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New year, new Throwback Thursday!

Volunteer Eric Morse looks back to January 1978.

Seven News was an activist and outspoken newspaper in the middle years of social activism in downtown Toronto. The lead for the first issue of 1978: “Canada Works: Crumbs for the Lucky Few”, with three satellite stories, all by Tom Corbett, was a lament on the scarcity of Canada Works grants for the federal constituency (then known as Rosedale).

One hundred thousand dollars had been allocated to two community-service groups based at the then-as-now socially and economically challenged area around Sherbourne and Dundas, plus a youth employment service operated by Dixon Hall, and the Regent Park Community Improvement Association. As the paper went to press, the editorial mood was presumably lightened by the announcement of a further $94,000 in grants, which included two paid jobs at Seven News.

Far darker news was found on Page Two. In 1978, Toronto (and Ontario) were far from being a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community, and there was a major editorial on a police raid and document seizure at on The Body Politic (1971 to 1987) instigated, as the editorial contends, by the Toronto Sun. The Body Politic was charged with obscenity. The article is reproduced here in full because it was an important moment in the battle for human rights in Toronto.

Back on Page One, a far more heartwarming story about a pre-Christmas carolling endeavour at Anniversary Park by the Cabbagetown BIA and Sprucecourt Public School. Weird weather and Local Characters we have with us always. But remember when you had to staple flyers onto telephone poles to get the word out about your events?

The brand-new Young People’s Theatre (YPT) had one of its first productions. Following up a story in an earlier issue, News Briefs notes that Toronto Dance Theatre has received municipal approval to take over St. Enoch’s Church at Winchester and Metcalfe (2010 photo from the Eric Morse Archive).

As the years went by, of course, the theatre did gain community acceptance as a performance space, and, among other activities, was the long-time home of the Cabbagetown Film Festival.

The tenants of the Ontario Housing Corporation (TCHC’s predecessor) housing units in Regent Park were mad as hell over undue bureaucracy in unit transfers and unjustified evictions and they weren’t going to take it any more. The area supervisor’s office was duly occupied. A side story noted that the washing machines weren’t working either. “Hamsters” had an appropriate comment.

And where would we be without fresh poop on the Ongoing Saga of John Sewell’s Dogs?? This is the kind of scoop that the major dailies just don’t stoop to.

The full stories introduced above are available at http://www.connexions.org/SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume08-Number16.pdf . The PDF archive is a remarkable achievement by Connexions, a collective dedicated to preserving social activism, of which 7 News is surely a shining example.

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How to face a “break and enter”

Des Ryan, a retired police officer, a CRA board director and our volunteer Safety and Security lead.

We know what to do in the event we find our home (or business) broken into, but what do we do in the moment? That moment when we arrive and find that the door has been kicked in, or a window has been smashed? Of course, you’re going to call the police, but what do you actually do before that?

Breathe. Yes, take a deep breath. Maybe two. And then step away. Go back to the sidewalk or the elevator or wherever it was you came from. And then call the police. 9-1- 1. This is the real deal.

The call-taker will ask you a lot of questions, some of which you will be able to answer, some of which you won’t. Don’t worry about that. Answer what you can and don’t feel foolish for not knowing everything about everything. For example, you can’t possibly know what was stolen at this time. It is also unlikely that you will know if the intruder is still in the house or office.

And this is the important part: Unless you are absolutely sure that no one is in your home or office, do not go in. Yes, you may have left this morning at 10 a.m. and it is now midnight, but the intruder may have just arrived at your home. The intruder(s) likely have little to no interest in confronting anyone. One might even say that the type of individual who engages in B&Es prefers to work unsupervised. Should you arrive while the break-in is in progress, your risk of getting injured is fairly high because the intruder(s) have been startled and, let’s face it—very few of us behave well when we’ve been caught out.

Instead, wait outside or at a neighbour’s or a nearby shop until police arrive. Let the officers ensure your home or office is safe to enter. Whatever has been stolen or damaged is already gone. There is no point involving yourself in a confrontation with someone who may have nothing to lose.

