method you choose needn’t cost the moon. Mabel Jakimtschuk of Village Wellness Spas in Toronto recommends dry brushing your body with a special wooden brush before applying moisturizer. It may not be a customary technique in North America, but in Europe it’s a way of life, Jakimtschuk says. “People have always dry brushed there.” Using a brush to exfoliate can sometimes be too harsh for sensitive or already irritated skin, says Cristina Popescu of the Forest Hill Spa. For the body and legs, Popescu suggests trying a salt body scrub containing oils, which will exfoliate and hydrate at the same time. Rub it all over the body before the shower, she says, then wash it off, pat yourself dry and apply a good body moisturizer. “Your pores will be open … and your body will absorb the moisturizer better.” Exfoliation is key for the face, she adds, and should be bumped up to several times a week in the winter. She warns against using a grainy exfoliant if you have sensitive skin as it could cause further irritation. A non-grainy exfoliant that’s enzyme-based, meaning it has fruit
extracts, is a good option for sensitive types. “The enzymes do the work,” Popescu says. “Not the rubbing action.” Hydrate After exfoliating, you’ve got to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. “Lotions won’t do anything this time of year,” Jakimtschuk says. “You need oil-based lipid products … that will function like humectants and seal moisture in.” For the face, Jakimtschuk recommends rosehip oil or any other kind of noncomedogenic oil that won’t clog pores or cause you to break out. Popescu adds that you should be looking for a thicker cream for your face that’s more like a balm, which will moisturize as well as protect the skin. For the body, a body butter – essentially a thicker type of lotion or cream – that contains essential oils is great for winter skin, she says. An easy home remedy that you can do before bed is slather your feet with cream and put on cotton socks that will keep the moisture in. As for the hands, every time you wash them you lose moisture, she says, so apply hand cream after each washing and get into the habit of keeping small tubes of it by the sink, in your car, and in your purse. “If it’s everywhere, you’ll use it more.” Also, apply cuticle cream, which you Continued page 15
Not afraid to jump
Cont. from Page 14
can also buy in smaller, portable containers, regularly as your cuticles also dry out in the winter.
Photo courtesy Parmjit Parmar
Serial entrepreneur Matthew Von Teichman with his latest business, LifeChoice Foods.
By Tristan Carter
o you think you have a great idea for a business. Maybe you do, but do you have the guts to get it started? One midtown resident certainly has both. Matthew Von Teichman is the only person to have made Profit magazine’s Hot 50 list of fastest growing startup companies with two different businesses. Both See Thru Window Cleaning and JobShark. com made the list after making major gains in profits in only their first few years. In a recent conversation, Von Teichman spoke on succeeding in these businesses and in his career as an entrepreneur. He says a lot of would-be business people he speaks with have solid business ideas. The only thing that stops them from executing on those business ideas is that “they’re afraid to take the jump” to become an entrepreneur. Not only is Von Teichman not afraid to dive right in, he enjoys it. “I think probably the biggest difference between me and people who aren’t entrepreneurs is just simply, I don’t mind taking the leap,” Von Teichman said. “I like the uncertainty that comes with being an entrepreneur, so for me to start new businesses is fun.” While he admits studying history at the University of Western Ontario had “absolutely no relevance” to his current line of work, it was where he began his first business. During his second year of higher learning he opened a restaurant and pub in a hotel owned by a friend. Before the completion of his fourth year, he had already sold the restaurant and opened up his second business: a student window-cleaning franchise. After selling the window-cleaning business to a family friend, he went on to create the employment website JobShark.com. “I’m good at the start-up phase,” Von Teichman said. “I like that beginning phase where a lot of people hate it. “I love the uncertainty of a new business and being able to pioneer from nothing to something. I love that.” In 2001, he sold his stake in JobShark. Despite all the hard work he puts into starting a business and making it successful, he says he doesn’t get too attached and isn’t overly sentimental once it’s sold. “I don’t have a lot of nostalgia for the different companies,” Von Teichman said. “What I don’t like to see, which happened with the window-cleaning
