Preserved Stories Blog

Etobicoke Creek thousands of years ago gave rise to what is now an underwater valley

At a presentation I attended in Mississauga of an underwater valley — now located south of teh current shoreline of Lake Ontario — associated with an earlier stage in the history of Etobicoke Creek.

We know from geological evidence that, during its Glacial Lake Iroquois stage, the water level of Lake Ontario was higher than it is now.

There’s a road in Oakville, north of the Queen Elizabeth Way at Trafalgar Road, that is conveniently named Iroquois Shore Road. The road indicates where the Glacial Lake Iroquois shoreline used to be located. Evidence of the shoreline is visible across Mississauga and Toronto as well.

For example, the old shoreline is indicated by a hill that one encounters when travelling north along Avenue Road or Yonge Street when approaching St. Clair Avenue West. Similarly a hill, with a less abrupt slope is encountered, as I recall, in Mississauga when travelling north along Hurontario Street north of Dundas Street West.

An excellent account of the rise and fall of this lake is provided by John Chapman and Donald Putnam in their classic and authoritative text, Physiography of Southern Ontario, 3rd Edition (1984).

Thereafter, the water level went much lower than it is now, during what is called the Lake Admiralty phase of Lake Ontario.

During the time Lake Ontario was at a lower level, Etobicoke Creek formed a valley which is now underwater.

I look forward to learning details about this valley

In an earlier version of this blog, I wrote:

“The map below, which I’ve created to show the configuration of Etobicoke Creek in the years before and after it was channelized, provides useful information concerning the direction in which the creek would likely have flowed during the thousands of years when the water level of the lake was lower than its current level.”

The text above is based on an incorrect assumption on my part.

That is, it’s not likely that the creek has flowed in a westerly direction for thousands of years. In fact, as I understand, the flow might have been in all manner of directions over such a period of time.

We owe thanks to Robert Lansdale for sharing the fact — based on his knowledge as an engineer with direct experience with the physical features of Lake Ontario — that one cannot make the assumption that I have made in the above-noted earlier version of my text.

Robert Lansdale notes that Etobicoke Creek and the surrounding lands have changed drastically over thousands — and even hundreds — of years.

“The spit where Lake Promenade and the cottages were located,” he comments, “was mostly created via sand being dumped in this area from the Lake Ontario beach currents, such as from the Sunnyside areas and easterly. That’s what most likely caused the creek to have become diverted. ”


Configuration of Etobicoke Creek prior to its channelization


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Public meeting on Wed., March 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm regarding proposed construction of Estonian Centre at Tartu College

A public meeting will take place at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 regarding the possibility of building an Estonian Centre at Tartu College in Toronto.

The building would be constructed where a parking lot is currently located near Tartu College at Bloor St. West and Madison Ave.

Image is from the link features at the page you are now reading.

Estonian Centre bird’s eye view from Madison Ave. (2017). Image is from the link featured at the page you are now reading. Click on image to enlarge it.

The meeting, which will take place at the Estonian House on Broadview Ave. just north of Danforth Ave., will discuss the proposed next step for the Estonian community in Toronto and Ontario.

For further information, please click here >

The text from the above-noted link reads:

March 6, 2017. The Boards of Directors of the Estonian House of Toronto, Estonian Credit Union, Estonian Foundation of Canada, and Tartu College, are pleased to share with you a positive development for a new Estonian community centre in the Greater Toronto Area.

Estonian Credit Union, Estonian Foundation of Canada, and Tartu College have together entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Build Toronto, the City of Toronto corporation responsible for selling surplus municipal property, to buy the parking lot at 9 Madison Avenue.

This milestone is a huge accomplishment for our small community and presents for us a very real opportunity to contribute to the fabric of our city and the sustainability of our community.

Image is from the link features at the page you are now reading.

Estonian Centre view from Madison Ave. (2017). Image is from the link featured at the page you are now reading. Click on image to enlarge it.

