Theses

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  • Walking in a winter wonderland? an assessment of winter maintenance and physical activity features in Smythe Park, Toronto
    Walking in a winter wonderland? an assessment of winter maintenance and physical activity features in Smythe Park, Toronto
    Objective. To determine how the features, conditions, and maintenance of a low-income park affect the use of the park for physical activity during the winter months. Method. Direct observation of park use; assessment of park quality based on a developed assessment tool; and supplementary surveys with park users. Results. The park lacked winter park features (e.g. ice rink, tobogganing hill) and supporting amenities (e.g. washrooms, rental facilities). There was evidence of winter maintenance, however, it was inconsistent: most trails were cleared of snow on all visits, but large ice patches were present and had not been cleared. The park was used primarily for walking and dog walking, although respondents noted that the lack of maintenance in the park affected if they used it for physical activity. Conclusion. Winter maintenance of parks and the presence of winter features affect park use, with snow removal, ice removal, and the presence of bathrooms having a strong influence on physical activity levels in the winter months. Park planners should consider year-round maintenance and programming in order to promote engagement in physical activity during all seasons.
    Walking in the winter: a qualitative study to identify environmental barriers  encountered by seniors
    Walking in the winter: a qualitative study to identify environmental barriers encountered by seniors
    The purpose of this research was to explore features in the built environment that are considered to be barriers by seniors when walking in the winter. Nine seniors across four neighbourhoods in the City of Mississauga participated in the study. A combination of photovoice and semi-structured interviews was used to collect data. Findings revealed safety related to fall hazards and traffic conditions as major concerns among the seniors. Participants provided suggestions for potential changes to improve walking conditions for seniors, including: judicious placement of interim crosswalks, more open public washrooms, additional benches in parks, and railings along sloping sidewalks and cameras in parks. This research contributes to the limited literature that investigates the role of the built environment on physical activity levels among seniors. Results can help inform questions for the development of a walkability audit tool, public health promotion strategies and municipal land use policies to build healthy communities.
    Walking the map & tracing the territory
    Walking the map & tracing the territory
    "Walking the Map & Tracing the Territory" is a locative media project created to investigate the relationship between the visual representation and aural/physical experience of space through the roles of mapper and walker. Both forms of knowing a space have biases that privilege certain aspects of space. While visual representation on a map totalizes space and emphasizes the spatial relationship between objects, aural/physical experience emphasizes the evanescent quality of walking and narrative. This exploration has led to the idea that space is physical but also represented, experienced and recreated constantly through its use. The project has drawn on the work of various locative artists such as Janet Cardiff and Rimini Protokoll to understand the way that story, listening and walking can inform one's perception of space. The work of Michel de Certeau has also been used to understand how one creates space through the subjective negotiation of place. Finally, the creation process ofthe installation, using consumer electronics, open-source software and programming languages has also been used as a way of looking at how space is articulated through this technology and how it mediates the mapper's and walker's perception of map and territory.
    Wall cops and robbers
    Wall cops and robbers
    Wall Cops and Robbers is a new turn-based game played on graphs. It is inspired by the games of Cops and Robbers and the Angel Problem. The objective of the game is for the cops to capture the robber by surrounding him with walls. The wall cop number of a graph G, written Wc(G), is the least number of cops it takes to capture the robber in G. The thesis explores these two parameters for various graph classes including trees, hypercubes, grids, and tilings of the plane. We also introduce a variant of the game called Wall Cops and Wall Robbers. In this game, the robber creates a wall on visiting a vertex, disallowing a move to a previously visited vertex.
    Warmth
    Warmth
    Warmth correlates with an inclusive feeling of comfort, both thermally and psychologically. Current practice is preoccupied with preventing heat loss and maintaining a constant temperature and relative level of humidity throughout spaces and does not consider occupancy. This mechanical approach considers warmth from an engineering perspective and does not take into account the human senses. An architectural approach to designing for warmth should on the other hand consider these senses. Ideally, it would create milieus that allow inhabitants to engage comprehensively with their space even as they experience awareness and appreciation of the thermal processes at work there. It is the goal of this thesis to develop viable architectural strategies to provide warmth.
    Water logged Mona Lisa: who is Mary Sue, and why do we need her?
    Water logged Mona Lisa: who is Mary Sue, and why do we need her?
