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  • Scott Wheeler writes about past eminences of Toronto, people like Conn Smythe and Raymond Massey.
  • Joanna Slater writes in The Globe and Mail about the symbolism of Confederate--and other--statuary in Richmond, former capital of the South.

  • Reuters reports on a Vietnamese businessman abducted by his country from the streets of Berlin. Germany is unhappy.

  • Jeremiah Ross argues at VICE that very high levels of tourism in New York City are displacing native-born residents.

  • Looking to protests most recently in Barcelona, Elle Hunt in The Guardian looks at ways to make mass tourism more affordable for destinations.

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  • Spacing hosts Cheryl Thompson's article examining Toronto's Caribbean festival as a Bakhtinian organized chaos.

  • VICE examines how social housing in Canada will be hard-hit by climate change, including rising temperatures.

  • Torontoist shares a sponsored guide to attractions in the Ontario Greenbelt.

  • Laura Howells at the Toronto Star notes that if garlic mustard has to be an invasive plant in the forests of Ontario, at least it helps that it is a tasty invader.

  • Julien Gignac reports on the mystery of who the artist building shrines at Leslie Spit actually is.

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  • CBC reports on the recent commemoration of Captain John MacDonald of Glenaladale, pioneer of Scottish Catholic settlers on PEI.

  • CBC reports on the growth of the shoulder, non-summer, tourist seasons in Prince Edward Island.

  • Mitch MacDonald's article in The Guardian looking at the invasion of Nova Scotia by PEI businesspeople is interesting.

  • After a recent period of convergence, CBC notes PEI wages have declined to about 85% of the Canadian average.

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  • The Inter Press Service observes the quest of the Maldives for a seat on the United Nations Security Council in this time of sea level rise.

  • The NYR Daily reports on a new take on the revolutionary hope and failure of early 1980s Grenada.

  • Bloomberg notes how Singapore is becoming a major destination for Indian tourists, in its own right and as a regional centre.

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  • In The Globe and Mail, Ian Brown and Nam Phi Dang's photo essay tracking the adventures of a bus of Chinese tourists who went from Toronto to the Island and back is insightful and amusing.
  • Alex Ballingall's account in the Toronto Star of his week-long trek along the Trans-Canada Trail from Niagara to Toronto is enlightening. Would I could do this ...

  • Mark Milke in MacLean's argues that, regrettable excesses aside, Canadians should be proud of our British heritage.

  • The Montreal Gazette's Brendan Kelly wonders why a supposedly Canadian music compilation does not include any French-language songs.

  • In the Toronto Star, Emma Teitel points out that visibility, including corporate visibility, is hugely important in Pride.

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  • Anthropology.net notes on how a fossil tooth led eventually to the identification of the fourth Denisovan individual known.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly writes about reasons for people to travel solo.

  • The Dragon's Tales' Will Baird notes that the INF Treaty is on the verge of collapse.

  • Mathew Ingram uses a recent GIF of Trump with the Polish president's wife to show how these lie and mislead.

  • Joe. My. God. notes a sharp collapse in London's LGBT venues--more than half in the past decade!

  • Marginal Revolution reports on British actors who take up tutoring as a second job to support their careers.

  • The NYR Daily takes a look at the latest concerns of South Koreans regarding their northern neighbour.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw takes issue with proposed Australian government surveillance of the local Internet.

  • Progressive Download's John Farrell dissects the origins of the false claim that Copernicus was a Catholic priest.

  • Unicorn Booty has a fantastic interview with a scholar, Jamie Bernthal, who makes a case for queer content in Agatha Christie.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that methane bubble explosions in Siberia could wreck Russian pipelines.

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  • James Bow shares his story of how he met famed Canadian kid's author Gordon Korman.

  • Paul Drye has sales on this month for his two books, space race WI book False Steps and his first, Passing Strangeness.

  • Far Outliers' Joel notes two overlooked episodes of migration in Canada, of Hawaiians in British Columbia and Canadian exiles in Australia.

  • The Great Grey Bridge's Philip Turner shared, again, his personal photo essay about his links to and love of Canada.

  • Language Hat looks at the potentially Australian slang phrase "good on you" (pronounced "good onya", apparently).

  • Language Hat looks at claims that translation and grammar complicate the meaning of the text authorizing the handover of Hong Kong to China.

  • The LRB Blog announces that their #readeverywhere photo contest is up and running for July!

  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares a gorgeous photo essay of her trip to Chania, on Crete.

  • Unicorn Booty has an interesting essay looking at the barriers to membership imposed by gay culture on newly-out members of the community.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at the cost of the Russian war in Ukraine and argues that the consequences of a crash now would be worse than in 1998.
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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait is skeptical that the Trump-era EPA will deal well with global warming.

