Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Parking in fire routes

Around us, a lot of people think it is acceptable to part their vehicle in a fire route and go into an apartment building. The going into the building isn’t just to buzz to let someone know that they have arrived, they go up with groceries, other deliveries and maybe even to have dinner. Yes, the parking in the fire route can last from just a couple of minutes to hours. I have decided that it would be fun to sit and time how long some cars park in the fire route in a neighbouring apartment. The fire route is rather large and yes there is lots of room for people to think they can park and go up to a unit for an extended period.

What is nice to see is that this fire route is finally getting parking enforcement visits, and they are getting tickets for being parked. I think the parking enforcement could visit multiple times a day and continue to give out tickets. I did try and look up the cost of a parking ticket in a fire route and the last cost I found was from 2013, and it was $250. Maybe if people learned that it was a high cost to leave their vehicles, maybe they wouldn’t behave like they do.

Here are some of the fun times that I was able to capture.

July 6/23

  • 6:35 pm white car parks in fire route 7:40 pm driver returns to vehicle and finally leaves.
  • 7:28 pm black car parks in fire route, I decide to come inside at 11:30 pm and the car was still parked in the same spot.
  • 7:33 pm white SUV parks in fire route 8:10 pm driver back at car and finally leaves.
  • 7:34 pm green car park in fire route but driver in vehicle, 7:43 pm vehicle leaves.

July 7/23

  • 6:21 pm grey car parks in fire route, 6:37 pm gets ticket for being parked with no driver in the vehicle, 7:16 finally leaves.
  • 6:45 pm red car parks in fire route, 7:03 pm finally leaves.
  • Other vehicles are only there for less than 5 minutes, so not as much fun timing them, but they did what was right.

I decided to try and track how long some of the vehicles were parked in the fire route, just to see how much the time varies. It is frustrating to watch because even when the fire alarm goes off and the fire vehicles arrive the cars don’t move, and sometimes the cars are trying to beat the fire vehicles into the entrance way and end up making it worse.

So please remember that a fire route isn’t for parking and going into buildings even for 5 minutes. Sure, you can go in and buzz to let people know you have arrived but then return to your vehicle so that if you need to more for emergency vehicles you are there and able to move it.


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

School Bells

How many of us live near a school, and we hear the school bells all the time. I understand that during the school year, the bells let the staff and students know what is happening at the various times. What I don’t understand is when the school is closed for summer vacation for two months, why the school’s bells continue to ring.

For the last few years, I have emailed our local school board asking that the bells be silenced while the school isn’t in session. Normally it happens quickly, and it means for a nice relaxing time sitting on the balcony or even in our apartment unit when we have the windows open. I wonder how loud the sound is for the people that live right next to the school because we can hear it without any problems as it is fairly loud. We don't live directly beside the school, as we have apartment complexes between us.

For those of you that don’t live near a school I would say to consider yourself lucky because when the weather is warm, and you want to ensure some fresh air coming into your home you really don’t want to listen to school bells all the time. I haven’t counted how many times the bells sound in a day, but I do know that even before 9 am I have heard 3 bells, so we probably hear a school bell ring at least 12 times a day and yes it gets to be a lot, especially when your windows are open.

So, to all those school boards out there, please remember that when the school is closed for a summer vacation, maybe turn off the bells. I don’t think the students want to be reminded about school every weekday while they are off, and the rest of us also don’t want to hear the school bells ring when the students are in attendance.

It is now time for me to try and get a bit more work done and yes, the alarm bells are still ringing, but hopefully by the time this blog is posted they will have been silenced for just over a week. Enjoy the summer and remember before long the school bells will be ringing again because the students will be back for another year.


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Our air quality

Looking out the window lately has been a very interesting experience that we don’t normally have here in Toronto. We have been experiencing extremely high air quality numbers, which is something that we don’t normally get. In Ontario, we have a scale for our air quality of 0 – 11+ so that is something that most of us understand. Normally if we are having a bad air day the number is either a 5 or 6 during a summer.

This year and it is only the end of June as I am writing this, we have had air quality numbers of 11+ which is very bad. The 11+ was reached June 28th and these numbers are being reached because of the forest fires in Northern Ontario and Quebec. Looking out my window during the day, I can see the change in the sky from it being clear to it getting very hazy looking. There are other days when you look out in the morning to a hazy day, and it just gets worse as the day goes on.

It has been interesting looking at the sunsets when the sky is filled with the smoke because everything has an orange hazy to it. I hope that they can get all the forest fires under control so that homes can be saved. I think there is some rain in the forecast here, but there are also risks of thunderstorms, so that doesn’t help to get forest fires under control. Hopefully, in the regions where there are the fires, they just get rain.

The forecast for this summer is the risk of more forest fires than usual, so that means that we may also be dealing with more poor air quality days than normal. For people with lung and other health issues, please be careful when the air is poor.

The picture that is included in this post was taken when we had an air quality of around 7 and yes the sky was that orange/brown.