U of T responds to back campus furor
Regarding the University of Toronto's plans to upgrade the back campus playing fields with synthetic turf (NOW, May 30-June 5). This project will greatly improve playing time, quality of play and player safety for all levels of sport and recreation at U of T - all while preserving the site's primary cultural heritage as a venue for pursuing physical activity.
Opponents of the project claim that turfing the back campus will kill trees, increase the use of biocides, cut off access for all sports other than field hockey, degrade the archaeological value of the site and negatively impact its heritage. None of these claims are true.
The back campus will continue to be an open, accessible space for a wide range of intercollegiate, intramural and recreational sports and physical activities. No trees will be cut down to make this project happen. There will be no permanent stands, inflatable domes or taller fencing that will impact the wonderful view of the historic buildings and trees that surround the site.
Natural grass is no longer sustainable for round-the-clock sports. The 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games have presented us with the opportunity to upgrade the back campus fields. Long after the Games are over, the new fields will significantly enhance sport and physical activity at U of T and within the downtown area.
Professor Bruce Kidd
Warden, Hart House
University of Toronto
Dean Ira Jacobs
Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
University of Toronto
View from opposite side of the field
Paul L. Aird's article on why U of T can't see the forest for the field was excellent.
I am astonished at the university's and Infrastructure Ontario's lack of transparency in pushing an artificial field hockey pitch for the Pan Am Games to replace one of the last green multi-use spaces in the downtown core.
The students, faculty, staff and community will no longer be able to experience this beautiful grassy space at all hours of the day and night.
Instead, they will walk by beautiful heritage buildings while reading signs saying: Keep off the artificial turf.
YTZ's CO2 numbers sky high
According to Adria Vasil's Island Airport column (NOW, May 30-June 5), the venerable airfield's opponents say current planes create 2,865 kilograms of CO2 for every T.O.-to-Ottawa flight. How do they explain the production of such a vast amount of carbon dioxide from the approximately 1,000 kgs of fuel that a Q400 burns on that route?
Whatever the real figure is, the gas is spread throughout the flight, not all dumped at YTZ. Has a study ever been done on the amount of CO2 produced all day and every day by motor traffic in downtown Toronto, and how much more will be added by the occupants of the thousands of new condo units that are constantly being constructed so close to the airport?
Smog on Island Airport promo
Was that smog in the background of the full-page Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport advertisement on page 23 of your last issue (NOW, May 30- June 5)?
Lesser Blessed: a less cynical take
In the past, NOW's excellent movie reviews were a favourite part of my reading experience.
Recently, several of your reviewers have taken the overall tone of self-important wannabe filmmakers making cynical put-downs of good work.
God knows there's enough dreck out there to justify the occasional razzing when appropriate. However, Norman Wilner's review of the excellent The Lesser Blessed (NOW, May 30-June 5) deserves to be pissed on.
The Lesser Blessed should establish itself as one more award-winning triumph by Canadian artists and filmmakers, proving without a doubt that, yes, it is possible to create movies that matter for less than the cost of $200 million Hollywood blockbusters.
Derek Stephen McPhail
Outlaw Film Production
Ticketmaster hooks concertgoers
A bigger exposé than John Semley's is needed when discussing the ticket scalping world (NOW, May 23-29).
Ticketmaster is the one robbing fans when it comes to tickets for concerts and sporting events.
It diverts probably 40 to 60 per cent of all tickets and 90 per cent of the best seats to reselling websites like its own Ticketsnow and eBay's Stubhub. Artists themselves resell 10 to 30 per cent of the best seats, leaving fans empty-handed or with the worst possible seats.
Ticketmaster's greed has gotten monumental. Try buying Justin Bieber tickets for your niece: with over 35,000 seats for July 2's ACC concerts, there were hardly a pair available within three seconds. Why?
Is Rob Ford angling for Senate seat?
Re Is Rob Ford's Mayoralty Up In Smoke, by Enzo DiMatteo (NOW, May 23-29).
Like some other media outlets (e.g., the National Post), I too thought Rob Ford was serious when he pledged during the election that his most egregious gaffes were behind him.
Imagine my surprise, then, when the cellphone video controversy was heralded as unprecedented, on the basis that he has never had any known association with crack.
With less than weighty evidence, it may amount to a bum rap. Yet I am not sure whether our mayor is trying to outrun this controversy or take it sitting down. But if a grainy cellphone video truly is the first time Rob Ford is depicted in a crack-related scene, then I wonder who the guy in the old campaign poster is. A future Senator, perhaps?
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