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New Battle Lines Drawn in War on Raccoon

But is a new city contract raising a new breed of super-raccoons?

A new type of green bin from the City of Toronto aims to finally stymie our number one menace: raccoons.

According to a staff report at council, the $31.6-million contract awarded to Rehrig Pacific Company has more than twice the capacity, and, more importantly, features a “rodent-resistant locking lid.”

The bins will be distributed to residents in late 2015 and early 2016.

Keep reading: New Battle Lines Drawn in War on Raccoon


Spotted: The White Squirrel Lives!

SPOTTED BY: Marie Poliak

WHERE: Massey Street at Queen Street West

WHEN: Tuesday, March 31 at noon

WHAT: A rare white squirrel across the street from Trinity Bellwoods park, a green space that has long been renowned for its small but mighty albino squirrel colony. These snowy squirrels are at a genetic disadvantage because their stark white coats make them stand out against the surrounding environment, which renders them easy targets for potential predators. Add to that their poor eyesight, and these little guys have the odds stacked against them. Yet despite hardwired hardships and the occasional fatal accident, their stubborn presence shows a resilience from which we can all learn a thing or two.

Spotted features interesting things our readers discover in their journeys across Toronto. If you spot something interesting, send a photo and pertinent details to


A Play That Takes the Cosmos Personally

Hannah Moscovitch—with a little help from the iconoclastic scientist Lee Smolin—explores time, love, and family in her latest work, Infinity.

Paul Braunstein and Haley McGee portray a physicist and his daughter in Hannah Moscovitch's Infinity at Tarragon Theatre  Photo by Cylla von Tiedeman

Paul Braunstein and Haley McGee portray a physicist and his daughter in Hannah Moscovitch’s Infinity at Tarragon Theatre. Photo by Cylla von Tiedeman.

Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue)
Runs to May 3
$29–$55 (rush tickets: $15)

What happens when the “It Girl” of Canadian playwriting meets the rebel of theoretical physics? You get Infinity, Hannah Moscovitch’s funny, moving new play inspired by the theories of Lee Smolin.

The prolific and much-produced Moscovitch is best known for tackling history, whether it’s the Stalin-era Soviet Union (The Russian Play) or the Holocaust (East of Berlin, The Children’s Republic). But with her latest work, the 36-year-old playwright is taking on time itself—or, to be precise, time as conceived by Smolin, the Toronto-based academic and author recently described by the Guardian as “one of the bad boys of contemporary physics and cosmology.”

In books like his 2013 bestseller Time Reborn, Smolin has had the chutzpah to question Einstein and his disciples, challenging the prevailing idea that time is an illusion and the laws of nature do not change. Moscovitch’s play puts Smolin’s radical concept into dramatic terms as it traces both the messy marriage of two brilliant, difficult people—Elliot, a theoretical physicist, and Carmen, a composer—and the luckless love life of their adult daughter, Sarah Jean. Smolin’s theories on the tangibility of time and the possibility for change permeate the play, making it at once sad and hopeful.

The show, a coproduction between Toronto’s Tarragon and Volcano theatre companies, opens this Wednesday in the Tarragon Extraspace. It’s directed by Volcano AD Ross Manson and stars Paul Braunstein as Elliot, Amy Rutherford as Carmen, and Haley McGee as Sarah Jean. They share the stage with violinist Andréa Tyniec, who performs an original score composed by Njo Kong Kie, former musical director of Montreal dance troupe La La La Human Steps.

Joining the director and cast for a recent photo shoot at Tarragon, where she’s a playwright-in-residence, Moscovitch had the beaming look of a new mother—and not just because she’s about to give birth to another play. She’s six months pregnant and she and her husband, director Christian Barry, are expecting their first child at the end of June. She sat down in the theatre’s lobby with Torontoist to discuss the origins of Infinity, Smolin’s contribution to the play, and other projects, including her work on CBC’s Second World War espionage series X Company.

Keep reading: A Play That Takes the Cosmos Personally


Newsstand: March 31, 2015

If there is one thing to be gleaned from today's headlines, it's that if people ran their personal finances in the same way that governments ran theirs, most of us would either be destitute or in jail. In the news: the provincial government will not cover an $85-million shortfall on the Spadina subway extension, a new report says the future of the TCHC looks grim without a $7.6-billion investment in property repairs, and the City remains powerless to collect $4 million in property taxes from the federal government.