Monthly Archives: November 2009

Trashed again

little garbage strike-s

Mountains of garbage have been growing along Toronto’s commercial streets all week. Eye Weekly’s Edward Keenan explains what’s going in his column this week, but here’s the story in shorthand:

  • The City changed the garbage pick-up rules for residents living above storefronts
  • The City claims to have informed the residents
  • The residents clearly did not get the message
  • The City will teach them and the rest of the citizenry a lesson by letting the garbage pile up into huge mountains.

As of 10 p.m last night, the weekend partiers on Ossington and Queen West were already stumbling over the piles.


Hunting season opens


When I dream

I dream of this.


Perils of polar trick-or-treating

Hallowe'en in Canada

Hallowe’en in Parkdale

With block-after-block of spooky brick houses and a kid-heavy population, Parkdale is an ideal neighbourhood for Hallowe’en.

Halloween in Parkdale

The badmouthing tradition

Many years ago, on a particularly vile early Spring day, the sort where the calendar sings “April” but one only sees filthy piles of melting slush, I exclaimed in frustration, “Oh Toronto, you windy rathole!” I’ve always liked the sound of that phrase, and even did a mock tourism ad using it.

You Windy Rathole tourism poster

I was a bit apprehensive about using it for the blog title, as I thought it might set an overly-negative tone for all that is to follow. Imagine my delight to discover that humourously badmouthing Toronto has been popular since the city began.  Just have a look at what Parkdale poet and cartoonist John Wilson Bergough had to say about Toronto in 1877 (Toronto was trying to annex all of the neighbouring villages in those days)!

John Wilson Bergough, 1877

You windy rathole!

After eight months of travel, I’ve decided to make my permanent home in Toronto, Canada. Is this decision rooted in sentimentality or a lack of imagination? I sometimes wonder, but the truth is I quite like the city.

It seemed  a shame to abandon my travel sketchbook (documented in the WordPress blog “The Grand Tour”), so I’m going to keep the momentum going with this new blog, focussing on life in Toronto.

I hope you enjoy “You Windy Rathole”.