company, is you sell it and then they run it into the ground. “That, to me, is unfortunate.” Von Teichman’s now onto his fourth company: Life Choice Natural Foods. He started the business, which sells frozen organic meals, while his wife was pregnant with their first child. “She wanted to eat healthier now that she was pregnant and so we tried this organic pizza and it happened to be just horrible,” he said. “It was one of those eureka moments thinking, ‘Well surely there’s a lot of people who, like us, want to eat healthier but don’t want to eat crap.’” He describes his line of products as “healthy convenience food for families” and boasts that Life Choices meals contain whole grain ingredients with no refined sugars or flours. Not only are the Von Teichman children served Life Choices products, they’re also the company’s taste-testers, he says. “My kids and my kids’ friends are basically our product development group,” Von Teichman said. “Whenever we’re thinking of a product we run it by them, purely by inviting their friends over and letting them eat it and seeing what the reactions are.” Von Teichman lives with his wife and kids in midtown Toronto, but they also spend a considerable amount of time at their farm in Thornbury, Ont. where some of the ingredients for Life Choices products are grown. He enjoys the opportunity for greater family involvement offered by his most recent company. Von Teichman has stayed with Life Choices longer than any of his previous companies and rather than selling the business he has instead led a successful expansion into the U.S. market in recent years. “I’m just totally engaged in this business. I love it. I usually like to get out of businesses after about five years and this is eight years now and it’s fabulous, it’s so much fun.” For Von Teichman, the rewards of being an entrepreneur outweigh the risks and he is quick to give advice to those thinking of starting their own business. “First and foremost, I would say don’t be afraid to fail and as part of that don’t be afraid to jump,” Von Teichman said. “The first step for any entrepreneur is to take that fateful decision to actually go into business for themselves. “And it’s not easy.” TT
Read your labels Certain ingredients in creams and exfoliants do better jobs at hydrating. Look for body creams with a moisturizing compound called urea in them, says Popescu, and avoid overly perfumed products as they can irritate and won’t provide enough nourishment. Stacey Davis of LoveFresh in Toronto makes natural body products and says liquid oils like avocado and jojoba oils moisturize but don’t penetrate as well as the shea butter, which is solid. “Shea butter is the most moisturizing natural ingredient,” says Davis, who uses it in her scrubs. Certain ingredients in body products can dry your skin even more, she says. Keep an eye out for products containing Sodium Laurel Sulphate, a lathering agent that’s in most shower washes, she says. “It’s super, super drying.” Many hand lotions contain alcohol to reduce greasiness, she adds, but the alcohol will dry your skin out. “At first your skin will feel fantastic but then it’ll be drier from when you put it on.” TT
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, by Fax: 416488-3671 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 35 years. His firm has established a solid reputation representing thousands of injured victims and their families throughout Ontario.
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: I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time the other week. I was in a bar with some friends. There was an altercation at a nearby table involving other patrons and bar staff. People were smashing and throwing glasses and beer bottles. Unfortunately, I was struck in the face by some flying glass shards and I was cut quite badly. My right eye has been damaged although the specialist can’t say yet whether I will have permanent vision loss. I don’t know who threw the glass that hit me. Do I have any recourse? : If you can establish who was responsible for throwing the glass that caused your injury, you would certainly have a claim against that person. However, you may also have a claim against the operators of the bar and the bar staff for their failure to properly control or contain the situation. In fact, they may have even aggravated the problem by their actions. I assume that the police were eventually involved and it would be important to access their records. You may be entitled to recover damages for your pain and suffering, loss of income and your expenses. Depending on the facts, you may also have a claim for punitive or aggravated damages.
FEBRUARY 2011 TORONTO TODAY 15
A warm Glow
I Liz Campbell/Toronto today
Art glass installation by Dale Chihuly adds to elegant atmosphere.
