Royal Ontario Museum & Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, Bloor West @ Avenue Road

The Royal Ontario Museum and Michael Lee-Chin Crystal are major TORONTO attractions.  The Museum is one of Canada’s oldest and largest.  Noted for its archeological research, dinosaur and Asian art collections, the ROM is located in the heart of the Bloor Street shopping district, near Philosopher’s Walk, the Koerner Concert Hall, several upscale hotels, the Hyatt rooftop bar, and the University of Toronto campus.The attached “crystal”, designed by architect DANIEL LIBESKIND, has been a local controversy from the get-go.  Some people like it, others hate it.  But you can’t miss it.  An unbelievable amount of structural steel went into this building.  Subway stop – MUSEUM

DAN BAZUIN’s “Traffic Jam” – making art on computer paper.

dan1Fifteen years ago, TORONTO artist Dan Bazuin took a stack of perforated computer paper and turned it into a cartoon highway measuring nearly a kilometre in length. Over the years, professional and accidental artists have added to this zany freeway, where anything goes as long as it’s on wheels. You can add your creation to this ongoing art project.  No art skills required – just your imagination.  Dan Bazuin: http://www.danbazuin.com

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St. James Anglican Cathedral, King Street East at Church Street

STJAMES3TORONTO is a city of churches of every description.  Most are smallish.  The gargantuan sanctuaries have been left to the Quebecois and Nova Scotians.  But we do have a few large ones.  St. James’ is the Cathedral Church of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, and the location of the bishop’s seat.  There are 272 churches in the diocese – 100 of them within the city of TORONTO.STJAMES3

The Cathedral is open for visitors weekdays and Sundays from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm; Saturdays from 9 am – 5 pm.
Subway stop – KING, and walk east one block

Artist and sculptor, ZHANG HUAN, brings Shanghai ‘bling’ to TORONTO

International art star, ZHANG HUAN, has brought some stainless steel pizzazz to staid University Avenue, north of Adelaide Street.  His $5 million sculpture, ‘Rising’, was unveiled recently, as part of Shangri-La Toronto‘s commitment to improving our city’s artscape. The sculpture, now behind a protective fence, will eventually sit in a large reflecting pool.  Stainless steel birds flutter in and around several root-like arches.  More birds will be added in the near future.  The flashy design is raising eyebrows amongst downtown pedestrians and motorists.

TORONTO TREASURE – Evergreen Brickworks, 550 Bayview Avenue

Spend a day in this unique environmental Green Cities Centre, in the heart of the Don Valley.  This is where we made the bricks to build TORONTO.  A national charity, the Evergreen Brickworks are constantly changing.  Bike clinics, murals and art galleries, movies, hiking trails, a quarry garden, wildlife, a farmer’s market, industrial architecture, music, programming for children – and the original kilns and brick-making apparati.  http://www.evergreen.caHiking boots memorial to A. P. Coleman (1852-1939), Quebec-born geologist, educator, scientist, prospector, canoeist, explorer, artist and lecturer.  “Geology was at once his vocation, his avocation and his recreation.”GETTING THERE:  shuttle bus, 7 days a week, every half hour, from BROADVIEW subway station;  TTC’s 28A Davisville bus offers half-hourly service on Saturdays from 7:30am–6pm and Sundays from 8am–6pm.  http://ebw.evergreen.ca/visit/getting-here

EDWIN ALONZO BOYD – local folk hero, bank robber, now on the silver screen

<Scott Speedman in Edwin Alonzo Boyd: Citizen Gangster>  EDWIN ALONZO BOYD, former Toronto Transit Commission bus driver, would-be actor, bank robber, and Don Jail escapee (twice), has finally made it in the movies.  “Edwin Alonzo Boyd: Citizen Gangster” became a folk hero in TORONTO back in the 1950’s.  He and his gang were all over the radio and front pages.  After World War II, Boyd was hired by the TTC as a bus driver, wanted to enrol in the Lorne Greene School of Acting, and – to make the $45 tuition – started robbing banks.  He escaped twice from the old Don Jail.<The real Edwin Alonzo Boyd, 1914-2002, jailed in 1952 for 8 life sentences; his two cohorts – Lennie Jackson and Willie Jackson – were both executed>