The Hotel Waverly opened in 1900, making it an elder among downtown TORONTO hotels in continuous operation. Adjacent to the Scott Mission and the Silver Dollar Room, the Waverly provides low rent accomodation in Spadina Avenue’s Chinatown. There’s evidence that James Earl Ray stayed at the Waverly while hiding out in TORONTO after shooting Martin Luther King, Jr. It was also the longtime home of poet Milton Acorn, several of whose works depicts life in the neighbourhood. In popular culture the hotel was the opening scene of the Elmore Leonard novel Killshot and was also featured in the film version.
<Hotel Waverly, 484 Spadina Avenue, photo – SimonP/wikipedia> The Silver Dollar Room at 486 Spadina, began as the Waverly’s cocktail lounge 50 years ago, and is now one of TORONTO’s top blues, punk, soul, bluegrass, indie, garage, folk venues. The Foggy Hogtown Boys, Downchild Blues Band and Blind Boys of Alabama are just three of the multitude of performers who’ve graced the Silver Dollar stage. Bluegrass guitarist, Chris Coole: “I know it sounds cliché, but the Silver Dollar has got a lot of history. I love to play in an old bar that has a lot of atmosphere in it, that hasn’t been built in the last five years. At the Silver Dollar, the feeling is really there.”
ANDY BYFORD, a graduate of London’s Underground, and now CEO of the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) wants to prioritize the building of a Downtown Subway Relief Line (DRL). From Pape to Union Station, with 5 stops along the way, it might look something like this:
Our subway system is overloaded, and ANDY BYFORD believes the time has come to stop talking and start doing. “We’re just holding back the tide, we really do need to start thinking about relief for (the Yonge Line), to provide additional capacity to get people from the suburbs downtown,” he told CBC radio. “The way to do that is to get people off the Bloor-Danforth line earlier, so that they don’t interchange onto the Yonge line.”And before suburbia starts kvetching about building another downtown subway at their expense, BYFORD adds: “At the end of the day, this isn’t a private shuttle for people living around Queen and King (in the core). This is a line to get people from the suburbs, primarily, into the prime traffic objective — in other words, where people want to go — which is the commercial and financial centre of downtown Toronto. Let’s get that debate going. Obviously funding is an issue, but let’s at least start the talking.”
The Eclipse Building still stands, but may soon disappear if the Frank Gehry/David Mirvish redevelopment plans bear fruit.
CHRISTOPHER MOLONEY <@moloknee>, has revisited movie locations in TORONTO and NEW YORK, superimposed images from feature films, and created some original art. You can see his work and learn more about Christopher at http://www.philmfotos.tumblr.com . . . . . PHOTOS BELOW – 1) Victoria Street, “Last Night”, 1998; 2) Silver Dollar Saloon, Spadina Avenue, “Adventures in Babysitting”, 1987; 3) Cabbagetown gingerbread, “Scott Pilgrim vs The World”, 2010; 4) Yonge Street, “The Incredible Hulk”. 2008.
<“Toronto: Boom Town”, National Film Board of Canada documentary, 1951>
A 10,000 square foot Louis Vuitton Maison, the retailer’s highest-tier store format, recently opened at 150 Bloor Street West. Amongst other things, it offers “a haute maroquinerie service offering bespoke handbags”. TORONTO is one of only seven cities offering haute maroquinerie – the others being NYC, Paris, Milan, Shanghai, Taipei and Sydney.
BLOOR STREET is the most expensive place to do business in Canada. According to Colliers International, a major real estate consultant group, TORONTO tops the cost-per-square-foot list for luxury shopping districts in this country.TOP 5 Canadian:
1) Bloor Street, Toronto, $310 US
2) Robson Street, Vancouver, $150 US
3) Alberni Street, Vancouver, $105 US
4) Rue De La Montagne, Montreal, $80 US
5) Spring Garden Road, Halifax, $70 USTOP 3 Worldwide
1) Fifth Avenue, New York, $2,633 US
2) Canton Rd & Queens Rd, Hong Kong, $1,831 US
3) Old Bond Street, London, $1,602 US<Bloor Street West, photo – androiduk via urbantoronto.ca>
<Toronto subway graphic design – Jonathan Guy>
A stunning view of the Financial District, captured by TORONTO photographer NEIL TA. 32 year-old Neil bills himself as an “urban explorer, rooftopper, traveler, gentle lover’. You can see more of his work at http://www.ambidong.com.