<ONTARIO PLACE, May 5/1971, a few weeks before it opened. PHOTO – Graham Bezant, Toronto Star Archive>
<Summer at Ontario Place before the 2011 shut down> There were a lot of sad faces in 2011 when the province decided to shut down TORONTO’s waterfront theme park and tourist attraction. Ontario Place wasn’t generating enough revenue to offset the funds needed to keep it alive.The government had plans to re-open the site eventually, but artists, dancers and musicians from around the world jumped the gun in September/2016. They’re showing the potential of the 14-acre island site – IMAX films made in the 1970’s screened at Cinesphere, 45 musical and stage performances, outdoor sculptures, photography and paintings in the silos.
The goal of the In/Future Festival was to give local artists and arts organizations a platform to showcase their talents on a much bigger stage. Festival founder and co-curator LAYNE HINTON: “This is a temporary transformation of the area, but I hope it’ll reflect what could happen in the future at the site.”
See what Ontario Place looks like right now at http://www.blogto.com/arts/2016/09/this_is_what_ontario_place_looks_like_right_now/
At the Toronto International Film Festival’s ‘Midnight Madness’ series ‘RAW’, a new film by Julia Ducournau, was too much for a couple of patrons who passed out during the screening. Paramedics and an ambulance were called to the Ryerson Theatre. Storyline capsule – a vegetarian turns herself into a blood-thirsty cannibal.
HMCS Ville de Quebec docked at TORONTO’s Sugar Beach for a couple of days, and then went on to Brockville and Quebec City. The ship is a Halifax-class frigate – backbone of the Canadian naval fleet and capable of a full range of missions around the world, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to deterrence and combat operations.
<QUEENS QUAY, 1946 – Royal York Hotel on the left, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, then the tallest building in town at 34 storeys, on the right – PHOTO Vintage Toronto>
<US Airways Captain CHESLEY SULLENBERGER & TOM HANKS, who portrays him in ‘Sully’> The new movie – “Sully” celebrates the flying career of Captain Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles. Directed by the indomitable CLINT EASTWOOD, 86, the film – with its superb special effects – recreates the landing of US Airways Flight #1549 within sight of Manhattan’s towers, in the frigid waters of the Hudson River.
<FLIGHT 1549 about to hit the Hudson – movie still> The incident came to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”. Captain Sullenberger and crew were celebrated as national heroes. There’s much more to the story of course, and the film goes into some detail on the followup controversy. 155 passengers and crew survived.
<AP photo by Steven Day – Thursday Jan. 15, 2009 photo, passengers wait on the jet’s wings to be rescued>
Less well-known in the US, but part of Canadian folklore and equally traumatic, was the landing of an Air Canada 767 at GIMLI, Manitoba – without engines.
On July 23, 1983 Captain ROBERT PEARSON and his co-pilot MAURICE QUINTAL made a powerless descent of a 100-ton jet from 26,000 feet to a decommissioned Royal Canadian Air Force base. The plane was on its way to Edmonton having left Montreal and Ottawa a few hours earlier.
Put simply – Flight #AC143 ran out of fuel and both engines quit. Ground crew had made an unfortunate mistake by loading fuel measured in pounds instead of kilograms. As the 767 reached the ground, its front landing gear collapsed and some tires blew out, but Pearson kept it on the runway by adjusting brake pressure on the left and right main landing gear. 69 passengers and crew survived. – The Wall Street Journal, July 23/2013 <PHOTO – Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press>
The Spacing Store, in the basement of 401 Richmond Street, is an enterprise long overdue. It features quality products celebrating TORONTO and other Canadian cities created by local designers, writers and artists. Prices are low to moderate.Among the merchandise for sale: maps, framed prints, books, skateboards, wearing apparel, stationary, buttons, magnets, hats, and various kinds of urban ephemera. Both the latest and back issues of ‘Spacing Magazine’ – Canada’s finest urban publication – are on sale as well.
The Spacing Store, TORONTO’s City Store, 401 Richmond Street West at Spadina Avenue, http://www.spacingstore.ca
The architects who oversaw the multi-million dollar revitalization of TORONTO’s civic square will be awarded The Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. Finnish architect VILJO REVELL’s modernest design, unveiled in 1965, wasn’t looking its best by 2007 when an international design competition was launched to bring the square into the 21st century.The rebuild was accomplished by a consortium of mostly TORONTO firms. Architects and designers from Perkins + Will and PLANT Architect Inc. over hauled everything, installing new fountains, a permanent stage, moving the Peace Garden with its full-growth trees, and planting a green roof around the third level of City Hall itself.
Nathan Phillips Square – named after a popular former mayor – is the largest civic square in Canada.
Come this fall construction will start on The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts in LUBBOCK, Texas. The rock-and-roll musician was top of the pops in the fifties before he was killed in a plane crash in 1959, aged only 23. The structure will contain a 2,200-seat theatre, an additional 400-seat auditorium, a 5,000-square-foot multi-purpose room and a 22,000-square-foot dance centre. A replica of a 200-foot telecommunications tower – a light sculpture – will act as a beacon for the centre.
The project is being privately funded to the tune of $125-million. <RENDERINGS ABOVE – Cicada Design Inc.>
Diamond Scmitt Architects have considerable experience in the theatre business. The company designed and built TORONTO’s Opera House in the Four Seasons Centre (home to the National Ballet of Canada & the Canadian Opera Company, as well as MONTREAL’s Maison Symphonique (home base for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra).
<Photo above – TORONTO’s Opera House in the Four Seasons Centre by Diamond Schmitt>
At the moment the Bloor Street West Bike Lane is a pilot project, but the numbers so far are quite impressive. Bells on Bloor have counted 6,100 bikes on the line in 24 hours. During Monday’s morning rush hour the group counted 660 bikes and 1,105 cars – cyclists thus represented 37% of all traffic between 8 and 9 am.