Thanks to its ravine and river systems, TORONTO has become the raccoon capital of North America. They live well. According to CBC’s ‘Nature of Things”, our raccoons are so fat that sometimes they walk by food as if to say “No thanks, I’m stuffed.” Country raccoons live a shorter life than the average three-to-five years enjoyed by city dwellers. Despite the stresses and strains of big city life, TORONTO’s raccoons like living with us.
Unlike awkward ordinary maps that are sometimes impossible to open, a Crumpled City Map can be easily crammed into your pocket, backpack or the carrying pouch provided. You don’t have to worry about refolding it along the original creases.
The maps are printed on a special technological material that makes them the lightest and most resistant maps on the market. And they’re 100% waterproof.
The map includes all the most important information about a city as well as a list of unique ‘soulsights’. TORONTO is among the urban jungles mapped, and there are many other cities in the collection. Check the website: http://www.palomarweb.com
Like cities everywhere, TORONTO has its fair share of louts, litterers, noisemakers, clowns, door blockers and destroyers. Graphic designer CHRISTOPHER ROULEAU thinks it’s time for some public behaviour modification. He’s developed a series of colourful cards to be handed out to offending strangers – with a smile of course.
Download the cards at http://www.torontoetiquetteproject.blogspot.com
Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor Street West near Lippincott Avenue, began its career as a luxury movie house back in the Roaring Twenties. Part of the Allen Chain, the Bloor Theatre opened in March, 1919. It was reincarnated as a restaurant, and in 1985 opened as Lee’s Palace, and is now a venerable live music venue.
TORONTO graffiti artist AL RUNT <PHOTO – Remi Carreiro/Torontoist> has made the Palace a local landmark, with his mural of friendly freaks and monsters. This is Mr. Runt’s third version of the mural in 25 years. It’s a stunner.
<Christmas Tree DJ, http://www.bathurstandbloor.tumblr.com>
The late ED MIRVISH, one of Canada’s best known showmen, will soon have his name up in lights. The Canon Theatre – formerly the Pantages – is now officially the Ed Mirvish Theatre, honouring a man who saved the Royal Alexandra from demolition, built the Princess of Wales Theatre, founded Honest Ed’s department store and Mirvish Village, and contributed greatly to this city’s cultural scene. <PHOTO – Ed Mirvish, by Gila Brand/2006>
After shooting 35,000 images over 7 years, four hundred were chosen for “Detroit: 138 Square Miles”. It’s an unblinking look at Motor City – the good, bad and ugly. As the New Yorker puts it: “(The photos) make you want to go there but maybe not stay.”
Laura Berman, The Detroit News: “The end product, the book itself, belies criticism that this is a socialite’s vanity project. It bears sober witness to Detroit’s greatness and its status as forgotten city — authentic, harshly treated, evolving rapidly as its housing stock crumbles and its once-heroic monuments fall to fire, wrecking ball and neglect.”
Housed in a state-of-the-art library building, the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, is a non-circulating research collection of 72,000 items. A gift to our city from Judith Josephine Grossman (1923-1997), pen-name Judith Merril, this archive is one of the planet’s finest popular culture collections. Its focus is science fiction fantasy, speculative fiction, magic realism, experimental writing, parapsychology, UFO’s, etc.
“Judith Merril was not only a vital member of the literary community, but a vital person in the largest sense of the word. She lived her times and places thoroughly and enriched us all.” <MARGARET ATWOOD>
A founding resident of TORONTO’s Rochdale College, television broadcaster; magazine, book and short story writer; anthologist, activist – Judith Merril was all of these and much more.
American-born, she became a Canadian citizen in 1976, and spent 40 years writing and researching science fiction and the paranormal. Her collection, originally named the ‘Spaced Out Library’, moved from place to place until it eventually found a home in a brand new library at 239 College Street, adjacent to the University of Toronto.