Preserved Stories Blog

Mimico Lakeshore Network has shared some observations about the OMB

Following message is from the Mimico Lakeshore Network:

Subject: Public Meeting with P. Milczyn MPP – Reform of the OMB

Join Peter Milczyn MPP at a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the government’s review of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

Wed, Nov. 9, 2016 (Ward 6) 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 101

3850 Lake Shore Blvd West (Lake Shore and Browns Line)

Wed, Nov. 16, 2016 (Ward 5) 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 210

110 Jutland Road

“Reform” the OMB? Why not just abolish it?

The OMB is destroying our City and our neighbourhoods. Enough!

Folks have been asking to abolish the OMB for years.

“In February (2012), with Matlow and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam leading the charge, council voted 34–5 to ask the province to quash the OMB’s planning power over Toronto. Though only Queen’s Park can make that decision, Toronto isn’t the only body agitating for a change. Mississauga already voted to dismantle the OMB last year, one Markham councillor wants the same, and Wong-Tam says she’s heard rumblings from Hamilton and Ottawa.”

Toronto Star, June 23, 2012

 

“The truth, of course, is that the OMB should have been abolished decades ago. By enabling politicians to duck the hard decisions, it has left civic politicians in an infantilized state.”

Toronto Star, Christopher Hume, Feb. 7, 2012

 

“One of the fundamental principles of democracy is that of accountability. Over the past several years many citizens have become concerned that there has been a loss of accountability in matters of municipal land use planning.”

Michael Walker, June 2001

 

“Periodically, like clockwork, there are reminders that there is a malaise in Ontario’s planning system, which is of concern to observers in the public and private sectors alike; but seldom is the opportunity presented to go beyond cosmetic aspects and address not only the fundamentals, but alternatives. The Board can only hope that the Mimico-by-the-Lake experience may be helpful in that regard.”

OMB Board member Marc Denhez, August 2016

Put “ OMB” in the City’s search engine today and you will find 1,101 records, all having to do with some form of an appeal to the OMB.

City planners have to get on with the job of planning and stop wasting time at the OMB. Politicians have to grow up and start being accountable for the decisions they make.

Enough is enough. Why not abolish the OMB now?

For South Etobicoke, the OMB means serious business.

The City’s website indicates that since 2003, there were 46 development applications (44 actually) in South Etobicoke.

Eighteen of the development applications are either considered minor (i.e. school, gas station, inactive) or under review; because the file is still being processed by planning staff.

Out of the remaining 26 development applications each have a corresponding OMB file, except for two development proposals. That means that 92% of the major development applications in South Etobicoke have a corresponding file at the OMB.

What this means for South Etobicoke residents?

It means that the OMB is actively involved in the planning of this community and that the residents have less of a voice in planning matters.

* * *

Mimico Lakeshore Network

Email: lakeshorenetwork@gmail.com
Website: http://mimicolakeshorenetwork.wordpress.com
Twitter: @MimicoLN
Facebook: Mimico Lakeshore Network

[End of text]

[The preceding message is from the Mimico Lakeshore Network.]

 

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Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Town Hall Meetings

List of OMB Town Hall Meetings across Ontario

You can access a list of the meetings at the following Government of Ontario (Ministry of Municipal Affairs; Ministry of Housing) link:

Town Hall Meetings

Etobicoke meetings (Wards 5 & 6)

With regard to OMB-related meetings in Toronto, please refer to a previous post:

 

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OMB Town Hall Meetings – Nov. 9 (3850 Lake Shore Blvd. W.) and Nov. 16 (110 Jutland Road)

 

Among other Town Hall Meetings is one in Toronto on Nov. 15, 2016:

 

nov-15-2016-omb-meeting055

 

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OMB Town Hall Meetings – Nov. 9 (3850 Lake Shore Blvd. W.) and Nov. 16 (110 Jutland Road)

petermilczyn_quarterv_etonov16-01

 

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3 tweets (Nov. 4, 2016) from CBC reporter John Lancaster regarding City of Toronto committees of adjustment

3 tweets (Nov. 4, 2016) from CBC reporter John Lancaster regarding committees of adjustment

‏@jlancasterCBC

1) Seems like a lot of people in Toronto are complaining about development decisions made by committees of adjustment.

