Wilfrid Laurier University has been discussing the possibility of a campus in Milton for seven years.
In 2007, just one month after joining the university, Laurier president Max Blouw received a letter from the town.
“40 other universities also received the same letter, inviting us to think about – investigate – setting up a campus in Milton,” he explained.
After following up with the letter, Blouw determined what they were offering was not feasible for the university.
“It was a very small parcel of land with a railway track on one side, a Go Train parking lot on the other and Main Street on the other, that wouldn’t serve as a campus,” he said. “So I suggested to them they needed to find more land, and if they did we might be interested in talking further.”
The town did just that, and by March 2008 a letter of agreement was signed. Since then, the university and the town have been working together to propose a Milton campus to the provincial government.
When asked what the attraction to Milton was, Blouw noted that it is “the fastest-growing municipal area in Canada.”
“It is a highly educated population, it’s a population that is young and that will demand great access to post-secondary education,” he said. “Proximity for folks to access a very high-quality university education is important, so it seemed like a great community to discuss the prospect of another campus with.”
On July 21, Milton Town Council voted unanimously to donate a $50 million, 150-acre parcel of land to Laurier to develop the proposed campus. However, according to Blouw, this offer is conditional upon government approval.
“The provincial government has a process in place. They’ve issued a request for proposals … they’ve invited all universities to indicate how they might do major expansion of their capital infrastructure to meet the growth of the student population.”
According to the Major Capacity Expansion Request for Proposals (RFP) guidelines, universities were to submit a letter of intent by June 27 this year. Full proposals are to be submitted by September 26.
Blouw explained the university is currently putting together a proposal to meet all criteria posed by the government in the RFP: strategic management of long-term enrolment growth and accessibility; differentiation, sustainability, and accountability; economic impact; quality, innovation and competitiveness; affordability for students and the province.
Blouw was unsure of how many other universities will be submitting proposals, but he speculated that the government may assess submissions and incorporate their decisions into the next budget cycle of government.
“It’s an exciting prospect to think the government may be getting close to making a decision which would enable really serious planning to take place,” he said.
However if Laurier is selected to expand, Blouw emphasized there would be at least two years of intensive planning before any construction could begin.
“In other words, people shouldn’t expect a new campus to start springing out of the cornfields within six months of a decision.”]]>
The pairing of the right beer to a culinary dish can create a truly unique and delicious food experience. This is exactly the sort of philosophy Muskoka Brewery holds, as was exemplified by their tap-to-taste event at Ethel’s Lounge on July 23. Taking five of their all-natural and unfiltered craft beers, the brewery paired them each with a different food dish that represented the flavours and aromas of each beer.
“Pairing the right beer can make a big difference to the overall taste experience,” said the brewery’s founder, Gary McMullen.
Launched in the summer of 1996, Muskoka Brewery is nestled in Bracebridge, Ontario. They offer a wide range of beers, from India pale ales, to a summer weiss to British pale ales.
When pairing beer to any dish, McMullen emphasized the importance of knowing what you’re actually pairing.
“It’s important to match the strength of the beer with the strength of the food,” he said.
Handpicked dishes provided balanced flavours to tastings of the summer Weiss, Detour IPA, Cream Ale, Mad Tom IPA and Twice as Mad Tom IPA.
Muskoka’s seasonal summer beer is a German-style wheat beer, and it produces a tart flavor from start to finish. The Summer Weiss has medium to light body, carried by a refreshing firm taste from the carbonation, with a 5% alcohol by volume content.
Paired with a flatbread topped with goat cheese, roasted red peppers and cooked mushrooms, the carbonation of the Weiss with the goat cheese and mushrooms balanced well on the palate, both in terms of texture and taste. Appealing also to the notes of banana and spice in the beer, the flatbread matched it with a tartness and refreshing quality.
Launched at the beginning of 2014, Detour has the classic qualities of an IPA, such as the prominence of hops and supporting malt flavor. With an ABV of 4.3%, the lower amount of malts used offers a pine and tropical fruit flavouring to the beer.
