TORONTO – THE LIGHTS ARE ALWAYS ON

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TORONTO, Canada’s largest city, offers . . . dependable public transit; a walkable downtown; most extensive streetcar network in the Americas; Canada’s busiest airport; a city population of 2,790,000; a metropolitan (GTA) population of 6,000,000; a stock exchange 8th in terms of market value worldwide; architecture from the sublime to ridiculous; 4 major universities, 4 daily newspapers, 6 concert halls, 3 arts districts; 4 Chinatowns, 30+ live theatres, 9 neighbourhood rep cinemas, 70 downtown movie screens, 2 pandas . . .

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. . . vibrant neighbourhoods; second largest international film festival in the world (TIFF); major league basketball, hockey & baseball; an indie music scene; Canada’s only purpose-built opera house; National Ballet of Canada; National Ballet School; Canadian Opera Company; Opera Atelier; Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Art Gallery of Ontario; Royal Ontario Museum

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. . . an ever-growing restaurant scene; size: 4th largest city in North America; languages spoken: 163+; population: 50% born outside the country; North America’s highrise construction capital; capital city of the province of Ontario . . . etc. Enjoy the Big Smoke! DAVID MOORE

TORONTO SAVVY is on the UK-based website ‘Walked Thru’ – http://www.walkedthru.com

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TORONTO SAVVY’s photo albums are on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/torontosavvy

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WHAT’S ON IN TORONTO – SEPTEMBER/2014 (CLICK ON WEBSITES & PRINT THE LIST)

TIFF1MUSIC, MUSICALS & DANCE
– September 3 – Symphony in the Gardens, Toronto Concert Orchestra at Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, http://www.casaloma.org
– September 3 – November 2 – ‘Wicked’ returns, untold story about the witches of Oz, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– September 16 – November 30 – ‘Book of Mormon’ returns, Princess of Wales Theatre, http://www.mirvish.com
– Until September 21 – Seussical: The Musical, Dr. Seuss’ classic stories, Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street, 416-915-6747
– Until October 11 – Man of La Mancha, Avon Theatre, 99 Downie Street, Stratford, Ontario, in rep, http://www.stratfordfestival.ca
– Until October 26 – Cabaret, Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, 10 Queen’s Parade, in rep, http://www.shawfest.com
– Until October 26 – Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities”. Grand Chapiteau in Toronto’s Port Lands, tickets at http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/kurios
– Ongoing – Friday Night Jazz at the Aquarium, second Friday of every month, included with general admission, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Rd, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada
– Ongoing – Crazy For You, music by George Gershwin, Festival Theatre, Stratford’s smash hit, Stratford, Ontario, 55 Queen Street, http://www.stratfordfestival.ca
– Ongoing – every Monday, ‘Singular Sensation: A Musical Theatre Open Mic’, sing showtunes with a live band, free, 10pm, Statler’s, 487 Church Street, 416-922-0487

COMEDY, THEATRE & SPOKEN WORD
– September 2 – October 1 – ‘Glenn’ (Gould), Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– Until September 17 – 9 to 5 Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, an improv show for the working woman, 9:30pm, Bad Dog Theatre, 875 Bloor Street West, http://www.baddogtheatre.com
– Until September 20 – The Addams Family, all-new story, Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street, http://www.randolphacademy.com/content/2014-theatre-season or 416-915-6747
– Until September 28 – Pinkalicious, for kids, about a little girl who loves pink cupcakes a little too much, Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Avenue, http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
– Until October 1 – A Tender Thing, reimagining Romeo and Juliet as an elderly couple reminiscing about their lives, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– Until November 17 – The Best of Second City, greatest hits from 1959 to the present day, Second City, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– Ongoing – Second City Fall 2014 Mainstage Revue, previews of the company’s upcoming fall show, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– Ongoing – T.O. Tix, Toronto’s official discount ticket booth, dance, theatre, comedy, opera, Yonge/Dundas Square or http://www.totix.ca

MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, ART
– Until September 15 – NHL Team Fan Days, 30 selected days spotlighting a different NHL team, Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street, http://www.hhof.com
– Until September 21 – Eco-Art-Fest, art installations about environmental issues, Todmorden Mills heritage Museum, 67 Pottery Road, Don Valley, http://www.toronto.ca
– Until October 1 – The Matchbox Gallery: A Retrospective, Museum of Inuit Art, 207 Queens Quay West, http://www.miamuseum.ca
– Until October 26 – The Science of Rock N Roll, the science behind rock music and rock stars, Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road, http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca
– Until January 4 – Alex Colville, iconic Canadian artist in a vast exhibition of his work, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until January 17 – Toronto Does Her ‘Bit’, the home front in the Great War, Market Gallery, South St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front Street East, closed on Sunday and Monday, http://www.toronto.ca/marketgallery
– Until March 21 – Around 1914: Design in a New Age, art and design up to WWI, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, http://www.rom.on.ca
– Ongoing – Saturdays and Sundays, Meet the Austins: A Toronto Family Between The Wars, guided tour of their estate, Spadina House Museum, 285 Spadina Road, 416-392-6910
– Ongoing – Black Creek Pioneer Village, the way life used to be, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, 416-736-1733, http://www.blackcreek.ca

GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered, queer, etc.)
– Until September 7 – Fan The Flames: Queer Positions in Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– September 13 – October 5 – Freda and Jem’s Best of the Week, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, http://www.buddiesinbadtimes.com
– Ongoing – Get Out! Running Group, every Sunday, people of all ages and experience levels, 10-11:30am, Fuel Plus 471 Church Street, free, http://www.getoutcanada.com
– Ongoing – Glad Day Bookshop, since 1970, oldest LGBTQ bookshop in the Americas, 598A Yonge Street, http://www.gladdaybookshop.com
– Ongoing – Out and Out LGBTQ outdoors club, http://www.outandout.ca
– Ongoing – Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps of Toronto (ROTC), colour guard, band, drum corps, baton, dance, http://www.rotctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue at Howard Street, http://www.mcctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Xtra magazine, gay community news in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx
– Ongoing – The Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory for Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton and Niagara/St. Catharines, http://thepinkpagesdirectory.com
– Ongoing – (CLGA) Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, second largest in the world, research centre, art gallery, 34 Isabella Street, http://www.clga.ca

FILM AND OTHER STUFF
– Ongoing – Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s masterwork, playing in 12 Toronto cinemas, one of summer’s best films, http://www.imdb.com/showtimes/title/tt1065073?ref_=tt_sh_c
– September 2 – outdoor movie at sunset, City Cinema, Yonge/Dundas Square, http://www.ydsquareca
– September 4-14 – Toronto International Film Festival, over 300 movies, galas, red carpets, celebrities, parties, second largest film festival in the world, various venues, http://www.TIFF.net
– Until September 28 – Distillery District Sunday Market, vendors, music, arts, Distillery District, corner of Parliament Street and Mill Street, http://www.distillerydistrict.com
– Until December 8 – Sake Brewery Tour, tours include sake tastings, Ontario Spring Water Sake Company, Distillery District, 55 Mill Street, Building 4, http://www.ontariosake.com
– Ongoing – ride the ferry to Ward’s Island & have lunch at the Rectory Cafe (only open restaurant on the Islands), 101 Lakeshore Avenue, 416-203-2152, http://www.therectorycafe.com
– Ongoing – Medieval Times, dinner and jousting tournaments, Exhibition Place, foot of Dufferin Street, http://www.medievaltimes.com or 888-we-joust
– Ongoing – Farmer’s Market, Saturdays year ’round, 9 am-1 pm, Evergreen Brickworks, 550 Bayview Avenue (Don Valley), http://ebw.evergreen.ca
– Ongoing – Edgewalk, CN Tower, walk around the edge of our tallest free-standing structure, http://www.edgewalkcntower.ca
– Ongoing – Graham Spry Theatre, CBC Broadcast Centre, free screenings daily, 250 Front Street West
– Ongoing – Sunday Antique Market, free, Jarvis Street south of King
– Ongoing – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Boulevard, at the bottom of the CN Tower, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada

Check NOW, GRID, Xtra, and the daily newspapers for additional listings.

TORONTO SAVVY is now on the UK-based website ‘Walked Thru’ – http://www.walkedthru.com

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TORONTO SAVVY’s photo albums are on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/torontosavvy

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TORONTO IS ONE OF THE SAFEST BIG CITIES WITHIN WESTERN COUNTRIES – THE STATS TELL THE STORY

TORONTO’s homicide rate is dropping ever lower – the lowest per capita in Canada.  These stats tell part of the story.

