Winter has come to Toronto! Do you know what the snow rules are and what can cause the City to fine you?


Do you know what the snow rules in the city are? You should pay attention since the City of Toronto needs extra revenue and many of these infractions are clear as freshly fallen snow.

Do NOT shovel snow on to the street!

Instead, keep it on your property because it is illegal to push it on the road, and if you do, you could be handed a $360 fine, which goes up to $1,000 for repeat offenders.

What happens if you don’t shovel?

You could face a $125 fine.

Shovel the sidewalk in front of your house!

The city will clear snow from sidewalks after 8cm of snow has fallen – 5cm in January and February – but only if you live in the suburbs.  If you live in downtown or central Toronto you have 12 hours after the snowfall ends to have that sidewalk cleaned off. Failing to do so could result in a fine of $125.00 as per Municipal Code Chapter 719.

What do you do if your neighbours never shovel the sidewalk?

Call 311 and complain.

Most fines are doled out after people complain to the city about their neighbour. Any subsequent complaints or follow-up investigations may result in fines being imposed for non-compliance.

Caught driving with snow on your car?

Section 74 of the Highway Traffic Act says you have to be able to see clearly out of your front, front side and rear windows and while there is an exception for rear windows if you can see with your mirrors, if it is determined that you cannot see clearly, the fine $110.

 

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The Urban Daddy: Back from family vacation. Europe V4.0.


So we have returned from our annual family vacation – I’m back at work, the kids have one week left before school starts, and my wife has the absolute pleasure of coordinating the back to school festivities.  Dentist appointments, vaccinations, clothes, shoes, school supplies, and most importantly, scheduling!

Forget the programming of extra-curricular activities and sports programs, because that is just going to have to wait… So many commitments, and such little precious time.

You get it!

But normally, I do not like to speak publicly about personal matters, however this summer’s vacation is worth sharing not because of what we did, but because of how we did it.

This was our 4th summer in Europe.  As a family.  We plan the trips in October / November and in the summer we pack as little as possible into backpacks, and we go and explore the world.

Since we are a family of 5, staying in a hotel is not a viable option, so we resort to using Air BnB’s so we have choice of location, a kitchen and sometimes other exciting amenities, such as a pool.

With the kitchen we avoid the costly dinners out and instead hit up local grocery stores and eat breakfast and dinner we’ve made ourselves and if we decide not to pack lunch, we can eat out before heading back for a siesta.

This summer took us to Dublin, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Seville, and London with many stops along the way via the train, or the car we rented for a week.

We don’t have a home base for the entire trip, instead we stay in places for anywhere from 2-5 days before moving on.  Each new country, city, town bring a new experience and the excitement of a new place which might be better (or worse) than the previous one.

We’ve yet to be disappointed.

I’d say after 5-years of family travels, the one disappointing place we stayed at was in Rome 2-years ago which was in a fabulous location, but the Air Conditioning didn’t work and it was during a hot spell, where the average temperature was 45 degrees Celsius.

This year also represented the first year that our bags were lost during a transfer at airports, and our bags were lost twice, the final time, only 3 of our 5 bags made it home.  The final bag arrived 3 days after us.

Kudos to my wife for planting the seed of travel into our kids.  Imagine taking a 4-year-old back-packing as we did 3-years ago, through Paris, the south of France, Amsterdam and Belgium.  She was an absolute trooper.  No strollers, just walking, looking at art, and enjoying ourselves.

Now at the ripe age of 7, she’s a pro.

I encourage parents to explore travel with their children to introduce them to how the rest of the world lives.  Sure, we had gone on a family cruise before, and we took the kids to Disney, but before we headed overseas, we explored the East coast of Canada – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI – to see if we would do driving trips overseas and after that success, we took the plunge.

I love that my oldest can easily navigate the Paris Metro, or the London Underground.  Even the Seville Metro and Brussels subway pose no issues with him.  Our middle child has found an appreciation for art, museums, and the food and drink that other places have to offer.  He’s in his element wherever he is, and that warms my heart.

