Monday Musings of The Urban Daddy: Toronto Traffic SUCKS!


Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Have to drive anywhere in the City?  I did… It was not fun, and quite frustrating…

What the heck is going on in my City?

City Construction

This is the view from the stop light heading north from the downtown core.  The right lane, as you can see, is blocked.  The right lane has been blocked for a while, during the construction of this building, but the other northbound lane was closed so that stuff could be dropped off / picked up from the right lane.

It boggles my mind and makes me really angry that the City;

  1. Allows developers to take out an entire lane of traffic to help them with their construction for as long as they need to take.  The same annoyance is occurring at Bathurst Street, just south of St. Clair Avenue.
  2. Allow builders to build to the capacity where they cannot do so on their own space that they need to use City streets.
  3. With the addition of bike lanes, parking restrictions and general congestion, that this is even allowed to happen.

Yes, this rant is a real one, and comes from a resident of the City who pays taxes… Lots of taxes, and has to struggle to drive in the city because lanes are closed, construction is taking WAY too long, the Eglinton LRT is dragging along and the roads are AWFUL.

I’ve had 7 flat tires since the LRT construction has begun.

You want pot holes and shitty roads?

Forget the odd pothole that pops up here and there.  Try living around the LRT construction where your only access to the main streets are via roads which should have been torn up and paved over years ago.

In our area, for example, near Allen Road and Eglinton Avenue, the only ways out are Glen Cedar Road – which is an absolute disaster, or to the West, heading towards Oakwood, the roads are worse.

Where is the compensation coming from the developers for taking up our roads, so we can drive where we need to go?

Where is the compensation from the City for either picking terrible contractors, or for not doing their jobs and keeping our roads safe so I don’t have to keep repairing my tires from driving on these roads?  My dealership told me that if my car keeps driving on these roads for a couple more years, the car will be a write off.  The potholes, bumpy and buckling roads and vibrations from these horrid streets are shaking my car apart.

But hey, we’ve got bike lanes, one way streets, no cars on King Street and the Gardiner is falling apart.

Toronto City Council really messed this up… Big time.

Hey Council… You want to put a giant park over the railway tracks in the downtown core?  Before you do that, move the tracks, add a driving tunnel, add a subway or LRT, and then once you’ve used that space to the max, then bury it and put a park on top.  Then above the park, put a bicycle path – enclosed or covered or not – where bikes can shoot across the city and not interfere with traffic and visa versa.

It’s not rocket science…

It has to get done.

Speed it up, make it safe, and remember that there are cars who have to drive in the city.  By pretending that by adding a LRT line I’m going to stop using my car – that I pay lots of fees to the city for, if an exercise in nonsense.  I’m not going to all of a sudden pack my kids and their sports equipment and them and hop onto the subway to take them to their games and practices.

It’s not practical, and is never going to happen.

 

In other Toronto-news:

The Toronto Rock Lacrosse team is the BEST game in town that no one goes to see.  These games should be sold out!  Best game in town!  The Rock destroyed the 1st place New England Black Wolves 21-9 in front of just 9,125 fans at the Air Canada Centre.

As a LONG time season ticket holder, I’d like to see more fans venture down to the ACC to take advantage of a great event.   Coincidentally, the Rock play the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday February 3rd at 7pm at the ACC.

 

The Royal Rumble was last night.

The Grammys were last night.

The NHL All-Star game was yesterday.

 

Great time of year to be a fan.

As long as you’re not driving.

 

Oh, and we take the subway to the Rock games… Convenient, cheap and reliable.  Good thing the games are at the ACC, or we’d drive.

 

 

 

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Funny Things Kids Say…


My kids are nowhere near as sporty as I was growing up, and I don’t blame them.  My favourite toy was a tennis ball because I could use it with my baseball glove or my hockey stick.  When we bought new tennis balls that I could actually use for tennis… Look out!

My kids, on the other hand live in a Toronto where ball hockey playing is prohibited or frowned upon in the streets and with advent of iPhones and iPads, they can read, play, learn, etc instead of waste time outside…

So hearing my kids talk about sports makes me laugh and makes me wonder if they get teased at school by the sporty kids for their lack of knowledge of terminology.

For example;

Saturday night, Toronto’s best sports team, the Toronto Rock lacrosse team, played the 2nd game of a best of 3 semi-final at the Air Canada Centre and me and my boys went to the game!  I’ve had season’s tickets since their first season and I cannot explain enough how nice it is to have one Toronto-based team that competes night-in and night-out and that wins having won 6 National Lacrosse League Championships.

The game is fast, exciting, hard-hitting and not for the faint of heart.  If I knew about this game growing up, I would have been a great defenseman – being able to whack the daylights out of guys!  Oh the fun.

So Toronto won the game over the Rochester Night Hawks 11-8 and as a result, they tied their series and a 10-minute game was to be played right after with the winner going to the Champions Cup Finals against the Edmonton Rush.  The outcome was never in question as Toronto scored a goal a minute for the first 7 minutes, hanging on for an 8-2 victory.

