Trying to invent the future when the past was perfectly good.

Folk continually delve into our past, now at , attempt to understand what went wrong, what went right, why and where and how. This post YOU WON’T BELIEVE THESE 10 BUILDINGS LONDON’S TORN DOWN! records a few remarkable buildings we’ve lost. 

And in an inarticulate cloud of thoughts, I wonder… a couple of times in our cities renovation history, multiple story, high density downtown buildings have fallen under plans for a rebuild of the entire block. Which fails. Dundas/Talbot and Ridout has yielded a monolithic dead street courthouse and an arena. Dundas/Wellington has given us parking lots and conventional office towers, once again with ghost sidewalks and streets of people and cars going somewhere else.

Why, what, in our civic psyche drives this impulse? 


At my exhibition

Sitting at a table is boring. But watching people look at artwork isn’t really. Just loafing.

How about a transit-run AI self-driving smart car system for #ldnont?

Hmmm, maybe a crazy idea. My retro future fantasy brain on a spree.

The city transit service could run a small fleet of AI Smart, small self-driving cars. Electric. We know they’re coming. A kind of car share system managed by a transit authority.

You could hire one over the phone or through an app then wait at a bus stop, get picked up, insert the credit card or prepaid fare card and be delivered to another bus stop. The end bus stop wouldn’t need necessarily to be on the limited route. The car system could freely cross routes, and choose the most direct route through the city.

Some kind of payment system based on zones, or distance? A flat fee? I suppose, more than a two dollar bus fare, less than a taxi. Buses already service stop to stop. Taxis would still have the advantage of door to door, wider service ranges, storage for hauling substantial items, perhaps luxury, and personal help when needed.

I see the self-driving car, here, as a solution to short hops, or buzzing around suburban areas where bus transit is a bit spotty.

Merle Tingley 1958 book of cartoons is online

Cover to the 1958 book of cartoons by Merle Tingly
Cover to the 1958 book of editorial cartoons by Merle Tingly

With help of espresso, and the driving drums of Kate, the last few pages have been scanned. The images have had only quick cleanup treatments, but now all 96 pages are up. I didn’t scan the inside front covers as they are blank. I expect to get into enhancing the quality of the scans and adding a bit of description and tagging.

Ghost trees of #ldnont

Pen Equity, a developer from Toronto has completely bypassed the usual, legal, agreed-upon provincial environmental approval process and won approval from the job hungry, sprawl friendly city council of London to build a mall on the 401 highway interchange outside the city, on environmentally significant woodland and wetland.

A few years back, a developer worked with the city to erect a number of brightly painted metal trees as urban art to celebrate our historical brand as ‘The Forest City’.

Whenever a cyclist is killed, near cross-able train tracks, or some busy road where the cycling infrastructure is miserable, someone erects a ghost bike, painted white.

I believe the city should embrace the thinking and monetize it, rather than pretend to be in any way environmentally responsible. Make some money off these suckers. In this light, I offer these:


A new slogan: ?”Where there’s sprawl or a mall, we were there!”


The trees can be set singly, or as a group to suggest that ‘forest’ feeling.


And the trees can be set on wheeled bases to facilitate groupings in select locations.


Rather than retail jobs, the local economy needs manufacturing jobs. Every real living breathing tree removed can be re-manufactured into six complete Ghost trees. This means jobs!, people! The market for these will be quite substantial.

The #ldnont 2013 budget: Gang of Eight

Sandy White Joe Swan
Joe Fontana Dale Henderson Brian Orser Bud Polhill Paul Van MeerBergen Denise Brown

First: The images were treated in Popsicolor and brought into ProCreate for layering and painting. Two wonderful apps. Second: The images have a Creative Commons 3.0 Copyright. Third: It is surprising how partisan they have become with the addition of the red paint spots.

They said they could get four straight years of 0% tax increase without service cuts. Ain’t gonna happen.

JoFoNoMo #jofo #ldnont