Warning: In Toronto in our present time, it may take an hour or longer for officers to respond. If, after an hour or so, no one has arrived, call again. The call-taker will be able to tell you why there is a delay and how much longer it will likely be before anyone is available to respond. At some point, it is reasonable to assume your home or business is safe to enter: that’s a decision for you to make but do not make that initial call to the police from inside what is now the crime scene.

When the police arrive, you will be asked many questions, most of which will be straightforward. Please provide as much information as you can. Is there any reason someone may have entered the space without your knowledge? Tell the police. A former partner may still have a key and have come by to retrieve a forgotten item. As well, landlords who are owed rent have been known to “reclaim” a space.

You will be given a number to call to provide a detailed list of your property that will then be added to the initial report. If nothing was taken, this is still a Break & Enter.

Be sure to get the General Occurrence Number from the attending officers before they leave. You will need this number to update the occurrence and for any insurance claim(s) you may make.

The officers may advise that a Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO) will attend to take prints. Or not.

Remember: this is not TV. Not all surfaces are suitable to be printed. And not all prints correspond to anything on file, which is to say: the person(s) who broke into your place may never have been printed by police before (everyone starts somewhere), so their prints are not stored anywhere to be matched with the prints the SOCO may be able to lift from your coffee table or bathroom mirror.

It may be an hour or longer after the initial officers have left before the SOCO arrives. The
original officers will likely be able to tell you the area where the SOCO will be focusing their attention, such that, in the event of a lengthy delay, you can cordon off that area and carry on until whatever requires printing and/or photographing is done.

Finally, know that there is something off-putting about having one’s personal space invaded. You may find yourself being a bit hyper-vigilant for the week or so after the B&E,  double/triple/quadruple-checking that you have locked the door and/or maybe finding yourself a bit on edge. All of that is more than reasonable.

If, after a few days, however, you find yourself unable to sleep or obsessing about your home security (or your friends/family find you obsessing), don’t hesitate to seek professional counselling. At the end of the day, as common as Break & Enters may be for the rest of the world, it is likely uncommon for you. Get the support you need, whether it’s from a family member, a friend, a colleague, or a professional.

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Community meeting on Riverdale Park West wading pool on Jan. 15

The city is planning to refurbish the wading pool at the south end of Riverdale Park West and wants community feedback on plans. 

Councillor Lucy Troisi and city staff will be running a community consultation for residents on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club, 101 Spruce Street, Toronto.

Check out all the details on the: FLYER Riverdale Park West Wading Pool.

Posted in Local Interest, Politics
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And the Holiday Lights Contest 2017 winners are …

It was a tight race to the finish, but we have our winners for 2017!

First place, below, with 300 votes is Spruce 1: Paul and Thea Sywulych.

Second place, below, with 246 votes is Amelia 3: Richard Latch.

Third place, below, with 70 votes is Sackville/Spruce 1: Michael Smith.

Volunteer event organizer and CRA board director Tyler Fleming says “we had great participation: almost double the number of votes vs last year (808 vs 423 on the online voting site), and lots of positive feedback. All the photos really showed Cabbagetown well.”

So get out there and enjoy an evening walk to see all the winners! These three yards are now marked with Holiday Lights winner signs.

Posted in Local Interest
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Throwback Thursdays: December 17, 1977

In our last Throwback Thursday for 2017, volunteer Eric Morse looks back four decades to 1977 as captured in the 7 News, a local newspaper covering the happenings of what was then Ward 7, including Cabbagetown.

 Looking back at a neighbourhood paper from exactly 40 years ago, it is occasionally surprising what catches the eye deep inside, while front page stories may be a little less stimulating.

