Category Archives: Uncategorized

West T.O. Loses 3 Gems in 1 Week

WHAT AM I GONNA DO?!?!

Three of my favourite West End businesses in Toronto all closed in the same week. They were unique spots…little hidden gems in my neighbourhood. They’ll be missed in a downtown core that seems to be replacing character with condos. Farewell!

The Henhouse was the home of Tapette, my favourite gay French dance party each month. Tapette will survive in other venues, but the Henhouse gave it a nice, West End feel. And whenever I ordered a rum & coke there, it was RUM and just enough enough coke to taste it, the way a drink should be! None of this “are you sure there’s rum in this?” stuff!

 

 

Sadie’s Diner was my favourite vegetarian diner in Toronto. Their entire menu was vegetarian and they had a fantastic, affordable brunch menu…..all set in a cute, traditional diner atmosphere with cool, hip servers.

La Merceria is one of the cutest coffee shops I’ve ever seen in Toronto. It was a mix of coffee & gift shop with some unique, often hand-made, gifts for the home. The people who ran it were absolute gems. So friendly & always up for a bit of conversation, even on a busy day.

More Than Birds & Bees [Credit: Maclean’s Good News]

Starting next fall, schoolchildren in Ontario will learn more about sex, and at an earlier age. The update to the province’s sex-ed curriculum – the first since 1998 – covers societal changes such as the legalization of same-sex marriage and the rise of sexting, and puts a focus on abuse, gender identity, and risky behaviours. Some parents protest that the new information is too frank. But it isn’t anything that can’t be easily found – in far more graphic detail – on the internet. Talking honestly and openly with kids about sex and its complexities is a good thing, and an important step toward creating health and happy adults.

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Alberta’s Tar Sands vs. Our Fresh Water. The most important 3 minutes you’ll spend all week.

Animated sequences from the feature documentary H2Oil explain, in a nutshell, the issues and problems associated with oil/tar sands production in Canada.

Help Others Start Off Well In 2014

Kiva Logo

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Kiva is an easy, effective way to put $25 to amazing use to help total strangers in other countries.

A lot of research has shown the power and effectiveness that micro-financing/loans have compared to charity hand-outs. Kiva loans allow individuals & groups to start and/or expand their businesses to strengthen their own ability to support themselves and their families.

The great thing, is that one Kiva loan can just keep going & going! Because your loan is paid back, once it’s paid back you can choose someone else to loan the amount to.

Click on any of the pictures to find out more about Kiva or to start your first loan! If you click on the links from this page, Kiva will throw extra credit my way to loan out as well……giving lends to giving +++

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All images are from the Kiva website.

Something I’d Like to Leave Behind with 2013: Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canada’s “leader” has once again fallen prey to the shortsightedness that is going to plague our country for years to come. For immediate economic gain he has made decisions that have implications that may be irreparable….but he’ll be long gone by then, so I don’t think cares. He seems to care only about his immediate legacy. THIS will be his legacy:

  • Cut Environment Canada’s Budget by 20%
  • Cut Climate Change & Air Pollution programs by 59%
  • Cut the cleaning of contaminated federal sites by $19 million
  • Cut Wildlife Protection by $3 million
  • Cut Natural Resources Canada’s budget by 21%

So it’s no surprise that Canada still ranks DEAD LAST among all wealthy nations when it comes to environmental protection.

https://i0.wp.com/citizenshift.org/system/files/imagecache/photo_large/images/tarsands-beforeafter.jpg

 

The tar sands in Alberta, which Harper loves, supports, and provides subsidies for, are dramatically changing & killing the landscape of Alberta.

THIS is what Harper’s immediate economic gain looks like.

 

 

HOWEVER, despite all his cuts to environmentally friendly endeavors, he IS funding corporate tax cuts, because millionaires need more millions. He continues to provide subsidies to tar sands development, because million-dollar industries need financial breaks. Oh, and he’s buying more fighter jets and planning on opening more prisons (look south to the USA to see how well that went there).

Blood Brother–A Favourite of 2013

Though it was one of the last films I saw in 2013, it was also one of the best.

I knew I would like this documentary before even seeing it. What I didn’t expect was that I would come to love this film and question the value of the things I am doing in my own life right now.

What I find so beautiful about this story is that Rocky (main character) doesn’t have a huge fantastical vision of what he wants to do or the kind of change he ends up making in this world. But because he follows his heart and acts on what he knows is good and true and the right thing to do, he alters the course of many lives…..quite literally.

In that same environment, many people would probably (and probably have) shaken their heads & walked away for good. This is simply one man that chose not to. Think if more of us did the same.

Of course I was skeptical, as I’m sure many other viewers are, of the white man’s burden theme flowing through the images of a white North American man going to save himself & others in a developing nation. But while watching the film, it’s clear that this really is not the case. Love drives Rocky’s motives to do what he does.

Watch the entire film and Rocky’s dedication to Surya in the hospital. The love & care from one human to another is completely overpowering in its clarity and rawness. It left me feeling a bit useless sitting in a warm Canadian theatre munching on my popcorn. But films like this don’t just end at the credits. It sits with men & makes me question my everyday…….and we’ll see what I do with my tomorrows.

Enough of me: let the trailer do the talking, visit the documentary’s website, & then consider ordering the film to support a worthwhile documentary to share with friends, colleagues, and family.

Keep Going, Keep Going, Keep Going

Dori said it best in Finding Nemo’s famous “Just keep swimming, just keeping swimming”. And here Kid President (that little President that’s taken the online community by storm) echoes the idea in a new poem that really touched me.