We now have a window to build a signature community facility on Madison Avenue. This property is located between Tartu College to the south, and 11 Madison Avenue, owned by Estonian Credit Union, to the north.

Reaching this LOI agreement has required considerable negotiation, planning and work to ensure that our community had a viable option should development at 958 Broadview not be able to proceed.

This Madison opportunity is complex. It is only viable through the sale of the existing Estonian House property and using the proceeds to finance the new community and cultural centre.

As this new development proceeds, Estonian Credit Union, Estonian Foundation of Canada and Tartu College will support the Estonian House as it continues to serve the community until the new space is ready and firm transition plans are in place.

The Estonian House Board views the LOI as a step forward to a financially and logistically workable solution for a new community and cultural centre. We fully support the Madison opportunity and look forward to recommending this to our shareholders. We hope to make the transition to consolidate a smooth one.

During the coming months, the Estonian House Board, along with the other Boards of Directors, will inform and engage with the broader community and the Estonian House shareholders. We are grateful to all organizations and community groups who help keep the building looking fresh and useable as we will need our current space for a few years yet.

All four organizations are mindful that Toronto and the southern Ontario area is home to the largest number of Estonians living outside of Estonia. Our institutions allowed generations of Estonians to come together as a community, to celebrate our heritage and to share our culture with Canadians. We are committed to ensuring sustainable community space for our future generations.

Much work remains to be done. The Estonian House, Estonian Credit Union, Estonian Foundation of Canada, and Tartu College, are unanimous in their commitment to work together. Together, our community can secure a viable space to provide for our needs, to showcase our culture, and of which we can all be proud.

There will be a town hall meeting on March 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Grand Hall at the Estonian House in Toronto, for the community to learn more about what this project needs to become a reality.

There are many questions to be resolved and we are committed to finding the solutions to make this work for the community. To see the vision:

The Boards of Directors: Estonian House in Toronto Ltd; Estonian (Toronto) Credit Union Limited; Estonian Foundation of Canada; Tartu College

We have a window to build a signature Estonian Community Centre in Toronto. Join the discussion and help make the opportunity a reality.

Estonian Community Town Hall

March 29, 2017 Grand Hall at the Estonian House in Toronto




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Local Appeal Body – please refer to a link to a previous post

Part 3 of David Godley’s March 2017 update is concerned with the Local Appeal Board process. This topic is further addressed at a post entitled:

Messages from Manager, Projects Court Services, Office of Director, City of Toronto concerning Toronto Local Appeal Body

Rather than posting David’s previous messages regarding the Local Appeal Body, I am pleased to have the opportunity to direct your attention, at this point, to the above-noted link.


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Conserving Long Branch – March 2017 Update from David Godley (Part 2)

A previous post is entitled:

Conserving Long Branch – March 2017 Update from David Godley (Part 1)

I have been slow in posting additional items from David Godley; at this point I am catching up. David’s Part 2 for March 2017 reads:

Comments Planning Applications for March 9 COA

11) 81 26th Street

12) 9 38yth Street

13) 24 33rd Street

14) Planner for 22 33rd hearing. Legal are saying they have approached 3 planners without success and will not approach a fourth despite being offered a likely candidate in Terry Mills qualified architect and planner who has previously worked on behalf of the City.
Thanks for getting in touch, Francesco.

I appreciate your point of view in considering the matter.

Clearly I remain of the opinion that the broader City interest is not served by rigorously sticking with the policy and I understand it has been breached in the past. The OMB never stick with policies!

Thanks for the recognition about my helping Long Branch and that I am not acting in my own self interest but rather the public’s and specifically the immediate neighbourhood of 24 33rd.

By copy I will ask the Councillors office to follow up with Mr Haley.

I am not sure of the underlying reason for the rule but assume it is to do with time. And we still have time.

I would also ask how the lists are compiled because if Mr Mills were on this the City may have been able to have its interests protected. However I do not know if Mr Mills would take this on.

I think the rules should be changed and the list be updated to include more community oriented planners although most have been gobbled up by the private sector.