This issue of 7 News marks the first mention of a Cabbagetown cultural institution, as it was announced that the Toronto Dance Theatre would be taking over the former Donvale Community Centre, which had formerly been St Enoch’s Church, at Winchester and Metcalfe. The usual concerns about parking and noise were expressed, though apparently everyone was happy with TDT’s assurances that the facility would be mainly a workshop with small performances a few times a year. Aldermen Jane Howard and John Sewell
undertook to steer the plans through Council. The facility was expected to be operational by July 1978. We will have to wait to see how that came out!

“If I describe the Club and its facilities as a mess, then I’m being kind,” writes correspondent Bryan Lunt. Olympian Shawn O’Sullivan now lives in the Belleville area and, sadly, suffers from boxers’s dementia, but Cabbagetown remembers him as the first Olympian (1984 Summer, Los Angeles) of the Cabbagetown Boxing and Youth Centre, housed then as now at 2 Lancaster Ave. All that was still in the future in December 1977. It was another year or so before O’Sullivan came to CBYC and hooked up with trainer Peter Wylie, who managed the Club with his brother John, and another four years before he
won the world amateur gold medal. But CYBC was in 7 News as a fixture of the community with 450 members from all backgrounds, and in financial difficulties. In a lengthy piece, partly reproduced here, Lunt calls for the community to rally around and fight for City support for the Club.

The Page One lead was sombre. The City had received a report from City Planning Board head Don Barker on homelessness, which was then still called “Skid Row” without a blush. The report guesstimated 8,000-10,000 homeless in Toronto but community worker Harvey “Alf” Jackson thought the real number was several times that. In terms of Cabbagetown, friction was beginning to arise from gentrification, (“whitepainting” or, as Cabbagetown novelist Hugh Garner called it, “Intruders”.)

In the Fall 1977, the first Star Wars had just burst upon the scene like an Imperial Star Destroyer across the firmament and the Christmas repercussions were being felt as far down as the perennial (and sometimes mildly indelicate) “Hamsters” comic strip.

There was a new ad for Bobbins restaurant, at 547 Parliament where the Rexall drugstore now is, with”Special Wines” in the wine cellar. Who remembers (or can imagine) what they might have had squirrelled away down there in the Eocene of Canadian wine palates?

Remember when Toronto had more than 80 publishers and Steel Rail Books was one of them, publishing poet Milton Acorn’s Jackpine Sonnets among other Canadian writers of the period in their 1977 output? Cabbagetown poet and writer Ted Plantos had a new Cabbagetown collection out for Christmas: The Universe Ends at Sherbourne and Queen.

And finally, some things never change on Parliament Street.

May your days be merry and bright.

The full stories introduced above are available at http://www.connexions.org/SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume08-Number15.pdf . The PDF archive is a remarkable achievement by Connexions, a collective dedicated to preserving social activism, of which 7 News is surely a shining example.

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Toronto City Council highlights, Dec. 5, 6, 7 and 8, 2017

Council Highlights is a summary of a selection of decisions that Toronto City Council made at its recent business meeting. The City Clerk’s formal documentation is available at http://www.toronto.ca/council.

Toronto’s emergency shelter capacity

Council approved funding for about 400 more emergency shelter spaces as part of a plan for 2018 and longer-term shelter infrastructure in Toronto. Among the many actions specified, Mayor John Tory was asked to hold a meeting with community leaders about their role in providing shelter and winter respite spaces in addition to the City’s sites across Toronto. Council also directed staff to identify opportunities to add beds at existing City shelters – including some women-only spaces – and to lease more motel rooms to help meet shelter needs.

Next steps for SmartTrack

Council approved concepts for six SmartTrack stations as the basis for completing station design work and authorized the City to work with Metrolinx in the assessment process for the stations. The six stations are St. Clair-Old Weston, King-Liberty, East Harbour, Gerard-Carlaw, Lawrence-Kennedy and Finch-Kennedy. Council’s approval included additional recommendations as part of next steps for moving ahead with the SmartTrack project.

