Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, disaster, government, Life, news, Parenting, politics, school, Toronto, travel, ttc

Can This Eglinton LRT Be Built Any Sooner?!?


Apparently the Eglinton Light Rapid Transit (LRT) aka should have been a subway, can be built faster, but in doing so, it’s found an even newer way to inconvenience the residents who live so close to it.

Forgetting the fact that they started this thing in 1971, okay, it started in summer of 2013, and that residents near the construction have been besieged by dust, noise, a significant increase in street traffic and near death experiences trying to drive, or walk in the community, but the roads themselves are falling apart.  Not only are the roads full of potholes, and one-way streets, speed limits and stop signs all “optional”, but as a resident, trying to get out to Eglinton Avenue or Bathurst Street has become nearly impossible.

Well, now that’s going to get even better!

This morning I received this lovely email letting me know that Bathurst Street north of Eglinton is going to be closed for 7-months!!!

GASP… Or is that GULP.

You see, the Cedervale community and to some extent, the Forest Hill community, have very few options when it comes to getting to Bathurst Street or even Eglinton Avenue.  For the past 5-years, we have given up on getting to Allen Road, because that is a 20 minute endeavor in stress and frustration.

The only street going north which has a traffic light, Glen Cedar Avenue, is backed up all the time and doesn’t allow cars to go straight or left in morning or evening rush hour.  Even if that changed, Eglinton Avenue heading towards Allen Road cannot handle all the cars so Glen Cedar would become a parking lot.

The other street that heads north is Hilltop road, which is steep, narrow, and when the Kings and Queens in the community stop to get their Starbucks and leave their vehicles on the road, it renders that road undriveable.

Not that getting out to Bathurst and waiting in that traffic is a boatload of fun either, but it means all the cars who can’t go north on Bathurst will swoop into Cedarvale and race through this community ignoring all traffic laws and the fact that there are a LOT of children walking to and from school.

This closure could start next week.

SIGH.

I can’t wait until it’s completed, to be so perfectly honest.

I’ve have 7 flat tires, lost 2 rims, and the traffic delays have brought in “people” who stand where the traffic crawls to go car to car seeking handouts.

I just hope at the end of the day it’s worth it, and that traffic on Eglinton doesn’t suffer the way it does on St.Clair Avenue (one major intersection south) which is impossible to drive.

Here is the email:

 Bathurst Street Closure

Beginning in Mid-December 2018, Bathurst Street will be closed for one block between Eglinton Avenue West and Wembley Road to accelerate construction of Forest Hill Station.

By closing Bathurst Street for seven months, the duration of the construction in the roadway is nearly cut in half. The intersection will be back to normal by June 2019.

You’re invited to an upcoming Open House at Forest Hill United Church. Come out to speak with experts about station progress, construction methodology, and ask questions about the upcoming road closure.

When: 

Tuesday December 11, 2018
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: 

Forest Hill United Church
2 Wembley Road, Toronto

 

Parking available at Hilltop Road Green P. 

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Posted in Canada, hockey, news, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Put Up Or Shut Up: William Nylander


What are the Toronto Maple Leafs going to do with William Nylander?  Sign him by 5pm today, December 1st, 2018, let that time pass and force him to sit out the entire NHL season, or trade him?

The saga might end today, or maybe it doesn’t.

The team certainly could use him, but then again, Kasperi Kapanen has been great in Willie’s spot.

The Leafs could let him sit out the entire season to teach him a lesson?  He’s an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so he belongs to the Leafs and just has to agree to the dollars and length of a contract and play, but he wants a lot of money and the Leafs don’t want to pay him a lot.

That’s a problem.

Maybe the Leafs make him sit out.

People keep saying that Willie needs to take the most money he can get because hockey careers are short and he should maximize his earnings and while we might think that’s greedy, and not best for the team, maybe losing the million or so he would have earned this season, plus the $4-5 million that he would have earned had he signed could be money he’ll never get back, especially if he can’t recapture his touch, or produce at a level he thinks he can while playing for the Hurricanes or Coyotes after the Leafs ship him out of town.

Personally, I think he’s got to sit, or go.  I think that he’s producing at his rate because he’s skilled but also so is the team, and while he might think he’s comparable to Dreiseitl in Edmonton at $8 million per year, if you were to remove Leon and place him on, say, Arizona, does he produce on his own at the rate he is now?  We know that to be a resounding no.

So what happens to Willie after 5pm today if he doesn’t sign, you ask?

