Archive for the 'Best of St. John’s' Category

Best Bayman (Female or Male)

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

Best Bayman John Sheehan gets some fashion tips from the women of Rosie the Rebel Boutique, winner of Best Service, and Best New Shopping Experience. Photo by Darrell Edwards.

John Sheehan

www.johnsheehan.ca

Runner Up: Shaun Majumder
Other Answers: “All of them!”, “Leo Crockwell. Not everybody can escape from as many RCMP officers as he did without getting caught.”, “the Trepassey Junior High guys”, “my wife”, “wus ‘is face”, “My neighbour” • “Jake at harley davisdson”

“My house is next to a dirt road. During the big storm last week, we had fifty skidoos flying past the house.”

Meet John Sheehan, an actor and comedian, often recognized as representative of The Bay in a series of commercials for Capital Mitsubishi. Sheehan was a logical choice for the gig, since he’s has been slaying audiences as a standup with his observations and tales of life in Newfoundland since 2007. But being selected as the Bay’s representative came as a pleasant surprise to the comedian and actor.

“I don’t think I believed it when my agent called and told me about it,” Sheehan says.

The popular ad campaign is driven by the eternal yin/yang struggle between Bay (represented by Sheehan) and Town (represented actor, Brad Hodder). That the two shared a background in sketch comedy (Rising Tide’s Revue, Not The Real Noose) resulted in the loose, improvised tone in the commercials.

“They gave up, an hour into it, trying to get myself and Brad to stick to the script,” Sheehan says. “With my comic background and with his sketch and improv background, there was a lot of ad-libbing.”

Hailing from Harbour Grace, the actor-comedian fondly recalls a few essential Bay experiences that doubtlessly informed his sense of humour. Among them are regular shed parties and the time-honoured tradition of parking your truck in the woods before trotting down to the nearest bar and tying one on.

But there’s more to his stand-up than a few quips about his home turf, which the comic says is the key to his success outside of Newfoundland.

“The challenge when we leave the province is that a lot of the humour is outside of everyone else’s realm. They just don’t get it,” Sheehan says. “Whenever I leave the province, I drop 95 per cent of the material I use here. When I’m outside of Newfoundland, it’s a different show.”

As for inspiration, John Sheehan mentions Jerry Seinfeld, not just for his trademark observational style, but also his business savvy. He also praises Irish comedian-actor Tommy Tiernan, whose manic, high-energy storytelling is downright inspiring. Finally, Norm MacDonald, whose shaggy dog, conversational style of stand-up is closest to Sheehan’s own.

Having spent 15 years as an actor before “having the guts” to step into the world of standup, Sheehan’s not one to forget the aspiring comics from Town or Bay. When it comes to standup, Sheehan offers this simple advice: “Just listen. Comedy’s all around you.”

Adam Clarke

Best Bayman (Female or Male)

6 responses so far

Best Escalator

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

Avalon Mall

By the movie theatre

Runner Up: Village Mall, by Goodlife
Other Answers: “Centre court Avalon Mall. Oh sorry, I thought you said worst”, “I want to say Woolworth’s but it’s torn down”, “One that works?”, “The airport, on your way outta here”, “The unknown portal found behind the Village Mall, it takes you to Stephenville Wal-martttttt”, “The stairs”, “Wow.”

Several patents for moving or revolving stairs existed before the first model was constructed in 1896 in Coney Island and later bought by the Otis Elevator Company. The invention assumed something like its current shape under the hands of Charles Seeberger, who exhibited his model at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. The first to come to Newfoundland was probably downtown at Woolworth’s in the 1960s.

Beyond the execution of its most basic function—conveying us from one floor to another whilst relieving us of the burden of moving our legs–what is it we seek in the aesthetic experience of an escalator? Nicholson Baker wrote a svelte but highly-regarded novel, The Mezzanine, whose action consists entirely of a man riding up an escalator and daydreaming about straws and shoelaces and things.

Does the up escalator at the heart of the Avalon Mall provide you, St. John’s, the same space for Proustian reverie? Is it breathless anticipation of a brief respite in the darkened rooms of Empire Theatres from your paltry, mean existence? Does it offer a unique vantage from which to rain spit on your enemies? Is it the deep fried whiff that meets you halfways up from Fog City?

