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Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

ParticipACTION + Coca Cola Canada…I’m confused

In Canada, Customer Service, From Coast to Coast to Coast, Government, Gravy, Media, Money, YouTube on June 20, 2012 at 09:59

Just a tad…

Listening to the Metro Morning before heading to work and I hear that ParticipACTION is back!  I’m thinking, pretty cool.  I so remember those old ads about getting up and getting fit.

Damn Swedes

Lazy Bones

Way To Go Canada!

Do It! Do It! Do It!

Raw Deal

Nice that the government is getting this program out to the people.  However it turns out that this is not completely a public funded initiative.  Turns out Coca Cola Canada, with their “Live Positively” social media effort is footing a large amount of cash for the programs relaunch.  Hmm Sugar Water and getting fit.  Probably not the best way to promote an active, healthy lifestyle.  Honourable Bal Gosal Minister of State (Sport) and Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health what is going on under your watch?


I do love my Coke, but this is a stretch, do you think?

Canadian Tire money is the real Canadian currency

In Canada, Customer Service, Money on May 26, 2012 at 08:11

Just a tad…

“Customers receive the brightly colored coupons, equivalent to a fraction of their shopping bill, at the checkout… Each bill features the face of fictional character Sandy McTire.  Over the years, the coupons—printed on counterfeit-resistant paper in denominations ranging from five Canadian cents (about five U.S. cents) to two dollars… Many small businesses across Canada accept the bills at face value, alongside Canadian dollars. Speculators buy and sell the paper.  About one billion bills are in circulation across Canada, worth an estimated 100 million Canadian dollars, the company estimates. Fresh bills are stored in high-security vaults…” via WSJ

It just sucks that Canadian Tire is planning to move to a plastic card in the next little.  I saved up my CT money when I was a kid and it paid for many a Father’s day gifts.


A Penny for your thought

In Canada, Government, Money on April 12, 2012 at 14:24

Just a tad…

So a couple weeks back, the Canadian Penny bit the dust during the federal budget…but don’t think that this was the end of the killing.  Saving $10 million or so is one thing.  How about saving $100 million!  Enter the MintChip! Actually I’m not sure how much they would save but Canada Mint wants us to go all in digital.  The first two answers in the FAQ reads like this, “The Royal Canadian Mint launched the MintChip Challenge to enlist the help of software developers in creating proofs of concept highlighting the potential advantages of the MintChip technology.

MintChip can be characterized as an evolution of physical money, with the benefits of being electronic. MintChip is based on two technical propositions: the creation of secure integrated circuit chips to hold electronic value and a secure protocol that allows the transfer of value from one chip to another and ensures the integrity of the MintChip system. It operates without the need for personal identification, thereby maintaining the user’s privacy.

MintChip security tokens can be stored in many ways: on MicroSD cards, on USB sticks, or remotely in the cloud, with no physical access to the token.”  Hackers unite!  You’re going to make my money for my government.  Royal Canadian Mint, why can’t you just stay retro?


Toronto…its New York, without all the stuff

In Canada, Design, Fashion, Food, Government, It's About School People, Me Myself & I, Money, The Junction, The World Comes To Toronto, Toronto on August 16, 2011 at 09:21

Just a tad…

A tip of the hat from New York Magazine’s David Sax.

Cheers although a tad cheeky.


The full article can be found here “The architectural boom has yielded new downtown museums, opera houses, and hotels like the Ritz, Thompson, and soon-to-open Shangri-La (with two Momofukus) while gentrifying far-flung areas like the Junction with requisite coffee shops, pop-up galleries, and poutine-slinging restaurants. Of course, all that growth has come with acute growing pains, including some god-awful traffic; a dearth of affordable housing in a sea of new condominiums; and a polarizing, conservative mayor who has, to many a Torontonian’s chagrin, scuttled proposed rapid-transit lines, eliminated bike lanes, and refused to attend this summer’s gay-pride parade. “

Liar liar pants, shirt, heck everything is on fire!

In Customer Service, Media, Money, Toronto on July 22, 2011 at 06:21

Great article in the Grid by Edward Keenan.  Where does Rob Ford make up these things?

“Their cited mis-facts have the ring of truth, corroborating as they do the gut feeling represented by the politician’s message, but are completely misleading, and often outright false. This is what Stephen Colbert famously defined as “truthiness” a few years back.”

2. Ford has already cut the Toronto budget by $70 million

ROB FORD SAYS: In his first six months in office, “We have saved over $70-million… And so if we can find 70 million, I’m sure we can find 700 million”

THE TRUTH: $64 million of that money was not cut from spending, as Ford seems to claim, but cut from revenue, in the form of the elimination of the Vehicle Registration Tax. This does not save the city money, it costs the city money—the exact opposite of his claim.

