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Archive for October, 2008

I was skulking about on the City of Toronto‘s website the other day looking for some information about our house and I came across their scanned image archives that have been made available online.

Queen West, looking East from James St. - Toronto - 1924

Queen West, looking East from James – Toronto – 1924

Now, it’s quite the hassle to view the images – so prepare yourself ahead of time.  Each link must be clicked, each image viewed on its own. It’d be great if these images would be added to Flickr’s The Commons or somehow made more readily available and easy to surf through.

Building the Subway and Streetcar system - Downtown Toronto

Building the TTC – Toronto

However, all that aside, the images (and there are a ton of them) are lovely to explore and I had a few little thrills when I spied some from just down the street that were taken near to the time our house was built. At least you can search by date and keywords.

If you live in Toronto and have an interest in how your neighbourhood looked many years ago, check out the Toronto image archives.

Here are a few I found interesting, all from around the time my house was built (1924).

Slum Lodging House - Toronto - 1924
Slum Lodging House – Toronto – 1924
The Beach - Toronto - 1924
The Beach in Winter, frozen – Toronto – 1924
Ladies at Woodbine Racetrack - Toronto - 1924
Ladies in furs at Woodbine Racetrack – Toronto – 1924
Looking East from the Royal York - Toronto - 1929

Looking East from the Royal York - Toronto - 1929

The Danforth lavatory - Toronto (corner of Broadview/Danforth) - 1924

The Danforth lavatory - Toronto (corner of Broadview/Danforth) - 1924

TTC Bus - Toronto - 1923

TTC Bus - Toronto - 1923

Building the Bloor Viaduct - Toronto - 1916

Building the Bloor viaduct - Toronto - 1916

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Startups + failing economy – VCs = layoffs.

Many friends and acquaintances have already faced the dreaded “we’re sorry but we have to let you go” lately… and today I joined the club.

Yep, still feels weird to say it but I was laid off today. My first layoff.

I am unemployed. Sounds a little tragic, no? Don’t get me wrong, I AM excited about what’s next. I know it will be great.  It’s just a real kick in the gut to realize that the marketing session you thought you were going to is actually your dismissal meeting. This has never happened to me before.

Not to suggest that I was blindsided. It wasn’t so much of a surprise given the market conditions, the industry (software/web) and the type of product we were working on (image search, mobile search apps).

So, what’s next? Some soul searching, some researching and the rest I’m not quite sure about yet. What I do know is that I am very lucky to have the amazing group of friends I have.  It’s been just a few hours since I started letting people know and already my phone has been ringing and my blackberry has been buzzing with leads and tips, along with lots of humorous “keep your chin up” messages. You guys rock. Really.

To Leila and Paul… thank you for bringing me on board and letting me share your vision for the last six months. It’s been such a learning experience and the team, well, you know how to pick’em Leila – what a bunch! From the long nights and hectic scheduling required to launch a product my first week on the job to the fun and stress-free Friday night get togethers, it’s been quite a ride. And the technology is pretty incredible, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on how things go. I’m proud to have been a part of launching the world’s first image search engine out into the world.

And while I know I am in good company (hey Seesmic folks, a shout out to Accordion Guy, to name a few), it still really kinda sucks. As Seesmic‘s Le Meur noted about their recent layoffs: “We cut everything that wasn’t outsourceable, core or absolutely necessary for the company.”  Ouch. But it’s true. Unfortunately for me, community and marketing manager doesn’t fall into core when your product is software, and doubly so when you have products still in beta.

Marketing and community = important, but… Developer = core.

So there you have it.

I recommend to those folks who have also just joined Club Sacked that they head on over to read Joey deVilla‘s post about getting terminated. Believe me, you will feel better afterward, I know I did.  In the software and web industry things are looking pretty grim, as Joey points out, “people who follow the industry are writing articles warning us that it’s not if you’ll get laid off, but when.”

Well, it looks like I just stepped in a big steaming heap of when.

So, buck up, as they say. It’s time to buff up the resume and hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to new adventures.

I’m going places.

Image: Don Solo

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Well this doesn’t look very safe, does it? Firecrackers burst around celebrants at the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand…

Image: Chumsak Kanoknan / Getty

See more of Time’s Pictures of the Week and visit Boston.com’s The Big Picture too. TBP has the most stunning images each and every time I visit, I’m never disappointed. Check out Worker resting on bales of cotton by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, one of my favourites in the set from his Earth from Above series.

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