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Dear Urban Diplomat: do we have to disclose our black-mould discovery?

urban-diplomat-fungus-among-us

(Image: David Goehring/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,

My wife and I blew our budget on a detached home and during a minor reno found black mould in the basement, which looks like it was patched over by the previous owners. We suspect it runs up the wall and into the kitchen. After some hemming and hawing, we’ve decided to sell and downsize to a semi, which makes more sense for us financially. Our question: are we legally, ethically or otherwise obligated to tell our agent and prospective buyers about the mould, or can we just pretend we never noticed?

—Fungus Among Us, Riverdale

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Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I get my Ford-hating coworkers to stop mocking me?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Ford National

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Dear Urban Diplomat,
I’m a supporter of the Fords. When people badmouthed them at work, I stood up for them. Now that Tory’s mayor, my colleagues continue to rip on me. My boss is in on it too, so I have nobody to complain to. I feel like my only option to get respect is to ask one of them to go outside and settle it. Should I?

—Ford National, East York

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Dear Urban Diplomat: should I call the cops on my neighbour, the parking-permit cheat?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Parking Narc

(Image: Lynn Kelley Author/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
Two doors down from our semi, there’s an older—but able-bodied!—man who runs a contracting business with his two able-bodied adult sons. Their vehicles all have accessibility parking permits, which allow them to park on either side of the street, regardless of which side is “on” that month. I suspect pass-related fraud. Should I tell someone?

—Parking Narc, Bloorcourt

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Dear Urban Diplomat: am I a bad person for leaving my newspaper on the subway?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Am I littering if I leave my used copy on the subway or doing some other bored commuter a favour?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I’m new to the city, and I read Metro during my morning commute. Am I littering if I leave my used copy on the subway or doing some other bored commuter a favour?

—Paper Trail, Cedarvale

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Dear Urban Diplomat: what can I do about the never-ending porn shoot next door?

Dear Urban Diplomat: what can I do about the never-ending porn shoot next door?

(Image: Joe Lillibridge/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
It seems the unit down the hall at my condo has become the world’s busiest porno set. There’s a steady stream of sketchy characters loading in camera and lighting gear, and lots of very obvious on-screen “talent” hanging around. Unbelievably, they keep the noise down, but it’s easy to guess what’s going on. I have two kids. What are my options?

—Girls Next Door, Liberty Village

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Dear Urban Diplomat: was I wrong to show my new doctor neighbour my rash?

Dear Urban Diplomat: was I wrong to show my new doctor neighbour my rash?

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Dear Urban Diplomat,
My husband and I just moved to the Beach. We had our neighbours over—he’s a banker, she’s a family doctor—and after a few lycheetinis I pulled her aside to show her a crazy rash on my upper thigh that’s got me worried. She dodged my questions, then suddenly they had to leave. I’m a bit embarrassed, but also annoyed: what are neighbours for if you can’t help each other out?

—Rash Decision, The Beach

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Dear Urban Diplomat: am I a jerk for skipping the TTC farebox line?

Dear Urban Diplomat: am I a jerk for skipping the TTC farebox line?

(Image: Bryson Gilbert/Toronto Life Flickr Pool)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I was in the Queen subway station recently and encountered a long lineup, so I did that move where you sneak past people mumbling “Sorry” and dump your fare into the can. One guy yelled, “Oh, only you have places to go?” and I got the stink eye from someone else. What am I supposed to do—wait interminably as trains pass by?

—Line Dancer, North York

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Dear Urban Diplomat: what can I do to ward off my neighbour’s pigeon pals?

Dear Urban Diplomat: what can I do to ward off my neighbour's pigeon pals?

(Image: Sarah Cartwright/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I have a neighbour who scatters old bread and bird feed on her driveway for pigeons. While these winged rodents await their feeding, they drop bombs all over the sidewalk. Parents walking their kids to school have learned (the messy way) to cross the street. Short of getting out the BB gun and setting up a blind in a nearby tree, what can I do?

—Tired of This Crap, Leslieville

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Dear Urban Diplomat: what’s an e-cigarette hater to do?

Dear Urban Diplomat: what's an e-cigarette hater to do?

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Dear Urban Diplomat,
I’ve been to three west-end establishments recently—Bambi’s, This End Up and Porzia—where patrons were gaily vaping e-cigs, repercussion-free. I get that it’s not quite smoking a cigarette, but I still don’t enjoy having nicotine vapour blown in my face. Am I lame to complain? Is vaping an officially sanctioned act these days?

—Head in the Clouds, Little Portugal

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Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I talk my daughter out of being a Sunshine Girl?

Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I talk my daughter out of being a Sunshine Girl?

(Image: Tom Magliery/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My daughter is 19 and desperate to pose as a Sunshine Girl. She keeps threatening to send in her picture, convinced it’s the path to stardom. How do I talk her out of it?

—Sunblock, Pickering

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Dear Urban Diplomat: should I rat out my landlord for stealing cable?

Dear Urban Diplomat: should I rat out my landlord for stealing cable?

(Image: Master of Telxons/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I live in a ground-floor suite and pay my own utilities, including cable. My landlord lives above me, and we have a good relationship. However, I just noticed a splitter thingy coming off of my Rogers cable box. I Googled it and sent a photo to my friend who installs cable for a living, and now I’m 95 per cent sure my landlord is stealing my cable. I’m annoyed that he’s getting free TV on my dime, and I’m a little worried that a Rogers technician will eventually notice and I’ll get dinged somehow. What to do?

—TV Drama Star, Leslieville

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Dear Urban Diplomat: am I a delinquent mom for leaving my six-year-old in a car?

Dear Urban Diplomat: am I a delinquent mom for leaving my six-year-old in a car?

(Image: Gustavo Devito/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I recently left my six-year-old son in the car while I ran into a store. The window was down, he was engrossed in his iPad, the car was locked, and I could see him clearly from inside. I was gone less than five minutes. The next day, I see photos of my son and my licence plate on a local mommy blog, with the ­caption: “Anyone know this delinquent ‘mother’? Disgusting! She should be in jail.” At last check, it had 30 comments, all assenting and with varying degrees of vitriol. What should I do? Fight back?

—Lynched Online, The Beach

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Dear Urban Diplomat: my barista’s first name offends me—what can I do about her?

Dear Urban Diplomat: my barista's a real Nazi—what can I do about her?

(Image: Mr. TinDC/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
A barista at my local Starbucks, near Yonge and Bloor, is a Persian woman named Nazi, and she wears a name tag. My parents died in the Holocaust, and I don’t need to revisit the memory every morning. Would it be reasonable to complain?

—Latte With Two Sugars and Some Emotional Trauma, Yorkville

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Dear Urban Diplomat: my wife wants to give out toothbrushes on Halloween—should she?

Dear Urban Diplomat: my wife wants to give out toothbrushes on Halloween—should she?

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Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife is a dentist and wants to give out toothbrushes instead of candy for ­Halloween. I told her this is a lame idea and that our house will likely get egged, but she’s digging in. Is trick-or-treating the right time to make a statement about dental health, or should she just let kids stuff their faces with chocolate?

—Tooth or Dare, Liberty Village

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Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants’ Olivia Chow sign off my lawn?

Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants' Olivia Chow sign off my lawn?

(Image: Paul Henman/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I rent the upper floor of my semi to a young couple and was dismayed to find an Olivia Chow sign on my front lawn. I’m ardently opposed to her politics, though I’ll spare you the ideological screed. My question: can they use my property to promote their views? If so, how might I persuade them not to, short of stealing the sign in the night?

—NIMFY, Roncesvalles

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