<THEO MOUDAKIS, Toronto Star, March 22/2016>
<Riverdale Farm’s iconic horse beside the Simpson Farmhouse has a new look. Kids love it.>
<2 of 5 piglets born at the Farm in 2015>
<New-born goats and their mother under heat lamps, 2016>
What better place to spend some quality time than Riverdale Farm? Formerly the site of Toronto’s Zoo, Riverdale is a delight for tourists and locals alike. Adjacent to the Farm you’ll find Riverdale Park and Ravine, a wildlife sanctuary, the Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District (the largest collection of Victorian-era houses in North America) and one of the oldest cemeteries in Ontario. Open all year, it’s been resolutely defended and kept financially stable by the community.
To reach Riverdale Farm by public transport – CASTLEFRANK subway station, and then Parliament bus #65 to Winchester Street, and walk east. OR COLLEGE subway station, and then streetcar #506 eastbound to Parliament Street and walk east.
TORONTO’s storied main street – Yonge – is presently being overshadowed by high-rise condo towers. There are construction cranes on almost every significant block raising steel behind low-rise Victorian brick structures. But City Hall has come to the rescue, designating Yonge between College and Bloor a Heritage Conservation District.
<PHOTO ABOVE – The remains of a full city block, demolished in February from Alexander Street to Maitland. Fortunately the 1950’s low-rises on this site will probably not be missed.> According to Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam there are over 30 active development applications along Yonge between Bloor and the waterfront. Small property owners have been selling out to big developers and that could mean runaway high-rise. The heritage designation won’t stop skyscrapers but it will keep them at bay, and help preserve the street’s character.
<PHOTO ABOVE – this row from Cumberland Street to Yorkville Avenue is just outside the conservation district. It’s being integrated by the developers into a new condo development – No. 1 Yorkville> Mark Garner of the Downtown Business Improvement Area told Metro News “residents want the independent coffee shop, butcher shop and chocolatier.” In other words, big box stores will not be replacing these little shops, and the street will keep some of its hodge-podge charm. Well done, City Hall, and not a moment too soon.
Metrolinx got the message. It’ll now cost $12 ($9 with a Presto card) to travel between Union Station downtown and Pearson International Airport (reduced from $27.50). UPExpress was expected to attract 5,000 riders per day for the first year of service, but was only averaging 2,300. Changes to this deluxe service were made just in time for March Break.
There’s a good possibility TORONTO’s Bloor Street West will finally get bike lanes – after several decades in the making. Plans are to install bikeways on both sides of Bloor from Shaw Street to Avenue Road. The grumbling amongst motorists and business owners has begun. “Support among residents and business is strong.” – Jared Kolb, Cycle TORONTO For Globe and Mail columnist MARCUS GEE’s thoughts on street parking and bike lanes go to “Grow up TORONTO, it’s time to let street parking go” – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/grow-up-toronto-its-time-to-let-street-parking-go/article29188632/
Front page of Canada’s NATIONAL POST on Friday with the brotherly caption “Our great countries have been friends a long time. We grew up together.” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
TORONTO- based designer LUCIAN MATIS got the surprise of his life when Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau arrived at the White House welcoming ceremony in one of his creations – a sleeved red dress with orchids. “I was floored. I was completely ecstatic.” he said. <PHOTO BELOW – the Prime Minister’s wife and First Lady Michelle Obama have some fun.>
Romanian-born Matis already knew that Mrs. Grégoire-Trudeau was planning to wear one of his dresses to the White House state dinner, but had no idea she’d begin and end the day in two of his designs. For more on Lucian Matis – http://lucianmatis.com/#about-1-1-1
One of my favourite places in the world is California. I’ve been there many times, and despite mud slides, drought, floods, canyon fires, freeway angst, sprawl, overpopulation etc. – it still shines brightly. <PHOTO ABOVE – 6:30 am, sunrise over Palm Desert>
I’m standing in front of Robert Therrien’s ‘Under The Table’ at the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Grand Avenue South, Los Angeles. The Broad is LA’s newest art attraction – lineups every day.
Two Canada Geese drop in for an (unwelcome) visit.
Norm’s, a California institution – like Fran’s in TORONTO
Windmill farm, Palm Springs, off Interstate 10
Testing Santa Monica’s brand new lightrail (LRT) transit system
Inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LAPhil)
A Big Blue Bus stop, Santa Monica, a city that embraces public transport
Farewell to Palm Springs – until next time.
Passing over Chicago after midnight