York University

The Informer

Events

Comments

The Weekender: Dance Weekend, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan and four other events on our to-do list

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan plays The Garrison on Friday

1. YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN
Just decoding Yamantaka // Sonic Titan’s description of their own sound—“psychedelic noh-wave opera group fusing noise, metal, pop and folk music into a multidisciplinary hyper-orientalist cesspool of ‘east’ meets ‘west’ culture”—would be sufficient fodder for an ethnomusicology master’s thesis. The Montreal and Toronto collective’s sort-of-proggy, sort-of-punky debut, YT//ST, was short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize last year (Feist ended up winning), and drew raves from the likes of Pitchfork for its inventive sonic textures and pulsing rhythms. Their live show has earned buzz for its theatricality, including costumes that recall Japanese theatre and KISS in equal measure. January 18. $10. The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W., 416-519-9439, ticketweb.ca

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

2 Comments

Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 29, because we inspired a 21st-Century international suffragette movement

Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 29, Because we inspired a 21st-Century international suffragette movement

It all began in the winter of 2011, when a cop named Michael Sanguinetti told a group of York University students that in order for women to prevent harassment and rape they should “avoid dressing like sluts.” Two 20-something women, Sonya Barnett, a graphic artist, and university student Heather Jarvis, were so disgusted by his comments that they invited their Facebook friends to join a Slutwalk—a protest march from Queen’s Park to police headquarters on College Street. Hund­reds of people took part, some dressed only in bikinis, and coverage of the event inspired similar marches in 200 cities around the world. In New Delhi, it was called Besharmi Morcha. In Tegucigalpa, Marcha de las Putas. Feminist icon Germaine Greer wrote an approving op-ed in the U.K. Telegraph. This May, Toronto’s Slutwalkers did it again, with an even bigger march (up University to Queen’s Park) and a slate of firebrand speakers. Even Slutwalk’s critics—who mostly dislike the name—can’t ignore its success. The movement has kicked the oppression of women onto the global stage, one awkward stilettoed step at a time.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

6 Comments

Memoir: Aruna Papp reflects on the abuse she suffered at the hands of men

I never questioned the abuse I suffered from my father and husband, nor did I have any reason to think life had treated me unfairly. Until I secretly went to school


Memoir: In the name of honourOne night, in Delhi, when I was 14, I heard a horrifying scream and leaped from my bed. On the street below, I saw our neighbour, a young woman named Kiran, in a glittering red bridal sari engulfed in flames. Head thrown back, wrists bound with thick rope, she reached her arms beseechingly to the stars and then collapsed.

Kiran and her family lived below us, on the first floor of our apartment complex. She was tall, with a beautiful figure, and educated. She worked in one of the posh American hotels. We later heard that her brothers had killed her. They disapproved of the man she wanted to marry.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

Comments

GALLERY: some of our favourite signs, outfits and marchers at the second annual SlutWalk

Hundreds of marchers—in outfits ranging from jeans and tees to bondage gear to not much of anything—cheered, chanted and marched from Nathan Phillips Square to Queen’s Park on Friday evening for the second annual SlutWalk. Started last year after a local cop made some ignorant and misogynistic comments to students at York University in January 2011 (specifically, that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”), the march against victim-blaming and slut-shaming has gone global, with SlutWalks taking place in 200 cities around the world, including New Delhi, London, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin and across the U.S.  In other words, the organizers turned an embarrassing moment for Toronto into a global movement in support of sexual assault victims.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

2 Comments

Find out how far you’ll have to schlep to watch the Pan Am Games in Toronto

(Image: U.S. Army)

Since council freaked out over the rising price tag of the 2015 Pan Am Games—because mega sporting events usually come in under budget, right?—organizers are at least trying to keep costs down. Today, they unveiled a new venue plan, which features a clustering strategy to cut down on security costs and transit problems (though the Globe and Mail’s Marcus Gee suggested a different motivation). The revised plan will see more sporty happenings in 11 municipalities and three universities, compared with the original 2009 bid, which spread the events over 16 municipalities and 40 venues.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

Comments

Professors hate Jim Balsillie’s think tank enough to boycott two Ontario universities

(Image: AtelMedia Technologies)

