“A SERVING OF CANADIAN PRIDE” – THE NEW YORK TIMES DISCOVERS TORONTO’S SENATOR

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One of this city’s oldest restaurants got the New York Times treatment in the Sunday Travel Section on March 30. MICHAEL KAMINER writes: “A red neon sign warms the facade of the Senator Restaurant, TORONTO’s oldest, just as it did in the days when streetwear meant fedoras and overcoats.

“Inside, with its vinyl booths, shiny wood counter and huge mahogany mirror, it looks much the same as when it opened in 1929.”

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BOB SNIDERMAN, who rescued the restaurant from demolition in 1984, has hired ANDREW TAYLOR, the chef at Langdon Hall (an acclaimed restaurant in nearby Cambridge, Ontario) to update and revamp the menu.

The new emphasis is on locally grown food. Typically, restaurants have one or two suppliers; The Senator now has 40 thanks to Mr. Taylor.

The dinner menu has been updated. Breakfast and lunch are coming next. “Mr. Taylor has already added irresistible home-made jams from Rose’s and maple syrup from Haggart’s Farm in Owen Sound.” Read the entire review on the website – http://www.thesenator.com

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The Senator is at 249 Victoria Street, opposite the Ed Mirvish Theatre, 416-364-7517.

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A VIEW FROM THE STAGE OF CANADA’S LARGEST ‘SOFT-SEAT’ THEATRE

SONYCENTRE1    There are 3,191 soft seats in TORONTO’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East.  The theatre, designed by architect PETER DICKINSON, opened as the O’Keefe Centre in October, 1960.  It served for many years as an opera house, ballet theatre, and host to a variety of international attractions and stars.  This theatre has been designated a Heritage Building by the City of Toronto.

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Opening night at the O’Keefe, October 1, 1960.  The Broadway musical “CAMELOT’ with Richard Burton, Robert Goulet and Julie Andrews was the opening attraction.  http://www.sonycentre.ca

THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM CELEBRATES 100 YEARS

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The Royal Ontario Museum (the ROM) has announced four major projects to celebrate its Centennial.

1.  A Welcome Project will transform the vast interior lobby.
2.  A new performance space and ‘outdoor gallery’ will be designed by acclaimed TORONTO firm, Hariri Pontarini Architects and landscape architect Claude Cormier. It will run from Philosopher’s Walk to the corner of Queen’s Park.
3.  A Gallery of Early Life about the most ancient living things is on the way.
4.  A Director’s Fund for digitizing the ROM’s collections for greater access, and a Programming Fund to animate the Museum’s 8 Centres of Discovery.

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Until September 1 – The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors is at the Royal Ontario Museum, http://www.rom.on.ca

TREASURES OF THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM – THE WONDERS OF HISTORY & THE NATURAL WORLD

TORONTO’s Royal Ontario Museum has much to celebrate in this, its Centennial year – 90 million years of history for starters.  Below, some of the galleries and treasures under the ROM’s roof.  PHOTOS are from the ROM itself and B+H Architects, a firm that modernized and rebuilt several of the galleries – http://www.bharchitects.com

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Until September 1 – The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors is at the Royal Ontario Museum, http://www.rom.on.ca

MIX STRESSED-OUT RYERSON U. STUDENTS WITH THERAPY DOGS & YOU GET INSTANT DE-STRESS

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RYERSON UNIVERSITY students can’t get enough quality time with a group of friendly, fuzzy quadrupeds – otherwise known as Therapy Dogs.  The students love them, and the feeling apparently is mutual.  Because of the demand, especially at exam time, Ryerson is planning to bring the dogs to campus weekly in the near future.

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ZACHARY GUY, a first-year aerospace engineering student: “It takes our minds off everything stressful. I didn’t know what to expect. It would be really cool if they brought more.”

<TOP PHOTO – Mikalia Kukurudza/The Eyeopener/Ryerson University>

http://www.theeyeopener.com

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THE FIRST ‘SARDINE AWARD’ GOES TO ONTARIO’S TRANSPORTATION MINISTER, GLEN MURRAY

TTCRIDERS1Tired of being squashed into rush hour subway cars, streetcars and buses, the TTC Riders Group handed out the first-ever Sardine Award on Friday morning, March 28 to Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, GLEN MURRAY.  The Award goes to an elected official who they say has failed to fix public transit in TORONTO.  “The provincial Liberal Government has for years refused to regularly contribute fair funding to the TTC, even though it has had the power to do so,” said TTCriders member, Jennifer Huang

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Co-chair JESSICA BELL: “The idea of us feeling like canned sardines came out of the every day experience of riding the TTC right now. It’s so overcrowded, there’s not a lot of room to get on. It’s a daily reality.”

WEBSITE: http://www.ttcriders.ca

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<PHOTOS ABOVE – 1) St. George Station, evening rush hour, February 26, Karen Clarke; 2) Warden Station, 8:46 am, February 18, 2014, @barrowman; 3) On board Line #1, St. Clair Station, February 21, 6:18pm, Tian White>

IT’S POTHOLE-FILLING SEASON, AND THE STATISTICS ARE IMPRESSIVE

POTHOLES10POTHOLES11After the harshest winter in 20 years, TORONTO streets are a mess. Cracks and craters are everywhere, just as they are in Winnipeg and Montreal. It comes with being a northern city, and it ain’t cheap.

– 30-40 crews are out filling potholes
– crews are working 12 hour days
– so far, the city has repaired 85,000 potholes, up 58% over last year
– 6,885 people have called 311 to report potholes and road damage
– TORONTO has budgeted $70-million to fix major roads; $50-million to repair local roads; $2.5-million for the Don Valley Parkway

“Shaw Street is a calamity north of Bloor Sreet West. One driver describes parts of Richmond Street as ‘like driving through a cow pasture.’ Bathurst Street is in ‘awful’ shape, a councillor says. Dufferin Street, voted Worst Road in Ontario by members of the Canadian Automobile Association last year and in 2012, is a lunar landscape.” – Peter Kuitenbrouwer, National Post