2) Worth noting it’s elected officials who select members of the COAs. In other words if COAs aren’t representing the will of people

3) then perhaps pols should do a better job selecting COA members. #Toronto

 

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Dorothy, age 97, stars in 4-minute opposition video about development trends at the City of Toronto. Plus: links to two, related City TV News Reports

Drawing inspiration from our neighbour Dorothy, age 97, who lives across the street from us in Toronto, I am looking forward to helping to organize a Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties reunion when the Sixties grads are in their 90s.

 

 

Nov. 3, 2016 City TV News Report

We are pleased to say that Dorothy’s message to the Etobicoke-York Committee of Adjustment has received wide attention in local TV news reports.

Video: Neighbours going to war over so-called monster homes – CityNews

Nov. 4, 2016 City TV News Follow-Up Report

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Dorothy lives just east of 14 Villa Road. She has lived at her house for 74 years, as she has explained in a brief video entitled: Message from Dorothy, age 97, to the Etobicoke-York Committee of Adjustment, October 2016. Click on the image to enlarge it.

3D rendering of Mike Smith showing view of proposed houses as they would appear at 10:00 am in the month of March.

3D rendering by Mike Smith of Gateway Data and Surveillance Systems, Inc. (GDSS) showing a General Visual Representation of the proposed 14 Villa houses as they would appear at 10:00 am in the month of March. Dorothy’s house is located to the right of the two houses that are proposed in the severance application that was approved by the Committee of Adjustment on Nov. 3, 2016. The decision has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. Click on the image to enlarge it.

A follow-Up City TV News Report also features our neighbour Dorothy, who at age 97 drives a car. mows her lawn, and contributes to ongoing, City-wide conversations about development trends at the City of Toronto:

Preserve or Progress: Toronto’s property war – CityNews

3 tweets (Nov. 4, 2016) from CBC reporter John Lancaster regarding committees of adjustment

‏@jlancasterCBC

1) Seems like a lot of people in Toronto are complaining about development decisions made by committees of adjustment.

2) Worth noting it’s elected officials who select members of the COAs. In other words if COAs aren’t representing the will of people

3) then perhaps pols should do a better job selecting COA members. #Toronto

 

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Posted in Committee of Adjustment & OMB, Long Branch, Newsletter, Toronto | 4 Comments

Nov. 4, 2016 update from City TV regarding Preservation or Progress in City of Toronto development

In a previous post, we referred to a Nov. 3, 2016 City TV report entitled:

Nov. 3, 2016 City News – Monster Home Meeting

City TV Follow-up News Item

A Nov. 4, 2015 follow-up to the previous news item is entitled:

Nov. 4, 2016 City News – Preserve or Progress: Toronto property war

Video by Villa Road residents: Message from Dorothy, age 97, to Committee of Adjustment

An earlier video, posted by Villa Road residents at Vimeo.com can be accessed at the following previous post:

City News & 680 News: Committee of Adjustment accepts 14 Villa Road application despite strong opposition

3 tweets (Nov. 4, 2016) from CBC reporter John Lancaster regarding committees of adjustment

‏@jlancasterCBC

1) Seems like a lot of people in Toronto are complaining about development decisions made by committees of adjustment.

2) Worth noting it’s elected officials who select members of the COAs. In other words if COAs aren’t representing the will of people

3) then perhaps pols should do a better job selecting COA members. #Toronto

 

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City TV: Committee of Adjustment accepts 14 Villa Road application despite strong opposition

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Dorothy lives just east of 14 Villa Road. She has lived at her house for 74 years, as she has explained in a brief video entitled: Message from Dorothy, age 97, to the Etobicoke-York Committee of Adjustment, October 2016. Click on the image to enlarge it.

3D rendering of Mike Smith showing view of proposed houses as they would appear at 10:00 am in the month of March.

3D rendering by Mike Smith of Gateway Data and Surveillance Systems, Inc. (GDSS) showing a General Visual Representation of the proposed 14 Villa houses as they would appear at 10:00 am in the month of March. Dorothy’s house is located to the right of the two houses that are proposed in the severance application that was approved by the Committee of Adjustment on Nov. 3, 2016. The decision has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. Click on the image to enlarge it.

We owe thanks to each person who wrote a letter, and each person who turned up at the Nov. 3, 2016 Committee of Adjust-ment meeting. We are proud of the presentations that Villa Road residents made. The outcome was not what we had hoped for but we were aware that we do what we can, knowing that the decision is not in our hands.