FACT CHECKERGee, in the Globe.

3. Libraries in Etobicoke outnumber Tim Horton’s Franchises

DOUG FORD SAYS: “I’ve got more libraries in my area than I have Tim Hortons.”

THE TRUTH: Tim Hortons franchises outnumber public libraries in Etobicoke—where Doug Ford lives—by a margin of three to one. There are 13 public libraries in Etobicoke, and 39 Tim Hortons franchises.

FACT CHECKER: Maureen O’Reilly, Our Public Library

Full article can be found here





Ontario Place Rebirth

In Customer Service, Design, Government, Money, Ontario Only, People that Matter, The World Comes To Toronto, YouTube on July 25, 2010 at 13:17

Just a tad…

I use to love going to Ontario Place when i was a kid. Probably more than going to the CNE. One word. Cinesphere. I didn’t know what it ment and I had no idea what this IMAX was all about. What I did know though is it was all sorts of awesome watching massive objects flying past me at a 100 miles an hour. Jets, check. Birds, check. Space ships, triple check! My first experience riding a bumper boat was here. Jumping in a pool of bouncing ball all done here. Atlantis night club, I’m still trying to forget that. I’m happy there’s some buzz about the future of Ontario Place. There is so much that can be done. I just hope the government opens it up to the regular peeps to give their two cents about the future of this semi great Ontario/Toronto land mark. My two cents, don’t even think of touching the golf ball.

If you have ideas to make over Ontario Place, follow this link to MERX to get the RFI (Request for Information).  You have until 4pm on Friday September 10, 2010 to submit.


You can read Daniel Dale’s full article in The Toronto Star here

Ontario Place: ‘A fantastic Jaguar, and you run it into a ditch’

Eb Zeidler is 84 and mostly retired, and he tries to be nice when he talks about what happened to Ontario Place in the decades after he designed it in the late 1960s.

Who made a mess of the thing? “No point in mentioning names,” he says. What did those unnamed people do wrong? “I can give you a whole slew of things,” he says, “but it’s kind of tiresome.”

Prod the renowned architect just a little, though, and he can’t help himself. Zeidler, who also designed the Eaton Centre, complains about the central location of the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre: “There’s nothing wrong with the amphitheatre, but it split the place in two.”

He complains about the seven concrete silos erected in for a 1980 display on Northern Ontario: “There was no reason for these silos to be on Ontario Place.”

And he decries the gradual construction that he feels made the site cluttered and confused: “We felt that if you have areas of entertainment, there should be a part that is relaxing. There should be some major green spaces. But all those spaces got filled up.”

His thoughts in a simile: “It’s like if you get a fantastic Jaguar and you run it into a ditch.”

You can read Mark Medly’s full article in the National Post here

Once a gem, now generally forgotten, what could the future hold for Ontario Place?

“…Opened in 1971, Ontario Place represents both our idealistic past and our betrayal of it. A masterpiece of modernist architecture by Eberhard Zeidler, who also designed the Eaton Centre, it has been forgotten by the city. Shawn Micallef, author of Stroll and an associate editor of Spacing magazine, says, “it has this wonderful, faded grandeur, which is kind of romantic, but maybe we don’t want it on our waterfront.”

Attendance has plummeted from a high of 2.5 million its inaugural year to less than one million for seven years in a row. So it’s little surprise last week’s news that Ontario Place issued a Request for Information, opening the doors to an extreme makeover, was greeted with a mix of nostalgia, mutters of good riddance and horror at the prospect that some of Toronto’s icons may be lost.

“Everyone has a real emotional attachment to the space, and I think everyone is relieved to see that something is finally happening down there,” says Hugh Mansfield, spokesperson for the revitalization project. “It needs an injection of energy and new ideas.”

But what ideas? The renewal of Ontario Place presents Toronto with an intriguing opportunity: the chance to transform 96 acres of lakefront property.

Though developers have a blank canvas, the new Ontario Place should include educational, recreational, commercial and entertainment components, and showcase Ontario’s green energy initiatives, notes Mansfield. Details on the public consultation process will be announced next week. Proposals will be accepted until Sept. 10. Ideas floated thus far include a university or college campus, a planetarium, a casino and an aquarium, while, in a letter to the Toronto Star, one man proposed an indoor ski hill.

“The idea of theme parks doesn’t really work anymore,” Micallef says. “You can’t really compete with [Canada’s] Wonderland. So it has to be a little more intimate, and maybe a little more urban.”