Short-term rentals

Council adopted recommendations to create a new bylaw and regulations for short-term accommodation rental in Toronto. The new regulations will allow a property owner or tenant to participate as operator/host of a short-term rental in their principal residence for a maximum of 28 consecutive days, typically facilitated through companies/platforms such as Airbnb. Short-term rental operators will need to register online with the City and there are operator fees. The new regulations take effect June 1, 2018.

Developing the Port Lands

Council approved a planning framework to guide the revitalization of the Port Lands and endorsed a precinct plan for the area’s Villiers Island. Completion of the Port Lands Planning Framework and Villiers Island Precinct Plan is the culmination of four years of collaborative work by the City and Waterfront Toronto with support from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and numerous City divisions and agencies, all shaped by robust public consultations.

Planning process for Rail Deck Park

Council voted to authorize City officials to proceed with the planning required to establish a new downtown park popularly called Rail Deck Park. The proposed project involves an eight-hectare (20-acre) decking structure and park facility to be built in the Union Station rail corridor between Bathurst Street and Blue Jays Way. The work outlined for the next two years will include discussions with Metrolinx on a Spadina-Front GO station at the west end of the proposed park.

Establishment of Indigenous Affairs Office

Council supported the establishment of an Indigenous Affairs Office in the City Manager’s Office, with five staff positions including a youth intern position. A consultant will work with the City on ensuring that the office reflects the Indigenous community’s vision for this municipal office. The Indigenous Affairs Office will provide more focused and co-ordinated leadership on Indigenous affairs.

Confronting anti-Black racism

Council adopted the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism along with steps for implementation, which include the establishment of an “accountability circle” group of diverse Torontonians of African descent to support the plan’s implementation. Studies show that anti-Black racism still exists in Toronto, affecting the life chances of more than 200,000 Torontonians of African descent.

Support for survivors of human trafficking

Council authorized the City’s use of funding available for Covenant House Toronto to pursue new initiatives providing support, transitional housing and rent supplements for women and girls who are survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. An estimated 2,000 homeless youth in Toronto are vulnerable to being trafficked on any given night.

Enhanced security at Toronto City Hall

Council approved measures to enhance security at Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square with the aim of providing a reasonable level of protection from potential threats while maintaining an accessible City Hall and public square. The direction provided by Council includes surveying members of the public and City staff for their input on the matter of potentially using metal detectors to screen people at the entrance of City Hall.

Policy on City investments

Council adopted a revised investment policy in response to changes to the regulations that cover City of Toronto investments. The policy is intended to assist the City’s Investment Board in guiding the management of the City’s investment portfolio to achieve improved returns while reducing the City’s exposure to risk.

Updated Toronto Green Standard

Council approved the Toronto Green Standard, Version 3 as a framework for Toronto’s buildings, including demolition and construction work, to achieve near-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in support of TransformTO. Related motions were adopted on matters such as infrastructure for electric vehicles, bird-friendly treatments for glazing and green infrastructure for residential properties with less than five units. The Toronto Green Standard Version 3 is scheduled to come into effect in May 2018.

Traffic-related air pollution

A series of measures to address health risks from traffic-related air pollution in Toronto received Council’s support. Measures include, for example, pursuing opportunities through the Toronto Congestion Management Plan (2016-2020) to reduce traffic-related air pollution. Council supported a related motion that calls for all City reports addressing traffic measures and controls to routinely include related information about traffic congestion and air pollution.

Developing low-carbon thermal energy

Council directed City staff to negotiate with Enwave Energy Corporation for an agreement on jointly developing low-carbon thermal energy networks in Toronto, consistent with the City’s TransformTO strategy addressing climate change while also supporting other City goals. The technologies involved could include, for example, sewer-heat recovery, ground-source heat pumps, solar thermal collectors, waste heat recovery and use of urban biogas and urban biomass.

