In 2010 we want…Toronto

More Tree planting, Less Fast food packaging C'mon,.

More Tree planting, Less Fast food packaging

C’mon, city – make a bylaw outlawing the fast food packaging that clutters our streets and clogs our trash system. And bring on the trees, please. We want a forest of them on our streets in mega-planters, not tiny, root-cramping pots.


More Bird-watching, Less Twitter

The growing obsession with the stream of consciousness of 140-character tweets can be useful, but it can also tear your mind apart. Try real-world tweets, for a change. You’ll probably help fight that nearsightedness you’re coming down with, too. #wastingyourlife #tryleavingthehousetoday.


More Credit unions, Less RBC

We’ve had it with the Big Five money houses that control our economy, tighten the money system and sprinkle cash on bad causes all over the world. Wanna help vote on bank policy and score one for socially responsible investments? Head for a credit union.


More Waterfront green, Less Porter Airlines pumping

Now that the airline that leaves our waterfront dreams in a trail of engine dust has bought good PR from the dailies with ad bucks, we’re stuck with what we don’t want. We have to make sure there are no new links, tunnels or expansions.


More Community wall murals, Less Senseless tagging

The splashes of shape and colour on dull city walls tell us we live in a city that aims to tickle the senses and enliven the mind. Nothing sophisto about those who insist that their tagging scrawl is part of urban cool this isn’t art, it’s the badge of narcissism.


More Free museum days, Less Architectural madness

Toronto museums seem to hit us with fee hikes every time our cultural custodians incur cost overruns in their bombastic attempts – be it crystals or glass whales – to catch the world’s eye. They should be more concerned about providing free access to our wonderful collections.


More Glenn De Baeremaeker, Less Rob Ford

They’re both from the burbs. But one’s lovable and New Agey with out-there ideas. The other’s a buffoon obsessed with the bottom line. Guess which one council needs more of?

More Free TV, Less Oligopoly in your pocket

A simple antenna connected to a modern TV or affordable digital tuner box and you’re watching anywhere from 10 to 20 free stations in glorious HD. As we get closer to the all-digital broadcasting regs, it’s only going to get better for the smart folks who’ve been pointing antennas at the CN Tower and saving bundles every month.

More Bike lanes, Less Street furniture

The city’s so far behind on its promised bike lane network that sharrows are being painted hither and yon to give the illusion of progress. The sidewalks that cyclists sometimes retreat to for safety, meanwhile, are becoming more clogged with encumbering furniture. Here’s for steering a clearer course.


More Human-scale shopping malls, Less Boring big-boxification

Sure, we need retail destinations, but unfriendly mega-frame warehouse shopping that detaches us from humanity is simply bleak. The good news is that some builders are creating sane shopping options, like the Shops at Don Mills (pictured), which offer hope for scaled-down suburban plazas.

More Public transit, Less Ubiquitous advertising

Those giant ads wrapped around our streetcars and covering the walls of subway stations are turning the public transit experience into one big, bad, senseless commercial. The TTC has supposedly set limits on the ad creep, but there seems no end to visual distraction in these cash-strapped days. Time for the TTC to stop the whitewash.

More Inter-species loyalty to our forest friends, Less Terrorizing coyotes and tasering deer

Toronto still can’t grasp that the wilds are with us – witness the hysteria over a lurking coyote in the Beach and the panicked response to a lost and frightened deer. It may be an urban jungle out there, folks, but we’re still part of the web of life. Time to play nice with the other animals.

More Recycling, Less Plastic crap in the compost

What’s with this toxic stew we’re creating in our so-called green boxes out of lettuce leaves and disposable diapers? Why can’t we produce a compost that makes our tomato plants yummy instead of noxious?


More Heritage preservation, Less Facadism

Heritage is more than piggybacking a 30-storey condo on one sad wall of an old church. It’s more than gutting all but a few bricks of an old home to circumvent heritage regs and erect a townhouse strip. Would you allow someone to update the Mona Lisa’s smile by painting around it? Photo: Paul Terefenko

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