Escaping the jaws of the black dogs

Hello again, friends. It’s been a long while since I last posted. But let’s be honest — 2018 was a shit year for me. The depression and anxiety that I’ve lived with and managed quite well since my 20s, resurfaced and got the better of me. The signs were there. My loved ones picked up on it. My motivation was zero. I ate indiscriminately and packed on 20 lbs. My go-to elixir was a routine beer (sometimes 2) every day after work, paired with one of either too much American news, or episode after episode of Law & Order SVU.

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Time for developers to put more care and thought into retail tenants

If you live in a city that is riddled with condo development, you're no doubt familiar with the term "mixed-use." If you need a refresher, here is a decent one from Wikipedia:

Mixed-use development is a type of urban development that blends residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or entertainment uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections. Mixed-use development can take the form of a single building, a city block, or entire neighbourhoods. The term may also be used more specifically to refer to a mixed-use real estate development project—a building, complex of buildings, or district of a town or city that is developed for mixed-use by a private developer, (quasi-) governmental agency, or a combination thereof.

Reading that description, it's easy to feel supportive and even enthusiastic about the idea. It sounds quite livable, no?  Well sadly, once you've seen enough of these developments, you realize that the potential of this promise is rarely delivered on. 

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Breakfast with Jimmie

A couple of days ago, I returned from a memorable trip to Austin, Texas -- the city that prides itself on its weirdness, the city that in many ways is the political and cultural counterpoint to all other cities and towns in Texas. Progressive, creative and inclusive are all words that come to mind.

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INFILL-trated: the demise of the little old house

I live in the Westboro/McKellar Park neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario -- a part of the nation's capital that once qualified as borderline-sleepy and perhaps even unremarkable. But the past couple of decades have done the equivalent of a neighbourhood-scale Extreme Home Makeover...

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