16 TORONTO TODAY FEBRUARY 2011
By Liz Campbell
don’t think I’ve ever found myself in this situation, but this month’s review might be boring. Dinner at Glow is pretty nearly perfect. We have the server every restaurant owner dreams about — friendly, full of ideas, knowledgeable — and the meal every customer craves. At the outset, our waiter explains Glow’s ethos: healthy, fresh food in a menu designed by Rose Reisman. And with his approval, we begin with glasses of Valpolicella Ripasso from the Cantine Delibori vineyards ($10.50). It’s a lovely, “big” wine with a beautiful, full bouquet. But it’s the serving of it that’s fun. From the wine bottle, the waiter ceremoniously decants 5 ounces into a small flask. He then pours it into Reidel O glasses – their new stemless line. Nothing like making a ceremony of a small thing. While we await our starters, we enjoy the next ceremony. We’re presented with a delightful little construction of toasted multigrain raisin baguette slices and grilled pita wedges along with a tray of three small toppings: sundried tomato hummus, a spinach mousse and caramelized onion cream. Swearing I won’t eat more than one and spoil my dinner, I manage to make inroads into all three. My guest orders an appetizer of three different satays with a pair of dipping sauces ($16). Three skewers — calamari and shrimp, beef, and chicken — are accompanied by sauces: a dark soya-based style sauce and a ground peanut paste. These suit the flavours perfectly. My guest comments on how beautifully each one is grilled. “Even the calamari isn’t overdone.” My own choice: a warm wild mushroom salad on a bed of baby arugula topped with generous shavings of excellent parmesan ($12). I find big shiitake heads and small flutes of oyster mushrooms, all in a light balsamic dressing designed not to overpower the delicate taste. The waiter suggests extra plates so we can share our appetizers. My guest’s main course, Thai seafood stew, proves to be a large bowl of rice noodles topped with a gorgeous red curry swimming with shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels ($19). “Every time I dig into the bottom of the bowl (and it’s a large bowl), I come up with some more seafood,” he says. My Asian black cod has been steamed in a black bean sauce and
topped with curls of pickled ginger ($28). It comes atop a mound of stirfried Asian vegetables (boy choy, tiny enoki mushrooms and onions) and Aztec rice — a wonderful red rice cooked to creaminess in rich broth. The cod is cooked to a turn; fat, delicate flakes of fish fall off my fork. The flavours harmonize beautifully with the little bit of zing from the pickled ginger adding a fresh note every so often. We’re full but when the waiter brings eight pretty miniature desserts in shot glasses ($3 each), we relent. It’s tapas-style dessert and impossible to resist, so we opt to try two little tasters apiece. After all, our waiter points out, these are just 120 to 160 calories each. I choose key lime pie and the waiter’s second favourite (he’s very helpful indeed) – caramel crunch cheesecake. My guest selects three chocolate (white, dark and milk) mousse and traditional New York cheesecake spread with a berry glaze. A tiny spoon accompanies these. I find them very sweet, though each is truly just three bites – just enough to sweeten the palate and leave a last happy taste in the mouth. We both request decaf coffee ($3 each). A really good and – hooray! – really hot brew arrives with little jugs of both cream and milk. There’s only one wrong note when it comes to food. There is a cheese plate but when I ask what the cheeses are, I’m told the usual “sharp cheddar, brie, camembert, and I think, a blue.” When are restaurants going to realize that knowledge about the cheese plate is as important as knowledge about the dessert selections (which our waiter rattled off with ease)? Glow is a real find. Its name refers to the glow of good health, but the interior exudes a warm glow of coloured lighting hidden behind a remarkable series of swooping wave panels on the ceiling. And I love the bright green art glass installation by Dale Chihuly. But can anyone tell me why this lovely, upscale restaurant finds it necessary to have a TV screen in the bar area? From my comfortable leather bound booth, I see it flickering just within my line of sight – Monday Night Football, the perfect accompaniment to a fine dinner. Nonetheless, this is a beautiful spot in an area that is rapidly gaining a name for fantastic restaurants. Glow, 7 Marie Labatte Rd. (in The Shops at Don Mills). 416-384-1133. Great online reservation system at www.glowfreshgrill.ca. TT
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By Mary Fran McQuade
t’s the start of 2011. The beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. Makes my head spin a bit. But some things you can still count on. The days will get longer (though colder, but you can’t have everything!). Kids will grow taller. The snow will melt — eventually. And people will make new year’s resolutions as a sign of continuing hope. On the subject of home and garden, here are a few thoughts for 2011 to put on your own resolution list. Don’t go getting all over-ambitious (a sure road to tears). Choose a few that appeal to you, and that are doable and fun. They’ll give you a fresh outlook for a brand new year. (And something to plan during the cold months to come.)