Well, he’s only 22-years-old, and has only played in 2 NHL seasons so he falls way short of the 27-year-old / 7-season threshold needed to become an unrestricted free agent (meaning he could then sign with any team).

As for next season… He would still be a restricted free agent (RFA), meaning he would be in exactly the same spot he is in this year, but he would have missed an entire season and not been paid at all.

How about arbitration?  Maybe an arbitrator could solve this?  Again, no.  Willie hasn’t met the NHL requirements of playing 4-seasons, so he is ineligible.

Ouch.

He can be traded at any time, but he can’t then sign a contract until July 1st, 2019 because he’s ineligible to play this season if him and his daddy decide that money takes precedence over everything.

The Leafs are hoping that faced with these options Willie will take their offer.  Willie, I’m sure is being told that the Leafs need him (they do and they don’t) and that they’ll cave as the deadline approaches.

If the Leafs cave, what does that say to Marner and Matthew’s agents?

As a fan of the team, I’m positive that there are players on the team who would like to see him moved.  No player is bigger than a team – see Las Vegas last season – and his actions at the end of the day may be his right, but they’re selfish.

Sure, the team could trade him at a moment’s notice, blah, blah, blah, but that’s the price you pay for making it to the NHL.  You get a ton of money if you’re good.  But somehow, if suddenly you suck, the players don’t seem to be offering it back to the team, do they?

Today is put up or shut up time for Willie, but I really feel the damage has been done.

Posted in Canada, Community, government, politics, Weed

Poof! Marijuana is now legal in Canada, and…


On October 17th, 2018, on the one year anniversary of the death of Tragically Hip front man Gord Downey, the Federal Liberal Government – under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – has legalized recreational marijuana in Canada.

And…

People cheered.

People smoked.

People were concerned

Some people didn’t really care

…and people like me were REALLY, REALLY happy and excited!

Why am I so excited?

You see I have never touched the stuff, and likely never will.  I have no interest.  I don’t pass judgment on others (much), and if someone wanted to smoke up pre-legalization, I would only ask that they 1) Don’t do it in front of children, and 2) Don’t do it where I have to smell it.

After growing up with parents smoking cigarettes in the house, I have developed a very strong dislike of the smell of cigarettes (and other strong odors such as, weed, strong smelling colognes and some perfumes).

But what makes me really happy is that now that marijuana is legal in Canada, it is being taxed which means everyone who buys it is contributing to the Canadian economy.  Yes, a lot of that tax money will be earmarked for weed-related education and health care, but certainly, the more that buy and consume safely, the more money the government will have and then hopefully that means the less taxes that we’ll have to pay.

What have I been smoking?

Think about it…

On the first day of legalization, reports indicated that here in Ontario where the only legal way to purchase pot is through the Ontario Cannabis website, the average purchase was $50 per transaction which means 13% HST was added to the price, or an additional $6.50.

In the first hour that the site was open there were around 1000 orders.  The site opened at 12:01am, so from 12:01am to 1am, Ontarians contributed $6500 in tax dollars to the Canadian economy.

Now, lets assume that there were 1000 purchases an hour in Ontario throughout the rest of the day, then the Ontario contribution to the economy on day 1 of legalization was around $156,000.

Extending that projection across the country, and we’re looking at an additional $1,560,000 in tax revenue PER DAY!

If this trend continues throughout the year, the Canadian government can net upwards of $560 million dollars in tax revenue!

Sure the Federal debt is now at 1-trillion dollars and under the Liberals they project a $20-billion deficit for the 2018, so those weed sales had better be on the low end to justify legalization.

So we have to either change governments, or buy a LOT of weed / weed-related products (available in 2019) before we can balance the Federal budget, and from there we could see a significant reduction in the debt in about 1000-years…

Have to start somewhere, eh?

 

 

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, hockey, Life, Parenting, sleep, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

What’s Better Than Coaching Hockey?


What’s better than coaching hockey?  Coaching AND being the convener!

Oh yes!

I’ve always loved coaching hockey.  I’ve never actually ever played a single game of ice hockey in my life, but I have coached ice hockey before.  This year represents my 7th year coaching hockey.  My previous 6-years were in my early 20’s when my sports rehab coach, Michael Grafstein (he was the BEST!), asked me to open and close the doors in the bench for him as he was the head coach of a team in North Toronto Hockey Association.

He failed to tell me that the games were at 6am.

So I asked a friend of mine to join me, and together we would go out Saturday nights, come home at 3am or 4am, then get up at 5am and head to the rink.  It was way more fun than it seemed.

