$4.8-MILLION COULD BUY YOU AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF CANADIAN ART HISTORY

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The former studio and home of two of Canada’s best-known sculptors is on the market for a cool $4.8-million. Built in the 1850’s as a schoolhouse for Deer Park United Church, 110 Glenrose Avenue in Moore Park, was home to FRANCES LORING and FLORENCE WYLE, a lesbian couple whose profession was typically closed to women in the 1900’s. They lived here until the late 1960’s.

<INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR PHOTOS – MLS, Royal LePage>

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Nicknamed “The Girls”, the two women lived, worked and entertained in the old wooden schoolhouse. The studio building was the site of frequent salons and gatherings for friends, supporters, art students and established artists, including A. Y. Jackson and Arther Lismer – a little ‘Montparnasse’ in mid-town TORONTO.

Their works can be found in the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, Toronto General Hospital, in towns and cities across the country, on Toronto streets and in its parks.

American-born, both died within three weeks of each other.  Loring and Wyle Parkette, established in 1984, is dedicated to the art and memory of these two famous women.  It’s a block north of their studio, at the corner of St. Clair Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Road.

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“The Girls” were founding members of the Sculptors’ Society of Canada, 1928.

<PHOTO of Frances Loring (1887-1968) and Florence Wyle (1881-1968), is by Robert Flaherty, 1914>

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CONTEMPLATING “THE VESSEL” IN TADDLE CREEK PARK, THE ANNEX

TADDLECREEK1<“The Vessel” by Ilan Sandler/2009>

Once upon a time, TADDLE CREEK wended its way through downtown TORONTO ending up in Lake Ontario.  The Creek is now buried under the city, but its whimsical name lingers on.  Water from The Vessel is stored in an underground cistern and is used to irrigate the park.  The sculpture also acts as a fountain.

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PLANNER APPROVES REVISED GEHRY-MIRVISH PROJECT; PRINCESS OF WALES THEATRE SAVED

Architect FRANK GEHRY and theatre impresario DAVID MIRVISH have been given a green light from TORONTO’s Chief Planner JENNIFER KEESMAAT to proceed with plans for two towers, a contemporary art gallery, an off-campus facility for OCADU, restaurants, retail and offices on King Street West at John. It’s now up to city council to give the final go-ahead.  <PHOTO BELOW – two towers from the north>

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In this revised plan, a 20th-century warehouse, the facade of another, and the Princess of Wales Theatre have all been saved. <PHOTO BELOW – interior Princess of Wales theatre>

The Princess of Wales Theatre - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The condominium towers are taller than in the original scheme – 92 and 82 storeys – and there are two of them, not three. <PHOTOS BELOW – 1) looking from the east; 2) west along King Street; Mirvish+Gehry, Projectcore inc.>

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FRANK GEHRY was born in TORONTO. As a teenager, he and his family moved to California where eventually he became a world-renowned architect. Three of his best-known projects are the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Dancing House aka ‘Fred and Ginger’ in Prague, Czech Republic. <PHOTO BELOW>
DAVID MIRVISH is our city’s #1 theatre impresario. He owns and/or programs the Princess of Wales, Royal Alexandra, Ed Mirvish, and Panasonic theatres.

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CAWTHRA SQ. PARK HAS HAD SOME WORK DONE; REOPENS FOR WORLD PRIDE/2014 – JUNE 20-29

/Users/afung/Dropbox/THincDesign/THinc Projects/13005 Cawthra PaShedding its dark history of drug dealing and all that goes with it, CAWTHRA SQUARE PARK, is getting a shiny new face in time for WorldPride/2014. The park will play host to the annual AIDS candlelight vigil on June 24, and be transformed into the open-air Green Space nightclub from June 26-29. Cawthra Square Park has been host to Pride celebrations since 1978.

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The AIDS memorial, children’s playground and dog exercise area are all intact.  Mature trees have been planted, the 519’s mural has gone up, lighting’s been improved, there are new benches, and “Wellesley Beach” is back in business.

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HOK Architects – http://www.hok.comdid phase 1 design including the playground and landscaping to the east of the 519 Community Centre. Phase 2 was designed by http://www.thincdesign.ca and constructed by TBG Landscapes Landscapes Inc.

No doubt the Village community will adapt to the new park and make it their own.