We were pleased that City News and 680 News carried an item about Dorothy’s story on Nov. 3, 2016. We are gratified that, through Dorothy’s story, we have been able to reach a wider audience, with our concerns as residents, than would otherwise have been the case:

Nov. 3, 2016 City News: Monster Home Meeting

Nov. 3, 2016 680 News: Monster Home Meeting

Please contact us through this website if you have any questions or would like to help us in our community self-organizing efforts.

History of Villa Road

We will soon post a brief history of the street.

Broader issue

The issue we are concerned with extends across Long Branch, across Alderwood, across Willowdale.It is an issue where someone needs to speak out on behalf of everyday, ordinary, tax-paying residents. There is value in us working together, as residents, to address this ongoing and significant urban planning issue.

If we do not speak out on behalf of residents, who will?

In this context, we strongly support the Long Branch Urban Design Guidelines Project and the similar one under way in Willowdale. Long Branch and Willowdale have in a sense been at the epicentre of what has been happening with lot severances and overbuilding of lots at the City of Toronto in recent years.

Previous posts of interest

Among related items, that you can find through a search of this website, are the following posts:

Video Message from Dorothy, age 97, to the Etobicoke-York Committee of Adjustment, October 2016

If you receive a Notice from the Committee of Adjustment, here’s (1) a Guide to the Notice & (2) Things to Think About (for residents nearby and elsewhere)

3 tweets (Nov. 4, 2016) from CBC reporter John Lancaster regarding committees of adjustment

‏@jlancasterCBC

1) Seems like a lot of people in Toronto are complaining about development decisions made by committees of adjustment.

2) Worth noting it’s elected officials who select members of the COAs. In other words if COAs aren’t representing the will of people

3) then perhaps pols should do a better job selecting COA members. #Toronto

 

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My interview with the Honourable Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons

Below is a draft of a brief commentary that I have prepared for the Monthly Newsletter of the Canadian Stuttering Association. For more information about the Association, please do a search using the internal search engine at the website you are now visiting.

Here’s a brief commentary for the Newsletter, for a start; I will write at greater length when time permits.

I was very pleased to meet the Honourable Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons, when he arrived at the Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. I was at the airport to meet him and drive him to Ryerson University, which is where the CSA 25th Anniversary Conference was held.

With the Speaker’s permission, I recorded our conversation (I placed a Zoom H5 audio recorder at a suitable location at the front of the car) as we were travelling through Toronto traffic. Afterwards, I was very pleased to hear Geoff Regan’s keynote address. Again, I recorded most of it – the part that I missed, CSA National Coordinator Andrew Harding had recorded, and thus I have a recording of the first part of the keynote as well.

A key point that stayed in mind from the Speaker’s keynote is that, all through his life, Geoff Regan has aimed to do always try to do better, at whatever it is that he does. His approach to life is an inspiration for all of us – including the 1 percent of the adult population who stutters, the 5 percent of young children who stutter during the years they are learning to speak, and the 99 percent of the population – I hear they are sometimes called “fluenters” – who do not stutter. In a subsequent article, I will write more about the interview in the car on the way to the conference, and about the Speaker’s great keynote address in Toronto on Oct. 22, 2016.

[End of text]

Closing of BCAPS

BCAPS is the British Columbia Association of People Who Stutter.

Andrew Harding, National Coordinator of CSA, has informed us that BCAPS is closing, and that CSA will be carrying on, as a legacy project, a bursary program that BCAPS has been running for many years, as a way to help young people who stutter (who otherwise would not be able to afford it) to get treatment for stuttering.

Below are some thoughts that have occurred to me, on the occasion of the winding down of BCAPS.

BCAPS has done tremendously valuable work for so many years. In a sense, a part of their legacy is that CSA will be able to build upon some of the great work BCAPS has done over the years in British Columbia. BCAPS had its origins, as I recall, in a meeting that Allan Chapman called, of attendees from British Columbia, when we were outside during an event or a break at the first-ever CSA national conference in Banff in August 1991, 25 years ago. I met Allan Chapman in Edmonton in July 1987 when we were both attendees at a three-week ISTAR (Institute fir Stuttering Treatment and Research) clinic.