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28 – number of homicides in the City of TORONTO (population 2.8-million) so far in 2014

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30 – 30% decline in TORONTO homicides so far this year, up to August 31/2014

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505 – homicides in Canada in 2013, the lowest number since 1966

‘CRIMSON BEAUTIES’ MAKE THEIR DEBUT ON SPADINA; OUR NEW STREETCARS HAVE ARRIVED

   DEBUT-STREETCARS4 Five years ago former mayor DAVID MILLER <photo above> and City Council approved $834-million as TORONTO’s share in purchasing 204 air-conditioned LRV streetcars from Bombardier Canada. The Province of Ontario kicked in another $417-million.

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Two of them are making their first public runs today on Spadina Avenue. The other 202 will be phased in over the next five years, and all of the old models will be retired.

DAVID MILLER and Toronto Transit Commission CEO ANDY BYFORD <photo of Andy Byford at the launch, CP24> can take much of the credit for delivering these state-of-the-art vehicles to the people of TORONTO. LRV highlights: fast acceleration, bike racks, 70 seats with room for 181 standees, ramps for wheelchairs and bundle buggies, and four doors for quick boarding.

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The “skunk at the party” is the present mayor, ROB FORD, who has no use for streetcars. In fact, he wants to dump them all. “I know one thing. I won’t get on a streetcar,” Ford has proclaimed. “If I have an option, driving or streetcar, I’m going to get in my car. I just want to eventually phase them out . . . People want subways, folks. They want subways, subways. They don’t want these damned streetcars blocking up our city. That’s what they don’t want.” Says he.

AUGUST 28 MAYORAL POLL: CHOW PLUMMETS; FORD GAINS; TORY REMAINS IN THE LEAD

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JOHN TORY is still ahead in the race for Mayor of TORONTO but unbelievably, whacko ROB FORD is gaining. Forum Research and the Toronto Star conducted the survey over two nights in order to get a clearer picture of which candidate is in the lead. 1,945 Torontonians took part.  <PHOTO – Globe and Mail>

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In the poll, JOHN TORY led with 34%, ROB FORD 31%; OLIVIA CHOW 23%; DAVID SOKNACKI 4%, and 7% were undecided. The margin of error is plus or minus 2%, 19 times out of 20.

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Some good news: if voters opposed to him coalesce around a single candidate, ROB FORD would lose. The time is coming soon when the ‘anybody-but-Ford’ people will have to make a crucial choice.

TORONTO’S EVOLVING INTO ‘MANHATTAN ON THE LAKE’ AS 7,000 NEW CONDO UNITS ARE APPROVED

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As City Council ended its final session before October’s municipal election, 7,000 new condo units were approved.  Add those numbers to the 70,000 already in the works and there’s no doubt downtown TORONTO is rapidly ‘Manhattanizing’. People want to live in the city centre – whatever the cost.  The condo market continues to flourish.

City councillor JOE MIHEVC had this to say . . .

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Within the Greater TORONTO Area (GTA), the ‘old city’ is absorbing 70% of new condo construction; with 13% in the inner suburbs (Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, East York and York); and 16% in the outer suburbs (the 905 area code).

The average price for new highrise condos in the ‘old city’ of TORONTO is $682 per square foot. That’s 34% higher than in the 905, and 40% higher than in the inner suburbs. - George Carras, RealNet Canada Inc.

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AT CORKTOWN COMMON PARK YOU CAN ESCAPE THE CITY WHILE REMAINING IN THE MIDDLE OF IT

WATERFRONT TORONTO - Help Name Toronto's Newest Waterfront Park

CORKTOWN COMMON is a wonderful new creation from WATERFRONT TORONTO and the federal government. This splendid park, which opened recently, covers 73 hectares (180 acres) in the West Don Lands, within easy walking distance of King Street East at River.

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More than 700 maturish trees have been planted, along with thousands of shrubs, a living marsh, ground cover and aquatic plants. There are playgrounds, a splash pad, a large central lawn, a bike path and an athletic field.

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Best of all, the topography rises and falls, presenting unique views of the city’s skyline and eastside industrial buildings, bridges and rail lines. A lengthy berm functions as both a lookout and flood protector for TORONTO’s eastern downtown.

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PHOTO CREDITS – Corktown Common aerial by http://www.kapflyer.wordpress.com & kids playing http://www.oulahen.com