There is no question of residents being able to afford the planner’s service. This is another injuctice injected into the system which I hoped as a lawyer you would feed into any judgment.

While the planner employed by the City does not represent neighbours, the neighbours are entirely dependent on the City’s planners. The OMB effectively exclude the general public from influencing planning decisions

Nothing can be lost by approaching more planners and everything can be gained.

I apologise if I this is going over your head but that is why we have a structure. I am aware you are involved in another hearing in Long Branch and wish you all the best with that.

I have to let Councillor Mark Grimes and Brian Haley, who I have previously had the pleasure of working with, consider the matter.

Regards, David


David had some attached files connected with Part 2; I will work on the latter items as well.


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Storytellers can do wonderful things, even when a reliable biography, about a main character, is largely absent

In a previous post, I’ve discussed The Story of Mississauga, which I’ve been following since January 2017.

The project is driven by a focused approach toward heritage management.

Based on anecdotal evidence – on things that I have personally observed – with regard to efforts to preserve and repurpose heritage buildings and the like in Toronto and Mississauga, approaching heritage – including the heritage that is passed along through stories – from a management perspective makes good sense.

It’s helpful, that is, if people who deal with heritage issues understand the strategic options that are available to them.

Otherwise, they are up the creek.

Secondly, The Story of Mississauga project is concerned with community engagement. It’s my understanding that residents will play a key role in the planning of The Story of Mississauga.

Many thoughts come to mind: For example, what might be the best way to ensure that Mississauga residents really have a choice, with regard to which of their stories will be told?

Rhetoric and reality

Every community project, that promotes itself as a community-engagement initiative, involves a distinction between rhetoric and reality.

At one end of the continuum, with regard to such a distinction, you can see a close alignment between the rhetoric (what is promised) and the reality (what happens in the end).

At the other end of the continuum, there is no match between what’s promised, and what occurs.

In such a case, community engagement is an exercise in scams and scamming. In some cases, community engagement qualifies as a fake news story.

Thirdly, The Story of Mississauga offers a person, such as myself, the opportunity to sharpen her or his understanding of what storytelling entails, the forms it may take, and the qualities that stories must demonstrate, in order to attract an audience.

The theory behind the project is of special interest to me – in particular, because I do not live in Mississauga. We all have the opportunity to explore what storytelling entails, no matter where we happen to live.

Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2015)

In this post, I will highlight a book that makes for A-1 storytelling. I have learned so many things, about effective storytelling, by reading this book.

I’ve chosen Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2015) as the subject for my current post.

The Acknowledgements serve as the Introduction

As I’ve noted at a previous post, storytelling can take many forms. Non-fiction, book-length storytelling is one such form.

Mr. Putin (2015) is of much interest to me because it demonstrates storytelling at its finest.

In particular, it demonstrates that storytellers can do wonderful things, even when reliable information, about the key character in a story, is absent.

As the authors of the story, Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy, demonstrate, you don’t need to know every detail about a character, in order to tell a great story about the person.

Fiona Hill is director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings.

Clifford G. Gaddy is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings.

An interesting feature of Mr. Putin (2015) is that the Acknowledgements serve as a great introduction to the story.

Sometimes, it make sense to have the Acknowledgements at the back of a book, and to include a formal Introduction at the front of it.

In this case, the Acknowledgements underline that the book is not a journalistic exercise, however valuable (and it can be highly valuable) such an exercise can be.

The book is set up, instead, as a standard Brookings Institution document.

In such a document, thoughtful policy recommendations, and policy-related back stories, are emphasized. Books based upon the standard practice of journalism will take on a distinctly different format. Similarly, a book that is exclusively an academic text (again, such texts can be highly valuable) will take on a decidedly different format, than is evident in the case of the book at hand.

Behind the guises and performances of Mr. Putin

In the opening chapter, entitled “Who is Mr. Putin?”, the authors note that they make a point of looking “beyond the staged performances and deliberately assumed guises that constitute the Putin political brand” (p. 18).