After doing that for 3-years, my “Uncle” asked me to help coach his oldest son all the way up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, for the Richmond Hill Hockey Association, and again I would drive up there and open and close the doors for that team.  I went on the ice as little as possible, but I was there, and I learned.

I decided I wanted to be a real coach, so I started the process of getting certified by Hockey Canada, and I took courses towards my National Canadian Coaching Certification, but stopped when I had to pick a sport to specialize in.  I didn’t want to specialize in baseball, for example, only to find my future children would never play that sport.

All this time, I was playing and coaching my ball hockey team.  From the age of 19 up to 45-years-old, I played in a the North West Toronto Ball Hockey League and the York Central / North Central Ball Hockey League, until I tore my calf muscle in a game.

I was awarded the Coach / Manager of the year award 6 or 7 times, and we won the championships somewhere around 7-10 times, and it’s funny how many hockey players tried out ball hockey but couldn’t play because there is no coasting in ball hockey like you can do in ice hockey.

With all that being said, when asked if I wanted to coach my 11-year-old son this season in his house league in the Forest Hill Hockey Association, I jumped at the opportunity.  We had moved from that horrible experience last season back to the league where he played his first 2 seasons and in this league, when you make the select team, you have to play house league too.

With coaches in place, the league was then looking for a convener or two to run their division this season and I must not have said no quick enough because that’s now part of my role.  I’m actually really happy about it, and really excited to see how the season is going to play out.  The other convener that I’m working with is absolutely fantastic.  He’s been around the game much longer than I have and his personality and thoughts about how teams should run themselves are a perfect match with mine.

So this season, while my oldest continues to swim competitively, and my youngest dances and trains in synchronized swimming, I get to spend time with my middle son at his select hockey practices, and his house league hockey games, and taking him to basketball games because why play only one or 2 sports when you can play them all and make your parents drive you around every evening and weekend.

I wish I had these opportunities as a kid…

I’m happy to do this for the fitness component, and so that my kids have an opportunity to work in a team, to have responsibilities to their team and their coaches, and because it’s proven that exercise helps kids focus and sleep better.

It’s a win-win-win-win-win… Scenario.

I prefer being called “Coach”.  I’m not sure what people call conveners other than really nasty words.  lol.

Thank goodness I have a brand new Canada Goose jacket to keep me warm!

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, money, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Essay Writing Contest (Closing October 16th, 2018). Grade 12 Canadian Students – You can win $500-$5,000.


The Urban Daddy is a HUGE fan of teaching Canadians about finances, taxes and debt, and finding solutions to get out of debt and stay out of debt.

I came across an essay writing competition for Grade 12 Students, sponsored by an organization that I have worked with in the past and strongly respect.

Details:

Grade 12 students across Canada are invited to confess their financial misfortune story by submitting an essay to the Credit Education Week 2018 Essay Contest.

Prizes range from $500 to $5000, with over 20 prizes to be won.

Entries must be written in English or French and must not exceed 1000 words.  Essays must be submitted between now and Oct. 9, 2018. EXTENDED: October 16th, 2018.

For full contest rules, see the essay submission page.

Credit-Canada-Essay-Contest-Flyer-V2

Here is a note from a winner last year (name redacted)

“As it has almost been a year since I participated I thought I should give Credit Canada an update. I was able to accept a position at my first choice school in the Law and Society program (minoring in Criminology). I was accepted into a residence community that allows me to participate, volunteer and plan community events to better the quality of life in town. I’ve also been accepted into numerous campus leadership positions. Overall, I’m working hard as a student and as a citizen here in university. Now, this email may seem random but I wanted to sincerely thank everyone involved with Credit Education Week. Though a scholarship in this amount may not seem like a lot of money to a large company, it makes a gigantic difference to students like me. Rather than spending my nights picking up extra shifts at work, I am participating in my school and studying hard with a chance to thrive. I cannot thank you and everyone else who participates in this program enough.”

Credit Canada, the sponsor of this competition, is a non-profit and charitable organization providing free and confidential credit counselling, personal debt consolidation and resolutions, as well as preventative counselling, educational seminars, and tips and tools in the areas of budgeting, money management, and financial goal-setting.

Credit Canada is Canada’s longest-standing credit counselling agency, helping Canadians manage their debt since 1966.

For more information, please visit www.creditcanada.com.

You can also interact with others on Twitter using this hashtag, #CEWC2018