City scenes

Bonus points if you can figure out where these Toronto scenes were drawn from.
It goes easiest to hardest. Or maybe not.

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The Rules

Above is one of two illustrations of mine that will be in the upcoming issue of Spacing Magazine. The accompanying article deals with the bureaucracy of city bylaws and one couple who wanted to open a cafe in the Junction neighbourhood. They were faced with a plethora of petty issues that the city transformed into problems surrounding the potential vegetarian eatery. Here’s a excerpt from the piece:

Very few things are more frustrating and alienating than laws that are incomprehensible. Rules we cannot understand seem arbitrary, which weakens our trust in the government at a whole. An overcomplicated system of administration costs a lot of money and actually discourages people from participating. It turns them against the policy objective as a whole. Take our ridiculous garbage-bin system, for example, with its bar-coded bin ordering and storage requirements, its billing on the unrelated water bill (separating incentive from action), its complete inflexibility. It has succeeded through its sheer over-complication in turning off people who support charging by volume for garbage — including me.

I’m unsure who the author of the article is but will update this page when I do.

A true story

A preview of my page for the next issue of The Wilding to be released at this year’s TCAF care of Fiona Smyth.

Too many links.

As seen on the internet IV


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Loaded education

My latest contribution to Torontoist accompanies a piece by Desmond Cole about the possibility of Toronto high schools employing armed police officers. This idea is in the wake of an incident last Friday at North Toronto Collegiate where a group of students were robbed by four teenagers. It was later discovered that one of them was carrying a concealed firearm at the scene where they absconded with two stolen iPods. I don’t wish for this blog to turn political, so my post here will be brief.

This incident aside, there are plenty of arguments for and against the presence of armed officers. An argument for would be to properly protect students from possibly violent breakouts involving firearms. An argument against would be that the more guns you bring to a fight, there’s a better chance of tragedy. I think Cole put it eloquently when he mentioned the “unpredictable nature of armed conflict”.

Installing police presence within a school seems like a knee-jerk reaction that seems just as impetuous as forbidding nail clippers on an airplane. Fighting fire with fire is indeed a solution to a problem, but surely not the most effective. Instead of bureaucratic cover-all solutions I think there should be a think tank formed, people from a diverse mixture of backgrounds (age, ethnicity, income level, profession, marital status, with/without kids, where they live in the city, where they were born, etc.), to find creative alternatives instead of, say, blaming Marilyn Manson for teenage aggression.

In an email, Desmond wrote, “The heart of the message is that applying force against students won’t work. It’s not a long term solution. What we need to offer students is peace, and chance to connect, not an authoritative presence.”

My life over coffee III

From Dark Horse Espresso Bar, Spadina and Sullivan

My desk