RIVERDALE FARM’S BELOVED “ROOSTER” HAS LEFT US, BUT “RINGO” HAS JOINED THE TEAM

RINGO3 Born at TORONTO’s Riverdale Farm 22 years ago, “ROOSTER” passed away on Friday, December 12, 2014 of a sudden illness. The staff was devastated because this noble horse was a favourite with them, and with thousands of visitors from all across the city.

RINGO1After several weeks of searching and test riding, “RINGO” has arrived to take Rooster’s place. Born and raised in the country, the newcomer is getting used to city noises – fire engines, ambulances, helicopters, traffic, barking dogs and all that.

RINGO2RIVERDALE FARM is located in Riverdale Park West, Sumach Street at Carlton in Cabbagetown.

TORONTO’S MIDTOWN YONGE AND EGLINTON NEIGHBOURHOOD IS ON THE RISE – LITERALLY

EGLINTON9 Yonge and Eglinton has always been a great place to live, but now it’s becoming a destination neighbourhood.

EGLINTON3With construction cranes everywhere, an abundance of new restaurants and bars, nightlife, one-of-a-kind shops, rapidly rising real estate prices, tree-lined side streets and plenty of parks – the area is booming.  Even the hipsters are moving in.  <PHOTO ABOVE – Minto’s Quantum North & South>

EGLINTON2EGLINTON7EGLINTON6Once the Crosstown Eglinton/Scarborough LRT is finished (connecting east and west with the north/south subway), Yonge and Eg will become one of TORONTO’s main transit hubs.  <PHOTOS ABOVE – 1) new condo construction at Yonge & Eglinton; 2) rebuilding Yonge/Eglinton Centre;  3) Yonge Street north of Eglinton;  4) The Madison on Eglinton Avenue; 5) an Eglinton/Scarborough Crosstown train>

EGLINTON4<PHOTO BELOW – Yonge and Eglinton intersection in 1960, City of Toronto Archives>

EGLINTON1

CALGARY JOINS CANADIANS’ “CITIES WE LOVE TO HATE” CLUB. IT MUST BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.

CALGARY1TORONTO’s been carrying the load for decades, but we’re no longer alone. In a national survey TORONTO has a new partner in the “most resented” sweepstakes. Welcome to the club, CALGARY! Gilliam Steward (former CEO of the Calgary Herald), in a Toronto Star opinion piece, writes “Is Calgary the new TORONTO? A city that Canadians love to hate because it’s so powerful? According to a recent poll that could be so.”  The Leger/Calgary Herald poll, conducted online across Canada, with a representative sample of 1,525 Canadians, was weighted by age, gender, region, children in the household and education.  VANCOUVER and OTTAWA topped the ranking; MONTREAL, HALIFAX and CALGARY were in the middle. But when Albertans were taken out of the equation, CALGARY sank to the same spot as TORONTO, in lower sixth place. OMG already!  GILLIAN STEWARD: “TORONTO once had that sort of reputation . . . a serious, hard working city that was the place to be if you wanted to hit the heights of your chosen career. But TORONTO’s power also rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, especially westerners who felt colonized by TORONTO’s decision makers.  “But the tables have turned and now it’s the ‘rich oilmen’ in CALGARY who are making important decisions and ruffling feathers across the country.”<ABOVE – Calgary from the International Space Station, with snow on the ground.>

ALBERT FRANCK (1899-1973), “A MEAT & POTATOES PAINTER WHOSE WORK TASTED LIKE CAVIAR”

FRANCK5<ALBERT JACQUES FRANCK working in his studio, 90 Hazelton Avenue, Yorkville>  Painter HAROLD TOWN in his 1974 book “Albert Franck – Keeper of The Laneways” wrote: “What makes Albert Franck’s contribution unique is the fact that he was not pursuing the barbarians of the new or defending the crusty antiquarians of the old, he was following his heart.”

FRANCK4And his heart lay in the ramshackle backstreet laneways of TORONTO. HAROLD TOWN: “What Franck saw and recorded years ago, when it was fashionable to leave this city denouncing our provincial ways, has become a holy cause, a solid fact of political life and a civic example through all of North America.”

FRANCK1ALBERT JACQUES FRANCK was born in Middelburg, Holland. He arrived in Montréal in 1926 at the age of 27; died in TORONTO in 1973. ALBERT FRANCK’s work can be found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, University of Toronto Hart House, the McMichael Gallery and many other public and private collections around the world.

FRANCK2<PHOTO ABOVE – My Cabbagetown laneway after a blizzard, December/2014>

TORONTO TRANSIT’S AIRPORT EXPRESS TAKES YOU TO & FROM PEARSON INT’L FOR ABOUT $3.50

ROCKET14,500 people take the #192 Airport Rocket either from, or to, Kipling subway station daily.  This bus travels between Terminals 1 & 3 at Pearson International Airport and the western subway terminus. The fare is a pittance when you compare it to a taxi, limo ($60 + tip) or the soon-to-be-launched Union Pearson Express train ($27.50 per passenger). The 10 city buses on this route make only three stops between Kipling and the Pearson terminals, and the subway ride is included.  Starting in January, the TTC is rebranding its buses in a postcard-travel motif with the message “Your journey starts here.” Posters, new subway maps, and a plan to make TTC buses more visible at the airport itself are in the works.

TTCWORLDPRIDE3The TTC also operates all-day #52A bus service from Lawrence West subway station.

TORONTO GETS SOME LAKESHORE HERITAGE BACK AS TIP TOP TAILOR’S SIGN IS RE-INSTALLED

Series 1465 - Urban Design photographsWhen Tip Top Tailor’s fine art deco building was turned into lofts, its neon rooftop sign disappeared. Now, 10 years later, after complete refurbishment, the huge red letters are back where they belong.  <PHOTO ABOVE and BELOW – the Tip Top building in 1980, and earlier when it was a clothing factory, City of Toronto Archives>

TIPTOP1   <BELOW – the Tip Top building as it is today, with apartments and refurbished red letters>

TIPTOP2