30,000 green building professionals are coming to Toronto for Greenbuild in October; this series will try to explain Toronto to them.
It is hard to know what is going on, where to go and what to do when you show up in a city. In Toronto, it is amazing how much is actually packed into the downtown within easy walking distance of the convention centre, and how many resources there are to figure it all out. Here are a few of the online resources that you can check out before you come; some relate to green building and some are just good information on the City.
I just have to start with Spacing; it's a phenomenon, a magazine and website that made urban planning hip. They write about "City hall, architecture, urban planning, public transit, transportation infrastructure and just about anything that involves the public realm of our cities." Solid writing from Canada's small magazine of the year for 2008, 2009 and 2010. More at Spacing Toronto
For learning about where to go and what to do, it is hard to beat BlogTO with its listings and reviews. Its Best of Toronto lists are a great place to start to find everything from peameal to poutine.
Be sure to grab a Now Magazine on Thursday; the weekly freebie is full of good left wing rants, Adria Vasil writing about green, Wayne Roberts writing about food and more. Online version has good listings.
Listings for the older and more upscale can look at Toronto Life, which tries to be Toronto's New York magazine and fails, having seriously gone downhill in recent times. But the listings are extensive.
Torontoist covers urban issues, politics and events. Owned by the same company as Toronto Life, it is going in the other direction, getting better and better.
OpenFile is a new form of online journalism, a " a collaborative local news site." The former editor of Torontoist now edits their Toronto pages. It is an evolving project that is one to watch.
Hardcore building types should look at Urban Toronto, where your eyes can glaze over all the renderings of glassy new condos going up around town.
You wouldn't know it to look at it, but the international design magazine Azure is published in Toronto and gives good Canadian coverage.
When it comes to the green scene in Toronto, the online pickings are pretty slim. I was looking for some good ones but could find nothing that really covers current news. There is Green Living, but not much else.
Toronto has a vibrant newspaper scene, with the leaning-left Toronto Star, (read Christopher Hume on urban design and city politics, he has become one of the city's most important voices, and Tyler Hamilton on green tech, energy and more)
The Globe and Mail tries to be the New York Times of Canada, and is relatively centrist and staid. Read Lisa Rochon about design, the architourist, Dave LeBlanc, architectural critic John Bentley Mays.
The National Post, founded by Conrad Black to be the intelligent voice of the right, is a lot of fun if you keep away from the business and editorial pages. Peter Kuitenbrouwer does good urban design coverage.
And the Toronto Sun? Just don't go there.
Updates from ReadersI have asked readers to make suggestions of sites that I have missed to my twitter account and they are beginning to come in:
The Toronto Standard is new, "a daily digital briefing on the life of the city, covering urban affairs, business, technology, culture and design -- and all the sparks that happen in between." Worth looking at.
More on the Buildup to Greenbuild:
Buildup To Greenbuild: A Waterfront Of Broken Dreams
Building Up To Greenbuild: Bring Your Hardhat And Watch Out For Raining Panes
Buildup To Greenbuild: The Green Roofs of Toronto
Buildup to Greenbuild: A New Vision For The Toronto Waterfront