LOOKING BACK AT 2015 – IT WAS AN ALL ‘ROUND STELLAR YEAR FOR TORONTO

demolition1January/2015 – Mayor John Tory launches a war on gridlock – 962 cars/trucks towed, 5,806 ticketed; warming huts appear on TORONTO beaches; the last two of Peter Dickinson’s Regent Park apartment towers are demolished (PHOTO ABOVE)

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February/2015 – Massey Music Hall gets $135-million for a makeover; TORONTO’s ‘underground’ makes itself heard on a new radio station; Hamlet the Wombat celebrates 33rd birthday at Toronto Zoo; University of Toronto students have old-fashioned fun in the snow; (PHOTO ABOVE)

oscarflores1March/2015 – Daniel’s ‘City of Arts’ project is unveiled for the Eastern Waterfront; Casey House begins work on a 50,000 sq. ft. HIV/AIDS health care facility; TORONTO becomes Canada’s trading hub for Chinese currency – a big win; photographer Cameron McLellan takes E.T. on a downtown tour; Mayor John Tory visits Austin, Texas – plans to fire-up TORONTO’s music scene ASAP; work begins resurrecting Glen Road’s old Victorian houses; TORONTO joins the ‘$1-million for a house club’; U.K.‘s Norman Foster and Partners to build Canada’s tallest condo at Yonge and Bloor; anonymous donors give Ryerson University an invaluable Berenice Abbott archive; urban explorer and rooftopper Oscar Flores photographs TORONTO at night (PHOTO ABOVE)

alastair2April/2015 – GO Transit opens a new 62,000-square-foot York Street Concourse at Union Station; Premier Kathleen Wynne opens Pearson Airport to Union Station Express service; Pan Am Sports Centre in Scarborough is now Canada’s largest single investment in amateur sports; ‘Dennis’ and ‘Lea’, two 400-tonne tunnel borers surface on the Crosstown LRT project along Eglinton Avenue – hot chocolate served by Metrolinx; formidable “Fort Book” (The Robarts Library) to add a 1,200 seat 4-storey light glass reading room; Inn on the Park tower is demolished; Ryerson University’s Student Learning Centre stands out on Yonge Street; adventurer Alastair Humphreys says 2015 is the year to explore your own city or neighbourhood (PHOTO ABOVE)

SAKURA2May/2015 – city will be left with the Pan Am Path and multiple legacy projects once the Pan Am Parapan Am Games end; Christie’s International Real Estate ranks TORONTO the ‘world’s hottest luxury housing market’; High Park welcomes spring with its annual sakura (cherry blossom) festival – over 2,000 trees (PHOTO ABOVE)

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June/2015 – to great acclaim Waterfront Toronto opens its rebuilt Queens Quay West with separated biking paths, parks and gardens; despite non-stop downpours Mayor John Tory and City Council march in the country’s largest Pride Parade; Toronto District School Board opens a museum to show off its vast archive; the new Ismaili Centre opens next to the Aga Khan Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art announces it’s tripling its size and moving into the 10-storey Tower Automotive Building on Sterling Road; the Queen Street Viaduct lighting project is finished in time for the Pan Am Games; TORONTO’s retired streetcar #1074 is still working on San Francisco’s ‘F‘ line; an undulating piece of steel appears on Sumach Street at Eastern Avenue (PHOTO ABOVE)

opening3July/2015 – Derek Revington’s ‘Luminous Veil’ is inaugurated on the Prince Edward Viaduct; Bill Bishop Island Airport is joined to the mainland by a tunnel; TORONTO joins six major cities across the world with a new YouTube production space; TORONTO has a mile (1.6 km) of culture along Bloor Street West; street artists and muralists liven up Corktown’s Underpass Park; a chandelier refitted with uranium glass beads and ultra-violet bulbs stars in the AGO’s ‘Camera Atomica’ show; six of our most beautiful Victorian houses will be ‘wedded’ to a glass tower on Sultan Street; giant acorn sculpture a hit in Joel Weeks Park; the Pan Am Games open and the CN Tower knocks itself out (PHOTO ABOVE)

jillys1August/2015 – TORONTO fails to make The Independent’s list of ‘The World’s Grumpiest Cities” – #1 is Moscow; Metropolis Magazine ranks TORONTO the ‘most liveable city in the world’; it’s been an extraordinarily busy summer for TORONTO’s free Ambassador Tour Program; Sunday’s Antiques and Flea Market moves into a block-long tent to make way for a brand new North St. Lawrence Market; plans are announced to restore the former Loblaws head office warehouse building on Lakeshore West; the city’s laneways are beginning to get the attention they deserve; ‘Aura’ at College Park tops off with LED light icicles; a former strip club on Broadview at Queen East is gutted and turned into a boutique hotel, thanks to Streetcar Developments (PHOTO ABOVE)

tiff42September/2015 – A critical mass of high-design retailers puts down roots in King Street East Design District; Chicago reporter finds TORONTO’s Latin cuisine ‘delicioso’; the Fashion District takes off with a vast collection of heritage buildings and warehouses; Mayor John Tory decides the city will not to make a bid for the 2024 Olympics; the Bay Street Corridor is becoming an exciting new high-rise neighbourhood; 473,000 attend the Toronto International Film Festival to see hundreds of movies (PHOTO ABOVE)

PANDABIRTH4October/2015 – Justin Trudeau’s Liberals shellack Stephen Harper and his Conservatives with a 184 seat majority win; WestJet presents ‘Frozen’, its newest custom-painted aircraft at Pearson Airport; thanks to actor Steve Martin, Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris gets a show in Los Angeles; Charles Street East is now a happening place for apartment dwellers; a tuxedo squirrel is discovered in The Annex; TORONTO’s ‘Nightmare on Queen Street West’, aka Rob Ford, returns in book form with the release of ‘Rob Ford; Uncontrollable’; Vancouver developer (Concert) finances the rebuilding of Berczy Park on Wellington Street; two giant panda cubs are born at Toronto Zoo (PHOTO ABOVE)

youngplace2November/2015 – Giant panda cubs at Toronto Zoo are thriving; Regent Park is born again after a decade of razing and rebuilding; Opera Atelier and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra perform again at the Royal Opera House, Chateau de Versailles; a new hipster village pops up along Dundas Street West; approval ratings for Mayor John Tory reach an unprecedented 77%; cash-in-hand plans are announced for an animated park underneath the Gardiner Expressway; Greater TORONTO now has seven members in the newly elected federal cabinet; four white lion cubs born in September are healthy and active at Toronto Zoo; Artscape YoungPlace bucks the trend of kicking artists out of gentrifying neighbourhoods (PHOTO ABOVE)

mountainglacier1December/2015 – Grange Park will be undergoing an $11-million renovation this winter; the dowdy corner of Dundas and University Avenue gets a facelift with the arrival of #488; with the mild weather our black squirrels are fattening up; a young Red Tail Hawk visits City Hall; Syrian refugees arrive at TORONTO’s Pearson Airport; ‘The Six’ (aka TORONTO) gets its own Nike Air Max 1’s thanks to Drake; a Lawren Harris painting ‘Mountain and Glacier’ sells for a record $4.6-million in a Heffel auction (PHOTO ABOVE)

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