WHAT’S ON IN TORONTO, MAY/2018 (CLICK ON WEBSITES BELOW FOR MORE INFO, TIMES & TICKETS)

LARGE THEATRES
*Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street, http://www.canadianstage.com
*Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front Street East, http://www.canadianstage.com
*CAA (formerly Panasonic) Theatre, 651 Yonge St., http://www.mirvish.com
*Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.ticketmaster.ca
*Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/venues/fleckdancetheatre/
*Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (Opera House), 145 Queen St. W., http://www.coc.ca
*Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., http://www.mirvish.com
*Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W., http://www.mirvish.com
*Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., http://www.sonycentre.ca
*Streetcar Crow’s Theatre, 345 Carlaw Av., http://www.crowstheatre.com
*St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E., http://www.stlc.com
*Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St., http://www.tocentre.com
*Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.ticketmaster.ca
*Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
*Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front Street East, https://tickets.youngpeoplestheatre.ca/TheatreManager/1/online

MORE THEATRES
*Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, http://www.alumnaetheatre.com
*Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor Street West, http://www.baddogtheatre.com
*Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., http://www.buddiesinbadtimes.com
*Cahoots Theatre Company, staging diversity, 388 Queen St. E., http://www.cahoots.ca
*Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth Av., http://www.coalminetheatre.com
*Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street, http://www.factorytheatre.ca
*Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto, http://harthouse.ca/hart-house-theatre/
*Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Ave., http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
*MacMillan Theatre, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, http://www.music.utoronto.ca
*National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen Street West, https://national.ballet.ca
*Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen St. E., http://www.redsandcastletheatre.com
*Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton, Ontario, http://www.brampton.ca/sites/rose-theatre/en/Pages/Welcome.aspx
*Second City, sketch comedy theatre that’s launched many careers, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
*Shaw Festival Theatres, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, https://www.shawfest.com/
*Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor St. W., https://wwww.facebook.com/TheStorefrontTheatre
*Stratford Festival Theatres, Stratford, Ontario, https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/WhatsOn/ThePlays?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhqTVruSJ2QIVV7nACh2_pA41EAAYAyAAEgKAZ_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
*Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., http://www.tarragontheatre.com
*Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., http://www.theatrecentre.org
*Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue, http://www.passemuraille.on.ca
*Toronto Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester St., Cabbagetown, http://www.tdt.org
*Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club, 224 Richmond St. West, https://www.yukyuks.com/toronto

CONCERT HALLS
*Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Av., http://www.thedanforth.com
*George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge Street, http://www.tocentre.com/theatres/george-weston-recital-hall
*Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W., http://www.cbc.ca/glenngould
*Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com
*Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., http://www.hughsroom.com
*Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, http://www.rcmusic.com
*Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street, http://www.masseyhall.com
*Opera House, 735 Queen St. East, http://theoperahouse.ticketoffices.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4P_S_OGJ2QIVlLjACh0D0QC9EAAYASAAEgJVj_D_BwE
*Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, http://www.roythomson.com
*Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W., http://www.trinitystpauls.ca

CENTRAL CITY CINEMAS
*Carlton, 9 screens, fully licensed, $5 Tuesdays, 20 Carlton Street, https://imaginecinemas.com
*Hot Docs Ted Rogers, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West, https://www.cinemaclock.com/theatres/hot-docs-ted-rogers-cinema
*Market Square, 80 Front Street East, several screens, https://imaginecinemas.com/cinema/market-square/
*Mount Pleasant, 675 Mount Pleasant Road, big screen, 2nd run features, some European films, etc., https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/mount-pleasant
*Ontario Science Centre Omnimax,770 Don Mills Road, https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/imax
*Regent, 551 Mount Pleasant Road, 2nd run features, big screen, https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/regent
*Revue, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, neighbourhood cinema, second-run, docmentary & foreign features, http://www.revuecinema.ca
*Royal, documentaries, festivals, foreign, second-run features, 608 College Street, http://www.theroyal.to
*Scotiabank Toronto Imax (Cineplex), 259 Richmond Street West, multiplex & IMAX, 14 screens, http://www.imax.com/theatres/scotiabank-toronto-imax
*TIFF Bell Lightbox, 5 screens, movies that don’t play in the multiplex, for times and schedule go to http://www.tiff.net
*Varsity Cinemas (Cineplex), Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West, 12 screens, https://www.cinemaclock.com/theatres/cineplex-varsity-vip
*Yonge-Dundas Cinemas (Cineplex), multiplex & IMAX, 26 screens, 10 Dundas Street East, http://www.imdb.com/showtimes/cinema/CA/ci25232552/CA/M6M1W6

