Monday, June 30, 2008

A Reel Green Lawn

A great article about Reel Mowers from another blog called GREENR

Time to get in shape for summer! Join a gym? Install a pool? Forget it, just cut the grass! Go green and get exercise at the same time using a manual reel mower this summer.

Actually, new manual reel mowers are not as strenuous to use as they were in the past, so you may want to keep that gym membership. Whatever suits you. What should suit us all, though, is doing the right thing, eco-friendly speaking. And there’s a lot going for manual mowers in this area.

According to Statistics Canada, gas powered lawn devices, including weed trimmers, lawn edgers and leaf blowers, release 80 000 tonnes of pollutants in Canada annually, using 151 million liters of fuel. This may be surprising information to some who wonder what harm could be done with such a little engine. The problem is, standard power mowers burn gasoline and oil, and in a very inefficient manner. Add to this the small amounts of gas and oil spilled during refueling and we’ve got another ecological hazard: ground and surface water contamination.

Many people may chose power mowers out of habit, but the manual reel mower is an old-fashioned machine that could become the way of the future. As mentioned, they are now engineered to be lighter and easier to push than most power operated ones. To make it an even easier job, cut the grass once every week or two, depending on growth, as push mowers work better on shorter grass. And there are no repairs to worry about. Just keep the blade sharp, which will also make for easier cutting.

Another real draw factor is the quiet operation of push mowers. Enjoy a much more relaxing experience cutting the lawn listening to nature’s own sounds instead of having an engine roaring in your ears.

What about the aesthetics of your lawn? There again, manual mowers win. Because they cut like scissors and don’t tear the grass at the roots, they do a better job. In addition, the smaller pieces of cut grass can simply be left on the lawn to breakdown and put nutrients back into the soil, eliminating the need for fertilizers. Overall, manual mowers promote lush, healthy grass and are perfect for lawns less than a half acre in size. If it’s absolutely necessary that you use an alternative, look into rechargeable electric mowers which are more efficient than gas powered, or look for one with low emissions.

In short, reel mowers are pushing their way back into mainstream landscaping for good reason: get the looks you want, the exercise you need, minus the emissions and noise pollution you can do without.

Skating Trail#2: An email to Mark Grimes

I hear the Lakeshore community saying "NO" to skating trails, sex and strip clubs and being a dumping ground for undesirable, questionable projects.

I hear the community saying that they want to be involved in the creation of their community and image. I hear them saying let us repair and improve the recreational offerings that we already have in the Prince of Wales Park and other existing structures. This reflects the spirit of reuse, recycle and refuse that our city is strongly advocating.

I hear the community saying they want to be known as the community with a heart, spirit, neighbourliness, caring, peacefulness and pride. The community want to surround their lives with 'undisturbed' nature, clean streets, inspiring retail venues, town squares in a village atmosphere where there is sufficient commerce to sustain a thriving community. When community members tell someone where they are from, they want them to respond, "Oh, wow, you are so lucky."

I hear a community so full of desire to look and be better that almost every neighbourhood (community) exchange is crackling with ideas on how to paint an improved image.

The desire is strong and the will is strong. Let us create...

Lakeshore, Simply Beautiful


April MacDonell

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Richard Harwood's words were so appropriate and inspiring I had to copy them. It reflects the goal of "The Spirit of Lakeshore".

Building Community Spirit (Excerpt)
Posted at January 17, 2006 05:10 PM in Public Life
by Richard C. Harwood

Community Spirit is not something to be relegated to the margins of our civic lives. Nor is it some theory to be expounded upon in academic papers, or an outcome to be delivered by public relations experts. Instead, community spirit must be both real and authentic. Authentic community spirit is vital because it reflects the true sense of connection people have to one another. It is the belief that there are issues, challenges, and opportunities that can only be met when we act together. It is a desire to know what exists beyond oneself – how others think, what they do, what they need – how we can live and act together.

Bricks and mortar can give us places to eat, meet and play – all vital to a community; but alone they cannot create the spirit that must fill those places in order for there actually to be a functioning community. For that we need citizens and leaders alike to find what gives them the will not just to survive, but to thrive and to take steps together to forge an authentic community spirit.

Residents upset by swingers clubs, Globe and Mail

Revival of dormant licences skirts new rules and brings sex businesses to west end

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
June 25, 2008 at 5:14 AM EDT

Just weeks after residents of a gradually gentrifying west-end neighbourhood protested against the surprise appearance of a strip club on Toronto's Lake Shore Boulevard, they are now aghast that two so-called swingers clubs have recently set up shop nearby.

Mark Grimes persuaded his fellow councillors to pass a motion yesterday ordering city bureaucrats and police to "act on the mechanisms available" to stop the establishment of swingers clubs, some of which advertise "on-premise" sex.

Mr. Grimes's motion also calls for the city manager to "act on the mechanisms available" to stop the reissue of adult entertainment licences that have not been active for years.

It was this situation that sparked residents' anger in the Lake Shore Boulevard West and Islington Avenue areas last month, after a country-and-western bar used a "grandfathered" adult-entertainment licence that dated from the 1990s to reopen as a strip club called Jay Jay's Inn, despite new rules barring new establishments near schools and residential areas.

Mr. Grimes said he was having trouble getting answers from city bureaucrats about what powers the city has to stop owners of dormant strip-club licences from opening for business once again. He also said the city does not appear to know how many so-called "sleeping" strip-club licences exist.

