Tuesday, September 2, 2014Light Rain Shower 24°C
Sports & Play

Where to play outdoor ping pong in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 2, 2014

outdoor ping pong torontoConcrete ping pong tables are rapidly invading Toronto's parks, and it's all thanks to Dianne Moore, an energetic enthusiast from the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill who believes everyone in the city should have access to the game. Starting last summer in Mel Lastman Square, Moore has worked with advocacy group Park People and city councillors to have 21 precast concrete tables (and counting) installed in public parks and squares across the city.

The inspiration came from Moore's childhood. She used to play with her father on a daily basis. "I moved from Windsor to Toronto, and when I moved here I was reading in the paper about how expensive sports are for kids," she says. "And I'm thinking, 'you know what, ping pong does not cost a lot.'"

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New TTC streetcars hit the road on Spadina

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 31, 2014

toronto new streetcarFor the first time in 35 years, a new generation of streetcar is on the road in Toronto. Following years of design and construction and months of conspicuous road testing, two of the 204 new cars entered service on the 510 Spadina route this morning.

Several hundred people turned out for the occasion, some of whom had been waiting more than three hours. "I was here at 7:00, I came out to be the first one," said Adam Weston, who was third in the line-up of about 100 people. "It's fun. I call myself Mr. First. I do a lot of things first."

Metallica's Enter Sandman thumped over the loudspeaker as the first streetcar, number 4403, broke through a banner strung across the track at Spadina station. The song "seemed right," said TTC spokesman Brad Ross.

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A loner's guide to the 5 least used TTC subway stations

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 30, 2014

toronto subwayFinding peace and quiet on the Toronto subway is a difficult task--and that's a good thing. Without people to crowd its platforms, pack its streetcars and stuff its buses, the TTC wouldn't exist, at least not as we know and (mostly) love it today.

There are, however, places on the subway and Scarborough RT where riders are more likely to find themselves alone, or at least part of a very small crowd. (In fact, there's one stop in particular where passengers are almost certain to be alone, save for the fare booth attendant, outside of rush hour.)

Here's a loner's guide to the quietest stations on the TTC.

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How much crime is there on the TTC?

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 29, 2014

TTC crimeThe Toronto Transit Commission might be "The Better Way," but is it the safer way? TTC property is fitted with numerous safety features--CCTV, security mirrors, public telephones, intercoms, and designated waiting areas--and the new streetcars, which begin rolling out this weekend, will come with the same yellow Passenger Assistance Alarms found on the subway. Despite the security, crime still occurs, but how safe is the TTC compared to other transit systems?

The TTC keeps a record of offences against customers and staff--assaults, thefts, sexual assaults that involved police attention--and publishes the numbers in the monthly CEO's report. Over the last 12 months, there were 413 recorded offences against customers and 398 against TTC staff, a total of 811 incidents in roughly 528 million trips. The odds of experiencing a crime on the TTC were about 667,000 to 1.

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News Flash

Road closures in Toronto: August 30-September 1

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 28, 2014

toronto road closuresRoad closures in Toronto for the long weekend of August 30, 31, and September 1 rounds up the key transportation shut-downs affecting the city, including street and TTC closures.

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The top 5 unsolved mysteries in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 27, 2014

toronto mysteriesWriting about the history of Toronto occasionally produces an unexpected tidbit so tantalizing it's difficult to let go. Stories of hastily abandoned secret tunnels, tragic unsolved murders, a lost prototype of a failed ocean liner, and even a vanished safe have all made headlines in this city in the last 200 years, some of them finding their way into stories on this site. The others have languished in a folder on my computer awaiting a chance to be retold.

Here are five of Toronto's strangest and most enduring unsolved mysteries.

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