ST. MICHAEL’S CATHOLIC CEMETERY, 1855, IS HIDDEN AWAY IN THE HIGH-RENT DISTRICT

cemetery2Saint Michael’s Catholic Cemetery is so well hidden, many locals don’t know it exists.  When Saint Michael’s was founded, it was far north of downtown TORONTO, but now finds itself amongst rows of condominiums, Victorian-era housing and high rise office buildings – in the heart of it all.  29,000 pioneering Catholics are buried here.  Subway stop: ST. CLAIR, then walk south a block to a short non-descript laneway on the west side of Yonge Street.

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ST. LAWRENCE – ONCE AN INDUSTRIAL NEIGHBOURHOOD; NOW A TOURIST DESTINATION

MARKET11         <ST. LAWRENCE MARKET NEIGHBOURHOOD, 1924, City of Toronto Archives>  Home to the best food market anywhere (National Geographic/April/2012), some of the most interesting architecture in the city, the first flatiron building in North America, St James Anglican Cathedral, the Young People’s Theatre, restaurants, bars, the Sunday flea market, St. Lawrence Hall, the Sony Centre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, the Market Gallery, and ubiquitous condos – it’s one of the oldest districts in a young city.  Ideal territory for urban explorers.  Subway stop – KING, and walk east

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“CITIES OF THE FUTURE” – INCREDIBLE CITYSCAPES BY TOM RYABOI

RYABOI1The “CITIES OF THE FUTURE” exhibit is the first of its kind in North America and will exclusively feature the work of TORONTO photographer Tom Ryaboi.  This exhibit features photography of cities around the world, while highlighting TORONTO’s growing global stature as a leader in arts and technology – See more at: http://canarydistrict.com/2014/tom-ryaboi/#sthash.93eCXrUh.dpuf

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‘MANHATTANIZING MILLENNIALS’ ARE SPARKING URBAN SPRAWL & PLUGGING UP TRANSIT

CUSHMAN1In TORONTO, downtown-dwelling millennials now make up close to half the population. They’ve largely abandoned cars, take public transit, have fuelled new office and condo development, and are driving urban renewal in Canada’s largest city.

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In a 10-city study by commercial brokerage firm CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD, city cores from Mexico City to Manhattan, Chicago to Washington, Boston to San Francisco, Miami to Atlanta, Los Angeles to TORONTO are exploding with an influx of millennials (those born between the early 1980’s and late 1990’s. They want to live close to work and the action.  Because of gentrification and the high cost of housing in the core, some families and the urban poor are being forced to move further out to the fringes.  Critical transit improvements are needed in most of the world’s major cities. They’re being hobbled by red tape, too many impact studies, NIMBYism and a lack of funding, the report says.

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The entire report is online at: http://www.cushmanwakefield.com/~/media/reports/corporate/Global%20Reports/CW_North%20American%20Transit%20Report%20Fall%202014.pdf

‘PLAIN JANE’ TOWER BLOCKS GET THE ROYAL TREATMENT FROM ARTIST JESSE COLIN JACKSON

Los Angeles-based Canadian artist JESSE COLIN JACKSON has been photographing tower apartment neighbourhoods since 2006. “Radiant City”, his most ambitious project on the subject to date, focuses on TORONTO’s aging tower blocks and their significance to the city.

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        As TORONTO goes ahead with plans to revitalize many of these buildings, Jackson’s work reveals the size and complexities they embody. Oftentimes they’re home to incoming immigrant populations, essential housing for a quarter of the city’s population, the location of much of TORONTO’s urban poverty, products of planning ideologies gone awry, locations of past glory, current dynamism and future potential.

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JESSE COLIN JACKSON is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at the University of California, Irvine; and has previously taught at the University of Toronto and OCAD University.  <PHOTOS ABOVE – 1) The Buckingham, 714 + 716 The West Mall; 2) 3151 Bridletown Circle; 3) 190 Exbury Road & 2269 Jane Street; 4) Leaside Towers, 85 + 96 Thorncliffe Park Drive; 5) Riverside Apartments, 2737 + 2757 Kipling Avenue>