At the foot of Leslie Street, a 5 kilometre-long peninsula juts out into Lake Ontario.  Weekends, year round, the Leslie Street Spit (Tommy Thompson Park) is open to bikers, hikers, picnickers, birdwatchers, wildflower afficionados – anyone wanting to spend quality time with Mother Nature.  No dogs are allowed because there’s so much animal, bird and plant life on the Spit – over 400 plant species, 300 bird species, reptiles, butterflies, foxes, otters, coyotes and beaver.  Trails are paved and well maintained, and there are several off-trail areas as well.


China is Canada’s second largest trading partner, after the United States. But there is rising skepticism with Beijing, whose trustworthiness has been called into question. Why? Because of its repeated use of retaliatory trade measures in political disputes. Canada’s free-trade agreement with China has been shelved, and “it’s no longer worth pursuing”, said Foreign Affairs Minister Francois Philippe Champagne.Canada’s less-friendly posture toward Beijing is now in line with the United States, Australia and parts of the European Union. – Globe and Mail, September 18, 2020; <PHOTO – Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU – C’EST LA VIE>


Between Toronto’s Bridgepoint Hospital and the Don Valley Parkway, you’ll find a large sculpture garden containing 20 works by the deceased Canadian artist WILLIAM LISHMAN. The life-sized sculptures aim to celebrate the human spirit, and they were gifted by the Tauba and Solomon Spiro Foundation.<PHOTO – George Pyron>Residents of the Hospital have a pathway below the sculptures. There are plenty of benches and a forest of trees separating the walking path from the expressway – which can get quite noisy. To get there, cross the Gerrard Street Bridge and turn left on the west side of the Hospital. Straight ahead the Garden will come into view. <PHOTO – Flickr><PHOTO – Diane Walton><PHOTO – George Pyron><PHOTO – FlickRriver><PHOTO –><ABOVE – Bridgepoint Hospital>


1. Ask the repairman or technician before arrival if they’ll be wearing a face mask. Don’t assume this.
2. Ask in advance if they will keep their distance.
3. Ask if they’ve been screened for COVID-19 symptoms or been exposed to the virus.
4. Keep your distance when they’re working, and refrain from engaging in conversation.
5. Avoid hand shakes, wear a mask as long as the repairman is there; give them space to work.
6. Before the technician or repairman arrives, disinfect the work area.
7. Before arrival, disinfect areas they may touch – door knobs, bathrooms, and sink faucets.
8. Repeat #7 once the technician or repairman has left.“Life happens, even during a pandemic. The washing machine breaks, the sink leaks, the stove goes cold. For months, you’ve been limiting house guests. But this is different: You need a service technician. Having someone breach your safe space is not without risk, so it needs to be done carefully. Something else you can do: Open doors and windows. The fresh air may dilute any virus that might have hitched a ride with the service tech. Running a central A/C may also help. Herb Weisbaum, The Washington Post.>


Chicago mobster Al Capone made himself at home in TORONTO’s Winchester Hotel.Billie Holiday sang from the stage.  Hooks in the ceiling supported a trapeze used in burlesque acts, and some of the biggest entertainers of the 1920’s and 30’s played for the locals.  While MONTREAL was entertaining gangsters in its nightclubs and bars, staid TORONTO was busy making rye whisky at the huge Gooderham and Worts distillery on lower Parliament Street.  It was a natural fit for Al Capone and the mob.  Buy the booze in Ontario, transport it to Windsor, then through the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, or on an intercity ferryboat, and onward to thirsty Americans.  At its peak, in 1928, Windsor-Detroit had anywhere from 16,000 to 25,000 speakeasies, blind pigs, clubs and joints.  The patrons were drinking booze made 250 miles east in conservative, church-going, teatotaling TORONTO.  The waterways separating Windsor and Detroit saw a huge part (one estimate: 75%) of the alcohol consumed in the United States during Prohibition.<ABOVE – customs officers at work during Prohibition><ABOVE – Al Capone’s hangout – the Winchester Hotel bar in Cabbagetown>


TORONTO has had its share of natural disasters – The Great Toronto Fire of 1906, and a couple of blizzards each and every year . . . . Serious floods as recently as 2013 and 2018;High winds on a regular basis.On the evening of October 15, 1954, HURRICANE HAZEL attacked TORONTO with winds reaching 124 kilometres an hour, and 200 millimetres (8 inches) of rain falling every 48 hours onto already saturated ground. <AERIAL PHOTO – Canadian Press>For this city, the eventual death toll was staggering –81 people died, 1,868 were left homeless, houses built on floodplains were demolished, 50 bridges damaged, and roads washed out.<PHOTO ABOVE – Pottery Road in the Don Valley, Star Weekly><PHOTO ABOVE – Rescue attempts during the storm’s aftermath – Toronto Telegram>The arrival of HAZEL was a surprise. TORONTO had no prior hurricane experience. Due to the destruction in Canada, the United States and Haiti, the name ‘Hazel’ was retired, and never used again for an Atlantic hurricane.As a result, all developments were banned on floodplains. Parks took the place of low-lying houses. Four conservation authorities formed the TORONTO & Region Conservation Authority to oversee watershed management and sustainability practices. Two large dams were built to control flooding, and all of this has shown its value to this very day.