City’s rate-supported budgets for 2018

Council adopted the 2018 rate-supported budgets and fees for Toronto Water, Solid Waste Management Services and the Toronto Parking Authority. The rate-supported budgets are funded primarily by users through the payment of fees. In 2018, Toronto homeowners will pay an average of five per cent more for water services and two per cent more for residential curbside waste collection.

Management of City real estate

Council amended municipal code chapters and shareholder directions to establish appropriate authority for the Toronto Realty Agency over Build Toronto and Toronto Port Lands Company. The action is part of centralizing the City’s real estate authorities and decision-making with real estate transactions now directed through the City’s new real estate service-delivery model. Council adopted the framework for centralizing real estate authorities earlier this fall.

Film studios on Lake Shore Boulevard

Council endorsed the City’s ongoing negotiations to buy the former Showline Studios properties on Lake Shore Boulevard East from Canada Post in order to keep the site as a studio complex. The City is currently pursuing the transaction so the complex’s three studios can go back on stream for movie and television productions. The film, television and digital media industry is a major economic driver for Toronto.

Bayview extension speed limit

Council voted to designate a 60 kilometre-an-hour (km/h) speed limit instead of the current 50 km/h on Bayview Avenue between the southerly section of Pottery Road and the River Street ramp. On account of the change to the speed limit, the City will look into implementing measures such as the installation of sidewalks for pedestrian safety.

Consolidation of civic theatre boards

The consolidation of the City’s three civic theatre boards will take effect on December 31, as specified in Council’s approval of recommendations on management of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, the Toronto Centre for the Arts and the Hummingbird (Sony) Centre for the Performing Arts. A single, merged board for the three facilities is to be called Board of Directors of Civic Theatres Toronto.

Community project – Thorncliffe Park Hub

Council authorized staff to enter into an agreement for the construction of community space in the Thorncliffe Park Hub at the East York Town Centre Mall. Staff resources were also approved for this project, part of the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020. In addition, Council agreed to pursue establishing a job skills training centre/community hub for the Kingston Road/Galloway Road/Orton Park area to help alleviate high youth unemployment in that area.

Growth plan for community recreation

A community recreation growth plan covering the next four years was approved by Council, with the target (conditional on funding) of adding 70,000 program spaces at Toronto community centres where demand and projected future demand exist. The target for 2018 is 20,000 more spaces in City recreation programs. One of the specific targets that was set involves expanding the Swim to Survive program to cover all of Toronto’s Grade 4 students by 2021.

Taxation and small businesses

Council voted to ask the Interim Chief Financial Officer to review and report on tax policy tools that can be used to provide relief to small business owners facing unsustainable tax increases that have resulted from Current Value Assessment. A motion on the matter said small business and low-rise commercial property owners, such as those on historic Yonge Street, need to see a change in how they are taxed if the retail and built-form character of these neighbourhoods is to survive.

Managing curbside space

Council approved the Curbside Management Strategy and related actions such as undertaking a pilot project involving permit-only zones for deliveries in the financial district. Curbside space, which is the access point between road and sidewalk, tends to be in high demand by competing users. The City considers it vital to prioritize curbside uses, especially downtown, as part of managing traffic movement while supporting the downtown core’s economic activity.

Internet access in Toronto

Council supported undertaking City efforts to improve access to affordable high-speed Internet service for all Toronto residents and businesses, and to ensure City infrastructure evolves in line with improving technology standards. Efforts to address the “digital divide” include working with low-income households as well as with Toronto businesses that lack high-speed broadband services.

Uber data breach

A motion adopted by Council calls on Uber Technologies to disclose information about a data breach in late 2016 so the City knows more about it. The reported breach occurred five months after the City licensed Uber as a private transportation company. The licence requires such companies to implement security measures for data collected about their passengers and drivers. The Council motion was made as part of an effort to enforce the licence’s requirements.

Rogers community television

A motion to ask Rogers Communications to reverse its decision to discontinue its Toronto community channel received Council’s support. The motion also asks for a report on why the action came about earlier this year and what options could be pursued to restore the live televised broadcast of Toronto City Council meetings.