Perhaps we should revisit the past when deciding the future. Michael McClelland of E.R.A. Architects thinks we should look at Zeidler’s original blueprint…”

You can read Daniel Dale’s full article in The Toronto Star here

10 visions of a new Ontario Place

Ten opinions on what the struggling park should do to succeed


Partner, The Planning Partnership

Unlike Farrow, Madi opposes residential development on the site. Like her, he believes Ontario Place should allow for an all-seasons houseboat community and do away with its general entry fee in favour of charges only for specific attractions. “I personally don’t believe that theme parks work in the long-term. By opening the place up, you bring the volume of traffic up, and then the functions that currently exist become more successful.”

Pedestrian, bicycle and transit access should be improved to better integrate Ontario Place with the city. “Any plans or visions for Ontario Place must include Lakeshore Blvd.”; a streetcar running along the route “would be a phenomenal attraction in and of itself.” A ferry connection from central downtown would also make the site easier to reach.


Chief executive officer, Luminato.

Ontario Place should become known as a home for events that are part of popular festivals like Pride, Caribana, the Jazz Festival and Luminato, Price says. “While I know there is a capital and hardware side to it, I think the real solutions are going to come on the content side,” she says. “If they gathered a group of us and said, ‘What would it take for us to get you to commit, for example, to use the facility. . . and not change your festivals or rename them, but partner with us, for at least five years, for at least one significant event during your festival, and we would in turn commit to a major marketing campaign.’”

Ontario Place will find it difficult to succeed if it attempts to produce its own content, she says.


Founder, Toronto Public

Space Committee

Says Meslin, a community organizer involved in a variety of civic projects: “Maybe part the property could be used as a community meeting space? We have a few large convention centres, but what about smaller groups that can’t afford those spaces? Ontario Place is government-owned, so we could create a space that non-profits could use to hold small conferences, retreats, public events and group activities by the waterfront. A planetarium would be cool too though. . .”

Cop Shows aren’t Canadian Enough

In Canada, Celeb, Coppers, Law & Order, Media, Money, South of the boarder, YouTube on July 23, 2010 at 16:55

Just a tad…

When is US TV cop drama not a US TV cop drama?  When it’s shot in Toronto.

You guys should have bought CBC’s The Border when you had the chance.


You can read Alex Beam’s full article in Boston Globe here

“It all started a couple of seasons ago, when CBS picked up “Flashpoint,’’ a series about a Toronto police SWAT team that was popular in Canada. “Flashpoint’’ celebrates everything the Canadians say they hate about us Americans: It’s gratuitously violent and stupid, with the Kevlar-vested lads in blue armed to the teeth with the latest weaponry. They cruise the world in caravans of gas-guzzling, black Chevy Suburbans, just like Canada’s favorite son, Kiefer Sutherland, in “24.’’ They even use the phrase “set up a hard perimeter,’’ which I thought had been trademarked by the lazy writers on “24.’’…

…Yes and no. In 2008, 41 American police officers were killed in the line of duty. In Canada, zero. Per capita, there are more than twice the number of homicides in the United States compared with Canada, where handguns are tightly restricted. I’m saying this is a good thing. I just don’t see why Canada has to pimp itself out as Dodge City North to earn some simoleons south of the border…”

NEW YORK ( — Since debuting June 24, ABC’s “Rookie Blue” has captured between 6.2 million and 7.2 million viewers — hardly the breakout hit of the season. Even canceled programs such as “FlashForward,” “Three Rivers” and “Ghost Whisperer” have turned in better performances against hardier competition. Yet “Rookie Blue” is being renewed for a second season, and the network is touting the workmanlike police drama the Los Angeles Times called “modest and plain” as a hot commodity.  Shows such as “Rookie Blue” are becoming more common, and the broadcast networks want more of it despite the middle-of-the-road ratings…

You can read Brian Steinberg’s full article in Advertising Age here

Where to Find a Summer Hit on U.S. TV? Canada

“There are opportunities at all levels in the U.S., because the networks are sort of more open” to the idea of picking up programming crafted for an international viewership, said John Morayniss, one of the executive producers of “Rookie Blue” and also CEO of E1 Television, one of the show’s production companies. Produced in Toronto, the drama is “going to be really heavily financed through Canadian licensees and other incentives and subsidies in Canada,” he said.

More scripted fare with a decidedly northern exposure appears to be on the way. The CW network recently announced it would air Canadian comedy series “18 to Life” starting in August. CBS recently began airing episodes of another Canadian police drama, “The Bridge.”

