twayne's blog

43 and Going Strong

Image No.: CN005127

Image No.: CN005127 CSTMC/CN Collection


And from



Toronto Queen's Park: How fast do trees grow?

I hope people are not yet bored with this project. Heritage pictures + Google Street View = fun (for me at least).


Image No.: CN002858 CSTMC/CN Collection


Image No.: CN002858 CSTMC/CN Collection

"Ontario Leg." Google Street View


An Ottawa Scene Today

The Google Map Street View link:

And my recent photo:


Dec 2009 168

An Ottawa Scene 1910


Here is an Ottawa scene taken from The first half century of Ottawa (1910) that I found in the Internet Archive ( Any ideas where this is? It hasn't changed that much in the last 99 years.


Compare and Contrast II

toronto ON yonge and front - Google Maps_1259691244585




Compare and Contrast

bloor and huron toronto - Google Maps


bloor and huron


My Lucky Handshake

On Friday I did something I almost never do. I approached an artist I liked and told them that I was a fan.

I saw James Hill going into the bakery near my office. I shook his hand and said I was a fan and have really been enjoying his (and Anne Davison) latest album. He said he was in town for the Folk Music Awards. I wished him "good luck" and went on my way.

The next day they won!

While clearly I can't take all the credit....


Green Bin Charges?

City Council does it again. In a move that appears to defy all logic the Planning and Environment Committee approved an extra $68 fee for the new green bin program.

Although the program benefits the entire city the cost will be paid by green bin users. So I get to spend more time sorting garbage AND I get to pay for this priviledge. Peter Hume (chair of the committee) says

"We have the second lowest diversion rate in the province of Ontario, and for a city like Ottawa, leading from the back of the pack is not where we should be." (from

I have a feeling that making it more onerous to divert waste from land-fill is not going to help matters. The committee also approved a $41 recycling fee. How the city can launch a program without a plan to pay for it is mind boggling. I am happy to pay the costs associated with being a more environmentally friendly city, but that is why we pay taxes. A rational person might think that there will be a corresponding decrease in garbage collection charges since there will be much less garbage to collect and process.

There are lots of city services I don't use that I pay for. If recycling and composting are a collective good, it should be paid by the city as a whole.


Bad Process Bad Design

To continue with the 'I only write on one topic theme', some additional thoughts on the Lansdowne Park process.

I have heard many different visions of what Lansdowne Park could be. Some reasonable and some pretty far fetched. In 2007, before the OSEG group put forward their proposal I participated in a evening of Lansdowne Park planning at the Glebe Community Centre. There was real enthusiasm for many of the site's potential uses. There was an acknowledgment of the historic uses of the site and of the heritage nature of some of the buildings. There was a discussion of what other cities had done, both good and bad, with this kind of space.

Almost anyone I talk to about Lansdowne Park has an idea of what it should be or at least what it could be. So why are we in the current situation where one vision and one vision only is being talked about? Defenders of the Lansdowne Live plan generally say:

  1. Its better than whats is there now
  2. No one else has come forward with a plan
  3. The developers are local civic minded guys that we can trust. Look at what they have done for the community.

These are all true but are clearly irrelevent. The only differences between the OSEG developers and anyone else with good ideas for the site are money and connections. These people know people. I would prefer to live in a city where ideas are evaluated on their merit, not by connections or money.


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