Untitled, Jennifer Rodrigues
I'm a graduate student and creative consultant in Los Angeles. My academic research focuses on international affairs, social psychology and human behaviour. I am also interested in technology, politics, economics, security studies, foreign policy, literature, film, fine art, mathematics, physics, biology, history, design, professional sports, astronomy, agriculture, linguistics and education.
Posts tagged Waterloo
Untitled, Jennifer Rodrigues
End Days, Reagan Charles Cook
Pressed Powder, Reagan Charles Cook
With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Google Trends also shows how frequently topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.
It didn’t take me long to uncover some fascinating statistics regarding Canada’s interest in all things erotic.
Top Five Canadian Cities to Search for “Strip Clubs”
1. Waterloo, Ontario
2. Windsor, Ontario
3. Brampton, Ontario
4. Etobicoke, Ontario
5. Burlington, Ontario
Top Five Canadian Cities to Search for “Asian Massage”
1. Richmond, British Columbia
2. Waterloo, Ontario
3. Richmond Hill, Ontario
4. Markham, Ontario
5. Etobicoke, Ontario
Top Five Canadian Cities to Search for “Porn”
1. Waterloo, Ontario
2. Edmonton, Alberta
3. Sudbury, Ontario
4. St. Johns, Newfoundland
5. Barrie, Ontario
Top Five Canadian Cities to Search for “Gay Porn”
1. Moncton, New Brunswick
2. St. John’s, Newfoundland
3. Waterloo, Ontario
4. Sudbury, Ontario
5. Barrie, Ontario
(based on Google Trends between 2004 - 2012)
Corporate Cross, Brian Xu
(Downtown Kitchener is Awesome)
Portrait of Reagan, Jennifer Rodrigues
Before they purchased a hulking former leather tannery in Kitchener – a symbol of disappearing traditional Ontario jobs in the city’s core – two Toronto-based developers asked to meet with this city’s planners. When they arrived, Cadan Inc. partners Lana Sherman and Gary Maister were greeted by a contingent of top city officials and Mayor Carl Zehr, who broke off his vacation to head the meeting in the summer of 2007.
“That sent such a positive, strong signal to us,” says Ms. Sherman, managing director of Cadan, still astonished by the reception which put their Tannery project in motion. “It meant the city was going to work with us.” The meeting highlighted Kitchener’s strategy of tax tools, zoning and an open-door attitude to woo investors to shed its blue-collar image. One recent success – renewal of the Lang Tannery as a 21st century home for digital media start-ups and giants – offers lessons for municipal leaders and developers.
“The city of Kitchener really put its money where its mouth was,” observes Karl Innanen, managing director of the Waterloo region office of Colliers International. “We have overcome inertia and things are happening.”
Three years before Cadan’s visit, the city imposed a special property tax levy of 1.25 per cent a year for a decade for an economic development investment fund worth $110-million. Its focus was postsecondary education and knowledge industries, not manufacturing, as catalysts for growth. “We needed to make a bold statement,” Mr. Zehr says. “We had a number of older buildings and sites without buildings that could be ripe for employment lands.” The city invested $30-million to locate the University of Waterloo’s $147-million school of pharmacy on a former eight-acre industrial site, purchased earlier by the city for $1, across from the Tannery. The city also put up $6.5-million to bring Wilfrid Laurier University’s faculty of social work to a vacant school several blocks from the Tannery.
“The combination of those few things really got people’s attention that something is happening here,” Mr. Zehr says. In 2005, picking up on city signals, Andrin Homes sold out residential lofts from a $40-million conversion of a former rubber plant, one block from the Tannery. The quickening pulse caught the attention of Cadan, which bought the Tannery for $10-million in 2007.
“The city’s involvement with the university frankly gave us confidence that the whole area was about to change,” Ms. Sherman says. Significantly, the Tannery is three blocks from a new transit hub that, by 2017, will bring a new regional light-rail service, Via Rail, GO Transit and buses under one roof. In purchasing the building, a mix of storage and workshops since leather production ended in 1954, Cadan embarked on an environmental cleanup to convert 350,000 square feet to Class A office and retail.
Under a brownfields incentive program, Kitchener will reimburse the developer over a 10-year period, starting in 2013, for $891,000 in cleanup costs. In effect, the city funds the reimbursement from increases in property taxes tied to building upgrades.
Why are Canadian students (and those from the rest of the world) so interested in studying at schools in the United States? Beyond the stadiums, frat parties and cheerleaders, the answer probably has a lot to do with institutional resources. The annual endowment (cash in the bank) of American schools puts the rest of the world to shame.
I have put together a simple graph to show the disparity between US and Canadian education resources. I combined the annual endowment funds of eleven of Canada’s top academic institutions, and graphed them in comparison to the endowment of University of Southern California. (figures are based on most recent available data)
The Fraser Institute’s Report Card on Ontario’s Secondary Schools 2011 provides information regarding each school’s average family income and academic performance. I have taken some of the data regarding my own region and ordered the results from richest to poorest. Despite the vast differences in wealth between the institutions I am proud of the prosperity and efficacy of the Waterloo public school systems, especially in comparison to other regions of more than 500,000 people.
1) ELMIRA - $182,900 [ B+ ]
2) ST. DAVIDS - $119,200 [ C- ]
3) SIR JOHN A MACDONDALD - $112,200 [ A- ]
4) BLUEVALE - $103,800 [ B+ ]
5) HURON HEIGHTS - $93,500 [ B ]
6) WATERLOO - $90,100 [ B+ ]
7) GRAND RIVER - $89,600 [ C ]
8) PRESTON - $86,600 [ B- ]
9) SAINT BENEDICTS - $83,900 [ D+ ]
10) RESURRECTION - $79,900 [ C+ ]
11) SOUTHWOOD - $79,800 [ C+ ]
12) WATERLOO OXFORD - $78,700 [ B- ]
13) SAINT MARYS - 77,200 [ B- ]
14) GALT - $75,200 [ C- ]
15) MONSIGNOR DOYLE - $72,700 [ C- ]
16) CAMERON HEIGHTS - $72,400 [ B- ] < My School
17) KITCHENER - $68,400 [ F ]
18) FOREST HEIGHTS - $68,600 [ D+ ]
19) EASTWOOD - $66, 500 [ D ]
20) GLENVIEW PARK - $64, 200 [ F ]
Canadian University Report 2011 - Comparative Performance on a 14-Point Scale
The Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report 2011 is filled with rich and informative education data. The report is based solely on the responses and opinions of Canadian undergraduate students. As a result, there are countless interpretations to be made and various ways of assessing which school is really the nation’s best.
From data on Quality of Education and Career Preparation at Canada’s Large Universities, the schools that stand at the top in every faculty are 1. Western Ontario 2. Waterloo
What I find most interesting is that in the case of Waterloo the maintenance of education standards is not heavily weighted in areas of stereotypical strengths. Students in the engineering faculty are the least satisfied with their undergraduate experience despite the mark of quality associated with the program. This indicates that either a) Waterloo is much more balanced institution than people believe or b) student opinion is a poor indicator of education value.
I would side with option b).
Neither Waterloo nor Western Ontario ranked in the top 200 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings despite nine Canadian schools making the list. While I believe that both of these institutions represent a high value in the Canadian Academic Market, the positions they hold in the Globe and Mail’s report are irrelevant.