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Hen-Deprived Urbanites Can Now Rent Chickens

A string of new businesses are bringing fluffy birds and farm-fresh eggs to a backyard near you.

Photo by Elias Gayles via Flickr

If you love eggs, but fear commitment, maybe it’s time to consider renting some chickens. Recent news reports from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ontario have highlighted the growing trend of chicken rental businesses, allowing ovo-curious suburbanites to collect farm-fresh eggs daily in their own backyards. With the rise of urban farming and the local food movement, many non-rural people are experimenting with the birds and the bees to mixed results; for those looking to make their lives a little more farm-y, just interested in a seasonal project or even seeking an interesting pet, renting hens, along with a complete suite of supplies, might be the answer. Last week, the Chicago Daily Herald covered the phenomenon with the story of Kellie Burke, whose company, Urban Chicken Rentals, has been expanding in the Illinois suburbs. “It's becoming more and more popular,” Burke told the Daily Herald. “It's not just a trend. People are changing their lifestyles and taking control over their food.”

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Canada’s Hug-a-Muslim Experiment Comes To NYC

Will the Big Apple embrace this cuddly performance project?

Screenshot from Time Vision Productions

There’s no disputing that Torontonians are friendlier than New Yorkers, but can one of the world’s “toughest” cities handle a hug? Recently, New York actor Karim Metwaly re-created a popular Canadian social experiment meant to promote tolerance and understanding of Islam, asking only that you give him a squeeze. In the experiment, originally staged in January by activist Asoomii Jay in Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square, a young Muslim is blindfolded, holding up a sign that reads "I'm Muslim and I Trust You. Do You Trust me Enough for a Hug?"

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Turning a City into a Homegrown National Park

This year, the David Suzuki Foundation launched the Homegrown National Park project to create a green corridor following the path of one of Toronto’s buried rivers, the Garrison Creek, which once ran from central-west Toronto down to Fort York on the banks of Lake Ontario. The Homegrown National Park will transpose the qualities of Canada’s iconic national parks into urban residential settings.

Satellite mini-parks are spreading within my community of Seaton Village. This year, the David Suzuki Foundation launched the Homegrown National Park project to create a green corridor following the path of one of Toronto’s buried rivers, the Garrison Creek, which once ran from central-west Toronto down to Fort York on the banks of Lake Ontario. The Homegrown National Park will transpose the qualities of Canada’s iconic national parks into urban residential settings.

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Toronto Pays Artist for Mural, Then Paints Over It

A Toronto artist's commissioned mural was painted over for being "too political."

This guy just got Diego Rivera'd! Artist Joel Richardson says Toronto has painted over the mural the city paid him $2,000 to create. It seems to be a casualty in the mayor’s war on graffiti, but according to a city official, it was painted over because it was too political and it "may have" referred to Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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Outside the Box: Artists Stage 30 "Planter Interventions" Across Toronto

Toronto's crumbling planter boxes have gotten a lot more interesting, thanks to Sean Martindale and a small army of artists and gardeners.

Public planter boxes are great in theory. They're a refuge for nature in the city. A way of cleaning our air and beautifying our streets. But in practice, many public planters are untended or empty, too big or too small for the plants they're meant to contain, or simply falling apart.

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Tips for Winter Bike Riding

Keep your lock's keyhole oiled and carry a lighter.

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