Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, health, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

The Urban Daddy is Back… Sort of.


Well after a fairly long period of inactivity and about 60 more drafts, I felt it was time to bring back some content to The Urban Daddy.

Here are the groundrules;

  1. Since the kids are getting older, they don’t necessarily want me discussing any details about their personal lives, (“I’ll sue!” said one of them), so I’m going to go back to basics and discuss a bunch of random stuff which involve things Daddies do when their kids are getting older, like work, play and everything in between
  2. I’m not an influencer. I appreciate the pitches, and offers, but only on some occasions would I go down that road. I don’t write posts for that reason, and if all I did was give away stuff, why would people come here??
  3. I’m Canadian. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m not affiliated with Urbandaddy.com in the US, other than the fact that I was here before them, and I sold them my Pinterest account.
  4. I’ve been busy. Some good, more not so good, but I’m still here. I’ve gotten a new career working for a company and filling a role that I absolutely love, so that’s good. COVID is still here, but I’m double vaccinated and I wear a mask where possible so I don’t pass along any germs to anyone. I’ve always wondered why sick people don’t wear masks to prevent spreading their colds. I learned this was a very kind thing when we were in Japan a couple of years ago and asked a local guide why there were people wearing masks outside. I thought it might be due to air pollution, but the guide explained that these people are not feeling well and didn’t want to make others sick… Take that, anti-maskers!
  5. I took an online cooking class through George Brown College and their culinary area. It was an intro to cooking and it was vegan and the whole experience was amazing. I used to have a hang-up about cooking – had convinced myself that I was unable to just pick a recipe and follow it – but this course had me making tons of great stuff, like stocks, risotto, my own pasta, and my own tofu. I’m going to take another… Soon.
  6. I’ve also managed to expand my volunteering and wound up with a board position on a local hockey league as their registrar… Not going to lie, but it’s a huge challenge, because I’ve been busy in my new paid role, and trying to find time for my volunteer role has posed a few challenges.
  7. I had hurt myself quite badly at the beginning of the pandemic (not sure if I wrote about this or not), but I was walking on Yonge Street with my sister, and I stepped off the curb to avoid people, but the street was uneven so I rolled my ankle, and in the process did a crap-load of damage to myself, tearing muscles and ligaments off my right hip, right ankle, and I tore my left groin muscle, resulting in me passing out on Yonge Street, then a few days later in the hospital for a ton of tests and medication when I was unable to move because everything seized up. It took me about a year to be able to get everything moving pain-free and since that time, I’ve been walking about 5km/day where possible. I’d love to be able to lose that COVID weight, then the late-night snacking weight, followed by the baby-weight I gained when our now 16yo son was born.
  8. I have a love/hate relationship with the Olympics, so I’ll hopefully have some more words to say about them shortly, other than to say that they always make me cry, and I’m so happy for all Canadian athletes who have won medals, or tried their best.
  9. So, yeah… I guess we’ll see how long this lasts. 😉

Posted in Canada, Community, family, health, Life, Parenting, Recommends, school, Toronto

Where is the CoronaVirus Common Sense? Cover up with great local masks!


To all my American friends… You have a choice. You have the same choice that we had in Canada and the same choice that our friends around the world had. Use some common sense, or run the risk of getting COVID-19.

It’s not a difficult choice to make, as far as I can see, it’s about your health, the health of your family, friends, neighbours and strangers. It’s not a hoax, it’s not a scam, and the virus doesn’t care who is running your country.

COVID in Canada doesn’t want Biden over Trump, and protecting yourself from getting sick is a smart idea, not a breach of your constitutional rights.

Enough with the posturing, and let’s get to reality.

I wear a mask. I was apprehensive at first, but less so after seeing how common they are in Asia – where we have traveled as a family, over the past 2 summers. People in Asia wear masks because they don’t want to pass along germs to others. Possibly they have weak immune systems, or maybe they just care about others, and don’t want to be the reason for someone else getting sick.

