GILBERT BAKER WAS THE DESIGNER (AND SEWER) OF THE ORIGINAL LGBTQ RAINBOW FLAG

RAINBOWFLAG1 Although the original has undergone several revisions, Kansas-born GILBERT BAKER’s design has endured for over thirty years as a symbol of the international LGBTQ community. You can see versions of it everywhere in TORONTO this week as our city kicks off WorldPride/2014. The first Rainbow Flag (with 8 colours) was raised at San Francisco Pride on June 25, 1978.

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Red stands for life; orange for healing; yellow for sunlight; green for nature; blue for serenity and harmony; violet for spirit.

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TOM ROBINSON’S ANTHEM “GLAD TO BE GAY” OPENS WORLDPRIDE/2014

 At the grand opening of WorldPride/2014 on Friday night, TOM ROBINSON sang his much-revered anthem “Glad To Be Gay”.  It was written around the time of the violent Stonewall Riots and the birth of the Gay Rights Movement.

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The British Police are the best in the world
I don’t believe one of these stories I’ve heard
‘Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
Lining the customers up by the wall
Picking out people and knocking them down
Resisting arrest as they’re kicked on the ground
Searching their houses and calling them queer
I don’t believe that sort of thing happens here

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Pictures of naked young women are fun
In Titbits and Playboy, page three of The Sun
There’s no nudes in xxx News our one magazine
But they still find excuses to call it obscene
Read how disgusting we are in the press
Telegraphs, people and Sunday Express
Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
It’s there in the paper, it must be the truth

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Don’t try to kid us that if you’re discreet
You’re perfectly safe as you walk down the street
You don’t have to mince or make bitchy remarks
To get beaten unconscious and left in the dark
I had a friend who was gentle and short
He was lonely one evening and went for a walk
Queerbashers caught him and kicked in his teeth
He was only hospitalised for a week

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

So sit back and watch as they close all our clubs
Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs
Make sure your boyfriend’s at least 21
So only your friends and your brothers get done
Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
Put down the queens and tell anti-queer jokes
Gay Lib’s ridiculous, join their laughter
‘The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?’

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

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For a complete and up-to-date listing of WorldPride/2014 events go to http://www.worldpridetoronto.com

ONTARIO ELECTS ITS FIRST WOMAN & OPENLY GAY PREMIER . . . PLUS A MAJORITY GOVERNMENT!

History was made in ONTARIO on June 12/2014.  KATHLEEN WYNNE, the first woman and openly gay premier of Canada’s most populous province, was elected with a strong majority.  It was a night to remember.

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<PHOTO ABOVE – Kathleen Wynne in red; her spouse Jane Rounthwaite on the left; her parents John Wynne and Patsy O’Day Wynne on the right/Globe and Mail>

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<EDITORIAL CARTOON – Dewar/Toronto Sun>

SOTHEBY’S TO AUCTION PETER DOIG’S “COUNTRY ROCK”; ESTIMATE £9 MILLION (+ – $15 MILLION)

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They may call it “Country Rock (Wing Mirror)/1999”, but TORONTO knows it as the ‘rainbow tunnel’, a simple culvert on the right hand side of the northbound Don Valley Parkway. The artist, Edinburgh-born PETER DOIG, who once lived in TORONTO, painted the work in London.  On June 30 the painting will go on the auction block, as part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London. Estimated value in the region of £9 million.

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Constructed in 1962, painted by graffiti artist B.C. (Berg) Johnson in 1972, the tunnel is probably the most-viewed culvert in the world <PHOTO ABOVE – Vince Talotta/Toronto Star>.  Thousands of northbound motorists see it every day. In 2008, it even made the cover of a Tate Britain publication.

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For more information on the tunnel itself and its colourful past – http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2012/11/02/don_valley_parkway_rainbow_gets_a_makeover.html

Painting the lawrence tunnel

<PHOTO ABOVE – painting the tunnel’s interior, June 9/2013 by Bernard Weil/Toronto Star>  Another TORONTO painting by Peter Doig, sold in February, 2013 at Christie’s London. “The Architect’s Home In The Ravine” brought in a whopping $11.975 million at the Post-War and Contemporary Art sale.  This 1991 work depicts TORONTO architect Eberhard Zeidler’s modernist home at 11 Beaumont Road in Rosedale.

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‘$2-MILLION IS THE NEW $1-MILLION‘ SAYS THE FINANCIAL POST

Data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board on June 4/2014 shows there were 461 detached home sales for more than $2-million through the MLS system in the first five months of 2014. That’s only 2.4% of all detached home sales for the year but the $2-million plus range has climbed 37% over the past year in the GTA.  “What you’re seeing is $2-million is the new $1-million,” says Drew Laszlo, an architect who has been involved in several infill projects that have fallen into the new threshold. – FINANCIAL POST

U. OF T.’S NEW ARCHITECTURE BLDG. WILL COMBINE URBAN & LANDSCAPE DESIGN WITH HISTORY

ONESPADINA3If you live in TORONTO, you’ve no doubt seen this building. It sits in the middle of a streetcar roundabout on Spadina Avenue, just north of College Street. ONE SPADINA was built in 1875 by the Presbyterian Church as Knox College, a theological institute now part of the University of Toronto.

It later became the Spadina Military Hospital, where aviator AMELIA EARHART worked as a nurse’s aid tending to wounded soldiers. There’s been at least one murder in the building, and an accidental death when a female professor, looking for ghosts, plunged to the ground in 2009 while attempting to jump from one part of the building to another.

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After a $50-million renovation, ONE SPADINA will be transformed into the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture. The revitalization will include a 50,000 sq ft glass addition to the rear, design studio spaces, an advanced fabrication lab, a 400-capacity hall for public events, and a public gallery.

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PHOTO BELOW – Spadina Crescent in the middle, and the circular Lord Lansdowne Public School bottom right – http://www.Kevo89/blogTO/March 6, 2010

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EVER BEEN TO THE JUNCTION? TAKE THE #40 BUS FROM DUNDAS WEST SUBWAY STATION

JUNCTION12It’s amazing what can happen in three years. Back in 2011 the New York Times described THE JUNCTION as“Skid Row to Hip in Toronto.  The young and artsy are taking advantage of still-cheap real estate to tiptoe into the Junction’s empty storefronts and low slung houses.”These days THE JUNCTION has become a ‘destination neighbourhood’, attracting folks from all parts of the city, especially on weekends. There are still plenty of family-run shops, but now upscale restaurants, sidewalk cafes, galleries, antique and clothing stores, condos, and a flea market have moved in. More are on the way, and inevitably real estate is becoming more expensive.It’s easy to spend a day in THE JUNCTION. Word of advice: use public transport to get there, especially on weekends. From DUNDAS WEST subway station take the #40 bus to Dundas Street West. It’s a 10 minute ride.Named for a mishmash of railroad tracks, bridges and several major roads, the JUNCTION today is home to old books and record stores; architectural/industrial artifact emporia; a Buddhist temple; design and digital video companies; vegan and non-vegan restaurants; the West Toronto Railpath, etc. etc.  It’s that kind of place.