CASA LOMA, 1 AUSTIN TERRACE, IS BOTH A MUSEUM & LANDMARK OVERLOOKING DOWNTOWN

CASALOMA2Casa Loma is TORONTO’s castle, a museum, landmark and special events venue, open to the public year ‘round.

CASALOMA3    Built in 1911-14, by Canadian financier Sir Henry Mill Pellat, the house and stables were designed by E. J. Lennox, architect of Old City Hall and numerous other important buildings.  The castle has a fine view of the city centre.

casaloma5casaloma6Subway stop – DUPONT, and then walk northwest uphill, or ST. CLAIR subway stop, and then streetcar #512 westbound to Spadina Road, and walk south.  <INTERIOR PHOTOS:  Steven V. Rose>

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CINECYCLE MIXES BIKE REPAIRS, MOVIES, MUSIC & EVENTS IN AN ALLEY BEHIND 129 SPADINA AVENUE

CINECYCLE4 CINECYCLE’s Founder and Director, Martin Heath, is the recipient of the Tom Berner Award for “providing extraordinary support to the cause of independent film making in TORONTO.” A former print maker, film handler and projectionist, Martin is a longtime supporter of the city’s music scene.

cinecycle1At different times, CineCycle’s coach house was a stable, home to a fine fur company, and a sweat shop.  The “work to rule” graffiti is from a worker’s action that took place here in the 1930’s.  Bike repairs are by appointment; films are screened on an irregular schedule.  <PHOTO ABOVE – Kelsey Adams/canculture.com & BELOW – blogTO>

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IT’S A BUSTLING FINANCIAL HUB BY DAY, BUT AFTER DARK BAY STREET ROLLS UP THE SIDEWALKS

bayst1When the sun goes down over Canada’s Financial District (Simcoe Street to Yonge, Queen to the edge of Southcore, 15 square blocks), there’s a mass exodus. The population diminishes rapidly from over 200,000 during the day to about 2,239 – the folks who actually live there.Bay at Wellington North_4.30.14 JPRA Census data survey from Environics Analytics for the Toronto Financial District BIA has put the neighbourhood under a microscope and come up with some other facts and figures.  Within the District – there are only 3 residential towers; 2 hotel-condominiums and another under construction. 70% of those surveyed use public transit as their primary commuting mode; 14% either drive or carpool; a significant number who live in surrounding apartment neighbourhoods walk to work, and bicycle use is increasing with the opening of Richmond and Adelaide Street bike paths.

FINANCIAL2A surprising number – 35% – come from outside TORONTO. 64% live in TORONTO, 57% of those polled work in the financial, insurance or real estate sectors, 24% spend $100-$200 weekly on fast food and restaurants in the area. 18% spend $200-$500 weekly on restaurants.  70% have a bachelor’s degree or higher education. 28% speak a language other than French or English.Path273% use the PATH underground tunnel system daily. “It’s a huge economic driver. It’s a significant piece of the vitality here in terms of how the area works,” said BIA executive director Grant Humes.PATH6

‘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.

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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>