Monday, June 22, 2009

Margin Notes: Canadian Symbols, Construction

A very Canadian billboard was noted along Dundas Street West in Toronto, Ontario on 16-June-2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Continuing last week's theme of never knowing what you'll see next in Toronto, I found the above billboard in the Lambton neighborhood of Toronto last week. Research revealed it was an attempt at a viral marketing campaign, but ignoring that, wasn't the message quintessentially Canadian?

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A beaver was noted swimming up the Humber River in Toronto, Ontario on 16-June-2009

There is nothing more quintessentially Canadian than a beaver swimming down a river, and that's what I found when taking a walk along the Humber River last week. This was probably the beaver that built a partial dam near the Canadian Pacific bridge over the Humber, but even if it was someone else, it was a nice surprise.

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The beaver undoubtedly pronounces in Canadian fashion, which seems to include a complete inability to use a soft "a". I've never gotten used to "pasta" pronounced as "PASS-tuh"--the word is Italian! The recent news about Chrysler has really driven me crazy, though, as no less than Peter Mansbridge of the CBC has taken to saying "Fee-AT" for the Italian carmaker "Fiat" which should be much closer to "FEE-aht". Plenty of Italians live around here--can we just listen to how they pronounce things?

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Speaking of the CBC, there is still no information on the summer radio schedule, though apparently it doesn't start until next week. Clearly, they must know what it is; Dispatches, today, for example announced that it will move to Thursdays at 1 pm and Sundays at 7 pm. How hard can it be to release this information?

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It's hard to include much information in a 140-character tweet on Twitter, but those of us that write lots of pictures captions in Shutterfly actually ought to be decent at it. With a long-time 120-character limit lifted only some months ago (that I still mostly observe), those used to writing photo descriptions ought to find Twitter's limit a snap. I'm still not enticed, though.

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A pile driver rested for the weekend at Old Weston Road in Toronto, Ontario on 21-June-2009

The noise in the Junction neighborhood of Toronto continues to not be enticing. I stopped by to look at progress in the railroad grade separation yesterday, and indeed it looked about 30% done as shown on a progress sign. It's going to be a long summer for those living anywhere near the Junction.

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I finally noticed my first 2009 sidewalk stencil this week, noted on York Street near Union Station in Toronto on 20-June-2009

The construction season that can make the summer seem long results in lots of freshly poured concrete, and in Toronto that means new sidewalk stencils. Amazingly, it took me until this Saturday to notice my first "2009" sidewalk stencil, found as a result of the York Street work near Front Street that took place over a month ago. Now, I'm back to looking for old sidewalk stencils... anyone seen any pre-World War II dates?

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