MUSEUMS
*Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, http://www.agakhanmuseum.org
*Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King St. West, Hamilton, http://www.artgalleryofhamilton.com
*Art Gallery of Mississauga, http://www.artgalleryofmississauga.com
*Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.ca
*Bata Shoe Museum, only two in the world, 327 Bloor St. West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
*Black Creek Pioneer Village, heritage museum, partly outdoors, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, http://www.blackcreek.ca
*Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto’s castle, http://www.casaloma.ca
*Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Boulevard, http://www.fortyork.ca
*Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, 111 Queen’s Park, http://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca
*Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street, http://www.hhof.com
*Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle, http://www.arts.utoronto.ca/galleries.htm
*Mackenzie House Museum, 82 Bond Street, interprets Victorian life of the 1860’s, 416-302-6915
*McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, http://www.mcmichael.com
*Metropolitan Toronto Police Museum & Discovery Centre, 40 College St., http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/museum
*MZTV Museum of Television, 64 Jefferson Ave., Liberty Village, http://www.mztv.com
*Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road, http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca
*Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, free, http://www.thepowerplant.org
*Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Museum & Archives, https://www.qormuseum.org
*Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, http://www.rom.on.ca
*Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), 33 Gould Street, large photography gallery, free admission, http://www.ryersonimagecentre.ca
*Spadina House Museum and gardens, 235 Spadina Rd., 416-392-6910, https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/museums/spadina-museum/
*Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Street, http://www.textilemuseum.ca
*Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 216 Main Street, Markham, http://www.varleygallery.ca

ART GALLERIES
*A Space, established contemporary, 401 Richmond St. West, http://www.aspacegallery.org
*Barbara Edwards Contemporary, 1069 Bathurst Street, http://www.becontemporary.com
*Bay of Spirits, 156 Front St. West, First Nations art, http://www.bayofspirits.com
*Canadian Sculpture Centre, 500 Church Street, http://www.cansculpt.org
*Christopher Cutts, 21 Morrow Avenue, http://www.cuttsgallery.com
*Clint Roenisch, 190 St. Helens Avenue, contemporary, avant-garde, http://www.clintroenisch.com
*Corkin, 7 Tank House Lane, Distillery District, http://www.corkingallery.com
*Daniel Faria, contemporary, converted warehouse, 188 St. Helens Avenue, http://www.danielfariagallery.com
*Diaz Contemporary, 100 Niagara Street, http://www.diazcontemporary.ca
*Katharin Mulherin Contemporary Arts Projects, 1086 Queen St. West, http://katharinemulherin.com/
*Koffler Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, http://www.kofflerarts.org
*Mercer Union, contemporary art, 1286 Bloor St. West, http://www.mercerunion.org
*Mira Godard, 22 Hazelton Avenue, long-established, Canadian & international artists, http://www.godardgallery.com
*Olga Korper, 17 Morrow Avenue, long-established, http://www.olgakorpergallery.com
*Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, 30 Abell Street, founded in 1996, http://www.propellerctr.com
*Sandra Ainsley, 100 Sunrise Avenue #150, leading dealer in contemporary glass, http://www.sandraainsleygallery.com
*Stephen Bulger, 1356 Dundas St. West, long-established photography gallery, http://www.bulgergallery.com
*Thompson Landry Gallery, 32 Distillery Lane, Distillery District, specializes in Quebec art, both contemporary & the masters, http://www.thompsonlandry.com

GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered, queer, etc.)
*Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, 2nd largest in the world, 34 Isabella Street, http://www.clga.ca
*Legit, 2nd Thursday monthly, immigration legal counsel, 519 Centre, 519 Church Street, http://www.legit.ca
*Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue, just above Gerrard St. East, http://www.mcctoronto.com
*Out and Out, LGBTQ outdoors club, http://www.outandout.ca
*Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory, http://www.thepinkpagesdirectory.com
*ProudFM 103.9, Toronto’s LGBTQ radio station, http://www.proudfm.com
*Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps individuals in countries where being LGBTQ invites violence, imprisonment or even death, http://www.rainbowrailroad.ca
*Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps, http://www.rotctoronto.com
*Xtra magazine, gay news from Toronto, Vancouver & Ottawa, http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx

OTHER GOOD STUFF
*Edgewalk, CN Tower, walk around the edge of our tallest free-standing structure, http://www.edgewalkcntower.ca
*Free Arts in the Parks, concerts, films and arts of all kinds, for full events listings and details go to http://www.artsintheparksto.org
*Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Boulevard, at the bottom of the CN Tower, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada
*Sunday Antique Market, free, Jarvis Street south of King
*TAPto free walking tours by Toronto Greeters, book online at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/visitor-services/toronto-greeters-program/
*The Dirt, a free condo review platform, largest in Canada, reviews for nearly 1,000 condos in Greater Toronto – http://www.thedirt.ca
*Toronto Transit Commission Day Pass, $12.50, a single-user pass on week days on the subway, streetcars & buses, Group/Family Day Passes on weekends & statutory holidays – https://www.ttc.ca/Fares_and_passes/Passes/Day_Pass/index.jsp
*Ongoing – tour the last operating double-decker theatre in the world, Elgin & Winter Garden Theatres, 189 Yonge St., Thursdays 5 pm; Saturdays 11 am, Ontario Heritage Trust, Details – http://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/en/index.php/ewg/ewg-home/tours
*May 24-27 – Laird Kay photographs inside a former Weston bread factory (about to become a condo), 462 Eastern Avenue, 10 am to 4 pm, http://www.contact-photo.com
*May 24-27 – Czech That Film Festival, Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, http://www.eventbrite.ca/o/7903729516
*May 24 to July 29 – ‘Alter-Ego’, Canadian comic book super heroes & the talents behind them, TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, free, http://www.tpl.ca/tdgallery
*May 24 – January 6/2019 – Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes, Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
*May 24 – June 3 – Sing! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, various venues, http://www.singtoronto.com
*May 24-27 – Twenty-first Century Music Festival, new sounds and ideas, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, http://www.rcmusic.com/performance
*May 25 – Kathy Griffin, stand-up comic makes a comeback, Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street, http://www.masseyhall.com
*May 26 – Annual Indigenous Youth Dance Show, the music of the 70’s, tickets $10, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East, http://www.olishow.com
*Until May 26 – Queering Family Photography, Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1356 Dundas Street West, http://www.bulgergallery.com, 416-504-0575
*May 26 – CBC Music Festival, Echo Beach, info and tickets at http://www.CBCmusic.ca/festival
*May 26,27 – Bravo Cuban Film Festival, films in English & Spanish, filmmakers in attendance, Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston Avenue, http://www.ccfatoronto.ca
**May 26,27 – Doors Open Toronto, 130 historic, culturally important buildings open their doors to the public, art, concerts, walks, 10 am – 5 pm, free, http://www.toronto.ca/doorsopen
*May 26,27 – Wooftock, party in the park for dogs and owners, races, vendors, info, Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East, http://www.woofstock.ca
*May 27 – Pedestrian Sunday at Kensington Market, car-free, 12-7pm, free, http://www.kensingtonmarket.com
*Until May 27 – Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. West, http://www.ago.ca
*May 28 – Ride To Work Day, start of Bike Month, 7:30 am, pancake breakfast in Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. West, http://www.bikemonth.ca
*May 29-31 – Love, Lust and Rock & Roll, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Storm Large vocalist, Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, http://www.tso.ca
*Until May 31 – Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, over 200 exhibitions + workshops, lectures, film screenings go to https://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/
*June 1,2 Breakin’ Convention, international festival of hip hop dance theatre, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East, http://www.sonycentre.ca
*Until June 2 – ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’, August Wilson, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
*June 3 – annual Heart & Stroke Ride For Heart, 75, 50, 25 kilometres rountes, start & finish at Exhibition Place 6 am, details at http://www.rideforheart.ca
*June 7,8,9 – O’Cannabiz Conference & Expo, network, discover new careers, learn from industry’s past, for details http://www.ocannabiz.com
*June 8,9,10 – Toronto Tattoo Show, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, http://www.torontotattooshow.com
*June 16 – Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant, Tony Award winning actor, Massey Hall, 8pm, http://www.masseyhall.com
*June 6-24 – Luminato, Toronto’s International Art Festival, book tickets at http://www.luminato.com
*June 14 – The Walrus Talks, business, politics, arts, etc., Margaret Atwood, writer, Craig Nevill-Manning (Sidewalk Labs engineering), Lisa Charlety Boy (writer, storyteller), and several others, Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, details at http://www.thewalrus.ca/events
*June 13 to mid-July – The Art of Banksy, 80 works by Britain’s famed muralist, 213 Sterling Road, http://www.banksyexhibit.com
*June 22 – July 1 – TD Toronto Jazz Festival, various venues, http://www.torontojazz.com
*Ongoing – Richard O’Brien’s ‘The Rocky Horror Show’, Stratford Festival, Stratford, Ontario, take the bus $29 return, http://www.stratfordfestival.ca
*Until June 17 – Grease: The Musical, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.greaseonstage.com
*Until January 20 – Come From Away, extended a second time, a continuing Canadian/American hit on Broadway, Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. West, http://www.mirvish.com

