LOOKING BACK AT 1970’S, 80’S & 90’S. ARCHIVED PHOTOS OF ‘OLD TORONTO’ – INFO BELOW

#1 – Interior of the Air Canada Centre. #2 – Clarence Square, looking north, almost as it is today. #3 – View of Scadding House and Eaton’s Warehouse in Trinity Square, July 16, 1974. #4 – Interchange of the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway. #5 – Simcoe Street looking north to King and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. #6 – Aerial – Church Street at Richmond, looking south-east, 1993. <Photos – City of Toronto Archives>

THEO THE TUGBOAT, AFTER 21 YRS. IN HALIFAX, IS LIFTING ANCHORS & HEADING FOR HAMILTON

Blair McKeil has purchased Theodore, and will share the Maritimes with Ontario. Built in 2000 for a television series, the tug left Dayspring, Nova Scotia. and headed for Halifax and fame as a children’s TV star. Anyone who has visited the capital has no doubt seen Theo chugging up and down the Harbour and under the bridges. Former owner, Ambassadors Gray Line, received inquiries from Arizona and California, but the tug went to Mr. McKeil, who has Nova Scotia roots. His father and grandfather came from Pugwash and his maternal grandfather from Mabou, Cape Breton. HAMILTON’s children will soon be traveling onboard the one-and-only Theo Too. “We feel very fortunate to have Theodore,” said Mr. McKeil.

CANADA HAS BEEN JUDGED NUMBER ONE IN THE 2021 ‘BEST COUNTRIES REPORT’ – SOME MIGHT DISAGREE

 

We couldn’t have asked for much more. Canadians live in the globe’s best country all-in-all, overtaking Switzerland, which held onto the title from 2017. Presented by US News and World Report, the BAV Group, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, 79 nations and 76 credits, the 2021 ranking considered economics, military presence, education and overall quality of life. As well, they took into account how the countries were perceived.  Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia did well. The United States came in sixth place. Iraq made last place at #78. Canada ranked first in Quality of Life and Social Purpose, not corrupt and respects property rights; sixth place for Entrepreneurship, third for most business-friendly countries, and third in Agility.

THE VIRUS IS FIGHTING US, BUT ONTARIO IS A CHAMP WHEN IT COMES TO NEW EMPLOYMENT

Of course this could change at any time, but the latest in Canada’s national employment numbers have risen in seven-out-of-ten provinces. Ontario is at the top of the heap, climbing up by 182,000 jobs – an increase of 2.5%. Toronto city and area contributed 64,000 jobs out of the above numbers. Alberta saw an increase of 37,100 while Newfoundland and Labrador rose by 13,400 (6.5%).  Saturday’s Globe and Mail, April 10/2021

EVERY METROPOLIS HAS HIDDEN SECRETS – THE WHITNEY IS ONE OF TORONTO’S

I’ve admired it often, but had no idea it was empty and possibly haunted.  The Whitney Block and its tower are located within Queens Park, between Bay Street and the University of Toronto, close to Ontario’s Parliament. Util lately very few people knew the tower was abandoned some time in the 1960’s. It was designed by architect Francis Heakes who died in September 1930 before the building was completed. His ghost is said to haunt the tower. Since 1968 it hasn’t been inhabited. There is only one staircase, which makes it unsafe in the event of fire or any emergency evacuation. There is no mechanical ventilation system, meaning windows had to be opened to get fresh air. The limestone cladding came from Queenston; interior limestone from Shelburne; marble for the floors from Bancroft and granite from Coe Hill, all in Ontario, except for some marble imported from Indiana. A downtown work of art for sure, and it’s empty.

TORONTO TAKES A RELAXED APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO URBAN WILDLIFE – RACCOONS FOR INSTANCE

We have them all – coyotes, squirrels, rats, mice, chipmunks, skunks, foxes, groundhogs, muskrats, stray dogs, bats, beaver, possums, and #1 on the list – a lot of raccoons. In fact Toronto and Brooklyn, New York are the raccoon capitals of North America. They can pick latches, ride the subway now-and-then, invade attics in 10 minutes, browse back yards and gardens, climb trees, open the green food bins, establish themselves on rooftops and so on. They’re in charge and they know it. Toronto’s raccoons are fatter than ever. Temperatures have gone up and hibernation has become a non-starter for these cute, noisy, garbage-loving creatures of the night.  <Photo Above – a raccoon who lives at the Toronto Zoo.>

TORONTO’S EDWARD BURTYNSKY SHOWS US EARTH’S INDUSTRIALIZATION & EXTRACTION ON A GRAND SCALE

ANTHROPOCENE is a collaboration among award-winning photographer Edward Burtynsky & filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. <IMAGE ABOVE – Kevin Walsh/Earth Magazine.org>  The images make it clear what humankind has been up to for decades. They’re a wakeup call to the destruction caused by our species’ dominance, thus far anyway.<COAL MINE #1, North Rhine, Westphalia, GERMANY, 2015, © Edward Burtynsky, Flowers Gallery, London/Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto>. “I have always been concerned with showing how we affect the Earth in a big way. To this end, I seek out and photograph large-scale systems that leave lasting marks.” – from ‘Life in the Anthropocene’ by Edward Burtynsky.<Elephant Tusk Burn, Nairobi National Park, Kenya, film still, Anthropocene Films Inc. © 2018>. “How to convey, despite our brevity as a species, the magnitude of our impact? Anthropocene in a scientific and geological sense means that we are now everywhere, all the time, and even in the rocks—those dense, mysterious receptacles of the planet’s history.” – from ‘Our Embedded Signal’ by Jennifer Baichwal.<Dandora Landfill #3, Plastics Recycling, Nairobi, Kenya 2016. © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto>. “It’s hard not to marvel at the engineering ingenuity of the massive industrial sites we filmed, and equally hard to ignore the devastation they represent.” – from the essay ‘Evidence’ by Nicholas de Pencier.<Uralkali Potash Mine #2, Berezniki, RUSSIA, 2017, © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London/ Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto><Carrara Marble Quarries, Cava di Canalgrande #2, Carrara, Italy, 2016. Mural, © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy of the artist and Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto >The Art Gallery of Ontario-produced catalogue, Anthropocene, may still be available at shopAGO for $29.95; along with the 224-page Anthropocene art book published by Steidl.

OH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL – FAMOUS PLAYERS’ IMPERIAL CINEMA ON YONGE ST., CA1960’S

The Imperial could seat about 3,000 movie-goers, and then it was sub-divided.  In the 1960’s while a Ryerson student, I had the privilege of a job there in uniform – which meant a lot of standing and holding a flashlight.  After a while I moved on to Loew’s, a block or so south.  Same job, similar uniform.  There I watched ‘Gypsy’ 27 times, ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’, ‘Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte’, the Doris Day movies with Rock Hudson, and several other musicals and dramas over and over again.  That’s the life of an usher.