Snow 2009 Montreal Vs Toronto Part 1 Sunday, Feb 1 2009 

Time for an other one of my views on Montreal Vs Toronto. We have had a good amount of snow fall so far this winter in Montreal.

I was in Toronto around Christmas time as was not impressed with the snow removal job being done. I was visiting my parents in the Steels & Yonge Street area, and the apartment building next to theirs it 100% retired people and their building is at least 50% retired. The sidewalks were not plowed I found walking to be very hard, I had to tell my Mom, if you have to go out drive do not walk. Where the sidewalks meet the road you had to scramble over snow banks 2 to 3 feet high. I was all over downtown Toronto just seeing the changes and check our a few favorites stores.  It looked like the various stores were cleaning in front of their stores but there were still either snow banks to climb over or 3 to 4 foot slush puddles 3 to 6 inch deep to wade through. Back before they combined all the cities in to TORONTO the snow clean up was much better.

You do not see this in Montreal very often. They start by plowing the road and 1 one the sidewalks making sure that even the corners are clean and clear. By late the next day all the sidewalks are clean and snow between the sidewalk and the road is gone.

As some one who gets around on Public Transit or walks Montreal seems to be handing the snow much better than Toronto over the 3 winters that I have been in Montreal.

Montreal get more snow than Toronto on average and have set up their snow handling system to handle what they get. I hear Montrealers complaining about how bad the snow removal is here but I just smile. It has to be at least twice as good as Toronto’s.

Earl Haig Secondary School 80th Birthday Sunday, Oct 19 2008 

Earl Haig Secondary School just had it’s 80th Birthday Celebration on Oct 10 & 11 2008. Luckly I was planing to be in Toronto that weekend visiting my parents for Thanksgiving.

It was mainly to celebrate the the Claude Watson Program’s 25 Birthday to it was focused mostly around those who had been in the program. But it was also for those who had participated Assemblies, Coffee Houses, School Shows, Musicals, Drama, Dance, Visual Arts, Zoom, Screen Arts, or any other performance.

Contacted my best friend from my Haig days, Bruce Roberts, we both decided to go Saturday Afternoon and meet up. We had not see each other in over 20 years.

I went a little early so I could look around the old hood. Yonge street has changed big time from when I lived around there.

I got to the school early enough to catch the opening ceremony. I was touched by the Peach by Ruth Watson (wife of Claude Watson). The Sculpture by Neda Misaghi was interesting. Bruce showed up about then.

We signed in and bought some EHSS stuff. then when in to the Haig to explore the new building. Our first thing to look for was Cringan Hall auditorium where we had spent a lot of our time on the Lighting Crew. We were even interviewed for the current year book. We meet a couple member of the current lighting crew, who were nice enough to let us poke around and see some of the changes in, to, and around Cringan Hall. Guy’s Bruce and I thank you for bringing us up to date and letting us poke around.

Pictures of our exploration are on my Flickr Account

Did not see/meet any of our teachers or classmates but ran in to an old friend Cory Ferguson (Haig Class of 1973) from Ferguson Audio Engineering. We talk with him about how he and his brother Grant were doing and how the company was doing. Cory told us stories about my father Charlie who was a caretaker/head caretaker from the the 60’s until the 80’s at the Haig.

Earl Haig has a long history in the Sanderson Family, My dad, his brother John and at least one of his sisters went there. When he was working there I would go in on some weekends with him and did a few late night runs with him when one of the alarms went off.

We also ran in to Ken Jones a music teacher from when Bruce and I were there. It was fun hearing what he had been up to since we left.

The new building is nice, and the equipment is very nice, but I still miss the old building. The old building had a lot of history and memories. Bruce and I ever broke down and spent $25.00 each for copies of a limited print of the old building.

I look forward to any reasons to go back and meet old friends.

Official School Site

Wikipedia Entry

Facebook Group

School Song

Earl Haig! Alma Mater!
We raise your banners far and wide
Earl Haig! Every son and daughter
Sings your praise and hails your
Name with pride
Carpe Diem! We’re going to seize the day today
Carpe Diem! We’re aiming high! High! High!
Earl Haig! School of happy memories
Blue and White we’ll proudly fly
Carpe! Carpe! Carpe! Diem! Diem! Diem!

Public Transit Montreal Vs Toronto Part 1 Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

TTC vs STM

Or

Toronto Transit Commission vs La Société de transport de Montréal

Round One Cost for Adults:

TTC Cash Fare  $2.75    5 Tickets $11.25  Weekly Pass $32.25   Monthly Pass $109.00

STM Cash Fare $2.75     6 Tickets $12.00  Weekly Pass $19.25   Monthly Pass $66.25

Winner Round One Montreal the cost of the Monthly and Weekly passes put’s Montreal the way over the top. Bonus you can buy the passes at a number of local shops.

Round Two Subway vs Metro:

  • Downtown area access. Montreal has better coverage than Toronto. The multiple lines give means you tend to be a little closer.
  • North – South access. Hard to call, but a slight edge to Montreal as it’s north south branches are further apart then Toronto’s
  • East – West access. Toronto win’s the Bloor-Danforth-SRT lets you cover about 80 % of the East West length of Toronto, being in close to the middle of the north south distance it is a fast way to get accross the city. Montreal is missing a good east west metro link. If you live on the west end of the island you have no metro coverage. They try to make up for it with express bus coverage but it’s not a good. The east end has some what better coverage but still not a good as it could be.