For the purposes of the study, six separate identities, associated with Mr. Putin, are described:

  • The Statist
  • The History Man
  • The Survivalist
  • The Outsider
  • The Free Marketeer, and
  • The Case Officer

The six, above-noted identities of Mr. Putin are explored taking into account “their central elements and evolution, and their roots in Russian history, culture, and politics” (p. 18).

The authors add that their original manuscript (published in the first, 2013 edition of the book) was the outcome of their long-standing collaboration as colleagues at the Brookings Institution, dating to the start of Putin’s presidency in 2000.

The book notes, as well (p. vii), with regard to the second (2015) edition, that:

“Between the launch of the first edition in early 2013 and September 2014, Fiona Hill collected and analyzed new source material and embarked on a series of international research trips to conduct supplemental interviews with analysts, policymakers, government officials, and private sector representatives on the key themes of the book.

“Some of these trips were sponsored by external organizations, including the Embassy of the United States in Berlin and the U.S. consulates in Germany (through the U.S. Department of State’s Strategic Speaker Program); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (through its official visitors and speakers program); and the Department of National Defence of Canada (through the National Defence, Defence Engagement Program).

“Other trips and interviews were facilitated through meetings and conferences arranged by partner organizations, including the Aspen Institute, Chatham House, the Council on the United States and Italy, the Ditchley Foundation, the European Council on Foreign Relations, the EU Institute for Strategic Studies, the German Marshall Fund, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), the Korber Stiftung, the London School of Economics, and the Munich Security Conference.

“Participation in numerous Brookings Institution conferences, seminars, and private meetings in Washington, D.C., and Europe also provided opportunities to engage in one-on-one or small-group discussions with a range of U.S., European, and Russian officials, as well as U.S. and inter­national business figures active in Russia.”

There were other interviews as well; the ones that I’ve quoted will serve as a sampling of them.

Reform of the Russian military and the state of the Russian economy

The Acknowledgements also note that Clifford Gaddy contributed new conclusions, to the second edition of the book, regarding the reform of the Russian military and the state of the Russian economy. Some of the material, with a focus on the political economy of resource dependence, has been published separately by Clifford Gaddy and Barry Ickes.

The Acknowledgement end with a note (p. x) indicating that:

“The book’s findings are in keeping with Brookings’s mission: to conduct high-quality and independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public. The conclusions and recommendations of any Brookings research are solely those of its authors and do not reflect the views of the Institution, its management, or its other scholars.”

In a subsequent post, I will introduce Part One of the book, entitled “The Operative Emerges.”

This is a great book – both as an exercise in compelling research, and as a demonstration of high-quality storytelling about international affairs.


A March 15, 2017 YouTube video posted by the City of Mississauga is entitled: “The Tale of a Town: Stories from Dundas Street.”

A March 21, 2017 Wired article is entitled: “Inside the Hunt for Russia’s Most Notorious Hacker.”

A March 22, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Lawyer for family of Russian whistleblower ‘thrown from building’: Nikolai Gorokhov, who represents family of Sergei Magnitsky, is in intensive care after falling from fourth floor of apartment block.”

A March 22, 2017 Associated Press article is entitled: “AP Exclusive: Manafort had plan to benefit Putin government.”

A March 23, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Denis Voronenkov: ex-Russian MP who fled to Ukraine killed in Kiev: Kremlin critic left Russia last year and renounced citizenship after complaining he was persecuted by security agencies.”

A March 23, 2017 Foreign Policy article is entitled: “Further Revelations on Trump-Russia Ties Build Pressure For Independent Inquiry: New reports rattle the White House, as congressional and FBI investigations gain momentum — but can institutions survive the stress test?”

A March 23, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “In the broken-down heart of Siberia, Putin is still Russia’s ‘good tsar’: Irkutsk struggles with poverty and the authorities do little to help. But I found a puzzling disconnect.”

