The City of Toronto Opens Its Data, I Visit the Santa Claus Parade Workshop in Weston, and Live Green Toronto Installs a Light Switch in a Bus Shelter - The Intrepid

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The City of Toronto Opens Its Data, I Visit the Santa Claus Parade Workshop in Weston, and Live Green Toronto Installs a Light Switch in a Bus Shelter

Santa Claus Parade Toronto

Last week, I investigated several stories for Torontoist. On Monday, I went to the Toronto Innovation Showcase at City Hall, and on Thursday, I critiqued a new bus shelter ad installed by Live Green Toronto and took a sneak-peak at the Santa Claus Parade’s newest floats.

I was thoroughly impressed by the Toronto Innovation Showcase, which served as a platform for the launch of toronto.ca/open, the City’s new repository for open data. A few of the event's speakers were boring, and some techies were downright rude, but the well-run open data lab, which gave people the opportunity to talk to the City’s experts about the project, made up for the day’s minor shortcomings. I'm a cynical person by nature, and even I came out of the conference with a mushy feeling of civic pride.

Unfortunately, this article had a lot of problems that my editors called me out on. I'm still not that happy with the finished product. The post is full of interesting information, but it really doesn't capture the energy of the of event. On the plus side, an excerpt from my post was also quoted in an article on daycare centre apps in the National Posts’s Toronto blog, Posted Toronto. Hooray!

The Santa Claus Parade workshop was a different experience for me. Most of the stuff I cover for Torontoist is pretty obscure. But this event was covered by several of Toronto’s big media players, including CityTV, CTV, The Star, and The National Post. Although I generally like doing the unique-low key stuff, it's nice to occasionally feel like a real journalist.

Live Green Toronto Light Switch Ad

My Thursday ended with a trip up to North York to stake out a new bus shelter ad installed by Live Green Toronto. The ad features a giant switch, which allows passersby to turn off the ad. Despite what some people are saying, the ad isn't all that impressive; the text is invisible during the day, the colours are muted, and the copy is dense. It’s a clever idea, but the execution is flawed.

Usually, I don't have the opportunity to go out on assignment with other Torontoist staff members. But on Thursday, I was accompanied by Christopher Drost, one of Torontoist's excellent photographers, to Santa's workshop. And later in the day, he even helped me stake out Live Green's light switch. Teams are definitely the way to go. In the future, I'm going to try to bring a photographer with me on every assignment.

Photos by Torontoist's Christopher Drost.

2 comments:

Saber said...

I enjoyed this article; thanks Stephen. Nice blog here.

Jeff Low

Stephen M. said...

Thanks Jeff.