A GAP BETWEEN TWO WAREHOUSES LEAVES JUST ENOUGH ROOM TO SQUEEZE IN TOKYO SMOKE

TOKYOSMOKE2Steven Fong Architect collaborated with design entrepreneur Lorne Gertner to turn a small gap between two converted TORONTO warehouses into a ‘next wave’ coffee shop and showroom. The shop is a modified shipping container inside the loading dock of a former tobacco factory at Adelaide and Stafford, just south of West Queen West.

TOKYOSMOKE1<PHOTOS – A-Frame/Ben Rahn>

Advertisements

AT 02:40 AM, APRIL 21/1926 ELIZABETH ALEXANDRA MARY WAS BORN; 64 YRS CANADA’S HEAD-OF-STATE

QUEENELIZABETH1Since her accession in February 1952 Elizabeth II has been Head of the Commonwealth and Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. She has visited Canada 24 times, is very popular here, and it’s hoped she’ll come again for Canada’s 150th birthday celebration in 2017.  <PHOTO ABOVE – Ron Poling, The Canadian Press>

QUEENELIZABETH8<Coronation crown decorates a department store, TORONTO, 1952>

QUEENELIZABETH4<Her Majesty signs Canada’s Constitutional Proclamation on April 17, 1982 as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau looks on. Canadian Press Photo>

QUEENELIZABETH10<Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and The Queen, London, November/2015>  She speaks fluent French, has received many horses from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a couple of beaver as a gift, has a personalized Canadian flag, made the first long-distance call on Canada’s Trans-Atlantic cable telephone system in 1961, dropped the puck at an NHL hockey game, and has traveled to all parts of the country.

<> on July 4, 2010 in Toronto, Canada.

<At Woodbine Race Track in TORONTO for the 151st Queen’s Plate, July 10/2010>

QUEENELIZABETH5

<Wearing 3-D glasses while visiting Pinewood Studios in TORONTO in 2010.  PHOTO – Dominic Chan/W>

QUEENELIZABETH7

<Perusing her hat closet in “Decisions-Decisions”/2013 by TORONTO artist Charles Pachter>

QUEENELIZABETH11

<The Queen with her great-grandchildren.  From left to right: James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise, Mia Tindall with handbag, Princess Charlotte sitting on the Queen’s lap, Savannah Phillips, Prince George and Isla Phillips.  PHOTO – Annie Leibovitz/Getty Images>

QUEENELIZABETH2

MAYOR JOHN TORY CHECKS OUT ASIA’S PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEMS & IS MIGHTILY IMPRESSED

TRANSIT1Smog shrouds and gridlock above ground, but everything is beautiful underground in SHANGHAI, HONG KONG, CHONGQING & TOKYO. Mayor John Tory spent 10 days in China, Hong Kong and Japan, returning to TORONTO with renewed fervor for public transit in this city.

TRANSIT10<ABOVE – Mayor John Tory onboard the Chongqing monorail>  Mayor JOHN TORY: “We rode the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) in Hong Kong and I was crying out of envy of what they’ve built. There are some lessons we can take from what they’ve done.”  <ABOVE – Hong Kong Metro Map>  Four million passengers ride the MTR everyday and they’re expanding it by four lines.  Much like TORONTO, the MTR is updating its signalling systems.  Their contractor is TORONTO company Thales Canada.>

TRANSIT2<ABOVE – Shanghai’s subway map.  Second only to Beijing in terms of ridership, the Shanghai subway hauls 10-million passengers daily over the longest public transit network in the world – 588 kilometres>

TRANSIT9<Mayor Tory – “Those cities responded to the growth they were seeing by doing something. We responded by doing nothing for a long period of time, and even when we talk about doing bold things we wring our hands and find reasons not to do it.”

TTCWORLDPRIDE3On surface routes TORONTO scores fairly well with 8 lengthy streetcar lines, 24-hour bus & streetcar service, suburban double-decker commuter trains and articulated buses – but underground, things aren’t quite so rosy.  The subway serves downtown & the inner suburbs with 69 stations and 6 more on the way. A cross-town LRT underground line is under construction, which will add another 22 stations. There’s a crying need for a Downtown Relief Line.

THE DEPRESSION-ERA CONCOURSE BUILDING, 100 ADELAIDE ST. W., IS ON ITS WAY BACK

ADELAIDE3ADELAIDE4In TORONTO’s rapidly expanding Financial District, new towers are popping up everywhere. Adelaide Street West has become the city’s latest skyscraper canyon. Fortunately the exterior of a 16-storey, art deco, 1929, BALDWIN & GREEN office building is about to make a comeback <PHOTOS ABOVE – Concourse Building overshadowed by its 40-storey neighbour>

ADELAIDE5Before construction began on the adjacent 40-storey office tower, the facade of the old CONCOURSE BUILDING was carefully dismantled and put into storage. It’s now being reassembled, murals and all, at the corner of Sheppard and Adelaide. Ernst and Young will be among the first to occupy this new/old member of the Richmond/Adelaide Centre, taking 225,000 of 900,000 available square feet.

ADELAIDE7Coming soon – the original murals over the entranceway to the old building by Group of Seven artist J.E.H. MacDONALD and the thunderbird motif on the side.

ADELAIDE2ADELAIDE1

ONTARIO ASSOC. OF ARCHITECTS NAMES 4 TORONTO PROJECTS ‘DESIGN EXCELLENCE’ WINNERS/2016

OAA5Selected from almost 200 submissions, the Top 10 includes four TORONTO projects. The Design Excellence winners “exemplify outstanding creativity, context, sustainability, good design, good business and legacy.”

OAA3        1. AGA KHAN MUSEUM, Moriyama & Teshima Architects in association with Maki and Associates; image credit – Gary Otte

OAA12.  HARBORD TOWNS – Superkül Inc.; image credit – Ben Rahn/ A-Frame

OAA83.  SKYGARDEN HOUSE, Dubbeldam Architecture + Design; image credit – Shai Gil

OAA24. TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY, Scarborough Civic Centre Branch, LGA Architectural Partners Ltd. and Phillip H. Carter, Architect in joint venture; image credit – Ben Rahn/A-Frame

A NEW BOOK BY OLIVIA LAING ZEROS IN ON THE ART OF BEING ALONE IN THE BIG CITY

LONELY4Author OLIVIA LAING is no stranger to loneliness herself – heartbroken, approaching her mid-thirties, occupying a series of sublet apartments on New York’s Lower East Side. “What does it feel like to be lonely?” Laing asks. “It feels like being hungry.”  And it looks like this. In her public isolation, she resembles, she says, the woman in Edward Hopper’s painting ‘Automat’. <IMAGE Des Moines Art Center>

LONELY2“Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connection, closeness, kinship: an inability to find as much intimacy as is desired.  “I know what that feels like. I’ve been a citizen of loneliness. I’ve done my time in empty rooms. A few years back I moved to New York, drifting through a succession of sublet apartments. A new relationship had abruptly turned to dust and though I had friends in the city I was paralysed by loneliness. The feelings I had were so raw and overwhelming I often wished I could find a way of losing myself altogether until the intensity diminished.” – OLIVIA LAING, The Lonely City

LONELY1‘Nighthawks’ also by Edward Hopper. No one is talking. No one is looking at anyone else. Is the diner a refuge for the isolated, a place of succour, or does it serve to illustrate the disconnection that proliferates in cities?’ – <IMAGE – Art Institute of Chicago>

LONELY4‘The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone’ by OLIVIA LAING, illustrated, 315 pp, PICADOR