Served with shrimp, mango and avocado soft-shell tacos, the tropical nature of the beer matched the citrus qualities of the dish. The clean and crisp taste of the beer mingled with the full flavours of the avocados and mangos, resulting in a smooth taste on the palate from the first mouthful to the last.
The brewery’s original beer is a British pale ale that showcases a higher malt count. Its caramel undertones and hints of coffee offer a well-balanced beer that is very food-flexible.
Presented with smoked ribs, the ale’s malty sweetness balanced the smoky flavours. In combination with the tenderness of the ribs, the smooth and easy-going nature of beer complimented the barbecue sauce and tenderness of the meat.
Mad Tom IPA
Styled after west coast IPAs, the Mad Tom IPA uses specialty hops that contribute to its citrus and piney flavour. With a 6.4% ABV, 64 IBU and the simplicity of just two hops used, the beer is characterized by an aggressive hoppiness.
Balancing out the hoppy nature of the beer was beef burger sliders. Cutting through the spiciness of the beef, the hops in the beer helped ensure an even-handed taste. In-between bits, Mad Tom cleansed the palate to allow for full appreciation of the meat.
Twice as Mad Tom IPA
With a 71 IBU and 8.4% ABV, Twice as Mad Tom IPA delivers a highly-recognizable hop aroma that leaves a warming effect on the palate as a result of the higher alcohol content. Leaving a lasting taste on the tongue, this IPA compliments more complex flavours.
Served alongside pulled pork sliders, this strong IPA’s hops rounded off the sweetness of the sauce. The bold flavours from both the beer and pork meshed well together, building off of each other’s well-defined and unabashed flavours.]]>
Admissions for incoming first-year students at Wilfrid Laurier University have dropped 14 per cent since last year, according to the admissions office and the Ontario University Applications Centre.
This drop in admissions brings the university 7 per cent below their target from last year.
Holly Cox, Laurier’s director of recruitment and admissions, explained there are strong demands for some programs and weakening demands for others. Laurier arts programs, for example, have more declined applications than confirmations.
“We are looking at this and it’s not something that we are trying to push under the carpet. It’s something we really have to look at as an institution,” she said.
According to Cox, since June 22, Laurier has accepted over 200 students for the upcoming year.
She explained that offers go out as early as mid-December and run through until August, but there has not been a change in when the letters go out.
“In the 15 years that I’ve been working in recruitment and admissions, we have made offers through the summer, depending on where there was capacity,” she wrote in an e-mail. “The bulk of our offers are made by early May … but offers after that are not late.”
According to Cox, universities all over Ontario are experiencing a drop in arts programs. At Laurier’s Brantford campus, social science programs have risen in admissions and liberal arts programs have declined.
Since Laurier has a high proportion of their student body in arts programs, there will be a decline in the numbers and will have a stronger impact than other universities.
The Students’ Union budget, which is based off the amount of student fees they receive every year, reflects more students than Laurier will be taking in. As a result, the Union will also be dealing with the affects of there being fewer students on campus.
“It’s going to be a hard year especially considering the decrease in enrollment, but we’re prepared for it,” Sam Lambert, president and CEO of the Students’ Union, said.
Brantford’s concurrent education program has also decreased, as the Ministry of Education has requested a decline in admissions, according to Cox.
As far as other faculties go, Cox said, “Science, overall, is flat. They haven’t increased or decreased much, they’ve seen some programs with huge increases and other programs with decreases, so they’re all over the place.”
To help fix this problem, Cox explained that Laurier has hired a consultant to create a strategic plan. So far, they are looking at core opportunity areas to work on as an institution. Admissions is also looking at curriculum development, composition and compliments given to faculties to see how they can improve, especially in arts programs.
“Something that every university right now is grappling with is, how do you convey to a 17-year-old the value of liberal arts, and it’s undeniable, but it’s hard for a student to understand that value,” said Cox.
She also believes students think they’ll get more success from a very specific program than one such as liberal arts.
”We’re committed to the program that we have and that we very so much value liberal arts,” she said.]]>
Construction is rampant in Waterloo during the summer.
