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.




Posted in Community, Daddy, family

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.


Posted in Life

Toronto Blue Jays Fail to Impress. Still More Promising Than Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC. Nowhere Near the Toronto Rock!

It’s been one of those years… Again.  The Jays look destined to fail in a weak American League East with great bats but terrible pitching.  As the team leads the major leagues in walks given it makes one wonder aloud how long the Jays pitching coach Pete “Walker” has left.

Or manager John Gibbons…

Or the GM.

Or if there are any moves that can be made to salvage the season at the 40 game-mark.

It makes me wonder if any of the pitchers from Triple-A Buffalo will come in and steal a spot for themselves through the throwing of strikes, the consistency outing after outing, or the putting out of middle-inning fires, or if the GM is going to be looking for guys like BJ Ryan or Gustavo Chacin to come in and settle things down.

Hey, what is Dave Steib doing?  Or Jimmy Key?  What about Jim Clancy or Juan Guzman?

Are there no pitchers in the minors that the Jays can resurrect and use for a couple of starts or through this season who can keep their ERA under 6?

I have no idea, but I love the Jays, and hope for a winning streak to push the team back to the top of the sports news and remove the Leafs from our discussion as they have hit rock bottom with no way out…

Or… Toronto can turn their attention to the best Toronto sports team – The Toronto Rock lacrosse club which was outdrawing the Jays not too long ago and who finished 1st in the National Lacrosse League and are in the Eastern Division Finals at the Air Canada Centre this Saturday, May 23rd at 7pm.

The Toronto Rock win in a league with tough competition, and in a very tough, demanding sport, and draw between 10,000-13,000 fans per game…

The most exciting game in Toronto played by the most exciting team, and hey, they win!  They went 14-4 on the season, and their leading scorer, Brett Hickey scored 50 goals.  Josh Sanderson accumulated 83 assists.  These are numbers we, as Toronto sports fans are not used to.  There are no nights off or shifts off for these guys.  The run, hit, defend and score.

Come support the Rock.  Toronto should be thankful for Rock owner Jamie Darwick!

And loosen up your arm because you might just be the next call-up for the Jays!

Posted in Life

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!

Posted in family

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

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;  I posted the link above.