Formal documentation of City Council decisions: http://www.toronto.ca/council
Questions about Council meetings and decisions: clerk@toronto.ca or 416-392-8016
Information about distribution of this summary: stratcom@toronto.ca
Previous editions: http://bit.ly/2t7Krtk

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Holiday Card Winners, 2017!

The Cabbagetown Residents Association is delighted to announce the winners of its annual Holiday Card contest. Students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 at Sprucecourt and Winchester Public schools submitted their most creative holiday drawings. There are four winners: two at each school, one from the primary grades and the second from the junior grades.

 

Winchester Primary Winner
Max 
Grade 1

Winchester Junior Winner
Sahara
Grade 7/8

Sprucecourt Primary Winner
Akram
Grade 2

Sprucecourt Junior Winner
Makayla
Grade 7/8

These four images will be made into greeting cards sent out to all households within the CRA’s official boundaries of Parliament to the west, Gerrard to the south, Don Valley to the east and St. James’s Cemetery to the north. Watch for them in your mailbox! The contest winners each receive a Pizza Party for their class and a framed copy of their card.

Many thanks to our volunteer judges.

– Kristie Rogers has 15 years experience in the advertising and marketing industry. Currently, she works for Reebok managing their Canadian brand marketing efforts. Just as Albert Einstein said, she believes that “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

– Celia Fankhauser is an educator interested in developing programs and environments that foster creativity and individuality for all ages.

– Karen Whaley has a degree in art history and her favourite job ever was teaching arts and crafts at a day camp. She used to work at Artscape but now she’s a full-time parent to Elizabeth, age 3.

– Betty White is a professional artist and art teacher. She taught art to children for 28 years  at Montcrest School and continues to teach children in her Cabbagetown home since her retirement. She also actively exhibits her art work and had her last show in June 2017 at Teodora Art Gallery. Visit her website.

Please also enjoy the gallery of 12 “honourable mentions” from both schools and various grades that the judges also selected.

Posted in Events

Throwback Thursday: Dec. 3, 1977

Volunteer Eric Morse continues his archival exploration of the Seven News, a community newspaper that covered the then-Ward-7 (including Cabbagetown) in the late 1970s.

The lead story of the issue was a profile of the local branch of Oxfam (at 7 Carlton St.) but locally the story was dry goods in food co-ops. The hidden lead was that the number of food co-ops in Donvale had dropped from seven to just three (two familiar names – Central Neighbourhood House, then as now at 349 Ontario St., and Christian Resource Centre) but the good news was that they had begun offering dry goods, and the eye-opener for those of us staring at the shelves today is the prices. CNH Co-op was asking 61 cents for a loaf of  bread.

John Sewell seems to have gotten himself into some poo-poo again with at least one reader (and Sumach Street merchant, Victor Fletcher) for his ‘pooh-poohing’ the idea of a bylaw forbidding dogs in city parks while voting for a ban on smoking therein. “Don’t you have a front yard of your own, John?” “If you can get them to go on my front yard, you are welcome to try!” From here the controversy, not to say the cartoon, looks a bit inscrutable. It probably was then.

One of the charms of Seven News was the linguistic diversity in the advertising section in a day before Google Translate was a gleam in Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s eye.

The interesting thing is that the advertisers happily bought the space in the quiet faith that their community did, indeed, read Seven News. The ad in Chinese is probably a public notice since 15 Prospect St. was (and is) Winchester Public School.

Lynn Goldblatt writes that local senior citizen Pat Barrett received a citation from Governor General Jules Leger for organizing trips to Harbourfront for other seniors.

John Sewell himself pens a cri de coeur over the death of public activism in Toronto, on the very verge of the birth of Metro.

There’s also a  lovely profile of Nettleship’s Hardware on Parliament, whose owner Margaret Taggart passed away only last year.

The full stories introduced above are available at http://www.connexions.org/SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume08-Number14.pdf . The PDF archive is a remarkable achievement by Connexions, a collective dedicated to preserving social activism, of which 7 News is surely a shining example.

