There’s a 1960’s-era $30 million apartment atop a Bloor Street office building.

Thanks to stable prices and a low vacancy rate, TORONTO’s real estate market is booming.  But the sale of a multi-million dollar penthouse is a novelty, and still makes big news.

CIL1<Bloor Street West in 1960, CIL Building with apartment on top, behind streetcar>  One such apartment  (953 square metres, 30 foot ceilings, four bedrooms, reputedly designed by American architect PHILIP JOHNSON) rests 13 storeys above Bloor Street West on top of the old CIL office building.  It was put there by businessman NOAH TORNO and his wife ROSE, who thought that living above an office building was a cool idea.  They were encouraged by friends who had an apartment above Bergdorf-Goodman in NEW YORK.The building’s present owner, JON LOVE, estimates there are probably fewer than 100 people in TORONTO who could buy the landmark condo.  But foreign buyers – mostly from Russia, the Middle East and South America – are willing and able.  Last year, the new Four Seasons penthouse on Bay Street sold for $28 million to a foreign buyer – a Canadian record.The World’s Richest Cities/2012, according to KNIGHT FRANK.  List of inhabitants with at least $30 million in net assets.
1.  New York City – 7,580
2.  London – 6,015
3.  Tokyo – 5,440
4.  San Francisco – 4,590
5.  Los Angeles – 4,520
6.  Hong Kong – 3,205
7.  Osaka – 2,970
8.  Paris – 2,860
9.  Chicago – 2,615
10.  Mexico City – 2,585
11.  Washington – 2,395
12.  Houston – 2,295
13.  Beijing – 2,285
14.  Mumbai – 2,105
15.   Dallas – 2,020
16.  Delhi -1,945
17.  Sao Paulo -1,880
18.  Toronto -1,765
19.  Rio de Janeiro -1,740
20.  Shanghai -1,415

Torontonian COLETTE WHITEN receives $25,000 Governor-General Award

The 14th annual Governor-General Awards in Visual and Media Arts have been handed out.  TORONTO sculptor, COLETTE WHITEN, 68, received one for her achievements in sculpture, embroidery and installation art.  One of her best known works in our town is La Scala, at Charles Street and Bay.  Named after a popular restaurant (since demolished), the sculpture features the figures of 9 women ascending an invisible 2 storey high staircase.  Artists: Colette Whiten and Paul Kipps.


A gift from the New York Times ‘Style’ magazine to TORONTO’s ‘Monkey’s Paw’

Writer JODY ROSEN, and photographer ANDREW ROWAT have published a three-page story with accompanying pictures in the March/2013 issue of the New York Times ‘Style Magazine’.  This kind of publicity you can’t buy – especially if you’re running a smallish bookshop several kilometres from the centre of TORONTO.  The article focuses on The Monkey’s Paw, “an oddly modern antiquarian bookshop next door to a laundromat” in the West End.  “It’s a tiny shop, specializing in the arcane and the absurd, and may just be publishing’s great new hope” in the face of BigBoxMerchandising and the internet.

paw22KANSAS CITY native, STEPHEN FOWLER, 48, says “this  isn’t the store where you’ll find the book you were looking for.  It’s the store where you’ll find the book you didn’t know you were looking for . . . You have these hip 26-year old downtown TORONTO kids – they’ve actually never been to a bookshop.  They come here and they’re like: ‘It reminds me of a scene in Harry Potter.’”PAW4During her visit, Ms. Rosen checked out the BIBLIO-MAT, which has been photographed countless times.  It’s Mr. Fowler’s experiment in randomization.  You put a $2 coin into the slot, there’s a buzzing sound, a bell rings and out pops a book.  The idea being that even the cheapest book can offer pleasure.  You’ll find The Monkey’s Paw at 1229 Dundas Street West, one of several independent bookshops in our city – miraculously still doing business.PAW3<PHOTO – Andrew Rowat/New York Times Style Magazine, March/2013>

Crane operator ROBERT MacFARLANE’s birdseye view of TORONTO

MACFARLANE1From his perch, atop the 58-storey L Tower, crane operator ROBERT MacFARLANE takes in this view every day.  Foreground – Bay Street highrises; background – CN Tower, Rogers Centre, and the western suburbs.  The crane gives him a 360 degree unobstructed view.  “Every day there is beauty on the lake, and little swaths of the city that will light up while everything else is in shade.  I just gotta get that picture.”

‘STARBURST’ – spreading the positive message of Magic, Luck and Friendship

‘Starburst’, Allen Lambert Galleria, Yonge Street south of Wellington.  Through paintings, sculpture, large scale installations, public playgrounds, live performances and publishing, the goal of artists, SAMUEL BORKSON and ARTURO SANDOVAL, is to “create moments of spiritual awareness and powerful, joyous interaction.”  Check out their amazing website. . . . . .