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Ain’t No Party Like a Streetcar Party

While Newmindspace have organized subway parties in Toronto, SkyTrain parties in Vancouver, and métro parties in Montréal, sometimes nothing beats an old-fashioned streetcar party for a beat-bumping, track-turning, three hour party tour of the city. The TTC will rent a streetcar (PCC, CLRV or ALRV) for a minimum of three hours for a pretty steep fee to just about anybody. The customer can request a custom route, like Newmindspace has, that takes advantage of many of the lesser-used streetcar tracks in the city.
This Friday’s streetcar party is a fundraiser to make up for the incredible costs of putting on Capture the Flag and the lightsaber battle at the ROM last month. The theme is a sort of winter wonderland, inviting polar bears, fuzzy igloo-dwellers and arctic adventurers of all kinds to play on the streetcar. Find out all the details on the Facebook listing.
A limited number of $20 tickets are available at Lavish & Squalor, 253 Queen Street West. Tickets entitle the bearer to reduced entry at RANDOMLAND.
Kevin Bracken is the co-founder of Newmindspace.
Photo by Mike Rotenberg, fotograf.416 on Flickr.


  • lori*

    Hooray! Only two more sleeps till icicles, fluff, snowflakes and eskimo kisses on our favourite sleigh :)

  • bigdaddyhame

    Kevin, are you and Lori being paid by CIRCA or the producers of the Randomland nights at the club to front for them?
    Also, don’t you think it’s a little conflict-of-interest to be using Torontoist to ask the public for money to cover your debts for a couple of poorly thought-out playtime opportunities in the downtown core?
    newmindspace is becoming nomoney$pace. Face it, this is getting a bit big for you to handle. Sign the deal with Scotiabank and all your problems will be solved!

  • filmfat

    I think the criticism is underserved. This is an interesting event in Toronto and might have been posted here anyway.

  • fantasygoat

    At least they’re doing something. What have you done lately?

  • rek

    I think the criticism is deserved.

  • annexchef

    I too think the criticism is deserved.
    I understand all writers have their biases but this whole posting is nothing more than an advertisement for your own self interests.

  • Jonathan Goldsbie

    Jesus Christ, it’s a streetcar party. How could such a thing not be hyped by Torontoist?
    Would you still have concerns had a different staffer done the post? I’m trying to figure out the issue, or how it is that this post for a NMS event is generating controversy in a particular way that few posts do.
    I thought Torontoist was pretty up front about the fact that many contributors were brought on board specifically for the purpose of writing about the activities, events, and exhibitions that we’re involved in organizing.

  • bigdaddyhame

    Ok, I’ll run it down.
    1) journalistic integrity. I know that this isn’t exactly a pro-journo site but they should at least _try_ to appear unbiased.
    2) a) the person writing the story is one of the organizers of the event;
    b) the event is a fundraiser for the writer and his girlfriend/co-organizer
    3) recent events have been poorly planned and executed, largely due to the overwhelming popularity of the events – newmindspace needs a sponsor or it will continue to fail.
    4) the little bump about the tickets being valid at Randomland is the kicker – kevin & lori have been pushing Randomland at CIRCA since day one. They are now managing a guestlist for the event and I have a very hard time believing they’re doing this for nothing – especially considering their low-cash situation.
    …which leads to why I posted what I did.
    There’s a clear conflict of interest. This isn’t a charity event, this is a get-money-for-kevin-and-lori-out-of-debt-event.
    The very _least_ they could have done is, yes, had someone else write the piece. Even better to have it written by someone over at blogTO – there’s a lot of cross-pollination going on between the two sites so why not?
    But really, nepotism has always been part of both Torontoist and blogTO. If it is to be done, it shouldn’t be done so shamelessly.
    And I’d really like to know what the deal is between NMS, CIRCA and Randomland. Enquiring minds want to know. Have NMS sold out?

  • iamnotdynamite

    while i enjoy/wholeheartedly support newmindspace and the philosophy behind it, i must admit that when i read that this event would only be available to people who paid i was a bit distressed. part of what i like about nms is how participatory the events are, how they are out in an open urban space, where anyone can join in, including, crucially, people who happen to stumble upon it or who would not normally be inclined to take part in a nms event. heck, that’s one of the main goals, i think. if nms is about changing the way we look at our urban environment, then only reaching out to your core audience doesn’t really accomplish any changes in mindset; instead it borders on pandering. and the closed-in, inaccessible-to-anyone-else streetcar party will only be made up of people who are already serious nms fans, (although even some of those will be left out. i know people who have gone and even helped out at past nms events but who might not go to this one because of the financial thing, i.e. they cannot afford it). which, to me, gives it an exclusionary feel that is antithetical to what nms is about. so, while this is obviously very close to their subway parties, it just doesn’t feel like it’s in quite the same spirit. it even seems like perhaps this shouldn’t have been billed as a nms event at all?
    nevertheless, i understand the need to make the money back. kevin and lori put so much time, effort, and yes, money, into making beautiful things happen in toronto that it doesn’t seem like too much to ask that they break even for all of it. and if people are going to pay to go out on a friday night anyways, it’d much rather it go to them, so that they can put it back into continuing to do what they do
    and turning nms into ‘scotiabank presents newmindspace’ would be ruinous to the whole thing. i just leave that at that.

  • rek

    Kevin and Lori voluntarily organize these things, but Newmindspace isn’t a not for profit or a company or any other sort of official organization. So when Kevin posts an article here that says their next event is a fund raiser (read: donations are mandatory) to make their sore wallets feel better, it’s understandable that a few people will question how appropriate it is.
    The Circa thing (seriously, mixed caps in plain text is annoying, is this the 1990s ANSI scene or something?) is another issue entirely. If Kevin and Lori are getting paid by Circa for driving people to the club, that’s another thing to be disclosed.
    I don’t mind the usual conflict of interest that crops up here — this is a blog, not a professional news source — but putting money in Kevin and Lori’s pockets isn’t the same as putting it in the coffers of OCAP or TPSC or whathaveyou.