Monthly Archive: December 2013

Christmas wishes

With grateful thanks at Christmas to my faithful readers. I hope that 2014 will bring you good health and good humour.

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The Wynning card

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Christmas card this year bears not your usual photo. Typically, there’s the elected member, a cheerful and long-suffering spouse of the opposite sex, a couple of cherubic kids, and the requisite Golden Lab. In Wynne’s case, this first family is like no other ever seen in Canada. In addition to Wynne’s two daughters, a son, son-in-law and two granddaughters, there’s also her female spouse, Jane Rounthwaite. The two women have been married for eight years. It would have been oh so easy for Wynne to have used instead a portrait of herself or a still from...

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Brothers Plumbing

Some tradespeople are better than others, some charge more than others, and some charge the earth. Brothers Plumbing, 130 Osler St., Toronto, falls into the latter category. I’ve used the firm before so Brothers was my first call recently when I had a running toilet. Marcus replaced the flush valve and flapper. Since he was already at my house, I thought I’d have two other small jobs done at the same time: replacing leaky pop-up plugs in a tub and a sink. Big mistake. Turns out Brothers charges by the job, so I now had inadvertently asked for three jobs....

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The Lambert legacy

Amid the flurry of  skyscrapers rising in Toronto, there are precious few architectural gems. The only eye-catching designs are the L Tower by Daniel Libeskind at the Sony Centre and the Absolute World condominiums – aka Marilyn Monroe – by Yansong Ma in Mississauga. I spent 90 minutes recently rediscovering the Toronto-Dominion Centre and have decided to anoint those six buildings as Toronto’s best design. The trouble with the TD Centre is that’s been around for so long that everyone takes it for granted. It nearly didn’t happen and the fact that it exists at all is due to the vision...

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