TORONTO teens launch LEGOMAN into space; news at eleven . . .

Michael Ho and Asad Muhammed, two Grade 12 students, have successfully launched a Legoman 24 kilometres into space, and recorded the entire event on crystal-clear video.  University of Toronto astrophysics professor, Dr. Michael Reid: “This shows a tremendous degree of resourcefulness.  For two 17-year-olds to accomplish this on their own is pretty impressive.”

‘TORONTO – a great city run by villagers’ – MacLean’s Magazine, March/1971

seventies1seventies2 Excerpts from a 1971 MacLeans article, by Douglas Marshall:
—- “It seems only yesterday that TORONTO was just another leafy provincial capital – hardly more than a village, really – full of a lot of dull Protestants preoccupied with money.  Only the people who loved the city, and they were few, realized that what TORONTO lacked in public greatness it made up for in private joys.”

—- “In TORONTO each year about 50 major new buildings go up in the downtown core; some 23,500 apartment units and 8,300 homes are completed . . . and $20 million is spent improving the efficiency of what is already Canada’s finest and longest (4,284 miles) sewer system.”

—- “Expansion has left it facing crises in transportation, in urban renewal, in the fundamental decision-making machinery of municipal government.”

—- “You might say that TORONTO qualifies as a great citiy . . . partly because the street-corner newspaper boxes are beginning to be protected by coin-operated locking devices.”

—- “TORONTO may be big.  It may even be great.  But it is fast losing its private joys.”

—-  “City Hall is at the heart of the problem.  TORONTO continues to be run mainly by men who still think of it as a village – only grown larger.”

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Rapper ABDOMINAL’s heartfelt ode to our city . . . “T.Ode”

ABDOMINAL (aka Andy Bernstein), award-winning songwriter and hip-hop artist, has recorded “T.Ode”, a heartfelt salute to the Big Smoke.  Backed by the Obliques, the song truly captures the spirit of our city. Tourism Toronto should hire this guy.  He knows how to sell T.O. – to make it real!

“T.ODE”
Whether you call it Toronto, the T.Dot or T.O.,
Screwface capital like Theo,
The Big Smoke, Hogtown or Megacity,
It’s where I’m from, frankly couldn’t pick a better city
To call home, from the 401 to Skydome,
Scarborough over West to Etobicoke,
And all the parts lying in between,
I’m from Toronto, Abs lemme paint the scene.

Spent my childhood in Greektown, but now a westend denizen.
Buying cocoa bread and patties in Kensington,
Then pedaling Westbound to Lansdowne.
Shut off the headphones to allow familiar sounds
To enter my eardrums, hearing the hum and ding
Of the 506, old men grumbling
In Italian and Portuguese,
Over coffees at corner cafes.
Change the sensory focus to olfactory,
Factories pumping chocolate into the air, there’s Cadbury
And Nestle, in a two klick radius,
Making the air seem like something out of the craziest
Dream of Roald Dahl.

Sun lower now, paints me with a golden brow,
Tightly holding down my Dufferin Mall Kangol knockoff,
To block off the rays.
Change lanes, turn left at the No Frills.
Perched at the mouth of Parkdale, only the hill
Separates me from home and a hot shower.

But I stop to watch the Tower
For a few seconds, standing majestically,
Until a car horn snaps me from my reverie.
Push off the curb to my pad below.
So glad that I live in T.O.

Main Street, where I’m from, where I live,
Where I sung, where I spit, where I hung as a kid.
And if you wan go, it’s just west of Scarborough.
The home of bomb dro, lost souls, and lawn gnomes.
The east end, I gots to call home,
And all the spots I long for all across Toronto.

I’m down at Queen West just to take in graffiti
And to the Danforth for my favourite tzatziki.
Live from the centre of the universe,
I’m from Toronto, c’mon man do your worst.
Young disc jockeys play wrist hockey,
Train on the tabletop, making the tables talk.

I buy my records at Rotate This
And Play De, that’s where you can locate this.
And if I need a flick I go to Queen Vid
Or Suspect.  Hey yo Rosh, what’s next?
Let’s take ‘em to the comic book store,
I go to Comics and More
At Greenwood make a cross at Danforth.

And if you down for it, I’ll show you how the city does,
All the way from Chinatown to Little India,
From the Beaches to Roncesvalles,
Park, to the Rex, to River, to Rosedale.

Really, you should come to our town,
Before the Leafs win the Cup and we tear the place down.

TORONTO etched in silver and gold . . . from the Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint has issued a limited-edition collector’s coin, featuring a map and skyline of Toronto etched on silver featuring gold leaf accents. The coins were laser-cut and produced in Switzerland, with a non-circulation denomination of $25. Only 7,500 were produced and they retail for $180.