I wear a mask when I’m in close enough proximity to anyone who isn’t wearing one. These same people who don’t wear one clearly don’t care about their health, and they’re certainly not concerned about mine. They don’t care if they pass along the virus to me, and if I get sick, then I can’t see my kids, and well, that would just suck.

That is why I protect myself… and you.

In fact, I’ve been lucky to find a company that makes masks that fit me, feel good to wear, and don’t pull my ears forward so I look even more like Dumbo.

Two Friends with a Hook, was founded by high-school friends of my sister, and they’ve been producing and selling masks for the better part of 5 months. What started as a way to keep Canadians safe, has turned into a business, because the masks they make are easy to wear, look good and wash well.

Between my sister, my family and myself, we must have bought at least 20 masks thus far, and I’ve used them, and abused them, and they keep coming back for more. I’ve exercised wearing them – long walks, runs, or taken them into busy stores, and have had zero issues. When I’m not wearing the mask, like when I’m outdoors by myself, I can let the mask safely hang around my neck.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve tried plenty of masks, and these are by far the best. If you’re going to have to wear a mask, why not choose a comfortable one, a Canadian one, and keep everyone safe from your germs until we can kick CoronaVirus to the curb.

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, Food, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Celebrate Canada’s Most Iconic Tradition at the 2020 Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival


What’s more Canadian than maple syrup?

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Credit Valley Conservation have partnered to celebrate spring in true Canadian fashion with the annual Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival.

The festival gives visitors from the Greater Toronto Area and beyond the opportunity to savour the season as they get out into nature and indulge in Canada’s most famous food.

Running March 14 – April 12, 2020, the festival takes place at four locations: Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan, Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area in Stouffville, Terra Cotta Conservation Area in Halton Hills and Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville.

The Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival kicks off on the first weekend of March Break and offers visitors the chance to explore the history, customs and production of maple syrup at their local conservation area. With a variety of activities to choose from including horse-drawn wagon rides, maple syrup demonstrations and even special “Maple Syrup by Lamplight” events for adults, the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival has something for visitors of all ages.

Delicious pancakes with fresh maple syrup can also be purchased at all festival locations.

I have such fond memories as a child and teen attending events like this – possibly even this event.

Tickets to the festival are available at the participating conservation areas and online at maplesyrupfest.com, and, tickets purchased online give unlimited general admission to all festival locations.

Hours and dates of operation vary by location and are listed below.
Kortright Centre for Conservation
Open each day from March 14 – April 12
Hours of Operation: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area
Open on weekends (March 14 – April 12), including March Break (March 16 – 20) and Good Friday (April 10)
Hours of Operation: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Terra Cotta Conservation Area
Open on weekends (March 14 – April 5) and March Break (March 16 – 20)
Hours of Operation: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Island Lake Conservation Area
March 20, 21 & 28
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit maplesyrupfest.com.

Posted in Community, Daddy, hockey, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Insert Toronto Maple Leafs Joke here…


Fine, okay, I get it… Being a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs has never been easy. No Stanley Cups in my life-time, and very few players to get excited about.  Save for Rick Vaive, Wendel Clark, Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour, Jiri Crha, and likely the best goaltender they have had in a very long time, Ed Belfour.

There are teams retiring the numbers of legends that people actually knew about. Among the Leafs retired numbers is Ace Bailey, who was almost killed on the ice, and the NHL held an all-star game to raise funds to benefit his medical bills – and we’ve suffered through all-star games ever since.  Then there is Bill Barilko, who I know about from a Tragically Hip song, 50 Mission Cap.  There is also the number up in the rafters which my middle child pointed at during a Toronto Rock Lacrosse game and said; “Dad, that’s my favourite former Leaf.” After going through pretty much the entire list, he blurted out, “it’s Tim Horton… I love his coffee.”  So I had to explain the who Tim Horton’s situation to him (Leaf, traded, Buffalo, Coffee Shop, Died, Wife sold the 2 shops for like $36,000)…

But this current crop of Leafs is the absolute best I have ever seen. They are very talented, and very skilled and very young, and even though the Marleau contract is not paying dividends, having his leadership is hopefully helpful. If it is not, they can always ship him to Robidas Island where Jeoffrey Lupel lives.

