Sunday, 12 December 2010

Eva's Print Shop bows out of Aviva Fund Poll...

Despite being a contender earlier, Eva's Phoenix Print Shop has bowed out from this year's Aviva Community Fund poll. But there are still ways to support their good work.

From a 10 December 2010 Eva's Initiatives email:

"Thank you so much for your time and energy in supporting our Aviva Community Fund Green Housing Revitalization pitch. Thanks to you we were one of 30 projects [out of 450+] that reached the semi finals - and your emails of support and kind words have been very much appreciated.

That said, we believe the margin is now too wide for us to be in the top ten and reach the finals. So as of today we are bowing out of the competition. Hopefully you can lend your Eva's support to one of the many excellent projects still in the running. We are committed to realizing our Green Housing Revitalization - any leads or ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.

Despite this temporary setback there is much good news at Eva's Phoenix: we will fulfill a long standing dream by introducing a Community Kitchen in 2011. Also, Eva's Initiatives has received the designation of a 'Charity Intelligence Recommended Charity for 2010', based on the strong impact and value of our work with homeless youth.

To continue supporting Eva's and homeless youth, please consider donating - we will be sending out an email appeal next week. You can also always visit"

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sara Marlowe on a 'whole new tour' with new & different recordings to come...

Some interesting news from Sara Marlowe's latest email Newsletter....


It has been a busy fall with shows with Sara Marlowe & the Program, but mostly baby planning... :-)
Shows will be on hold for a while - I'll be starting a whole new 'tour...'


* Peace on Earth this Holiday Season...
This holiday season, why not spread some musical, social justice cheer... :-). Local, independent music makes a great holiday gift and stocking stuffer. All orders of True Stories will include a free copy of Sara's debut CD, "A World to Win." You can order CDs by emailing or you can order a digital CD through itunes.
Wishing you a peaceful and restful holiday.

* While on maternity leave, Sara will be spending time working on her newest musical project (quite a departure from True Stories & Davaar)- "Mindful Kids" - a CD of original children's songs. The website will be built over the coming months, but in the meantime, you can check out

* Check out Davaar - Sara's new musical adventure with Dave McMillan - bass, mandolin and guitar player as well as computer programmer and Mac Wizard!
Listen to the new electronic-inspired tunes and remixes at

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Maquila Solidarity Network criticizes Wal-Mart Mexico's social responsibility reporting

Company needs to improve reporting and underlying policies, particularly on labour rights and environment:

A new report by MSN and Red Puentes Mexico examining Wal-Mart Mexico's (Walmex) CSR reporting, finds weaknesses in the company's reporting and practices, particularly in the areas of labour rights and the environment.

"Walmex needs to better address underlying policy issues such as the presence of protection contracts in most of its retail outlets, its treatment of over 23,000 "volunteer" youth baggers and the lack of consultation with civil society stakeholders on social and environmental issues," says Beatriz Lujan, of the Authentic Labour Front, a member organization of Red Puentes Mexico.

"We look forward to working with Walmex in an effort to improve the company's CSR reporting and its social and environmental policies and practices based on the report's recommendations," says Lynda Yanz of MSN.

See MSN report finds holes in Wal-mart de Mexico's CSR reporting and underlying policies posted on their website December 7, 2010 for more information and links.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Federal Court Building

180 Queen St. West

(west of University Ave, Osgoode subway)


Canadians have spoken out overwhelmingly in support of Iraq war resisters being allowed to stay in Canada. These young men and women made a difficult decision to not participate in the illegal and immoral war in Iraq. They have shown tremendous courage, leaving behind their homes, their family, friends and careers.

Yet Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney, who both wanted Canada to participate in the Iraq War, continue to deport Iraq war resisters. War resisters Robin Long and Cliff Cornell were sentenced to long prison terms in U.S. military prisons because the Harper government refused to respect two House of Commons motions (passed June 3, 2008 and March 30, 2009) to stop deporting war resisters and to let them stay. Many war resisters are living under the threat of deportation.

On December 14th, the Federal Court will hear an appeal by Iraq war resister Dean Walcott. Dean, a former U.S. Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, is appealing the negative decisions on his Pre-Removal Risk Assessment and his request to be allowed to stay in Canada on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.

Join a vigil to support Dean Walcott and to demand that the Harper government respect Canadian democracy and the will of the Canadian people. It is time to let the war resisters stay!


Get involved:

Friday, 3 December 2010

Good For Her & Toronto Women's Bookstore are having a Naughty and Nice Sale

Well, this speaks for itself, Good For Her and the Toronto Women's Bookstore are cooperating for one amazing sales event...from the Facebook event page:

Naughty and Nice Sale! Starring Toronto Women's Bookstore AND Good For Her!

Time: Friday, December 10 · 6:00pm - 10:00p

Location: Good For Her & Toronto Women's Bookstore
175 Harbord Street (GFH- near Bathurst)
and 73 Harbord Street (TWB - near Spadina)
Toronto, ON

Save big for the holiday season!
5% off when you spend between $25 - $49.99
10% off when you spend between $50 - $99.99
15% off when you spend over $100

At Good For Her
175 Harbord Street (at Bathurst)
Launch of our Massage Oil line! Free bottle with purchase over $50
Chocolate, champagne and more sweet treats
9:30 draw for a Toronto Women’s Bookstore Gift Certificate!

At Toronto Women’s Bookstore
73 Harbord Street (at Spadina)
GREAT discounts just in time
Warm drinks and baked treats
Live performances
9:30 draw for a Good For Her gift certificate!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Forum - Organizing in an Era of Precarious Work - Thursday December 9 2010

From the Toronto branch's email list of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World):

*Organizing in an Era of Precarious Work*
Ryerson Student Centre - Oakham House
1st Floor - Thomas Lounge
6.00 pm to 9 pm
Thursday December 9, 2010
Refreshments provided.

Join fellow activists, allies, supporters, workers and community in a forum
to discuss the reality of part-time, precarious and undocumented work
enforced through immigration and capitalism that now dominates our working

Hear and learn about the nature and challenges of precarious work and take
part in discussions that will help us build and prepare for workshops and an
action plan for the upcoming labour conference in January 2011.

Organized by Justice for Migrant Workers, Labour Caucus of the Greater
Toronto Worker's Assembly
, Migrante and No One is Illegal.

For more information, contact 416-529-9600 or

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

J4MW calls for overhaul of Ontario's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program

...see the latest news release from Justicia for Migrant Workers:

Migrant farm workers stage wildcat strike to demand thousands of dollars in unpaid wages: Employer responds with deportation

November 23, 2010

(Simcoe, Ontario) Over a 100 migrant farm workers employed at Ghesquiere Plants Ltd. are facing imminent repatriation (deportation) after staging a wildcat strike to demanding thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

The migrant workers from Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados came together across racial, linguistic and ethnic lines to organize this wild cat strike and strengthen their collective power. The workers employed by this farm described numerous rights violations and complaints about their living conditions including the following:

- Workers are each owed from $1000 to $6000 in unpaid wages
- Workers are to be evicted and will be homeless as of Thursday, November 25th, 2010
- Most of the Mexican and Trinidadian workers will be repatriated by this Thursday. All Jamaican workers have been repatriated
- Electricity and heat has been cut off in one bunk
- Deplorable and very crowed living conditions

Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW), a grassroots advocacy migrant rights organization, calls for the immediate payment of all wages owing to workers. Migrant workers employed at Ghesquiere Plant Ltd. are being forced to return home and cannot provide for their families. Repatriation denies them access to pursue legal avenues under federal and provincial laws, basic protections accorded to permanent residents in Canada thus J4MW calls on both levels of government to intervene to protect migrants and prosecute employers who denied these workers basic rights. J4MW stresses that Temporary Foreign Worker Programs such as the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program denies migrant workers the ability to exert their rights and are in need of an urgent and complete overhaul.

J4MW Contacts

Chris Ramsaroop 1-647-834-4932 or
Carolina Alvarado Zuniga 1-647-296-6753

Justicia for Migrant Workers
c/o Workers' Action Centre
720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 223
Toronto ON M5S 2T9

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Support Iraq War Resisters

December 2nd: Two Toronto fundraisers in support of Iraq War resisters

From east to west, Toronto is fundraising for Iraq War resisters on THURSDAY DECEMBER 2nd – two great events, one great cause! Please come out to one (or both!) of these events, bring your neighbours and friends, help raise much needed funds for the ongoing fight to keep Iraq War resisters in Canada.



