In the news…

Blogs Among Top In Canada

Ted Whipp, Windsor Star
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bookmark this -four local blogs have risen to the top of Canada’s blogosphere, snagging national awards for their online Windsor content.

While there’s no cold cash, glitzy trophy or red-carpet glamour, the bloggers still gain cross-country acclaim, bragging rights and a 2007 Canadian Blog Awards logo they can post on their websites.

“The exposure that the city of Windsor receives from this is great,” said Adriano Ciotoli, co-owner with his sister Pina of the dining directory website and blog Their blog, which attracts 1,500 hits daily, was voted best local blog and placed second in the best new blog category.

A blog is a sort of online journal, written usually as a labour of love by someone passionate about a particular theme or topic.

A Windsor blog devoted to words, grammar and punctuation – Michael’s English Usage, by retired Windsor drama teacher Michael Lyons – was voted best education blog.

Andrew Foot’s blog International Metropolis, about Windsor architecture, was runner-up for best local blog. Scale Down, Windsor, which focuses on the lifestyle impact of community design and planning, placed third for best new blog.

Another Windsor-based blog, Danielle Piche’s Maple Syrup and Poutine, a blog for food lovers, made it into the national final round of voting, placing fifth in the best activities blog category.

It’s a credit to the community that there should be so many well-regarded blogs coming out of Windsor, said Mark Boscariol, a downtown restauranteur and contributor to Scale Down, Windsor.

“It shows we have something to say.” Chris Holt, a laid-off tool and die maker who also blogs for Scale Down, Windsor, said the awards reflect the strong commitment being made by local bloggers and the high level of interest from local people who go to the blogs because they crave local coverage.

Such attention just enhances this area’s profile online all the more, Boscariol said. The local blog winners generally all share a positive approach, he said. And he added it’s especially noteworthy that people online across Canada responded with their votes for blogs that are mainly about Windsor.

The fourth annual awards involved two rounds of voting on entries nominated from across the country. Almost 20,000 votes were cast in the second round for blogs in 28 categories, John Klein, an organizer with the blog awards, said in an e-mail.

Blogs generally run the gamut and one for knitting, Yarn Harlot, was voted Canada’s best blog, Klein said.

Andrew Foot, who created International Metropolis, appreciates the recognition.

His blog provides an archive of photos, postcards and information about Windsor’s architecture. An accomplished photographer who works in sales and marketing for Air America Logistics at Windsor Airport, Foot said he created the site to help preserve the city’s architecture.

His four-year-old blog receives 800 to 1,000 hits a day. The site also features his self-published book Windsor Modern, about city architecture between 1940 and 1970.

Lyons said he’s impressed that the people who voted for his blog even noticed it. The English usage blog attracts 45 to 70 hits a day.

“I’m just trying to make people more aware of language usage,” Lyons said.

About 15 Windsor bloggers from Windsor met each other for the first time recently, Holt said, describing their passion for blogging as “incredible.”

Ciotoli, whose dining website has promoted the region as a premier destination since June, 2004, believes the blog awards are a testament to Windsor.

People voted for the sites, Ciotoli said, adding “Windsorites rally behind Windsor and show their support.”

Website links to Windsor blogs gaining national acclaim:
Michael’s English Usage. At
WindsorEats. At
Scale Down, Windsor. At
International Metropolis. At
Maple Syrup And Poutine. At
Here’s the site for the Canadian blog awards:


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