Monday, June 15, 2009

Margin Notes: What You Might See in Toronto

Kurt Perschke's Red Ball found its way to 567 Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario on 13 June 2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - One of the fun attractions here in Ontario's capitol during the Luminato arts festival has been Kurt Peschke's Red Ball. The large display has been positioned at different notable locations around town since the start of Luminato. I finally caught up with the Red Ball on Saturday, finding it at 567 Queen Street West nestled between two buildings. You just never know what you might see in Toronto...

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You also apparently don't know what you might hear on the radio in Toronto. If I'm not mistaken, the CBC will begin its summer schedule on Radio One next week for the ten-week summer period. You'd never know that from looking at the CBC web site, which only has the 2008 "Radiosummer" schedule hidden away and nothing about any impending changes. I haven't heard a word on the air, either. Considering the normal quality of the programming which is excellent, I don't understand why it is never promoted ahead of time. What's going to be on the air next week? I don't have a clue.

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A Filipino rap group performed at the Singing Idol contest at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto, Ontario on 13 June 2009

I wouldn't have guessed what I would hear at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto on Saturday, either. As I walked past City Hall, I was surprised to hear foreign-language rap emanating from the performance stage. It turned out to be a Filipino Rap group performing in the Singing Idol contest. You never know what you're going to see in Toronto.

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The new Greyhound livery was noted on an Ottawa-bound bus near Toronto's Old City Hall on 13 June 2009

Just a few meters away from the rappers, I found a bus paint scheme that I didn't recognize. It turns out that Greyhound adopted a new livery earlier this year based on their 1950's scheme that I hadn't seen yet despite being at several bus terminals and riding one of their buses in May. What really surprised me, though, is that they seem to be trying to invoke luxury which is absolutely absurd; there is no lower-class mode of long-distance transport in North America that I have experienced than Greyhound. Furthermore, it is so different from their existing schemes that I didn't recognize it as Greyhound, even with a dog on the side. I suspect this isn't going to prove very effective from a marketing perspective.

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A sign on Queen Street West provided directions to the Secular Free Thought Centre in Toronto, Ontario on 13 June 2009

Marketing can take place in different ways on city streets. While walking down the streets of Hollywood right about one year ago, I found signs relating to Scientology omnipresent. Not so in Toronto. Here, we have signs leading one to the Secular Freethought Centre. Indeed, you never know what you're going to see in Toronto.

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