Canadian lyricist and composer Jon Brooks performs a benefit for the War Resisters Support Campaign, with special guests Antonia Zerbisias, Toronto Star columnist and author of the "Broadsides” blog and Iraq War resister Jeremy Hinzman.

Thursday, December 2nd

8 p.m.

Lula Lounge

1585 Dundas Street West

$20 or pay what you can • Dinner reservation guarantees seating 416 588 0307



Come out to the “Support Don’t Deport “ Benefit Jam in support of local War Resisters Phil and Jamine, with special musical guests Mr. Rick & the Biscuits, Darren Eedens and comedian Robin Crossman.

Thursday, December 2nd

8:30pm - 11:30pm

The Prohibition Gastrohouse

696 Queen Street East

$25 in advance or $30 at the door (includes first drink and appetizer)

Ticket info at

Monday, 15 November 2010

Calico closed due to Jared's career opportunity...

Well, seems like Calico Cafe and Catering just opened, but already the proprietor has moved on the better things...from the Calico Facebook page:

"Calico cafe and catering
would like to thank you all for being a part of this wonderful/taxing experience. Calico has become more than I could have hoped for in its short time and I will carry the experience with me forever.

I have be offered a position that will allow for travel and more culinary adventure.
Calico is closed for service as of now

I wish you all the best of luck!
Please stay in touch.

and the staff of Calico"

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Davenport West Bike Project recruiting volunteers

The following email notice originally came from Gabrielle Langlois of the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre:

"I am writing to let you know about a new health promotion initiative in the Davenport west area.

The Davenport West bike project aims to create/further develop bike culture and increase physical activity and awareness that physical activity can help improve health and well being. We ran a successful pilot this past summer (13 free bike clinics) and with new funding from the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, will run a more developed project until the fall of 2011. From Dec. 2010 to March 2011 it will include training for volunteers (bike repair, health promotion, healthy eating, safe riding/injury prevention), and in the spring/summer of 2011 will include free community bike clinics and community rides.

We are currently recruiting volunteers (youth, seniors, newcomers, veteran cyclists, etc.) interested in becoming involved in this project and are looking to you to help us spread the word. Attached is a “call to volunteer” poster and it would be greatly appreciated if you can please post in your agency/area. Please feel free to forward this email to others who may be interested. This project is in collaboration with The Stop Community Food Centre, Bike Pirates, Sweet Pete’s bike shop, CultureLink, and myfirstwheels.

The first training session is Tuesday Dec. 7. Interested applicants can contact me via email at, via phone at 416.656.8025 x 377 or come to DPNC at 1900 Davenport Rd. and I can provide more information."

To see a copy of the original street notice, visit the I Bike TO blog post here. I notice Bike Pirates among the partners listed there...they seem to be everywhere these days...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Food for a Healing Planet: Julie Daniluk talks to Taodhg Burns of TorontotheBetter

It’s sad, I see it everyday, in Toronto and other cities, Canadian bodies, and the minds within them, struggling to support the weight that has been put on them. Obesity and diabetes are everywhere in 2010, and by the look of it, they won’t be going away quickly. If the idea that we can eat our way out of the crisis seems crazy, listen on. New TorontotheBetter business person Julie Daniluk has something to say about it.

The Ukraine, the birthplace of Julie Daniluk’s grandmother was once known as Europe’s breadbasket, the source of basic foodstuffs for the continent . And sure enough Grannie Daniluk made the cabbage rolls – all ingredients from the backyard – and other meals that fed the family bodies. And in the case of Julie, new TorontotheBetter business creator, author of Meals that Heal, and host of TV programe The Perfect Fit, Grannie fed her spirit too. The idea of food that heals was born in the culture of her childhood, so what Julie is preaching – and it is belief that drives her – is not something new , however trendy natural aka organic/biologique food has become of late.

No, for Julie, food that heals means more than natural food, it means returning to nature in the way we prepare it, to the way meals were made in her Grannie’s day, to what works, and has worked. As an example of what might be, we started talking about donuts, the classical junk food of many’s choice. Images of chain donut guzzling fit well with TV- and DVD- hooked generations for whom watching sport has replaced doing it. But no food, including donuts, is evil, lullabies Julie. It’s how we make it/them. Here’s my donut lesson from the gospel of Julie Daniluk: Although sometimes the wheat that goes into most basic dough donut dough is not always problem-free (wheat ingredients can cause problems for some), it’s when you drop the donut dough in 350 degree deep fat that those potentially nice donuts become, if not evil, then hazardous to your health, releasing carcinogenic free radicals into your bloodstream and posing risks to major organs.

OK, so back to basics must be our mantra. Most of us likely have an instinctive respect for “mother [or grandmother] knew best”, messages, but who now knows what Julie’s Grannie knew? And if they don’t how will they find out? In 2010, bookstores are full of healthy eating and natural growing manuals. but meanwhile the obesity beat goes on.

The good news is, there are hopeful signs. Like TorontotheBetter, where we’ve seen an explosion of healthy food enterprises in the last few years, in her work as cooking adviser, Julie is seeing many newcomers to the world of food preparation eager to learn more and different. Ok, we all have to eat, including lawyers, but law society representatives like the ones Julie’s seen at her classes, now that’s likely new, and a sign of something deeper that’s going on. Even if they’re aging lawyers regretting years of donuts, they’re getting concerned and that’s a pre-determinant of change. Some of us, especially the non-lawyers, might be suspicious of a “legal donut”, i.e. a donut made by lawyers, but for Julie getting the healthy food message out to whoever will listen is her mission. And she’s happy to see them.

With lessons like these, then, maybe we’d all have liked school! A revolution requires masses and many tactics. Whether it is Jamie Oliver dressing up like a chicken nugget, a condo-dweller growing a bean or two on their balcony, or Julie relaying her Grannie’s messages to lawyers , each of these actors is playing an important part that speaks to different audiences, and a whole is emerging greater than the parts added together. Together, educators and entrepreneurs like Julie, and their audiences, are building a healthier Toronto and a healthier Toronto is a better Toronto.
All well and good, we usually end our interviews this way, but… In this case, despite the fact that a healthy meal can be made, as Julie maintains, for $5, how many of the people who have to live on $5 healthy- meals are actually able to eat them? Not enough, obviously, and thereby hangs the tail/tale.

To realize the healthiness benefits of the lessons that Julie and others bear, we need governance changes that will help to get out the knowledge to all, particularly those who most need to know it (as well, of course, as the money to buy the ingredients for the recipes). And that’s pretty much all of us, so separated are we urban-dwellers, from the basics of food and cooking. Right now, the messages that most continuously get to us are the commercially derived and largely unhealthy ones. Each week I walk past a restaurant offering all you can eat Sushi meals. All you can eat Sushi!. Imagine it. It’s no surprise that in a city that publicly values healthiness for its citizens – an economic as well as humanitarian benefit – but is unable, or, in some cases, unwilling, to implant the behaviours that will realize it, the public, particularly the poor, keep getting unhealthier than they have to be.

What can we do, as citizens? Listen to Julie in all her diverse media (print, TV and in person), yes. But then, do what we can to make those lessons realizable for all. Healthy eating is not just about personal choices. Our choices are determined by our social and economic status. That said, being able to make healthy meals from if/when we have healthy options is clearly part of the solution. If we don’t live near farmers’ markets and the cost of getting to them as well as of the food at them, is out of our league, then our ability to take advantage of the lessons of Julie and progressive nutritionists like her will be limited. As TorontotheBetter supporters what are we to do? Fight for the changes that will make healthy food options, and knowledge about healthy meals, like Julie’s, a real option for all, wherever they live in the city.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Jo-Anne McArthur: Photographer one of Canada's top 50 volunteers of 2010

Kudos to Jo-Anne McArthur for being recognized as one of Canada's Champions of Change. From the 'About the Candidate' section of her Champions of Change page:

"When Jo-Anne McArthur takes a photo of an animal, she wants you to feel something. She wants you to see an animal as a sentient being, one that can experience fear, isolation, and pain. When she investigates a factory farm or visits an animal sanctuary, she is looking for those moments when an animal expresses a feeling toward other animals and human beings.

