CANADA’S ANDRE DE GRASSE MAKES THE PODIUM & TAKES A NATION’S PRIDE ALONG WITH HIM

ANDREDEGRASSE4<ANDRE DE GRASSE after running the 100-metre, by Tyler Anderson/Postmedia Network>  He placed third, winning a 100-metre bronze, but the future looks golden for Markham’s ANDRE DE GRASSE, 21. The ‘fastest man in the world’ and gold medal winner USAIN BOLT of Jamaica seemed to agree. “He feels like I’m the next one and I’m just trying to live up to it,” De Grasse said about an exchange he had with Bolt after the race. “I feel like I’m capable of doing it.”  Andre will next compete in the 200-metre and the 4×100-metre relay.

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CANADA WAS HUNGERING FOR GOLD AND 16-YR.-OLD PENNY OLEKSIAK DELIVERED IT

PENNY1TORONTO’s Penny Oleksiak has captured four medals in the Rio Olympics – two bronze, one silver and now, a gold in the 100-metre freestyle. Four medals is the most ever won by a Canadian at a single Summer Olympics. Penny now stands alone in Canadian Olympic history.

TO SAVE OUR CITY’S HERITAGE, DEVELOPERS ARE WRAPPING VICTORIANA IN MODERNITY

HOUSES1The John Irwin House, built in 1872-73 on Grenville Street has been saved – chimneys and all – and is now part of a high-rise development.  It will soon be bookended by second tower. Queen Victoria would not be amused.

HOUSES3On St. Thomas Street at Sultan, a red brick Victorian row is being enveloped by a new curvy office building. The row is being painstakingly reassembled and when finished it should be quite fine – although it won’t be quite the same.

<The Design Exchange, formerly the TORONTO Stock Exchange, is tucked into a TD Bank building on Bay Street.  It’s all there.>

TORONTO-BORN PANDA CUBS & A GREVY’S ZEBRA FOAL ARE ENJOYING THE GOOD LIFE AT THE ZOO

PANDAS1JIA PANPAN and JIA YUEYUE are now about 9 months old.

ZEBRA2REY, an endangered Grevy’s Zebra is another new baby born at the TORONTO Zoo this summer. Wasting no time, the little one was on its feet 10 minutes after arriving, and is now developing a “strong and confident” personality.  Rey is bout a month old.

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“SUICIDE SQUAD”, SHOT IN TORONTO, HATED BY CRITICS, TAKES IN $161.1-MILLION IN 5 DAYS

SUICIDESQUAD7Five days after it was released Warner Brothers’ “SUICIDE SQUAD” has collected $161.1-million so far with another $51-54-million expected this coming weekend. Critics from Wellington to Washington hate it, but the fans are flocking to see it, and most of it was created in our TORONTO.

SUICIDESQUAD8SUICIDESQUAD6During 98 days of filming in TORONTO and 168 days of pre-and-post shoot work, the production created 4,707 jobs.

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Over $80-million was spent in Ontario for “Suicide Squad”.  Over $12.5 million on all rentals, including truck and car rentals;  more than $4.2 million on lumber and construction supplies;  close to $2 million on catering, bakery goods, and other food items;  over $2.6 million on location fees; and  more than $785,000 on local wardrobe and dry cleaning services.

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The choice of TORONTO for “Suicide Squad” over US filming locations such as Detroit was no fluke.  Producers are choosing TORONTO for its reputation as a film-friendly city.  Council agreed to shut down Yonge Street to shoot key scenes.  The low dollar, tax credits, experienced crews and adaptability of TORONTO’s cityscape are added bonuses. – Toronto Star

AN ALEXANDER ST. WAREHOUSE, OWNED BY THE CITY, WILL BE A THEATRE IN PERPETUITY

BUDDIES8BUDDIES9In 1959, artistic director GEORGE LUSCOMBE (1926-1999) established The Workshop Theatre, one of Canada’s first professional theatre companies. The counterculture company moved into a warehouse at 12 Alexander Street in 1967. <PHOTO ABOVE – City of Toronto Archives>

BUDDIES2BUDDIES4Toronto Workshop Productions developed an innovative style, transforming documentary material into productions that ignited the political conscience of a generation. The tradition continues to this day – as Buddies in Bad Times – with an emphasis on LGBTQ theatre, cabaret, new plays and The Rhubarb Festival.  In 1981 Mr. Luscombe was invested as a Member for the Order of Canada for “his contributions to the development of theatre in Canada.” In 1989, after three years of retirement, he successfully advocated for the building’s perpetual use as a community theatre space, and it was purchased by the City of Toronto.

BUDDIES1Buddies in Bad Times is about to have two high-rise neighbours on its west side. But the theatre continues thanks to the foresight of George Luscombe.

TORONTO IS WITHIN REACH OF TWO BOTANICAL GARDENS – ONE IN TOWN, THE OTHER CLOSE BY

RBG2The vast ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS are located roughly 40 miles southwest of TORONTO midway between BURLINGTON and HAMILTON.  A National Historic Site of Canada, the gardens cover 2,400 acres with 27 kilometres of walking trails.  They’re home to more than 50 at-risk species and a major stop-over point for thousands of migrating birds.

RBG1RBG4RBG3Main entrance to the Royal Botanical Gardens is at 680 Plains Road in BURLINGTON.  There is an admission charge.  Website – http://www.rbg.ca     BOTANICAL1TORONTO’s Botanical Garden, 777 Lawence Avenue East at Leslie, is one of Canada’s finest urban gardens.  It’s compact, somewhat hilly but easily walkable.  Accessible by public transit, bicycle and automobile, the Toronto Botanical Garden, Edwards Gardens and Wilket Creek Park lead from one into the other.  And it’s all FREE, including the parking.

BOTANICAL5BOTANICAL6BOTANICAL3Edwards Gardens, 775 Lawrence Avenue East, is a former private estate garden featuring an extensive rockery, rhododendrons and wildflowers bordering the Wilket Creek Valley, with perennials, roses, an arboretum and a Teaching Garden on its uplands.  And Wilket Creek Park is part of our city’s crisscrossing ravine system, with several kilometres of paved bike trails.  From the EGLINTON SUBWAY STATION take Bus #54 Lawrence Avenue East, or Bus #51 Leslie East.  http://www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca

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