Allan Chapman – originally from Winnipeg and later living in Victoria, as I recall – later became a leading hydrologist in British Columbia. Michael Niven of Calgary attended the ISTAR clinic just a short time earlier, prior to the July 1987 clinic. He became a leading lawyer in Calgary and also played a key role in the development of the CSA constitution. He had lost his job as an articling student at a law firm, because he stuttered severely. Michael went to ISTAR as a last resort. By that stage he had already started a family, had a nice house in a nice part of Calgary – and was without a job. Then he decided to follow up on an article, that someone had previously shown him, about the ISTAR clinic in Edmonton.

At that stage, Michael Niven was quite interested in finding a way out of his dilemma. When he was at ISTAR, he wrote a note in some ISTAR guestbook. That was my first introduction to him. The note said, in so many words: “Having fluency is like walking along a cliff. If I work at the maintenance of what I have learned, during the years after the clinic, the walk along the cliff will work out fine. I am going to work at it.”

The key player for the drafting of the CSA constitution was Peter Wyant of Regina, also an ISTAR alumnus from those years. Allan, Michael, and Peter were key players in staging of the meetings – where people broke into groups of eight – at the Banff conference. The final meeting, chaired by Peter Wyant, asked attendees if we should form a national association.

I recall Peter saying, in so many words: “It’s up to the people here to decide; it’s not our job as workshop leaders, to make any such decision; it’s up to the attendees to decide what we should be doing.”

Peter became a leading executive in the oil sands industry. When we were writing the draft of the CSA constitution, and developing it, a point that was repeatedly made was that CSA as an organization would be open to everybody – to those who advocate fluency training as a way to deal with stuttering, to those who had no use for fluency training, and for any person who had any interest at all in how to deal with stuttering.

Another key player in the early years of CSA -and who remains a key player even now – is Arun Khanna, who has recently taken on the role of CSA Treasurer.

Arun has been involved with CSA since 1991 and as a board member since 2007. Arun’s financial expertise will serve the organization well. Arun brings a great deal of valued experience – both to his role as an accountant (for many years he was a manager at the Canada Revenue Agency) and as a CSA co-founder beginning with all of the public speaking he was engaged in at the Banff 1991 conference.

Arun Khanna was also a key player in SAT, the Stuttering Association of Toronto (founded in 1988), which along with the Stuttering Association of Alberta was directly involved in the early deliberations starting in 1989 that led to the Banff conference.

As I recall, Arun remarked in 1991, after the Banff conference, that it was the first time in his life he had done much in the way of public speaking – and, he added (again, if I recall correctly), “This is fun. I like public speaking!”

Arun is not an ISTAR graduate. As I recall from conversations years ago, Arun hasn’t had much in the way of formal speech therapy. However, he found the regular meetings of the SAT group in Toronto, in the late 1980s, of much benefit. As a result of the meetings, he began to let people at work know that, yes, he is indeed a person who stutters. He also became fully at ease with public speaking – speaking to large audiences – which was helpful in his progress in his career as an accountant.

Leadership succession and continuous improvement

From the start we also emphasized leadership succession and continuous improvement in the organization. We knew that was the key thing, to ensure that CSA would grow and flourish in the years that followed.

 

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Heritage Mississauga celebrates milestone anniversaries at The Credits, Heritage Mississauga Awards – Nov. 10, 2016, Lakeshore Convention Centre

Heritage Mississauga celebrates milestone anniversaries at
The Credits, Heritage Mississauga Awards

*

On Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 at the
Lakeshore Convention Centre

*

Congratulations to . . . .

Sheridan Nurseries
Streetsville Legion Branch 139
Port Credit Yacht Club
Rotary Club of Mississauga Lakeshore
Longos
Cooksville Legion Branch 582
Don Rowing Club
Mississauga Board of Trade
Rotary Club of Mississauga West
Active Green & Ross
Mississauga Ramblers Cricket Sports and Cultural Club
Orchard Restaurant
PLASP
Port Credit Legion Branch 82
Cheshire House
Port Credit BIA
Mississauga Friendship Association
The Riverwood Conservancy
Glen Erin Inn
Mississaugas of the New Credit Three Fires Homecoming Powwow
and Traditional Gathering
Scarlett House Catering Inc.
Toastmasters
Mississauga Chinese Business Association
Vita Centre

Join us for an evening of celebration, as we honour these organizations for their dedicated service to the community.

Thursday November 10th, 2016 at the
Lakeshore Convention Centre,
806 Southdown Rd. Mississauga, ON L5J 2Y4.

During the event awards will be presented and Veterans will be honoured.
What an evening!

Doors Open at 5:30pm, Dinner 7:00pm with ceremony to follow.

