IT’S A TOUGH YEAR FOR CHERRY BLOSSOMS, BUT OSGOODE HALL’S CRABAPPLES ARE IN FULL BLOOM

OSGOODEHALL1Osgoode Hall’s 50-year-old crabapple trees are standing in this year for High Park’s hundreds of cherry trees.  Here, in the heart of downtown, you can wander the grounds without hordes of people trying to snap instagram pictures as they do in the Park.  A bonus – Osgoode Hall is open to visitors and it’s next door to TORONTO’s new Peace Garden.

OSGOODEHALL2“The buds start to appear in April, and they’re usually in peak bloom by the first week of May,” says ANNE LAW, an on-staff horticulturalist at the Law Society of Upper Canada“The flower petals fall at the same time, leaving a thick carpet of pink along the lawn and the sidewalk,” says Law. “But the effort it takes to clean up is worth it. The flowers are just so beautiful.” – from the Spring/2016 issue of Precedent Magazine

OSGOODEHALL4Osgoode Hall, built in 1829, is next door to New City Hall on Queen Street West at University Avenue.  The Queen streetcar stops outside the gate.

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PHOTOGRAPHER STEVEN EVANS TAKES IN QUEENS QUAY – “IT’S A WHOLE NEW CITY DOWN THERE”

WATERFRONT2TORONTO’s Central Waterfront continues to sprout man-made monoliths as the city expands southward.  PHOTO ABOVE – Steven Evans – http://www.stevenevansphotography.com/

WATERFRONT1Erected in 1917, the Toronto Harbour Commission Building once perched on the edge of a pier.  That’s it in 1919 in the lower right corner. <City of Toronto Archives>

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In 2016 infill has left the 6-storey structure on dry land, surrounded fore and aft by new skyscrapers, the Harbourfront Centre, three theatres, Queens Quay, the Power Plant contemporary art gallery, shops, a streetcar line and a cycling/walking trail.

TOUGH, FUNNY, INTREPID, CURIOUS, COURAGEOUS & CANADIAN – MORLEY SAFER OF ’60 MINUTES’ IS DEAD

Fate can be unkind.  MORLEY SAFER, who had just retired at 84 this week after a distinguished broadcasting career, has died.  According to the news his final words were “it’s been a wonderful ride.”

MORLEY SAFER1  TORONTO-born, educated at Harbord Collegiate and the University of Western Ontario, MORLEY SAFER began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter, moved on to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as a correspondent and producer, and in 1964 was hired by CBS News as a foreign correspondent based in London.

MORLEYSAFER3In 1970 Safer joined the on-camera ’60 Minutes’ crew. He’s been with the program ever since, retiring this week at 84, after completing 919 documentaries.

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THE GLOBE & MAIL, CANADA’S OLDEST NATIONAL NEWSPAPER, DEACCESSIONS ITS PHOTO LIBRARY

GLOBE13For those who love newspapers, history and photography of the analogue age, The Globe and Mail is opening up its archive this spring. The national newspaper’s Old Press Room is showing a collection of captioned images from the past – beautifully presented.

GLOBE2The Globe’s archive contains 750,000 press photographs. An edited collection of 25,000 will be donated to the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada. The remainder will be made available to various institutions and exhibitions – including the 175 images in this one.

GLOBE8Included in the exhibit – still photographs and news footage from Arthur Lipsett’s seminal film “Very Nice, Very Nice”, made by the National Film Board of Canada in 1961. Animation of prints from The Globe and Mail and a film of the obsolete industrial technology of the newspaper factory play alongside.

GLOBE6<Prime Minister Pierre Eliot Trudeau kicks off the Grey Cup Game in 1970; photos JAMES FISH>

GLOBE9<Finnish architect Viljo Revell, architect of TORONTO’s New City Hall with Prof. Takamasa Yoshizaka, ca1960; PHOTO Gilbert A. Milne>

GLOBE7<Globe and Mail writers Scott Young (father of Neil) and Kay Kritzwiser en route to cover the Royal Tour, 1959>

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A CERTAIN BILLBOARD ON TORONTO’S GARDINER EXPRESSWAY IS EXTREMELY PROVOCATIVE

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It’s a public service announcement from the Montreal office of John St.http://www.johnst.com/en/ – in partnership with Cieslok Media and it’s been getting both positive & negative reactions. Aimed at bobble heads who take their eyes off the road to send text messages (“I’m stuck in traffic on the Gardiner.”) and end up in the Wathan Funeral Home (“I’m lying on a slab in the Watham Funeral Home.”).  The Wathan Funeral Home doesn’t exist but it does have a website. Angry motorists who’ve Googled the place are confronted with a ‘don’t drive and text‘ message – http://www.wathanfuneral.com/

TEXT&DRIVE2A tweet from Bill Crandall: “I love it! But make the Wathan Funeral Home type bigger. It’s a vital part of the creative message and billboards go by in a blink.”

YONGE STREET AS IT WAS A HALF CENTURY AGO – CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES

YONGESTREET7TORONTO’s main street – Yonge – was the place to be back in the 1970‘s – and it still is. Since then, millions of dollars have been poured in, developers have brought with them condos and new office towers (many more on the way), and the old seediness is pretty well gone. But some of the good stuff has been lost too.  <ABOVE – the Yonge Street summertime mall>

YONGESTREET2<Playing chess on Gould Street at Yonge, around the corner from Sam the Record Man>

YONGESTREET5<The Coronet, Gerrard at Yonge, one of five cinemas in the neighbourhood>

YONGESTREET4<Bassel’s, Yonge at Gerrard, one of the better places for a sit down meal>

YONGESTREET6<In the background, world’s original Hard Rock Cafe.  It still exists.>

YONGESTREET1<Dundas Square remainder bookshop>

YONGESTREET3<A & A Books and Records, Steele’s Tavern, popular hangouts for Ryerson students>

‘I’M GREEN, AND IT’LL DO FINE’ – BEST WILDLIFE PHOTO BY MARK WILLIAMS, THE GREENBELT FDN.

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Photograph by MARK WILLIAMS of Hamilton, taken at McCormack Pond in DUNDAS, Ontario. Winner of the Best Overall and Best Wildlife Photo in the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation & its partners photo contest.  “I decided to sit still and wait, and wait… for them to come up for air until… directly in front of me, a large green frog popped up out of the duckweed and appeared to be smiling at me.  I took it as an invitation to take his picture.  He seemed to wait patiently as I excitedly fumbled and focused.” —Mark Williams  <HEADLINE QUOTE – Kermit the Frog, from ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’>

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