‘BIKING TORONTO’ WELCOMES THE COMPLETELY PROTECTED BAYVIEW EXTENSION BIKE LANE

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.

bayview1The 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

CLOVERHILL’S CMC IS HOME TO THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF CANADIAN CONCERT MUSIC

cmc1Built 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.

cmc7He 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.

CMC4The 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.

cmc5The 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.

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A NEW EXHIBIT AT THE CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES – “FROM STREETS TO PLAYGROUNDS”

A1606160-ArchivesExhibit Web Banner v2.inddIn the good old days, many TORONTO children had the run of the streets. An exhibition from the vast photography collection of our city’s archives captures the kids at work and play in a growing, dirty and dangerous city.  Photographers found them in laneways, backyards, behind houses, on construction sites, sitting on stoops and staircases.

The City of TORONTO Archives occupies an impressive building at 255 Spadina Road. While there you can see the stacks through a glass window – boxes and boxes of our city’s history, and over a million photographs.  Website – http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=7cb4ba2ae8b1e310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

TORONTO SHORT STORIES – OCTOBER 7-17/2016

wellingtonhouse1This slim condo which will soon rise behind a heritage building on Wellington Street West.  Plans are to set Wellington House well back from the street and feature the historic, red-brick house up front.  The project is a collaboration between Lamb Development, architectsAlliance and Goldsmith Borgal and Company Architects.

thomson2THOMSON REUTERS is adding 400 jobs in TORONTO focusing on cognitive computing. The company currently employs about 1200 people here. Its CEO will relocate to TORONTO from New York City in the coming weeks.  Thomson, a Canadian company, acquired REUTERS, one of the world’s largest news organizations in 2007.

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TORONTO Zoo’s panda cubs celebrated their first birthday on October 13.

WHAT’S NEXT ON QUEEN’S PARK? AN 11-FOOT-TALL VESSEL WITH LEGS AT THE GARDINER

Microsoft Word - A.docxTORONTO artist Shary Boyle recently won the Gardiner Museum’s sculpture competition. Competing with 60 entrants from across the country, she beat them all. Ms. Boyle, no stranger to gallery and museum goers in the city, uses ceramics in surprising ways, and this huge vase with legs definitely qualifies.

sharyboyle1The piece will appear in 2017, sharing space with Jun Kaneko’s head in front of the Gardiner.  The artist says “It’ll be quite looming, with some kind of pop appeal and vintage Canadiana patterns.”

THE “FRUGAL TRAVELER” TREKS BEYOND TORONTO CITY LIMITS FOR REALLY GOOD CHINESE FOOD

frugal1LUCAS PETERSON writes the “Frugal Traveler” column for the New York Times. This past Sunday, in a search for excellent Chinese food he ventured well beyond TORONTO’s city limits – without a car.

frugal5“I sprinted across a highway and traversed a seemingly endless mall parking lot. There were now large swaths where the sidewalk completely disappeared; construction was constant, and new buildings appeared to be popping up everywhere.”

frugal2The goal – to find extraordinarily good Chinese food along Highway 7, “an unscenic but pulsing artery of high quality, delicious and inexpensive regional Chinese cuisine.”  First stop – Ding Tai Fung in the strip mall First Markham Place for an order of soup dumplings. The dried scallop and pork version “served with a red-tinged vinegar and slivers of ginger, were small explosions of flavour.”  Second stop – Peaktop restaurant for a half duck that was “covered in crispy skin, glistening and deep brown.”

frugal7Third stop – Pacific Mall, a huge structure housing hundreds of businesses, including an excellent food court. At Sun’s Kitchen – beef noodle soup “with thick, chewy noodles and chunks of tender meat had a pleasantly savoury broth that tasted of star anise” and dandan noodle soup “a riff on the traditional fiery Sichuan dish”.

frugal3<PHOTO – noodles being hand-pulled at Sun’s Kitchen – Ian Williams photo for the New York Times>  Also in Pacific Mall – Fortune Star for spicy grilled squid & Hong-Kong milk tea. At the Frederick restaurant in the nearby New Delhi Plaza a mash-up of Indian and Chinese cuisine. Woofles and Cream in Markham’s New Kennedy Square for Hong Kong-style egg waffles. Northern Dumpling Kitchen, or NDK, is known for cheap and high-quality northern fare.

frugal4<PHOTO – Frederick restaurant in Markham – Ian Williams photoThe Frugal Traveler capped off his day of eating “with a visit to the outstanding Lucullus Bakery in Richmond Hill. “My companions and I enjoyed a Chinese smorgasbord, if you will, of fresh baked goods: a coconut bearclaw and a buttery and crunchy pineapple bun ($1.35 each), chestnut bao with chestnut purée ($2), and an almost comically bright yellow egg tart ($1.35).”