Terry Fowler

Yearly Archives: 2013

A Lesson for Toronto

Let’s shift our fascination with the details of Mayor Rob Ford’s train wreck to a consideration of how he got here. How could our system of selecting leaders choose someone like Rob Ford as mayor? The field of mayoral candidates … Continue reading

Murals: Art, Politics, and Community

Imagine walking through a city district where the walls, garage doors, electrical service boxes, even telephone poles – every available space – have painted murals, or carefully coloured and designed graffiti, or poetry with political messages. This is the Mission … Continue reading

Doin’ Nothin’

My mother had a friend, Hannah, who was an accomplished gardener. Hannah used to show her garden to my sister and me when we visited her house. “I let nature take its course,” she used to tell us with a … Continue reading

The Urge To Be Part of It

When I tell stories to my grand children’s classes, I notice that – no matter how feeble my effort might be that day – every face is rapt, eyes wide, waiting to see what happens next. Sometimes they raise their … Continue reading

Elevator Hanky-Panky

“Fourth floor.” Did I hear that right? It might as well have been, “Come on up, sailor.” Who hired that woman to call out the floors? Deep in the bowels of Toronto Western Hospital’s east wing is a bank of … Continue reading

Termites, Politics, and Biology

Modern biology is discovering that microscopic cells communicate with each other and self-organize in astonishingly intelligent ways. They are not directed from above but cooperate locally and spontaneously to meet constant challenges to the integrity of the organism, at both … Continue reading

The Axolotl Salamander: A Parable

There is a salamander in Mexico City called the axolotl, which is dangerously close to extinction. Its only habitat was a portion of the extensive system of wetlands in the high valley where this now immense metropolis is located. These … Continue reading