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In the year 2011, I resolve… To replace two or more incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFLs do look weird, with that open spiral of glass instead of the enclosed bubble you might be used to. And they’re pricier than incandescents. But they use up to 75 percent less energy than older light bulbs. Use them in places where you leave the lights on for a long time, and you’ll save money while doing an environmental good deed. (Tip: watch for public programs where you can swap old-style bulbs for new, or for special discounts on CFLs.) To give away or sell unused stuff that lurks in my home regularly. It’s amazing how stuff piles up in corners, spare rooms, basements and closets. Stay on top of the wave by making it a habit to round up these unwanted things in one place. You’ll be ready to donate if charitable agencies call. Any bag or box will be easy to grab if you’re heading out near a dropbox or thrift store location. To explore one new shop — garden centre, florist, consignment shop, toy store, fabric store, home store — during the year. It seems as though you find just the right thing when you’re not really looking for it. Exploring a new store just for fun can lead you to the perfect gift for someone’s birthday. (Buy it and put it away if the big day’s a few months off — look at the time you’ve saved!) Even if you don’t buy anything, you’ll come away with fresh ideas and renewed creativity. Toy stores, for example, can turn up fun things for grown ups. And you don’t have to sew to enjoy fabric stores. Ribbons and trim and remnants make lavish giftwrap—and great additions to little girls’ play boxes. To take a good look at my “showpiece” living room and see if it’s earning its keep. Life’s too short and real estate’s too expensive to have a room that just sits and looks pretty. If you frequently entertain
guests there, fine; it’s doing a job. But if everyone gravitates to the kitchen or family room, anyway, it’s time to re-think. Consider turning that cold museum into a cozy library-study-reading room. Soft chairs, spacious tables and classic table lamps will set a peaceful tone. Keep the focus on a sense of order and beautiful things, and you’ll still be able to use the room for intimate gatherings of friends, as well as your own private getaway. To make one significant improvement in my garden or outdoor area. Winter’s the time to think and dream and plan for our short warm season. Take time to think back over last summer: Did you have too little shade? Were your flowerbeds and borders too skimpy? Was your outdoor living area uncomfortable? Use winter’s quiet time to decide where to plant a tree or build an arbour. Draw a plan for enlarging skinny flowerbeds. (Almost all of them start out too small.) Think about what you need to enjoy your outdoor living room. An all-weather rug? An outdoor fireplace? New, cushy lounging furniture? Maybe a small fountain or other water feature? Stir up those summer thoughts and winter will fly by.