Just before the game ended, my son tried to impress the girl in the row in front and wanted to tell her that the game was “sudden death”.  I guess he thought if they lost they’re done, which they would have been but sudden death in sporting terms means the next goal scored sends one team on, and the other home.

Instead, he said this;

“Wow, I hope Toronto can win this game in instant death!”

“Instant death?”

“Umm, me too” was my reply.

The girl in front of us – who turns 18 in 4 months – smiled at my son, and said, “No, I hope it doesn’t get that far because we (Toronto) are destroying them right now.”

She winked at me.

This Saturday, we are heading back down to the ACC to support the Toronto Rock in game 1  of the NLL finals.  Hopefully they will exceed their previous crowd of 10,200.  I remember the ACC being packed full for many years.  I think we owe that to the team and to owner Jamie Darwick for fielding a winning team year-over-year.

Instant death.

lol.

Why You Need to Support the Toronto Rock Lacrosse Club!


I cannot stress enough the importance of supporting the Toronto Rock lacrosse club. 

In case you live under a rock (pun intended) The Toronto Rock is the lacrosse team which plays in the National Lacrosse League (NLL).  The franchise was originally founded as an NLL expansion team for Hamilton which begin play in the 1998 season, known as the Ontario Raiders.  The Raiders finished that season 6-6, barely missing the playoffs and at the end of the season they were sold to a group of investors led by Assistant GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Bill Watters, and Tie Domi and the team moved to Toronto to become the Rock.  They played out of the historic Maple Leafs Gardens beginning in the 1999 season.

It was that first season in Toronto where I took in a game with my colleagues from Equifax and we were hooked, purchasing season’s tickets which I still have to this day! 

It’s hard not to love this sport.  It’s fast like hockey, back and forth like basketball but it is also rough and tough and there is no taking a shift off.  I regularly bring along someone new to lacrosse to join me and I have not had one person leave after a game and think it was boring.  The game is great the atmosphere is incredible, there are activities, music playing the entire game and loads of beer consumed – meaning loud, rowdy fans in a family environment – so it’s safe to bring your kids, and there are a ton of kids at each game. 

All that mentioned above, plus when you have teams like the ones the Rock put out from 1999-2005, which were a dynasty as the team appeared in six league finals and won five championships in those seven years. From 1999 – 2003, the Rock appeared in an NLL-record five straight championship games and have a 14-5 record in playoff games all time. Geez, they won the NLL Championship just last season for a record-tying 6th time.

So with much optimism I look forward each year to a competitive team with expectations of playoffs and hopes of a championship – both which are rare in Toronto’s other professional sports teams not named the Toronto Blue Jays (see 1992 and 1993).

But this year’s team suffered some early setbacks with injuries to Blaine Manning and Colin Doyle and with the retirement of world-class goalie Bob Watson.  They had a goalie named Matt Roik who looked great sometimes and disinterested at other times.  In a particular difficult 2 game stretch, the talent-challenged Rock were pressing hard against their opposition during most of the game and getting robbed by the other teams goalies and when they were rewarded with a goal, the other team would march down the floor and the first shot would go in.  That is a tough way to play and the team, the coaching staff and the fans were frustrated.

So I missed the Rock’s last home game this year – it was Passover and the Rock’s next 3 games were on the road and the I believe they went 3-1 in that stretch which was great heading into the playoffs, and I was shocked when I came to the game this past Saturday night to find that Roik was not in the Rock’s net, nor on the bench, but instead there was a new goalie on the team, #66 Rose. 

Rose looked confident, engaged and agile.  With his timely saves, the Rock came back from a 4-0 1st quarter deficit to defeat the Buffalo Bandits 7-6 to advance to the semi-finals against the Rochester Night Hawks this Saturday night, May 12th at 7pm at the Air Canada Centre.

Sources close to the team have advised me that there was a confrontation between Roik at some key members of the Rock coaching staff which led to his release – not trading – and that Roik was as frustrated in the team as they were in him.

So where did Nick Rose come from? 

Turns out #66 helped the Orangeville Northmen to Canadian junior championships in 2008 and 2009, was drafted by the Rock, but spent his first three pro seasons as a backup with the now defunct Boston Blazers.  His first professional start was as a member of the Rock when he led the team to a 13-7 win in Rochester.

Nick Rose was drafted by the Toronto Rock in the third round, 28th overall, of the 2008 NLL entry draft and attended the training camp held before the 2009 season, released after the fifth practice.  Boston invited him to try out and he made the team until the Chicago team folded and in the dispersal draft Boston got a more experienced goalie, leaving Rose third in line. When Boston folded last year, Calgary snagged Rose.

The underperforming Roik prompted the Rock to make a call to Calgary on the Sunday before the March 20th trade deadline where they swapped their 2014 first-round entry draft pick for Rose and then the Rock released Roik.

