Articles in Accidental Activist

Victim-Blaming Rampant on Deadly Toronto Streets
To be effective, road safety measures must focus on the source of danger: the cars.
by Ben Bull
Published November 04, 2016 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

It'll End in Tears: A Long-Time Cyclist Reflects on Toronto's Mean Streets
Tapping errant automobiles is my calling card, except I don't leave a mark. Not anymore.
by Ben Bull
Published September 22, 2016 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

On the Other Side of a Traffic Incident
I saw a young lady jumping for her life just this past Friday. Sadly, the culprit this time around was me.
by Ben Bull
Published June 16, 2016 in Accidental Activist (8 comments)

Bike Lane Blocking on Adelaide in Toronto
The bike lane designers were nice enough to give us poles and paint, but it doesn't matter - drivers never get it.
by Ben Bull
Published June 07, 2016 in Accidental Activist (20 comments)

Number of Students Driven to School Doubled Over 25 Years: Metrolinx Report
Unless we encourage healthy transportation habits early on, it's going to be harder for our kids to hop on their bikes or go for a walk.
by Ben Bull
Published April 05, 2016 in Accidental Activist (26 comments)

Accidental Activist in Ottawa for Climate Justice
My kids are no longer oblivious to the ills of the world. As they barrel through their teens, they are starting to read the paper and ask informed questions.
by Ben Bull
Published December 02, 2015 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

Olivia Chow Wants My Support
Chow's decision to leave her federal seat and run for Mayor cost a million dollars. Now she wants to run as an MP again?
by Ben Bull
Published July 29, 2015 in Accidental Activist (30 comments)

Toronto's Queen's Quay Finally Arrives
There is now something for everybody: smooth streetcars, lots of pedestrian space, room for cycling, jogging and skateboarding, and space for cars to cruise - albeit more slowly.
by Ben Bull
Published June 23, 2015 in Accidental Activist (17 comments)

Moving to Toronto
We calculated that we could afford to move to Toronto - if we ditched the car.
by Ben Bull
Published December 23, 2013 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

Driven by Technology
On refusing to succumb to the lures of technology for the sake of it, or to embrace the mass marketing of useless little trinkets which purport to make our lives easier but only seem to make them more complicated.
by Ben Bull
Published December 22, 2010 in Accidental Activist (12 comments)

What You See is Where You Are
Look outside. Our streets truly are a barometer of a neighbourhood's success.
by Ben Bull
Published November 26, 2010 in Accidental Activist (6 comments)

Nothing is Real
There's a fine line between news and advertising, but now it seems our news outlets are willing to trick us into believing what we read.
by Ben Bull
Published November 05, 2010 in Accidental Activist (10 comments)

Waking Up With a Rob Ford-Sized Hangover
As I drove home past the line-ups of still-to-vote voters, listening to the news that Ford was already elected, confirmed to me how broken our democracy is.
by Ben Bull
Published October 26, 2010 in Accidental Activist (47 comments)

Six More Words Ben Hates
Ben Bull hates many, many things. Here are another six of those things.
by Ben Bull
Published October 01, 2010 in Accidental Activist (29 comments)

Debating the Everyman Mayoral Candidate
Torontonians in 2010 seem to want a mayor to stand up for the little guy. It's shame that, for today at least, the little guy was unable to take a stand.
by Ben Bull
Published September 22, 2010 in Accidental Activist (20 comments)

Toronto Needs More Sidewalk Love
It's tough being a pedestrian in Toronto. When did two feet get such short shrift?
by Ben Bull
Published September 05, 2010 in Accidental Activist (14 comments)

Lessons Learned from Stadium Adventures
It's important for Hamilton to get it right, to learn the lessons from other cities and build a true neighbourhood stadium that will serve the community well for generations to come.
by Ben Bull
Published July 26, 2010 in Accidental Activist (21 comments)