Roadwork is being done on University Avenue, several new apartment buildings are shooting up near the universities and uptown Waterloo is also seeing the development of condominiums. Alongside this has been population growth, which the city estimates has been increasing at 1.73 per cent each year for the past 15 years.
Jeff Purchase has been living in Waterloo for 27 years. Since moving to the city, he said he’s noticed definite changes in traffic trends.
“It’s kind of getting the way Toronto was when I left at that time,” he said.
“Toronto wasn’t nearly as busy then, either. But everything kind of multiplied here. A lot of the same driving habits came here: everybody’s in a hurry and nobody cares.”
Purchase said he finds uptown Waterloo to be particularly busy, as the road is too narrow for the amount of cars and buses that have to share the way.
“In the uptown area the amount of delay we see is more related to it just being a generally busy area,” Garrett Donaher, transportation planning engineer with the Region of Waterloo, explained. “There’s lots of activity, there’s lots of intersections close to each other, and so we see a little bit more delay because of that type of circumstance rather than the sheer volume of traffic through there.”
Many aspects come into play in terms of traffic in a given area. New buildings going up, for example, can also have impacts on transportation.
When a new building is slated for construction, a transportation impact study is conducted. Garrett explained the study “looks at how much vehicle traffic is going to be produced out of the new building once it’s built and everything is occupied.” They also look at whether the building is in an area where transit, walking or cycling are options.
To help with traffic that might result from the construction of buildings the University Ave. or uptown Waterloo areas, Donaher said there are different hierarchies of plans that might apply.
Individual buildings, for example, that might create localized issues will have small changes made in the area to help with traffic.
For the long term, they create a transportation master plan, which is updated every five years. This plan looks at the region as a whole.
“What needs to be planned to increase people’s ability to move around? Do we need to move transit routes around? Do we need to build a [Light rail transit] system? Do we need to widen a road? Do we need to build a new road? Do we need to build a bridge across a river?” he said.
Currently, a streetscaping project is underway in uptown, aiming to making improvements to King Street North from Central Street to south of Erb Street. In the University Ave. area, there is a Northdale improvement plan taking place.
“I think it’s something you’ve just got to accept,” Purchase said, referring to the increase in traffic.
With the population growing, he doesn’t believe there’s much that can be done.
Part of the problem is Waterloo has little available land left to build on. Instead, infill development is occurring. This type of development is particular visible in the University Ave. area as apartment buildings go up.
“That type of infill development is in the long term where a lot of the development will be happening for the City of Waterloo,” said Donaher. “That type of development poses unique challenges and also interesting opportunities.”
The locations that attract infill development, he continued, are often the same locations that have easy access to walking, cycling or transit.
“So things will get busier, but at the same time they won’t necessarily rely on the car as their mode of transportation as much. It’s kind of a mixed bag to look at.”
The problem, Donaher said, is the belief that the way to fix transportation issues is to build new and wider roads. But this type of infrastructure isn’t sustainable in the long term.
“Yes, for now we’re kind of stuck with cars as the most convenient way to get around, but they’re not going to be the most convenient for very long as things get busy,” he said. “We need to make sure we accommodate cars in strategic locations, make sure they can get to places they need to go. But at the same time we need to start building in those options to our system.”
This is where the idea for LRT came from. It also means making improvements to bike lanes, trails and transit.
“Yes, things have changed,” Donaher admitted. “But we have to try to work from what we have today and where we expect to be in the future.”
The Region of Waterloo International Airport’s master plan to expand is being put on hold until the airport is able to reach passenger capacity and earn more revenue.
Initially there were five options in the master plan for the airport. The first involved the airport becoming a reliever for Pearson International Airport in Toronto, which would cost approximately $500 million. The second was to leave the airport at status quo. There were two other options in between these which supported low and moderate growths.
According to the master plan update, 350 people attended public information sessions in February and April, and following this generated comments to the project team members.
45 per cent of comments formed the majority to back the status quo option.
“We are operating at about half of our passenger capacity with 138,000 passengers last year, and we could handle up to 275,000 passengers,” Sean Strickland, regional councillor for the City of Waterloo, explained.
City of Kitchener councillor Geoff Lorentz added, “We could probably put another 200,000 passengers through that terminal and not hire one additional person.”
