Remembrance Day November 11 2010

Morning Brew: Remembrance Day plea, female City Councillors, Meat is Murder, a 47 story condo tower gets approval and strip malls might be ugly but they have heart

Dr. Minako Uchino, a physician with a passion for music, will pound out her Remembrance Day plea on the carillon in Soldiers' Tower at the University of Toronto. The tower is a memorial to 628 university members lost to the First World War, and 557 more killed in the Second, when Canada and Japan fought as enemies. "I am originally from the country of the enemy at that time, yet Canadian people accept me to play the carillon," Dr. Uchino says. In filling silence with music, Dr. Uchino hopes to continue the healing. "I hope the people are thinking about what we should do in the future," she said, "by learning about the past." That is definitely something for us all to think about today at 11:11 a.m.

Speaking of kick-ass females, there's a new wave of women in Toronto's City Hall which is helping shrink the gender gap in municipal politics. Fifteen women have been elected to the next term of office, 50% more than the previous council, and fully one third of the new one, which is a record. Wow, one third. Just think in the next 100 years, it could actually be five eighths. Nah. Too crazy.

Dangerous Dan's is living up to its name by launching an ad campaign calculated to cause offence. Their campaign includes posters of their massive sandwiches with such lines as "Meat is Murder. Tasty, tasty murder." I'd be offended but I'm eating a burger right now and it's so tasty.

A 47-story condo tower that the city opposed will rise after all in the heart of the theatre district, located next to the Royal Alexandra Theatre. City staff voiced strong opposition to a height they believed overwhelmed the street and could jeopardize heritage buildings on the block, but Councillor Adam Vaughan aims to use heritage conservation 'powers' to rein in the soaring structures that are sprouting up in the area. I wonder what else these "powers" can do. Leap tall buildings? Cure the TTC woes?

Strip malls are ugly, but they have heart. They represent the ideals of Main Street better than the downtown Toronto neighbourhoods. They are run on dreams, entrepreneurship, and a uniqueness you can't find in the Eaton Centre. And if you still don't think that's cool, just think if it weren't for the strip mall, there would be no Kensington Market.


Writing by Brianne Hogan. Photo by Swilton in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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