Tickets are $65 and going fast, with a special early bird discount price of $500 for a table of 10 (deadline Friday November 4th, at 5pm).

Order your tickets today! Ticket forms are available at The Credits Ticket Form or by calling Heritage Mississauga at 905-828-8411 ext. “0” or through email at info@heritagemississauga.org. More information about the event can be found on our website at www.heritagemississauga.com

Support your Heritage Resource Centre and join us as we honour and celebrate these milestone anniversaries.

Media contact: Jayme Gaspar, Executive Director,
jgaspar@heritagemississauga.org, 905-828-8411 ext. 31.

 

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Highly successful In Situ event at Small Arms Building in Mississauga, Oct. 27 to 29, 2016: Great turnout, great sense of organization

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

Hanlan Water Project site is located just east of the Small Arms Building. Jaan Pill photo

A Hanlan Water Project construction site is located just east of the Small Arms Building. Work at the site appears close to completed. Jaan Pill photo

In situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

View of Small Arms Building in Mississauga: Corner of Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East. Jaan Pill photo

View of Small Arms Building in Mississauga: Corner of Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East. Jaan Pill photo

I am delighted that I had the opportunity, on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, to attend an In Situ event at the Small Arms Building in Mississauga.

We were impressed with the turnout, the enthusiasm, and the great sense of organization. The event appealed to groups of all ages.

It was clear that every detail had been attended to, at a highly professional level, starting with the parking and continuing with the lighting inside and outside the building, and the music, art installations, and other displays and creative performances.

It was also clear that a great deal of well-coordinated volunteer effort, by individuals of all ages, was involved in the staging of the event.

For many years, I’ve been following the story of the Small Arms Building which was dramatically saved – through the efforts of local residents working in collaboration with City of Mississauga officials – from demolition several years ago. Eventually, rather than being bulldozed, it was designated as a heritage building under the Ontario Heritage Act.

What we observed at In Situ – in particular, the bringing together of so many resources, artists, performers, and such a great audience – on Oct. 29, 2016 has convinced me that the Small Arms Society is off to a great start to its well-planned, collaborative repurposing project on behalf of the Small Arms Building.

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

I was super impressed with the information that students shared, about the various art displays; the students had signs saying “Ask Me about the Art,” and that’s what you did. It was a great way to learn quickly about each of the displays, that we wished to ask about.

A previous post about the event is entitled:

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Lee-Enfield rifles were manufactured during the Second World War at the Small Arms Ltd. plant west of Etobicoke Creek. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ Multi Arts Festival at the Small Arms Building, Oct. 27 to 29, 2016

Along with art installations, jazz music and a DJ, In Situ also included a special performance by Frog in Hand called Creature, an audience interactive experience through the building. A BBQ and Cash Bar were also set up inside the Small Arms Building at 1352 Lakeshore Road East.

Lee-Enfield rifles and Sten machine guns were manufactured at the Small Arms Ltd. munitions plant

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. The display is from the TRCA / Sawmill Sid portable sawmilling project behind the Small Arms Building. The project is repurposing trees destroyed by the emerald ash borer. Jaan Pill photo

Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl: Veronica Foster. Source: Libraries & Archives of Canada PA – 119766. Veronica Foster, who worked at the John Inglis plant in Toronto during the Second World War, was actually a non-smoker, her daughter informed me some years ago at a Small Arms Open House. She only smoked for the photo session where this photo and others were taken.

During the Second World War, the building had served as an inspection building for the nearby Small Arms Ltd. munitions plant, which had employed large numbers of workers (a large proportion of whom were young women from across Canada) making Lee-Enfield rifles and other small arms during the Second World War.

According to a Sept. 19, 1991 Toronto Star article, cited at a previous post, the Small Arms Ltd. munitions plant turned out “more than 900,000 Lee-Enfield rifles, 126,000 Sten guns and 1,000 sniper rifles.”

Bren guns were manufactured at the John Inglis plant in Toronto

As noted at another previous post, Bren guns were not manufactured at the Small Arms plant during the war years; Bren guns were, instead, manufactured at the John Inglis munitions plant in what is now Liberty Village in Toronto.

