Posted in Canada, Community, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

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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Posted in Community, family, Life, Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Things Torontonians (and you) Need To Do Now That The Snow Has Arrived.


Ah, a snowy Thursday in Toronto, our second such day this year, and with winter not officially here until December 21st, I always worry that even in areas where there is a lot of snow people forget to apply common sense in many different areas of their lives when snow stays on the ground.

So today is the perfect day for me, to educate you, on the 13 Things You Need To Do Now That The Snow Has Arrived.

Let’s start with #1 because it’s the most important and the City of Toronto By-Laws and Chapter 719 of the Municipal Code lay it all out there for you.

1.  Make sure that you have cleared the sidewalk in front of your house!  According to City By-laws you have 12 hours from the last snowflake to remove the snow and / or ice from the sidewalk in front, behind or beside your property.

2.  Failure to remove snow and / or ice can result in a fine of up to $5000 under the Provincial Offences Act.

3.  Anyone – strangers, neighbours, government workers, can call 311 to notify them if your snow and / or ice is not removed within 12 hours after a snowfall.

4.  Thinking about clearing your snow onto the street?  DON’T!  Besides the obvious fact that it make driving that much more dangerous, it’s against the by-laws and you can be fined for doing this.  Plus, it’s fairly obvious when your lawn (which loves the water in the spring) is flat the snow in the street in front of your house is densely packed compared to others.

5.  If the City of Toronto has to send someone out to shovel or salt your sidewalk, you will be charged a fee for this “service: and if you do not pay it, it will be added to your property taxes.

6.  Starting this year – 2014 – the City of Toronto is paying special attention to those mounds of snow you pile at the curb in front of your house because as the weather changes they pose a safety concern regarding visibility, and drivers trying to avoid them.  Plus, by the mere fact that they are on the street means you are in violation of Section 719-5 of the Municipal Code.  By-law officers might force you to remove it at your own expense or fine you.

7.  Clean off your car before you  drive it!  All windows, the front and tail lights are essential to ensure you have complete visibility.  The majority of vehicle – pedestrian accidents in the winter occur when drivers cannot fully see out of their windows and bump into people crossing the street.

8.  I know it’s a pain in the butt for many of you, but you really do need to come to a full and complete stop at all traffic crossings when there is snow.  Besides being the law, and potentially dangerous if you do not, by rolling through stops, or around corners you also run the risk of having to brake suddenly and sliding or spinning out of control, or worse, stopping only to have the car behind you slam into you, and then for you to hit someone as a result.

9.  Signal.  I prefer to refer to the turn signal as an “indicator” because while it may be law to signal before you turn, it’s nice and kind to indicate to other drivers what you intend to do with your vehicle.  This is especially important if you are one of “those” drivers who do not feel the need to stop at every intersection as indicating your intentions keeps pedestrians safe and the cars around you less likely to want to roll down their windows and throw a snowball at your car.

10.  Be extra courteous to those around you who are walking when you are driving.  They are dealing with un-cleared sidewalks, and cold, or wind, plus heavy clothing and usually something in their hands.  The LAST thing they need to do is wonder whether that car is a) going to stop, b) sees them c) start to proceed before they finish crossing the street.

  1. If you hired a ploughing service to clean your driveway, make sure they are not falling out of favour with your neighbours or with the City by-laws.

  2. Think about others!  If your neighbour shovels your sidewalk when it snows, it might not be a smart idea to only shovel your piece of sidewalk when you are doing yours.  Even if you are in a rush, make an effort to go a little onto their side, they’ll understand.  But to put up that snow barrier while their side is still covered and yours is clean is a message to that neighbour that you are only thinking about yourself.  Is that what you want them thinking?  I’ve always said that it is better to accept the help of your neighbour than criticize them for where they put your snow, that you should have moved!

13.  Put a smile on your face and be nice to others!  Say hello to neighbours, strangers and passers by.

Posted in family

Random thoughts you need to know about and can impress friends; while you run for the border.


1.  In Canada clear bevereges are not allowed to contain added caffeine, hence the reason why Sprite is caffeine free.

2.  Only one of the following list of hot dogs has any amount of nutritional content in it.

       Care to guess?

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Vegetable

If you guessed veggie, you are correct.

This tidbit came from my wife who is nearing the end of her training to become a nutritionist.

3.  Did you know that Iran’s nuclear facility (for “energy” not “weapons”) has a system glitch and is offline. 

While the entire world was waiting for Israel to blow up the facility, a computer worm has attacked the facility and set back the program by at least 4 years.  Added to that the fact that the scientists who were working on this have been killed, means trouble for the Iranians.  Bombs… Worms… Who knew the worms would be more dangerous!

4.  WTF Taco Bell?

Taco Bell is being sued for having less actual beef in their “taco meat” than the USDA standard amount requires for a product to be called “beef”.  UGH. 

The USDA standard considers beef to be “flesh of animals”.  To meet this standard a product must have at least 40% beef, or flesh of animals in it.   On it’s website, Taco Bell states: “Our taco meat is made from USDA-inspected beef and is subjected to quality check points. It tastes great because it’s simmered in 12 authentic seasonings and spices and is never frozen. Moreover, our taco meat is leaner than what you’ll find in a restaurant-cooked hamburger because of the unique way that we prepare our taco meat and remove fat.”

Rather than beef, Taco Bell uses a substance known as “taco meat filling”, which has 36% beef in it. 

So what the hell is in my taco?  you ask.  Well the remainder of the Taco Bell’s “meat filling product” consists of “extenders” like water, Isolated Oat Product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch, sodium phosphate and silicon dioxide (which is sand).  All meant to increase volume while keeping costs down.

Here is the entire list of ingredients;

Beef, water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate.

This explains why there is a question on the Taco Bell FAQ page asking if there is “sand” in my food… UGH.  Yummy sand-tacos, or as my kids have said before, “GROSS BEEF”.

My friend googled Silicon dioxide and Google spit out a picture of a desert.  Seriously folks!

I googled anti-dusting agent and all I got was that it is a secret agent who hates dust.  LOL.

5.       One year ago today, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame had its grand opening in Arlington Texas.  Yee Haw!

Posted in family, Linus, Stewie

A Glimpse into the Future


This afternoon I caught a glimpse of how my boys are going to be when they are both in University, together.

Linus, 2 grades ahead of Stewie likes to be bossy and tell people what to do.  He coordinates, sets down the rules and you play by them or he kicks you out.  Stewie is a good kid who gets better the more Linus gets worse.  I love it.  I was like that with my sister.  The more she got in trouble, the more helpful I became.

So here is the scenario…

We’ve been sick a lot as a family the past couple months, and in conjunction, I noticed my boys do not drink enough water (I see lots of yellow pee).  So on Saturday I decided that every hour on the hour we were going to wash our hands and drink a cup of water.

By 11am, I was feeding the baby, Berry, and there was Linus on the counter taking down a cup for him and cup for his brother so they can have a cup of water.  While feeding the baby, I obviously became focussed on her because I missed the scene that was developing behind me.

When I turned around this is what I saw…

Stewie sitting at the counter with 5 cups of water surrounding him.

Linus sitting on the counter with the water running, filling up the 6th cup.

Turns out Stewie had already downed 3 cups of water… Linus was re-filling them.  He wanted to see how much Stewie could drink.  Happy to oblige, Stewie would have drunken until he passed out. 

I could picture the boys in University in the bar.  Stewie with 10 beers in front of him and Linus – with no beer – chanting “chug, chug, chug” to his brother until he passed out or puked all over the place.

Needless to say, Stewie’s pee was crystal clear the rest of the day and night.

Kids…