Summer ferry service to the TORONTO ISLANDS has begun. Take a ferry from the foot of Yonge Street to Ward’s Island, Centre Island and Hanlan’s Point. After serious flooding last year, costing more than $7-million, the Islands are more prepared for possible flooding than ever before.

“City staff have been working non-stop for the last 12 months restoring the islands from the flood damage. If lake levels were to rise to the same level as they were last year, the city won’t have to undertake similar closures,” said Mayor JOHN TORY.

<Approaching HUMBER BAY ARCH BRIDGE on a foggy morning – @416shots/#streets of toronto>

<“IS THE CONDITION TREATABLE?”, editorial cartoon by BRIAN GABLE, Globe and Mail, May 24/2018>

The latest ABACUS poll in the Ontario Election gives a big boost to ANDREA HORWATH’s New Democrats as 34% of decided voters would vote NDP; 35% told ABACUS DATA they’d support DOUG FORD’s Progressive Conservatives – and. 24% would cast a ballot for the Liberals.

Undecided voters seem to be moving to the NDP camp. It’s “absolutely” possible that the NDP will pull off an upset, wrote DAVID COLETTO of Abacus Data. The growing support for the NDP has come from “all sources: undecideds, Liberal, and PC”.

The Abacus poll was based on two samples: a panel of 4,685 Ontarians whose voting intentions have been tracked since early April and a new sample of 1,140 Ontarians. Voting day is June 7.

CBC’s latest Poll Tracker (an average of the latest polls): The PCs are trending downwards but still hold a lead. The NDPs have surged ahead of the Liberals in the popular vote and closing on the PCs. Liberals have dropped to new lows in both popular support and potential seat wins.

May 22 – in the latest IPSOS/Global News poll, DOUG FORD’s Progressive Conservatives are tumbling as the New Democrats gain momentum. Pollster Darrel Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, explained. “It seems like the Conservatives reached a peak. Conservatives usually tend to be strong in the 905 area (of Greater TORONTO), and it disappeared in this poll,” Bricker said.