As for “Rookie Blue,” ABC is touting it as the breakout hit of the summer. This despite the fact that the recent episode of Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch,” highlighting the death of the show’s hero, Capt. Phil Harris, delivered 8.5 million viewers. And even though “Rookie Blue” is airing in the ABC time slot normally reserved for powerhouse medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” this newbie isn’t coming close to delivering that hit show’s average of nearly 14.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen…”

Hey Niagara Falls! Let’s you and I dance.

In Business, Canada, Customer Service, Have to Laugh, Money, South of the boarder, This Means WAR, Toronto on July 21, 2010 at 17:26

Just a tad…

Dear Toronto,

We think your city is a crime-ridden, graffiti-laden, gridlocked urban prison that you should escape now. Please spend your time and money here instead.


The Niagara Parks Commission”

Ouch.  That kind of hurt.  That was taken from Anthony Reinhart’s article in the Globe and Mail (which you can read below).  So Niagara Falls thinks it can make itself look good by putting down the GOLD that makes the horseshoe?  It’s probably not the best ad-campaign out there.  Actually it sucks.  Not because it tries to shine above everyone else.  Every city that puts an ad out for itself tries to make themselves look the best, but usually it isn’t at the expense of another city.  Clearly these weren’t made to be laugh out loud funny, we’re just kidding around.  As the bigger kid, Toronto of course should just brush it off and not let it bug us.  But I’m pretty sure if we decided to keep our money and travel time here in Toronto or head as far as Burlington to west, Niagara Falls might start shaking in their boots.  Heck I was thinking of hoping on the GOTrain to see the Falls later this summer.  Maybe I’ll just head off to Oshawa and have some fun people that like us Torontonians


You can watch all of the “Shake off the City” spots by clicking on the image below

CBC’s Metro Morning Host Matt Galloway spoke with Terry O’Reilly about: Niagara Ad Campaign Gone Too Far

You can listen to that conversation here

You can read Anthony Reinhart’s full article in the Globe and Mail here

Smearing Toronto: A bad case of Falls advertising?

In a bid to stanch a deepening financial bleed wrought by a drop in visits from the United States, the Ontario government agency that maintains Niagara Falls has turned to – and, curiously, on – its big-city neighbours in Toronto.

The Niagara Parks Commission’s $300,000 ad campaign – parts of which paint the city as a place of wailing car alarms, spray-bombed alleys and bicycles stripped of their wheels – has Toronto officials not only annoyed, but mystified.

Acting mayor Joe Pantalone, a board member of Tourism Toronto, wondered why the parks commission would resort to “an unnecessary cheap shot” when the city has traditionally been an ally in promoting Ontario to the world.

“Whenever we advertise Toronto internationally and nationally, we always say, ‘Come to Toronto and go to Niagara Falls,’” Mr. Pantalone said. “I would hope that they realize that a mistake has been made … and simply pull those ads and come up with something more constructive.”

Music Monday: The Power of Coke’s Wavin’ Flag

In Business, Canada, Celeb, Entertainment, Media, Money, Music, Sports, The Social, The World, TIA (This Is Africa), YouTube on July 19, 2010 at 18:21

Just a tad…

This 32 year old music mystro may have created one of the greatest collaboration between a soft drink maker and artist since MJ!  Well maybe not that big but Coca Cola is a very happy partner.  K’naan is pretty happy as well.

Celebration Mix

K’Naan ft. Nancy Ajram

K’Naan ft. David Bisbal


You can read Duane Stanford’s full article in Bloomberg Businessweek here

Coke’s World Cup Song is a Marketing Winner

Wavin’ the Flag has boosted sales and light-heartedly tied its brand to things young consumers care about—soccer and pop music

Music industry executives have been making an unusual pilgrimage to Coca-Cola’s (KO) Atlanta headquarters, a telling measure of the company’s successful World Cup soccer marketing blitz. They want to learn how Coke turned a song called Wavin’ Flag by a little-known Somali-Canadian hip-hop artist into a World Cup anthem and No. 1 iTunes hit in 17 countries in less than a year. “They are getting on planes from New York, from U.K., from Los Angeles,” says Joe Belliotti, Coke’s director of global entertainment. “Word of mouth is a great thing in the music industry.”…

…Coke’s marketers liked Coke’s World Cup Song is a Marketing Winner Wavin’ the Flag has boosted sales and light-heartedly tied its brand to things young consumers care about—soccer and pop musicthe singer and his multinational upbringing as well as Wavin’ Flag‘s sweeping melody and hopeful chorus: “When I get older, I will be stronger. They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving’ flag.” Darker verses detailing K’naan’s struggle as a child in Somalia and his “fighting to eat” wouldn’t work. So K’naan (full name Keinan Abdi Warsame) offered to write a version of Wavin’ Flag with lyrics more befitting a soccer tournament.