Jo-Anne has taken tens of thousands of photographs in the name of We Animals, the animal welfare organization she founded. Her photographs have been used in numerous awareness campaigns and articles by Sea Shepherd, Elle Magazine, WSPA, SPCA, and the Jane Goodall Institute. She also presents her photographs in slideshow presentations across Ontario."

Reality is What You Make It

A reply to an article by Kevin Libin: Connecting the dots in the National Post

The Tea Party is a group of angry, disaffected Americans who have just been set up by the power behind Wall Street who for some reason Obama had to bring on board in his administration. Perhaps his thought was that those who broke it could fix it and also best to have your enemies in view.

Also just look at some of the founders of the Tea Party, The Koch brothers for example, with a $35 billion tar sands refining opertion to run. Wall Street now have unwitting pawns on the political game board of disintegrating "Western democracy". This isn't a recent phenomena but had its claws in the economy with the end of the Keynes Philosophy and superceeded by the Milton Friedman School of thought, the Market is infallible and exercised his economics thanks to Thatcher & Reagan.

- “They’ve looked at their situation and decided in the last two years, Obama made the drift of recent decades explicit, and a lot of Americans woke up to that and decided they didn’t like where they were drifting to,”

Obama got his majority as people were looking for a different kind of leadershp not like the Bushs' & Clinton's which were only two sides of the Wall Street coin and just two years doesn't make up for the last thirty. Americans don't wake up that fast. No country does.

As for fundamentalism of any kind be it free market, Christian, Muslim, Judaism, it has always succeeded in creating extremely divisive conflicts and is exploited by a group who have the power, or think they have the power or want more power, to justify the destruction of those who oppose them. If you can tap into their emotions (9/11, Wall Street Crash of 2008) and combine it with additional fears you will have control of dedicated willing extremists.

Steyn's assertion that "United States as the only liberal power properly equipped, both demographically and psychologically, to withstand the undermining of its values by the growing global influence of Islamic fundamentalism." is that it was violently born in 1776 and developed a pathological nationalism for whom the Tea Party was an iconic symbol of David defeating the English Goliath.

Steyn is using Khadr to support his anti-immigration thesis "Khadr family as the poster boys for all that’s virtuous in Canada, it’s not an assimilation issue, it’s a societal issue.” It could be argued that one society's "poster boy" is another society's "poster boy" (intended) such that it could also be argued that one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. Khader is just a symbol, an icon, a pawn with an Islamic fundamentalist angle.

Where could this lead? "The Clash of Civilizations" is more than just a euphemism it today it is intended to become reality. The bible, like H.G. Well's Journey to the Moon, is written by man and was most likely inpsired by events and thoughts, some divine/creative, of the time. But what ever man can envision he can create a serious illusion of reality. Some realities are pathological particularly those who look in the skies for Armageddon. As the rich become richer and resources, rational society, and climate dissappear by their hands, we are left with the last man standing. He will die too Mr. Steyn.

More TorontoTheBetter congratulations for NOW Best of Toronto winners

...following up on a previous short post, I should also extend thanks to Bikes on Wheels for being voted the best Bike Mechanic in NOW Magazine's Best of Toronto 2010.

Also, Mountain Equipment Co-op was voted best sporting goods store.

And finally, The Big Carrot won in two categories: best Natural Food Market and best Vitamin/Herbalist Store - and come to think of it, that last win warrants some congratulations to Julie Daniluk, the nutrintionist and public relations worker at the Big Carrot...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

2nd Annual Canadian Labour International Film Festival 2010 starts in Toronto on November 20th

I received an email from the Labour Eduction Centre regarding the upcoming Canadian Labour International Film Festival:

"Over 50 communities across Canada are taking part. In Toronto, the Labour Film Festival takes place in just a few weeks:

Saturday and Sunday November 20-21 and 27-28

Innis Town Hall (University of Toronto), 5 minutes south of St. George subway station, corner of St. George and Sussex

All films are free! (Donations encouraged)

22 great films from Canada and other countries – Please join us!"

See the list of films here.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Olive Harvest - Olive War

Exhibition: Tuesday, November 9 to Sunday, November 21
Reception: Tuesday, November 16 at 7:00 pm

"Today, Mr. President, I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand." Yasser Arafat at United Nations, November 13, 1974.

Montreal based photo-journalist Valerian Mazataud presents his photo essay "Olive Harvest - Olive War in Palestine" Valerian will be present to speak of his experience and to take questions at a reception on Tuesday, November 16.

Branches are cut, trees are burnt, harvests are stolen, and attacks are violent. Since 2000, Israeli NGOs such as Rabbis for Human Rights have denounced the violent acts committed by settlers during the olive harvest, a key period for farmers, families and the economy of Palestinian villages.

The olive harvest in the West Bank used to be a joyful time, but, for the past years, it rhymes with violence. Israeli media now refers to it as, the "Olive War".

On Bible's lands, symbols are all mighty. Stones against machine guns, children against soldiers. The Olive tree is an ancestral symbol of peace, uniting the people of the Mediterranean and beyond. Today, it has become not only the ground, but also the means and the issue of confrontations between Israeli settlers and unarmed Palestinian farmers.

Valerian Mazataud is freelance photo-journalist based in Montreal. He visited the West Bank during the fall of 2009, and chose to look at the Israel-Palestine conflict under the symbolic shade of the olive tree.

Need to know:
- Exhibit no charge
- Reception by donation: $10-20 sliding scale
- Sorry, not wheelchair accessible

Beit Zatoun is a non-profit art & culture centre located at 612 Markham Street (right by Bathurst subway).

Come As Your Are & Good For Her top NOW magazine poll...

Congratulations to Come As You Are for being voted Best sex store by NOW magazine readers. And also to Good For Her as Runner-up.

...But is this any surprise at all, really?...

Sunday, 31 October 2010

ATTN. Transportation Activists - COMMUNITY BICYCLE NETWORK - Annual General Meeting

Monday Nov.1st, 2010 - 7.30pm at the Community Bicycle Network
761 Queen St. West

Thursday, 28 October 2010

In Forma Theatre Projects & Workshops, November 2010

In Forma Theatre has two events of interest:


We are into the second month of our multi-generational theatre program in Rexdale. Building Common Ground brings together a group of 30 seniors and youth to build understanding across generations in the Rexdale neighbourhood through storytelling and theatre activities.

Contact us today if you would like to get involved as volunteer or make a donation to this exciting program.

Building Common Ground is a free theatre program offered by In Forma Theatre in partnership with the Rexdale Women's Centre and the Toronto Public Library Albion Branch, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, North York Harvest, and the generous donations of our individual supporters.


oin In Forma Theatre for this one day popular theatre training workshop.

Space is limited. If you are interested in joining us please contact us today to reserve your spot.

Are you a teacher, facilitator or practitioner who would like to learn more about popular theatre? Come experience and learn innovative theatre exercises & facilitation techniques designed to engage, spark dialogue and inspire change. Learn Theatre of the Oppressed inspired games and activities that you can take back and use with your class, group, or community. This hands on workshop will introduce you to core popular theatre games and activities.

No previous theatre experience required!
Facilitated by In Forma Theatre
Inclusive. Innovative. Fun.

Eva's Phoenix Print Shop climbing Aviva Comuunity Fund poll...

I was glad to hear that Eva's Phoenix Print Shop is in the Top 10 and climbing on the Aviva Community Fund poll...

From a 27 October 2010 Eva's Initiatives email:

" 400 votes today will move us into the Top 10! - go to the Aviva site to cast your support
Did you know that 1/3 of the homeless population is between ages of 16-24? (Source Snow, D., 2008. A Roof Over Our Heads 2008: Affordable Housing and Homelessness in Canada. Canada West Foundation)

We are climbing up in the polls thanks to YOU. Please keep up the support by voting once per day per email address, EVERY day until November 5th!

Also, you can help by messaging your Facebook friends, tweeting to your followers, and sending and email to your personal networks

Thank you, The Eva's Team"

I've about you?

Monday, 25 October 2010

Bixi Toronto hits 1,000 mark thanks to AutoShare...

Well, I have to give kudos to AutoShare for purchasing 100 Bixi Toronto memberships to push Bixi past their 1,000 goal...

"Some people are wondering why a ‘car company’ wants people to share bikes, too? Because AutoShare is committed to building a more efficient and innovative transportation system in Toronto. So our support for Bixi is a natural fit."

