Only rugby players really like rugby

This is what my friend says to me as we begin our hour drive to Buffalo to play in a Rugby Seven’s tournament. She participated in it last year and really liked it and managed to convince me to play this year with her.

In preparation for the upcoming rugby season, I have been on a diet that eliminates alcohol and most processed sugar and have been on custom off-season program to specifically work on endurance and speed. Leading up to this tournament I tried to run for 7 minutes (each half is seven minutes) and nearly died on the treadmill. Let’s just say, my approach to the tournament was more social than athletic.

When we got to the border, the security control officer asked us what we were doing. We told them we were going to a rugby tournament. It was minus 11 at the moment. He responded…”outside?”, we said yes and he let us through.

The night before I was asking my friend what should I pack, and she went down the list of, tights, lots of socks, a towel, garbage bag if it’s wet and warm clothes…I joked and said so I’m bringing a parka and everything I didn’t pack when I was in Miami. The things you do for friends.

When we finally arrived, the bitter cold was so piercing that our warm-up was literally putting on our kit, taking off the layers to play. Our team was called the Misfits and our first game we didn’t have enough people to play sevens. We only had fives. So we played a game of rugby fives, which we kinda made up on the spot. That game I actually scored a try and got the wind knocked out of me because I landed on the ball.

The next game was a little more intense but because we had more players and the team was a lot bigger. Once again, it just means that I have to work on my tackling, or just like everyone on the team was saying, just get it to the wings…because I’m fast and they were losing a lot of their rucks.

Because it was so cold and we had won 2 of our games, the last game was against Niagara. We knew that they probably won their games so why not just call this game the championship game and let us go home early. The organizers agreed. I had one glorious yet tragic moment where I had the ball, no one was nearly in sight until I panicked and slowed down to try to deck out one of their biggest players and got plowed by her. Thank god one of our subs was on the sidelines and I she was able to come in while I recovered. Then the medic and another parent came over to see if I was ok because I got hit pretty hard. Luckily I was and just got the wind knocked out me again. Then 2 of the girls on the opposite team came to me and said that when Madison comes after you, you don’t slow down, you run faster. I took the positive criticism. They said that they thought because we had spent the entire day together they could speak openly as friends. I appreciated it.

We ended up winning the Senior Women’s Battle for the Border Tournament. It was a good start to get me into the season. I was able to get some of my anxiety about playing and figure out the areas that I need improvement with.

Is Apple pay coming to Canada?

Apple Inc is planning to launch its electronic payments service in Canada in November, the first international expansion of Apple Pay, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The banks are open to an agreement, but are not happy with Apple’s fee proposals and are worried about security vulnerabilities like the ones that U.S. banks experienced, the Journal said, citing the people.

It was still unclear if all six Canadian banks would launch Apple Pay at the same time, the Journal said.

(Via Toronto Sun)

One Yonge by Hariri Pontarini Architects


One Yonge by Toronto-based firm Hariri Pontarini Architects will be a mixed-use development that re-defines the typical ration between residential, commercial and retail space within a single city block. Located on the longest street in North America, this proposed landmark will comprise of six new buildings, and the re-cladding and addition of 10 storeys to the existing Toronto Star building.


Varying in height with over 6 million square feet of accommodation, the scheme proposes a 40-storey office tower, a 70-storey tower with a hotel and branded residence, and four residential towers, the tallest being 88-storeys, all with extensive retail over three storeys.


This iconic project proposes to also bring a significant change to the public realm. With a commitment to a high quality streetscape, a dramatic sculpted canopy will animate the north-west corner of the site (at Yonge and Lakeshore Road), while sidewalks around the development will be widened to accommodate the increased pedestrian traffic. In addition, the buildings will also be surrounded a courtyard with a woonerf-style access.


One Yonge will connect directly to the climate-controlled path allowing users and residents to access Union Station (Toronto’s central train station), the future regional bus terminal and the existing TTC transit stop at Union.


The master planned development will transform and re-vitalize the area acting as a gateway for the extensive redevelopment of the East Bayfront area, directly east of the site. This project will set a new standard for smart growth and densification.



Project information:

1 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada

6.4 million square feet

Pinnacle International

Hariri Pontarini Architects Team:
David Pontarini
Michael Attard
Jodi Buck
Ali Yarbakhti
Alan Wong
Raymond Chu
Matthew Hallett
Mark Azevedo

Consultant Team:

Bousfields Inc., Planning and Urban Design
BA Group, Traffic and Transportation
Al Underhill & Associates, Civil Engineering
NAK Design, Landscape Architect
Novus, Wind, Noise, Odour and Vibration
R. Bouwmeester & Associates, Shadow Studies
R. Avis & Associates, Surveyor

Icon by Hariri Pontarini Architects


A new era in Ottawa’s skyline is about to commence with Icon, designed by Toronto-based firm Hariri Pontarini Architects. The mixed-use structure will be the capital’s tallest tower transforming the cityscape and driving sustainable growth in the city’s future development. The plan, which is part of the area’s revitalization, will bring a mix of uses to meet both the existing and future needs of the community, The 45-storey tower is comprised of parking, retail, commercial and residential units.


The curved detail of the balconies reflect the surrounding landscape and nearby lake. The rectilinear podium provides a contrasting element while creating a solid base on which the upper levels transition towards.The vertically stacked, yet irregular facade provides a rhythmic and syncopated pattern that starts from the ground level reaching the top penthouse.


The design of the ground level responds to the different streetscapes which it faces.  The lake-facing facade pulls back at the seventh floor to help define the lower podium. While on the commercial area, the structure retreats on the fifth floor to provide a smooth transition to the adjacent business.


Project information:

505 Preston Street, Ottawa, Ontario

21 000 sqm

Claridge Homes

Hariri Pontarini Architects Team:
David Pontarini
Ken Lee
Steven Avis
Alan Wong

Consultant Team:

Goodeve Manhire, Structural Engineer
Smith + Anderson, Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
James B Lennox & Associates, Landscape Architect
IBI Group, Site Service
FoTenn, Planning & Urban Design

Les Ailes Noires by +tongtong


Toronto-based studio +tongtong has designed a series of flexible and playful clothing racks. Les Ailes Noires, which is french for black wings, is a series of shapes that play with the sense of spatial and volumetric perception.


The geometric welded steel collection features 11 pieces, that includes a full-length mirror, a wall-mounted sideboard with glass shelf, a ceiling-hung rack and eight freestanding structures.


The matte black finish accentuates the shape’s spatial ambiguity that fluctuates between two and three dimensions, creating an interplay between light and cast shadows.












Photos by Colin Faulkner Photography