Canadian professors triumphed over former Research in Motion exec Jim Balsillie earlier in the month when they got York University to reject a partnership with Balsillie’s think tank (one of the few instances, we imagine, when not getting $30 million was viewed as a victory). Looking to keep the momentum going, the Canadian Association of University Teachers has come out with a warning to the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University: loosen ties with the Balsillie’s Centre for International Governance Innovation or face a boycott this fall. The association believes the CIGI has way too much sway over the universities’ joint Balsillie School of International Affairs and gave the pair of universities six months to remove threats to academic freedom or they’ll discourage academics from working at either university come November. Both universities maintain that the allegations are unfounded, while CIGI responded with the usual “hey-we-love-academic-freedom” soundbites. As for Balsillie, we imagine he’s already at work on another op-ed. [Toronto Star]

The Informer

Business

1 Comment

Jim Balsillie bashes York University (and shows he’s a sore loser) in the Globe and Mail

(Image: Nan Palmero)

Woe betide anyone who refuses Jim Balsillie’s largesse—the former Research in Motion exec penned an op-ed in today’s Globe and Mail lambasting York University for rejecting his $30-million donation. Balsillie put up the money (which was matched by the province) to fund research chairs and graduate scholarships for an international law program, but after months of delays, York law faculty voted against taking the cash, citing academic freedom issues (cue “research not in motion” jokes). Balsillie insists he and his think tank totally “ ‘get’ academic integrity” and accused the faculty of academic myopia. In this case, he writes, “old-think, coupled with an unrealistic sense of entitlement to public moneys, was preferred to innovation and opportunity.” Pretty harsh words, but he’s got reason to be crabby—seven Ontario universities just accepted a deal for up to $175 million in research money from IBM. That’s got to hurt. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

The Informer

Business

1 Comment

York University refuses to take $30 million from Jim Balsillie

(Image: tangi bertin)

After eight months of foot stamping and posturing, York University has backed out of a deal to use a big chunk of Jim Balsillie’s money to fund research chairs and graduate scholarships. Balsillie’s private think tank, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and the province each agreed to give $30 million to the university for an international law program, but the faculty at York’s Osgoode Hall law school voted against the measure, saying that it would impinge on academic freedom. Not a great few days for Balsillie, who also announced his departure from Research in Motion’s board and was the subject of an April Fool’s joke. Still, it’s probably not the worst week he’s ever had. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

The Informer

Business

Comments

Jim Balsillie finds giving away $30 million is tougher than he thought

(Image: tangi bertin)

Poor Jim Balsillie. First Research in Motion’s board wanted some distance, and now over 270 professors at York University do, too. Balsillie is the founder of the nebulously named Centre for International Governance Innovation, a private think tank that’s trying to give York University $30 million donated by Balsillie himself. Problem is, York’s professors say the deal gives CIGI too much sway over which scholars and research projects get the funding. Now, the university’s senate is frantically trying to revise the funding agreement to appease both the profs and the think tank, which doesn’t want to be seen as “an ATM,” according to a CIGI spokesperson. It seems a wee bit ironic that giving away money is proving difficult for the former RIM co-CEO, when losing it seemed oh-so-easy. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

The Goods

Homes

10 Comments

Great Spaces: a pair of empty nesters trade their spacious Rosedale home for a bright condo in Summerhill

Great Spaces: In Living Colour

In the 1990s, Joe Gonda and Christine Turner lived in a 6,000-square-foot Rosedale home with five children—four from Turner’s first marriage, one from Gonda’s. When the kids headed off to university, the couple downsized to a 3,500-square-foot house nearby. But that soon felt too big as well. “There were empty bedrooms, and we never went to the third floor other than to look for the cat,” Turner says.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

Comments

Today in Toronto: Will Munro and Jews, Music and the American Dream

Jews, Music and the American Dream The third instalment of a four-part cabaret series sponsored by Jazz.FM, this tribute to American popular song (and the Jewish composers behind so much of it) features the talents of pianist, producer, singer and composer Ben Sidran. Find out more »

Will Munro The late Will Munro, who died in 2010 at the age of 35, was an artist, a hyperactive community builder and a high-profile queer about town. This show is a retrospective of the audaciously sleazy art he found time to create during his all-too-short life. Find out more »

