Posted in cars, Community, family, government, Life, politics, Toronto, ttc

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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Posted in Community, government, politics, Toronto

Olivia Chow Running for Toronto Mayor Position. One of the Top… Spenders as a MP.


According to the Federal government, here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/PublicDisclosure/MemberExpenditures.aspx?Id=MER2013FY&Language=E

I’ll break out the stats. Have a look at others. This could be the Mayor to bankrupt Toronto:

Expenditures by Member

Member: Chow, Olivia

Member. Status. Constituency Name. Constituency Size. Number of Electors.

Chow, Olivia. Active. Trinity—Spadina. 26 km². 101,020

Category

Member’s Budgets ($)

Resources Provided by the House ($)

Travel Points

Total ($)

Reg.

Spec.

U.S.A.

1-Employees’ salaries and service contracts
241,328.49 – 241,328.49

2-Travel

Member
2,191.93 46,090.29 39.50 10.00 – 48,282.22

Designated traveller


Dependants


Employees
3,109.33 2,494.24 4.00 – – 5,603.57

Member’s accommodation and per diem expenses
7,240.65 – 7,240.65

Member’s secondary residence expenses
12,000.00 – 12,000.00

3-Hospitality and events
3,870.58 – 3,870.58

4-Advertising
3,296.96 – 3,296.96

5-Printing

Householders
– 28,835.50 28,835.50

Ten percenters
– 19,898.77 19,898.77

Other printing-related expenses
7,536.58 – 7,536.58

6-Offices

Constituency office leases, insurance and utilities
41,962.70 – 41,962.70

Furniture, furnishing and equipment purchases
505.00 3,457.65 3,962.65

Equipment rentals
2,403.41 – 2,403.41

Informatics and telecommunication equipment purchases
2,092.37 1,726.10 3,818.47

Telecommunication services
7,330.26 6,998.71 14,328.97

Repairs and maintenance
498.14 – 498.14

Postage and courier services
4,704.87 – 4,704.87

Materials and supplies
4,622.22 3,708.66 8,330.88

Training
348.04 – 348.04

Total Amount Spent: $458,251.45.
345,041.53 113,209.92 43.50 10.00 – $458,251.45

That is $458,251.45 in one year. One riding.

Take a deep breath and think again… Please.

STATUS:
Active – Member throughout fiscal year; DE – Deceased; NR – Not re-elected; NE – Newly elected; NSR – Not seeking re-election; RS – Resigned; NEB – Newly elected in by-election

Posted in hockey, Sports, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

The Urban Daddy’s Official Cure for the Toronto Maple Leafs from January 16th, 2008…


Breaking news!

You are reading it here first, but I have determined the cure for the illness that is Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, and I might even apply for the General Managers job as soon as the Leafs fired JFJ when he is jettisoned to the unemployment line after butchering this team.

How JFJ, or anyone else in Leaf management  could possibly think that last year’s team – which missed the playoffs –  was good enough to bring back this year almost intact, save for the additions of Jason Blake, Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell.

I want to know who approved this?

They need to go too.

So let’s dive right in to The Urban Daddy’s plan for turning around the sad-sack Leafs and turning them into a winning team in my lifetime.

First, the CBC gets it all started as they yank the Leafs from the Saturday night slot and replace them with the Ottawa Senators or Montreal Canadiens.  I’m a huge hockey fan first and foremost and would enjoy watching the Sens or the Habs just as much. They both have good, young teams, they know how to win and they won’t break my heart because I’ll be rooting against them but okay if they prevail.

The fallout of not having the Leafs there, the slap in the face heard across the country would prompt the egos at MLSE to take action. Bye bye Peddie, Tenanbaum, JFJ and sadly the coach, Paul Maurice. Temporarily in comes a management team of former GM Cliff Fletcher and if the price is right, the Leafs need to buy the most respected coach / GM available (or not available) to change the mentality of the players, which right now would be Scotty Bowman. Include Glenn Healy, Doug Gilmour and this group will take the roster of the Leafs and the Marlies and head into a board room only to come out with the following to do list:

  1. Ship out the best players for picks!  First out the door, Mats Sundin – great Leaf. Gone. To a contender as the playoffs come to other teams (not the Leafs). For at least, a good young player already on a roster, a young prospect from a farm team and a 1st round pick or 2. He’s playing his best to get the most back to the team in his trade.

