AFTER 114 YEARS AT THE CORNER OF BLOOR AND YONGE, STOLLERYS IS NO MORE

STOLLERYS1 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>

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FEELING THE WINTER BLUES? CHECK OUT THE COLOURS ALONG QUEEN STREET WEST

ARTWORKS1In the laneways, adjoining streets and along Queen Street West the work of TORONTO’s street artists is on show.  Wait for a sunny day and check it out.  Queen Street West from Bathurst to Ossington.

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TORONTO TAKES A PAGE FROM WINNIPEG’S HANDBOOK: WE NOW HAVE WARMING HUTS

WARMINGHUTS1 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).

WARMINGHUTS5In 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.

WARMINGHUTS2<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>

WARMINGHUTS3RAW DESIGN: http://www.rawdesign.ca & FERRIS & ASSOCIATES: http://www.ferrisassociatesinc.com/

TORONTO’S ‘FAMOUS PEOPLE PLAYERS’, FOUNDED ON JUNE 1, 1974, HEADS FOR ITS 5TH DECADE

FAMOUS2 It’s been four decades now since Hamiltonian DIANE DUPUY took the plunge and brought a unique TORONTO theatre company to life. Over the years since, the FAMOUS PEOPLE PLAYERS have appeared on Broadway, at Sea World, in Las Vegas, at Radio City Music Hall, and numerous times on Canadian and American television. Their Phil Collins Theatre is the only one in Canada dedicated to puppet performance.

FAMOUS6FAMOUS3This dazzling company combines puppetry with black-light theatre, and is largely the work of those who are developmentally challenged. Home base is the Dine and Dream Theatre, 343 Evans Avenue in the west-end’s Sherwood Industrial Mall.

FAMOUS7FAMOUS1For more information on the Famous People Players, travel directions and showtimes: http://www.famouspeopleplayers.com

FAMOUS8Diane Lynn Dupuy, recipient of the Order of Canada is the President and Founder of the FAMOUS PEOPLE PLAYERS.

BEIJING KICKS OFF 2015 BY OPENING 4 NEW SUBWAY LINES FOR A TOTAL OF 18 LINES!

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In 2002 when BEIJING and TORONTO were bidding for the 2008 Olympics, Beijing had 70 km of subway; Toronto 68 km. Thirteen years later, Beijing boasts 527 km and 320 stations serving 18 lines. TORONTO still has 68 km of track, with six new stations opening soon. Of course the two city regions aren’t the same size – Beijing’s population is 20-million; the Greater Toronto Area 6-million. But 18 lines – wow!

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A MUCH IMPROVED REGENT PARK NEIGHBOURHOOD HAS A NEW ICE RINK IN IT

A rejuvenated Regent Park Ice Rink opened on Saturday, January 3 at the corner of Sumach and Dundas Street East. Thanks to Toronto Community Housing, The Daniel’s Corporation, The City of Toronto, Toronto Maple Leafs, the Hockey Canada Foundation, and the Toronto Police Department, kids in Corktown and Regent Park have a first-class place to skate and play.  And there’s more. Coming soon to the Regent Park Athletic Grounds – a new basketball court and a soccer/cricket pitch.
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BOOMERS & FOREIGN INVESTORS CREATE “ROBUST CONSUMER DEMAND” IN T.O. REAL ESTATE MARKET

TORONTO’s real estate market was firing on all cylinders in 2014, with a 38% surge over 2013 in the sale of high-end houses and apartments. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada reports that TORONTO has even outstripped VANCOUVER at 25%, as well as MONTREAL at 21% and CALGARY at 16%Sotheby’s Canada president & CEO ROSS McCREDIE: “There are about 270,000 high-net-worth families in Canada and there are more of them driving this market than ever before, especially in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
“The real story, maybe more in the GTA than anywhere else in Canada, is that the baby boomer is largely driving this market right now. They have a lot of money, they are inheriting a lot of money and they are giving away a lot of money,” he said.  Within the GTA, sales of homes between $1-2-million were up 39%; sales of $2-4-million were up 38% over 2013; and $4-million-plus sales increased by 10%.