    Theorists suggest that participatory readers create mainstream-based texts - fan crafts - in order to address the ways they are 'hailed' by the themes and subject positions offered by a text by becoming textual re-writers (Jenkins, 1992,2003 ; Busse & Hellekson, 2007; Chander & Sunder, 2007; Willis, 2007). Re-writers force their personal position or opinions into the centre by creating fanworks based in and on established media texts. The 'Mary Sue' is a self-gratifying fan-crafting trope centered on an idealistic authorrepresentative character, a wish-fulfillment device for the re-writer that bridges the re-writer's reality and that of her favoured fiction. This paper is a comprehensive summarizing of the 'Mary Sue' and its precedents. It asks how they can be deployed as Meta Sues to actively investigate the self or marginalized subjects in media texts. It is accompanied
    Water resource management in the southern Ontario region : water market simulations under scarcity conditions
    Water resource management in the southern Ontario region : water market simulations under scarcity conditions
    Water scarcity is a increasingly important issue in many parts of the world. Population pressures, climatic changes, and general resource management are placing increasing strain on water supplies that provide for ecosystems and economies alike. This thesis addresses the issue of water resource management with an investigation of free market principles to effectively manage end-use demand. A water market is designed for the Southern Ontario region, which consists of a large central population with extensive water use related to industrial, residential and agricultural users alike. A comparison to a traditional centralized utility model is used to measure market dynamics and overall efficacy. The results indicate that a free market system produces economic advantages to a utility model while still demonstrating an ability to reduce demand. The model also suggests that the inclusion of certain end-use functions, such as agriculture, must be examined carefully for a free-market model implementation.
    Water scarcity policy: evaluation with a focus on Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario
    Water scarcity policy: evaluation with a focus on Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario
    Water scarcity is inherently complex, yet it is a largely ignored and chronically understudied problem in Canada. The country has a relative abundance of freshwater, which has led to wasteful and inefficient use of water resources and high economic and environmental costs. Responsibility to govern this precious resource is predominantly in the power of the provinces in accordance with the 1982 Constitution Act. Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario were selected as jurisdictions of study. Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy, British Columbia’s Living Water Smart Strategy and Water Sustainability Act, as well as Ontario’s Permit to Take Water Program are important policy instruments in the prevention of scarcity. To contribute to policy improvements for each of selected jurisdiction, policy recommendations and criteria for policy evaluation were developed and applied, drawing on examples of challenges and responses from selected international jurisdictions.
    Waterborne illness and injury:  a feasibility study of a site-specific predictive model for beach water quality at Beachway Park in the City of Burlington
    Waterborne illness and injury: a feasibility study of a site-specific predictive model for beach water quality at Beachway Park in the City of Burlington
    It is commonly assumed that the persistence model, using day-old monitoring results, will provide accurate estimates of real-time bacteriological concentrations in beach water. However, the persistence model frequently provides incorrect results. This study: 1. develops a site-specific predictive model, based on factors significantly influencing water quality at Beachway Park; 2. determines the feasibility of the site-specific predictive model for use in accurately predicting near real-time E. coli levels. A site-specific predictive model, developed for Beachway Park, was evaluated and the results were compared to the persistence model. This critical performance evaluation helped to identify the inherent inaccuracy of the persistence model for Beachway Park, which renders it an unacceptable approach for safeguarding public health from recreational water-borne illnesses. The persistence model, supplemented with a site-specific predictive model, is recommended as a feasible method to accurately predict bacterial levels in water on a near real-time basis.
    Wavelet OFDM for Power Line Communication
    Wavelet OFDM for Power Line Communication
    Power Line Communication (PLC) system offers cheaper mode of signal communication facilities. In fast Fourier transform (FFT) based multicarrier PLC system, a cyclic prefix (CP) of the same length of the channel impulse response is added to each symbol in order to transmit data. As a result, there is always an inherent wastage of bandwidth and resources. This research presents a wavelet transform based orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (WTOFDM) approach that eliminates the need for these cyclic prefix and improves the efficiency of the PLC transmission. The presented PLC model is designed for faster and efficient transmission over the power line. The obtained results indicate that the proposed approach enhances the transmission throughput; provides better performance for impulsive noise, and increases the efficiency of the PLC system as a whole. In the end a performance comparison of different wavelet techniques have also been incorporated.