Winner Round Two, hard to call, if you live down town Montreal, if you live to east or west ends of the city Toronto. So call it a tie.

Round Three Bus coverage:

This will be purely subjective. If you just look at the maps Montreal seems too not have as many routes and they seem confused. I thought so but after using the bus’s in Montreal for around a year now, the routes now makes sense. They cross over and by doing so they make the walk to the bus shorter in many cases. The routing may make the ride a little longer than the straight line route would.

Winner Round Three, going to call this on a tie. The Toronto bus straight line runs may mean you get from point A to point B faster but only if you are close to the major streets. The Montreal routes may take longer from point A to point B but they tend to be much easier to get to.

Round Four Hour’s of Operation:

Both Montreal and Toronto start morning bus and metro/subway services about the same time.

Montreal Metro’s last train starts @ 12:30 am weeknights & Sunday 1:00 am on Saturday.

Toronto Subway’s last train starts @ 1:30 every night.

Montreal’s Over Night Bus Services starts between 12:30 and 1:30 am depending on the route weeknights.

Toronto’s Blue Night Service starts @ about 1:30 am every day.

Winner Round Four, Toronto by nose. Standard Service runs latter than Montreal’s. Not a huge difference.

Over All Winner, Montreal with the Monthly pass at almost half price, beats the slight advantage of Toronto’s service times.

Beer Montreal Vs Toronto Part 2 Wednesday, May 21 2008 

Buying Beer part 1

Splitting Buying Beer in to several parts…  This post buying in Ontario.

Ontario

In Ontario for the most part you buy your beer at one of two places, the “Beer Store” which only sells beer or the LCBO which like the SAQ  in Quebec sell Wine, Spirits, and some beer. In remote areas some grocery stores are licensed to sell beer. Some breweries also have have on site sales stores.

The are 3 kind of “Beer Store” layouts. 

1) the full self serve where all the different beers in all the package sizes are in a cold area and you go and pick what you want. Most new stores are on this model.

2) the full they serve. You walk in and get in line and tell the person what you want they call it out and someone in the back cold area pick’s puts it on a roller and it come out the hole in the wall and you pay the one who you gave your order to and walk out with the beer. These are mostly the older stores.

3) the mixed serve. You want a 6 pack or a 12 you pull it from the self serve area or if you want a case of 18 or 24 you have to go to the person at the counter and order it just like the they serve. There were not many of these, and I think they are or were phasing these out.

If you want to get a keg you have to call ahead to order it. You can order from 70 different brands.

The true mico-brewery beers are hard to get at the “Beer Store” because it is hard and expensive for them to get placement at the “Beer Store” chain wide. What would happen was you could get it at the “Beer Store’s” close to the brewery but maybe not be available at a “Beer Store” hundred miles away…. 

Here is list of brewers currently available from the “Beer Store” as of May 2008

 

Domestic Brewers

Amsterdam Brewing Company

Better Bitters Brewing Company

Black Oak Brewing Co. Ltd.

Brick Brewing Co. Limited

Cameron’s Brewing Company

Cool Beer Brewing Co.

Durham Brewing Company

F & M Brewery

Great Lakes Brewing Company

Heritage Brewing Limited

King Brewery

Labatt Breweries Ontario

Lakes of Muskoka Cottage Brewery Inc.

Magnotta Brewery Limited

Mill Street Brewery

Molson Ontario Breweries

Moosehead Breweries Limited

Neustadt Springs Brewery Ltd.

Niagara’s Best Beer Ltd.

Northern Breweries Ltd.

Robert Simpson Brewing Company

Skeena Brewing Company

Sleeman Brewing & Malting

Steam Whistle Brewing

Steelback Brewery

Trafalgar Brewing Company

Walkerville Brewing Company

Wellington County Brewery Inc.

Import Brewers

AB Gubernija

Affligem Brouwerij BDS N.V.

Asia Pacific Brewery

Bass Beers Worldwide Limited

Bavaria USA, Inc.

Big Rock Brewery Ltd.

Brasserie Fischer S.A.

Brasserie Licorne SAS

Brau Union International GMBH

Brauerei Beck GMBH & Co.

Brew Alliance of Quebec

Brewery Huyghe

Brooklyn Brewery

Brouwerij De Koninck

Carib Brewery

Carlsberg International S/A

Cerveceria Bucanero S.A.

Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma

Cerveceria Modelo, S.A. De C.V.

Charles Wells Limited

Co. KG

Coors UK

DAB Brewery 

E & J Gallo Winery of Canada

Fuerstlich Fuerstenbergische Brauerei

Greene King Brewery

Grolsch Export B.V.

Guinness Brewing

Hacker-Pschorr Brewery

Heineken Brouwerijen B.V.

High Falls Brewing Company

Holsten Brauerei AG

Inbev S.A.

