Monday, January 8, 2018

Road graders become snow plows come winter

It's been snowing all day and now, in the evening, the snow plow has arrived - sorta.

I've always called this giant piece of equipment a road grader. I don't recall these being used as snow plows in the southern Ontario town I once called home. I decided to do a Google search for more information.

I learned Cat calls these motor graders and the wing on the side and the blade at the front are custom additions for snow removal.

A good operator can plow a street and leave the roadway clear and yet not plug the entrances to everyone's driveway. This operator was good. Very good.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Winter Wonderland

Check out the depth of the snow sitting on the bird bath in the lower left of the posted picture.

London, Ontario, has had oodles of snow this winter and more is expected come Monday.

This is a winter for kids: sledding, snowman making, skiing, skating, if its an outdoor winter sport or activity, this is the winter for it.

Now, adults have another take. Many can't see passed the icy roads.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Caring Londoners

A local newspaper columnist has repeatedly claimed the suburbs are places where people live but without every putting down roots. The claim is that suburbanites rarely make contact with the folk living in their neighbourhood. This may be true in some places but it certainly is not true where I live: the Byron subdivision in southwest London, Ontario.

I have a failing heart and the neighbours know it. When it snows, I have the hardest time getting out snowblowing my drive before a neighbour, often a kid, shows up unannounced to blow or shovel the snow.

The adults get a heartfelt thank you. The kids I try to give a little money. They don't always take it and that gives me a smile.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year from London, Ontario, Canada

London, Ontario, is not in a mountainous part of Canada. In fact, southwestern Ontario is pretty flat. Our original ski hill was had but a 100-feet of height but it was still a lot of fun.

Boler Mountain is run as a non-profit enterprise but it is run exceedingly well. It was started by a group of truly fine, imaginative London area folk who wanted nothing less than bringing the best alpine skiing experience.

Today, the highest hill is 125-feet and served by a four-passenger, high-speed chairlift. It may not take all that long to ski down but it doesn't take all that long to get back up either.

Tonight, new year's eve, Boler Mountain held its annual new year's eve fireworks show at 9 p.m. for the benefit of the kids. I took two of my granddaughters. They love it.

In two weeks both girls will be starting their skiing lessons at Boler. Because of this, the oldest girl suggested that next year, she and her sister could ski during the day and early evening and then stay to watch the fireworks.

Boler knows how to bait the hook for kids.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Row of heritage homes may be coming down

A row of six homes on Oxford Street just west of Wharncliffe Road look like they may be nearing the end of their lives. The first two homes are boarded up on the first floor and the windows are broken on the second floor.

I will miss these homes. If I were a developer, I'd spiffy up all six, complete with the stained glass in the front windows, and then I'd erect a low-rise behind. I might even add to the row with more homes in the same style. The entire block appears threatened.

It would make for some dense housing, excellent for the university students who choose to live in the neighbourhood. Yet, it would help the street retain its older, residential feel. And this row of homes is, I believe, unique in London. It will be a shame to lose them.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reg Cooper Square: a failed placemaking attempt

I find this shocking. This is a picture of Reg Cooper Square located behind the London City Hall. The black structure jutting out from white wall of the City Hall is the council chamber.

Reg Cooper Square was going to be a wonderful people place. It was an attempt at placemaking. There was a fountain and attractive tiled planters along with benches. The fountain sat dry for years and today has been filled with dirt in order to support greenery. The tiled planters are gone, replaced by some standard planters but only standard planters. There are no plants inside.

Weeds grow between the large concrete pavers. When a pad was damaged, a small slab of concrete was poured to fill the hole.

If this is what London calls placemaking, it is all too sad.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A fawn with its mother

A nursing fawn with its doe in the cemetery where it was born just hours earlier. This event is not surprising as a large number of white-tailed deer call London Ontario's Woodland Cemetery home. The usually timid animals are easily sighted as they are becoming almost tame. Although the cemetery people are trying to dissuade people from feeding the deer, the request is widely ignored. as a number of bucks have been seen in the cemetery as well as a good number of does, the birth of the fawn was not unexpected.