Lorentz also sits on the aeronautical noise management committee at the airport.
In addition, former carrier Bearskin Airlines has departed, leaving the airport with fewer carriers than before. Now the airport’s only carriers are American Airlines, Sunwing Vacations and Westjet Airlines.
According to the airport’s manager Chris Wood, there are no business reasons to expand the airport at this point in time.
The airport is currently subsidized at $6 million by taxpayers, which the steering committee slowly hopes to alleviate by increasing business and reaching capacity.
Once the airport has finally reached capacity, another decision will hopefully be made in the next two to three years. However the decision will end up being made by a newly elected council.
According to Lorentz, the airport was recently ranked as the sixteenth busiest in all of Canada.Despite this, the airport still needs to increase their traffic and revenue if they are hoping to expand in the future.
Both Lorentz and Strickland stated that it is also important to make improvements to the business model by hiring some business development professionals to help increase revenue.
“I think if we all worked together with the private sector in the region, I think that we can have a great airport in the future,” said Lorentz.
Lorentz continued to say it is important to make sure the airport can line up more carriers and utilize the subsidy in order to help the airport pay for itself.
He finished, “We just need to keep moving forward and take a positive attitude with it.”
The University of Waterloo’s Velocity program will soon be expanding to include yet another incubator for Kitchener-Waterloo technology startups.
Velocity, a program designed by UW to help bright, entrepreneurial students start their own technology company, will soon be expanding on Water Street in downtown Kitchener. The new space, dubbed The Foundry, will be able to hold as many as 30 startups when it opens later this summer. However, where The
Foundry differs from the Tannery’s Velocity Garage is it focuses purely on hardware technology.
“There’s a lot of discussion around the renaissance of hardware right now. People now have an opportunity to build next-generation functionality products with very little costs,” said Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity.
“In the past it was very expensive to build a prototype and meet with customers, and then you would spend up to millions of dollars to produce product. Now with Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you have the opportunity to presell product and then test.”
The Foundry, reserved for hardware companies, will have a different set up than the Velocity Garage. While the software-centric Garage focuses on providing a quiet workspace that encourages focus and collaboration between startups, The Foundry will provide both quiet desk space and workbench areas.
“Software companies are primarily focused on collaborative elements, and in the end of the day they need quiet concentration space,” said Kirkup. “Hardware companies make noise, so we need a space where the workbench area and processes areas are separated and organized.”
The Foundry will also offer startups much more space to work, as Velocity has hired in-house legal council, sales and marketing assistants, as well as on-staff engineers to encourage the hardware companies to create the best product possible.
“We try to help them as much as they can through the lifecycle of their business so that by the time they leave the program they can stand on their own two feet,” said Kirkup.
Currently, Velocity’s hardware companies have been working alongside their software-minded peers in the Garage. Those hardware companies that are already a part of Velocity will be moving to the new space at The Foundry later this summer.
Hardware startups eager to join the Velocity program and become a part of the Foundry are able to apply at any time.
Like the Garage, if there is not enough space for a startup to join The Foundry, they must wait until another company has graduated and vacated the building.
“We expect startups to have a complete team, some sort of prototype or proof of concepts, and sort of market for their product before they can enter the space,” said Kirkup.]]>
Earlier this year, Uruguay became the first country in the world to approve a new law that legalizes marijuana throughout the country. The government created the Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis in order to allow the state to have full control over the legal production, sale and consumption of the drug, as well as the capability of regulating the market of marijuana.
This trend of decriminalizing marijuana can be seen in some other places around the world. In the Netherlands, for instance, coffee shops are allowed to sell it, and along with Israel and Canada, they have also created legal programs for the prescription of medical cannabis to assist in the relief of certain health issues, especially those that result in chronic pain.
In Portugal, the decriminalization has reduced drug violence without increasing the use of the drug. However, Uruguay is the first country to see the full legalization of marijuana as a possible solution to destroying a market that is more destructive to society than the drug being sold.