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

Click here for previous posts about the Small Arms Building >

Click here for previous posts about military history >

A previous post discusses the story of Veronica Foster, who worked at the John Inglis Co. munitions plant in Toronto:

Veronica Foster the Bren Gun Girl was a non-smoker, except on the occasion of a wartime NFB photo shoot

Genocide and the Geographical Imagination (2011)

Spending time at the In Situ event on Oct. 29, 2016 at the Small Arms Building prompted me to think about what I have been reading about warfare and military history in recent years.

It is at just such an event, with the convergence of art, history, and the present moment, that a person’s mind is free to wander and to make connections.

Some years ago I read a book by James A. Tyner entitled: Genocide and the Geographical Imagination: Life and Death in Germany, China, and Cambodia (2011).

The book has enabled me to some understand things in a way that I had not previously been able to understand.

A review [I’ve broken the longer text into shorter paragraphs] by B. Osborne of Queen’s University at Kingston, published by the American Library Association and posted at the Toronto Public Library website, reads:

Tyner (geography, Kent State Univ.) applies a geographic perspective on state building by considering the complex moral calculus behind policies that determine who lives and who dies during efforts to achieve state-sanctioned utopias.

The introductory chapter examines the psychology of killing and state-sanctioned geographic imaginations. The author uses the Holocaust to examine state-sponsored violence and expose ideas of sovereignty and the spatiality of life and death. His analysis of Maoist China questions whether allowing 40 million people to die between 1959 and 1961 was intentional genocide or a by-product of a drive to a utopian worldview.

Archival image of Veronica Foster, an employee of the John Inglis Co. munitions plant in Toronto, who was known as "Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl." The image is from an Oct. 31, 2016 tweet from Canada's Military History @CanadasMilHist

Veronica Foster, a wartime employee of the John Inglis plant in Toronto, was known as Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl. After the war she became a model and big band singer. Source: Libraries & Archives of Canada photo from an Oct. 31, 2016 tweet by Canada’s Military History @CanadasMilHist

Finally, Tyner explores Cambodia’s loss of a third of its 8 million people in the Khmer Rouge’s search for a just and egalitarian society through the total erasure of traditional Cambodia.

Implicit in these case studies is how the moral geography of the modern bureaucratic state values people. The numbers may be different, but societies still encounter state engagement with contraception, euthanasia, capital punishment, political assassination, and other issues that are part of the moral geography of modern states. The argument is provocative, but the author’s well-demonstrated realities of the horrible verities of his three case studies overwhelm his theoretical exercises. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.

[End of review]

The Colonial Present (2004)

More recently, I have been reading Chapter 8, “Boundless War,” in a book by Derek Gregory entitled: The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq (2004). I’m part way through the chapter. Had I not been reading a wide range of studies about military history, over the past several years, I would not have found the chapter quite as easy to follow, as has been the case for me now.

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

Reading the chapter is emotionally and physically a difficult process for me, but I have the sense that it is important for me to read it.

By reading the chapter I can acknowledge in a small way, to my own self, the suffering that the people of Iraq and Syria and continue to endure.

The experience of reading the chapter brings to mind, for me, the fact that each text that a person encounters is an encounter in which a person’s past experience as a reader, and as a person, has a direct bearing on how the text will be read, and what a person will get out of the reading experience.

Reading is like storytelling. We are all experts at storytelling and reading, yet there is perhaps more to storytelling, and to reading, than any expert can explain. Which brings to mind another book: Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs (2016). Jacobs argued that experts have a tendency, in particular circumstances, to make terrible decisions.

Derek Gregory

At the University of British Columbia Department of Geography website, Derek Gregory explains [I have broken the longer text into shorter paragraphs] what his research is about:

My research has two interconnected themes. Most generally, I am interested in the spatial modalities of late modern war, where military violence, occupation and peace bleed into one another. My focus for these investigations is the Middle East, specifically Iraq and Israel/Palestine, but I also consider Afghanistan/Pakistan, East Africa and the geography of the global war prison.

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

My particular concerns are in the production of spaces that make war possible and permissible via practices of locating, inverting and excepting and in the production of imaginative counter-geographies through artwork, drama and literature.

I am also interested in cultural and political geographies of bombing, from Europe bombing its colonial populations in the early twentieth century through Spain, the Second World War, the wars in Korea, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, to the Gulf War, Afghanistan / Pakistan and Iraq. In both cases I draw (critically) on ideas from cultural and political theory/philosophy (including Agamben, Butler and Foucault) and from the visual arts and literary studies (including Said and Sebald).

[End of text]

Some years ago, it would not have had an interest in figuring out what the above-noted overview means.