Make a home and garden resolution (or two)
To not be a slave to my home, no matter how much I love it. Remember to grab hold of opportunities to contact friends, treat yourself to a leisurely lunch, have a picnic, take a walk, play with your kids. Home is more than just a place — it’s a state of mind. Wishing you a happy home and garden throughout 2011! TT
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www.pressedglass andgoblets.com 20 TORONTO TODAY FEBRUARY 2011
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It’s chilly. Don’t you wish we humans could hibernate? Instead of holing up for the dark month of February, why not make it your mission to get out and explore? Yes, curling up with your honey is fun, too. But here are some ideas for hot dates on cold nights. Around the world in just one day Forget expensive airfare. You can take a trip around the world in this city. Little Italy, Greektown, Chinatown, Little India, Polishtown, Little Israel… the world is your oyster. Start by exploring one of these neighbourhoods: have a walk around, stop into shops, or warm up with a green tea or a coffee, or a spicy samosa. Then choose a neighbourhood for dinner. What do you feel like? If you feel like some Indian cuisine, try Lahore Tikka House on Gerrard. It’s an experience, as well as a delight in food. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Pakistan. The temporary location is almost like a school Port-a-Pak, with beautiful coloured scarves decorating the plywood walls. Enjoy authentic food of generous proportions. (1365 Gerrard St. East, 416-406-1668) If, let’s say, it’s Feb. 3, it’s Chinese New Year! Hop on over to Chinatown to ring in the Year of the Rabbit. (www.chinatownbia.com) Visit winter Don’t hide inside. Bundle up and embrace Cana-
da’s climate. The WinterCity festival offers a 14-day, city-wide celebration of Toronto’s spirit, with delicious culinary experiences, sizzling free entertainment and a showcase of the arts scene. There’ll be musical performances and acrobatics, as well as kid-friendly shows. From Jan. 26 to Feb. 8. Visit www.Toronto.ca for more information. Cozy up at the theatre OK, so sometimes you just want to stay inside. We get it. So stay indoors and warm up with a trip to South Pacific. The award-winning musical is set to hit the Toronto Centre for the Arts starting Feb. 15. Set on a tropical island during World War II, the musical follows the romantic story of two couples and includes familiar tunes like “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”. www.DanCapTickets.com. (5040 Yonge St., Toronto, 416-7339388.) Put on your glad rags Who doesn’t love a fancy night on the town? (And one for a good cause? Even better.) Get dolled up with your honey and head to “A Cure in the Future Retro Gala”, to be held Feb. 19 at Bellvue Manor in Vaughan. Dina Pugliese, co-host of Citytv’s Breakfast Television, will be MC. A Cure in the Future raises funds in support of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation’s Research Department. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. (Bellvue Manor, 8083 Jane St., 905-264-3550) TT
Mark Your Calendar Sun. Feb. 6 Deborah Staiman presents a Cabaret of Love Songs at The Annex Live, 296 Brunswick Avenue 2:30-4:30 p.m. This musical journey of love will include Yiddish theatre songs and musical theatre gems by Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, Kurt Weill, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and others. Tickets $20 in advance and $25 at the door. First 50 people to book in advance will receive
a free copy of her Staiman’s CD “Mosaic”. 416-483-9532 or email@example.com. Sat., Feb. 12 Be My Valentine storytime, Leaside Library Branch, 165 McCrae Dr. 11-11:30 a.m. Community Room. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with mushy stories and a craft! Drop in. No registration required. 416-396-3835. Singsation Saturday Choral
Workshop, 1585 Yonge St. Anyone who loves to sing is invited. $10, includes refreshments. 416598-0422 www.tmchoir.org. Mon. Feb. 21 Kids 3-11) are welcome for a day of crafts, games, snacks and fun at Manor Road United Church, (240 Manor Road East) from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. 416-483-0695. No charge but bring your lunch! Note: no religious element to this camp.