A March 24, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “In Putin’s Russia, the hollowed-out media mirrors the state: The Russian government has spent years consolidating its control of the media. Now it sees reporters as public servants first and journalists second – if at all.”

A March 24, 2017 Estonian World article is entitled: “The victims of Soviet deportations remembered in Estonia.”

A March 25, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Putin’s desire for a new Russian empire won’t stop with Ukraine: My country has suffered terribly from the Kremlin’s obsession with restoring Soviet hegemony. But the entire security of Europe and the west is at stake.”


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Phishing expeditions: That’s why the most important thing experts recommend is to listen to your gut (March 19, 2017 Wired article)

A March 19, 2017 Wired article is entitled: “Phishing Scams Even Fool Tech Nerds—Here’s How to Avoid Them.”

An excerpt reads:

“At the heart of phishing is a scam,” says Aaron Higbee, chief technology officer at the phishing research and defense company PhishMe. “The people who are sending a phishing email have to be clever email marketers to get a user to engage.” Often they do this by preying on your emotions.

That’s why the most important thing experts recommend is to listen to your gut. When something feels off, it probably is. But since the whole point of phishing (and its more tailored and targeted counterpart spear phishing) is to get you to do something without raising alarm bells, you need to practice skepticism even when things seems fine. You should be generally reluctant to download attachments and click links, no matter how innocuous they seem or who appears to have sent them.


A March 17, 2017 CBC article regarding the same topic is entitled: “How not to get hacked: CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet.”


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Skepticism with regard to the concept of “learning styles” is hugely warranted, no matter how popular the concept may be

Source: March 19, 2017 tweet from KanatlarımVarBenim‏ @angell_bird - The Schoolmaster, 1662 - Adriaen van Ostade ( Dutch, 1610 - 1685)

Source: March 19, 2017 tweet from KanatlarımVarBenim‏ @angell_bird – The Schoolmaster, 1662 – Adriaen van Ostade (Dutch, 1610 – 1685). Click on the image to enlarge it.

A March 13, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Teachers must ditch ‘neuromyth’ of learning styles, say scientists: Eminent academics from worlds of neuroscience, education and psychology voice concerns over popularity of method.”

An excerpt from the article reads:

The letter, organised by Prof Bruce Hood, chair of developmental psychology in society at the University of Bristol, says most people believe they have a preferred learning style – either visual, auditory or kinesthetic – and teaching using a variety of these styles can be engaging.

“However the claim that students will perform better when the teaching is matched to their preferred sensory modality (learning style) is simply not supported by the science and of questionable value,” he said.


Learning styles

I can’t tell you how many times, in the years that I worked as a teacher, I attended workshops and Powerpoint presentations that spoke about the wide range of learning styles that students demonstrate.

At the same time, at a particular stage of my life I became fascinated with the concept that it’s helpful to look at the evidence, and to engage in evidence-based practice, in whatever endeavour a person is engaged in.

As the above-noted article, one of many that I have encountered over the years, notes, the evidence on behalf of learning styles is lacking, to put the matter mildly.

One of the lasting images, that I remember from my teaching days, is from a book that I was reading, during my teaching days, that focused upon curriculum development or curriculum implementation, or some such topic along those lines.

The image – it was a metaphor, really – had to do with the launch of a newly built ship. There’s a big ceremony. A bottle of champagne, as is the standard practice, is smashed across the bow of the vessel. The ship is launched and is seen travelling away from the dock, heading toward the horizon. The assembled audience at the shore claps and cheers. In time, the ship disappears, never to be seen again.

What was the ship a metaphor for? It was a metaphor for each new curriculum initiative that gets launched, as the years go by.

Another experience that I remember, from my years as a teacher, concerns the Myers-Briggs approach to “personality types.” In the years since I worked as a teacher, I have been most interested to learn that the empirical evidence, for the validity of the Myers-Briggs approach to personality assessment, is very meagre, to say the least. If evidence and evidence-based practice is what interests you, I would say that skepticism with regard to Myers-Briggs is hugely warranted.