Now, some years later, I have a better understanding of what such a text communicates.

May 1, 2003: End of major combat operations in Iraq

An evocative paragraph from Chapter 8 , “Boundless War,” in the above-mentioned 2004 study by Derek Gregory, reads [again, I’ve broken the longer text into shorter paragraphs, of ease of online reading]:

On May 1, [2003] when he announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq, [George W.] Bush told his American audience that “When Iraqi civilians looked into the faces of our servicemen and women, they saw strength and kind­ness and good will.”

No doubt many of them were men and women who displayed all these qualities. But how could the Iraqi people not also have seen in their faces a regime that had bombed and starved their families and friends for 12 years? An army that had fought its way into their cities with terror at its head and death in its wake? An occupying force that demanded complete compliance with its will?

“We are the oldest civilization, but we are presented to the world as terrorists,” a primary school teacher in Baghdad told one human rights worker. “Only people who fight with small guns are called terrorists. Bush, who bombs us with cluster bombs and strangles us with the embargo, is a ‘civilized man.’ ”

You might quib­ble over the details, but you can hardly miss her point. “Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear machine-guns at the end of your street,” Salam Pax wrote in his weblog, “you don’t think about your immi­nent ‘liberation’ any more.” [100]

[The ‘100’ refers to an endnote.]

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

[End of excerpt]

Gregory’s account brings to mind How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon (2016) by Rosa Brooks.

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. The image at the centre of the photo makes evocative, engaging use of perspective cues to represent a hallway at the Small Arms Building. The paintings on display at In Situ were of high quality; I look forward to seeing additional displays of such paintings. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

Jane Jacobs and the imaginative geographies of the Spadina Expressway

The history of the Small Arms Ltd. munitions plant is part of the Second World War history of Canada. A link to a 3-minute video about the plant is available at a previous post entitled:

New 3-minute video from Heritage Mississauga features Small Arms Ltd. wartime munitions plant in Lakeview

Also of relevance is a previous post entitled:

The “3P” Strategy: Proactive, Persistent, and Positive

The postwar era is closely associated with the “imaginative geographies” associated with the saga of the Spadina Expressway in Toronto. The postwar era across the Greater Toronto Area was to a significant degree shaped by the automobile, and its requirements.

Of the Spadina Expressway, we can say that the urban fabric – and the social fabric of local neighbourhoods in Toronto – was also shaped (and preserved) by local citizens who stood up against what I would call “structural violence.”

The structure violence that I refer to was initiated by “expert” planners and bureaucrats during the postwar era, directed at local, city neighbourhoods. Among the people who led the opposition, in the 1960s in Toronto and elsewhere, to the trends demonstrated by the Spadina Expressway project were Jane Jacobs and Marshall McLuhan.

The opening paragraph, of a Nov. 1, 1969 article – entitled: “A City Getting Hooked on the Expressway Drug” – by Jane Jacobs in The Globe and Mail, reprinted in Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs (2016), reads:

When my family and I settled in Toronto about a year and a half ago, we soon learned the flat we had rented was perched on the putative edge of the Spadina Expressway, vari­ously described to us as elevated, no, depressed; six lanes wide, no, eight; with a subway underneath, no, without; to be built soon, no, not for a long time. Whatever it was, it was not imaginary. Up at Highway 401 we could see what Mar­shall McLuhan calls the launching pad, a big, confident interchange poised for imminent attack upon a wide swath of raw earth and for the subsequent invasion of still unviolated ravine and pleasant communities to the south. In the mind’s eye, one could see the great trees and jolly Edwardian porches falling before the onslaught.

[A pull-out sidebar to the opening paragraph reads:]

In the mind’s eye, one could see the great trees and jolly Edwardian porches falling before the onslaught.

[End of excerpt]

Additional links related to Small Arms Building

Previous posts about the Small Arms Building or topics connected with it can be accessed at several links:

Lakeview Waterfront Connection Project

Inspiration Lakeview

Lakeview Ratepayers Association

Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey

Small Arms Building

Small Arms Society

Hanlan Water Project

Heritage Mississauga

First World War

Second World War

History of Long Branch

Etobicoke Creek

Long Branch Aerodrome

Long Branch Rifle Ranges

Baffles

Jane Jacobs

Jane’s Walk

Sawmill Sid

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA)

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC)

Click on the photos to enlarge them; click again to enlarge them further

 

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