LARGE THEATRES – *Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street,
*Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front Street East,
*CAA (formerly Panasonic) Theatre, 651 Yonge St.,
*Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street,
*Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W.,
*Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (Opera House), 145 Queen St. W.,
*Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W.,
*Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W.,
*Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E.,
*Streetcar Crow’s Theatre, 345 Carlaw Av.,
*St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E.,
*Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St.,
*Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge Street,
*Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District,
*Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front Street East, THEATRES
*Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street,
*Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor Street West,
*Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.,
*Cahoots Theatre Company, staging diversity, 388 Queen St. E.,
*Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth Av.,
*Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street,
*Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto,
*Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Ave.,
*MacMillan Theatre, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto,
*National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen Street West,
*Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen St. E.,
*Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton, Ontario,
*Second City, sketch comedy theatre that’s launched many careers, 51 Mercer Street,
*Shaw Festival Theatres, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario,
*Stratford Festival Theatres, Stratford, Ontario,
*Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor Street West, pushes creative boundaries, an original,
*Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave.,
*Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W.,
*Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue,
*Toronto Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester St., Cabbagetown,
*Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club, 224 Richmond St. West, HALLS
*Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Av.,
*George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge Street,
*Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W.,
*Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West,
*Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W.,
*Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West,
*Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street,
*Opera House, 735 Queen St. East,
*Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street,
*Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W., http://www.trinitystpauls.caCENTRAL CITY CINEMAS
*Carlton, 9 screens, fully licensed, $5 Tuesdays, 20 Carlton Street,
*Grand Gerrard Theatre, 1035 Gerrard St. East, independent, film screenings, live music, comedy, performance art, one of Toronto’s oldest cinemas,
*Hot Docs Ted Rogers, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West,
*Market Square, 80 Front Street East, several screens,
*Mount Pleasant, 675 Mount Pleasant Road, big screen, 2nd run features, some European films, etc.,
*Ontario Science Centre Omnimax,770 Don Mills Road,
*Paradise Cinema, 1006 Bloor Street West, newly restored, independent, an outstanding schedule of films old and new,
*Regent, 551 Mount Pleasant Road, 2nd run features, big screen,
*Revue, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, neighbourhood cinema, second-run, documentary & foreign features,
*Royal, documentaries, festivals, foreign, second-run features, 608 College Street,
*Scotiabank Toronto Imax (Cineplex), 259 Richmond Street West, multiplex & IMAX, 14 screens,
*TIFF Bell Lightbox, 5 screens, movies that don’t play in the multiplex, for times and schedule go to
*Varsity Cinemas (Cineplex), Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West, 12 screens,
*Yonge-Dundas Cinemas (Cineplex), multiplex & IMAX, 26 screens, 10 Dundas Street East,
******Complete movie times, Toronto cinemas, reviews, from NOW Magazine, a handy address – IN & AROUND TORONTO
*Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive,
*Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King St. West, Hamilton,
*Art Gallery of Mississauga,
*Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West,
*Bata Shoe Museum, only two in the world, 327 Bloor St. West,
*Black Creek Pioneer Village, heritage museum, partly outdoors, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway,
*Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto’s castle,
*Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Boulevard,
*Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, 111 Queen’s Park,
*Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street,
*Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle,
*Mackenzie House Museum, 82 Bond Street, interprets Victorian life of the 1860’s, 416-302-6915
*McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg,
*Metropolitan Toronto Police Museum & Discovery Centre, 40 College St.,
*MZTV Museum of Television, 64 Jefferson Ave., Liberty Village,
*Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road,
*Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, free,
*Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Museum & Archives,
*Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park,
*Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), 33 Gould Street, large photography gallery, free admission,
*Spadina House Museum and gardens, 235 Spadina Rd., 416-392-6910,
*Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Street,
*Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 216 Main Street, Markham, http://www.varleygallery.caCITY CENTRE ART GALLERIES
*A Space, established contemporary, 401 Richmond St. West,
*Barbara Edwards Contemporary, 1069 Bathurst Street,
*Bay of Spirits, 156 Front St. West, First Nations art,
*Canadian Sculpture Centre, 500 Church Street,
*Christopher Cutts, 21 Morrow Avenue,
*Clint Roenisch, 190 St. Helens Avenue, contemporary, avant-garde,
*Corkin Gallery, 7 Tank House Lane, Distillery District,
*Daniel Faria, contemporary, converted warehouse, 188 St. Helens Avenue,
*Diaz Contemporary, 100 Niagara Street,
*Koffler Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street,
*Mercer Union, contemporary art, 1286 Bloor St. West,
*Mira Godard, 22 Hazelton Avenue, long-established, Canadian & international artists,
*Olga Korper, 17 Morrow Avenue, long-established,
*Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, 30 Abell Street, founded in 1996,
*Sandra Ainsley, 100 Sunrise Avenue #150, leading dealer in contemporary glass,
*Stephen Bulger, 1356 Dundas St. West, long-established photography gallery,
*Thompson Landry Gallery, 32 Distillery Lane, Distillery District, specializes in Quebec art, both contemporary & the masters, http://www.thompsonlandry.comLGBTQ COMMUNITY INFO
*(ArQuives), formerly the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, 2nd largest in the world, 34 Isabella Street,
*Legit, 2nd Thursday monthly, immigration legal counsel, 519 Centre, 519 Church Street,
*Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue, just above Gerrard St. East,
*Out and Out, LGBTQ outdoors club,
*Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory,
*ProudFM 103.9, Toronto’s LGBTQ radio station,
*Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps individuals in countries where being LGBTQ invites violence, imprisonment or even death,
*Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps,
*Xtra magazine, gay news from Toronto, Vancouver & Ottawa,<The Wall Street Journal – Midday San Francisco wild fires casting an erie hue over California’s West Coast. The city was coated in a thick haze, so thick that drivers had to turn their headlights on. ><COVID CURE RACE, What could possibly go wrong?, editorial cartoon by GRAEME MACKAY, The Spectator, Hamilton, September 10, 2020>