Teaching is a wonderful profession. I have gained so much from my 30-plus years of experience as a teacher, working in a wide range of settings across the Greater Toronto Area. It’s not easy to attain proficiency as a teacher. Some people have the skills – and personality traits – that enable them to achieve outstanding success as teachers or administrators. The people who achieve success in this line of work are a strong source of inspiration for me. The value that first-rate teachers bring, to the advancement of our society, is tremendous and warrants celebration. I mention these things, by way of placing my comments, with regard to “learning styles,” into a suitable context.


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You enter your birthday, and The Atlantic Life Timeline shares a brief tour of the history that’s happened all around you

Interesting concept. You enter your birthday (including year of birth) and The Atlantic (Magazine) Life Timeline will show you a brief tour of the history that’s happened all around you.

Click here to access The Atlantic Life Timeline >


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North Korea makes a great topic for storytelling

A March 7, 2017 Brookings Institution article, which originally appeared in the Nikkei Asian Review, addresses the current situation in North Korea; the opening paragraphs read:

Amid the sound and fury of President Donald Trump’s first weeks in office, the new U.S. administration has been widely castigated for policy dysfunction, an insurgent view of international alliances and trade, and worrying signals about its approach to core democratic institutions.

Numerous commentators argue that the president is leading by instinct and tweet, rather than through a deliberate policy process drawing upon talented and experienced senior officials and the professional bureaucracies that exist to support them. The growing war of words between the White House and the U.S. intelligence community looms as another major worry.

However, a very different dynamic has emerged on North Korea policy, arguably the most urgent national security challenge the administration confronts. This is something of a surprise.


The prospect of nuclear war is of concern for many people.

For your interest, some previous posts addressing North Korea and related topics include:

How writer Suki Kim embedded herself among North Korea’s elite – Dec. 18, 2014 CBC The Current

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (1999)

The Accusation (2017)

Another valuable resource, with regard to North Korea, is entitled: The Accusation (2017).

A blurb reads:

The Accusation by anonymous North Korean writer Bandi is the first piece of fiction to come out of North Korea. The Accusation is a heartbreaking portrayal of the realities of life in North Korea. It is also a reminder that humanity can sustain hope even in the most desperate of circumstances – and that the courage of free thought has a power far beyond those who seek to suppress it.”


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190-page Mississauga Heritage Management Strategy report provides a framework for The Story of Mississauga project

Some time back I became interested in a City of Mississauga initiative which seeks to develop The Story of Mississauga.

The initiative is outlined in a 190-page City of Mississauga report entitled the Mississauga Heritage Management Strategy:


A related report, which provides some additional background about this great project, is entitled: “City of Mississauga – Minutes of Heritage Advisory Committee (Approved May 10, 2016).”

As well, a June 1, 2016 City of Mississauga news release, which briefly highlights the project, is entitled: “City’s First Heritage Management Strategy Brings Heritage to the People.”

I attended Story of Mississauga meetings in January and March 2017

I attended a planning meeting connected with the The Story of Mississauga project in January 2017 in Toronto.

I also attended a second meeting, in the form of a storytelling workshop, in March 2017 in Mississauga.

The project is of much interest.

Quite aside from the final product that emerges from this Mississauga-oriented storytelling project (which in itself will be of interest to me), learning about the project has prompted me to think about the theory and practice of storytelling.

As well, the project has prompted me to think about the broader role of stories, and storytelling, in our lives.

Some preliminary thoughts

1) Ownership of the project. One of the first thoughts that occurs to me, just based on my experience in life, which is experience that is quite limited, is that the ownership of the stories that emerge, from the above-noted, Mississauga-based storytelling project, will be a key variable determining the success of the project. Who is going to own these stories? How will ownership be conceptualized? How will ownership be determined? Why would it matter, who has a sense of ownership of the stories, of the storytelling, of the production and distribution of the stories?