  • Discover's The Crux considers the challenge of developing safer explosives for fireworkers.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper considering the (real) possibility of Earth-like worlds orbiting neutron stars.

  • Language Log notes an odd use of katakana in Australia.

  • The LRB Blog considers the possibly overrated import of George Osborne's move into the newspaper business.

  • Marginal Revolution notes one observer's suggestion that China could sustain high-speed growth much longer than Japan.

  • The NYR Daily shares Eleanor Davis' cartoon journal of her bike trip across America.

  • Peter Rukavina does not like the odd way Prince Edward Island made its library card into a museum pass.

  • Starts with a Bang's Ethan Siegel notes the odd galaxy MACS2129-1, young yet apparently no longer star-forming.

  • Strange Company explores the strange death of 17th century New England woman Rebecca Cornell.

  • Unicorn Booty looks at how early Playgirl tried to handle, quietly, its substantially gay readership.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at one Russian proclaiming Russia needs to stop an imminent takeover by Muslims.

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  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly photoblogs about her trip to Berlin.

  • Dead Things reports on a recent study that unraveled the evolutionary history of the domestic cat.

  • James Nicoll notes that his niece and nephew will each be performing theatre in Toronto.

  • Language Hat has an interesting link to interviews of coders as if they were translators.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at Chinese video game competitions and Chinese tours to Soviet revolutionary sites.

  • Steve Munro shares photos of the old Kitchener trolleybus.

  • Roads and Kingdoms shares the story of the Ramadan drummer of Coney Island.

  • Savage Minds shares an essay arguing that photographers should get their subjects' consent and receive renumeration.

  • Torontoist shares photos of the Trans March.

  • Towleroad
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  • blogTO reported that York University plans on opening a satellite campus in York Region's Markham. This is a first.

  • Dangerous Minds notes a new, posthumous release from Suidide's Alan Vega.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper considering the detectability of Niven ringworlds around pulsars. (Maybe.)

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers burnout among sociology students, and suggests that engagement with issues is key to overcoming it.

  • The Great Grey Bridge's Philip Turner photoblogs his recent Rhode Island vacation.

  • Joe. My. God. reports on the arrest of a Christian activist protesting outside of the Pulse memorial in Orlando.

  • The LRB Blog shares considerable concern that the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland are now national powermakers.

  • Spacing Toronto shares the ambitious plan of Buenos Aires to make the city better for cyclists, pedestrians, and mass transit
  • Transit Toronto notes that starting Friday, Metrolinx will co-sponsor $C25 return tickets to Niagara from Toronto.

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  • blogTO notes that the old HMV store in the Dufferin Mall is now a fidget spinner store. This has gone viral.
  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly talks about her week in Paris.

  • Centauri Dreams notes one paper examining the complex formation of the dense TRAPPIST-1 system.

  • Far Outliers reports from early 20th century Albania, about how tribal and language and ethnic identities overlap, and not.

  • Language Log notes efforts to promote Cantonese in the face of Mandarin.

  • The LRB Blog wonders if May's electoral defeat might lead to the United Kingdom changing its Brexit trajectory.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that cars have more complex computer programming these days than fighter jets.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that the counter-cyclical Brazilian fiscal cap still makes no sense.

  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is edging towards an acknowledgement of its involvement in the Ukrainian war.

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  • Yahoo News shares the story of a cat that visited every national park in the United States, with photos.

  • CBC's Mike Crawley takes a look at the impact of the Ontario $15 minimum wage, finding it should have little effect on the economy at large.

  • In The Globe and Mail, Tony Keller suggests that Donald Trump's actions do a great job of promoting China as a responsible superpower.

  • CBC notes research suggesting that global warming will make the heat island effect in cities much worse.

  • It is easy, editor David Shribman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes in The Globe and Mail, to mistake Pittsburgh for Paris.

  • The Toronto Star notes Ariana Grande's surprise visit to her fans in hospital before tomorrow benefit concert.

  • The Atlantic reports on the problems of post-Communist gentrification in Moscow.

  • The Georgia Straight shares one Vancouver artist's goodbye to her adopted city, beloved but now too expensive.

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Last evening, I kept my computer busy by uploading the more than two hundred photos I had taken last weekend, during Jane's Walk in Toronto. At one point, I had planned to take eight, but reality and fatigue intervened so as to limit me to six, five on Saturday the 5th and one on Sunday the 6th.

  • My first was "St. Lawrence Market: Role of Public Markets in Placemaking", led by Samantha Wiles. Wiles ably took her group around St. Lawrence Market, past the archeological excavations to the market's north, around its perimeter, and to the south, introducing us to the market's very long history at the heart of Toronto. Photos are here.

  • In the afternoon, I followed urbanist Richard Longley in his "Harbord Village east side: architecture old, new, diverse, domestic, insitutional, sacred, profane", taking a large contingent through a rapidly changing neighbourhood south of the Annex. I was particularly taken by the abundance of creative graffiti in the back alleys, especially on Croft Street. Photos are here.

