Categories
General goatee-stroking musing, or something

pathologically polite

It’s 9am, TTC subway southbound at St George. The train is packed (the crowd roared like a lion… no, wait, that was Wesley Willis). It’s the usual crowd — UofT students, Queen’s Park parliament types, downtown suits — not an elderly, infirm or pregnant person in sight. Everyone’s muffled in their winter gear, and there’s no room to move.

And there are two empty seats. No-one will sit in them, ‘cos they’re too polite, or too passive-aggressive to let anyone sit in them.

To compound this, they are window seats, and there’s someone in the aisle seats. AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

Am I a really bad person for wanting to sit down?

Categories
General goatee-stroking musing, or something

The Remarkable Bob Levitt

Bob Levitt — on a budget of $0 — has built one of the most remarkable and useful websites I’ve ever seen: Toronto Tenants. If you’re a tenant in Toronto (as more than half of the city’s residents are), Bob’s site is a gold mine.

He’s taken the time to build a comprehensive site, with no concessions to commerciality. He’s even researched Google’s linking algorithm to make sure that his site ranks way up there. His attention to detail — including providing common typos, such as tennant, as search keywords — goes far beyond that of most sites.

In short, it’s a labour of love. Talking to Bob, it’s clear that he wants tenants in the Megacity (and beyond) to be safely and happily housed, and to know their rights.

Just as I thought that the web was turning into a global electronic Wal*Mart, Bob restores my faith in humanity. Keep up the good work, Bob!

Categories
General goatee-stroking musing, or something

everyone else is voting, why can’t I?

It’s municipal election day here in Toronto. I’m a Toronto resident, homeowner, and taxpayer. Yet I can’t vote, because I’m not a Canadian citizen.

I can understand not being able to vote in federal or provincial elections, but I’m as much of a citizen as anyone else living in Toronto. Toronto has such a vast immigrant population that many people are disenfranchised. Perhaps that’s why the city is failing to provide for its citizens.

Categories
best of scruss/txt General

a great place to be *from* …

[Bit of background here. I’m Scottish, but I live in Toronto. Canada is big, Scotland isn’t.]

There’s this thing I like to call The East Dunbartonshire Conspiracy. I used to live in Kirkintilloch in East Dunbartonshire. It’s a small central Scotland town, rapidly becoming another suburb of Glasgow.

Since coming to Canada, most of the expat Scots I have met are from East Dunbartonshire:

  • The LCBO guy in Toronto Union Station is from Kirkintilloch, about 100m from where we used to live.
  • Another LCBO guy on the Danforth is from Bishopbriggs, where I used to work.
  • The GO Train customer relations person who called me about the new proposed train station at the end of our street (yay!) grew up in Bishopbriggs, and has relatives I think I worked with when I was at Collins, the publishers.

So what’s this all about? Why are so many people leaving East Dunbartonshire for Toronto? Is it the horror of living at 56°N, with dark, windy wet winters? Who can say?