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Weekend Newsstand: February 15, 2014

So, how’s that love hangover treating you today? Here’s some news to bring you back down to reality: A Torontonian wants to live in a tiny home but the city won’t let him, a TDSB trustee is in hot water, taking a trip through the revamped Toronto Reference Library, and a Justin Bieber-themed yoga class.

matt newsstand gull

All Anthony Moscar wants to do is live in a tiny house; is that so wrong? According to Toronto’s zoning bylaws, yes. Moscar’s proposed trailer-sized home will cost approximately $30,000 and will be completely self-sustainable—using rainwater and solar panels to operate, as well as a composting toilet. The problem is that, measuring 11 metres long and up to 3.7 metres wide, the structure resembles a travel trailer too closely, and according to the City of Toronto you cannot live in one of those. Moscar, a 29-year-old naturopath, has many supporters and is thinking about partnering with a local environmental charity to circumnavigate city bylaws by building his home on their property and using it as a living showcase for sustainable housing. It is a nifty idea, but who knows if it will actually fly. The city is currently staying mum about whether or not it will bend the rules for a project like this.

According to Urban Dictionary, “homosexism” is discrimination against members of the straight community. Toronto District School Board trustee Sam Sotiropoulos thinks he’s the victim of said discrimination after engaging in a fight on Twitter with TDSB employees, city councillor Shelley Caroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East), and a host of others over issues such as public nudity at Toronto’s Pride Parade and student inclusivity. Doug Jolliffe, the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation District 12 has called on the TDSB to investigate the online conduct of Sotiropoulos after his tweets came under scrutiny for being homophobic, and after he insulted Councillor Carroll, calling her a “windbag.” Sotiropoulos defended his statements, claiming he is the victim of online bullying and was simply standing up for himself. Jolliffe says that Sotiropoulos has violated the TDSB’s Online Code of Conduct by tweeting as a clearly identified trustee. The TDSB has yet to respond to Jolliffe’s letter.

The Globe and Mail took a little jaunt through the newly revamped Toronto Reference Library and seems pretty amped about many of the futuristic features it offers, including 3D printers, high-definition cameras, and audio mixers. The $36-million renovation that began in 2008 is now complete, and has turned the library into a multimedia hub for the city, incorporating access to current technology into its community services. Another glaring sign of the times? You can use your cell phone at this library branch—albeit quietly—while you browse e-books or watch your favourite sitcom. The Luddites among us need not worry, though: those old-fashioned books of yesteryear with all the paper and words are still plentiful, taking up 2,000 shelves at the branch.

Finally, a Roncesvalles yoga studio has taken the calm and serene practice of yoga and injected some nauseatingly awful Justin Bieber music into it, creating an experience called yogaBiebs. It is a class where you can fully express your Garudasana to the soothing musical sounds of a troubled celebrity in a downward spiral. Have fun with that.

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