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TORONTO’S STREETCAR DEVELOPMENTS FINDS SUCCESS PLAYING BY THE RULES

NEWBROADVIEW1President and CEO LES MALLINS of Streetcar Developments has found success playing by the rules, avoiding the Ontario Municipal Board, consulting the locals, complementing the surrounding neighbhourhoods, and generally just fitting in. Streetcar’s well-known structures are placed strategically and exclusively downtown.

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Mallins‘ latest project is the re-invention of the BROADVIEW HOTEL, 704 Queen Street East at Broadview Avenue. A Victorian landmark built in 1891, the Broadview until now has been home to Jilly’s strip club, with several floors of low-rent housing above. That’s about to change.

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Streetcar’s first priorities: to address significant structural issues within the elderly building to make it safe. Then on to revive this Riverside landmark (home to Streetcar Developments itself) to “enhance the feel and livability of the community.” Les Mallins has given assurances that condominiums are not part of his plan.

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<PHOTOS – Broadview Hotel aerial, Apple Maps; Broadview Hotel, 1940’s, City of Toronto Archives>

TORONTO STREET SCENE, 1920’S, RARE LAWREN HARRIS URBAN CANVAS, SELLS FOR OVER $1-MILLION

It’s auction season in TORONTO, and Canadians have an opportunity to buy some really ‘important Canadian art’.  Both Waddington’s and Heffel Brothers are selling off works by Jean Paul Riopelle, Emily Carr & Jean Paul Lemieux (Heffel Brothers); and Lawren Harris (Waddington’s).  A star canvas by Lawren Harris – “Lake Superior Painting X” – was expected to bring over $3.5-million, an artist record.  However, it sold for $2.47-million.

<BELOWStreet Scene, Toronto, 1920’s, oil on canvas by LAWREN HARRIS, estimated to sell for $400,000-$600,000, brought in over $1-million>

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TORONTO’S SPRING AND SUMMER ROAD RACE: GETTING IN, OUT OF, & AROUND THE CITY

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At the best of times TORONTO traffic is a force to be reckoned with. But this year things are bordering on chaotic. Long-term construction on two major expressways – the Gardiner and the eastbound 401 – are the main culprits. As well, many downtown streets are a maze of road, sewer and watermain building projects – along with heavy vehicular traffic from construction sites, and the ever-present potholes.  It can be a zoo out there.

<PHOTO ABOVE – inbound Gardiner Expressway, Jack Boland/Toronto Sun>

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FYI“People who are exposed to frequent (traffic) congestion three or more times a week have the highest self-reported levels of stress.”Murtaza Haider/Ryerson University

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BELOW – a few timesaving tips for visitors to TORONTO’s city centre.

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1.  Take public transit to and from Pearson International Airport. The TTC and GO Transit operate buses to Terminals 1 and 3. The #192 Rocket is an express service from KIPLING subway station to & from Pearson. The fare is about $3.50 (exact change or TTC ticket required). It’s a bargain compared to a $60 limo or cab ride.

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2.  Other TTC and GO buses to Pearson: #52A Lawrence West; #300A Bloor-Danforth overnight service; #307 Eglinton West overnight service; GO Transit from York Mills and Yorkdale subway stations to Terminal 1. For complete details: https://www.ttc.ca/Riding_the_TTC/Airport_service.jsp

3.  BILLY BISHOP TORONTO CITY AIRPORT and Porter Airways provide free bus transport from this downtown airport to Union Station. Plenty of taxis at the airport itself. Public transit within walking distance.

4.  STRATFORD DIRECT BUS to the Stratford Festival, a real bargain, leaves from the Intercontinental Hotel at Front and John Streets. For details: http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/visitor/gettinghere.aspx?id=70

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5.  TORONTO’s downtown long-distance bus terminal is in a safe neighbourhood with day and night public transit and taxi service available. Connections to all parts of Canada and the US. 610 Bay Street, just north of Dundas West.  Subway stop – DUNDAS.

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6.  Although UNION STATION is undergoing a radical renovation, it’s business as usual. Departures and arrivals from Montreal, Windsor, Ottawa, New York City, etc. Front Street at Bay. Taxis, subway and buses close by.

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7.  BIKE SHARE PROGRAM – http://www.bikesharetoronto.com/

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8.  The Toronto Transit Commission operates a vast network of streetcars, buses and subways at all hours of the day and night.  The service is normally good to very good.  Avoid rush hours, but otherwise the TTC is your best bet for inner city travel.