We finally went back to the library this weekend. It’s been a while to be honest. We used to go a lot when Kahzmir was much younger and when I still used to watch movies on my DVD player.
I used to spend lots of time at the library. In middle school I would go early to JB Tyrell and hang in the library. In high school I used to go to Fairview Public Library on the weekends. Yes, it was a place to do my homework. But it was also a place to socialize with my friends. In university I would travel over an hour to go to York University on the weekend. Yes, to do homework. Which I could have done at home. But also to hang with my friends.
Libraries are more than just a place that collects books. It’s a community hub.
The timing was right to get back to visiting our local library. We’re reading less. Yet, we know how important reading is. Both as entertainment and for learning. And Toronto’s libraries offer some really cool programming for kids and adults.
This weekend we visited Cedarbrae Library in Scarborough. Every weekend we’re going to try and visit a different library in Toronto.
Here are the books I took out:
If you have a book you’d like to recommend to me, please let me know in the comments section.
Yesterday was the 25th birthday of The Barenaked Ladies’ first studio album, Gordon. Formed in 1988, a few years prior to the release of Gordon, The Barenaked Ladies formed in Scarborough with Ed Robertson, Steven Page, Andy Creeggan, Jim Creeggan, and Tyler Stewart.
In 1991, thanks to the massive success of the band’s independently released cassette The Yellow Tape, Barenaked Ladies won the “Discovery To Disc” contest hosted by a Toronto radio station. The Canadian quintet used the prize money to record Gordon with producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda. Following its release on July 28, 1992, the Diamond certified album topped the Canadian charts for eight weeks. (AMAZON)
Recently, I was invited to speak at Toronto’s popular DevTO meetup. Here is what I shared on that special evening:
Stories from inside Girth Radio. I delve into some of the do’s and dont’s on how to be successful on the Podcast circuit!
“After being one of Toronto’s pioneers in podcasting in 2010 with SMS (aka Social Media show), Karim Kanji is back with his newest show. Welcome! features conversations with innovators, thought leaders, politicians, media personalities, entrepreneurs, and some of the most interesting people from around the world.”
If you live in Toronto you know by now that Underpass Park was created in 2012 under a highway overpass at Eastern Avenue just west of the Don Valley Parkway. The park features basketball nets, a playground, and a skateboard park.
There is also a massive graffiti installation that will stop you in your tracks. If you’re not in a hurry.
Yes, it’s true. And it’s in Scarborough inside the parking lot of Bridlewood Mall.
I was reminded of these recentphotos I took after I read this weekend’s Toronto Star article on Toronto’s disappearing malls. Bridlewood (the mall of my childhood from Grade 6 until I got married) and Parkway Mall (my current neighbourhood mall) both seem to be thriving/surviving.
The cemetery outside Bridlewood Mall in the parking lot is unique. Captain Obvious.
You’ve by now heard about the phenomenon known as Escape Rooms. Well, I finally went to my first escape room experience in Toronto on Friday night. And it was amazing!
Escape Station is located 2252 Queen Street East near Victoria Park in the Beaches area of Toronto. It features four distinct rooms each with a different level of difficulty. Knowing that there was going to be 5 people much smarter than me I thought I’d go ahead and book the toughest room. A level five room with a success rate of a measly 3%!
The goal was to stop an alien attack on Toronto by shutting down the power source of the alien space ship.
How did we do? We were probably 10-15 away from accomplishing the mission.
Who am I kidding?! Without the 4 timely clues given to us we probably would not have accomplished even half of the tasks. But a fun time was had by all of us.
While living in Basingstoke, England, my brother, Aneez would rave about this community initiative that was all the rage called parkrun. He described it as a weekly 5km fun run that takes place in local parks. It’s not a race but more of a community gathering centered around running.
After weeks (probably months) of work Aneez announced that parkrun was now coming to Whitby (where Aneez now lives).
Today the little independent Toronto-based charity that my wife, Minaz, works for officially goes national. In Calgary, Park People is currently hosting the Heart Of The City Conference (Shaping The Future Of City Parks In Canada). I describe Park People as an organization that works with local neighbourhoods and helps the people there to animate and use their parks in an inclusive way.
Why are these two events important? Well, to me it’s obvious. Parks are public spaces. Like libraries and community centres. They are places for friends and family to gather and enjoy. For parents and kids to enjoy a summer afternoon in. For kids to hangout and play tag in. For picnics and parties. For independent arts and bazaar sales. For Scout meetings and community-built outdoor ice rinks. For running and parkour. Parks are the places where we can find the heartbeat of a community and neighbourhood. They are worth building, cleaning, animating, using and growing. Neighbourhoods without parks are not neighbourhoods.
Congrats to Minaz, Aneez, parkrun Canada and Park People!