The Uruguayan government has advised foreigners against travelling to the country with the purpose of buying marijuana. Moreover, the new regulation does not give foreigners the right to smoke or buy the drug, and only citizens over the age of 18 will be allowed to obtain a license from the IRCCA, which will allow the institute to keep track of every gram sold and determine whether illegal marijuana continues to be marketed.
In addition, the IRCCA has stipulated that license holders may only grow six plants of marijuana in their homes, producing a total of 480 grams a year, with a maximum of 40 grams per month. The 40 grams per month limit is also applicable to licensed citizens purchasing their marijuana from over the counter licensed pharmacies.
Licensed citizens will also be allowed to form “cannabis clubs,” in order to grow marijuana cooperatively. Each club is allowed a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 45 members and is allowed to plant up to 99 plants, following the same 480 grams per year limit. Clubs are also responsible for educating member on using the drug responsibly.
Uruguay’s President, Jose Mujica, believes by regulating and taxing marijuana, the state will be able to take the market from the hands of unmerciful drug traffickers who are only concerned with money rather than the public health.
The drug will be sold for 20 Uruguayan pesos per gram, which is cheaper than the price demanded by traffickers, thus spoiling their market. The government plans on putting the profit from marijuana sales toward increasing the public health system in the country.
So far, attempting to subdue the distribution of marijuana, the approach presently used by most countries, has not been effective. Due to this failure, the control of the market by drug traffickers remains a perennial concern, and ignoring significant issues has proven to be the worst way to solve problems.
Uruguay’s approach fixes the inconsistencies within its current regulation, as the sale of marijuana is illegal while the use of the drug is legal. Additionally, by legalizing marijuana, police can shift their focus to stop drugs that are more likely to generate crime and health problems, like cocaine and heroin.
Millions of dollars fluctuate in the marijuana market on a yearly basis, thus from an economic stance, the shift in control of the marijuana market is extremely beneficial to the government. With the new regulation, the state can put the money that is currently in the hands of drug traffickers towards public services. Greater investment in education, health, law enforcement, among others, is beneficial to the society as a whole, not just marijuana consumers.
Close attention is being paid to Uruguay as it adopts this new, bold approach towards fighting drug trafficking. The government intends to implement the new law slowly in order to do it correctly with as little flaws as possible. For this reason, the sales to consumers, originally planned to start this year, will not commence until next year. If the regulated legalization of marijuana is successful in curbing the violence caused by the trade of drugs, it is likely that other countries will adopt the Uruguayan model.
Everybody loves a winner. It’s that feeling of pride that comes with following a team that is able to play well and find success in whichever sport they play. It comes from being able to come along for the ride and feel the happiness the players feel when they are able to capture the ultimate prize at the end of a grueling season full of ups and downs. Fans live for that final moment when that team finally reaches that goal – and fans get to bask in that success alongside their team.
Unfortunately for Toronto sports fans, in most sports that feeling of winning has been absent for a long time.
As an avid sports follower I grew up supporting Toronto teams in major sports, mainly hockey and basketball. I occasionally watched the Blue Jays play and I enjoyed going to their games and watching them live but it wasn’t a sport I was completely invested in.
It wasn’t until the Leafs lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2002 that I got too frustrated and decided to switch allegiances. The disappointment that came from yet another series loss was too much to handle.
Toronto teams are known for being scrutinized heavily on their performance during the season. No matter what sport is being played, fans hold high expectations for the home team.
Toronto has a rich sports culture, as well as multiple sports teams, including football, baseball, hockey and basketball, but they also have teams that play soccer and lacrosse too. They follow a trend where they start out strong and give a glimmer of hope to fans, suggesting that they may have a successful season, only to find as the season progresses they begin to dwindle in performance, leaving fans disappointed yet again.
For now, only the Toronto Rock has managed to find success in lacrosse, but Toronto fans are hoping for a brighter future in which the teams can re-establish that feeling of pride that comes with cheering on a winning team.
Until then, Toronto fans will continue cheering for their team, hoping that the trend ends and they bring home the glory once again.
After an injury at the beginning of the 2013 season, Tanner Philp had to lead the Wilfrid Laurier University football team from the sidelines.