Thursday, 21 October 2010

TWB 3 Day cabaret: Toronto Women's Bookstore celebrates Octobet 27-29. 2010

From the Toronto Women's Bookstore Facebook event page:

"The Toronto Women's Bookstore invites you to join us for our official opening party! Come celebrate the re-opening of the store with a three-day cabaret featuring readings, performances, DJ's and refreshments.

Drop by the store Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - Friday, October 29, 2010 between 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. and celebrate with us!

For complete details, please see the event poster attached and check for updates on scheduled authors and performers."

Good to hear...

Friday, 15 October 2010

Upcoming social economy workshops in Toronto

SUBJECT: Social Economy Workshops 2010-2011

(scroll down for more information on this workshop!)

November 26: Social Enterprise Development in Canada (full day)


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Sugar Mamma's Building a Happier Toronto One mini-Donut at a Time

Taodhg Burns of TorontotheBetter recently spoke to new TorontotheBetter entry, Sugar Mamma's Mini-Donuts

With a last name like Vroom you likely have some energetic cultural genes going for you. In the case of Wade Vroom’s collectively operated Sugar Mamma’s Mini-Donuts there’s no doubt the small edibles come with a big charge. Actors and performers as well as donut makers, the Sugar Mamma collective, made up of two performer couples, combine creative high spirits with down home delicacies and some distinctive organic ingredients. Sugar Mamma’s donuts get a special taste buzz from the organic coconut oil they’re cooked in. When I asked Wade Vroom of new to TorontotheBetter Sugar Mamma’s Mini Donuts how they contributed to a better Toronto he was hesitant, maybe out of modesty, but the chat I recently had with him confirmed one thing for me: happier people make a better city. And donuts make people happy. Don’t forget that in Bhutan gross domestic product is secondary to gross happiness as the key measure of national prosperity. When Sugar Mamma’s take their donuts to the Saturday morning farmers’ market at Wychwood Barns, they find that grandparents and children lead the way to their donut dispensing cart. And we all know that bringing children (willing spoilees) and grandparents(willing spoilers, nostalgic about their own childhood) together, is a happiness recipe. In fact, when most of us think of our childhoods for many of us donuts are up there with ice-cream as things that made us smile the most and reconciled us to the long spells of idleness and parental orders . As Wade pointed out, kids are small, like mini-donuts. Unlike when with many adults, they feel they’re among equals with the mini-donuts.

But it’s not just the mini-donuts that make Sugar Mamma’s a Toronto builder. Their donuts come to you; you don’t have to go to them. Instead of one month a year at the Ex, the Sugar Mamma’s folks can bring you 12 months of donuts from their cart each year. Using the idea of a year-round mobile donut service they got from a Texan friend, they injected dynamism and convenience into the basic guiltless feelgood pleasure of donuts. Need to add some happiness to your event? Call for the Sugar Mamma’s cart ahead of time and they’ll come.

At a time of much anger and economic tension in Toronto, following a G20 military occupation of our city, maybe it’s important to point out that mini-donuts, with their relatively mini price-tag, are for everybody. They’re pleasures that pretty much anyone can afford. And the oil from pesticide free coconuts they use mean these donuts are healthier as well as sweet . While the coconuts have to come from out of country, until Toronto does something about the sun, the oil is processed by a local farmer in Ontario, so as well as guilt free sweet stuff we’re also talking about the local economy . For Wade Vroom that home component is important. And if you want coffee with your donuts, Sugar Mamma’s will be providing fair trade coffee. All in all, we’re talking about collectively managed healthy pleasures that contribute to the local economy. If that’s not a recipe for social justice I don’t know what is.

Oh yes, we know donuts have a downside; obesity if you eat too many. In fact, there’s no healthy eating programme we know of where donuts play a prominent role. But as with most things, moderation is the key. If we must have donuts, and it seems to be a law of human nature that we must, then let’s not eat too many. Mini-donuts save us the effort, with their built-in mini-induced rationing effect. As a friend of mine pointed out, the effort and time required to eat enough mini-donuts to make us fat would make most of us think about alternatives for our donut fix, if fullness is our goal. But, you have been warned! By all means have your donut feel good high, but do it in a healthier, TorontotheBetter way.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Catherine Tammaro studio moving...

Hey, as of 15 November 2010 Catherine Tammaro Art/Design and Traditional Japanese Reiki will be moving up the street from 39 Metcalfe to 43 Metcalfe Street (Unit 18)...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

CAYA & Red Tent earn mention in Postcards from a Sex Nerd

Congratulations to Come As You Are and Red Tent Sisters for being included in Midori, The Traveling Sexpert's Toronto Travel Guide:

Come As You Are
Come As You Are is a multi-award-winning shop carrying goods and sponsoring events for the passionate lover in all of us. It’s a cheerful store full of the best quality sex toys, erotic books, sexy videos and works by local artists on the wall. On weekends, they’re just packed with erotic connoisseurs and giddy couples of all ages and genders.

Red Tent Sisters
For those interested in fertility and all aspects of women’s wellness, including sexuality, don’t miss Red Tent Sisters. I bought a cool inflatable birthing tub from Amy and Kim, the proprietors. I’m not having a baby, silly! It doubles as the best mini back yard pool or beer cooler, ever!"

Free Transit Street Party, Ocotober 2nd 2010

Well, Taodhg suggested that we repost the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly press release regarding the Free Transit Street Party, so here it is:

2/22/2010. Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly (GTWA) to hold park party to raise awareness and campaign for free and accessible transit. Party and rally to take place Saturday Oct. 2 1-4PM in Christie Pits, Toronto

No Fare is Fair: Park Party for Free and Accessible Transit...

The Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly will be holding a mass rally and family-friendly party at the Christie Pits in Toronto on Saturday October 2 from 1 to 4 PM, to increase the visibility of the GTWA’s campaign for free and accessible transit.

“This is a perfect time for this kind of community campaign,” says York University Professor Leo Panitch. “The public is fed up with cuts to social services and increasing transit costs, while the government spends billions on fighter-planes.” Panitch points out that the campaign can be paid for through a re-allocation of tax revenue, and possibly by floating bonds, given Ontario’s low interest rates.

Community organizer Jennifer Huang points out that for working class and migrant communities, the cost of transit makes life more difficult. “People shouldn’t have to choose between paying for either groceries or transit,” says Huang. Jonah Schein, Davenport candidate for Toronto City Council agrees. “Imagine free and accessible transit,” says Schein. “It seems difficult, but it also seemed difficult to imagine free health care before Tommy Douglas came along.”

The campaign demands that the public is provided not only with fare–free transit, but also for accessible transit. Those with accessibility needs are increasingly finding the TTC not ‘the better way.’ “Accessibility doesn’t just mean an elevator at the end of the platform” says labour activist Peter Brogan. “It means a firm commitment from the city to ensure that those who aren’t ‘able bodied’ have the same right to mobility as everyone else!”

The Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly was formed after a series of meetings among progressive, labour and community organizations in Toronto in the summer and fall of 2009. Vowing to move beyond the divisions that have hampered progressive change in the Greater Toronto Area, the first Assembly was held in October 2009. The campaign for Free and Accessible transit was crafted by the campaigns committee of the GTWA and endorsed by Assembly members in April 2010.

Since April, a committee of labour activists, academics and community organizers has worked on crafting the campaign, researching and discussing how to pay for fare-free and accessible transit, creating and distributing leaflets and building our capacity to push for a new and better Toronto. “This is a great city” says Schein, who will be speaking to potential constituents at the party, “but another Toronto is possible!”

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Tell McDonald's: It's Time To Retire The Clown

From Ana Joanes, director of Fresh: the movie:


It's time to retire the clown.

For decades, Ronald McDonald has peddled a whole brand of junk food that is today spurring a deadly epidemic of diet-related disease. One out of every three American children is now considered overweight or obese, putting our kids at risk for dangerous medical conditions from diabetes to heart disease.

Click here to join thousands of other people in telling McDonald's to retire Ronald McDonald.

Millions of kids across the globe consume the products that Ronald McDonald markets. No marketing icon has done more to hook kids on unhealthy food, influencing brand loyalties and eating habits that can last a lifetime.

FRESH is partnering with Corporate Accountability International, the organization who successfully sent Joe Camel "packing", to call an end to Ronald McDonald's career. Can you sign our retirement card for Ronald McDonald? We'll send your signatures straight to McDonald's headquarters.

President Obama just declared September 2010 "National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month." Let's seize this moment to remove the world's most well-known salesman of junk food.

