RP: SubStack -Suburbs, Hugs, and Monkey Bars

Better zoning rules, coping skills in a stressful world, and olden play structures 

02b7b7fd-6549-4076-a46c-dda3d8100186_4080x3072 De-suburbification - There’s a new convenience store on Forward, just across from my building, or rather a new owner for an old place. And newer stock, hopefully. It’s a small single-use building, next to an old wooden house, and with a high rise behind - typical of the area.

Typical of my home town too, and many across Canada. Towns built before zoning, with mixed-use and walkable neighbourhoods. We didn’t even have our first mall until ‘77 - people either went to the corner store or walked downtown.

What brought this to mind was a Daily Hive article about zoning changes in Edmonton, saying it “will lead the way in Canada”. The 1960’s bylaws that encouraged suburbs filled with rows of single-family houses have been updated to allow a mix of duplexes, rowhouses, and even low-rise apartments. Plus more small businesses, like corner stores and cafes.

It’s a welcome change that will hopefully spread to other cities. I’m guessing there was some pushback from the NIMBY crowd, but I am glad to see this move away from yet more urban sprawl. More walkability, even way up in Edmonton.

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RP: SubStack -Flip-flops, Girl Guides, and Food Banks


By hikkyo ikan on Unsplash

More flip flops than a beach holiday - From a Toronto Star Editorial - Another day, another policy climbdown for Doug Ford’s government

They will be cancelling their arbitrary planned changes to the municipal boundaries of Hamilton, Ottawa, Barie, Guelph and many others. This is after also cancelling the proposed release of 3,000 supposedly protected hectares of Greenbelt land around Toronto. These rollbacks are after several damning reports on his gov’t, so voters aren’t really pleased, knowing he’s only changing because he got caught. Developers aren’t pleased either, as many had invested in the new projects they thought they would start. However, they can always sue the gov’t, and we’ll pay in the end. As we get it in the end.

These latest issues will just add to Ford’s existing list of cutbacks and broken campaign promises. Will it be enough for a change in gov’t in June of 2026? Voters seem to have short memories, and once the headlines have gone most lose interest in politics.

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RP: SubStack -Oct 24/23 -Consumers, Cuffs, and COVID

Note - I’ve always been aware of a variety of both newsworthy and quirky subjects passing by every day, and now I may have found a nice spot to share them. I note them in passing, then spend a couple of hours collating and composing. Thanks for the comments so far.

Grocery store profits - From CBC, Canada's top grocers post above-average profits with little transparency, study says.

Photo-1533167751327-4091607cecc5 Their margins are still around 3-4 %, but consumer prices for groceries went up 11.5 % this September, compared to the year before. They claim increased costs, but we can’t get any real details, as they don’t want their competitors to know. And they lack transparency as to where their real profits are, since bundled in with groceries are things like drugstores, clothing, booze, garden centres, and makeup.

A few weeks ago the heads of the major chains were called to Ottawa and told to come up with plans to stabilize prices by Thanksgiving. There's not much yet from them- maybe they thought he meant the American Thanksgiving. They did talk of price freezes on some items until after Christmas, discounts, and price-matching campaigns. All of which they do already, so they are being called back. We now want their plans by November 2. We request, not demand the plans, as we can hint at regulations but there are a lot of powerful businesses there, a lot of lobbyists and campaign backers. It’s just politics.

Just buy more lentils and beans, They’re a cheap protein, and they can help heat the house.

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RP: SubStack Oct 23/23 -Races, Novels, and Bears

Comments - I’d really like to see your comments on my posts, and I’m sure other readers would too. But to comment, you will first need to create a free SubStack account. It’s quick to do, and then with an account, you can also subscribe to other writers, many of whom offer a free option to subscribe. In addition, you can manage which sections in my blog you prefer to get newsletters from. I hope we hear from you.


PXL_20231023_170113699 Podcasts for fun - I subscribe to a number of podcasts, of varying listening length and a number of styles. They cover politics, science, philosophy, history, and short stories. The stories are just to entertain, although I suppose good ones can teach you how to write effectively. There are lots of good ones from Podcastle, a site that has been going for 15 years. I listened to a very good one today, about a plush little toy that can slay the monsters under your bed for you. It’s Podcastle 254:Sundae Rated R: Contains violent Teddy Bears.

Here’s the intro from their site -

Perhaps the greatest warrior the world had ever known was entombed in a brown cardboard box in the attic. The box was scrawled “Kenny’s Room” in bright red Sharpie pen and stuffed into a dust-covered corner one Spring-cleaning with several others. Some contained toys the children had outgrown, others contained electronics that were working but hopelessly out-of-date. All of them were quickly forgotten about.

BTW - the photo above is my own little bear, just called Teddy. He’s over 70 by now.

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