After visiting coffee-mad cities PORTLAND and SEATTLE, Matthew Lee decided TORONTO needs a cafe where people actually look at each other and talk over coffee. He’s proudly declared that his Manic Coffee shop has entered the Wi-Fi Liberation Zone, and he plans to keep it there.
Mathew Lee: “When you look at cafes with Wi-Fi, they’re full of people just working away on their laptops. It’s a closed-off environment where everyone is in their own little world. When you take Wi-Fi away, you’re encouraging people to have a conversation with people next to them.” Manic Coffee, 426 College Street – http://www.maniccoffee.com
<MATTHEW LEE, Manic Coffee, NOW magazine>
As GO Transit’s ridership continues to grow, the Ontario Government is investing billions of dollars increasing train service, buying new rolling stock, and generally making long distance commutes more enjoyable. Today, April 27, the York Street concourse opened inside Union Station. It’s nearly double the size of the Bay Street concourse, and connects with the subway, the underground PATH network, other GO platforms and mainline trains. The railway station itself is undergoing a massive reno and rebuilding, and on June 6 will open express rail service to Pearson International Airport. <PHOTO ABOVE – CBC News . . . . . . . IMAGE BELOW – the Union Station project (click for enlargement)>
<PHOTO ABOVE – York Street concourse, Jack Landau/urbanToronto.ca>
LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) is always focused on ‘perennials with elongated stems or trunks, supporting branches and leaves) – in other words, TREES. We have over 10 million of them in the City of TORONTO alone, with an estimated canopy cover of 28%. The fine speciman below was photographed by city councillor Joe Pantalone. It stands in front of the Press Building at Exhibition Place.
<PREMIER KATHLEEN WYNNE, UP-Express, June 22, photographer Frank Gunn, Toronto Star> TORONTO’s new dedicated air-rail link will cut travel time between Pearson International Airport and downtown’s Union Station and Financial District (with two stops along the way) beginning on Saturday, June 6. Travel time between Union and Pearson will be 25 minutes, with trains arriving every 15 minutes.
Of the top 25 financial centres in the world, TORONTO is the last to launch an air-rail link. Being Canada’s largest city and financial centre, and North America’s fourth largest city (after New York, Los Angeles and Mexico), by 2030 Pearson is expected to be the origin and destination point for almost 60-million travellers annually. The service will offer airline check-in kiosks from Union Station, free Wi-Fi, charging stations, infotainment screens and luggage racks. In its first year of operation, the new service is projected to remove 1.5-million cars from the roads.
Rising above the harbour and downtown, our giant communications tower has been photographed millions of times inside and out, top to bottom – so much so that it’s a challenge finding a unique point-of-view. While idling in traffic, photographer Ross Winter took this rather ‘shy’ picture of the Tower.
It seems everyone wants to live in or visit TORONTO’s central waterfront. Space is at a premium, with multiple condos rising on the north side and a network of parks, promenades and cultural centres on the south. Queens Quay Boulevard is a 3.5 kilometre spine between the two.
Over the last five years WATERFRONT TORONTO has been reconstructing Queens Quay, balancing the needs of residents, businesses, recreation and thousands of visitors. The goal is to turn the once dowdy street into a linear park, connecting wavedecks, theatres, a ferry terminal, cafes, bike trails, galleries, parks and gardens, with a streetcar line up the middle.
A couple of hundred transit buffs turned up to watch two tunnel boring machines being hoisted out of their 30-metre-deep shaft and brought up to street level. The events took place early Saturday and Sunday on Eglinton Avenue West at Allen Road. The tunnel borers – ‘Dennis & Lea’ (for Mount Dennis & Leaside) – were working on the Eglinton-Crosstown lightrail project, and have now been repositioned for the next phase of construction. Metrolinx served hot chocolate to ward off Saturday’s early morning chill.
Rising above Harbord Street at St. George, the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library is a perfect example of TORONTO brutalism. Named after former Ontario premier John Robarts, the building opened in 1973 to mixed reviews – many of them negative. Plans are now afoot to add a 1,200 seat reading room on the Huron Street side of the building. The design, prepared by Diamond Schmitt Architects, features a light glass curtain wall wrapped around the west side, which will allow in 4 storeys of afternoon sunlight. The Robarts Common will be connected to the main library by a four-storey bridge. An extensive green roof is included in the project plan filed with the City of TORONTO.
<IMAGES – Diamond Schmitt Architects>