Blog

Unlike the front page where I try to keep the stories a bit more formal and well-cited, the blog page is for less formality, more opinion, and unstructured thoughts. It’s also a place to share a bit more of the sausage-making of history from the perspective of someone caught in the middle of three approaches.


Dealing with (data) loss

Best practices: I haven’t been the best at practice.

Best practices in data preservation call for redundancy. I used to be a bit better with this than I have been recently. Until last year, for example, I kept everything on Microsoft’s OneDrive. The client never did work well on macOS, so I ditched that. iCloud would be Apple’s equivalent, but it was a bit pickier. Especially when my base model rMBP (128GB) is considered. So off the cloud I went to a 3TB external drive.

Then that drive began to fail. Locking Finder, slowing to a chug for small files, the works. Copying all 615,636 files over (should they all be transferrable and not beyond recovery) to a new drive is on track to take a few days.

Lesson (re)learned. In 2004 I lost every digital photograph I had ever taken when the Maxtor hard disk they were stored on failed spectacularly.

Sometimes you have to touch the element twice, I suppose.

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Spremo does Casa Loma, 1970

Looking northward in 1970. Image: Boris Spremo / Toronto Star / Toronto Public Library, Baldwin Collection, Item TSPA 0109754f.

I don’t have anything much to say about it other than I’ve been reminiscing lately about my visit to Casa Loma in the early 1990s. This is one of my favourite Boris Spremo shots (amazing how they tend to involve St. Clair in some way) and one that I would take myself today, given half the chance.

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CMHC Presentation Drawings, 1970 (Part 3: Campbellton, NB)

CMHC Presentation Drawings (1970).

The third instalment of this series brings us to Campbellton, New Brunswick, to the Dover-Tingley neighbourhood.

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Then & Now: Sherbourne and Bloor E, 1982 and 2016

“For an active Canada.” 1982. Image: David Cooper / Toronto Star / Toronto Public Library, Baldwin Collection, Item TSPA 0003817f.

It was made effective April 1, 1982. The federal government designated Metropolitan Toronto as a bilingual service area. With a bit less than two years beyond it and the 1980 Quebec referendum, the government’s decision to take out some of the billboards en français seulment – in Toronto of all places – was seen by some as a political move. While it was to some degree, it was also a move that also recognized the presence of a Francophone community in the Toronto area.

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Then & Now: Queen East and Sherbourne, 1981 and 2016

The former Canada Tavern at the southwest corner of Queen East and Sherbourne, 1981 and 2016. The stories some have shared at Vintage Toronto are pretty well expected. Though clearly on the dive side of the establishment ledger (and Moss Park had long been mixed), it was at least enough on the up to be the site of the Star’s New Years’ reporting in the late 1970s.1”First baby greets New Year,” Toronto Star, January 1, 1978, A1; “Sunday goes with a swing in hotels and taverns,” Toronto Star, January 3, 1979, A3. By 1999, however, fortunes had waned, and the corner became better known for poverty and substance abuse.2Catherine Dunphy, “Crack corner: Drugs are turning a vibrant slice of Toronto’s downtown into an urban wasteland,” Toronto Star, February 20, 1999, B1, B4.

In more recent years, it was slated for replacement-by-condo, but things have since quieted on the site and it has been boarded up for years. Much like Norm’s Open Kitchen, the Canada Tavern has figured into the memories and imaginaries of Toronto writers.

Notes   [ + ]

1. ”First baby greets New Year,” Toronto Star, January 1, 1978, A1; “Sunday goes with a swing in hotels and taverns,” Toronto Star, January 3, 1979, A3.
2. Catherine Dunphy, “Crack corner: Drugs are turning a vibrant slice of Toronto’s downtown into an urban wasteland,” Toronto Star, February 20, 1999, B1, B4.
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