Daily Archives: July 3, 2009

A day in the life of Toronto 2

What I learned about T.O in 24 hours

By Kris Scheuer

Here are two things I was told or observed about this city and Torontonians on July 3. It’s day 12 of the labour disruption and I wrote three stories on the strike impact today for the paper I work for the Town Crier. So much of what influenced my thoughts on this fair city is tied up in the strike.

1. Animals like dumps more than people do. I was at a press conference at Metro Hall today when Geoff Rathbone, head of the city’s garbage department, announced the closing of two temporary dumps at Christie Pits and York Mills Arena. Read more here. But the catch is even though these trash sites are at capacity, the garbage won’t be picked up until after the strike ends. Friends of Christie Pits have been protesting the dump on their street since before it officially opened June 25. Meanwhile the city’s medical officer of health Dr. David McKeown announced today bugs and rodents are going to move in to the trash sites unless officials can continue spraying pesticides when needed. Continue reading


Words of the day

By Kris Scheuer

Words are how I earn a living. That’s because I’ve been a published reporter and journalist for eleven years now. And I am always looking to improve on my writing style by adding new words to my written and oral vocabulary. While I try to focus on words in everyday usage, sometimes I pick words that aren’t practical as regular lingo but draw my attention nonetheless.
Here are my trio of words for the day.

This looks like a fun word  – pugnacious. It’s and adjective that means readily disposed to fight or belligerent. Perhaps you know someone that this describes? Happily, I don’t.
Paramour is a noun meaning a married person’s lover.
And putrescent an adjective meaning becoming putrid as in a state of decomposition. With Toronto in its 12th day of a garbage strike some of the temporary and legal neighbourhood dumps are surely housing bags of putrescent, organic waste.

Strike cancels council meeting

Toronto labour unrest postpones city policy decisions

By Kris Scheuer
Garbage isn’t the only thing piling up during the strike.
Most official city business has come to a halt, including council’s regularly scheduled July 6–7 meeting which was cancelled July 2.
“The typical council meeting often considers over 100 items over a period of day,” stated a press release. “A regular council meeting is normally supported by unionized staff, who provide services to operate the facility.”
Also, non-unionized staff such as senior managers are required to be present to answer questions posed at council, but they are being redeployed to maintain critical services the statement concluded. Continue reading

Bugs and rats could nest at mini-dumps

That’s if temporary trash sites set up during strike aren’t sprayed

By Kris Scheuer
An infestation of rats and bugs could be coming to a neighbourhood near you thanks to the city’s temporary trash sites.
With the strike now finishing its second week, the mounds of garbage are growing and so are concerns for public health as stagnant waste is left to fester in the summer sun.
“Following visits by Toronto Public Health yesterday to several of our temporary garbage drop off sites and in consultation with (medical officer of health) Dr. McKeown, we are amending our spraying protocol,” Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste management services said July 3.
“We will continue to spray daily for odour control, but will implement a more balanced approach for pest control,” he said. “Therefore starting today, we will spray for pest control based on the results of daily, individual site inspections.”
Rathbone said that this could potentially reduce the amount of pest control spraying that’s needed.
To reduce the need for more spraying, he asked residents to double bag any waste tossed at these temporary mini-dumps. Continue reading

Two new Toronto garbage dumps

Sunnybrook Park/Wilket Creek and Centennial Park Arena now open
Christie Pits and York Mills Arena trash sites close

By Kris Scheuer
(July 15 update, 26 trash sites with seven now closed)

The city will close two temporary neighbourhood dumps sites that are filled to the brim and open a pair of fresh ones.
By 7 p.m. today, the trash site at York Mills Arena was at capacity and will be shut down. By Sunday July 5, the temporary dump at
Christie Pits will be full, announced Geoff Rathbone, general manager of the city’s solid waste management services. 
As a result, the city is opening an additional two locations starting immediately on day 12 of the Toronto strike. 
“We are announcing today the opening of two new temporary garbage drop-off sites commencing at 3 p.m. today,” said Rathbone. “One is Centennial Park Arena … and the other is at Wilket Creek/Sunnybrook Park.”  Continue reading

Toronto strike impacts legal services

Got a question about city services? Call a lawyer
City staff juggle jobs to keep civic business moving

By Kris Scheuer
Some lawyers must be scratching their heads that after three years of law school they have ended up working in a call centre.
Because of the ongoing strike, many of the city’s legal beagles have been posted elsewhere.
“Some lawyers are redeployed to Access Toronto (the city’s information service hotline) for answering inquiries from residents,” said John Paton, director of land use planning for the city. “Some of the lawyers are redeployed to provincial offences court because the regular prosecutors are paralegals and they are on strike. 
“So to keep those (cases) going, there has to be a redeployment for them.”
And some lawyers from his team are doing picket line monitoring. 
“They are there to ensure the rights of picketers are respected but also the rights of residents are respected to access city facilities.” Continue reading

Words of the day

By Kris Scheuer

As a Toronto professional reporter and journalist, I am always trying to vary my written vocabulary. I am referring to words that sound great, but also have everyday meaning in society and aren’t too removed from how we speak.
Here are my three words for the day:

A new word for me today is inamorata meaning a person with whom one is in love, a lover from Latin amore or amor.

A fun word that I like is loquacious an adjective meaning a tendency to talk a lot. I first remember coming across this word in a headline “Why Lord Black is loquacious no more ” by Ian Brown describing how former Canadian media baron Conrad Black was not too talkative during his trial.

A commonly misspelled word is affidavit (not how it sounds affidavid) a legal term meaning a declaration in writing made upon an oath that something true.

I have several good vocabulary, spelling and grammar books but one of my favourites is Build Your Power Vocabulary published by Random House, that I bought in the city about two years ago.