Even when parents try their best to instill a love of fresh, healthy food in their children, Ronald is around the corner, on the Internet, in schools, children's libraries and hospitals, enticing kids to desire the worst of what the industrial food system has to offer. It's time to stand up for Mom and Dad by giving this clown a rest!

Ronald deserves a break…and so do we! Tell McDonald's to Retire Ronald by signing his retirement card.

We are up against a powerful force; the budgets of even the most well-funded health education initiatives pale in comparison to the hundreds of millions of dollars McDonald's spends annually on kids' marketing. The fast food industry will undoubtedly keep working to lure our children unless tens of thousands of people demand that they stop. Retiring Ronald McDonald is an important first step in moving the fast food industry to stop its' predatory marketing to kids. Together, we can create a world where FRESH food, not fast food, flourishes.

Happy eating,

Ana Joanes
Director, FRESH
© 2008 FRESH the movie - New thinking on what we're eating.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Bike Pirates seeking recipes etc. for cookbook...

An email from the Bike Pirates Facebook group:

We here in the Bike Pirates kitchen have been putting together plans for a Bike Pirates Cook Book, and we want your submissions!

For anyone who doesn't know, Bike Pirates has always had food in it's space, and for the past 2 years has included free meals as a regular part of their programming. Bike politics and food politics overlap in a variety of ways, and free, healthy food helps to keep our volunteers and participants happy and able to focus. Serving a meal also encourages people to sit and chat, share company and creates community among those using the space.

The kitchen is a vegetarian space, where we cook a lot of vegan meals (and desserts) and use produce from local gardens and organic farms whenever possible. What we need are your favourite recipes that are easy to make for large groups of people - we usually cook for about 20.

What We are Looking For
- recipes that use local/native produce!
- recipes that don't involve measuring!
- vegan recipes!
- Easy, yummy baking recipes (including breads, cakes, pies, cookies etc) that are either vegan or gluten-free
- Directions for fun bike-related craft projects
- Suggestions for a great title! (Working title: The Bike Pirates Anarchist Cooking Book)
- Art for the cover or to decorate the pages inside
*Please ensure that any recipe you submit is indeed your own, and hasn't been taken directly out of your favourite cookbook.

The book will be prepared as a zine and each recipe will be on a separate page. We will use the cook book in the kitchen at the shop and it will also be for sale.

You can either send along your recipes to or bring in a prepared, unique photo-copy friendly page for the zine to Bike Pirates during any open hours.

Deadline for submissions will be Saturday October 9th, so we have time to prepare the zine before winter craft season.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Edible Toronto Cover by Green Fuse Images

Now that we'll into Autumn, I know this is a little late. But I can't help but note the - for lack of a better word - synergy as Green Fuse Images is squirmingly happy to have the 2010 Summer cover photo of Edible Toronto...

Sara Maralowe & The Program - Benefit for War Resisters Support Campaign

Another TorontoTheBetter musician mentioned again in a Centre for the Study of Education and Work email newsletter:


Friday, Sept. 17; 8:00pm - 11:00pm
The Free Times Cafe
320 College St.; Toronto, ON

Cover: $5 or PWYC

Partial proceeds will go to the War Resisters Support Campaign –

with special guests:

Urban Flute Ensemble –

Pamela Brennan –

Friday, 10 September 2010

Bazant Moves to a New Studio in the Distillery Historic District

On September 3rd Bazant Unique Adornments officially moved to a spacious new studio in the Distillery Historic District. Studio #202 in the Case Goods Warehouse is now my private workshop, showroom and future classroom. While I get settled in I'm offering 15% off on all custom work. Take this opportunity to have your old costume jewelry re-designed into something gorgeous and meaningful to you! For examples of previous custom projects, visit the CUSTOM WORK section of my blog. Call 416-879-6367 to arrange an appointment.

Really, it's a dream come true. I am surrounded by beautiful Victorian Architecture, and tons of talented artists. The streetcar ride down here is so inspiring. I take the 504 King car which goes through the nicest part of Riverdale, as well as east Chinatown and Corktown. I'm still getting the showroom set up, but so far it's really shaping up! Come and see me at the Junction Arts Festival this weekend to see my latest collections and set up an appointment at the new studio.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Benefit for The War Resisters Support Campaign

Where:  Free Times Cafe, 320 College St.

When:  Friday, September 17th

Time:   8:00 pm

Cover:  $5 or PWYC

Partial Proceeds go to War Resisters Support Campaign -


Sara Marlowe & the Program

-a captivating blend of folk, roots, jazz and social justice - newly sprinkled with electronica

with special guests:

Urban Flute Ensemble -

jamie thompson - flute -

max scheinin - violin

lucas tensen - cello -

Pamela Brennan -

“Perfect for near days of summer as for a cold and chilly, blustery day. The tunes are inviting - her sculpted melodies pulling you into the song's midst with the twist of a word.” – Vue Weekly, Edmonton

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Tinto Coffee House beats the Construction Blues

A nice, little email recently received from Tinto Coffee House:

"here are many good things about construction on Roncesvalles Avenue. You can see the progress, it's upgrading some basic services on a permanent basis, and it's also bound to end some day.

Meanwhile it has moved north from the southern tip of Roncesvalles. So Tinto's portion is clearer and less dusty. This means less noise, as well.
Some times there is parking and some time there is none. But it looks there are more times with, than without parking.

It's all very positive and so are we. We are happy to be back on Wednesday 8th. Our good Fair Trade coffee from Latin America is back, so are our home bakes, salads, sandwiches and wraps, our locally supplied ingredients and organic ingredients along with South American wines and local beers. In short, we are back and beating construction blues.

Come share your summer tan with all of us! Hurry before it's gone!"

Monday, 6 September 2010

Refusing Orders - Crossing Borders: a dialogue with U.S. war resisters

October 16 · 11:00am - 7:30pm

Location St Paul's' Anglican Church
32 Idylewylde Street
Fort Erie, ON

Created By

More Info
The War Resisters Support Campaign and the Buffalo chapter of Veterans For Peace are co-sponsoring this important event.

Supporters from both Canada and the U.S. will have the opportunity to meet men and women who have chosen to go to Canada rather than participate in the Iraq War.

Come and spend a few hours with war resisters and their families. Find out who they are and why they made the choices they did - the personal and legal struggles they face - and how you can help.

For more information as it becomes available, see:

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Photo Exhibit: Hyphen Islam-Christianity

Following showings in Montreal, New York, Beyrouth, Jbeil, Zahleh, Copenhagen, Amman, Tripoli, Paris, Tyre and Casablanca.

Imagine a young country where multiculturalism is part of the mental landscape and where differences are life enriching.

Imagine a much older country on the other side of the planet where 19 religious communities are at home on a territory only 1/10 the size of Southwest Ontario.

The link between these two countries is “Hyphen Islam-Christianity”, a multidisciplinary project which voyages into the heart of Lebanon but also into human memory of sharing and diversity.

For Canadians grappling with "reasonable accommodation" among its diverse population groups we can learn much from the example of Christians and Muslims living side by side in Lebanon for more than a thousand years.

Be our guest for a guided tour by the artist who brings her native country in 100 stunning photographs to Canada which welcomed her as one of its own.

Nada Raphael is the photographer and producer of Hyphen Islam-Christianity. Nada studied in Beirut and Montreal and received a Bachelor’s degrees in audiovisual studies, in communication and in journalism. She has variously worked as a photographer, a camera woman, a journalist, a theater director and a project manager.

Nada created a production company named “Electrochocks Productions” in 2003 in Montreal, her adoptive home. She co-produces and directs documentaries covering different topics.

As a photographer she takes a human outlook on events in the Middle East, most specifically in her native Lebanon.

Need to know:
- No admission (donations accepted)
- Exhibition hardcover book and show postcards for sale
- Doors open at 6:45 pm
- Sorry, not wheelchair accessible
Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) and oliveoil+za'atar dipping.

Phone: 647.726.9500

Beit Zatoun is located at 612 Markham Street, right by Bathurst subway.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

UnionBook 2.0 in testing...

Eric Lee, with LabourStart, reports that:

"The current version of UnionBook - the social network for trade unionists established in late 2008 - is costly, clunky and ineffective. It's been buggy and very hard to fix.

At the LabourStart conference in Canada last month we talked about ways to improve it.

