Dominating everything around it, TORONTO’s 17-storey Globe and Mail Centre sits on land formerly occupied by the 18th century BERKELEY HOUSE. King Street East at Berkeley in its day would have been a developing neighbourhood.
To its credit, the Globe (Canada’s original national newspaper) allowed archeologists to plumb the depths before construction got underway in earnest. Digging deep, they found the elderly building’s foundations – and not much else.
In the watercolour below, by JOHN SMALL (1866-1949) we see an idyllic image of the house surrounded by green fields. An inscription reads “after a pencil sketch made by Mrs. C.C. Small in 1830”.
<BELOW> – Berkeley House as the city grew up around it in Corktown. Images – http://www.virtualreferencelibrary.ca
<IMAGE ABOVE – Elham Numan/The Varsity>
AVNEET SHARMA, second-year student at Trinity College, thinks it’s about time we stopped doubling for other cities – especially American ones. Our chameleon city is seldom identified as TORONTO on the silver screen. “Significant examples of this include the superhero movies Suicide Squad, X-Men, and Kick-Ass, which were filmed in TORONTO but are set in New York.” ‘Orphan Black’ is shot entirely in TORONTO and yet remains ambiguous as to where it’s set. There are many more examples, including ‘Chicago’, the musical, shot in (where else?) TORONTO.
‘La La Land‘ romanticizes LOS ANGELES, a city not that different from TORONTO in many respects, and opens with a massive production number on a freeway on-ramp. The film also promotes L.A.‘s Central Market, the nearly always defunct Angels Flight <PHOTO ABOVE>, Griffiths Observatory (which has never looked better), and Watt’s Towers.
Concludes Mr. Sharma – “TORONTO should more openly embrace and romanticize the flaws and characteristics that make up its identity, not just as ‘the city of Drake’, but rather as the multidimensional city that it is.” To read the entire column go to http://thevarsity.ca/2017/01/22/what-the-6ix-can-learn-from-la-la-land/
Walking by, you could miss this charming collection of old buildings at the foot of Berkeley Street between The Esplanade and Front Street. Dating back to the mid-1800‘s, site of TORONTO’s first knitting mill, these buildings have been perfectly restored and are well maintained. Totally photogenic, the Castle is home to offices and many small businesses, and would look right at home in LONDON.
<PHOTO – A. Stork & Sons, City of Toronto Archives, ca1960>
A more civil man you couldn’t find, but for the first time MAYOR JOHN TORY has blasted the Ontario government at Queens Park. In short, Premier KATHLEEN WYNNE and her colleagues won’t allow the city to begin tolling the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway – two freeways totally maintained by TORONTO taxpayers. <PHOTO ABOVE – CBC>
MAYOR JOHN TORY: “The City of Toronto is Canada’s champion. We are the only global metropolis in this country. It is time that we stop being treated, and I stop being treated, as a little boy going up to Queen’s Park in short pants to say ‘please, could you help me out with something that I thought was in the City of Toronto Act that I could do,’ and to be told ‘no, I’m terribly sorry, go away and come back some other day.”
“This is the latest in a series of paternalistic responses that undervalue municipal autonomy and the priorities of TORONTO’s over three million residents,” he said. “If the Ontario government has decided to deny a regulatory change requested by the overwhelming majority of City Council, (I) would expect the provincial government to take serious and immediate action to address the city’s transit, transportation, childcare and housing needs.” <PHOTO ABOVE – Rose Children’s Theatre, Eugene, Oregon>
Picketers muffled against sub-zero weather turn out to support members of the OSHAWA unit of the TORONTO Newspaper Guild in their strike against the Oshawa Times. Sign reads “You and I are murdering men, women and children in Vietnam, Canadian PM Lester B. Pearson & US President Lyndon Baines Johnson – photographer JAMES LEWCUN. Globe and Mail, 1966
St. James Town is Canada’s largest high-rise community. About 20,000 people live here – on Wellesley Street East at Parliament. Built in the 1960’s as a trendy city-within-a-city, it’s now a first stop for newly arrived immigrants.
Common languages spoken in St. James Town: Tagalog, Tamil, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, Russian, Serbian, Bengali and Urdu.
This may be one of TORONTO’s poorer neighbourhoods (average income $23,000), but there’s a brand new community centre, a multi-cultural elementary school, a state-of-the-art public library, and a city-centre location with excellent transit connections. Panoramic views from these 19-32 storey buildings are among the most spectacular in the city. <PHOTO BELOW – a car wrapped up for winter, St. James Town>
“Toronto in Art” was written by EDITH C. FIRTH in 1983 to mark the city’s 150th anniversary. Without a doubt, it’s one of the finest collections of paintings, drawings and watercolours about TORONTO. Copies may still be available from the publishers, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, or you might find one in a used bookshop.
IMAGES -1) University College Fire, J.E. Usher, 1890 2) Backyard Baldwin Street, Albert Franck, 1964 3) Tracks and Traffic, J.E.H. MacDonald, 1912 4) Houses on St. Patrick Street, Lawren Harris 5) Subway Construction, Eric Freifeld, 1952