Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Last weekend I went for a joyride through one of Ontario's best cycling areas - Prince Edward County. I covered 86km starting from Prinyer's Cove in the northeast, passing through the towns of Waupoos, South Bay, Milford, and Picton. The roads were very quite--I encountered more cyclists than motorists--and there were many points of interest along what they call they Arts Trail and Taste Trail. Cycling is a great way to discover the lay of the land, and a peaceful and beautiful land it is!
Some of the highlights for me was sampling cider at the County Cider House, wine at Del-Gado's winery, Mariner's museum, Lake on the Mountain conservation area, Black River cheese company, and fresh local strawberries. I hope to go back to discover more of the area!
An excellent cycling map is available from the Bloomfield Cycling Company.
Monday, June 6, 2011
I recently re-discovered my new favourite food--honey! It started with a visit to Pioneer Brand honey at the Hillcrest Mall Farmers Market. There are so many varieties, from buckwheat honey to blueberry honey to creamed honey, and so many ways to use it. And it's a great sugar substitute in recipes.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
With May bringing spring bird migration, blooming flowers, and pleasant temperatures, it's no wonder that nature festivals abound. I took my kids to Our Greener Side Celebration at the Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan on May 28th, and the Mill Pond Splash on May 29th in Richmond Hill.
Highlights from the Mill Pond Splash included seeing some animals up close (including red tailed hawk, kestrel, and great horned owl), mural painting, walking along the pond, and getting a "grow your own butterfly" kit.
At Our Greener Side Celebration (the 3rd annual), my son discovered many creatures in the pond (the volunteers were fantastic!), we attended a Ontario wildlife show by Earth Rangers (see barn owl in photo), the pizza was incredible (local organic ingredients), sat in some electric vehicles, watched some entertaining musicians on stage. There was something for everyone, from crafts from reused materials to expert speakers to tours to a plethora of exhibitors. I hope even more people visit next year.
Nature festivals are a great way to enjoy our natural wonders with family and friends, come together as a community, and learn a thing or two about going greener. Another event coming up is the Carden Nature Festival from June 3 - 5, 2011.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Today was Bike to Work Day in the Greater Toronto Area. Here are some highlights from my bike ride today.
1. New section of Bartley Smith Greenway (between Planchet and Jacob Keefer Pkwy)
2. Bartley-Smith Greenway under Hwy 407
3. Bartley-Smith Greenway, north of Steeles and Dufferin
4. New subway construction at York University
5. Future multi-use trail in Finch Hydro Corridor (coming this summer).
6. Bike to Work celebration by Smart Commute at York University.
7. Collision at Keele/Steeles. Traffic was snarled up for quite a distance.
8. Memorial near Rupert's Pond at Barrhill/Rutherford in Maple
9. New bike lane on Dufferin (though I think 6 lanes for cars is excessive suburban arterial)
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
Alissa Hamilton is author of the book "Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice
Here's what the leading orange juice companies don't tell you:
- they strip the orange juice of oxygen so they can store it in huge tanks for up to a year
- this process also strips the juice of its orange juice flavors, so engineered "flavor packs" are added back to make it taste fresh
- without the flavor packs, which contain chemicals to simulate nature, the juice would taste like sugar water
-More details here:
Sue's Market in Richmond Hill sells 2L of freshly squeezed orange juice for $7.99, which is not much more expensive than the commercial stuff, plus it tastes way better and is better for you. Or, cut up a fresh Florida Valencia orange and awaken your senses to the taste that the major labels can't imitate.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The York University GO Station is in the boonies. It's about a 2km walk from campus. A free shuttle bus makes the trip for the 4 trains in the morning and 4 in the evening.
However, once the subway is extended to York University, the GO train connection will be moved to the new Sheppard West subway station, providing a multimodal link with the north part of the City. York's GO Station days are numbered. And that's a good thing!
Photos: 1) Way too much salt! 2) Station platform 3) new Presto fare card is coming 4) e-waste at the adjacent industrial warehouse
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Guangzhou, one of China’s fastest growing cities, beat out other cities including Tehran, Iran; Lima, Peru; Leon, Mexico; and Nantes France to take this year’s top honors at the ITDP Sustainable Transport Awards.
The committee recognized Guangzhou for its new world-class BRT system that integrates with bike lanes, bike share and metro stations, raising the bar for all cities. Guangzhou’s new BRT attracts 800,000 passengers a day — more than 90% of the existing metro lines in the world.
The Sustainable Transport Award is given annually to the city that made most progress over the year to increase mobility for all residents while reducing transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions and improving safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Intensification can be looked at in two ways. The towers at Jane/Rutherford, near Vaughan Mills in Maple, remind me of the picture on the left. They achieve high density, but are still not pedestrian, transit, or cyclist friendly, and are not a highly desirable place to live. The picture on the right, however, is more to the human scale, has quality asthetics and public realm, and achieves an even higher density than the left. Now if we could only get city planners and developers on board!
[from City of Hamilton Visioning Workshop]
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
At the Sustainable Engineers Association Conference on Jan 15th, I challenged students to provide their big green ideas. What can the Provincial government be doing to be greener?Below are the responses. I've since put them on dotmocracy sheets and asked some of my colleagues if they agree. View the results of voting HERE.
Friday, February 4, 2011
I ate at Hot Yam yesterday. Run by student volunteers at the University of Toronto, it's a mostly local, mostly organic, and entirely vegan lunch for only $4. Not only is it healthy food to nourish you, it tastes amazing. It could just be the best deal in town. Available only on Thursdays from 12-2pm at the International Student Centre (33 St. George St.). Check out some recipes here.