Perhaps it is all these things and more. Or neither and less. Whatever. How about some nationalistic pablum to round out this category? True, we here in little Newfoundland may not have any as showy as the dazzling spiral escalators of Hong Kong and Osaka or the 416 ft. gargantua in Park Pobedy Station in Moscow. We may have no pressing need to implement and enforce the sort of rules of escalator decorum (stand on the left/right, move on the right/left, suitcase okay/not okay, baby carriage okay/not okay) which vex the worldly traveler in grander cities. No, here all are welcome and welcome to do as they bloody well please. God guard thee, escalator at da mall.

Jonathan Adams

Best Escalator

2 responses so far

Best Street Name

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

“But where are the chips?!” Photo by Jody McIntyre (Creative Commons BY-SA).

Hill o’ Chips

Between Duckworth Street and Harbour Drive

Runner Up: The Dardanelles
Other Answers: “Alfred’s Drung”, “Blatch Avenue”, “Coronation Street”, “Galaxy Street”, “Glenlonan”, “Gold Medal Drive”, “Heavy Tree Road”, “Hercules Place”, “Long Street, the shortest street in town”, “Organ Place”, “Sausage Emporium Road”, “Ten Commandments on Bell Island. It just sounds so stern.”

St. John’s Best Street Name is also one of it’s most mysterious. Hill O’Chips is located on the east end of downtown St. John’s connecting Water Street to Duckworth Street, but how exactly did it get it’s name? While I always thought it was named after some mythical ancient French fry joint, this is apparently not the case. Before the Great Fire, it was the home to several woodworking and furniture factories, such as the Newfoundland Woodworking Factory and the Empire Woodworking Factory, and while it’s said that the factories and their piles of wood chips gave the Hill O’Chips its name, the true origins may never be known as it is quite possibly the oldest street name in the City.

Never officially named by the City of St. John’s, it may have been originally known as Biskin Hill, but the name changed to Chip Hill and it was known as Hill O’Chips by the late 1700’s, when Water Street was still known as The Lower Path. Historically speaking, Hill O’Chips may have been the place where Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland in 1583, but there is no real evidence to support this fact. A former resident of the Hill was Thomas McGrath, a blacksmith who had his house and forge on the hill. McGrath went on to form the super-fun Total Abstinence & Benefit Society and had some wild founder’s meetings at the back of his blacksmith forge. The Hill may have also been a pathway to the London Tavern, where all sorts of fancy people hung out back in the day.

Today, Hill O’Chips is home to three things: the Quality Hotel, a terrible place to drive up while trying to learn how to use a standard, and the Best Street Name in St. John’s.

Jen Squires

Best Street Name

2 responses so far

Best Grassroots Organization

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

St. John’s Farmers’ Market

www.stjohnsfarmersmarket.org

Runner Up: Ordinary Spokes (www.ordinaryspokes.org)
Other Answers: “The one that grows local veggies”, “Roots”, “The ocean”, “Trapper Johns… duh”

Best Grassroots Organization

2 responses so far

Best Local Slang

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

“Whaddya at?”

Runner Up: “Yes b’y.”
Other Answers: “Kick the guts out of you later”, “Chummy”, “Every Jesus time!”, “Hoon”, “Wha?”, “fousty”, “Yiiiis”, “Yatttttttt!”, “me ducky”, “Sick”, “Skeet”, “Every Jesus timeee!”, “I dies at you”, “look, luh”, “trepassy”, “Hey, by’”, “Deadly”, “Jeez buddy yer nudding”, “G’wan wit’cha”, “up to?”, “The after tense! (e.g., I’m after doing that.)”, “Tanglier than a bag of cats”, “Y’@”, “Missus!!! Whaddayat ?”, “20 bucks a throw, free if it’s your birthday!”, “Dassit”, “best kind”, “dunch”, “Muss grat”, “is your house on da go?”, “She’s gear by’”, “Sin.”, “ “How’s yer cod?”, “Runnin ‘er”, “Scrob the face right off ya”, “Some day on clothes.”

To judge from these results, the breadth and richness of our local dialect is poorly served by a democratic process. “Whaddya at?” has won this category in each of the three years it has been included in our poll, which is no doubt a reflection of the phrase’s popularity in everyday usage—but are we really so fond of it as all that?