During practice before the first game of the season, the second-year team captain tore his ACL while jumping up for a ball.
At first he didn’t think he was injured, but after the x-ray came back he was told that he would be unable to play for the entire season.
The newly appointed captain — voted by his teammates — had to figure out how to be a leader from off the field.
It was then that he received the best advice someone could ever give him.
“I remember coach [Anthony] Cannon, the d-line coach, pulled me aside and said, ‘a lot of people are going to look to see how you approach this situation, you can go one of two ways with it. You can crawl into a hole and say “poor me” or you can lead by example and attack this thing full force,’ ” Philp explained.
He chose the latter option and allowed his injury to fuel his motivation to come back as quick as he could.
“I wanted to put my stamp on it, to get back faster than a lot of other people,” Philp said. “That was something that was a big goal of mine.”
He accomplished this in six months and was able to return by spring camp following the season.
Philp said he was thankful for the support system he is surrounded with at Laurier, including athletic therapist Teresa Hussey and his roommates, teammates and coaches.
Philp did not remain idle while he was sidelined for the season. Instead, he said spent time learning the strategic aspect of the game and became a smarter player.
“I joked around that I was leading the team in ‘mental reps,’ because even though I wasn’t on the field for anything I was still trying to learn tremendously,” Philp said. “I was still in all the film sessions and I was trying to contribute everywhere I could.”
Football remained close to Philp’s heart, as he continued to stay involved as a member of the Laurier Lettermen. He said his favourite event was the kids’ day and hospital visit, which he helped organize.
“We were able to bring in over 300 kids and we had 30 volunteers,” he said. “It was a really cool experience.”
Coming into next year, Philp said he plans to be extremely involved at Laurier. Along with becoming the vice president of Laurier Lettermen, Philp will be a teaching assistant for the business program, will continue his roles with learning services and work with Residence Life as a mentor to a new varsity cluster being put together.
And of course, he is expecting to rejoin his teammates on the field for the next season.]]>
The power couple came to Toronto on July 9 for their first tour together, called “On the Run,” and their show was nothing short of spectacular. As audience members flocked into the arena, a jumbo screen reading “this is not real life” was causing intrigue.
The concert was focused on the husband and wife, whose chemistry — both romantically and professionally — were on fire. Beyoncé, who has the energy and fervor of Tina Turner and Diana Ross, performed hits such as “Partition,” “Single Ladies” and “Run the World.”
Beyoncé, recognized for her nonstop energy and dance moves, showed just how strong her vocals really are when she sang her softer songs such as “Resentment” and “If I Were a Boy.” It was a nice change of pace to see her vulnerable and show audiences where her strengths truly lie.
Her outfits require a review unto themselves, with a black mesh ninja mask, glittery red-fringed bodysuit and ivory pantsuit taking the cake. Her skin-baring outfits were a celebration of her womanly body and killer curves.
Jay-Z for his part stayed true to his Brooklyn roots during his set, as he took the spotlight for showstoppers such as “99 Problems,” “Tom Ford” and “Dirt off Your Shoulder.” His best outfit of the evening was without a doubt his monochromatic Rodarte basketball jersey with the word “Problems” emblazoned above the number 99.
In contrast to his wife, Jay-Z’s solos were much more low-key, but his cool charisma still delivered a successful performance while managing to poke fun of celebrities such as Justin Bieber by showing his 2013 mug shot with the spiteful lyric, “even the best fall down.”
The most memorable moments of the concert were when Beyoncé and Jay-Z sang their duets together. Their set list included “Crazy in Love,” “Holy Grail” and the famous “Drunk in Love,” which set audiences into hysterics when Jay-Z nuzzled his wife at the end of the song.
When the duo sang a cover of “Forever Young,” the screen read “this is real life,” showing exclusive clips from the tour, their secret wedding and footage of their young daughter.
The show ended with the couple giving a bow before walking offstage with their arms around one another.
The concert was a mix of fierce dance beats and moments of shared intimacy between not just Beyoncé and Jay-Z, but with their fans as well. Unfortunately, this also means that other concerts just might not meet the bar in terms of performance and theatricality.]]>