Apps for on the go By Joshua Freeman
o you’re about to head out to dinner or to check out that new store you’ve been meaning to get to. But what’s the best route to take? When will the next bus arrive? Not to worry — there are at least a few apps for that. After taking a “nap” from the iTunes store this past summer, Red Rocket has returned with a welcome update. Now compatible with iOS4, the latest edition boasts updated maps and schedule data. Look up any bus, subway or streetcar route and find out when the next ride will arrive. A handy feature makes use of the iPhone’s GPS to list all the stops nearby. You can adjust the range from 10 metres to three kilometres, as well as the number of stops displayed. This app comes loaded with various other features that have made it a favourite among transit users. Handily, all the route info is built into Red Rocket, so it works even without an Internet connection. Users should beware, though. All that data weighs in at about 99 megabytes, meaning this app is no lightweight. If you want to avoid eating up a good chunk of your monthly data allowance, download it to your computer first and then sync it to your iPhone using iTunes. $2.99. TO Mobile is another app with many of the same features, but it includes schedules for York Region and Go Transit as well. At $2.99, either app is yours for about the cost of a TTC ride. But if that still sounds steep, you can now use Google Maps to plot your transit route. Since October, the essential app has included official TTC schedule data. Just drop a pin on the map and tell it to plot a route there by transit (select the bus icon). Tap the clock next to the departure time and it’ll even give you different route options. TTC Mobile is another free app that provides official TTC route information and incorporates traffic updates from 680 News. It also features a nifty panoramic sweep of Davisville Station while the schedules are loading. Both require an Internet connection. Note: The TTC is not officially affiliated with any of these apps, but keep your eyes peeled for new innovations in transit navigation! The transit commission has promised to start providing real-time GPS data about bus locations starting early this year. Have you had any good luck — or bad luck —with these or other transit apps in Toronto? Drop me a line at jfreeman@ mytowncrier.ca. TT
Photo Courtesy Jeep
By Mathieu Yuill
he Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a staple at offroad meetups. Its ability to scale steep inclines and make its way through muddy banks has been pivotal in keeping Jeep’s reputation as a trail-ready brand since the 1950s. Unfortunately, regular street driving — you know, the kind you do to and from work every day — suffered. The drive felt like you were off road even when you weren’t. The engineers at Jeep recognized this and the 2010 Grand Cherokee now rides just as smooth on asphalt as any of the other five-seat SUVs on the market. The last major redesign for the Grand Cherokee was in 2005. Previous generations had a very boxy feel to them and that was part of their charm. The current look retains the same rugged feel, but employs softer lines and a sloped roof giving it a sleek, quick look. Sloping the roof toward the back is a common design style and is what helps sports coupes in particular look so fast. With the Grand Cherokee, the tradeoff is there is only seating for five. A decade ago that was normal but today’s SUVs often have a third row of seats suitable for children or smaller adults. It’s a shame you’re forced to look elsewhere for such capacity. Other reviews knocked the Grand Cherokee’s interior finishes and its fuel economy. Yes, there are
a lot of plastic bits making up the centre console and dashboard, but they don’t look out of place. Running rough lumber over the interior would definitely result in scratches but it shouldn’t be an issue otherwise. On the flip side — if you do plan on taking your Grand Cherokee off-roading, branches and mud do find a way of making their presence known inside the cabin. In those cases, the switches and dials may receive some battle scars. Fuel economy hasn’t been glorified with the Grand Cherokee mostly because the Canadian fuel guide lists its numbers as 13 litres per 100 kms in the city and 8.5 on the highway. However, I found those numbers a bit high even when driving without being conscience of fuel economy. At the end of the week, my numbers were a combined 9.75 L/100 kms and there were times I had the opportunity to punch the go pedal. The Grand Cherokee is comfortable, fun offroad and a good-looking ride — something Jeep should be proud of. TT
Softer lines and a sloped roof make a sleek look
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Respect is due volunteers The Game Fixer Brian Baker
In the Hall