Garage Conversion Diversion
Why does it always feel as if City Hall is in the business of doing nothing more than fining us, punishing us, and trying to squeeze us for every drop?
by Ben Bull
Published June 02, 2010 in Accidental Activist (49 comments)

Small Jump From Pad Thai to Cinnamon Buns
How we are supposed to live a healthy life when even our more reputable dinner joints are serving us fat-, sugar-, salt- and carcinogen-laden fodder?
by Ben Bull
Published March 09, 2010 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

High Rise Towers Don't Make Neighbourhoods
Porches, parks, pubs, chance encounters - this is how communities are forged.
by Ben Bull
Published September 28, 2009 in Accidental Activist (18 comments)

How Will They Like Our City?
Hamilton should start thinking about how to attract tourists. When we do, we could do worse than take a few lessons from Quebec.
by Ben Bull
Published September 09, 2009 in Accidental Activist (17 comments)

Only on VIA
I have a warm spot for VIA Rail. I'm not sure why. Sure they're useless, but they're earnest. They're earnestly useless.
by Ben Bull
Published August 21, 2009 in Accidental Activist (7 comments)

State of the Unions
I'm glad Toronto is finally getting back to work, but I can't help feeling that the whole exercise has put another nail in the union coffin.
by Ben Bull
Published August 04, 2009 in Accidental Activist (24 comments)

Postcards from Quebec
Quebec is a cool tourist destination for many reasons. Its greatest asset is its abundance of pleasant, unique and modest tourist attractions, all within easy walking distance of each other.
by Ben Bull
Published June 09, 2009 in Accidental Activist (11 comments)

Minnan-Wong's Driving Defence: An Ingeniously Self-Fulfilling Plan
Toronto Councillor Minnan-Wong argues that because the car is the most viable way to travel - given Council's lack of investment in alternatives - we should continue to invest in our roads other modes somehow become available.
by Ben Bull
Published May 23, 2009 in Accidental Activist (15 comments)

Postcards from Thunder Bay
What's with the grumpy Tunder Bay locals being down on their town?
by Ben Bull
Published November 26, 2008 in Accidental Activist (45 comments)

Political Ideology is Simplistic and Naive
A response to the argument that the best way to help the poor is to stop helping them.
by Ben Bull
Published November 04, 2008 in Accidental Activist (12 comments)

Turn Back the Faucet
I'm convinced it's this inherent distrust of government efficiency which I harbour, that lies near the heart of the Conservative upswell today.
by Ben Bull
Published October 02, 2008 in Accidental Activist (14 comments)

Freedom 95
My mid-life retirement makes a lot of sense. The kids are young, everyone is healthy and I'm ready for a change - so what better time to kick back and consider my options?
by Ben Bull
Published July 07, 2008 in Accidental Activist (3 comments)

Only Love
A poem by Ben Bull.
by Ben Bull
Published July 07, 2008 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Ups and Downs: The Fate of the Gardiner
If we can allow ourselves to be a little optimistic, perhaps we can consider: what will the removal of the Gardiner Expressway mean?
by Ben Bull
Published June 05, 2008 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Interview with RTH Editor Ryan McGreal
At three and a half years, this seems to me as good a time as any to reflect on just how far RTH has come, how we got here, and where we go next.
by Ben Bull
Published June 05, 2008 in Accidental Activist (4 comments)

Burned
An accidental injury triggers a legal odyssey.
by Ben Bull
Published March 24, 2008 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

Tram Ride an Event in Itself
Bus transit can only get a city so far. If a municipality wants to get people out of their cars they need to provide an incentive - and quite frankly, the bus isn't it.
by Ben Bull
Published February 14, 2008 in Accidental Activist (10 comments)

Ben Bull, Inc.
I made the decision to incorporate for one reason and one reason only: to avoid taxes.
by Ben Bull
Published February 14, 2008 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

