A TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL “COME FROM AWAY” TELLS THE STORY OF 38 PLANES GROUNDED IN GANDER, NEWFOUNDLAND AFTER SEPT. TERRORIST ATTACKS.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the townsfolk of GANDER including Claude the mayor, Oz the police constable, Beulah the teacher, Bonnie the SPCA worker and others who described life in Newfoundland and how they’ve learned about terrorism in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. “Come From Away” has been playing on Broadway since 2017, and is now set to return to Toronto in 2024 following a run at The National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital. This version of the Canadian miracle musical played in London’s West End, and with touring companies in Australia, New Zealand and North America. When the home-bound passengers and crew few away, they joyously exchange stories of the immense kindness that was shown to them by Newfoundland strangers in this time of need.  <Images below – 1) ‘How ‘Come From Away’ came back – from The Toronto Star . . . and the second fine photograph is a vast Broadway crowd planning to see Tony Award Winner “Come From Away”It’s really going to be a big night out in New York.>

ON APRIL 21ST, 2022 TORONTO WELCOMED THE WORLD TO CELEBRATE “THE URBAN PAVILION IN REGENT PARK”

From Mitchell Cohen, President and CEO, The Daniels Corporation. Mr. Cohen wrote “It was a landmark moment in the history of our city, celebrating the spirit of community at the heart of the Regent Park revitalization. It was also a day to honour the late Councillor, Pam McConnell, who envisioned and nurtured the revitalization, and residents of the community – and took action to bring their dreams to life. The new Pavilion will be a place to learn with and from city-builders around the world. Private-sector partners brought enormous resources and expertise to the table. Post-secondary institutions have demonstrated the impact of being “on the ground.” The City of Toronto has embraced a public/private partnership model, enabling innovation and creativity across all sectors.   <To learn more about The Pavilion visit worldurbanpavilion.org.>

CINEPLEX IS LOSING CASH DESPITE SOARING REVENUE, MEANING THE CINEMA BUSINESS IS ON ITS WAY.

From The Canadian Press —- CINEXPLEX INC. reported a first-quarter loss of $42-2 million, as its revenue soared up with customers returning to movie theatres. CEO Ellis Jacob put it this way: “Operating restrictions have now been completely lifted across theatres. And customers are returning. They’re seeing positive results and momentum across business lines. Revenue totaled $228-7 million, up from $41-4 million in the first three months of 2021.I’d say that’s an amazing improvement!

TORONTO’S RESTAURANT INDUSTRY WILL SOON BE WELCOMING MICHELIN’S DINING GUIDE TO CANADA

We’ve waited a long time for Michelin, the French company, known for its famous Three-Star rankings. Dining out in Toronto will soon be joining up with the Michelin guide books in 30 countries around the world. It’s the first time for Canada. The travel guides were created in 1899 by the French tire company and cleverly planned to promote more demand for cars. According to admired chefs a One-Star rating is a high honour.  Around the world, just 136 restaurants hold elusive Three-Star ratings. They’re not easy to come by.
According to Ann Hui, National Food Reporter for The Globe and Mail wrote “Federal Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault and Toronto’s Mayor John Tory, will be among many others expected at Tuesday’s announcement, the sources said.”

“Ross and I decided to hit the road & enjoy another of Ontario’s colourful cities.”

MISSISSAUGA’s population is about 722,000 and TORONTO numbers about 6,300,000. They both offer a lot. The challenge is finding a way to get into Mississauga. By our mistake we by-passed a highway entrance and found ourselves in an expensive-looking suburb of beautiful houses with plenty of trees. We drove forever it seemed. The Marilyn Monroe towers popped up on the horizon. We managed to find underground parking, and then met a young man in a tourism booth. He highlighted several places worth seeing. We began by walking through Mississauga City Hall and its surroundings. This was well worth exploring. We stopped and admired a painting of Hazel McCallion , former Mayor of Mississauga, who was elected in 1978, retired in 2014 after putting in 36 years with her rapidly growing city. Ross and I realized the City Centre was filled with skyscrapers. Some were plain, but several were spectacular. We spent more time walking around, enjoying a muffin, taking in the urban scene of Ontario’s third largest city. Neither of us found it boring, even when some of the shops were closed because of the pandemic. MISSISSAUGA has a mind of its own. It has a fine downtown  with shops, restaurants, higher education institutions and malls, lakes, and all kinds of people – 23% of residents are of non-European descent; 8% Chinese; 7% Black; 5% Arab; 5% Filipino; as well as Latin Americans, Koreans and Southeast Asians. Mississauga Transit buses serve within Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, and Hamilton areas. GO Trains provide service between Toronto’s Union Station and the eastern suburbs. It offers three main lines: the Kitchener line, Lakeshore West line, and the Barrie line. So public transit is available in many locations. Even Car Shares are easily available for getting home late at night when public transit arrives less frequently. All in all Ontario’s MISSISSAUGA is one great city.

TORONTO’S ANNUAL FORSYTHIA FESTIVAL WILL ARRIVE ON SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2021.

That giant-sized Forsythia above has become a gorgeous photograph. Thanks to George Pyron and Jo Lamberton for sending it to ‘toronto savvy’. I asked for the picture and they allowed me, saying “go ahead and help yourself.”
WILLIAM FORSYTH (1737– July 25 1804), was a Scottish Botanist. He was a Royal Head Gardener and a founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society – a genius of flowering plants. Forsythias are named in his honour. – <Photo of William Forsyth is from Wikipedia>

THE 2021 ROYAL AGRICULTURAL WINTER FAIR WON’T TAKE PLACE IN PERSON THIS YEAR. IT WILL IN 2022.

The 2021 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will not take place in person this year. Instead the organization is looking forward to welcoming guests to its 100th anniversary celebration in 2022. The Royal’s Board of Directors made the decision to cancel the 2021 in favour of returning to an education focused online experience this year — in NOVEMBER 2022, The Royal will mark its 100th Anniversary then. Plans are to make it bigger and stronger than ever, and looking forward to celebrating with one-and-all. “As uncertainty surrounds COVID-19 it became clear we weren’t going to be able to host The Royal in its traditional way,” stated Charlie Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer at The Royal. But don’t forget NOVEMBER 2022!

AFTER SOLID TRAINING A YOUNG LAD MIGHT WELL BECOME AN AIRLINE PILOT. I KNOW ONE WHO DID.

How lucky I’ve been to have such a long-time, best friend, JAN ANDREA. We’ve known each other for decades and still regularly communicate. Jan told me “I was seven at the time the above photo was taken – we were living in Curaçao.”  We became good friends, and much later he set off working as a KLM Airline Pilot based in Amsterdam, flying internationally. Jan had never flown to Toronto, but when he came over here for the first time I gave him a detailed tour and after that we began more-than-once connecting to Amsterdam, and he took a liking to Toronto and then Montreal, back and forth. I got to know the Dutch quite well and Jan’s partner, HenkVos, who found his English improving all along the way.  Jan was already quite fluent in EnglishRoss and I took both of them on a tour around Nova Scotia and Halifax, over to Prince Edward Island, and then later we managed to explore the Netherlands. Just for fun a highlight for me was Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Holland.  Fire works were everywhere. I asked Jan if I could use his photograph. He said “Of course you can. All going well over there?”, And I said “Thanks again for the photo! We’ll talk one way or another real soon.”