retired teacher looked at me and rued the self-entitlement of some students when it comes to extra-curricular sports in high schools. In the setting of a hockey arena he expressed, with great passion, his displeasure at the Emil Cohen debacle. The gent was candid — and off the record — but below the surface I knew he took a direct hit from the “Soccer is synonymous with the word ‘unnecessary’” speech. When I first heard it was a Northern student who peppered his teachers with an opening salvo against “abject failure”, I was shocked. But I waited until after the fallout instead of joining the knee-jerk media bandwagon, decrying freedom of speech infringements. Those headlines came ad nauseam with the excess baggage of pundits who have never seen Northern teachers at field level, courtside or in the arena. (It’s possible some of them don’t even know
where Northern is). I watch those dedicated teachers volunteer their time before and after the school bell rings. I see their interaction with players. The passion they have for sports. The winning teams they produce year-over. I see the sacrifices teachers make both at work and at home to ensure students get to compete. So when Cohen commented, “We had a team this year, due to the tenacity and perseverance of several players, who took it upon themselves to do the phys ed department’s job and find a coach”, it does come across as entitled because it is not in a teacher’s job description to coach sports. It’s voluntary, and Wendy Luck, head of the girls phys ed department, is one of many Northern coaches I see taking up multiple teams. “It’s a lot of time. I’m not going to lie there (but) I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” she said. “I’m happier than a pig in you-know-what to get up in the morning.” Almost two hours before the opening exercises, she’s coaching either the girls basketball team in the fall or the volleyball team in the winter. Depend Continued page 26
By Brian Baker
ngela James played shinny in Flemingdon Park to learn the basics of hockey. “We played hockey on the roads, we played hockey in the garage or out in the outdoor rinks,” she said. “There wasn’t a lot of organized hockey so for me there was just the house league.” Over three decades later she has found herself in the Hockey Hall of Fame as one of the first two women inducted into the hallowed institution. On June 22, the 46-year-old was honoured along with her one-time ice rival Cammi Granato. The whole experience was overwhelming, especially when she was first notified, James said. “When I first received the phone call from the committee, I was at home, talking on the other line with the CBC and they were asking me what are the chances of a girl going into the Hall,” she said. “The phone kind of beeped and … it was the chair of the hockey committee calling and yeah, it was pretty emotional.” James admitted she’s glad she wasn’t the only one scoring a first nod. “I’m certainly glad we went in together,” she said of her induction with Granato. “I don’t think I could have handled something like this on my own, I’ll tell you that much.” James played on four gold medal World Championship teams and two golds at the 3 Nations Cup. Since her departure from the international stage of hockey, she has not hung up skates just yet. She’s on the ice five nights out of the week. James is also the recreational coordinator at Seneca College. “I love the game,” she said. “The more I’m around it, the better.” As for predictions as to who will follow James and Granato to 30 Yonge Street, she has three picks: former teammates Geraldine Heaney and France St. Louis, as well as builder Fran Rider. “I’m not sure that every single year you will get a female but I think there’s enough of us out there that it should be – for the next little while anyway – to kind of catch up.”. TT
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FEBRUARY 2011 TORONTO TODAY 25
Getting a Taste for Midtown
Reader delighted with magazine Re: Premier edition of Toronto Today, November 2010 Just wanted to pass on my congratulations on the new Toronto Today publication! It was a nice surprise to find when I came home yesterday, and I proceeded to read it cover to cover. I particularly liked the oversized pages and the glossy cover, which made quite an impact. Some of the other things I liked included: the layout, which was easy to follow and engaging (loved the font size and all the color photos), and the categories (News, Fashion, Business, Kids & Families, etc.) represented an excellent and diverse range ensuring broad appeal.
As someone who has a home and a new business in the area, hear me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this inaugural issue. Having just launched a new business, I read the Business feature with great enthusiasm, and really enjoyed the entrepreneurial interview on page 28. I hope this feedback finds you well; and again, congratulations on a publication that offered substance for me, and holds a great deal of potential in highlighting how wonderful living and working in midtown Toronto is! Andrea Tsanos Stonefox Design Originals Toronto
Fee has reduced plastic bag use Rob Ford wants to scrap the 5-cents fee on plastic bags. This is a mistake. The fee has successfully reduced plastic bag use by over 70 percent since it was instituted. We clean up local parks every spring and fall. In the two years since the fee was enacted we have noticed a dramatic decrease in the number of bags we pick up. Even the “plastic ghosts” of shredded bags we once saw in tree branches every autumn are now a rare sight. The fee works.