The Year That Was
Here's hoping next year will be chock full of memories too.
by Ben Bull
Published December 20, 2007 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Cheers! From Boston
Boston leaves you wanting more. Surely there is no greater testament than that.
by Ben Bull
Published November 27, 2007 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Fixing Our Broken Democracy
Our current democracy is nowhere near 'good enough'. Our democracy isn't working and it's high time we got it fixed.
by Ben Bull
Published November 08, 2007 in Accidental Activist (26 comments)

Nice Chatting With You
Arguments inspire, inform, ignite, and unite. Where would we be with out them?
by Ben Bull
Published October 22, 2007 in Accidental Activist (6 comments)

How to Effect Change (in Less than 30 Years)
The business of being an activist requires an immense amount of patience - and a lot more besides.
by Ben Bull
Published September 28, 2007 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

The Shaping of the News
What is the value of good writing, of authentic high quality journalism?
by Ben Bull
Published September 28, 2007 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

Down to Earth: Rethinking Air Travel
If we leave it up to the politicians, excessive, unnecessary, environmentally unsustainable air travel will be here to stay.
by Ben Bull
Published September 09, 2007 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

HtO Beach: 30 Years Late But Moving Fast
It's clear that people are desperate for something to do - together.
by Ben Bull
Published June 27, 2007 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Crash!
And they say lightning never strikes twice.
by Ben Bull
Published June 27, 2007 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Ten Steps to Strong Neighbourhoods
In the same way that we have a list of criteria for buying a house, so it is we need to create a list of criteria when planning and developing our neighbourhood.
by Ben Bull
Published June 07, 2007 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Another Tale of Two Cities
Hamilton was poised to prosper once. With the growing, grumbling consensus that Toronto may not be such a great place to live for much longer, Hamilton is poised once again.
by Ben Bull
Published May 18, 2007 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

Discovering June Callwood
Most of the good deeds being done in the world today are small, and done in private.
by Ben Bull
Published April 30, 2007 in Accidental Activist (3 comments)

It's What We Do That Counts
Democracy, like life, can only resemble a rich and meaningful experience if we throw ourselves into it.
by Ben Bull
Published April 10, 2007 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Postcards from New Glasgow
RTH jet-setter Ben Bull scours the world in search of exciting locales to share.
by Ben Bull
Published April 10, 2007 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Random Thoughts From An Aging Brain
I do believe in the power of positive thinking, that you make your own luck in this world, and that a good friend, a full stomach and a warm blanket are all you really need.
by Ben Bull
Published March 19, 2007 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Farewell to Roy Green
Behind that trademark growl is a shrewd and compassionate human being who always shows a genuine concern for the affairs of the people around him and never misses an opportunity to show how much he cares.
by Ben Bull
Published February 26, 2007 in Accidental Activist (6 comments)

Global Warming Really is Bloody Inconvenient
Unfortunately, having kids means I don't get to sit back and do nothing about it.
by Ben Bull
Published February 09, 2007 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

Checklist for Going Carbon Free
Everybody's full of advice on how to combat global warming - so why should we at RTH be any different?
by Ben Bull
Published February 09, 2007 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Upcoming Apocalypse...Check!
A fun and easy-to-follow End Of The World Checklist to help cheer you up and perhaps even forestall our inevitable extinction.
by Ben Bull
Published February 09, 2007 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

The Purple Testament of Bleeding News
In an ideal world we would all demand unfabricated accounts of the world around us, unbiased appriasals of the stroies that matter.
by Ben Bull
Published January 24, 2007 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Where Good Ideas Go to Die
Whatever the right approach to getting good ideas enacted, our current culture of compromise is not taking us anywhere good.
by Ben Bull
Published January 10, 2007 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Kinetic Potential
Dave Kuruc exemplifies what's good about this city.
by Ben Bull
Published January 10, 2007 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Back and Forth
You have to look back before you can look forward.
by Ben Bull
Published January 10, 2007 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

