When was the last time you planned a journey, long or short, without the help of a GPS, Google Maps, or some other automatic route selector? Route-planning has never been easier thanks to digital maps. It’s efficient, and it’s quick. But it’s also cold and impersonal. We use it to quantify, to automatically give us black and white answers to questions like How far is? or How fast can I? And that’s great if you want to get somewhere quickly—but it’s not much use when you’re interested in sightseeing or enjoying a journey.
Daniele Quercia, a social media researcher for Yahoo Labs in Barcelona, has come up with a way to change that. He’s in charge of a project that’s developed an algorithm to determine which city routes are pleasant to be travel on—“Beautiful, Quiet, and Happy Routes” is the tagline of Quercia and company’s paper on the initiative.
Jenna Morrison is known to many Torontonians as the cyclist struck and killed by a truck at Dundas Street West and Sterling Road in 2011. But she was also a mother, wife, and beloved member of the community. On Saturday, July 26, friends, family and well-wishers gathered at Dufferin Grove Park to unveil a special tribute to her: the Jenna Morrison Memorial Reflexology Foot Path.
A figure-eight circuit made up of cobblestones, the path massages the acupressure points of those who walk across it. Morrison, a yoga instructor and advocate of healthy living, had discovered this type of therapeutic installation on a visit to South Korea and long wanted to bring it to Canada.
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Excavation uncovers what appears to be the end of Tinning’s Wharf. Photo by Jack Landau.
It seems that nearly every time a new building is under construction in the area south of the Gardiner Expressway, another reminder of Lake Ontario’s former size pops up. The excavation for Tridel‘s condominium tower at Ten York is proving no different, as the wooden crib for the end of a wharf that once stood at the base of York Street has been uncovered.
The crib would have been for one of two wharves that stood by the old end of York Street. While Lake Ontario’s waves originally lapped up against the shore just south of Front Street, the water was too shallow to bring boats close to land there. Railways also needed land on the southern edge of the growing city to build stations and yards to connect the waterborne transportation with the iron horse.
On August 17 and 31, Yonge and Bloor will be not merely be routes, but destinations.
As part of a massive street festival known as Open Streets TO, stretches of both thoroughfares will be closed to vehicular traffic and given over to pedestrians and cyclists from 8 a.m. to noon each day. The event will also allow businesses within the festival’s borders to open onto the street (while debarring outside vendors such as food trucks from participating).
Torontonians encounter wildlife every day. Pigeons and gulls, chipmunks and squirrels, skunks and raccoons, deer and now even coyotes are common sights for downtowners and suburbanites alike. But the city is home to hundreds more creatures—ones you may have spotted but can’t name, ones you’ve heard of but didn’t know were here, and many you probably don’t even realize exist.
“[The GTA’s] rich river valleys provide corridors linking wildlife habitats and recent habitat restoration programmes, especially wetland creation projects, have made the city a wonderful wildlife refuge,” says Bob Johnson, curator of amphibians and reptiles at the Toronto Zoo.
The Rouge Park, the Leslie Street Spit, and the Don Valley are excellent lookouts for wildlife, as are the smaller wooded areas, parks, and ponds scattered throughout Toronto. You might even catch a glimpse of some rather fancy fauna perched on skyscraper ledges and alongside the highway. Here, for use in just such an occasion, is a guide to some of this city’s least known, most surprising wildlife.
It's a nice cool Monday after that humid weekend, so put on some pants and enjoy it. In the news this morning: Laureen Harper was stung by a bee, milk bags may soon be replaced by milk jugs, and the TTC won't move to distance-based fares.