TO GET INTO OLD CITY HALL, IT HELPS IF YOU’RE IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW

OLDCITYHALL1TORONTO’s wonderful old pile on Queen Street West at Bay is off-limits to casual visitors.  Once our city’s third City Hall, it’s now a provincial court house.  X-ray security, some questionable characters, folks on the wrong side of the law, formally attired lawyers, no photographs allowed – that’s Old City Hall these days.

OLDCITYHALL2OLDCITYHALL5The building, which opened in 1899, was a sandstone creation by architect E. J. Lennox.  He designed several other important buildings around TORONTO.  From its clock tower chimes, scowling garygoyles, oak doors, mosaic floors, stone arcades, to murals by GEORGE AGNEW REID, the ‘Union of Commerce and Industry’ by stained-glass artist ROBERT McCAUSLAND, and multiple court rooms, it’s a structure with a glorious past and a colourful present.

OLDCITYHALL3OLDCITYHALL4PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives – http://tayloronhistory.com

BARCO ESCAPE PANORAMIC THEATRES HAVE OPENED & CANADA’S FIRST 4DX CINEMA IS ON THE WAY

CINERAMA1Movies have come a long way since the primitive wide screen thrills of Cinerama. At TORONTO’s Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond Street West, Barco Escape panoramic multi-screen cinemas are up and running.

BARCO3In a nutshell, three screens allow simultaneous angles of one action event, or three different but related shots. Barco Escape is somethng new, and directors and cinematographers are learning how to effectively use it.  Stay tuned.

BARCO2This fall Canada’s first commercial-film 4DX theatre will open in TORONTO at Yonge & Dundas Square Cinemas.  Until now 4DX has been used only in theme parks, but soon it will be transferred to a regular downtown cinema. 4DX will feature specially-designed motion chairs and environmental effects like wind, mist, bubbles, snow and scent. That’s an experience television can’t provide.

4DX    <PHOTO – Getty Images>

ROSEDALE, SETTLED IN 1820, IS TORONTO’S VERSION OF LONDON’S HAMPSTEAD – BUT WITH RAVINES

ROSEDALE4‘R’ is for Rosedale, proclaims a condo billboard along the frontier of one of TORONTO’s oldest inner suburbs and one of its wealthiest.

ROSEDALE1The subway and two bus lines run through the neighbourhood.  8,000 live within its precinct, and there’s plenty of ‘Old Money” around.  Rosedale is crisscrossed by three ravines, and its streets go uphill and downdale.  It’s a wonderful place to walk, run and bicycle; the gardens and trees are gorgeous, and there are few fences or barricades.  You can get lost in here, but the locals are quite friendly and helpful.

ROSEDALE2ROSEDALE9ROSEDALE5Along the Yonge Street edge of Rosedale are several fine restaurants and bars, but within the neighbourhood it’s all houses, parks, gardens, bridges, ravines – and one small row of shops where refreshments are available.

ROSEDALE8ROSEDALE3ROSEDALE6Main Street Rosedale is Yonge Street, from roughly Bloor to Summerhill.
  Subway stop – ROSEDALE, and then walk or take Bus #82; or Subway stop – SHERBOURNE, and then Bus #75

ROSEDALE11

A PIECE OF TORONTO HISTORY FROM THE GLOBE AND MAIL’S ARCHIVE OF NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

In the 1960’s, fear of the atomic bomb and a nuclear war spread throughout Canada and the United States. This image shows the possible radius of destruction should a bomb explode in the centre of TORONTO. – ca1960, unknown photographer

<And this is what we were worried about>

FILM STUDIOS MAY BE LOOKING FOR 10 TO 15-ACRE PLOTS IN THE PORT LANDS – AN AREA IN FLUX

PORTLANDS9       <QUOTE – Dennis Hanagan in The Bulletin newspaper, July/2016>  Where do you find 10 to 15 acres of vacant land near downtown TORONTO? For filmmakers, The Port Lands might be the answer. SARAH KER-HORNELL of the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Board says studios need large packages of land that can be gated and fenced in for security reasons – with warehouse-type buildings inside.

PORTLANDS6She told Dennis Hanagan of The Bulletin newspaper and TORONTO city planners “right now we have clients at the gate, clamouring to come in. We need the space as quickly as possible. Clients are already sold on the jurisdiction, already sold on the excellence we deliver.”

PORTLANDS8<Looking towards THE PORT LANDS from downtown east side, by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine>

PORTLANDS2The Port Lands are an industrial and recreational neighbourhood within easy reach of downtown TORONTO.  Mike Kraljevic, Toronto Port Lands Co. President believes “the film industry is changing at lightning speed” and the very large buildings – the size which Pinewood Studios on Commissioners Street originally announced it required – “aren’t needed any more.”  Smaller studio spaces are closing in The Port Lands. “People are selling, and those parcels of land are being used for something else. We’re going to make room for the (film) industry to allow it to grow (here).”

PORTLANDS4<Movie trailers on Wellington Street West, Sunday afternoon>

WITH ENWAVE’S DEEP WATER COOLING NETWORK, LAKE ONTARIO REFRIGERATES TORONTO

ENWAVE4ENWAVE1Beneath TORONTO there are several underground networks – the PATH shopping tunnels, the subway, cabling, sewage and water systems, and the biggest tunnels of them all – Enwave’s Deep Lake Water and Cooling Network.

ENWAVE3Simply put, this extensive tunnel system sucks up cold water from the depths of Lake Ontario, delivers it to cooling plant buildings, and then uses the resulting frigidity to cool buildings in the downtown core.  The network roughly extends from Queens Park and the University of Toronto, through the Financial District to the waterfront.  Detailed information and many photos are online at http://www.vanishingpoint.ca

ENWAVE6<PHOTOS: above, construction of the human-scale tunnels and spaces; finished tunnels; and a DLWC connection in the ceiling of a downtown parking garage>