The last two of Peter Dickinson’s Regent Park apartment towers are coming down. This one is ideally situated for picture-taking. It’s kind of voyeuristic, looking at what’s been left behind by apartment dwellers, many of whom lived here for several decades. Former residents are being housed elsewhere, and some will return to the Park once new buildings go on the market for sale or rental. PHOTOS – Ross Winter, http://www.RossWinter.me
In NEW YORK CITY more than 13,000 new rental units are going on the market this year in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Manhattan alone will lease 4,900 in 34 buildings; Brooklyn 6,500 across 134 buildings; and Queens 1,800 in 18 buildings.
TORONTO is also getting quickly back into the rental market. Among others, Urbancorp is switching its Kingsclub condo complex on King Street West to 3 towers of rentals; the 49-storey Selby on Sherbourne Street has become a rental project with 441 units, and on Isabella Street at Church a new 23-storey rental building is rising. <PHOTO BELOW – St. James Town, downtown TORONTO’s largest rental neighbourhood, population roughly 15,000>
“Before it was the city that Drake built, TORONTO was home to legendary rockers Rush and Neil Young. Over the past 10 years or so, there’s been an explosion of diverse talent coming from T.O. There’s an impressive contingent of heavy bands like Death From Above 1979 and METZ, as well as a wealth of electronic/experimental artists like the Weeknd, Crystal Castles, and deadmau5. Keep an eye out for more emerging talent from this Canadian gem.” By “Canadian gem” I think they mean our beautiful city. Noise Porn’s website – http://www.noiseporn.com/2014/06/top-10-best-emerging-cities-music/Noise Porn’s Top 10 list of music cities:
1 – AUSTIN, Texas
2 – TORONTO, Ontario
3 – NASHVILLE, Tennessee
4 – MADISON, Wisconsin
5 – BROOKLYN, New York
6 – MONTREAL, Quebec
7 – CHICAGO, Illinois
8 – WASHINGTON DC
9 – ATHENS, Georgia
10 – PORTLAND, Oregon
TORONTO artist CORWYN LUND often integrates his work into the fabric of the city. ‘Word Count’, on an Abell Street hoarding, is a site-specific project for the Koffler Gallery Off-Site. It memorializes a fleeting moment within TORONTO’s constant urban redevelopment – even in the super cool West Queen West neighbourhood.
Demolished in the winter of 2012, the 3-storey factory warehouse sheltered studios and unsanctioned affordable lofts for artists – live/work spaces, which are now in short supply, especially in this neighbourhood. The work has been up for over two years, and surprisingly it remains almost pristine.
It appears that Mayor JOHN TORY is winning the gridlock war so far. Since his blitz on rush hour lane blockers began three weeks ago, tow truck drivers and police have been busier than ever before. So much so, that the program has been expanded from downtown to midtown. Out-of-province drivers are next on the mayor’s list. “No more thumbing of the nose at the laws by people with out-of-province plates,” he said. “A tow truck awaits them if they keep parking where they shouldn’t, just like everybody else.”
Penalties: drivers who would normally face a $150 parking ticket could now have to pay up to $230 to get their vehicle back, and delivery truck drivers may be charged up to $1,000. <PHOTO – Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun/January 26>
The GRAPHITE STALLIONS, one of our city’s new startup companies, has teamed up with Artscape Youngplace on Shaw Street for 2-hour sketching parties. And what are they sketching? Nude, buff young men who are quite prepared to sit in a chilly studio while being committed to paper by fully dressed women artists.For novices interactive art instruction is available, and the sessions are filled with music. The co-founders have art backgrounds – Martha Malloy works in art design, and Kirstin Bojanowski is an abstract painter. “It’s all about celebrating beauty and somebody’s body,” said Malloy.
An undistinguished yellow brick building on GRENVILLE STREET is coming down to make way for more condos. Once home to CKFH, the AM radio voice of the TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS. the station went on the air in 1951. The ‘FH’ in its call letters were those of its owner, FOSTER HEWITT <Photos below>, who did play-by-play hockey on both national radio and CBC television.
From 1967 CKFH offered a Top 40 format to compete with rival CHUM, until it switched to country music in 1975. Foster Hewitt sold the station in the early 1980’s, when it became CJCL,, which then evolved into The Fan 590. The 1430 frequency is now home to multicultural Fairchild Radio.
From Pam Chiotti on the Torontoist website: “After 30 years in radio, my days at FH are still my most memorable and best-loved. The first turkey I ever cooked was the one given to me by Foster Hewitt for Christmas.”
STOLLERYS has been a Bloor Street West menswear retailer of British and European apparel since 1901. It’s being taken down and will be replaced in the near future by a skyscraper designed by prominent British architect, NORMAN FOSTER. Developer SAM MIZRAHI bought the building in October, applied immediately for a demolition permit, it was approved on Friday, and work began on Sunday. Things happen fast at the ‘crossroads of TORONTO’. <PHOTO ABOVE – Stollerys in 1923, Bloor and Yonge, City of Toronto Archives>
WINNIPEG has the market cornered when it comes to frigid cold. Temperatures in the ‘Peg can dip to -50 C, and remain there for several days. By comparison TORONTO can be downright balmy in winter (-17C to -26C + windchill on occasion).
In both cities, ‘Winter Stations‘ or ‘warming huts‘ give people a place to sit if nothing else, and maybe soak up a bit of colour and warmth. RAW Design and Ferris and Associates got some cash from developers ($15,000 for each installation) and launched a competition last spring. They received a “United Nations of entries” from South Korea, China, Japan, Iran, the Netherlands, Belgium and Mexico.
Five winning warming huts are in Beaches Park at the foot of Kew Gardens, near the five lifeguard stations.
<PHOTOS by RAW Design – 1) Hot Box, Michaela MacLeod and Nicholas Croft, Toronto; 2) Sling Swing, 9-seat swing made of heavy fabric, WMB Studio London/Liverpool; 3) Snowcone, Diana Koncan and Lily Jeon, Ryerson University, Toronto>