Our youngest, my daughter… Such a trooper, and with a strength in languages, she enjoys what we all enjoy… the sites, the food, the language… the experience.

As someone who had to find ways to cope with some significant undiagnosed anxiety in my life, the travel bug has bitten me and I look forward to the flights, train rides, and bus, tram and subway rides because of what they bring.  New experiences, new adventures and quality family time!

For those who knew of our travels, we appreciated the texts and messages as we were in Barcelona one week before that horrible murderous act by a group of criminals.  We were on the exact stop where the van came to rest.  We also were at Buckingham Palace in London a day before some mentally unstable resident showed up with a 4-foot sword there.

But it’s great to be back home, back in Canada, back to the greatest country in the world.

 

 

 

Normally I’d Be Insulted! However…


Normally seeing this parked right in front of my house all day would prompt me to think mean thoughts relating to the amount of air in the tires, or the number of eggs that I could bounce off the windshield from my front door, however… Considering the state of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who can argue with supporting a Canadian hockey team even if it IS the dreaded Montreal Canadiens.

Habs flag on car

Random Children Car Conversations: “That Really Sucks, Eh?”


Driving in the car with children, as you all well know, can be either a pleasure or a pain depending on a number of factors usually beyond our control as parents.  In fact, children even have the ability to be educational or hilarious in the car, if they want, but being disruptive and difficult is usually the easiest.

Every now and then they say something funny, brilliant or even hilarious, which must be shared with the world…

A couple of weeks ago, while driving in the car with the children, our 9-year-old son, Linus began a rather short discussion with my wife which showed us that he is finally understanding the meaning of life and that – as we’ve been saying all along – life ain’t fair.

pumpkin stairs
Not related to the post, but rather the weather! Our steps last fall.

I had to share it!

Linus: “Mummy, you know when you find that perfect spot in bed that is so comfortable and warm and then, of course, you have to get up to pee and when you come back to bed, you cannot find that spot again?”

Mummy: “Yes”
Linus: “That sucks, eh?”

Hot Under the Collar


I’m going to have the most hits ever for a post today! Guaranteed.

I was checking out the keywords people used to access my blog, and my sports blog and found some very bizarre / interesting items.

For example;

Miley Cyrus:
Miley Cyrus car upskirt. Remember the big issue a few days ago when some blogger posted a picture of 17 year old Miley Cyrus leaving a car, claiming that she had not panties on… He said the picture was photoshopped as did she – probably because they’d both be in deep shit knowing it to be true. Well the fallout from that was that he rightfully lost advertisers and she is going to wear undies and learn how to exit vehicles.

Anyways, I posted about like that Miley Cyrus song, Party in the USA, and as a result, Google is sending people here looking for that pic.

Sorry folks… Not here.

Captain Lou Albano:
Also still have a TON is hits on Captain Lou Albano. Not sure why people want to look him up unless they are thinking of having elastics attached to their faces and need to see what they’ll look like when they are 60.

McDonalds:
In I’m sure an effort to get publicity, some organization called the Center for Science in the Public Interest has decided they want to sue McDonalds for contributing to obesity among children by putting toys in with Happy Meals. I could joke and say how happy would a Happy Meal be without a toy, but as a parent of 3 children under 6 who have only been to “Ol MacDonalds” once, I am offended that this “public health watchdog group” would use Mc D’s to promote their own interests.

I don’t buy Happy Meal’s because there are toys in it, because I don’t buy Mc D’s at all for my kids. I just don’t feel it’s healthy enough. If they want to eat it when they are older, every now and then, they are more than entitled to make that choice but the ultimate choice is being made by the parent.

To think that toys in food combos are making kids fat is as stupid as saying cookies in my cupboard are going to make my kids fat. By blaming McDonald’s, this organization is passing along the blame of childhood obesity from the parents to the a multi-national corporation. That is totally unfair.

If you don’t want your kids to get fat, then don’t let them eat McD’s 5 days a week, give them lots of exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. And if you do want your kids to eat there, that’s fine too. They have some healthy food too – I remember seeing apples there.

It’s the parents… Not the toy!!!