Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marathon Chaos

Toronto City Hall bufoons are in talks to restrict the number of fall marathons to 1 largely due to the traffic chaos caused by both the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon and the Goodlife Toronto Marathon.

Sure it causes an inconvenience but it seems like a small price to pay to get a sleepy city like Toronto on the map for some potentially international premier events. I've run both events and truthfully it's the Goodlife marathon course that's causes the most congestion. That course runs all over the place whereas the Waterfront course is basically the lower downtown and across the Lakeshore. The new route through the East Beach neighbourhood is wonderful for participants and residents. In fact the Waterfront marathon disruption is no worse than Caribanna.

Toronto planners can learn from Chicago. I was there last year during the July 4th weekend. No question this is a world class city capable of hosting many major events and simultaneously for that matter. For example the July 4th weekend coincides with the Taste of Chicago. Streets are closed for food stands, yet Grant Park and Navy Pier still runs fireworks all weekend long. Museums, parks and tours are open, and somehow traffic still moves, buses still run and the city is bustling with locals and thousands of tourists.

True, the Windy city has the advantage of being master planned but there is something that Toronto can consider ... And that is people called Traffic and Transit Officers. During these events these men and women clad in bright green vests assist to move traffic and people along the busy streets. Unlike alot of TTC workers, these individuals love their job and are happy to help you get where you're going, and with a smile.

Instead of preventing great things from happening, why not do something to make them better.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Last year for his birthday, Aidan got a nice little 5 gallon aquarium from his uncle. We started with a couple of fish, little did we know they would breed like rabbits and we'd end up with over 25 new inhabitants.

Nature says you can't sustain that many fish in a 5 gal. tank (I think the rule of thumb is 1 fish per gallon), anyways we witnessed a few float the top last week. So last week I ended up at Big Al's Aquarium store to buy a 20 gal. tank. As much as I like fish I also love the look of a natural planted aquarium, i.e. real plants. So today I splurged and picked up a Hagen High Output T5 dual lamp. This is like the BMW of marine lighting. Wow, spectacular lighting for both fish and plants!!! Awesome piece of harware, looks nice too.

The fish are really happy cause they have clean water and lots of room to swim and we'll get around to finding a nice variety of plants and mosses to fill the aquarium.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2010 Financial Outlook

Don't think that we're out of the woods yet. If you listen to CNN you might think the US economy is on the upswing but the reality is that unemployment is not signifianctly down in the US or Canada. Almost 1 in 4 borrowers in the U.S. owes more on their mortgage than what thier home is worth. The U.S. contiues to be the larget debtor nation in the world and that's not going to change anytime soon.

Check this out:

My 2010 prediction is that there will be a serious decline in the stock market in March when it's apparent that the growth we've see isn't organic but because of injected stimulus money. You know, Toronto hired 1500 new city workers last year, how was that going to stimulate the economy?

Continued low interest rates isn't going to do anything except put downward pressure on the US dollar and bond yields so my bet is on gold. And I don't mean the Olympic kind, I'm talking bullion.