Monday, May 28, 2007

Interesting Find: Of Toronto the Good

I found this book on Ebay and bought for less than 10 bucks, including shipping. Its basically everything I need to know in regards to why Toronto is "The Good" It defines the term through every aspect of the city just before the turn of the century. It talks about the government, how it is formed, the budget, tourism, housing, homelessness, traditions, social and night life, businesses, restaurants, schools, drunkenness and a bunch of other cool stuff. After reading some of it I can truly say some things never change.
Artricle in Torday's Toroto Star: Surprised by Toronto the Good

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Who was C W Jefferys?

Yes, I know the name rings a bell. Yesterday a 15 year old boy was gunned down in the very same hallway I use to hangout in during my lunch hours when I went to high school there many years ago. Here is a different side to the name we are going to hear for the next couple of days...

C.W. Jefferys (1869-1951) was the first artist to take Canadian history and make it leap off the page and come to life. Before Jefferys, history was written down, but never illustrated in such a dramatic and refreshing way. As well as being a newspaper illustrator and historian, Jefferys was also an accomplished landscape artist and political cartoonist.

An inspiration for many artists, Jefferys played a hand in forming Canada's most famous group of landscape painters, the Group of Seven. Even today, Jefferys remains Canada's most reproduced artist and has influenced the work of Order of Canada recipient artist, Tony Urquhart, and comic book writer and illustrator, Chester Brown.

Through the artist's own words, as read by passionate Canadian actor, Eric Peterson, expert opinions, and personal accounts from his daughters and grandson, this documentary provides a comprehensive look into Jefferys' life and work and explains why he remains relevant for anyone interested in Canada's political and cultural past.

Click Here to watch his biography.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Victoria Day Bike Ride

Today a couple of buddies and I went on the longest bike ride I have ever taken. I live at Bathurst and Sheppard and at 8:30 this morning I biked north to Bathurst and Steeles to meet them. Then we proceeded to just about Steeles and Leslie and started south. We followed the paths all the way to Queen, cutting through Edwards Gardens, Sunnybrook Park, Don Valley Brick Works and past the Bloor Viaduct. Then across Queen to University, Left on College and stopped at Mossimo's Pizza on College west of Spadina for a bit to eat. After eating it was home time, College to Bathurst north all they way to Sheppard. I got home at 4:30pm. I was biking for about 8 hours. How sick is that?

For more pics of my trip check out my Flickr account here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sim Toronto visits Selkirk, Saskatchewan

Here is an awesome Sim City gamer who matched to perfection the simulated city to the real thing. There are even several pictures from its conception in 1880 all they way up to 2007. Click here to check it out.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The New Lower Donlands

So here's the winner of the Lower Donlands Design Competition. Any guesses to when we will be able to hang out there and ride our bikes across those bridges? Hopefully before my 50th B-day. Oh yea, i'm only 29.

Click Here for more pics...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sim Toronto: The Birth of Queen's Park

So here is another installment of Sim Toronto. Currently we have a population of just over 28 000 Sims and the city is definitely looking to expand. I have decided to expand the city north ward up to Bloor. Currently the city limits are at Dundas, so this means including College and Wellsley into the picture and of course extending Bathurst, Spadina, University, Yonge, Church and Jarvis. The East west Limits remained the same, starting at Bathurst over to Jarvis. Since the last update the Southern Beaches community and "Cork Town" have been created but has yet to make its debut.

No that the new streets have been drawn; the main attraction in this new area is Queen's Park. As we know, Queen's Park is the provinces capital buildings for a very long time and has been a monument in itself showcasing the city's greatness.

As Spadina and Yonge expanded north so did the retail zones along its stretch. Residential zones have taken op the majority of the newly expanded territory along with a few small industrial zones created down by the waterfront. Two elementary schools and 2 more fire stations have also been added to the Queen's Park area to keep the community stable. I have also introduced medium level residential zones running along Church just south of Bloor down to College. These medium level residential zones are expected to grow to smaller apartment buildings ranging from 2 stories to about 20 stories, depending on the likeliness of Sims moving into the area.

So where is UofT? Well, being a YorkU guy myself I may not include UofT at all! Actually, I will include the university when there is a demand for higher education. I don't believe I have even created a high school yet for the Sims of this city, but eventually they will call for more education and I will be there to provide it. Just like in real life, the more educated the citizens are the easier your industries and commercial sectors will grow in turn, producing a wonderful economy for the city.

Here is the budget for this city before I expanded. As you can see I was only making a profit of about 2k a month from a population of 28 000. Notice too, my demand for commercial zones was in the negative, meaning no one wanted to do business in the city. Once all construction of roads and zones was complete I ran the Simulation for about 15 minutes on the highest speed possible, the results were surprising. The monthly income went up 5 times, my population went up to almost 50 k and my demand for commercial zones was high. There was a small amount of unemployment but it seemed to level off after a few minutes.

This is what the city looks like now, lots and Lots of residential zones. You can see there are a few blacked buildings which may be either abandoned buildings or slum areas. On a positive note I did notice the city's first Bank of Montreal, surprisingly on what is probably Wellington in between Yonge and Bay. Now, I had no hand in its development, it grew on its own. I downloaded several
"plopable" (The term used by SimCity gamers, buildings that grow based on demand) Toronto landmarks and banks were one of them. Let’s see which one comes next, RBC, TD or Scotia.