Why #LondonOnt needs a new PAC

Here’s the pics:


And here’s North America. London sits neatly in the middle of the Great Lakes Triangle in South Western Ontario.

New Shorelines. SWO remains dry.

And here’s why London Ontario needs a Performing Arts Centre: All those people driven inland from rising oceans and aggressive shorelines will have to go somewhere. And when they get here, they’ll want something to entertain them.


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.

Just say no to 0%

There’s a thread of an idea around this city that every incumbent city councillor needs disposal in the next election. Well, there are a few good ones, and there are some who need removal. The whole ‘throw them all out’ idea needs some sound second thought.

This is my contribution to that.

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


Blue box on Maitland street

Hole’s Notes

5 jokes about the downtown sinkhole Continue reading

Some Ting Things

TingCoverI picked up this booklet at City Lights some very long time ago, and recovered it from basement obscurity just last year. There is no publication date, no copyright notice, no ISBN, but I can only assume it was published at the end of 1957, as per this reference at the McMaster Library archives. The last dated cartoon in the book is June 12, 1957. It would have been the first of the cartoon collections. Merle “Ting” Tingley has a brief reference in the Canadian Encyclopedia article on Cartoons, Political; the Tingley collection at University of Western Ontario library archives houses a large collection of his work; a few entries in books – Best Canadian Political Cartoons 1984 and various National Cartoonists Society albums – collected at Michigan State University Libraries Comic Art Collection – as do I, incredibly. Two articles in The Ryerson Review of Journalism, Spring 1990, and Summer 1999 mention him in context of the politics and the workplace of the time. From a piece by Bill Brady in the May 19th Free Press;

It all started in Montreal as Ting began to draw in school, then there was an art course and, with no jobs in commercial art, he got work as a draftsman. But he soon grew bored and, in 1943, joined the army, where he found his true love — cartooning. While serving in Germany, Ting met someone who would become a lifelong friend, Jim Bowes of London, Ont. Bowes introduced Ting to the army weekly paper Khaki, and it was here that his real career began. At war’s end, without a job and no desire to return to the drafting table, Ting compiled a list of newspapers that did not have editorial cartoonists. Then, on his ancient motorcycle, he crossed Canada, visiting those papers, but headed back east with no prospects. He decided to drop in on his old army pal Bowes, who was working at The London Free Press. Bowes suggested that the paper really needed a cartoonist, but didn’t think they’d go for it and encouraged Ting to “get his foot in the door” and take any job available at the paper.”It sure wasn’t what I had in mind, and a long way from drawing cartoons, but I took the job anyway,” said Ting, who started at the paper washing prints in the basement darkroom, deep in the bowels of the newspaper building on Richmond Street. When George Wenige became mayor, an editor thought a political cartoon might be in order. Ting was summoned from his subterranean post, picked up his pencil and drew “King George” in a crown — Ting’s first Free Press cartoon.

If the ‘Common Man’ were to draw cartoons, that would be Ting. He wasn’t Duncan MacPherson. He wasn’t Aislin. Where they had sabres, Ting had table knives.

Ting newsboy cartoon

For forty years he showed up for work and drew cartoons, gentle, funny cartoons about our city and the province and the world. Even if we kids didn’t understand the issue, every day we would scour the cartoon for a glimpse of Luke Worm. Not only was I a cub scout on tour one day – no doubt Mr. Tingley would never recall the meeting, nor the example he set – but I was also a Free Press delivery boy. I loved those papers under 30 pages. That four-fold was easy to hurl from a big black Raleigh rolling down the sidewalk.

Ting future car

 Retro future stuff has always been fun. Some of these things have come true… (sure). The phonograph is an iPod… the TV, a DVD player… that parking radar – think GPS, or internet connection to Google maps – that would be useful – and that is a Smart car in the trunk isn’t it?Parking downtown has always been the issue we all scream about. There was never enough enough of it. Never will be.

Ting Ghost town

And look at this from 1954. From a retro-glimpse to the future, to a retro-glimpse of the past. As businesses move to city outskirts … downtown London may become a ghost town. Over 50 years ago. The issue hasn’t changed, and hasn’t been resolved.