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End of the Line for Free Parking

Posted by Andrew Nguyen / August 28, 2008

End of the Line for Free ParkingThe free ride is over. Last night, the TTC voted to end complimentary parking for Metropass users, at the TTC's 16 commuter lots across the city.

Problems with the existing parking arrangement do exist. The popularity of the Metropass over tickets and tokens has led riders to take advantage of the free parking incentive. Surprisingly, Metropass holders occupy a whopping 80% of the available 14,000 spaces meant for commuters - yet these riders only account for one percent of all TTC's annual ridership. Commuter parking lots simply don't have enough space to accommodate the sheer number of people who choose to park their car and hop on the Red Rocket.

"We want people out of their cars and using public transit," noted TTC Chair Adam Giambrone. But will charging commuters for parking help achieve this goal? With the change, the TTC believes that although some commuters will be behind the wheel, twice as many people will benefit from the revenue generated, which will increase investment in buses across the city by $3-million per year.

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A Look Back at Fan Expo Canada 2008

Posted by Andrew Nguyen / August 24, 2008

Fan Expo 2008This past weekend the 14th annual Fan Expo Canada took over the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The Expo for comics, anime, horror and science fiction, the show showcases over 600 exhibitors covering 220,000 square feet.

Since its start in 1995, when Roy Thompson Hall was filled with a meager 1400 people, the Fan Expo has grown exponentially in size to become the third largest North American convention of its kind, trailing only the San Diego Comic Con and Wizard World Chicago.

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The New Red Rocket

Posted by Andrew Nguyen / August 18, 2008

The New Red RocketUnlike New York and London that have woven intricate subway systems through the heart of their cities, Toronto's transit system is still relatively young and has a lot of growing to do. Having a strong and speedy transit system is an important part of creating a better Toronto, which is less reliant on the car and more focused around public transportation.

Currently, more than 200 of our subways are over 30 years old: tattered, worn and in need of replacing. But with the extension of the Yonge-Spadina line to Vaughan and the introduction of the city's new Red Rocket, at a cost of a $499-million, the TTC is taking great strides in providing public transit to an average of 1.5 million daily commuters.

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The Night the Lights Went Out

Posted by Andrew Nguyen / August 15, 2008

The Night the Lights Went OutIt's hard to imagine that five years ago the city was swallowed by darkness when the blackout crippled Toronto. It stopped traffic lights, stalled elevators and thousands of people frantically tried to find a way to get home -- no one saw it coming.

Where were you when the blackout hit?

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Books & Lit

Pride 2008: Proud Voices

Posted by Andrew Nguyen / June 30, 2008

Pride Week: Proud VoicesPride Week often makes me think of everything from the somewhat clichéd rainbow-coloured flags, to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, to guys so ripped they make me question my own sexuality. The literary event Proud Voices, in partnership with Word on the Street, was a great way to experience the best of both worlds.You haven't heard storytelling until you've heard it like this - with colour and a contemporary twist.

Hosted by Toronto Poetry Slam veteran Arianna Pozzuoli, there was a stellar line-up of Toronto's literary scene, coupled with crowd-favourites such as Yukon golden child Ivan E. Coyote as well as Christina Starr, activist and queer parent who took us on an adventure through topics covering gender, femininity and fairytales.

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Fashion & Style

Eco-Bag, Eco-Life

Posted by Andrew Nguyen / June 30, 2008

Eco-Bag, Eco-LifeOntarians use 2.5 billion plastic grocery bags a year and while the sheer amount of plastic bags that end up in landfills is grotesque, it seems like consumers are finally getting the message.

The Keep Six Contemporary Gallery and Project Space is currently hosting their Eco-Bag, Eco-Life exhibit and I have to admit that while I myself own a variety of eco-friendly cloth bags, they spend more time collecting dust than they do slung over my shoulder. But does a greener lifestyle really begin with being diligent about the use of an eco-friendly bag?

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