Today I'm proud to anounce the launch of UnionBook 2.0.

The features available are better than what we currently offer. It is much easier to fix, configure and add things to. It also looks a lot better.

But we need to test it in practice, to see if we can get a Facebook-like experience for UnionBook.

Please sign up for an account...

In joining the new UnionBook, you'll be helping us create a powerful tool, an online global community of trade unionists. And I hope you'll also have fun doing so.

Thanks very much!"

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Toronto's Theatrical Premiere of Fresh: The Movie

Previously shown on 23 February 2010 as part of the 5th Annual TorontoTheBetter Movie Series, Ana Sofie Joanes's Fresh: The Movie will be making its Toronto theatrical debut at the Bloor Cinema on Tuesday, 26 August at 6:30PM.

After the film, there will be a panel discussion,from 8 to 9 PM, including Debbie Field from FoodShare and Chris Wong from Young Urban Farmers.

Great to see the film getting some wider exposure...

Friday, 20 August 2010

Phoenix Print Shop News: New Group, New Space

Included in a recent email notice from Phoenix Print Shop:

The Phoenix Print Shop has moved into it's new and much improved 6000+ s.f. facilities at
The Buzz Hargrove Youth Training Centre. We are located adjacent to our old location at
11 Ordnance Street, Toronto.

For the Print Shop, expansion is the vehicle to our team's blended-value vision:

· doubling # of youth achieving sustained career connections
· increasing annual print revenue so that the print shop becomes a major contributor to Eva's Phoenix programs, and creates new work opportunities for grads.
· Continuing to minimize our ecological footprint in all aspects of our operation
· Sharing our experience with other Canadian social enterprises

Together, with commitment, creativity, caring and hard work, we are creating a place where young people in our community have excellent opportunities to move forward with their lives.

Save The Date

The Phoenix Print Shop will be hosting it's Annual Graduation Ceremony on
Wednesday, September 15 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

We are excited to be celebrating our graduation ceremony at our new facility. The primary objective of the graduation ceremony is to celebrate the achievements of Phoenix Print Shop participants for completing the training program. For some we are also celebrating their ability to sustain employment for a minimum of six months. We will also be showcasing program award winners.

For many of our supporters (donors and print clients) this will be the first opportunity to tour our new shop.

Please mark your calendar and join us in celebrating youth's achievements.

For further information please contact Lesley McMillan at 416-364-4716 x265

Monday, 16 August 2010

Between the Lines Fall 2010 line up & Catalyst Centre School of Activism in August

Thanks to the Centre for the Study of Work and Education for the following news items concerning Between The Lines and the Catalyst Centre...


- Random Acts of Culture explores vernacular culture and dissects our current passive, apathetic, and spectatorship-based culture in favour of a more active participatory culture.

- A new collection of essays addresses poverty in Canadian communities in Persistent Poverty.

- Ben Carniol provides an essential analysis of Canada’s social workers in Case Critical, Sixth Edition.

- And we add one new title to the No-Nonsense Guide series: Derek Wall’s comprehensive No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics.

- We have also published two updated guides including Peter Steven's updated edition of the No-Nonsense Guide to Global Media and Wayne Ellwood's updated No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization.



Thursday Aug. 26 and Friday Aug. 27 at Family Services Toronto
355 Church St., Toronto (just south of Carlton - closest subway: College at Yonge)

Facilitators: Chris Cavanagh & Deborah Konecny

Make good use of the slower pace of summer programming and lighter network schedules to build your skills for the coming year.

Take part in two days of intensive training to hone your planning and facilitation skills. You can register for either or both.

The recommended fee for each workshop is $150 or pay what you can.

To register: Please phone 416-516-9546 and tell us your name, e-mail, phone number and what you would like to pay.

- Thursday, August 26, 9:30-4:30: Democratic Facilitation By Design

- Friday, August 27, 9:30-4:30: Not Just a Bag ‘o Tricks – Popular Education Tools, Techniques and Thoughts

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Alternative Grounds leads Fair Trade Toronto movement

A recent Toronto Star article ("Fair Trade fans set sights on Toronto" by Vivian Song, on page L7 of the 14 August 2010 edition) reports that Linda Burnside, owner of Alternative Grounds Coffee House and Roastery is hoping have Toronto declared a Fair Trade Town...

"After learning that Barrie qualified in May to become Ontario's largest Fair Trade Town, Burnside - whose cafe was among the first in Canada to earn a fair trade licence 14 years ago - stared putting out feelers to assemble a team in Toronto.


'I really see the proliferation of farmer's markets as a desire to have a connection with, and feel good about, what we're eating and buying. I do think there's enough interest,' Burnside says. 'And we have the skills to make it happen.'"

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Mark Your Calendar for Sept. 8th


Benefit for War Resisters Support Campaign, co-sponsored by CESAR

Documentary - Howard Zinn:
You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train
with film makers:  Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller
and war resister, Jeremy Hinzman

Date: Wed., Sept. 8th

Time:  7-9 p.m. (Box office opens at 6:30)

Where:  The Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor W. @ Bathurst

Adm:    $10.00

See you there!

War Resisters Support Campaign

Monday, 9 August 2010

The Cutting Veg highlighted in Toronto Star article

While The Cutting Veg is not (yet?) a member of TorontoTheBetter, I wanted to share the interesting background of this local organic food enterprise...

In City, meet country: Growing food is helps connect urban and rural neighbours, a August 6th, 2010 Toronto Star article , Jess Mclean notes that Daniel Hoffman...

"developed an interest in farming after getting a degree in social work. He wanted to be part of social change.

The venture has what he calls a “quadruple bottom line:” to cultivate social, environmental, economic and personal health through organic agriculture. Part of that includes connecting to consumers directly through Community Supported Agriculture programs.

About 150 residents around the GTA own shares in the Hoffmann farm. Once a week during the harvest, they will use a point system to select their weekly allocation. They meet the people who worked in the fields. They connect with their local farms, Hoffmann said."

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Toronto Street Vendors Seek G20 Compensation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - from Marianne Moroney of the Toronto Street Food Vendors Association

Street food vendors shut out of G20 security zone

Vendors and families face weeks without work or options

Toronto, June 17, 2010 – Street food vendors who work in the area now designated as the G20 security zone are being forced to stop work for up to 19 days without any guaranteed compensation.
While the government is spending over a billion dollars for the G8 and G20 summits, street food vendors and their families are being asked to live without income for almost three weeks during their busiest, most profitable season.
“We understand the need for security for the G20, and the need for a security zone,” says Marianne Moroney, Executive Director of the Street Food Vendor Association (SFVA) that advocates for the rights of street food vendors.
“What we don’t understand is why these people whose families depend on a small spot on the street are simply kicked out, given no options or alternate places to vend and must live with that for three solid weeks. The move to stop their work is heavy-handed and repressive. This is their livelihood, and this outrageous.”
“If the government was compassionate and conscientious and not simply concerned about our global city image, they would have provided a guaranteed compensation package. Again, the little guys are left to fend for themselves.”
Moroney said the SFVA will support the affected vendors in their demand for the right to work and for compensation for any time that they are forced not to work. She said that it’s clear that it is an excessively long period of time to ask people to go without work. She said vendors are among the most vulnerable working populations in the city.


Marianne Moroney,
Executive Director
TEL 416-364-5066

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Bike Pirates request help for Bike! Bike! 2010...

Bike Pirates recently sent out this detailed request regarding the upcoming Bike! Bike! 2010 conference in Toronto:

"Bike!Bike! is coming up in a few weeks, and it will only be a success with the help of people like you! We needs lots of hands and supplies to make this conference as fun and fulfilling as it has been in the past. In terms of helping there are 4 main ways folks can contribute:

*Volunteering your time before or during the conference
* making a monetary or in-kind donation (we need things like food, art and cleaning supplies, and event prizes)
* Offering billets
* Offering Loaner bikes

If you would like to help out you can sign up to volunteer through the Bike!Bike! website at Or by contacting

Also, anyone involved with a community bicycle project should know that they are *more than welcome* to register to attend! Check out the list of Confirmed workshops on the website. There is a handy registration for there as well, so we can keep track of who is attending and their various needs.

Here is a list of basic things that we will need, that folks could donate. Spending $10 could totally help us out! Donations can be dropped off at Bike Pirates (1292 Bloor St. W) or the Bike Joint (290 Harbord St.) during operating hours.

