Vintage (1896-1909) mugshots – Ontario Provincial Police Museum, ORILLIA

“Arresting Images” is an award-winning Ontario Provincial Police exhibition of early mugshots.  They were shown at York University in December/2011, and are permanently housed in the OPP Museum Archive, ORILLIA, Ontario.  A surprising number were taken in the Niagara area, along the American border.

17 concerts in 16 cities – that’s our annual “Salute to Vienna”

It began in TORONTO 16 years ago.  SALUTE TO VIENNA, a recreation of Vienna’s world famous annual ‘Neujahrskonzert’, has spread continent-wide to cities in both Canada and the United States.  The 2011/2012 SALUTE TO VIENNA will play in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Florida, San Diego, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City – and of course, TORONTO.  17 concerts in 16 cities, all happening within a span of four days around New Year’s.  Attila Glatz Concert Productions hopes to expand soon to Australia, South America and possibly, Asia . . . . .

Bowmanville’s Michelle DuBarry (aka Russel Alldread) hits the big 8-0!

TORONTO royalty, MICHELLE DuBARRY, ‘diamond-wearing female impersonator extraordinaire’, is now officially a senior-senior.  “Since the 1950’s he has performed in countless bars and fundraisers, toured with the Great Imposters, and ruled the roost at the Imperial Court of TORONTO.”  (IN Magazine)  Long may she reign!  <PHOTO – David Hawe>

Frances Loring & Florence Wyle – ‘Montparnasse’ on Glenrose Avenue

<PHOTO ABOVE – Frances Loring (1887-1968) and Florence Wyle (1881-1968), by Robert Flaherty, 1914>  . . .  . . Nicknamed “The Girls” – Frances Loring and Florence Wyle lived, worked and entertained in a converted wooden schoolhouse at 110 Glenrose Avenue, MOORE PARK. They became two of Canada’s best-known sculptors.  Their works can be found in the National Gallery of Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, Toronto General Hospital, in towns and cities across the country, on Toronto streets and in its parks.  Their studio building, which still exists today, was the site of frequent salons and gatherings for friends, supporters, art students, and established artists, including A. Y. Jackson and Arthur Lismer.  American-born, both died within three weeks of each other.  A parkette, established in 1984, is dedicated to the art and memory of these two famous women.  It’s a block north of their studio, at the corner of St. Clair Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Road.  “The Girls” were founding members of the Sculptors’ Society of Canada, 1928.


A new book by Arlene Chan – ‘The Chinese in Toronto From 1878’

Chinese labourers began arriving in TORONTO once the Canadian Pacific Railway to the west coast had been constructed.  They didn’t feel welcome in British Columbia, and so – around 1885 – headed east to Ontario looking for employment.  In 1894 TORONTO’s Chinese population numbered 50.  Today there are about 550,000 Chinese people in the GTA, and there are 7 Chinatowns of various sizes serving our second-largest visible minority.  Across North America, many Chinatowns are in decline, but in TORONTO they’re flourishing.  Arlene Chan’s new book – The Chinese in Toronto From 1878: from outside to inside the circle’ – traces the history of our Chinese neighbourhoods from first arrivals to the present day.  The Chinese community is very much inside the circle these days.

Here’s to “The Maple Leaf Forever” & the veterans who made it so

Canada’s first unofficial national anthem – “The Maple Leaf Forever” – was penned by Alexander Muir (1830-1906), principal of Leslieville Public School.  Legend has it that he was inspired by a stately maple tree at the corner of Memory Lane and Laing Street in the Leslieville neighbourhood. “The Maple Leaf Forever” is the official regimental march of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, and the Royal Westminister Regiment.  The Maple Leaf Forever Park (PHOTO BELOW) is in LESLIEVILLE.“THE MAPLE LEAF FOREVER”
In days of yore, from Britain’s shore,
Wolfe, the dauntless hero, came
And planted firm Britannia’s flag
On Canada’s fair domain.
Here may it wave, our boast our pride
And, joined in love together,
The thistle, shamrock, rose entwine
The Maple Leaf forever!Chorus:
The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear,
The Maple Leaf forever!
God save our Queen and Heaven bless
The Maple Leaf forever!<PHOTO ABOVE – Maple Leaf Forever Park, Leslieville>  Unfortunately, the official Maple Leaf Forever tree is no more.  It crashed down in a windstorm on Friday night, July 19/2013.