‘SEARCHLIGHTS IN PARKDALE’ BY TORONTO POET HARRY RUDOLFS

SEARCHLIGHTS1Walking through PARKDALE, I came across this poem by Harry Rudolfs, attached to a glass doorway.  A resident of the neighbourhood, Harry worked as a dishwasher, apprentice mechanic, editor, trucker, foreign correspondent and taxi driver. He’s written over 100 articles for North American and European journals and newspapers, including features for the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and CBC radio.Searchlights in Parkdale
remembering
searchlights in my youth
beaming into the night sky
from one of the North Toronto
car dealerships
squatting on my haunches
beside the tarred road
with binoculars
searching the exaggerated valleys
of lamplit streets
running toward Yonge Street
so tonight the four beams
intersecting skyward outside
my window in Parkdale
draw me to railing
hands gripping iron bars
trying to look around the corner
*HARRY RUDOLFS

THE LOW CDN $ MAKES 2015 A ‘BOOMTIME’ FOR TORONTO’S TELEVISION & MOVIE-MAKING FACTORIES

STUDIOS2 One bright side to the diminishing value of the Canadian dollar comes our way courtesy the television and movie-making industries. Things are really cooking in studios across town.

STUDIOS5Cinespace Film Studios, for example, has six television series simultaneously shooting here. “Business is so good that Cinespace has had to turn some shows away from its three TORONTO studios,” writes ERIC LAM of Bloomberg News. Cinespace has also opened a new studio complex in CHICAGO.

STUDIOS4STUDIOS3Movies recently filmed in TORONTO have included ‘Furious 7’ and ‘Suicide Squad’; television series ‘Reign’ now in its third season, and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in its fourth season.

STUDIOS615,000 members of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists are based in TORONTO. Unifor’s Film, Television and New Media represents another 1,000-plus members in the city. TORONTO took in $1.29-billion from the movie industry in 2014, and is on track to increase that in 2015.

STUDIOS1

DOWNTON ABBEY’S LOYAL FAN, THE QUEEN, IS NOW THE LONGEST-SERVING BRITISH MONARCH

QUEENELIZABETH1Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor (aka Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) has overtaken her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria’s record-setting reign.  “The 89-year-old has supplanted Queen Victoria as holder of the title “Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth and Defender of the Faith” for the longest period – including any king – since her coronation as a 25-year-old 63 years ago.”  Jessica Staufenberg, THE INDEPENDENT, September 9/2015

QUEENELIZABETH2 QUEENELIZABETH3<PHOTOS ABOVE – the Queen in Edinburgh on September 9 & ‘Long May She Reign’, Post Office Tower, London – Reuters News Agency Photos>

COACH HOUSE BOOKS ON BPNICHOL LANE CELEBRATES A HALF-CENTURY OF INDIE PUBLISHING

COACH1Founded in 1965 by Stan Bevington, Coach House Books is still going strong in its row of well-worn brick buildings on bpNichol Lane. The independent company has a long and vibrant history publishing poetry, drama, literature and ephemera of all kinds – including the earliest work of Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Gwendolyn MacEwen and the Vancouver poet bpNichol.

COACH3<STAN BEVINGTON, founder of Coach House Books, 1965Coach House prints its own titles, as well as books for 200 small Canadian publishers and literary magazines, including the Hart House Review.  It’s a “haven for the avant-garde and the anarchic, and a repository of revolutionary inclinations and ideas”

COACH2<EXTERIOR PHOTO – Snuffy/flickr>

AMELIA EARHART LIVED HERE – ST. REGIS HOTEL, 392 SHERBOURNE STREET, TORONTO

AMELIA2AMELIA4The blue plaque tells us that the famous aviatrix AMELIA EARHART spent two years in TORONTO working as a nurse’s aide with the Canadian Red Cross at the Spadina Military Convalescent Hospital attending to “the walking wounded” of World War One.AMELIA1From 1917-1919 she lived at the St. Regis Hotel, 392 Sherborune Street, since demolished and replaced by a high-rise apartment building.AMELIA3AMELIA5<A young Amelia Erhart, TORONTO, ca1917>

CYCLE, WALK OR JOG THROUGH EXHIBITION PLACE – A PUBLIC GARDEN WITH A PAST

exhibition10      Best time to go: a weekday morning when there are few vehicles and no trade shows.exhibition1<PHOTOS BELOW – memorial to the old Fort Rouille; Peace Fountain and the first urban wind turbine in North America; John Scadding’s log cabin, 1794; largest rose garden in the city; the restored Princes’ Gates; and just across Lakeshore Boulevard – Coronation Park and Lake Ontario.>

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KIKO AND THE GIRLS ARE ENJOYING SUMMER IN THE CITY AT TORONTO ZOO

GIRAFFES1<PHOTO BELOW – Mstari (Mi-Starry), the 17th Masai Giraffe born a short time ago at the TORONTO Zoo.>

giraffe1TORONTO’s Zoo is located in the East End of the city in the rolling hills of the Rouge Valley.  It’s easy to get there – by car, from downtown, take the 401 Eastbound to Exit 389, Meadowvale Road.  Follow the Zoo signs to 361A Old Finch Avenue.  Large parking lot.  By TTC bus, take the subway (Sheppard Line) to DON MILLS STATION.  Bus #85 leaves from here, and will drop you in front of the Zoo entrance about 45 minutes later.  Along the way, you’ll pass through suburban Don Mills and Scarborough.

FOR CLOSE CONTACT WITH THE NEIGHBOURS, BAY STREET’S CORRIDOR FILLS THE BILL

CORRIDOR3 Once this neighbourhood was called Clover Hill. Now it’s the Bay Street Corridor, an ever-growing condo gulch, home to thousands of high-income cliff dwellers. Sandwiched between Yonge Street and Bay, close to the Ontario Legislature, Bloor Street West, the University of Toronto and Queen’s Park, the district has changed from low-rise to high-rise in no time at all. <PHOTO ABOVE – condominiums either sold or available in a Bay Street realtor’s office window> CORRIDOR5CORRIDOR8CORRIDOR10<PHOTO ABOVE – the Bay Street Corridor a couple of years ago, before they really started building.  Panoramio Google Maps>