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Quick Hits, Volume XIX

I've been doing a fair bit of train travel for work recently, and on my last trip I found out that there is wireless internet available on Via 1. I'm on my way to Quebec City right now, and blogging from the train.

Here are some recent observations:

  • Have you noticed the new street signs that are popping up around the city? I noticed some as early as March. The new signs are oversize knock-offs of the classic shape we're used to in (old) Toronto. They have the characteristic white background framed in black with a pointy crown on top, but it is really just one flat piece of a single material, with the historic details essentially painted on. The signs are also very big, designed for drivers. This Toronto Star article seems to be about the new signs but does not have the right photo. I expect a backlash when people start to see them in urban residential neighbourhoods, off the main streets.
  • Speaking of big and ugly things, I had second thoughts about the giant garbage monsters almost immediately after I wrote about them. I'm strongly in favour of finding an alternative, even if it doesn't generate as much (or any) revenue.
  • So, Dalton McGuinty admits that he made "too many promises", but excuses it as "being overly ambitious for Ontarians". I don't think that really cuts it. An ambitious programme is one in which you tell the people that sacrifices and hard work are going to lead to a worthwhile result. It's not ambition when you promise something and then say, "oops, we can't do that."
  • And as far as Ontario promises go, it looks like what we hear about sprawl prevention is really no more than talk.
  • Adam Radwanski has posted a good column on the Fantino issue.
  • On Civic Holiday I just wanted to do something simple and fun. Since I was already sunburnt from riding my bike to the beach on Sunday, I thought some pure entertainment might be in order. I picked up a mystery novel from an author I'd never heard of and had a great time. It was The Delicate Storm by North Bay born novelist Giles Blunt. Besides being a good story, it has a fun angle for politically-oriented Ontarians. Seems that Blunt's detective John Cardinal is based in a North Bay look-alike town which is home to a government-cutting Tory premier named Geoff Mantis.



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