North Shore Mountaing

Snow-dusted North Shore Mountains




Quote of the day: Bill Bryson on City Building

“… but I just hate the way architects and city planners and everyone else responsible for urban life seems to have lost sight of what cities are for.  They are for people.  That seems obvious enough, but for half a century we have been building cities that are for almost anything else: for cars, for businesses, for developers, for people with money and bold visions who refuse to see cities from ground level, as places in which people must live and function and get around.  Why should I have to walk through a damp tunnel and negotiate two sets of stairs to get across a busy street?  Why should cars be given priority over me?  How can we be so rich and so stupid at the same time?”

Billy Bryson, Neither Here Nor There

“Happy City”checklist

“Cities must be regarded as more than engines of wealth.  They must be viewed as systems that should be shaped to improve well-being” wrote Charles Montgomery in his book “Happy City“.  He also suggested the following checklist:

  • The city should strive to maximize joy and minimize hardship.
  • It should lead us toward health rather than sickness.
  • It should offer us real freedom to live, move, and build our lives we wish.
  • It should build resilience agains economic or environmental shocks.
  • It should be fair in the way it apportions space, services, mobility, joys, hardships, and costs.
  • Most of all, it should enable us to build and strengthen the bonds between friends, families, and strangers that give life meaning, bonds that represent the city’s greatest achievements and opportunity.
  • The city that acknowledges and celebrates our common fate, that opens doors to empathy and cooperation, will help us tackle the greatest challenges of this century.



Skating on Trout Lake

Vancouver has been experiencing one of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent history.  And while it is frustrating to walk and drive on surfaces that resemble skating rinks, one of the benefits is being able to skate on Trout Lake.  The last time this happened was 20 years ago.  Despite having a cold I packed up my skates to try it out.  And while ice was choppy and rough, hundreds of people were on the lake






Toronto Happenings: Week of November 14, 2016

There is now free (advertiser-sponsored) Wi-Fe at 40 TTC subway stations thanks to TCONNECT.


Toronto city councilors Mary-Margaret McMahon and Ana Bailao are pushing to allow laneway housing similar to what is already in place in Vancouver and Ottawa.  An online survey, and city-wide consultations are taking place to provide guidance to the city council.


You can now register for the TOcore Parks & Public Realm Study: Making Cities for People. The even takes place on Wednesday, November 23 at 6:30pm at St. Paul’s Bloor Street, 227 Bloor Street East, Cody Hall, Toronto, ON M4W 1C8.


P is the for Parks