Resources needed:
Cleaning etc.
toilet paper
paper towel
handsoap refills
dish soap
small sponges
all-purpose cleaner

renewable (to pirates):
hand towels
tea towels
dish clothes
any spare plates, bowls and cutlery people may have!!

Stationary etc.
large and small sharpies
loose leaf paper
packing tape
scotch tape
bristol board for road signs
name tag stickers

Thanks a lot! hope you can send this along to some other folks who might be interested."

Monday, 19 July 2010

Dinner and Movie with War Resisters Support Campaign

Please join us on Wednesday, July 21, for dinner and a film screening in support of the War Resisters Support Campaign. We will show "War Resisters Speak Out," a new movie about Iraq War resisters in Canada and why we fight to Let Them Stay.   

Special guest Alyssa Manning, the lawyer who represents many war resisters, will speak about the recent positive Federal Court of Appeals decision in Jeremy Hinzman's case and its implications for the campaign. 

 WHEN: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 
 WHERE: United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto  
DONATION: $20   
PROGRAM:  Doors open 6:00 / Film and speakers 7:00  

Your support is needed for legal defence of war resisters and the political battle to pass Bill C-440, the private member's bill that would allow war resisters to apply for permanent residence in Canada.  Hope to see you there!   

In peace and solidarity,  
War Resisters Support Campaign

 On Facebook;  

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Dinner and a movie with the War Resisters Support Campaign

Dear Friends,

Please join us on Wednesday, July 21, for dinner and a film screening
in support of the War Resisters Support Campaign. We will show "War
Resisters Speak Out," a new movie about Iraq War resisters in Canada
and why we fight to Let Them Stay.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 21, 2010.

WHERE: United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto

DONATION (requested): $20

PROGRAM: Doors open 6:00 / Film and speakers 7:00

Your support is needed for legal defense of war resisters and the
political battle to pass Bill C-440, the private member's bill that
would allow war resisters to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Hope to see you there!

In peace and solidarity,
War Resisters Support Campaign

On Facebook -!/group.php?gid=2226085734&ref=ts

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

July 11, 2010: Have You Screened Your Sunscreen? Make Your Own Healthy Sunscreens.

From the Women's Healthy Environment Network, an event featuring Anarres Natural Health:

Title of Event: Have You Screened Your Sunscreen? Make Your Own Healthy Sunscreens.

Date: Sunday, July 11, 2010
Time: 2:30 - 5:00 pm

Location: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) 4th Floor - 215 Spadina Avenue (between Dundas and Queen)
Cost: Minimum $40 donation

Short Description: We'll not only learn how to make these products from scratch, but also learn how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harmful sun rays, while still making and storing essential vitamin D. We will be making a Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter Lotion, SPF 15, from scratch, and a Safe Sun Protection Cream with zinc SPF 30. You will leave with 170ml of shea lotion, a 120ml of sun protection cream & a 170ml of cocoa butter lotion, each in a container of your choice - altogether a $38 value!!! This workshop will be facilitated by Tracey TieF, a Certified Natural Health Practitioner of Anarres Natural Health.

Contact Information: 416-928-0880,
Register at :

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

This Ain't the Rosedale Libary: Another great bookstoare threatened

It has just come to our attention that This Ain't the Rosedale Library is now in dire straits:

On Saturday, 19 June 2010, the Toronto Star reported that the 'Cherished bookseller' threatened with closure:

"Book lovers in Toronto are alarmed by the bailiff’s notice posted on the door of iconic Toronto bookseller This Ain’t the Rosedale Library Friday.

The bailiff’s notice alleges the popular independent Kensington Market bookseller owes its landlord $40,000 plus costs.

The landlord has hired an enforcement agency to collect the money or seize the property.

The bookstore was closed Saturday, and the seizure of the premises has alarmed Toronto’s literary community.

“We must do something,” wrote poet and reviewer Natalie Zed on Twitter.

Zed was one of many Torontonians reacting to the notice with shock and concern.

Julie Wilson, a writer and book club organizer, said she would chain herself to the door. Others discussed the idea of auctioning their skills to help the bookstore meet its obligations."

And the Globe and Mail reported on June 19th that Toronto’s This Ain’t the Rosedale Library bookstore at risk of closing:

"One of Toronto’s few remaining independent book stores is at risk of closing its doors, the latest casualty in an escalating battle with the world’s largest online retailer.

A bailiff’s notice slapped on This Ain’t the Rosedale Library says the store’s owners have until Thursday to come up with $40,000 plus costs owed to the landlord. The bookstore in downtown Kensington Market was closed on Saturday and the bailiff changed the locks.

“It’s a tough business,” lamented Mika Bareket, owner of the Good Egg cookbook shop in Kensington Market. “I hope they pull through.”

Ms. Bareket said This Ain’t the Rosedale Library owner Charlie Huisken did business the old-fashioned way – using no computer system to track inventory and reading every single book before adding it to the shelves.

“They’ve never carried a book they don’t believe in,” she said. “I wish more people supported their vision.”"

See the TATRL Facebook page for the latest news regarding how to help...

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Adopt-an-Activist for the G20! [Toronto, June 2010]

This seems to have been forwarded through several degrees of email separation, with that latest comment being "Blog-worthy?" - definately seems to be worthy here:

"So often we lose sight that the masses of demonstrators are not just 'the demonstrators' but are also our neighbors, our colleagues at work, friends of our friends and relatives, and many of the people working every day to make our communities more liveable and enjoyable for us all. Many have been working towards social justice for years, while many may be engaging with the complex issues that the G8/20 bring to the forefront for the first time. So rather than believing a caricature of 'the demonstrator' why not get to know some in a more personal way!


Have extra space in your home? Extra beds? Space on the floor? A backyard to pitch a tent? Don't just let it go to waste - put some activists in it!

Go to and sign up to billet!

You might not be able to make it onto the streets during the mobilization, but through billeting you can help to make sure that others can.

Have questions? Want more information?

Contact the TCMN Housing Committee at:

P.S. The TCMN is trying to make the world a better place as it coordinates the mobilization. This means that we are trying to ensure that our activities occur within a framework of anti-oppression – fighting against racism, ableism, classism, sexism, and homo/lesbo/bi/trans-phobia. We don't want to stick people into housing situations where they have to fear any of these problems. Thanks!"

Thursday, 10 June 2010

101 Trade Unionists Murdered in 2009; Pressure on Workers' Right Grows as Crisis Hits Jobs

LabourStart reports that the International Trade Union Confederation has released the 2009 Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights:

they are "sorry to say that the news is not good.

According to the International Trade Union Confederation, 101 trade unionists were killed last year.

And that represents a 30% increase on the year before.

That even a single human being dies because they are members of a trade union is a tragedy.

That 101 are killed in a single year is a moral outrage."

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

MSN reports that World Cup gets a yellow card on worker rights

The Maquila Solidarity Network recently commented on a report by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF):

"With the FIFA World Cup in South Africa just days away, the soccer world's leading organization is being asked to take a closer look at the dismal realities faced by soccer ball stitchers.


MSN is supporting the ILRF in calling on the soccer ball industry to take immediate action to address the endemic problems of extremely low wages and the exploitation of temporary workers. We are urging the industry to improve conditions for the workers who produce the balls at the centre of the 2010 World Cup. You can support the appeal by signing the action alert on the ILRF web page.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Request CBC to play Sara Marlowe Injured Workers song on June 1st...

Here's a request from Sara Marlowe:

"Hi there,

Besides college radio stations, CBC seems to one of the few that is willing to play social justice music. Next Tuesday (June 1st), is Injured Workers Day. I wrote a song "Worthless," specifically for this day - for my uncle, when he got sick due to unsafe working conditions at his job (he has since passed away).

CBC has played my music in the past (Red Wine & Revolution). Let's get some more strong political musical messages on the airwaves!

You can drop a line to any of these shows requesting "Worthless by Sara Marlowe - from the CD "True Stories" (you will need to fill out a web form - or call them to leave a message requesting the song)

SHIFT (radio 2) -

Thanks & Solidarity,

Some background info:
On Injured Workers Day, June 1, injured workers as well as unions and other organizations will remind the government that justice — not poverty — was the primary reason the compensation system was set up in 1914. Workers gave up their right to sue employers for workplace injury and illness compensation in exchange for a system that was supposed to provide fair recompense to injured workers so that they could continue their lives with dignity even in the face of injury or permanent disablement.