Last year in these pages, our own Sarah Smellie described “whaddya at” as a relatively new “shibboleth,” or a phrase that marks its speaker as being from a particular place or of a particular tribe.

As someone born and raised here but never quite fitting in or identifying strongly with local culture, I have an ambivalent relationship with our shibboleths and perhaps with “whaddya at” in particular. The Great Big Sea song or Black Horse jingle or whatever it was came out when I was young, dumb and overly sensitive about being perceived as “too Newfie” or “Bay,” seemed to camp it up a bit too much for my liking.

Now, having lived abroad and—amidst the humdrum, homogenized masses of, like, Americans and Canadians who, like, um, all talk kind of the same—having gained an appreciation for what stands out as unique, idiomatic or marginalized in people’s speech, I find myself newly aroused and invigorated in Newfoundland upon being addressed as “my darling” by waitresses; and “whaddya at” rings with a peal to which my ears, hallelujah, are no longer deaf.

You may have noticed that the fastest way to construct a curse word is to crunch the hardest consonants you can find around a single short vowel. Perhaps the friendliness of “whaddya at” can be located in its distance from this phonetic principle. Look and you will see it is a glissando of vowel sounds with only a soft “d” in the middle and a glottal stop at the end to give it structure:

/uʌdəjə ӕɁ/

I have also a friend who has defended “whaddaya at” on semantic grounds. He refuses to say “How are you?” or “How have you been?” in greeting a person on the principle that he doesn’t care about the answer. Blissed out, miserable, drunk? Fine, take a number, move along.

“Whaddya at,” on the other hand, grounds us in the real, in deeds and actions, things of consequence. It takes us out of the rarefied atmosphere of a Henry James novel (“Their relationship consisted/ In discussing whether it existed”) and into manly Ernest Hemingway country. Whaddya at? I’m killing this bear. I’m skinning this rabbit. I’m canning these beets. What are you at?

Jonathan Adams

Best Local Slang

6 responses so far

Local Issue You’re Most Sick of Hearing About

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

Muskrat Falls

“Muss-crat Falls by”, “Musquart Falls”, “Muskrats keep falling on my head”, “muskrat effing falls.”

Runner Up: The weather
Other Answers: “Arguing over building heights”, “Kathy Dunderdale’s weight loss”, “Mainlander’s complaints”

We are all sick to death of hearing about Muskrat Falls. Nobody wants to hear about it and nobody wants to talk about it anymore. For, against, whatever; you bring it up in polite company and the very words grate like gravel in the throat.

But since a multi-billion dollar hydroelectric project in Labrador is sort of a big deal, it’s probably worth going over at least one last time.

In November 2010, former Premier and future hockey magnate Danny Williams inked a partnership agreement between our province and Nova Scotia energy corporation Emera Inc. to develop build a dam on the Lower Churchill at the Muskrat Falls site. From there, they would run power cables across the Strait of Belle Isle into the Newfoundland electrical grid, and then further on down across the Cabot Strait into the Maritime Provinces, bypassing the villainous Hydro-Quebec on its way to American energy markets. Within a couple weeks of signing this, Williams was out and Kathy Dunderdale was in to carry the torch for the province’s latest go at a megaproject on the Churchill River. Despite many twists and turns, this remains the gist of the plot.

‘Muskrat Falls’ has since become all things to all people. For its proponents, there is much to recommend it. Jerome Kennedy—certainly the most eloquent of the project’s spokespeople in government—has repeatedly affirmed that Muskrat Falls will satisfy the province’s growing need for power, and that it is the least-cost option to satisfy this demand when compared to developing an ‘isolated island’ alternative. This is the position reiterated endlessly by Nalcor, the province’s crown energy corporation, and over the course of the last two years it has commissioned a slew of reviews from consultants like Manitoba Hydro, Ziff Energy, and Navigant that all confirm Muskrat Falls is indeed the bee’s knees. Muskrat Falls means a source of clean, renewable energy to replace the dirty oil burned at the Holyrood power plant, and it will provide the energy needed to expand lucrative mining operations in Labrador. We would create over a hundred thousand hours of employment in the trades while building it, and with this dam we would break the power of Quebec over Newfoundland forever.

