‘The Little House’ has its own website and a song . . . 128 Day Avenue

LITTLEHOUSE2“The Little House’, 128 Day Avenue in the Earlescourt neighbourhood, was built in 1912 by contractor ARTHUR WEEDEN.  An Englishman who came to Canada in 1902, Mr. Weeden became one of the early builders in TORONTO’s West End.  Originally the lot was destined to be a laneway, but when that didn’t happen he decided to make use of the land – and construct one of our city’s first laneway houses.

LITTLEHOUSE3Arthur Weeden and his wife lived at #128 for 20 years.  When Mrs. Weeden died, Mr. Weeden remained in the ‘Little House’ for another 6 years.  Maria Lee Carta recorded a song about the house in 2008.  It’s available on YouTube.  Little House website: http://thelittlehouse.ca

LITTLEHOUSE1There are several other tiny houses in TORONTO, but this one is the smallest.  Some others are on Craven Road, Gerrard Street East, Sword Street, Shuter Street and Sydenham Street.

Sol LeWitt’s rainbow-striped welcome: Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1

LEWITT2<‘Wall Drawing 1100, Concentric Bands’, Pier F, Terminal 1, Pearson International Airport>

LEWITT1SOL LEWITT (1928-2007), is a Connecticut-born artist who worked in a wide range of media – drawing, printmaking, photography and painting.  He was part of hundreds of exhibitions around the world.  One of the largest permanent exhibits of Mr. LeWitt’s work is in MASSMoca, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in NORTH ADAMS.

For Coca-Cola Canada, things go better downtown

This week, Coca-Cola Canada opened its bright new headquarters at 333 King Street East downtown.  The complex sits on top of the TORONTO SUN building, in the heart of a developing eastside neighbourhood.  President JOHN GARINO says, after a long search, the company decided to move from suburbia to the city centre and “become part of a vibrant and up-and-coming downtown area.  We wanted to be as near to as much public transportation as we could.  The suburbs were not, from a sustainability standpoint, what we wanted to have.”


LUIS JACOB’s “Spirits of the Grotto” – Dufferin Underpass mosaics

LUIS JACOB, who lives and works in Parkdale, has added glitz to the West End with his shimmering mosaic “Spirits of the Grotto”.  The “grotto” in this case is the Dufferin Underpass, connecting Dufferin to Queen Street West.  Depicted are the eyes of an owl, a snake, pairs of disco balls and coins – referencing the Parkdale neighbourhood you’re passing through.

SONY DSCLUIS JACOB: “I worked with two amazing teams of people, one in Montreal and the other in Toronto.  The metalwork was done by the folks at Punchclock Studio, on Sorauren Avenue, (who also did the photos).  They developed a totally ingenious design for the metal structure.  In Montreal I worked with the folks at Mosaika, who produced the beautiful glasswork.  I was honoured to work with such dedicated pros!”



Musician NJACKO BACKO – “this is a seriously nice place for us to live”

NJACKO BACKO, 55, Cameroon-born, has lived in Nigeria, France, Amsterdam, Montreal – and now, TORONTO.  He currently teaches through Mariposa in the Schools and performs with his band Kalimba Kalimba.  He has also launched a program to rebuild a school in his home village in Africa.  Website: http://www.njackobacko.com

NJACKOBACKO2NJACKOBACKO1<Njacko Backo to Immigration Reporter, DEBRA BLACK, March 30/2013>

25 new double-decker ‘green and whites’ added to GO Transit’s fleet

A new series of 25 double-deckers has just been added to the 22 already in service on GO Transit’s suburban service.  They’re 10 centimetres lower than the old models, which means they can travel on almost any route.  The buses seat 81 passengers; purchase price: $800,000 each for a total of $19.5 million.  GO (Government of Ontario) operates a vast network of trains and buses in TORONTO’s outer suburbs.

Regional Board of Trade to Greater TORONTO: we must get behind ‘The Big Move’

GREENLIGHT1Greater TORONTO – especially suburbia – is awash in traffic.  Something has to change.  The Toronto Region Board of Trade has launched a new advertising campaign to boost public support for funding a massive regional transportation plan.  The region is losing about $6 billion annually in lost productivity due to traffic congestion.

A carport with a past . . . on Flos Williams Lane in Cabbagetown

To really know TORONTO, take a stroll or bike ride through its laneways.  There’s a vast network of them downtown and, by choosing the right one, you can learn a great deal about the city’s history.A simple carport on Flos Williams Lane, which runs behind Parliament Street.  It has a past.  The sign above reads “this carport is built of recycled materials.  The wood rafters were floor joists in the old Toronto Aethenium Club, 169 Church Street at Shuter, which was built in 1891 as a gentlemen’s club.  It became the Labour Temple from 1904 to 1967, and has recently been redeveloped as the 28 storey ‘Jazz’ condominium building”  The sign – created by the carport’s owner – goes on to say that the siding, fence and roof decking are Douglas Fir and Hemlock, and were salvaged from the Joseph Seagram Distillery <BELOW> in Waterloo, Ontario.As for FLOS WILLIAMS, she was born and raised in Cabbagetown, wrote three novels and numerous short stories, moved out west and became one of Western Canada’s strongest women writers.  Her novels dramatized the experiences of immigrants building new lives in the harsh Canadian rural environment.