ABOVE – New Democrats (orange) 37%
Progressive Conservatives (blue) 36%
Liberals 23%

VASILI, an Amur tiger, will soon take up residence at TORONTO Zoo. He has lived in WINNIPEG’s Assiniboine Park since 2014 and will spend his last day there on Sunday, May 27.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan Program proposed the move. The organization facilitates breeding programs for threatened or endangered species that urgently need to be conserved.

<Brothers Samkha, left, & Vasili, Assinboine Park Zoo Photo>

Vasili killed another tiger in his first year at Assiniboine Park Zoo. An older male tiger pushed open a mistakenly unlocked gate to enter a den with Vasili and his brother, Samkha. The 19-year-old tiger got into a fight with Vasili. A zoo veterinarian said Vasili was not to blame for the older tiger’s death.

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MERRIL RESEARCH COLLECTION OF SCIENCE FICTION, 72,000 ITEMS, IS ONE OF THE PLANET’S LARGEST

Housed in the state-of-the-art Lillian H. Smith library at 239 College Street, the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, is made up 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 about and researching science fiction and the paranormal.  A book on the life and times of Judith Merril – “Better To Have Loved . . . ” – is available on Amazon.

A BRITISH LIBRARIAN PLANTED THE SEEDS FOR TORONTO’S PRE-1910 CHILDREN’S BOOK COLLECTIONS

The OSBORNE COLLECTION OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS (BEFORE 1910) began with a visit from British librarian EDGAR OSBORNE. He was greatly impressed by the range and quality of children’s services within the TPL (Toronto Public Library) system.

OSBORNE donated his personal collection of some 2,000 rare books in 1949. The numbers have grown to over 80,000 rare and notable modern children’s books. Now there are several collections within the collection.

The oldest artefacts date from 2,000 BCE; others include a 14th century manuscript of Aesop’s fables, 16th century school books; Florence Nighingale’s childhood library; Queen Mary’s children’s books; penny dreadfuls, chapbooks, Puritan works, and fifteen-century traditional tales

Lillian H. Smith library is located at 239 College Street, not far from the University of TORONTO.

AFTER A 30-YEAR SEARCH, MASSEY HALL’S BACH & BEETHOVEN WINDOWS HAVE BEEN FOUND

<PHOTO – @The York Pioneers>

Massey Hall’s Bach and Beethoven have been found in the basement of Roy Thomson Hall. The two stained glass windows were there all along, both in need of restoration by architectural historians from GBCA Architects.

On opening night, June 14, 1894, about 100 stained glass windows were in place around TORONTO’s brand new concert hall. Twelve composer portraits were the most expensive, painted by hand in lead, enamel, glass and silver. They were all lined up on the main floor – the ‘12 apostles of music’.

The 100 windows comprised the largest collection of commercial art glass in Canada, not in a church.

Handel, Haydn, Beethoven and Bach were removed in the early 20th century to make room for emergency exits. Then Beethoven and Bach went AWOL in 1991. They turned up this year after an extensive search.

In July/2018 the Hall will close for two years after a week of concerts by GORDON LIGHTFOOT. The interior will be refurbished; stained glass windows re-installed; there’ll be a new building at the rear; expanded loading docks, two new performance spaces and a small museum.  The lower level bar, which features the photographic history of the building, will no doubt remain intact.

<RENDERING – the new Massey Hall, as it will look in September/2020>

TORONTO & SAN FRANCISCO ARE TOUGH NUTS TO CRACK WHEN IT COMES TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

<QUOTE – Christine Mountsteven/TORONTO>

Two downtowners, about 2500 miles (4,000 kilometres) apart, set out to find living space they could afford. Both succeeded – one of them 24-years ago, and the other in 2018. Each is thrilled to be living in the centre of it all.

