Louis Vuitton Maison: when you get one of these, you know you’ve arrived.

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>

“The city is not a concrete jungle. It’s a human zoo.” – Desmond Morris (We beg to differ.)

From North Bay, Mandy Saile writes:  “I got to go back to the Big Smog (aka TORONTO)…I still oh so love it.  It’s always amazing to me that I, tiny little ‘moi’, lived in that bustling, hustling city for five years.  I truly do feel like it’s where I grew up and really found out what I was made of.  
It still sings to me and though I live in NORTH BAY now, I still consider TORONTO my playground.

MARCUS GEE in today’s Globe and Mail writes:  “The TORONTO of the past was a poor excuse for a big city.  When I was growing up here, the tallest building was the stolid Bank of Commerce, all 34 storeys of it.  Now, the downtown core is a thicket of arresting office and condo towers, and the streets hum with life day and night.”

Daniels SPECTRUM brings arts, culture & youth organizations in from the cold.

<Daniels Spectrum performance space.  PHOTO – Chris Tyler/Wikimedia>  DANIELS SPECTRUM shows what can happen when the City of Toronto, a major developer (Daniels Development Corporation) and an arts umbrella organization (Artscape) put their heads together.  As part of the redevelopment of Regent Park, the Spectrum provides 60,000 square feet of stage, rehearsal, community and tenant space for seven organizations dedicated to the arts, culture, social innovation and youth programming.

SPECTRUM3Tenant groups include the Aki Studio Theatre for Native Earth Performing Arts; two rehearsal rooms for COBA – Collective of Black Artists.  On the second floor: space for the Regent Park School of Music, ArtHeart Community Art Centre, Pathways to Education and the Regent Park Film Festival.  Third floor: the Centre for Social Innovation provides collaborative office space for social and arts entrepreneurs.SPECTRUM5The glass-enclosed café, overlooking a forthcoming 6-acre Regent Park, is a meeting place for the community. Very wide corridors act as a gallery, impromptu performance space and there’s also a public piazza.  Daniels Spectrum is part of a major makeover of the entire neighbourhood now underway.  Architects: Diamond SchmittSPECTRUM7