  • Later in the afteroon, I followed Brian Sharwood and Melinda Medley, the bloggers behind OssingtonVillage.com, on a short but information-packed stroll north in Indie Ossington, from Ossington at Queen on the CAMH grounds up to Dundas Street. Photos are here.

  • In the evening, I went down to Exhibition Place for the Ghost Walk led there by Steve Collie. As night fell, Collie took dozens of people on a stroll through some of the locales where ghost sightings have been claimed, from the stacks of the centre's archives to the barracks where soldiers sent off to war spent their last moments in Canada. The behind-the-scenes perspective it offered of Exhibition Place was a big plus. Photos are here.

  • Late at night, at 11 o'clock, I joined the Nightwalking & Secret Staircases: Baby Point walk led by Oona Fraser. My photo album includes my pre-walk, east from Old Mill station and up Jane Street to the Baby Point Gates. Walking through the wooded parks along Humber River, up and down the stairs, underneath the luminous sky, was magic.

  • Sunday afternoon, after joining a visiting Taiwanese friend for lunch and then doing some independent walking south on Roncesvalles and east on Queen Street West to Dufferin, I joined "Here's the Thing: A Creative Writing Walk (Part 2 / Downtown)" at Dufferin Station. Led by Denise Pinto and Shari Kasman, this was a guided walk, the participants being given (and providing) prompts at different moments on the walk to write different things. I enjoyed this late afternoon walk, a lot. My output tended more towards prose poetry than fiction, but it was fun regardless.


  • I'm not sure what I'll do with all of these photos. I doubt I'll post most of them to this blog, to Tumblr or Instagram. They remain on Flickr nonetheless, ready for you to peruse. (I also have uploaded them all to Facebook, too, so those of you who follow me there can see them there, too.)
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    • blogTO shares media exploring how Toronto was marketed internationally in the 1980s. This decade apparently saw less concentration on landmarks and more on cultural activities.

    • The Map Room Blog links to a National Geographic collection of the childhood maps of cartographers.

    • Marginal Revolution notes that the loosening of China's one-child policy has not resulted in much change.

    • Justin Petrone wonders if Estonians are weird.

    • Steve Munro reports on the many, many problematic things coming out of Metrolinx, including fare-by-distance and the ongoing PRESTO disasters.

    • Supernova Condensate shares a thought-provoking set of statues on global warming, Follow the Leaders.

    • Torontoist's Kieran Delamont notes the astonishing thoughtlessness of new fashion brand Homeless Toronto.

    • Window on Eurasia looks at a Belarus in a state of political ferment that might--might--be pre-revolutionary, and wonders if disbanding Russia's ethnic republics could be profoundly destabilizing.

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    • blogTO notes that the redevelopment of Toronto's Port Lands is continuing.

    • Crooked Timber argues that climate denialism exposes the socially constructed nature of property rights.

    • D-Brief notes the reburial of Kennewick Man.

    • The Dragon's Gaze notes there is no sign of a second planet around Proxima Centauri.

    • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at life in Texas.

    • The LRB Blog analyzes Milo's stumble.

    • Marginal Revolution considers the levels of disorderliness different societies, like Sweden, can tolerate.

    • The NYRB Daily reports on the poisoning of a Russian dissident.

    • The Planetary Society Blog suggests Voyager 1 picked up Enceladus' plumes.

    • Peter Rukavina writes of his mapping of someone's passage on the Camino Francés.

    • Supernova Condensate looks at the United Arab Emirates' plan to build a city on Mars in a century.

    • Torontoist reported on a protest demanding action on the overdose crisis.
    • Towleroad describes the plight of Mr. Gay Syria in Istanbul and reports on the progress of same-sex marriage in Finland.

    • Understanding Society considers the complexity of managing large technological projects.

    • Window on Eurasia links to one Russian writer arguing Putin should copy Trump and links to anotehr suggesting the Russian Orthodox Church is overreaching.

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    The Toronto Star's Ellen Brait reports on the latest in the struggle to build a hotel at Toronto's Exhibition Place, between environmental concerns with the site and the financial concerns of the builders.

    The construction of Exhibition Place’s Hotel X has been long, complicated, and riddled with problems. But those involved say they’re back on track.

    “May is the target date. We’re making pretty good progress,” Owen Whelan, president of McKay-Cocker, the construction manager for the project, said. “I would say at this point we’re full speed ahead.”

    But a number of liens still remain in place against the property. Liens are typically placed against properties as a means to keep a right of possession until a debt is paid.