The Informer

Features

24 Comments

Why three prominent Chinese-Canadian writers launched a $10-million plagiarism suit against Ling Zhang

A tale of death threats, tarnished reputations and literary jealousy

Something Borrowed

(Image: Daniel Ehrenworth)

The streets near Scarborough’s Confederation Park curve and loop in a vertiginous web. The neighbourhood was built in the 1970s—several blocks of low-lying split-levels and bungalows divided by neatly trimmed hedges and 20-foot pines. The 401 is just a few blocks away, but these houses are quiet and isolated, even prim. Ling Zhang lives here in a large mock Tudor. She answers the door on the first ring, a diminutive woman with full moon cheeks and a bashful smile. At 54, she wears her hair in a wispy, youthful updo and is dressed in a peacock-blue sundress, a simple cardigan and slippers. The house is immaculate. We pass through a large front hall with a formal dining and living room off either side. Matching white leather sofas sprawl across polished cherry floors. Everywhere I look, there are vases filled with flowers in pastel pink and white. They’re all fake, but the effect is cheerful.

In the kitchen, Zhang makes me a cup of tea. Her husband, Ken He, a slight man in a short-sleeved plaid shirt, pops in to say hello—but not much else. Zhang explains his English isn’t great. “Moving to Toronto was a big sacrifice for him,” she says. The couple met in Vancouver, at the church where Zhang, a born-again Christian, was baptized as an adult. They came to Toronto so Zhang could take a job at Scarborough General Hospital as an audiologist. Her husband, who was an ophthalmologist in China, now sells real estate to the GTA’s Chinese immigrant community.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

20 Comments

How bullying became the crisis of a generation

Kids are committing suicide, parents are in a panic, and schools that neglect to protect students are lawsuit targets

The Bully Mob

Mitchell Wilson had a short life. He was born in March 2000 at Markham-Stouffville Hospital to Craig and Shelley Wilson. From the age of three, he had trouble running and jumping. He climbed stairs slowly, putting both feet on each step before moving up. He fell often, and sometimes he couldn’t get up on his own. His doctors thought he had hypermobility syndrome—joints that extend and bend more than normal.

When Mitchell was seven, his mother was diagnosed with an aggressive melanoma. Her treatments left her distant, sometimes testy and mean, and in so much pain that she rarely left her bedroom. “I sort of kept Mitchell away,” Craig Wilson told me.

“He basically didn’t talk to his mother during the last four months of her life.” Wilson often left his son to his own devices while he took care of his dying wife and ran his family’s industrial knife business. Mitchell spent most of his time in his bedroom, playing video games. He comforted himself with food, and by the time he was four feet tall he weighed 167 pounds. Once, in a Walmart, he fell to the ground and his grandmother had to ask store employees to help her lift him.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Homes

6 Comments

Great Spaces: Four places of worship, born again (this time, as trendy condos)

There’s nothing sacrilegious about this city’s appetite for loft conversions, even when the raw space is a deconsecrated church

By Alex Bozikovic | Photography by Michael Graydon

A 1906 building formerly home to the Centennial Japanese United Church

1| A 1906 building formerly home to the Centennial Japanese United Church

A 1941 building, once home to a Slovenian Catholic congregation

2| A 1941 building, once home to a Slovenian Catholic congregation

A 1921 addition to the Riverdale Presbyterian Church

3| A 1921 addition to the Riverdale Presbyterian Church

A 1911 Methodist church, used by an Italian evangelical congregation since 2003

4| A 1911 Methodist church, used by an Italian evangelical congregation since 2003

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

5 Comments

York University cans whistleblower, likely damaging its reputation just a little bit more 

York University has fired a staff member that helped reveal possible fraud at the school, a move that probably won’t reflect well on the institution. The Toronto Star reports that the university “abruptly dismissed Ken Tooby,” who was one of the early whistleblowers on potential fraud dating back to 2009. Although both Tooby and a York spokesperson refused to comment on the situation, this can’t be good for the school’s reputation—news of whistleblowers being canned or otherwise harassed never helped anyone. With all the other negative news surrounding the university lately, it’s beginning to seem as if the school only makes headlines for something frightening, sad, horrible or otherwise controversial. In other words, if there’s bad news about a Canadian university, it’s probably about York. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement