Argo owners look for stadium sites

Larry Tanenbaum, co-owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, is in discussions with the University of Toronto about building a stadium on the campus that could be used by the Toronto Argonauts football team, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 20. At the same time, the Argonauts’ new owners, businessman David Cynamon and developer Howard Sokolowski, have said they are considering a site on the campus of York University and have approached university officials. Cynamon said he and Sokolowski, who is building Tribute Communities’ Village at York University, want a 25,000-seat venue that would cost anywhere from $35 million to $70 million to build. 

Cynamon, who used to play football at York, noted that much of the Argo fan base lives north of Toronto and a stadium at York would be viable. However, he said the prospect of a downtown site at the U of T is also attractive, and the club has discussed Tanenbaum’s proposal with him. Tanenbaum is interested only in the U of T project and would not likely participate in a York University project, Cynamon added. Another option is the city-owned land on the Exhibition grounds. However, the terms that the city has raised so far have made that option less attractive, Cynamon said.

Joint programs offer best of both worlds

The partnership between York University and Seneca College is one of several university-college collaborations offering students a chance to get the best of both educational worlds, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 20. It’s a scheme that lets students take advantage of the theory taught at university and the practical skills available in a college program. And it means you can earn a combined university degree and college diploma in just four years – as opposed to about six years to land a degree and diploma separately.

Trying to beat the Grade 4 slump

For the last two years, Thornwood Public School teachers in Mississauga have worked with Sandra Schecter of York’s Faculty of Education and Jim Cummins of the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education to develop ways of reinforcing language skills of children who speak English as a second language and/or who come from economically disadvantaged homes, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 20. Research shows that ESL students can usually keep pace in elementary school through Grade 3. But when they hit Grade 4 and the concepts and vocabulary become more complex, these children often fall behind and never catch up again. Schecter and Cummins documented the Thornwood experience in a book.

Comedian ‘encouraged’ by award

York University graduate Ron Sparks, 25, is this year’s winner of the Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award, one of the most prestigious annual awards in comedy, reported the North York Mirror Nov. 14. Sparks, who graduated from York University in 2002 with a BA in film and Canadian history, started his comedic career as a member of Vanier College Productions and the Vanier Improv Company.

Canadian art lover dies

Robert McMichael, Canadian art collector and York University honorary degree recipient (1970), died Nov. 18, reported Canadian Press. McMichael and his wife Signe turned an interest in art into one of the world’s largest collections by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries – a collection that became the McMichael Gallery of Canadian Art. McMichael, 82, held other honours including honorary degrees the University of Waterloo, the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario, as well as the Society of American Travel Writers’ Connie Award and the Canadian Contributor to Canadian Art Award from the Ontario Society of Artists.

Trampolinist qualifies for Athens

North York resident and former York University student Karen Cockburn, 23, returned home from the World Trampoline Championships in Hanover, Germany, last month with Canada’s first-ever individual gold medal in the sport, reported the North York Mirror Nov. 15. With her victory, Cockburn qualified for next year’s Olympic Games in Athens. She called the Hanover competition a tough one, because it was an Olympic qualifier.

On air

  • Chandra Siddan (BEd ’03) was interviewed about the Regent Park Film Festival she recently launched, on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning,” Toronto, Nov. 20. She commented that the York University teacher education site at Regent Park was the genesis behind the film festival.
  • Debra Pepler, psychology professor with York University’s Faculty of Arts, discussed the long-term effects of bullying, in items on “News” (CIGM-AM), Sudbury, Nov. 19 and “Evening News” (CHBC-TV), Kelowna, Nov. 17.