But others would suggest that this picture is not nearly as rosy as government and its paid consultants like to insist. Despite being proffered as a green project necessary to meet the province’s energy needs at the lowest cost, a 2011 joint federal-provincial review panel failed to endorse it on either end. When the Public Utilities Board also failed to endorse the project in early 2012 citing insufficient information to make a decision, the government banished them forever from having anything to do with it in a move that turned out to be surprisingly unpopular with the Irish Descendants (or at least Con O’Brien). A public policy supergroup named Energy 2041 emerged to issue a flurry of press releases warning that Hydro-Quebec’s going to sue us into oblivion, and we learned that Richard Cashin’s favourite book is the Cole’s Notes to Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Other policy experts and interested observers have variously prophesied that there will be no export market for Muskrat electricity, and that the federal government giving money to flip off Quebec like this is probably not how the country is supposed to operate. Innu elders (including Peter Penashue’s own mother) have raised concerns about the impact that building the dam might have on the local ecosystem and their traditional hunting and trapping grounds. The estimated cost of all this has also risen from $6.2 billion initially to over $7.7 with little accounting for potential cost overruns which, if incurred, will show up on your electric bill.

These are some of the more sensible criticisms. If you follow the social media fringe all the way down the rabbit hole, you’re liable to discover that ‘Kathy’ is an anagram for ‘Stalin’, that Ryan Snoddon gets his weather reports directly from the Office of Public Engagement, and that Stephen Harper is in league with the Bilderberg Group to sell Labrador to Europe. Brad Cabana is even gone to court arguing that the project is a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Muskrat Falls has become a Rorschach test for your very own political neurosis.

A lot of the public discontent with the project stems from the fact that by almost any metric, the political process was handled about as poorly as possible by everyone involved. Government officials (and many critics) openly mocked and disparaged the credibility of anyone who disagreed with their stated position to the extent that the word ‘expert’ became effectively meaningless. Regulatory oversight was marginalized seemingly out of spite, and the provincial government played fast and loose with our legislative process. When they struck the Public Utilities Board out of the review process, they promised to make up for it with a special debate in the House of Assembly. They later obstructed this debate by refusing to allow the testimony of expert witnesses in the House (despite the fact that this happens regularly, as a matter of due process, in every other legislature in Canada). At best, it was cynically cutting institutional corners to accelerate a resource development; at worst, it was an arrogant disrespect for the basic institutions of representative democracy.

Muskrat Falls carries a lot of emotional baggage. Collectively, we’re still not over how sour everything went the last time we built a dam on the Churchill River, and government consciously tapped into those feelings in order to sell this project to the public. It’s a funny coincidence that Kathy Dunderdale officially sanctioned the project on December 17th, 2012—the 21st anniversary of Joe Smallwood’s death. The significance of this has yet to be fixed in history, but eventually we will be able to look back and say that was the day we either exorcised his ghost forever or reaffirmed that he still haunts the eighth floor of Confederation Building, rattling the chains of hubris and paternalism.

So, now the chips are down and there is nothing left to do but see how Muskrat Falls plays out. In the meantime, can we please talk about something else?

Drew Brown

Local Issue You’re Most Sick of Hearing About

2 responses so far

Best Strange Only-in-NL Attraction

Yes, Internet, it’s a real place. Creative Commons BY-SA photo by JCMurphy.

The Town of Dildo

Trinity Bay

Runner Up: Screech-ins
Other Answers: “George Street wildlife”, “Head rests in the bathroom at Erin’s Pub”, “Madge”, “Root sellers”, “random people on the street telling you about their life”, “All the f**ked up intersections in St. John’s”, “#nlpoli”, “Andy Wells”, “That creepy, half-built swimming pool in Pouch Cove”, “The incongruous spraying fountain in the middle of Petty Harbour”, “The sideways nod”, “Watching a city bus drive away three minutes early”, “Your Nan’s britches.”

Nobody is sure how Dildo, Newfoundland, got its name. A dildo may have been a phallic-shaped device on a rowboat against which one would, uh, pivot their oar. It may have been an insult, or it may even have been somebody’s name.

But even if Dildo turns out to be the name of a giant, magical velociraptor that comes flying forth from outer space to fill the ocean with cod, there will always be that pesky other meaning.

