IN TIME FOR CANADA DAY, JULY 1, THE POST OFFICE ISSUES ITS FIRST FABRIC STAMP – CANADA’S FLAG

FABRICSTAMP1When you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t. Canada’s Post Office is celebrating both Canada Day and the 50th anniversary of our flag, by issuing its first stamp made from rayon fabric. Measuring 9 x 14 centimetres, the $5 stamp can be used for regular postage, but it’s really aimed at collectors.  Stamp designer KOSTA TSETSEKA on the challenge of printing the large flag stamp: “There’s a real coarseness to the material, so ink doesn’t quite behave the way that we’re used to.” A lot of trial and error took place before the final process for creating the stamp was worked out, he said.  Only 300,000 are for sale.FLAG5

COLUMNIST MATT ELLIOTT: “DENZIL, STOP KVETCHING ABOUT THE WATERFRONT & ENJOY IT”

Don Valley East councillor DENZIL MINNAN-WONG has made a career out of complaining and nitpicking. Lately the Deputy Mayor has been sinking his pincers into Waterfront Toronto, award-winning Sugar Beach and its pink umbrellas, and a new washroom built at the Cherry Beach Sports Fields.

MINNAN-WONG2Metro News columnist MATT ELLIOTT <PHOTO ABOVE>: “For years he’s taken regular shots at Waterfront Toronto — the agency tasked with waterfront development by the municipal, provincial and federal governments . . . It’s tiresome. Not because Waterfront Toronto’s efforts to finally revitalize the city’s waterfront have been beyond criticism, but because it’s not clear Minnan-Wong has any kind of alternative strategy in mind for the management of waterfront projects.”

MINNAN-WONG4“I can’t abide by those who only want to tear down Waterfront Toronto’s efforts just as those efforts are really starting to pay off. There’s a good vibe down at TORONTO’s waterfront — finally. Let’s celebrate that.”

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‘THE ARCHITECTURE OF EMPTY’ BY KEVIN MORRIS AND SHANE FESTER

TORONTO photographers, SHANE FESTER and KEVIN MORRIS, traveled all over Southern Ontario shooting countless images of pedestrian public spaces which – normally – would be filled with an overwhelming collection of physical and sense-based activities, norms, and behaviours.  In other words, they photographed interiors of buildings, devoid of humankind, after hours.  And what fine images they are.

empty2empty1<PHOTOS ABOVE – Toronto Central Reference Library/2012, and Terminal 1 check-in, Pearson International AirportTo learn much more about these two photographers, and see a portfolio of their work, check them out online – http://www.KevinMorris.ca . . . .  .  http://www.facebook.com and search for Shane Fester Photography.

DESPITE NON-STOP DOWNPOURS, MAYOR JOHN TORY & CITY COUNCIL DID TORONTO PROUD ON SUNDAY

TORYPRIDE4After four years without a mayoral rep in our Gay Pride Parade, MAYOR JOHN TORY and city councillors got out there – despite almost continuous rain and cool temperatures – and showed some true Canuck pluck. They were awesome. TORONTO and the LGBTQ community in particular, needed this. Well done, Mr. Mayor!

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TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD SHOWS OFF ITS VAST ARCHIVE IN A NEW EAST-END MUSEUM

TDSB3 Over a very long time the TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD (TDSB) has assembled a priceless collection of objects, art and artifacts, focused on the history of public schooling and the city itself. Now, free of charge, the public can peruse parts of the collection in a new museum at the TDSB Museum in Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute, 16 Phin Avenue, near Danforth and Donlands.

TDSB4The 10,000 square-foot space has been given the honourary Ojibway name Debwemowin, meaning House Where The Truth Resides. On display is “a tiny snapshot of our collection”, says Superintendent of Education John Chasty. “This gives us a permanent space we can work on and be proud of.”

TDSB2And there is much to be proud of – a unique tear drop boardroom table from the 1870’s, School Board meeting minutes from 1847, a massive calculating machine that dates back to the 1890’s, a dentist’s chair, large gramophone, science class specimens, sports equipment, textbooks, the “strap”, slides, inkwells, desks, a 1920‘s table top piano from the Metropolitan School for the Deaf, a restored chandelier, seats of honour from the original Board, taxidermy, record albums on venereal disease, sex education and marijuana smoking. Etc.

TDSB1Visitors are most welcome. To book an appointment, e-mail greg.mckinnon@tdsb.on.ca

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JAMAL BURGER (aka JAYSCALE) HAS BECOME AN INSTAGRAM HIT PHOTOGRAPHING CITIES

JAMAL1 Brought up in TORONTO’s Regent Park, JAMAL BURGER, 22, is having the time of his life these days with a camera. So much so that after dropping out of university, he’s been working on projects for American Express, Nike Basketball, Timbuk2, Sportchek, Best Buy, and tech giant LG, among others. On Instagram he has over 55,000 followers.

JAMAL2So far Jamal has trained his LG G4 Smartphone on the cityscapes of TORONTO, Chicago, New York, Vancouver and Montreal from a helicopter or on top of tall buildings. <PHOTOS –  a couple of Jayscale TORONTO images above and below>.

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CHARLES CORREA’S ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTRE NOW SHARES SPACE WITH THE AGA KHAN MUSEUM

ISMAILICENTRE4The new Ismaili Centre for TORONTO’s Islamic community has risen adjacent to the Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive. Indian firm Charles Correa Associates designed the cultural centre in partnership with TORONTO’s Moriyama & Teshima Architects. It sits in a seven-hectare park designed by Lebanese landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.

ISMAILICENTRE2Panes of translucent glass diffuse bright sunlight during the day, and allow the dome to glow at night. The dome will no doubt become a landmark beacon to drivers on the nearby Don Valley Parkway.

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THE PAN AM GAMES HAVE INVESTED $2.8-MILLION TO ILLUMINATE THE PRINCE EDWARD VIADUCT

VEIL2 VEIL1It’s a longlasting gift to our city. Twelve years after the “Luminous Veil” was installed on the Prince Edward Viaduct, it will be illuminated end-to-end on Saturday night, July 4. At $2.8-million, the light show represents the biggest investment in a single piece of public art in TORONTO.  <PHOTOS – 1) looking up at the Viaduct and the ‘Veil’; and 2) a test run of the illuminations, REDDIT>

VEIL4VEIL5The Viaduct opened in 1918 minus the “luminous veil” (which was originally created to prevent suicides). The bridge, which spans the Don Valley, carries the Bloor-Danforth subway, four lanes of traffic, and two sidewalks into (what once was) the village of Danforth.  On July 4, the Viaduct will be closed for an evening of celebration with live music, Thrill of the Grill (i.e. plenty of food), illumination of the Veil, and the arrival of the Pan Am Games torch. For more details go to http://www.toronto2015.org/torch-relay & http://www.thedanforth.caPAN-AM9