Now, residents are upset about a swingers club almost across the road from the strip club, called Menage a Quatre. Mr. Grimes's motion, passed by council, said the club is meant "to allow swingers to engage in multi-partner sexual acts."

Another club in the area, called HERS Night Club, advertises itself on its website as a venue for customers, who pay $5 to $60 admission, "to get away from the hypocrisy and double standards of the outside world and come live out sexual dreams and desires." (It also says on its site that it is moving to a new location.)

Local resident Scott Waddell, who started a Web petition to fight the strip club, said he moved to the area with his wife and young son last year before these businesses came to light.

"I wouldn't buy a house around the corner from a swingers club, just because I don't want to raise my kids there," Mr. Waddell said.

Swingers clubs that encourage members to participate in group sex acts have been emboldened in recent years by a 2005 Supreme Court of Canada ruling, and others exist elsewhere in the city.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to get rid of STUFF

Our household recently joined the "Freecycle Network" to help us get rid of our precious "stuff". Yesterday we gave our first bundle of freecycle content to someone who really wanted it. It felt really good. Someone is also coming to pick stuff up on Friday. You can offer spare wood, plants, nails, tools, paint, furniture, clothing, kitchen items, magazines, paper, craft supplies, fax machines, computer parts, cables and much more. The idea is to keep as much as possible out of landfill. You can also make requests. Someone on the network is building a shed with free recycled building supplies.

We are also attempting to see if we can launch a neighbourly recycle effort called "Cycle Twice" using this blog. Please let me know if you have anything you would like to part with (for free) and we will happily post it for you.

The benefit of a neighbourhood recycling effort is distance, neighbourliness and environmental stewardship; you may be able to recycle within walking distance and simultaneously meet someone new.

Learn more about the official Freecycle network below:

The Freecycle Network (TM) is open to all who want to "recycle" that special something rather than throw it away. Whether it's a chair, a fax machine, piano or an old door, feel free to post it. Or maybe you're looking to acquire something yourself! Nonprofit groups are also welcome to participate too!

One constraint: everything posted must be free. The Freecycle Network is a nonprofit organization and a movement of people interested in keeping good stuff out of landfills.
Check out for other cities and information!

Click here to join FreecycleTO
Click to join FreecycleTO

Monday, June 23, 2008

Skating Trail--An email to Mark Grimes and Lura Consulting

I thought the outpouring of negative sentiment on the skateboard park in Sam Smith would have been a clear signal but obviously it fell on deaf ears.

I have numerous objections. First and foremost is that the community fought and worked hard to have Sam Smith a naturalized environment. Humber College is a gem in that it integrates with this concept. But there are no shortages of people who have little respect for community needs, urban ‘wildlife’ and most of all democratic principles. Not long ago it was a wind power generator next door and then the skate board park with a concession stand. Now it’s an energy intensive intrusive skating trail promoted as a ‘destination’ by those who have little knowledge of what and how a ‘destination ‘ is created.

Now I wish to point out that the city seems to have to spend my money on this while absolutely neglecting most of the installed recreation facilities it already has. Case in point, the Prince of Wales Park with its winter skating rink and a summer tennis court, both in destitute condition. No funds to revive it? None to keep it open? Rumor has it that the city will be closing this. And for good reason, the tennis court looks like rolling countryside and the nets are an embarrassment. The chain link fence is an eyesore as is the building with the fascia torn off. And the parking lot? Looks like Verdun after an artillery attack – you need 4WD to drive in and out! And it has no lights at all (although the city spent bundles to light a walk way across the park) and without lights anything goes there at night – I guess the city didn’t want to disturb the drug deals and happy hooker curb service that goes on there. And don’t get me started on the lack of management of the work done on 2nd street and the entrance to the park. If this were private industry there would be one black listed contractor and a city project engineer looking for work – both out the door due to blatant incompetence.

So you can pony up with $2M for something we as a community do not want and further neglect our needs. If one wishes to launch a tax payer revolt, this is a good start.

W. R. (Bil) Thuma, Geophysicist

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Opinion about the Skating Trail proposal

Hello Everyone:

Mark Grimes' office and Lura Consulting are collecting comments about the proposed skating trail in our community.

Ensure your voice is heard and counted by emailing:, and/or

For more information on this Skating Trail, please follow this link:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Revitalization Tactics / Planning Meeting

Please join us at the following meetings:

Revitalization Tactics / Planning Meeting

When: Monday June 23rd. 7:00 pm
Where: Lakeshore Store Front Police Station

Please come with ideas you have on how to improve the Lakeshore.

We would like to talk about short term area improvement tatics that we can work on similar to the fantastic online video profiles. Some examples that have been mentioned include:

  • shop local flyers
  • neighborhood wide garage sale
  • neigbourhood bbq or day at the park
  • fundraiser,
  • raise $$ and work with government for a new third street park, and
  • your ideas.
There are a number of things we can do. Working together, we can make a difference.

The purpose of the meeting is to prioritize some of the ideas and start organizing to work on them, building on the momentum from the video's and community meetups. Given that everyone has busy schedules, we are seeing benefits of working in small teams that can co-ordinate their own schedules and then getting back together to discuss what is going on.

Please reply and advise if you will can attend.


Scott Waddell
Adam Hughes