“I remember one time I had a small business out that way and I was trying to order something,” says Jamie Baker, Managing Editor of The Navigator, who grew up in Dildo. “When I came to the point of giving the person my address, they blasted me for making prank calls and hung up on me. ‘Dildo,’ she said. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ I called her back and got her in front of a computer and said, ‘Please, look it up, I’m not kidding.’”

Though the town had to replace their road sign with a version that was harder to steal, and there was a small movement to change the name in the early 1990s, Baker says that most of Dildo’s residents have a good sense of humour about the name.

“I mean, my God,” he says, “who else can claim they have an event called Dildo Days?”

Really, he says, it’s a source of fun.

“There’s a Head Road in Dildo, and there’s a place in Dildo called Backside,” he says. “And right across the harbour from Dildo is a lovely piece of cabin country, one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see. Guess what it’s called? Spread Eagle. I wish I was kidding.”

“I did a little experiment when I had my business out there,” he says. “We took a bunch of pictures and put postcards with Newfoundland on one side, and postcards with Dildo on the other side, and we used the worst pictures for those. We could not keep them on the shelf. A woman from Quebec walked in one day and bought about twenty of them. Just as she left, she said, ‘Why would anybody be so stupid as to live in a place with this name?’ I said, ‘Darlin, define ‘stupid.’ Is it somebody who lives in a place called Dildo or somebody that pays three dollars for a postcard that cost 25 cents to make?’”

Sarah Smellie

Best Strange Only-in-NL Attraction

7 responses so far

Worst Thing to Happen in St. John’s in the Past Year

Crime & violence

Wait now, has it really gone up?

Runner Up: Hurricane Leslie
Other Answers: “New condo construction”, “Closing of Zellers”, “Lack of colours this Fall.”, “Southside smell”, “Construction Galore”, “Losing Big Tom”, “The roads are still shitty”, “Nothing bad ever happens here”, “I got a parking ticket”, “stabbing in the park”, “Sidewalks. They just pile up with snow and no one cleans them off and people get hit and it’s just a friggin mess.”, “No good Thai food”, “Road construction everywhere you looked from spring to fall”, “The change of Tim Hortons cup sizes”, “Hurricane Destroys Bannerman….again”, “ended up in the ghetto”, “VOCM question on date rape”, “Bill 29”, “Toxic Chemicals to Kill Alder Brush Along Highways”, “Donny Dumphy”, “Death of Peter Narvaez”, “all dem trees crushin the sheds”, “Ron Hynes’ throat cancer diagnosis”, “Oil Money”, “People keep blatantly littering – more than ever it seems. Disgusting.”, “the end of summer”, “bike lane. is anyone really using it?”, “cutting all the forests to build super centres and subdivisions”, “Local “artist” raps apology in court”, “The vote on the Bannerman bandstand”, “Bear Spray Attacks”, “remembering last year”, “The Lyubov Orlova. Scuttle that scow.”, “gosh darn thievery! too much of it”, “Bird left to suffer on roof of building. Says a lot about the city… not good.”, “The loss of that large pheasant mural.”, “Me quitting drinking”, “Des getting shot on Doyle”, “CBC Live Recording Cutbacks”,“Dunderdale …”

Seriously. You can’t flick on the radio for five minutes without hearing a story about a cocaine bust or an armed robbery with a sword or something.

Last year Statistics Canada even released numbers showing that violent crime in St. John’s had gone up by 29 per cent in 2010. It was the biggest increase in any Canadian city. It was big news.

Hell in a handbasket, right?

Well, maybe not. At the time, StatsCan had just introduced something called the Crime Severity Index. The standard crime rate counted the number of crimes reported, and each crime reported was just a tick on a piece of paper, but the new Crime Severity Index aimed to give a bigger picture: it assigned more weight — more ticks on that piece of paper — to instances of crime deemed “serious.” For example, a city’s violent crime index would go way up if there were more murders that year.

And that’s what happened with our numbers in 2010, according to Bob Johnston, Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, who spoke to the CBC last July about it. There were two murders in St. John’s in 2010, while in 2009, there weren’t any. There were also a large number of armed robberies, and a few stabbings. By all accounts, 2010 seems to have been an uncharacteristically horrible year for violent crime here.