Now 83, CHRISTINE MOUNTSTEVEN, former teacher and member of a co-op, landed a two-bedroom suite not far from the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1994. Her modest rent allows for a high quality of llfe thanks to pensions and subsidized housing. Discovering something like this today would be like finding a needle in the proverbial haystack. <PHOTO – Vince Talotta, Toronto Star>

An Affordable Housing Plan for Ontario has just been released. It’s a partnership between the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association & the Co-operative Housing Federation and makes these recommendations: the creation of 69,000 new affordable rental homes over 10 years; 30,000 units for those with addictions & mental health issues; financial support of $10,000 for each of the existing 260,000 social housing units over 10 years; and rent supplements or income support for 311,000 households.

PHOTO ABOVE by Kevin Van Paassen/Globe and Mail – TORONTO’s Regent Park (shown in 2005) is an example of what can be done. Total redevelopment has been happening there for about 10 years – mixing market-value with affordable social housing, and building a state-of-the-art aquatic centre, a high-tech playground, a running track, ice rink, theatre centre, soccer fields, a new community centre, outdoor art, a supermarket, bank, coffee shops and parkland.

The Regent Park Project has brought forth a new downtown community. Funded by the city, province and federal governments, redevelopment there continues.

ADRIAN CARATOWSA’s struggle to find his way through the labyrinth of SAN FRANCISCO’s 2018 lottery system – after years of trying, has come out a winner. He now has an apartment he loves, near the Financial District, in the thick of it, and says “To be able to look down on this chaos and not hear anything, and then to open the window . . . I love the sound. This is so downtown.”

Before managing to get his apartment, Mr. Caratowsa, 31. admitted he would walk the streets of the Financial District yearning to live there, “seeing people in suits, going to work, they’d have their coffee in hand – to me it was like being a little girl who wants to be a princess and she wears her mom’s high heels . . .

“That was me in the Financial District.”

What’s it like searching for affordable housing & entering the SAN FRANCISCO housing lottery? Find out by reading the New York Times’ in-depth article These 95 Apartments Promised Affordable Rent in SAN FRANCISCO. Then 6,580 People Applied.’ – and you’ll find out.

<PHOTO – “Affordable Housing Now!” demonstration in Parkdale, TORONTO; blogTO>

ICONIC ONE SPADINA CRESCENT, 143-YEARS-OLD, NOW HOUSES U. OF T.’S ASPIRING ARCHITECTS

<PHOTO ABOVE – One Spadina when it was KNOX COLLEGE from1875-1915>

Thanks to the University of TORONTO and the foresight of John H. Daniels, the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design has a sparkling new home. The old neo-Gothic building with its spires, peaks and turrets has been thoroughly renovated and connects to a new, award-winning northern wing.

<PHOTO One Spadina under construction, Jasonzed/urbantoronto.ca>

Designed by architect James Avon Smith, a specialist in religious buildings, the structure housed the Presbyterians’ Knox College from 1875 to 1915. During World War I it reopened as the Spadina Military Hospital for wounded soldiers. Amelia Earhart was among the nurses.

<PHOTOS ABOVE – Ross Winter, architect/photographer>

When the war ended, the building was converted into provincial government offices. Then came the first calls for straightening Spadina Avenue and a proposal for a circular arena complex. Next occupant in 1943 – Connaught Laboratories, producing penicillin and training scientists and lab technicians.

Escaping demolition for the never-completed Spadina Expressway, One Spadina’s tenants included the university’s fine arts and sociology departments, a student newspaper, an eye bank, a low-level radioactive waste storage facility, and the campus parking office.

<PHOTO ABOVE – the new northern wing, now part of One Spadina The building received an Architectural Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in New York (AIANY)>

<PHOTO – © John Horner, courtesy American Institute of Architects (AIA)>

One Spadina’s Eye Bank got the attention of Matt E., a former student “I’d heard rumours about the eye bank in there and it always gave me the creeps, mainly because I just imagined some dark little room with shelves covered in disembodied eyeballs.”

The old building was also the site of one unsolved murder, and an accidental Hallowe’en death when a young woman fell off the roof.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Ross Winter, architect/photographer>