‘SHORELINE COMMEMORATIVE’ BY PAUL RAFF, GLASS, BRONZE, LIMESTONE, BRICK – MARKET STREET

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DOWNTOWNERS ARE BECOMING LESS OBLIVIOUS TO TORONTO’S LANEWAY NETWORK

LANEWAYS5TORONTO’s laneway network offers a totally different view of the city. Some are in advanced states of disrepair, others have become street-art galleries. There are new laneway houses, small business outlets, some of the city’s earliest architecture, gardens, warehouses and miles of electric cabling. Books have been written about them. Movies, music videos, television shows and fashion photos are shot there. They’re important sinews that hold our city together. Why not explore one (or several) today?

LANEWAYS1LANEWAYS7LANEWAYS11LANEWAYS6The Laneway Project Team is one organization that hopes to give TORONTO’s alleyways the respect they deserve. Check out their website – http://www.thelanewayproject.ca

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‘AURA’ AT COLLEGE PARK LIGHTS UP DOWNTOWN WITH LED-LIGHT ICICLES

aura2Canderel’s AURA, Gerrard Street at Yonge, is hard to miss. Rising 78 storeys above TORONTO’s College Park, the structure is – for the moment anyway – the tallest apartment tower in the city.

In an attempt to make AURA stand out even more on the downtown skyline ten LED-light icicles are presently being tested. Plans are to make them permanent.

THE ‘NEW BROADVIEW HOTEL’ & JILLY’S STRIP-CLUB ARE METAMORPHOSING INTO A BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Streetcar Developments bought the 123-year-old New Broadview last year and is now gutting the building and turning it into a boutique hotel. It will join the Drake, Winchester and Gladstone on the list of TORONTO’s small gentrified brick hotels, saved from the wrecker’s ball, and now neighbourhood landmarks.
Queen Street East at Broadview Avenue in Riverside.

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‘COURAGE’ – SOME WORDS OF COMFORT FROM THE CORNER STORE, COLLEGE STREET @ HURON

candle11Written on the corner store wall, ‘Courage’ by Daisaku Ikeda.  With a federal election approaching, some words of comfort from the neighbourhood corner store.  Painted by Sung Eun Kim and Chanyoung Park it says  “Rather than lift your voice in a thousand laments at the encroaching darkness, light a single candle!”

DOWNTOWN TORONTO’S ‘WAR’ ON SURFACE CAR PARKS BEGAN IN THE 1970’S

PARKINGLOTS2Coming out of the 1960’s when tearing stuff down to make way for the automobile was considered progress, our city centre was littered with surface car parks. But eventually wiser heads prevailed, and now all but a couple of them are gone, converted into parks and development with below-grade parking.  <PHOTO ABOVE – St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, ca1970> – all of these parking lots have been developed and a triangular-shaped Berczy Park with fountains was created behind the Flatiron Building.  A change for the better in the oldest part of the city.

PARKINGLOTS1<PHOTO ABOVE – shadow of the CN Tower crosses acres of surface car parks on the south side of King & Wellington Streets.  They’ve been replaced by David Pecaut Square, the Metro Hall complex, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and the Royal Bank of Canada tower>  City of Toronto Archives – photos