Postcards from Scranton
Ben assuages his loneliness during a business trip to Pennsylvania by writing to his loved ones back home.
by Ben Bull
Published December 13, 2006 in Accidental Activist (6 comments)

A Refreshing Outcome
My old home town finally did something I never thought I'd see them do: they turned a corner.
by Ben Bull
Published November 23, 2006 in Accidental Activist (19 comments)

Business as Unusual: How to Produce Change
If the citizens fail to fulfill our democratic duties, then we can be certain of one thing when everything stays the same: we'll have only ourselves to blame.
by Ben Bull
Published November 08, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Rewind
Hamilton's activist community lost a dear friend last month.
by Ben Bull
Published November 08, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

The Middle Finger of Progress
If high-rise towers are building for the future, what kind of future are we building?
by Ben Bull
Published October 20, 2006 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

How to Be an (Accidental) Activist
I hope we can all try and put aside any frustrations we may have and replace them with hope, energy, optimism and enthusiasm.
by Ben Bull
Published October 06, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

All in All, a Super Weekend
Ben attends his first ever political party leadership polling event, and all hell breaks loose.
by Ben Bull
Published October 06, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Touring Hamilton's Waterfront
With its simple, back-to-nature approach to lakeside strolling and stunning panoramas, Hamilton's Waterfront has something unique and truly pleasurable to offer.
by Ben Bull
Published September 20, 2006 in Accidental Activist (4 comments)

The Road to Boredom
Our kids today, and many parents too, have never known a childhood that includes playing on the street.
by Ben Bull
Published September 20, 2006 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

Hey, Stoopid!
Pummeled by an epidemic of stupidity, Ben laments the triumph of titillation and the bravado of the banal.
by Ben Bull
Published August 30, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Toronto's Waterfront
Toronto is trying to wrest its waterfront back from the cars and condos that have strangled the shoreline.
by Ben Bull
Published August 30, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Adding Up the Scores: Fun Factor Part II
Ben compares Hamilton with other cities in which he's lived, and highlights some lessons for the Hammer.
by Ben Bull
Published July 05, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

The Fun Factor
If we had access to some kind of fun factor scale, then how would Hamilton compare to other cities around the globe? Let's find out.
by Ben Bull
Published May 26, 2006 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Guilty as Charged
What makes a good citizen? How can I go to my grave confident in the knowledge that whatever happens to this little green and blue ball we're spinning on, I'm not guilty?
by Ben Bull
Published May 05, 2006 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

Just a Boy's Diary
A diary is a book with no discernible plot and an uncertain ending. It sounds a lot like life.
by Ben Bull
Published April 21, 2006 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

The Nightmare is Real
Hamilton politics gets under the skin. Raise the Hammer news stories from the depths of hell haunt Ben's dreams.
by Ben Bull
Published April 21, 2006 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Look, Pull ... er, Crunch?
Ben hurls himself off the side of a moving airplane. Don't try this at home, kids!
by Ben Bull
Published April 09, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

The Treasure Hunt
For some reason, I have no idea why, I woke up one morning and decided it would be a great idea to put on a Treasure Hunt in my local park.
by Ben Bull
Published March 18, 2006 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

Slow Down
The only thing we need to do in a hurry is slow down.
by Ben Bull
Published March 01, 2006 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Five Words Ben Loves
Ben thanks his readers for their awesome acceptance of his willy-nilly swearing. Well done!
by Ben Bull
Published March 01, 2006 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Ten Words Ben Hates
Ben implodes the English language by juxtaposing business blather with suburban culture and segues from boondoggles to stupidites. You so shouldn't miss this.
by Ben Bull
Published February 15, 2006 in Accidental Activist (15 comments)

Bedtime for Mom and Pop
When I wander around Wal-Mart and look at the rows of stuff lining the shelves, I ask myself - how many shopkeepers have we replaced?
by Ben Bull
Published February 15, 2006 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