Interbrew UK

Kirin Brewery

Krombacher Brauerei Bernhard

Lowenbrau

Mark Anthony Group Inc.

Marston’s PLC

McAuslan Brewing Inc.

Miller Brewing Company

Neversink Brewery

Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co KG

Pilsner Urquell a.s.

Pivovary Staropramen A.S.

Privatbraurerei Erdinger Weissbrau

R.J. Brewers

Royal Unibrew

Schadeberg GmbH & Co KG

Scottish & Newcastle Breweries plc

Stiegl Getranke & Service GMBH &

The Boston Beer Company

The Stroh Brewery Company

Warsteiner Brewery

Werner Brombach GmbH

==================

 

Oh you usualy can get beer related stuff at the “Beer Store” tee shirts, golf shirts, ball caps, and glassware. Also if you do not know what to get for someone Gift Certificates.

The system works but it can be pain at times is you are not near a “Beer Store” or a LCBO.

Beer Montreal Vs Toronto Part 1 Wednesday, May 14 2008 

Toronto Vs Montreal and Ontario Vs Quebec this is a tough one when it comes to beer. This is going to be a multi part blog entry…

Beer at Bar’s

Not sure that anything will knock Guinness out of my #1 Spot… it’s not a beer for every occasion but it’s my go to beer. It my session beer, I can drink it all not and not get wasted.

Ontario

Some of my best memories with friends in Ontario were a one of our locals over a few “pints” from small brewers…

Upper Canada in it’s several flavours was possibly my second favorite. When it was on it’s own I knew the Sales rep at about 3 different bars. They would at a minimum at least say hi if you were drinking Upper Canada. The one guy who called on my main local did not care what I was drinking but would stop and chat for 10 15 minutes. Every now and then a pint or pitcher would just show up… no charge or an order of wings… It was not expected or needed  but it was a nice touch. Once they were bought out… new reps, who did not seem to have the time to say hi, is the beer Ok? As soon as a micro or small breweries get a good following one of the bigger breweries tries to buy it. With in months of being bought… the beer goes down hill. The availability at the bars start to be spotty because it not being shipped as regularly as it use to

Then there is the anti-beer attitude in some bars. If you are drinking beer some how you are not a real customer… If your not ordering fancy drinks your not what they want… I put up with it once, because stuff can happen… but 2 times I do not come back, not even it the girl friend demands it. The reward may be great but some hoops are not worth it.

Quebec

In Quebec, still looking for what will be MY LOCAL, it just a lot of nice or great bar around where I live and downtown, but I am working on one…. but it will take time as I am not going out as often as I  use to.

The micro breweries are available at different bars, so I go to is some what dependent on what I feel like drinking.. still working on meeting the sales rep’s… but it will happen.

Have not been in Quebec long enough to see a buy out yet. But in talking to the staff at bars and friends there does not seen to be the buy out thing going on there. The small and micro beer is usually in stock and ready to go.

Have not found an anti-beer attitude in Montreal. Even at a very high end bar no attitude  when you order a beer. 3 of us had 5 beer’s waiting to get a table for dinner at the bar (the bill was about $49 with out tax for beer in a bottle) the girl was quick, friendly, and willing to put up with my really bad french…

Plus the later hours in Montreal…

I will share some of my favorite bars in Montreal in a latter post

Over all Montreal KICKS Toronto’s butt in the bar race…

Montreal Vs Toronto Part Hockey Part 2 Sunday, May 11 2008 

Hockey part 2

 

It took a while to write this post as I had to think about it…  I was downtown for several of the playoff games and the TRUE FANS were in the bars having a few and a good time, or just walking around. There were groups around stores that hadTV sets that you could see from the streets…

There was no indication that anything like the “riot” could or would happen. 

I was not there for the “riot” but I  do not see how it was the real fans that I had seen, had drinks with, and talked to on the other nights. On the nights I was there it was a bunch of fan’s just out for some fun and wanting/expecting a win

Montreal Vs Toronto Snow Part 1 Sunday, Mar 16 2008 

Bord-du-Lac

Snow

 

On average Montreal gets much more snow that Toronto. But Montreal is better at dealing with it, both when it is falling or after it stops. Where I now live in Dorval when I leave for work in the morning just after a snow fall or even during a snow fall at least one on the sidewalks on each of the three streets I have to use to get to my bus, has been plowed clean and about 75% if the time the bus stop has been shoveled clean. In Toronto it is usually 2 or 3 days be for the sidewalks on the main streets to be cleaned and it can take a week before the bus stops are cleaned up. In the Lachine Industrial Park where I work, it is usually 2 or 3 days before the sidewalks are done. In Toronto area it can be 4 or 5 days before the Industrial areas are cleaned up.

The snow seems to be cleaner in Montreal. A week after the snow falls in Montreal it still mostly white, in Toronto, 2 or 3 days and it’s black… Which just makes it worse..

Again Montreal wins

Montreal Vs Toronto Hockey Part 1 Saturday, Mar 8 2008 

Hockey in now something I can care about… Why you ask…. Montreal Canadiens of course.  Toronto Maple Leafs Vs Montreal Canadiens The Hab’s win by many kilometers…..