<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.”
And 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.”
ALBERT 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.
<PHOTO ABOVE – My Cabbagetown laneway after a blizzard, December/2014>
4,500 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.
The TTC also operates all-day #52A bus service from Lawrence West subway station.
When 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>
<BELOW – the Tip Top building as it is today, with apartments and refurbished red letters>
Mathematician JAMES STEWART (March 29, 1941 – December 3, 2014) is known internationally for his high school, college and university-level textbooks. He was also a violinist, a former member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and professor emeritus of mathematics at McMaster University in Hamilton. Mr. Stewart <PHOTO ABOVE – Tim Fraser/Globe and Mail> had an abiding interest in mathematics, architecture, the arts, and doing something to benefit his community. His books and Integral House will be his lasting legacy.
INTEGRAL HOUSE, designed by TORONTO’s Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, was constructed in TORONTO’s Rosedale neighbourhood in the early 2000’s. It cost around $24-30-million to build, plus an additional $5.4-million for the original home which was torn down. GLENN LOWRY, director of the Museum of Modern Art, calls the house “one of the most important private houses built in North America.” “The aspiration is that the project feels timeless,” architect Brigitte Shim said.
The 18,000-square-foot curvaceous home has 5 floors, a concert space, a stairwell ensconced in handblown blue glass, and heated limestone floors. It took six years to build. The concert space seats 150. Small theatre groups, music festivals, dance companies and fashion designers have all used the house for fundraisers and/or concerts.
JAMES STEWART passed away on Wednesday, December 3/2014 from a rare form of cancer. “My books and my house are my twin legacies. If I hadn’t commissioned the house, I’m not sure what I would have spent the money on,” he once said. <INTERIOR PHOTOS by James Dow, Edmonton, Alberta>
TORONTO designer ANDREW JONES <PHOTO – Kevin Van Paassen/Globe & Mail> bested 700 entrants from 15 countries, to take home a $10,000 prize and a contract to build 300 chairs for Battery Park. The 25-acre park on the southern tip of Manhattan Island is – without a doubt – one of the most prestigious sites in the Big Apple.
The winning chair, the FLEURT (pronounced ‘flirt’) is a blend of ‘fleur’ <French for flower> and ‘flirt’. “They’re meant to be clustered together, like a bouquet.” MR. JONES, 47, is best known for high-end residential and office seating and work surfaces. His creations are in the permanent collections of the Royal Ontario Museum and the Design Exchange. After studying furniture design at the Royal College of Art in London, he obtained an architecture degree from the University of TORONTO.
His most famous public project, the umbrellas for TORONTO’s Sugar Beach, came under fire from our disgraced former mayor, Rob Ford, for costing too much. Needless to say, the entire Sugar Beach project (umbrellas included) is a solid hit with the public.ANDREW JONES to the Globe and Mail: “I really wanted to design a chair that everyone could connect with, from the first ah-ha moment upon seeing a garden of flower chairs, pollenated with people enjoying hours of comfort – sitting, reading, talking with friends, people watching and being part of the scene.” Website – http://www.andrewjonesdesign.com