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BIXI is ready for Toronto, is Toronto ready for BIXI? 16

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country The BIXI system is coming to Toronto – and I can hardly contain my excitement. If you haven’t already heard, BIXI is Montreal’s bicycle-sharing program which was inaugurated on May 11th, 2009. It cost $15 million dollars to start and began with 300 stations around downtown ...

Diesel Trains Are NOT the Answer 6

The downtown Toronto City Centre Airport has been a political hot potato for many years. Airport expansion advocates were pushing for a bridge to the Toronto City Centre airport that current Mayor David Miller quashed when he was first elected in 2003. Environmentalists and local residents often refer to noise and air pollution as the ...

Living a Comfortable Urban Life Sans Automobile 4

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  In 2006 there were around 250 million automobiles in the United States. That is an average of about one car for every 1.2 people. Worldwide there were 590 million cars in 2002, or an average of about 1 car for every 10 people. As the ...

Recycling That Delivers…er…Takes Away

Photo by kino-eye / Flickr Living as I do in a high-rise apartment, I’ve often been disappointed by the fact that my recycling options have been limited. For example, composting my organic waste is simply not viable since I don’t have a garden, there is no green bin collection scheduled in my area, and I ...

Bicycles and Sidewalks Can Get Along 2

Bicycles and sidewalks can (and do) get along well together. All it takes is a little bit of common sense, etiquette and mutual respect. Two very unfortunate incidents in Toronto have provoked additional tension between drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Two months ago I would have thought it absurd that tensions could escalate in a city ...

Toronto to Montreal Kayak Adventure 41

Yesterday I arrived in Montreal after 11 consecutive days alone on the water. At times I had a feeling of freedom and saw some amazing scenery, and other times it was challenging and repetitive. But overall I really enjoyed the experience and I’ve definitely become a better kayaker as a result of the range of ...

Toronto to Montreal Solo Kayak Journey 2

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country – Lake Ontario – 4 July 2009 In about 9 hours, I’ll be departing on a solo kayak journey from Toronto to Montreal to raise money for Noah’s Ark home for children in the Philippines. Noah’s Ark provides a temporary home for malnourished children; providing food, ...

Trash Talk: Toronto City Hall loses to Lobbyists 4

(Photo by markolson on Flikr) Trash Talk is a special section where we expose the unnecessary waste that is generated by companies so that the urban country staff and readers can speak out to make a difference. March 17th marks a crucial blow to the credibility of Toronto City Hall in its battle against Food ...

Sustainable Commuting 4

Excerpt from my blogTO article: “When it comes to commuting to work, we have many options to choose from. We can drive to work, take public transit, telecommute, walk, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, fly, take a train, ride a bus. The list goes on and on. At different points in my life I’ve experienced most of ...

The Low-Salt Diet 1

I love winter in Canada. It’s my second favourite season of the year (next to the spring/summer/fall season that is). I love hockey, I love the snow, and nothing beats relaxing in a nice warm home with an ice cold beer on a cold winter day. Winter helps me appreciate warm weather. If I didn’t ...