Sure enough, the city’s crime severity index and violent crime index dropped with the 2011 numbers. They were still up from 2009—the 2011 Crime Severity Index increased by three per cent from 2009, and the 2011 Violent Crime Severity Index increased by 7.5 per cent—but that’s a far cry from the 29 per cent in last summer’s headlines. In fact, the city’s total crime rate went down in 2011 by eight per cent.

That’s not to say there isn’t anything to be concerned about. For example, the overall crime severity for the province has gone up by about seven per cent since 2001, while every other province and territory, except Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, has seen a decline.

Cocaine-related arrests, like trafficking and possession, were up by 20 per cent in the province, and robberies were up by three percent.

But things might not be as bad as they seem. Or not as bad as they seemed last summer.

Criminal lawyer Bob Simmonds agrees. Though he says he perceives an increase in armed robberies and young offenders, he doesn’t think that crime in the city is out of hand. He also thinks that the RNC are doing a good job keeping up with the changes in crime patterns.

As for the cause of these changes, Simmonds says, yes, the drug trade is booming and prosperity is bringing hardship along with it, but according to him the true underlying cause is simple.

“It’s desperation,” he says.

You’ll find that no matter where you live, he says.

Sarah Smellie

Worst Thing to Happen in St. John’s in the Past Year

5 responses so far

Best New Idea for the City

Mary Walsh and Cathy Jones out for a stroll in Bannerman Park discussing the park revitalization or something about the youngsters today.

The Bannerman Park Revitalization Project

www.bannermanpark.ca

Runner Up: Make the city more bike-friendly
Other Answers: “Long Dicks. Keep the food truck revolution coming!”, “densify downtown and inner-neighbourhood living to curb urban sprawl”, “permanent farmers market location”, “Build a building downtown without protesting it first”, “Car-free sundays DT (at least on Water St)”, “Make George street more daylight friendly”, “put up more garbage bins, especially at bus stops!”, “Build an IHOP then make it 24 hours. you’re welcome”, “sprung green house reborn”, “Free Parking”, “Turn the harbourfront into something useful!”, “A local movie theatre downtown showing independent films”, “develop the southside hills”, “A theme park!”, “Require green roofs on all buildings over 5 stories”, “New initiatives to encourage pet adoption, ie. housing tax breaks for landlords who allow pets”, “Handicap accessibility”, “Make Duckworth and Water St, one way streets”, “put a bird on it”, “Traffic roundabouts”, “Make Stavanger Drive a one way rotation and come out to Torbay Road by RONA”, “Legal outdoor alcohol consumption”, “plant edibles instead of flowers downtown”, “Cinnabon”, “Signal Hill Zipline”, “Absolutely nothing”, “love”, “A cologne that smells like the beach”, “Adult bouncy castles at the Regatta”, “Put all the skeets in Shea Heights in one arena and create Hunger Games 2.0”, “Tactical nukes”, “Windmills on the South Side Hills”

2012 saw big changes for Bannerman Park, and not all of them were courtesy of Hurricane Leslie. The Bannerman Park Revitalization Project is in the midst of a $6-million-dollar facelift for the green space.

“It’s going really, really well,” says campaign chair Mary Walsh. “Bannerman Park has been in desperate need for a long time. It’s been totally neglected, but it’s remained a vibrant part of city life ever since it was given to the people by Lord Bannerman.”

One of the big changes for 2012 was the transformation of the formerly empty, shaded area in the southwest of the park, which is is now the Garden of Memories: a terrace of flowers with a new fountain and a walking path of engraved memorial stones.

Progress hit a widely-reported speedbump when the brick bandstand became the centre of debate at city hall. The original plan, which was approved by city council in 2006, recommended the removal of the 72-year-old structure. In November, St. John’s city councillors voted to preserve the bandstand, which has now been incorporated into the plans. A separate performance pavilion, which will be wired for light and sound, is set for construction.

New renos are still rolling out. The pool house will be redesigned to fit with the historic architecture of the area, and a splash pad will be installed along with new playground equipment. Encircling the new pavilion is a ice skating trail. Added bonus: in the summer months, the trail can be used as a rollerskating rink.

The plan is expected to be complete by 2014, the 150th anniversary of the park, with work continuing this spring. In the meantime, the park will remain open to the public.