Sara Marlowe"

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Exhibit: Stitching for Peace and Justice

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 3, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
with Talk by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin
Exhibit until Wednesday, June 23

Co-sponsored with United Jewish People's Order
and Trinity St. Paul’s United Church - Middle East Working Group

For more than thirty years, Sima Elizabeth Shefrin, has made quilts about real people and their struggles and celebrations. She aims to create art work that is honest, hopeful and beautiful.

The exhibit brings together a range of projects and workshop facilitated by Sima centred around Palestine and Israel. The most recent is a series of three workshops held in spring 2007 in which children and women created fabric self-portraits along with messages they wished to send to their North American counterparts.

The first workshop in a grade 4 class in the Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem, one of the very few mixed Jewish/Arab schools in Israel. The children answered questions about their favourite foods and holidays and their wishes for the future. The result is a single large quilt.

The second workshop was held at the Palestine Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation. Young people created self portraits and wrote messages they wished to pass on to young people of Canada. There are a total of 12 pieces.

The third was organized by Tent of Nations, a Palestinian project which brings together youth of various cultures to build bridges of understanding, reconciliation and peace. It took place at the Bent Al-reef Empowerment Project which helps village women realize their full potential through education, work with families, health, feminism and creativity. There are 11 pieces.

Sima, facilitated the Middle East Peace Quilt, an international community art project made by about 300 people from all over the world. They were asked to create a quilt square in response to the question "What is your vision of peace in the Middle East?"

The Peace Quilt (actually 31 separate panels) has tour North America since 1999 and exhibited in churches, synagogues, community centres, civic buildings, private foundations, political organizations, summer camps, and fairs, as well as at university campuses, art galleries, and the National Archives of Canada.

Sima Elizabeth Shefrin is an artist and quilter who has been researching and practicing political stitchery for over 25 years. In 1999 she was the artist-coordinator of the Middle East Peace Quilt which has toured all over North America. She has worked for 18 years teaching and participating in peer counseling and listening projects. She is a member of the Palestinian/Jewish women for peace dialogue group.

Co-sponsor websites: and

Space is limited, to register online please visit our reservations page

Need to know:
- Admission is free (donations gratefully accepted)
- Doors open at 6:45 pm
- Sorry, not wheelchair accessible

Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) and oliveoil+za'atar dipping.

Beit Zatoun is a non-profit art & culture venue providing a platform for the social justice & human rights communities in Toronto & beyond.

612 Markham Street (right by Bathurst subway)

Saturday, 22 May 2010


Friends:  Just wanted to let you know about the events on the 25th.  Sallie
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Federal Court Building
180 Queen St. West
(west of University Ave, Osgoode subway)

Jeremy Hinzman was the first U.S. Iraq war resister to seek refuge in Canada because he refused to participate in the illegal and immoral Iraq war. After unsuccessfully trying to be reassigned or recognized as a conscientious objector by the U.S. military, Jeremy moved to Toronto with his wife and young son in January 2004. In 2008 they welcomed a new, Canadian daughter into their family. 
 A majority of Canadians have expressed their support for allowing Jeremy and other Iraq war resisters to stay in Canada. Yet Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney, who both wanted Canada to participate in the Iraq War, continue to try to deport resisters. War resisters Robin Long and Cliff Cornell were sentenced to long prison terms in U.S. military prisons because the Harper government refused to respect two House of Commons motions (passed June 3, 2008 and March 30, 2009) to stop deporting war resisters and to let them stay. Many other resisters, including Kim Rivera, Dean Walcott and Phil McDowell, live under the threat of deportation.

On May 25th, the Federal Court of Appeal will hold a hearing on Jeremy's case.

On the same day, the first hour of debate on Bill C-440 will take place in the House of Commons. Bill C-440 is a Private Member's Bill which was introduced by Gerard Kennedy and seconded by Bill Siksay. If passed, the Bill will give legal weight to the two motions on war resisters and would force the Conservative government to respect the will of Canadians and the will of Parliament and allow war resisters to stay.

On May 25th, JOIN THE RALLY to support Jeremy Hinzman, his family and all U.S. Iraq War resisters in Canada, and to call on the House of Commons to adopt Bill C-440.
It is time for the Harper government to respect democracy. It is time to let the war resisters stay!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Ontario Government moves towards recognizing non-profit commercial activity

Over at the Centre for Social Innovation Buzz blog, Tonya Surman reports that:

"At long last, the Not-for Profit Corporations Act has been introduced. The 'magnetic attractor' that galvanized the Ontario Nonprofit Network will, among other important governance issues, "allow not-for-profit corporations to engage in commercial activities where the revenues are reinvested in the corporation’s not-for-profit purposes."

This is huge in light of the original text and in the context of the growing federal concerns around nonprofits generating a planned surplus. A recognition that nonprofits can engage in commercial activities where revenues are reinvested in our social purpose is a huge step and reinforces the sectors efforts to build a stronger and more resilient nonprofit sector."

This is of special interest to us here, as we finalize the paperwork to make TorontoTheBetter a non-profit. Just imagine: we might not have to worry if TTB ever turns a profit, rather than just subsisting on the earnings of Libra Information Co-op's other projects...

For more commentary by Ms. Surman, see Bill 65 - Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 recognizes commercial activities for nonprofits in Ontario.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Book Launch: Izzeldin Abuelaish - I Shall Not Hate

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish is the doctor from Gaza whose three daughters were killed during the War on Gaza in January 2009.

He is a remarkable man who despite much suffering by him, his family and his people brings a message of forgiveness and love while advocating passionately for dignity and justice.

Dr. Abuelaish shares his story, his life in Gaza, working as a fertility specialist inside Israel and the terrible period in 2009 which has focused the world on the ongoing tragedy in Gaza and Palestine.

He will take questions following the talk and reading. Book signing will follow.

This is Dr. Abuelaish's first book. He lives in Toronto with his five remaining children. He is
an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Space is limited, to register online please visit our reservations page

Need to know:
- Admission is free - Donations to Beit Zatoun gratefully accepted; $10 suggested
- Doors open at 7:15 pm
- Sorry, not wheelchair accessible
Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) and snacks with oliveoil+za'atar dipping.

Beit Zatoun is non-profit art & culture venue providing a platform for the social justice & human rights communities in Toronto & beyond.

612 Markham Street (right by Bathurst subway)


Monday, 10 May 2010

Words Towards A Better Toronto: fundraising exhibit & reading performance event, May 16th

TorontoTheBetter is dedicated to people and enterprises who challenge single bottom lines in business and in life.

One such enterprise is This Ain't the Rosedale Library, with its ongoing series of readings, author events, workshops, performances, lectures and launches.

This Ain't the Rosedale Library has graciously offered to host a TorontoTheBetter fundraising event.

We have decided to spread the goodwill by inviting TorontoTheBetter booksellers, musicians etc. to showcase their work during an exhibit and reading/performance event.

You are cordially invited to WORDS TOWARDS A BETTER TORONTO...

This Ain't The Rosdale Library; 86 Nassau St. in Kensington Market

Sunday, 16 May 2010, 2 to 6 PM

- An exhibit on the patio for TorontoTheBetter members involved in the business of words to showcase their services and sell their products, followed by a reading/performance event, for these entrepreneurs to talk about why they do what they do and to perform their work.

- Cedar Basket Gift Shop...Toronto's First Nations Owned and Operated Store, including books and music CDs, with proceeds going towards programs and services of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.
- Sara Marlowe...a downtown Toronto-based singer-songwriter performing social justice music, with an impressive itinerary of performing at community benefits, peace marches and "wherever voices are being raised for social justice."
- THIS Magazine...Canada's leading alternative periodical of politics, pop culture and the arts is offering a raffle for a free one year's subscription.
- John Warren of ALTER ECO Environmental Art...acoustic blues and folk, plus sculpture and jewellery made from recycled metal and found materials.
- Wasun...a Vaughan & Oakwood-based revolutionary hip hop artist aiming to educate the youth in the streets of Toronto.

- PWYC, suggested $5 contribution includes entry into raffle for THIS Magazine subscription and books & DVDS from Libra Information Worker Co-op. Additional raffle entries available for $2.

-- TorontoTheBetter is a non-profit initiative of Libra Information Worker Co-op, a unionized, multi-ethnic workers co-op serving the health and progressive sectors since 1989.