    Government records show five companies certified liens between Oct. 2016 and Dec. 2016 that are still in place. They range from around $89,000 up to $32-million. Multiplex Construction Canada Limited, the former construction manager of the project, took out the largest lien, at $32,573,260, on Oct. 19, 2016 and filed a second one for $17,618,739 on Nov. 28, 2016.

    Jeffrey Burke, president of Lift All Crane Service Ltd., one of the companies with a lien against the property, said after Multiplex Construction Canada left the project, they left many companies “in the position where we had to put a lien on the project to ensure we were going to get paid.”
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    Radio free Europe/Radio Liberty's Golnaz Esfandiari covers the reaction in Iran to the prospect of a ban on the issuing of new visas to Iranian citizens. Esfandiari is correct to note that these visa restrictions will not help the Islamic Republic's position and will in fact also hurt American soft power. That by far the most successful anti-American terrorists come from Saudi Arabia, a country not subject to the proposed ban, also deserves mention.

    The United States is a leading destination for students from all over the world, with international student enrollment at public and private U.S. institutions totaling more than 1 million young people in 2015-16, according to the Institute of International Education, with roughly one-third of them coming from China and Iranians well outside the top 10 places of origin.

    Hengameh, a mother of two in Tehran, told RFE/RL via Telegram she was offended by the U.S. decision. "I don't have plans to travel to America, but I know many who have relatives there. This will make things harder for them," she said, adding that obtaining a U.S. visa is already difficult for Iranians.

    [. . .]

    "The adoption of this [executive order] and similar laws will hurt only the Iranian people, and it won't have any impact on the travels of government [officials] to America," a comment on Radio Farda's Facebook page said.

    "It's clear that [Trump] doesn't have a proper understanding of terrorists. Most of them are from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and other countries," another comment said.

    Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who used passenger jets to carry out coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, were from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden, the leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network blamed for the attack, was a Saudi citizen.
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    • blogTO notes that Uniqlo will be giving away free thermal clothing tomorrow.

    • James Bow shares his column about the importance of truth.

    • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly shares with us her mid-winter walk.

    • Centauri Dreams reports about cometary water.

    • Dangerous Minds shares German cinema lobby cards from the 1960s.

    • Language Hat talks about dropping apostrophes.

    • Language Log reports about lexical searches on Google.

    • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on the latest from Trump.

    • The NYRB Daily shares a review of an Iranian film on gender relations.

    • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes the ongoing gas price protests in Mexico.

    • Spacing links to some articles about affordable housing around the world.

    • The Volokh Conspiracy notes Germany's abolition of a law forbidding insults to foreign heads of state.

    • Window on Eurasia suggests that stable Russian population figures cover up a wholesale collapse in the numbers of ethnic Russians, and looks at the shortages of skilled workers faced by defense industries.

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    Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen offers excellent advice for travellers on how to explore new cities. These strategies are not unlike ones I've applied in the past, for whatever it's worth. Save the big adventures for later, when you have a sense of the city and can appreciate what you are seeing all the better.

    The first thing I do is make sure blog is ready for the day to come (though that is usually pre-arranged if I am traveling).

    The second thing I do is decide whether the country is worth wasting a meal on breakfast. I might just skip it. If not, the next thing I will do is get breakfast. I evaluate breakfast options by walking and by sight, not by using the internet, as I find that old-fashioned method better training for all that life brings us.

    Then I try to walk through at least two neighborhoods, to get a general sense of the city. More importantly, I can then later take some time over lunch without feeling I haven’t seen anything yet. These neighborhoods should be connected to the main drag in some way but not the main drag itself. The main drag is often boring, though essential, and it is more likely to get a fuller treatment on day two, with only a quick peek on day one.
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    The Toronto Star's Betsy Powell describes the many problems faced by Wasaga Beach, a resort community on Georgian Bay popular with Toronto vacationers that has been faced with falling tourist numbers in recent years. (I should mention, for the record, that I have never been here.)

    A bundled-up couple walking a dog and a lone snowmobiler had the world’s longest freshwater beach to themselves on a recent morning as a frigid wind swept across Georgian Bay.

    “Nothing down here will open. Who’s going to come and park here when it’s cold?” Deputy Mayor Nina Bifolchi says, driving past a stretch of closed-for-three-seasons fast-food eateries and bars facing the beach.

    She was on the losing side when council voted to buy the properties for $13.8 million in 2015, using money borrowed from a bank and the province.

    That’s no small sum for the town of 18,000 that will collect $20.3 million in property taxes this year and spend $48 million in operating and capital costs.

    But waterfront purchase proponents, led by Mayor Brian Smith, argue Wasaga Beach needed a “bold” step after a steady decline in tourists — the town’s economic lifeblood — of roughly 100,000 a year between 2002 and 2012, compounded by a massive fire in 2007 that destroyed a bustling street mall in the beach’s east end. The mall was never rebuilt and has since been replaced by a beer garden and kiosks.

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