A multi-coloured Golf Arlequin on Sackville Street; 1 of only 264 in the world

There were only 264 Volkswagen Golf Arlequins in the world (probably fewer now), and at least one of them is in TORONTO.  After two cross-country trips to Vancouver, this multi-coloured vehicle now makes it’s home here.  Originally the series was created to tour International Auto shows.  The public loved them.

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Based on the 1996 Golf GL platform, the Arlequin features a limited edition paint scheme, limited edition sport cloth seats, and silver-faced gauges.  Several different wheel options were available.  The Arlequins were produced by swapping body panels from four different coloured Golfs.  The base colour is not repeated on any of the other body parts.

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<PHOTO ABOVE – another kind of Volkswagen from the Odd Vehicle Society on Facebook>

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THE DANFORTH: HISTORY, BISTROS, UNIQUE SHOPS, GREEKTOWN & EXPENSIVE REAL ESTATE

DANFORTH AVENUE was named after ASA DANFORTH, an American who was commissioned in 1799 to lay out and cut the avenue, but didn’t actually build it.  That was left to the Don and Danforth Plank Road Company, which finished the job in 1851, connecting the street to Broadview Avenue.

With the Don River Valley a westward barrier, the Danforth was rather remote.  It was a country road of fields, market gardens, brickyards, houses here and there, churches, hotels and roadhouses, and some industry along the Don’s east bank.

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Construction of the Prince Edward Viaduct, which opened in 1919, changed all that.  Nowadays, the Danforth splits two upscale neighbourhoods – Riverdale on the southside, and Playter Estates to the north.  It’s a multi-cultural avenue, with Greektown (and its famous Taste of the Danforth) in the centre.  There are stalwart churches of many denominations, a large mosque, Carrot Common, taverns and bars of every description, fine dining restaurants, the mansions of Playter Estates, and the Danforth Music Hall.

The Bloor-Danforth subway line follows the Danforth with multiple stops, from BROADVIEW eastward.  PAPE Station is at the centre of Greektown.

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PHOTOS – Playter Farmhouse, 1928,  http://www.tobuilt.ca & nightshot from http://www.49st.com

A ONCE-UPON-A-TIME LOOK AT THE DANFORTH – FROM CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES

Until 1919 and the completion of the Prince Edward Viaduct, the DANFORTH was fairly isolated on the east side of the Don River Valley.  In 1888 the TORONTO Street Railway had established a streetcar line along Broadview Avenue to Queen Street East.  But the Viaduct (named in honour of King Edward VIII) immediately became the major link to the expanding city on the west bank.

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The Bloor-Danforth subway, which crosses the Don on the Viaduct, launched a major wave of home renovations and restoration all along the Danforth.  The line opened in 1966.

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<PHOTOS ABOVE – 1) Building the Prince Edward Viaduct, 1916  2) Coffee on the Danforth, 1934  3) Bank of Toronto – still exists – 1930  4) Grocery at Carlaw and Danforth, 1934  5) Used car lot, 1960’s  6) Collapsed pole Main Street at Danforth, 1926  6) Hillingdon streetcar terminus, south of Danforth, 1922>

THE DANFORTH MUSIC HALL, RESCUED FROM OBLIVION, SHINES LIKE NEVER BEFORE

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Built as the ALLEN DANFORTH in 1919, this former cinema at 147 Danforth Avenue has undergone numerous name changes, renovations, and re-purposings.  Miraculously it’s still with us, and today seems to be in better shape than ever.

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After a long run as a cinema, the Danforth became a music, concert and theatre venue.  The live shows kept on coming, while the building itself was deteriorating almost beyond repair.  After better seating and a new sound system were installed, bailiffs seized the property for non-payment of rent.

On December 1, 2011, the Danforth Music Hall re-opened under the ownership of Impressario Inc.  With its rebuilt interior and improved infrastructure, the Danforth Music Hall has been given a new lease on life.
Website: http://www.thedanforth.com

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The Danforth is one of several concert theatres scattered across TORONTO.  Others include the Phoenix on Sherbourne Street; the Opera House on Queen Street East; and Lee’s Palace on Bloor Street West.

<PHOTOS ABOVE – http://www.parkbench.comhttp://www.craftstudio.ca – City of Toronto Archives>

WATERFRONT TORONTO FIGHTS DIGITAL GRIDLOCK WITH A HIGH-SPEED, ‘OPEN ACCESS’ NETWORK

Thousands of residents now live and work in our downtown waterfront, with more arriving almost daily.  WATERFRONT TORONTO, in partnership with Beanfield (a local network provider) and IBM will soon be wiring this towering neighbourhood with a high-speed ‘open access’ network.

The so-called ‘smart city’ project, first of its kind in Canada, is about more than that.  Waterfront Toronto is looking for a developer to build a heavily wired, 350,000 square foot ‘innovation centre’ to service creative sectors such as animation, graphics and similar data-intensive applications.  The centre would be located adjacent to Corus Media on Queen’s Quay East.

A UK study released last fall predicts the global ‘smart cities’ industry will be worth more than $400-billion by 2020.  <PHOTO ABOVE – flickr/Norman Maddeaux>

TORONTO LOOKS LIKE A BIG MONSTER IN DENIS VILLENEUVE’S NEW FILM “ENEMY”

ENEMY2TORONTO shows off its yellow sky/smoggy side in Denis Villeneuve’s new film “ENEMY”. Adapted from José Saramago’s novel “The Double”, the movie was shot here rather than in Brazil (the novel’s setting) with TORONTO doing its best to look ugly and forbidding.  JAKE GYLLENHAAL plays the lead.

DENIS VILLENEUVE: “TORONTO became an obvious choice very quickly, and honestly I never regretted it.  It’s a very cinematic city with tons of places (to shoot).

“We tried to keep it as this smoggy metropolis; sometimes it even looks like a big monster.  We were really lucky with the weather.  In the script, the sky was always grey and yellow, and it was like that while we were shooting.  One of the executives at Telefilm Canada said, ‘Maybe you went too far with the smog.’  We told him ‘Unfortunately this is real.’

“I had a budget for special effects but I didn’t have to add anything to those shots.  I was so happy about that.”

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ENEMY6DENIS VILLENEUVE was born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.  His films have been selected by festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Telluride.

He has won more than 130 international awards, and his feature “Incendies” was nominated for a ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ Academy Award in 2011.