Church, Wellesley, Alexander and Dundonald Streets, Saturday, June 30/2012. TORONTO (1.2 million attendees) has the third largest Pride celebration in the world – after SAO PAULO (3.2 million) and RIO DE JANEIRO (1.5 million). TORONTO will host WORLD PRIDE in 2014. Way to go!
From TORONTO’s Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archive, The Pin Button Project, is available on the internet. Check it out at http://www.clga.ca/thepinbuttonproject.
‘The Ward’, formerly St. John’s Ward, occupied several blocks bounded by Bay, University, Queen and College Streets. It was vast and ugly – largely populated by successive waves of new immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Refugees from the Irish Potato Famine, the Underground Railroad, various European wars and uprisings, Chinese railroad builders all settled here. For a while, it was home to TORONTO’s Jewish community.
Picturing Immigrants in the Ward – has opened at the City of Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road. Curator – Susan Dobson
What better time – Gay Pride Weekend – to hang up a painting of Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont. We can’t say whether or not he was gay, but the Chevalier d’Eon certainly enjoyed dressing up in women’s clothing.
The chevalier had quite a career – French diplomat, spy, soldier and Freemason. His first 49 years were spent as a man, the last 33 years as a woman. Upon death, a council of physicians discovered that d’Éon’s body was anatomically male.
This 18th century painting was sold in New York to a British gallery as a “woman in a feathered hat”. Not so. It turned out to be our chevalier, the earliest known painting of a transvestite.
The portrait now hangs in the British National Portraits Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square.
LONDON, England’s bike-riding mayor, BORIS JOHNSON, is pushing hard to make his city bike-friendly. The English capital, with a much heavier traffic load than TORONTO on much narrower streets, appears to be a safer place for cyclists. The huge bike box, blue cycling lanes and pothole-free pavement on Millbank, near Lambeth Bridge, makes one weep with envy. Well done Boris and London!
222 Jarvis Street is a tough building to love. But it’s been chosen by the Ontario Government for a $100 million retrofit – one of the largest such projects in North America. At 58,336 square metres of gross floor area, #222 is the first under the province’s Toronto Accommodation Plan, a 10-year initiative to modernize and reduce the carbon footprint of most Ontario government office buildings in the city, the majority of which are 40 to 60 years old.
The finished building will achieve LEED Gold status and stop 4,930 tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere each year.