Homogeneousness
How many times have we seen this happen? Main Street, Quaint Town, Ontario becomes, well, Anytown USA.
by Ben Bull
Published January 27, 2006 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Subsidy v. Investment
The world class Tube and TTC systems are not maintained by handouts, but investments. Hamilton had better pay attention.
by Ben Bull
Published January 09, 2006 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

Good Grief!
Free speech is the fair price of our democracy, and patronizing remarks by our very own free press do nothing to encourage civic discussion.
by Ben Bull
Published January 09, 2006 in Accidental Activist (3 comments)

Hamilton CAN - if we want
It takes more than just a vote to make our democracy work. And it will take more than just a vote, or words on paper, to turn this town around.
by Ben Bull
Published December 14, 2005 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

You had us from the opening line
We will remember David Hillen for his endless optimism, his never-say-die attitude, and his ongoing message of hope for our embattled core.
by Ben Bull
Published December 14, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Only in Hamilton: Green Thai Curry and Disputed Gouda
Ben somehow manages to use the "s" word in a family magazine, dragging Raise the Hammer to new journalistic lows.
by Ben Bull
Published November 28, 2005 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

Only in Hamilton
It didn't take Ben long to realize that Hamilton is a town unlike any other. We tell it like it is.
by Ben Bull
Published November 10, 2005 in Accidental Activist (4 comments)

Requiem for Ted and Gloria
Over the years, Canadian Tire's Ted has been the epitome of the Canadian Dream, writes Ben Bull.
by Ben Bull
Published November 10, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Driven to Extremes
There was something dispiriting and distasteful about not having a single reason to get out of your house and walk.
by Ben Bull
Published October 21, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Driving Me Crazy
Ben Bull explores the ups and downs of his many rocky relationships with cars over the years (first of two parts).
by Ben Bull
Published October 07, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Bloke Down the Pub: Long-Term Planning, Hamilton Style
Too often, Hamilton City Council seems to pull its ideas and arguments - solar powered planes?! - out of thin air.
by Ben Bull
Published September 15, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Climbing the Tree
Ben Chronicles his long search to rediscover the beautiful chaos of his childhood home.
by Ben Bull
Published August 22, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

My Trip to Hamilton City Hall
With all these unhappy residents and all this new information, it seemed obvious that the Councillors would vote to delay the aerotropolis amendment...
by Ben Bull
Published June 16, 2005 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

People Places (Part II)
If we cannot become a real community we can never again be a proper town.
by Ben Bull
Published June 16, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

People Places (Part I)
As people places go, successful public squares have the most important ingredient - people - in abundance.
by Ben Bull
Published May 31, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

What's the Big Idea?
Sometimes the best ideas are simply the bad ones that go away.
by Ben Bull
Published May 16, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Self-Respect
How far must we sink into the gutter before we hit rock bottom?
by Ben Bull
Published April 14, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Time to Grow Up
As a growing city we need to have dreams again. We need to think about what we want to be when we grow up.
by Ben Bull
Published March 14, 2005 in Accidental Activist (2 comments)

Losing It, Learning, and Moving On (Digging Through The Custard Part 2)
Here's to the next twelve months of political pudding. Let's hope we can all make a difference.
by Ben Bull
Published February 19, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Get Real
The best way to change Hamilton's image is to change Hamilton's reality. It's time to stop saying, "I love Hamilton" and start meaning it.
by Ben Bull
Published February 19, 2005 in Accidental Activist (5 comments)

Digging Through the Custard (Pt. I)
At the start of another new year, it seems like a good idea to look back on my first year as a Hamilton activist.
by Ben Bull
Published January 14, 2005 in Accidental Activist (0 comments)

Is the Creative Class Crass?
The Creative Class movement leaves too many citizens behind, but it does recognize that quality of life matters most.
by Ben Bull
Published December 14, 2004 in Accidental Activist (1 comment)

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