K’naan and his producers added a bridge with Coke’s five-note melody and pumped up the African vibe with chanting and drums. The lyrics now talked of champions taking the field and fans rejoicing in “the beautiful game.” K’naan also recorded versions of the song with pop stars ranging from the Black Eyed Peas’ to Japan’s AI and Spain’s David Bisbal, broadening its appeal.

Although financial details are confidential, Coca-Cola co-owns the rights to its Celebration Mix of Wavin’ Flag along with K’naan and his record company, owned by Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. Coke, which split the cost to tour K’naan around the world, is plowing the unexpected profits from the sale of Wavin’ Flag downloads into its six-year, $30 million Replenish Africa Initiative, which seeks to provide clean water and better sanitation. The continent figures big in Coke’s long-term growth plans, where water scarcity is an immediate problem as well as a long-term threat to the company’s beverage production.

Toronto is going to get it’s own Chunnel

In Business, Customer Service, Design, Flight, Me Myself & I, Money, Politico, Toronto on July 15, 2010 at 07:53

Just a tad…

When you tell people that have never taken a flight on Porter Airlines from Billy Bishop Airport, that it takes about 2 minutes to get to the actual airport from the check in terminal, there like “no big deal”.  Then you explain they have to take a ferry across to get to the terminal. They start laughing.  “What do you mean a ferry?  Does the moving sidewalk break down a lot?  It’s ok I’ll walk, no big deal.”, they say. I explain that there is no moving sidewalk, no actual physical connection to airport.  You have to jump on boat.  I’ve never understood the battle to stop the main land from connecting to the island.  It just makes sense.  In the past they probably could have made it so the 511 streetcar could ride right into the airport.  How cool would that have been?  Not cool enough I guess.  So now they’re spend $45 million to dig a hole and have you walk under the water to the airport.  All sorts of non-fun that will be.


Taken from the President and CEO’s remarks for 2010 Annual Meeting which you can read in full here

“According to an annual poll the TPA conducted in May and June, 56 per cent of Torontonians said they support a pedestrian tunnel to the island airport paid for by passengers through an Airport Improvement Fee. John Wright of Ipsos Reid will tell you more about that in a moment. But it is clear that a majority of people support improving access to the airport, and that is why we are moving forward on a proposed pedestrian tunnel underneath the Western Channel.

And understand — this is a pedestrian tunnel only. It will not be able to carry vehicles. It will be paid for by passengers. And it will be both functional, and beautiful, and something Toronto can be proud of. The TPA is currently conducting a full Environmental Assessment – or EA — of this project. Let me assure you that we are going well beyond our obligations under the EA statutes required by federal agencies. We will be studying the cumulative impact of this tunnel not just on the airport, but on those who live and work nearby.

We are pleased to report that Toronto’s Board of Health has acknowledged our EA criteria for the tunnel. We look forward to working closely with the Board of Health and other stakeholders to make sure this project is considered a crucial and compatible piece of transportation infrastructure. I want the pedestrian tunnel – and everything about the Billy Bishop airport – to be compatible with a waterfront that everyone can enjoy, however they wish to enjoy it.”

You can read Cory Ruf’s full article in The National Post here

Construction on island tunnel to start in 2011

Councillor Adam Vaughan, a vocal opponent of the airport’s expansion, said the tunnel is a “pipe dream” that will not increase traffic to the terminal.

“I don’t think the tunnel is a viable proposition, he said. “There are a number of unanswered questions”

He said public support for tunnel to the island is dwindling because Toronto residents and tourists will not be able to use the pathway to access island beaches, residences and attractions.

On July 9, the Toronto Port Authority released a study conducted by Ipsos Reid claiming 56% of Torontonians who were sampled supported the link, down six percentage points from 2009.

Mr. Vaughan also said the Port Authority is unaccountable, and the claim that the construction of the tunnel will use no public money is dubious at best. “[The Toronto Port Authority] is a rogue federal agency spending taxpayers’  money,” he said.”

You can read The Informer’s full article in Toronto Life here

Island airport to get tunnel, money, passengers and Air Canada

The shortest ferry ride in the world is about to be sidestepped by a $45 million investment from the Toronto Port Authority: an underground pedestrian bridge leading to Billy Bishop airport. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2011, and the 123-metre tunnel will be built 30 metres below Lake Ontario. The costs will be covered by airline users through an airport improvement fee hike, as well as by the private sector. Geoffrey Wilson, the TPA’s president and CEO, told CTV that the improvement fee will be raised from $15 to $20, but will not exceed that amount and will still be below Pearson’s $25 improvement fee.