This very large, brick Victorian pile on HOWARD STREET looks like the perfect haunted house. And it’s about to be moved a block to the west, probably sometime in November.
Laurie McCulloch Building Movers of suburban Whitby are again doing this very demanding, slow-moving job. They’ve already repositioned a half-dozen or more buildings in TORONTO, including the above two mansions, with great success. No cracks.
A month ago work began on a new foundation for the house, which is now nearly finished. Sometime soon comes the Big Move. For an interesting read check out Laurie McCulloch’s website – http://www.mccullochmovers.ca/minishowcase/GalleryHome.php
As necropoli go, the TORONTO Necropolis is a small one. Opened in 1850 to replace the ‘Strangers Burying Ground’ or Potter’s Field, this cemetery is the final resting place for 50,000.
A number of those buried here have famous names – William Lyon Mackenzie, TORONTO’s first mayor and leader of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion; George Brown, a Father of Confederation; Roy Brown, a fighter pilot credited with shooting down the Red Baron; Ned Hanlan, world champion oarsman; Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott, first Canadian-born black surgeon; Kay Christie, Canadian nursing sister in Hong Kong during the Japanese invasion; John Ross Robertson, newspaperman; and on and on and on.
For the full Necropolis experience go on a day of drizzle, fog and dark shadows like I did. I met four individuals coming out of the fog, and I must admit that was just a little bit spooky.
<PHOTO – entrance to the Necropolis after a snow storm> The TORONTO Necropolis is located at 200 Winchester Street, opposite Riverdale Farm.
Satirical signs have popped up around town and some of the good burghers took them very seriously indeed. One official-looking notice proclaimed a plan to construct a 40-storey residential tower with a 4-storey parking garage next to TORONTO’s iconic CN Tower. Others – a 30-storey condo next to Casa Loma, one beside Old City Hall, condo bookends at the Rogers Centre, etc. etc. Although they appear official, the signs were created by two TORONTO-based artists who go by the names Glo’erm and Tuggy. For a look at all of the signs go to http://developmentproposal.tumblr.com/
Next spring ‘Mystical Landscapes’ opens in PARIS. But visitors to TORONTO can now mingle with the masters until January 29, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). This exhibition is an assemblage of masterpieces by Gauguin, Munch, Carr, O’Keeffe, Van Gogh, Monet and many others. It focuses on the connection of art to nature and mysticism.
<‘The Starry Night over the Rhone’, completed by Vincent Van Gogh in 1888, Musée d’Orsay, PARIS; Bridgeman Image> ‘Mystical Landscapes’ includes close to 90 paintings and 20 works on paper, created by 36 artists from 15 countries. It’s been produced over the last 5 years, with the co-operation of an advisory committee that included theologians, historians, an astrophysicist, a doctor and a psychoanalyst.
<‘Water Lilies (Nymphéas)’ by Claude Monet, HOUSTON Museum of Fine Arts, Bridgeman Image> The Art Gallery of Ontario will be the only North American stop for this exhibition – http://www.mysticalago.net
<‘Christ in the Garden of Olives’ by Paul Gauguin, The Art Archive/Norton Museum of Art>
The City, along with Evergreen Canada and a group of private donors are on track to create TORONTO’s second largest park. Stretching from the Evergreen Brick Works in the north to Lake Ontario, the vast region will soon get its official park designation.
Within the last four years TORONTO has spent $18-million on the Lower Don. The bike and walking trail will re-open in the spring with better signage, new features, a new Pottery Road Bridge and Belleville Underpass. Much more is yet to come.
<EVERGREEN Don Valley Brickworks>
And trust city council to produce a naysayer. In this case it’s GORD PERKS (Parkdale-High Park) who is criticizing private benefactors for donating $3.4-million so far to the project. He says public money should be used to fund parks, eliminating the possibility of wealthy people having control over public space. C’mon Gord, get real. Have you heard of budget cuts?
The Bayview Extension, one of the busiest strips of asphalt in the city, now has a separated cycling lane. Connecting North Toronto and Leaside with the city centre, it’s a huge improvement over what was there before. Cyclists will no longer have to risk their lives dodging potholes, gravel and two lanes of rush hour traffic.
The Bayview bike lanes will also connect downtowners with the Evergreen Brick Works and the Don Valley “super park”. This is a big step in the right direction for Eastsiders. Way to go TORONTO! Biking Toronto website – http://www.bikingtoronto.com
Built in 1892, this imposing Queen Anne-style house sits on a small hillock at 20 St. Joseph Street, downtown. The neighbourhood, once known as Cloverhill, is still dotted with several red brick mansions, although high rise condos are rapidly moving in. This particular residence was constructed for William J. Hill, a contractor and city councillor.
He was succeeded in 1894 by John S. Williams, chief inspector for Imperial Tobacco. Mr. Williams spent a small fortune collecting fine art, with an emphasis on the Dutch School. He also helped young Canadian artists, organizing exhibitions, buying their art and encouraging his wealthy friends to do likewise.
The Canadian Music Centre (CMC) moved here in September, 1983. After months of rebuilding <B/W PHOTO ABOVE>, and with the financial support of Floyd and Jean Chalmers, CHALMER’S HOUSE opened on June 24, 1984.
The most recent renovations by B+H Architects – http://www.bharchitects.com – were finished in 2012. The space was opened up; dropped ceilings removed; interior walls sandblasted; a recording studio, performance space and lounge installed; fireplaces restored; stained glass and leaded windows preserved. No doubt Messrs. Hill and Williams would approve.