  2. Next out is popular Darcy Tucker – for a young player and a pick

  3. Then, Bryan McCabe – back to the Islanders for a young player and a pick
  4. Jason Blake – for a pick or bag of pucks – but with his salary its going to take creativity on behalf of a management team which in its current incarnation is not capable of.
  5. Andrew Raycroft – the player that the Leafs traded Tuukka Rask for (and this move is going to haunt them because I think Rask is a WAY better goalie than Justin Pogge) for a pick or a bag of pucks.
  6. Matt Stajan – for another young player – he’s young but not a scorer.  The Leafs need to remove any potentially skilled player from the team so they can bottom out… fast!
  7. Mark Bell – for anything – but I doubt he makes the season.  His head is not in the game.
  8. Alexei Ponikerovsky – player and a pick (he’s big and has shown signs of being able to find the net, although penalty prone).
  9. Nik Antropov – he’s finally exceeding expectations, so it’s a fluke (see Jason Blake) and time to go! Player from roster, young player and pick… Fast, before he gets hurt.
  10. John Pohl – anything – he was JFJ’s big steal from St. Louis… Oh, how the Blues must still be reeling. LOL.
  11. Wellwood, Wozniewski and Kubina we’ll take a pick for all three. The 2 defenseman must go and if Wellwood committed to getting in shape, then he can stay, but he won’t and will likely be out of the league within 3 years.
  12. Vesa Toskala only if there is a fabulous offer like a young player or solid veteran, or play him and let him lose every game.
    Hal Gill – very slow and Bates Battaglia (on the farm) can go if anyone has interest in them. They shouldn’t be good enough for this team, yet they are. Sad.

The Leafs need to make a huge change in direction and by shipping out the old blood and bringing in youth – not the prime prospects (are there any?) the Buds can start drafting better (new scouting staff is a must as well – but with 60 picks instead of 15 they stand 4-times the chance of getting a player with talent, skill or drive to play on this team.

The Leafs need to start playing guys like Domenic Moore, Ian White, Anton Strahlman, Tomas Kabarle (the new Captain) Alex Steen, Boyd Deveraux, even Wade Belak (every team needs an enforcer) and Jiri Tlusty.  How else can the management team assess if they are keepers or if they need to go.

As for the farm… I’ll never forget the comment that superstar goalie Ed Belfour made about Leafs defenseman Jay Harrison, when he said that Harrison was a true NHL defenseman.  So what does MLSE do with Harrison??  Send him to the farm.  Well, they need to bring him up!

They also need to finally give a shot to Carlo Colaiacovo (get him healthy and a personal trainer), Simon Gamache (1st line), David Ling (the leading point getter and set-up man) and Kris NewburyMarlies leading goal scorer (last years tough guy – why?), bring up Jeremy Williams, Robbie Earl, Darryl Boyce (a plus 18) and on defense, Bryan Muir (if he can play on the NJ Devils, he can make the Leafs). Bring up Pogge to play net, and a lot of net and this is the 2008/2009 team.  They may make a ton is mistakes but they might also shine enough to themselves be traded for prospects and picks and one day the Leafs might have a team!

Right now my fear is that the bright names mentioned above are going to be stars in the NHL but not with the Leafs and the players picked up in return will not play for the Buds either… That’s what they do.

In the off season sign a few free agent veterans to teach the kids never to give up, maybe one or two with Stanley Cup rings, and only young free agents if they are young! Bring back Mats if he wants either this year or next year to end his career here, but at a lower salary and with the understanding that if these vets play well, they’ll be traded to a Stanley Cup contender and have a chance at a cup.  That is a win-win proposition.

This youthful team will compete for either last or a playoff spot, so they’ll be not better or no worse than the current bunch. Only difference is that in 2-3 years my team will be better and the current Leafs won’t!

The Urban Daddy for GM!

(Can’t wait to see this post in 10-years to see how the Leafs have faired!)