2) Ownership of the contents. You would want, for example, for Mississauga residents to have a strong sense of ownership of the content of the stories. The question that arises at once, with regard to such a goal, however, is: How do you develop a strong sense of ownership, with regard to content of stories that will be included in The Story of Mississauga?

3) Ownership of the distribution. You would want, as well, for people to have a strong sense of ownership of the process whereby the stories, whatever the stories may be, that emerge, are accessed. How do you develop such a sense of ownership, with regard to access to the stories?

4) Growth and renewal. You would want, as well, a process whereby new stories are constantly added to the mix. How can such a process of change and renewal be ensured?

As I say, these are things that occur to me, off the top of my head.

I speak, with regard to these points, on the basis of my own particular – and limited – mindset and worldview.

When you, as a site visitor, ponder the question of what The Story of Mississauga should entail, it is likely that you would come up with an entirely different set of thoughts.

Whatever thoughts may occur to you, I will be interested to know what they are. You can make a comment at the end of this blog, or you can contact me by email.

What is storytelling?

In my way of looking at storytelling, a person can define storytelling however she or he likes.

One version of storytelling, by way of example, involves having a person, known as a storyteller, entertain an audience for an hour with stories. In order to be entertaining, in such a scenario, you have to have some skill as a storyteller; some production values, of one kind or another, must be in evidence, that will enable you to put together a great show, as an entertainer.

Another version of storytelling, by way of example, involves having a person write a work of fiction that is published as a short story or novel. Again, you want something that is compelling and interesting.

In another scenario, storytelling might involve a work of non-fiction, as in a news report or a book-length study that focuses on some particular topic; again, you need to attract an audience, and hold the attention of your readers from start to finish of your story.

A fake news story appearing in a televised broadcast, or a speech or series of tweets featuring a wide assortment of lies and gaslighting, can also readily qualify as a form of storytelling. Lies and gaslighting can be hugely compelling and entertaining, and can serve all manner of purposes, including cultural and physical genocide.

By way of a subsequent post, now that I’m at least a little bit warmed up for the task, I will describe a form of storytelling that I have found  of particular cogency and interest, over the past couple of weeks that I’ve been reading a particular work of non-fiction.

Stories from the Brookings Institution

I first became interested, years ago, in the work of the Brookings Institution when I read studies, that the Institution had published, concerning the long-term economic benefits of optimal early childhood learning. This happens to be a topic of much interest to me. I was impressed with the quality of the reports that I read, and had enough experience and knowledge of the field of early childhood education to be able to understand the significance of these, particular research reports, with accompanying policy recommendations, that I read many years ago.

The recent work in question, on a distantly related topic, that I will highlight in a subsequent post, is by Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy.

Fiona Hill is director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings.

Clifford G. Gaddy is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings.

The storytelling that I refer to, as the topic for a subsequent post, is entitled:

Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2015)

This book makes for a great feat of storytelling, as I will explain, in the post that will follow.


An article in the March 27, 2017 issue of the New Yorker is entitled: “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.”

A March 15, 2017 YouTube video posted by the City of Mississauga is entitled: “The Tale of a Town: Stories from Dundas Street.”


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Gaslighting and stereotyping go together well; one augments the other

A previous post is entitled:

Perceptions of warmth and competence drive our stereotypes: Cuddy et al. (2008)

I’ve written a number of posts about stereotyping.

Click here for previous posts about stereotyping >


I have the sense that there’s a close connection between stereotyping and gaslighting.

Below are links to three articles that describe what gaslighting is, and how to counter it.

An April 18, 2016 Slate article is entitled: “From Theater to Therapy to Twitter, the Eerie History of Gaslighting.”

A Jan. 22, 2017 Psychology Today article is entitled: “Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself: Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.”

A March 16, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “How to survive gaslighting: when manipulation erases your reality: Ariel Leve offers strategies to stay resilient in the face of psychological abuse that distorts the truth – much like what’s coming from Trump’s administration.”


An article in the March 27, 2017 issue of the New Yorker is entitled: “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.


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