The Sweat is Pouring off of us


Hot and humid today. The sort of heat that makes working at the computer a real chore. Instead, I stayed downstairs and did laundry. And I went out to Krispy Kreme to write. The only problem is, I can't go back onto the computer to transfer what I wrote in longhand onto my machine... at least until the temperature cools down.

The hot weather looks like it's going to stay with us until Sunday, but there are signs of thunderstorms tomorrow, so we're at least going to get some interesting skies out of this heatwave.

Congratulations to the organizers of Vancouver/Whistler for successfully landing the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Really, it couldn't have happened to a better city, and it will be good to have the games back in Canada after 22 years.

The victory is a little bittersweet, since it means that Toronto no longer has a realistic hope for the games before 2024 and I did want the city to have a go at landing the summer games of 2012. But, in a way, Vancouver's victory may be good for Toronto. The city, for too long, has pinned too many of its hopes on an Olympic Games. First there was 1996 and then all of the benefits 2008 was supposed to bring. A lot of energy was spent on something we had no guarantee of getting, and which vanished in a puff of smoke.

Now, we aren't going to get a games by 2020, and we can plan around that. We now know that we can't count on an Olympic Games to make our city great in time for the next decade, we can only count on ourselves. It's our own hard work, our own attention to detail, and our own political will that will allow the city to face its coming challenges, not a miraculous outside intervention.

This article from the Globe and Mail was an interesting echo of The Young City. Garrison Creek was the other downtown river that Toronto buried. At one point capable of taking boats from Lake Ontario all the way up to Christie Pits, the city put it underground, and left a giant ravine behind... until the 1960s, when the city filled in the trench with fill from the Bloor-Danforth subway.

Well, just as Taddle Creek pops up in unexpected ways, it looks like a ghost of Garrison Creek might resurface. The Crawford Street bridge over the Garrison, an architectural delight, was never removed. They just filled in the ground beneath it and around it. But now the bridge is in desperate need of repair, and an opportunity has opened to bring this delightful piece of history to the surface... maybe.

Isn't it amazing the sorts of things that get lost or hidden as our cities grow and change? I'm also fascinated by the remnants of the old concession roads that you can still detect on the map, long after the road network has been altered to make these old roads obsolete. I suspect I'd really enjoy visiting ghost towns.

I have a renaming to report. Aldous Magnait, the main villain of The Young City, is no more. His name was always something temporary, until I could find something that was as alarming, but more realistic. And I found it. Aldous Magnait is dead; long live Aldous Birge.

I can at least claim that Birge was a real name. While visiting the Palette Lakeshore Park in Burlington, I learned the history of this fantastic 30's manorhouse by the lake. You see, the daughter of Hamilton industrialist Cyrus Birge...

And as soon as I read the name, I stopped. Cyrus Birge. With a name like that, he he had to be an industrialist. Nobody could have a name like that and not have holdings in steelmills straight out of a Dickens novel. The poor fellow was probably marked for life...

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