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Showing posts from February, 2008

Time Is A Bouncing Ball - more Renfrew stories

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The article printed below is not new. I think I wrote it in the eighties. It was used in a now long-gone magazine called Valley. It was published by General Store Publishing House in Burnstown, Ontario. The faded clipping has been pinned to my corked lined office wall for over a decade and half. I wanted to post it on my website before the clipping (my only coply) fell apart and the story returned to be just a fading memory. I figured out the Optical Chararcter Reader on my printer this weekend and so Presto Chango ... another story in my ongoing series about Renfrew in the sixties is now on stephenweir.com.

Title: TIME IS A BOUNCING BALL by Stephen Weir

It's too long ago now to remember how we got on to the roof of the Howard Haramis restaurant. I can't imagine climbing up the fireescape, but 25 years ago there was only one building on Renfrew's main street with an elevator, and that was the O'Brien apartments, three blocks down the street.

Some of us felt queasy …

New Toronto Condominiums Cast Shadows on City

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Sub-Title: Photo at left: Rendering of a proposed downtown Toronto condo: One Bedford

The Toronto Star, like every publication I write for, edits and rewrites my copy. Don't mind, always amazed at how many mistakes I make. I send in what I think is a bullet proof story and then the questions from the editor begins (I call it death by a thousand questions). My answers/changes, are one of the reasons that the story gets modified. I also hand in copy that it is too long ( hey, we freelancers are geared towards being paid by the inch). So, to make a short story long, the Toronto Star ran a story yesterday: http://www.thestar.com/living/Athome/article/298644 that I wrote after a month of research. The story was about how new buildings in Toronto are casting long shadows over the city and rate payers are unhappy. Anyway, check out the link above to see the Star's version of my piece. Below is the original text -- mistakes and all.

Star headline:
OUR PLACES IN THE SUN
The shadow fa…

SIDEBAR TO TORONTO STAR CONDO SHADOW STORY

PROS AND CONS
Made in the shade

» Shadows can be healthy. Toronto City Council has a shade policy committee, which is expected to issue a report by summer. The committee has heard from the board of health, which is in favour of increasing shade in "areas where children are most likely to be in attendance."

» The shade policy committee reports that from 2002 to 2004, 238 Toronto residents died from skin cancers. Of these, 186 were attributed to malignant melanoma. Shade, especially in public areas, helps protect people from the harmful ultra violet rays.

» The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that in the summer, about one-third of a home's heat enters through the roof. This ages shingles, blisters paint and robs a house of moisture.

» Some experts say shade can reduce homeowners' air conditioning costs up to 30 per cent.

» Some garden plants thrive in the shadows. Begonias, hosta, lobelia and Japanese anemones like shade.

The sunny side

» City of Toronto planning staff req…