But when I look at this team I cannot help but see the elephant in the room that people are not talking about. The elephant is what caused the Leafs season to turn from being one of the best to being eliminated in game 7, yet again at the hands of the Boston Bruins.

Willie Nylander.

He held out much like his old man did when he played in the NHL, and he was rewarded by the Leafs rookie GM Kyle Dubas for doing so.

The day they brought Willy back was the day the team was destined for failure.

Need proof?

I have some.

The team was 20-8 with out Willy (.714 win percentage), and they ended 46-28 which means with Willy (I am a superstar so pay me like a superstar), they were 26-20 (.565 winning percentage).

Willie Nylander scored 7 goals and 20 assists for his $12,000,000 salary this year.  12-million. The percentage of points per dollars is so small, I’m not even going to put it here… It’s embarrassing.   The player who was filling his role at a $832,000 salary was Kaspari Kapanen and he managed a mere 20 goals, and 22 assists for 44 points. It’s fair to say that if Nylander had stayed home, Kapanen would have had upwards of 60 points and he wouldn’t demand $12,000,000 in salary.

For all of the players who say its a business, there are some players on the team who really love to play the game and seeing Nylander take care of himself and not help the team, it had to have a negative impact on the team morale.

Watching Nylander on the ice and you could see clearly that he was disinterested, disengaged and not giving it his all. Could it be from missing training camp and getting up to the same pace as the rest of the players? I don’t buy that. If he’s a true superstar, then he should have had no issues getting back into the swing of things within a few games. Instead, he had brain cramps on the ice, didn’t hustle where they needed him to, and scored a couple of garbage goals – either empty nets, or when the score didn’t matter.

And how did the “superstar” do in the playoffs? 1 goal, 2 assists (all points were even strength) and a whopping 14 shots on goal. WOW.

I think the fact that the team performed as they did, Matthews, Marner, Kadri (when he was suspended), Marleau, and to a much lesser extent Tavares, Brown, Hyman and Kapanen, the Leafs didn’t play like a team. It’s Nylander that I blame for that.

The Buds would be best to move off from Willie in the off-season. Unfortunately, before his selfishness and lack of interest in playing like a $12,000,000 player I felt they could have gotten a really good player in exchange, however, now that his true self has shown through, I don’t feel the team can get back anything of value if they can trade that salary at all.

I think the Nylander money can be used to keep Gardiner, and the team will be better without him.

Thanks Willy! Enjoy counting your money.

 

 

Posted in Community, Life, The Urban Daddy

What to do with Ontario Place?


What should we do with Ontario Place?  The Liberal government shut it down, and the current PC government wants to make permanent use of it including a casino.

Some people – and I’m not sure who they are – but they say they are speaking for “Ontarians” want that entire space saved and turned into a park.

A park.

So instead of taking a very large space of waterfront and developing it into a place where locals and tourists could come and spend money and where jobs would be a plenty, we’re actually considering taking this space for a park.

A park.

Where people can picnic.

In January.  When it’s -15.

Or any time from October to June when it’s cold and yucky outside, we’re going to have this beautiful underused piece of land sitting empty and covered with snow instead of having a modern, state of the art, place for all Ontarians to come, enjoy and spend their time and to attract tourists…

Much in the same vein as I have always felt that the CNE needs to be partially or fully enclosed and used all year round, so that we don’t also have that space sitting empty for the entire year save for 3-weeks of the year.

But hey, what do I know, and what do those yucky conservatives know?  It’ll be a park, then someone will want it turned into subsidized housing, so they’ll accommodate it and next thing you know, it’s another place in this great city which could have been something special but never was.  Lumped into the same category as the cities transit…