Tag Archives: spacing magazine

Spacing Magazine launch this Wednesday

This Wednesday July 7th Spacing Magazine will be launching their latest issue (18, which has a similar title to this blog) at the El Mocambo. You can RSVP on Facebook.

Keep an eye open for my illustration accompanying the article on public hanging.



Here’s a look at my illustration for the upcoming issue of Spacing Magazine for an article on public execution. I’m not sure who the author of the piece is, but I’ll update this post when the issue comes out shortly. Be sure to pick up a copy! Here’s a short excerpt:

Between 1798 and 1869, 92 people were hanged in front of jeering audiences in Toronto. Public executions were an elaborate ritual, with the condemned performing a heavily choreographed act of repentance. Prisoners were expected to read pre-prepared speeches to the crowd, explaining their regret, or their fear of God, or their allegiance to the Crown.

The crowd, in turn, was expected to jeer and mock the condemned, reveling in the punishment that the sinner deserved. According to eyewitnesses, the mood was often carnivalesque, a celebration of life amidst the death of a criminal. When the rope sprung, however, the crowd usually became subdued.

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.

Citizen Scientists

Above is my illustration for the current issue of Spacing Magazine, and my third contribution to the publication. The theme of the new issue is about our relationship with urban wildlife from mosquitoes, to white squirrels, to raccoons. The above is an illustration is for an piece by writer, Eva Amsen, titled “Citizen Scientists”. Here’s an excerpt:

Once in a while — more often than anyone would like — the media reports that a species has become endangered or is shifting its habitat. But where does this information come from? Who counts all these plants and animals?
Well, it could be you.
Enthusiastic amateur nature lovers often assist scientists by collecting a vast amount of information about the whereabouts of certain species. Many Torontonians take part in this “citizen science” as it is known, especially in the field of insect study.
Don Davis is one of these citizen scientists. He works for the Children’s Aid Society, but spends his spare time studying the monarch butterfly and attending meetings to exchange information about this species. The monarch butterfly migrates from Ontario and other Northern regions down to Mexico in the fall, and back north in spring. The generation that flies south is not the same as the one that flies north, and yet the butterflies always find their way. To study the flight patterns of the monarch butterfly, volunteers like Davis catch them, tag the wings with a unique code, and release them again.

To read the rest, pick up a copy of the current Spacing Magazine.

War on the Car

In Toronto, the phrase, “war on the car” has been passed around a fair bit recently. A couple months ago, the city decided to change the composition of Jarvis street, a five lane roadway downtown with a middle lane that alternated direction according to the time of day. The plan is to get rid of the fifth lane, insert two bike lanes and widen the sidewalk. Brewing for quite some time, this was one of the events that brought upon the so-called “war on the car”. What it seems to be is simply right-wing rhetoric aimed to demonize the city’s acts of ‘diminishing’ spaces for cars and expansion of bike lanes and other forms of transit. After all, it was Premier Mike Harris who mothballed the Eglinton subway launched by Bob Rae in the early 90’s. What had been burrowed out for the subway tunnel was even filled back in.

In the past few years we’ve seen a new wave of environmentalism that has brought us green bins, hybrid cars, decreace of plastic bags and bottles, and global warming awareness. It’s only natural that our focus would eventually lead to the automobile, and it has been the subject of criticism many times in the past. We, the privileged nations of the world, have grown up with the car and have had the upmost dependability on it ever since the suburbs were galvanized in the mid-century. It has lead to us defining our cities with the car. After all, our quaint houses in the suburbs sport the garage as an object of prominence, not the house. The car was the golden chariot that took you to school, to work, to the mall. However, downtown and dense urban centres has all of those amenities and more within arms reach. Streetcars, bikes, and subways are alternate forms of transportation and are often more efficient. Yet, cars have always been graciously accomodated. In this age of growing awareness for the environment, it only makes sense that we need to shift our priorities.

Toronto should follow examples from countless other cities who are taking progressive steps to reduce the reliance on cars. Montreal has recently introduced the city-wide bike-share program, Bixi, where anyone can rent a bike from kiosks found all over the city. Even New York city has made significant changes to the urban landscape to make the streets more pedestrian friendly. Surely it wouldn’t hurt Toronto to make their streets more accessible and friendly towards all forms of traffic (foot traffic including). What the city is doing surely isn’t a war. What these righteous, outspoken motorists are really griping about can be compared to silly schoolyard ‘territory’ fights. To make this city better, we need to share the road.

The above illustration is for the upcoming Spacing Magazine on this subject and the conditions and politics behind it. Look for it on news stands in the late summer.