Some complain the plastic bag fee is punitive. Yes, that is the point! The fee is not mandatory: bring reusable bags and don’t pay any fee. Instead of banning bags outright, as (is done) in many countries, we give consumers choice and discourage bag use through intelligent policy. Let’s keep the fee and keep our streets and parks clean. John Taranu St. Paul’s Green Party Toronto
Cont. from Page 25
ing on where Luck travels from, that’s got to be at least a 5 a.m. wake-up time. That builds character, not to mention strong ties. “The relationships you have with the kids outside the classroom makes life a lot easier inside the classroom,” Luck said. I agree. To this day, I still keep in touch with my teachers who took a large chunk of their personal time to teach my fellow Anderson CVI thespians drama. In 1997, students across the province had their own drama. It was my OAC year and the largest teacher strike was occurring in Ontario. Premier Mike Harris and Education Minister John Snobelen were four-letter words in the halls of schools and after the two-week work stoppage our teachers went work-to-rule. That meant absolutely no extra-curricular activities. But we did not complain when life gave us lemons; instead we made lemonade. Our annual series of one-act plays, Spontaneous Combustion, went on with the hard work of the drama club. We did not gripe, we just did. But we did acknowledge our work with the title “Student Run 1”. I don’t admonish Cohen for standing up for his beliefs, but there is a certain modicum of respect needed when broaching issues with his phys ed department. Especially when the most expensive currency is on the line: time. The point is Northern had a soccer team. The students took it upon themselves to keep it going. Kudos. Though they may see themselves as the small fish in Red Knights sports, Cohen and his friends have kept their passion alive by organizing the team. It calls to mind a quote my OAC drama teacher, Doug Craven, used to say in class: “There are no small roles, only small actors”. TT
The last word is
26 TORONTO TODAY FEBRUARY 2011
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By Shawn Star 1
1. Priv. school exam 5. Famous advice columnist 9. Choose 12. It’s good to take up 13. Steak preference 14. Duffer’s dream 15. Musical car? 16. Have a muffin on a north-south road 18. Hatch some breakfast on an east-west arterial avenue 20. Missile homes 21. Aussie friend 22. Online source, abbr. 24. Hit hard 25. Female name, lacking popularity since the ’30s 26. Recede 28. ___ Kippur 30. Maiden name 31. Estonia was the first to use this in both municipal and provincial elections 34. Yammer 36. Try the sandwich side on an east-west avenue 38. Obis 41. Classic 44. Vietnamese New Year 45. Ultimate degree 47. Way to get there, abbr.
48. New Hampshire river 50. French state 52. Where banks keep their money 54. Scottish word, meaning “go” 55. “Getting a Taste for Midtown”, for one 57. Eat a German sausage on a north-south street 60. Enjoy dessert on an east-west avenue 62. Spinach alternative 63. Above, poetically 64. AA no-no 65. Church of Satan founder, Anton 66. High sch. on Mount Pleasant 67. One of the five Greats 68. Trendy book-reading device
1. One way to learn guitar 2. No longer fresh 3. First part of a play 4. Homophone relative to comparison, not time 5. Ann ___, Michigan 6. Dinosaur whose extinction we’d like to see 7. Bikini part 8. Urges 9. Wealthy 10. One currently out of
the can 11. One party in a secret meeting 12. What the Canadians had in the third period against the Russians 15. Prefix meaning “half” 17. Babies and lobstereaters need one 19. Broncos QB Tim 23. Poem type 26. Portia’s partner 27. Dynamite results 29. Twinned crystal 32. Fire result 33. ___ la la 35. Ball prop 37. Heron type 38. Cologne brand 39. Eagle-stone 40. Ancient Greek coins 42. Put through a sieve 43. The roads, in all likelihood, for the next few months 46. “Beloved”, in Arabic 49. Pay for the cards 51. Mom provides it, abbr. 53. ___ Islands, self-governing Danish territory in the North Atlantic 54. Tropical fruit 56. French pronoun 58. Hindi religious festival 59. Sandwich alternative 61. Short form, abbr.
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