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Out for seasonal cheer? Leave the car at home

Des Ryan, CRA Board Director and our safety and security lead, dispels the myths around alcohol consumption and impairment.

Impaired driving. Let’s say the words and call it what it is. We have all been inundated with PSA’s telling us not to do it, that it could cost you more than your licence, that it’s just wrong. And yet….

On behalf of the Cabbagetown Residents Association and in the name of neighbourly concern for you and your family, let me dispel some of the myths about alcohol consumption:

If I pace myself and have a drink an hour, I’ll be fine.

While it takes about an hour for your body to process alcohol, if you continue to drink, you continue to infuse your blood with alcohol, which means that you may not get blisteringly drunk, but you will be impaired.

Water after each alcoholic beverage will stop me from getting drunk.

We all know that alcohol causes dehydration, and drinking water is a good idea to lessen that dry-mouth feeling the next day and/or help with your hang-over symptoms, but it won’t change the level of alcohol in your bloodstream.

A coffee before I leave the restaurant will override the effects of the alcohol we drank.

Nope. The caffeine in the coffee may keep you awake, but it won’t sober you up. Nor will fresh air or a cold shower.

I only drink beer, so I can have more than my wine- or liquor-drinking friends.

Nice try, but no. An average pint of beer (ABV 5%), glass of wine (250ml, ABV 11%), or healthy shot of liquor (70ml, ABV38-40%) all have around 2.8 units of alcohol. The only difference is that you may feel less drunk because or your own expectations. The car you sideswiped or the mailbox you knocked over if you drive home doesn’t care what you drank.

I’m a big guy, so I can drink more.

While your size is a factor, and women will get drunk faster and stay drunk longer, a single drink can cause legal alcohol impairment, regardless of your size, gender, or age.

I’ve been drinking a long time so it takes me longer to get drunk.

The more you drink over time, the more damage your body sustains and the greater the risks become. If you can toss back a few more brewskies this season than last without feeling the same effects, consider that a warning sign that your body may be starting to experience long-term damage caused by alcohol.

What if I wait an hour after my last drink?

While lowering your blood/alcohol concentration, giving yourself an hour after your last drink may not be enough time to make that much difference to your blood/alcohol levels.

We ate dinner with our drinks. That should count, shouldn’t it?

Good food over a glass of wine or two is always nice, but it will only delay the rate of alcohol absorption, which is to say, you will still experience the same level of impairment (whether meeting the legal definition or not), but it will take longer for you to feel the symptoms.

I drink white wine and I never feel impaired at all.

Hopefully, you drink white wine because you like it because it is not keeping you sober. Unless the alcohol level is lower, a glass of white or red wine, a bottle of beer or a shot of liquor can all contain the same amount of alcohol and will give similar readings on a breathalyzer.

How about having a couple of drinks in the afternoon? I’ll be sober quicker.

No. Just … no.

We are fortunate to have a number of excellent pubs and restaurants in the neighbourhood. We are also fortunate to have a number of excellent places to eat and that are easily accessible by public transit or taxi. Most of us are also fortunate to have a family member or friends who would gladly pick us up from such places in the event that we were unable to walk or take public transit or a cab home.

There is no excuse for impaired driving. And there is certainly no excuse for ruining your life and, likely, someone else’s because you figured a drink or two wouldn’t hurt.

Let’s keep it simple this year. If you’re going out for a little seasonal cheer, leave the car at home. You are worth more than you think to the people who love you.

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SF Wireless moves to Cabbagetown

SF Wireless opened recently at 533 1/2 Parliament Street. Proprietor Sid Memon had a similar shop at Gerrard and Jones Street and relocated to Parliament this fall.

The shop can set up Chatr, Public and Koddo mobile services; it also sells and repairs mobile phones, and has an extensive offering of phone accessories, such as cases.

Posted in Local Business News
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