“It’s an egalitarian public space,” says Walsh. “It’s one of the few places you don’t have to buy something to be there.”

Lauren Power

Best New Idea for the City

One response so far

Best Thing to Happen in St. John’s in the Past Year

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

The weather last summer

2012 was St. John’s warmest year on record.

Runner Up: Moksha Yoga
Other Answers: “nothing that memorable”, “Influx of Expats to Boost the Economy”, “pop corn machine in bar none”, “bike lanes”, “More money = more unique and specialized stores!”, “So many new amazing restaurants opened!”, “Global warming haha”, “Skeets killing each other”, “Tom Petty”, “Gypsy Courtyard”, “The Battery Hotel was sold. This prime piece of property is currently not reaching its full potential- hopefully the buyer will remove this eyesore.”, “big pink co** appearing in the Harbour statue on Discovery Day”, “my arrival back home”, “the weather was so good I might get a Summer of 2012 tattoo”, “The Satan’s show”, “new infastructure for the sewer/water pipes”, “george str.festival. wicked.”, “its no worse than last year”, “Starting to rebuild that gross building on Duckworth”, “I moved back! lol”, “Me quitting drinking”, “Concert scene is getting steadily better.”, “etcetera”, “ROD escapes CBC cuts”, “bike lanes!”, “more housing”, “Aerosmith”, “new overpass.”

Best Thing to Happen in St. John’s in the Past Year

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Best Townie (Female or Male)

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

Allan Hawco

CBC-TV’s Republic of Doyle

Runner Up: Danny Williams
Other Answers: “Male”, “Buddy from Newfoundlander vs.”, “I hate the word townie.”, “All of them!”, “Wus er face”, “Me.”

Best Townie (Female or Male)

One response so far

Best Newcomer

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

Anthony Germain

CBC Radio One’s St. John’s Morning Show

Runner Up: Mathias Kom
Other Answers: “Pretty much every exchange student I meet… There’s nothing funnier than drinking with someone with a language barrier.”, “all the baymen keeps it colourful”, “What does this mean? (Really, though?)”, “The sausage guy”, “Conan O’Brien”, “The summer. It was nice to meet you.”

Best Newcomer

Comments Off

Friendliest Local

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe

dokeefe@stjohns.ca, 576-8477

Runner Up: Gene Browne
Other Answers: “That guy in Mary Jane’s smoke shop with his infectious laughing.”, “Woman at No Name Pizza”, “The guy that works at Manna”, “woman in george town bakery”, “That guy on George St.”, “The man who plays the banjo downtown”, “downtown navy old guy with a guitar”, “girl at home depot who fits blinds!”, “Patrick who makes the copper wire names”, “The Newfound Cabby who drove me home last night”, “Buddy that makes sandwiches at Rocket”, “The Gentleman who stands guard of William St.”, “The Guitar Player by Tim Hortons”, “Anyone at Fred’s”, “yur mudder”, “My cat Bruce. He’ll accept belly rubs from anyone.”, “the guy who mows the grass in Victoria Park”, “lady who works at the Orangestore in Kelligrews.”

Friendliest Local

One response so far

Funniest Local

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

Mark Critch

This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Runner Up: Jonny Harris
Other Answers: “The guy by the deck with the hot dog stand”, “taxi driver”, “Tap dance fella”, “buddy”, “Nan”, “everybody’s funny! how the hell do you expect me to choose?”

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Best Activist

Jan 31 2013 Published by under Best of St. John's,Best of St. John's 2013

Gerry Rogers

MHA for St. John’s Centre. gerryrogers@gov.nl.ca, 729-2638

Runner Up: Sheilagh O’Leary
Other Answers: “Guy that spent part of the winter in the tent at Harbourside Park”, “ Donovan Taplin. Google the guy, he’s done great things and he’s barely 18.”, “Thomas Jordan. He’s always prmoting art and art programs in and around St. John’s”, “All those doing right by animals in need and abandoned strays.”, “Need more Occupy Boring”, “there’s activism here?”, “Rebecca Aldworth. She’s the best at pissing off Newfoundlanders!”, “Ken Canning: the lone activist left in the biggest and most influential protest of the year worldwide.”

Best Activist

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