Business Improvement at work in Chinatown West

CHINATOWNWEST1There’s a move afoot to clean up CHINATOWN WEST, in the Dundas/Spadina/Kensington Market neighbourhood.  These laneway murals are a hopeful sign of things to come.CHINATOWNWEST2CHINATOWNWEST3CHINATOWNWEST4

SPADINA AVE. – A MELTING POT, CHINATOWN WEST, WAREHOUSES, KENSINGTON MARKET

SPADINA is a schizo street if ever there was one.Once the centre of Jewish life in TORONTO, home of the (fast disappearing) Garment District, delis, tailors, bookstores, cinemas, Chinese markets and restaurants, the University of Toronto, upscale art galleries, excellent restaurants, old brick warehouses, Cinecycle, tattoo parlours, hat shops, Grossman’s Tavern, the El Mocambo, Kensington Market, the Underground Cinema, a backpacker’s hotel, outlet stores, fur stores, Rush Lane, bridal shops, a streetcar line, and booze cans – old SPADINA pretty well has it all.

The Theatre Museum and Herbert Whittaker Collection will soon have a home.

The unique Canadian Westinghouse Building, built in 1927, will be part of a new condo development on King Street West at John.   TORONTO’s Theatre Museum, wandering in the wilderness for decades, has been assured a large space in the project.  The core of the collection was donated by HERBERT WHITTAKER (1910-2006), Montreal-born designer, director, Member of the Order of Canada, and Drama Critic Emeritus for the Globe and Mail.  After retiring from his column in 1975, Mr. Whittaker continued writing for the Globe from London and New York.  He also sent dispatches from Russia, Greece, France, China and Australia.

Lawren Harris’s 1930-era deco house, FOREST HILL – OAA Award winner

PHOTO – Tom Arban Photography, http://www.oaa.on.ca  . . . . . The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) presents awards annually to outstanding architectural projects throughout the province.  Drew Mandel Architects’ restoration of LAWREN HARRIS’s deco home is among this year’s winners.  Mr. Harris was a member of the Group of Seven, and much of his work is displayed at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Collection in Kleinberg, and the National Gallery of Canada.

“REASON OVER PASSION” BY TORONTO ARTIST JOYCE WIELAND (1930-1998)

FROM A FRIEND – “Not sure about the sub-rating “Passion”, but let’s hope “REASON” prevails over bigotry and politically devious agendas.” In 1982, Ms. Wieland received The Order of Canada and in 1987, she was chosen for a Toronto Arts Foundation’s Visual Arts Award. She was also a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.