In early May, jealous of all the UK people posting their Pardosa observations, I headed to Humber Bay Shores Park early one morning to see if our native Ontario wolf spiders were out yet. They were not. However, I did find lots of other arthropods! A couple of second-timers—almost as exciting as first-timers. Continue reading Field Journal: Humber Bay Shores Park
We’re starting to get the odd day of genuine nice spring weather—and people are flocking to the outdoors. Many parks are closed and the Martin Goodman Trail is packed. So those in search of a nice out-of-the-way spot need to get a little creative. Continue reading Field Journal: Socially Distant Spidering
So local politics is picking back up after the winter break. We face a challenging budget and provincially-introduced chaos over the fate of the TTC and Ontario Place. As I’m not covering it, I encourage readers to support local independent media instead.
Matt Elliott has recently launched a newsletter of his own, City Hall Watcher. It’s free until February. Thereafter, subscriptions will be $5/month or $50/year, or free for “journalism school students, other people just getting started covering Toronto City Hall and municipal issue advocates who are not able to afford a subscription.”
I’ve also thrown together a small Twitter list of folks who cover City Hall. (And also a few Queen’s Park reporters, just because.) I may add to it over time.
Okay, now back to hibernation…
Note to readers: I am taking a hiatus from the whole City Hall thing. I’ll soon be cancelling all your recurring Paypal donations and putting the Patreon on hold.
It’s not about money or the work or anything. It’s just an existential despair thing, you know?
Thank you for your support over the years. I could not have done it without you.
If you want the long version, here you go. Continue reading Pivoting to Spiders
Photo from @imfgtoronto.
“The iceberg is gone, global warming has taken care of that,” jokes new City Manager Chris Murray as he begins his speech.
The iceberg, a municipal budget infographic portraying the City of Toronto’s billions of dollars in approved but unfunded capital projects, had become a cult favourite among City Hall wonks—you know, the kind of people who have cult favourite municipal budget infographics. These are the kind of people who go to the IMFG‘s annual City Manager’s Address, which took place at the end of November. (Slides available here.) Continue reading Recap: The 2018 City Manager’s Address
Once more unto the breach, dear friends. (Well, more like twice more, because my first draft was eaten by an unruly text editor.) This is more of a recap than a preview, as I only just recovered from an awful cold. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: December 13, 2018 City Council
This is the first meeting of the 2018-2022 term. After the chaotic municipal election that halved the size of Council, we return to a very different City Hall. Over the next several days, we must drastically reshape how Council runs and what councillors do in order to accommodate double the workload. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: December 4, 2018 City Council
You’re saying you can’t have a civil discussion with fascist? Yep. Yes I am . More importantly why can you ?
— Sydette is triggered beyond belief (@Blackamazon) November 12, 2018
Organizers No One Is Illegal:
We gathered to reject the narrowing of the political spectrum of action provided to us by institutions like The Munk Debates. Institutions like The Munk Debates—funded by notorious Canadian mining company Barrick Gold1—continue to tell us that the ideologies on either end of the spectrum are white supremacist/ white-nationalism-fueled by right wing extremism like Bannon, and extreme conservatism like David Frum. Continue reading Recap: The Nov. 2 Munk Debate Protest
So after all the protests and petitions, court dates and emergency Council meetings, Doug Ford’s Thanos’ing of City Council went ahead. And it turned out the only way it could: a newly elected council even more homogeneous than the last one, and even less representative than the city it serves. I’m sure a lot of people are wondering, “Why even bother?” I know I am.
Anyway, I dashed off this quick summary of how everything shakes out, and a few remarks on what may happen this upcoming term. (Skip to Analysis if you want.)
Header: This image from Lisa Jackson’s Biidaaban depicts a decaying Toronto City Hall surrounded by forest, on the edge of a flooded Nathan Phillips Square.
Trying a bit of a new thing. I occasionally do linkdumps via Twitter threads, but I felt like doing something more permanent. Title inspired by this ever-relevant @TechnicallyRon tweet:
2007: It's called a smart phone, it can do everything!
2017: Stare into the nightmare rectangle and watch society collapse in real time
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) September 11, 2017