REMEMBERING TORONTO IN 1956 – WHEN YOU COULDN’T WINDOW SHOP ON SUNDAYS

WINDOWSHOPPING3WINDOWSHOPPING2Sundays were pretty bleak in ‘TORONTO the Good‘.  In 1956 when these photos were taken, the T. Eaton Company on College Street drew the drapes on Saturday night, and they remained closed until Monday morning.  <PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives>

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NATIVE CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES BUILDING CONNECTS THE CITY WITH NATURE

NATIVEBLDG1From the outside, it’s just another 1980’s-era office building.  But inside, Levitt Goodman Architects have created a welcoming oasis for urban aboriginals in the heart of TORONTO.  From its lush rooftop garden on down, the Native Child and Family Services project, 30 College Street, combines family, mental health and social services within a friendly natural environment.

NATIVEBLDG3There are teaching hills; plantings of sweet grass, tobacco, corn and squash; an aboriginal artists studio; and space for assemblies of all kinds.  <PHOTOS – Ben Rahn/A-Frame Inc. & Jesse Colin Jackson>

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THE FERRY GOES TO WARD’S ISLAND EVEN IN WINTER, FROM THE FOOT OF YONGE STREET

ISLANDS1Pack a lunch, a thermos and some warm mitts.  Suit up the kids, and head down to UNION station.  Transfer to the 509 or 510 streetcar, get tickets for the car ferry – and you’re off to Ward’s Island.

ISLANDS6 TORONTO Islands, a vast network of parks, canals, a boardwalk, superb views of the city skyline and Lake Ontario, and a collection of 250 winterized cottages . . . only 15 minutes from the foot of Yonge Street.  Exit the boat at Ward’s, or stay aboard for the return journey.  Winter and summer schedules differ.

ISLANDS3ISLANDS4     PHOTOS ABOVE & BELOW – Ward’s Island cottages, from http://mzodell.blogspot.com

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COLOURFUL IMAGES FROM OUR COLOURFUL PAST – CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES

LOSTTORONTO1        <TOPS restaurant & tavern next door to the Biltmore 4-features Cinema>

LOSTTORONTO2<GERRARD STREET VILLAGE, between Yonge and Bay – demolished>

LOSTTORONTO9<THE ODEON CARLTON, with its giant pipe organ, 20 Carlton Street – demolished; peeking over the top right CBC ‘s free-standing television tower – demolished >

LOSTTORONTO5<1937>

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<PCC – Presidents’ Conference Committee red streetcars and a yellow track grinder>

LOSTTORONTO3<MILKMAN and his faithful steed, Toronto, 1900>

LOSTTORONTO8<Sam the Record Man, Yonge Street at Gould – replaced by Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre>

LOSTTORONTO12<The Better Way was the subway, and it still is, poster ca1960’s>

LOSTTORONTO6<Boating on Centre Island>  PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives & Vintage Toronto – https://www.facebook.com/VintageToronto/photos

TORONTO AND MONTREAL ARE IN 1ST & 2ND PLACE ON THE ECONOMIST’S 2015 LIVEABILITY INDEX

ECONOMIST3 According to The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2015 these were the 10 most liveable cities in the world:
1. TORONTO
2. MONTREAL
3. Stockholm
4. Amsterdam
5. San Francisco
6. Melbourne
7. Zurich
8. Washington DC
9. Sydney
10. Chicago

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<‘Blue Fog’, TORONTO at night, Giulio Calisse photographer>  To make it onto the Top 10 List a city must score on digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal safety.  It must have healthy business and environmental rankings, a manageable cost-of-living, good numbers on the democracy index and global food security.  After all this was taken into consideration, TORONTO came out on top followed by MONTREAL.

ECONOMIST2<PHOTO ABOVE – Montreal from Mount Royal>

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BROOKLYN IS RACING WITH TORONTO TO BECOME THE ‘RACCOON CAPITAL OF NORTH AMERICA’

RACCOONS3This winter TORONTO’s raccoons are fatter than ever. Temperatures have gone way up and hibernation has become a non-starter for these cute, noisy, garbage-loving creatures of the night.

RACCOONS1    BROOKLYN, New York has long been another favourite raccoon haunt. Brooklynites are realizing they can’t get rid of them without breaking the law.  They’ve moved in and they’re here to stay.

RACCOONS5A couple of choice New York City-type quotations above and below from Wendy Hooker, a South Park homeowner. Ms. Hooker first spotted a raccoon 11 years ago while brushing her teeth.

RACCOONS6Now – as in Toronto – the Common Raccoon has joined Brooklyn’s trendy urban scene.

RACCOONS2“Let’s eat!”