Rose made the most of his first NLL start and got the win.  He’s got the size, he is 6-0 and 285 and it looks like he has the poise to be a good goalie.

How far can this team go?  A championship would be great.  In a year when the Leafs failed, the Raptors are rebuilding and the MLS Toronto FC just set a record for the most losses to begin a season with a 0-8 record, Torontonians need the Toronto Rock to show fans how a successful, hard-working team operates.  Let’s just hope MLSE, or the Rogers / Bell conglomerate don’t get their hands on this team and take them down into the valley of despair.

In the meantime, the semi-finals are this Saturday at 7pm at the Air Canada Centre.  Get your tickets, I have mine, and come support the Toronto Rock!

You can also follow the team on twitter @torontorocklax.  You should follow Shannon Kelly, the host of the team @shankell, and heck follow me too @urbandaddyblog.

Go Rock go!

Sunday May 15th, 2011. 2pm. Air Canada Centre. Champions Cup. Toronto Rock vs. Washington Stealth.


http://daddyknowssports.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/torontos-best-kept-sporting-secret-shhh-dont-tell-anyone-the-toronto-rock-are-in-q

If you are reading this post anytime before 12 noon, on the 15th of May, you still have time to subway – not drive due to the Toronto Marathon – to the Air Canada Centre (in Toronto) and buy tickets for the Champions Cup match today between the Toronto Rock and the Washington Stealth.

It’s a can’t miss event, especially for those of us in Toronto who have;

a) Only seen a championship in Toronto courtesy the Toronto Rock

b) Last remember the Toronto Blue Jays winning

c) Love the sport of lacrosse

d) Are a life time season ticket holder such as your truly

e) Love a fast-paced, hard-hitting, high-scoring game with amazing atmosphere and lots of beer consumption (but no idiots… It’s all about the kids).

So come support the Rock!

Go Rock Go.

Finally, a Toronto team playing for something meaningful!

Read my post on my sports blog; www.daddyknowssports.wordpress.com.  I posted the link above.

Rock Win! Rock Win!


I just posted this on my sports blog, www.daddyknowssports.wordpress.com.  Thought I would re-post it here because I’m just so thrilled that the Toronto Rock lacrosse team won the game tonight against the Buffalo Bandits down at the Air Canada Centre.

Here is my post;

Rock Win!  Rock Win!!

Whew!  What a game!!!

I finally made it down to a Toronto Rock lacrosse game this year – it was tonight – and it was the Rock’s first playoff game against the yucky, hated Buffalo Bandits. 

Needless to say, those with season’s seats around my seats were shocked that I made it down after missing all 8 regular season games.  I explained that with a newborn and 2 other kids it would be unfair (read: grounds for divorce) to leave my wife with all three of them while I enjoy the hitting, fighting, loud music and scoring that is a Toronto Rock lacrosse game.

But I made it.  Me and K-Hof.

The game:

Toronto managed to jump (err, crawl) out to a 5-0 deficit by the end of the 1st quarter and by that time there were some eyes looking my way and some mumbling about me being a jinx or something like that.  “If the Rock don’t score by the 4th quarter, I will leave”, I said.

5-1.

6-1.

6-3 by half time.

By half time when I run to get my large double double from Tim Hortons, I had been given a beer, on the house, by the server (I don’t drink beer but I guzzled this one back!) and high-fived the attendant.  K-Hof, in his first lacrosse game was finally getting into it.  The buffalo fans had stopped their chant of we want 7, and the 3 Buffalo fans in the platinum seats in front of my gold seats, with “SOAP” on the back of their jerseys had stopped being asses.  The rock MUST score.

 7-3.

 Shit!

But the 3rd quarter usually belongs to the Rock and tonight was no different.  By the end of the 3rd quarter it was 11-9 Buffalo.

Queue the comeback…

Game over.  13-11 Rock.  The place was electric and I literally jumped out of my seat, straight up in the air with my arms raised as the Rock tied the game.  The whole arena stood for the last minute of the game.

Whew!

One for the memory book.

The free popcorn on the way out was a nice touch.

This is why I will continue to keep my season’s seat to the Toronto Rock.  The sport is awesome and the Rock are Toronto’s on playoff team.  And while I know the Rock outdraw the Toronto Blue Jays early in the blue birds season, the lacrosse crowd is second to none for noise and participation.  Rock games are a spectacle.

Go Rock Go!

Round 2 is coming up!!!

And I just figured out why there were a LOT of freaks downtown today.  The pot rally was today, so all the vampires and stones have crept out of the woodwork…  Oddly enough, even though I have never smoked pot, I do feel it should be legalized.  Legalized not so that kids can smoke up in the park at night before they spray paint the town, but because I want the tax money on the cigs to go into the government’s coffers.  Tax cigarettes, tax pot, tax alcohol.