TORONTO SHORT STORIES – JANUARY 1-10/2017

giraffe-kiko1One of the world’s most elegant creatures, the giraffe, is endangered. Globe and Mail columnist TARATHA SOUTHEY writes “Forget dinosaurs. Let’s bring back something more exotic: giraffes. Could there be a more accommodating animal than the giraffe? Is there another large mammal that has gone quite so far in not wanting to be in the way? Giraffe are entirely delightful. They are an animal a child would mock-up.” <PHOTO – KIKO THE GIRAFFE – Toronto Zoo>

Ms. Southey suggests symbolically adopting a giraffe with a donation to either the Giraffe Conservation Foundation – http://www.giraffeconservation.org – or the World Wildlife Fund – http://www.worldwildlife.org

crime2

There was a sharp rise in murders in TORONTO in 201669 slayings in all. Gun deaths were up to 40 from 26 in 2015. Arrests have been made in 52% of the 2016 murders and there have also been arrests in two cold cases.

lalaland1Canadian actor RYAN GOSLING and EMMA STONE win Golden Globes for best actor and actress in a musical for their performance in “La La Land”.  Ryan Gosling is a native of London, Ontario.  “La La Land” took the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016.

marketdig3Remnants of TORONTO’s past in-and-around the North Market site are on display at the Market Gallery until March 18/2017. Among them are busts depicting the Twelve Apostles found in a garden behind St. Lawrence Hall.

The exhibition shows the history and ongoing archaeology of North America’s longest continually running food market.

taxes1Metro columnist MATT ELLIOTT writes “Next time you decide to gripe about property taxes in TORONTO, remember the tax rate here is far lower than the average city in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)”.

taxes2“The proposed 2% residential property tax increase in the upcoming 2017 budget amounts to an average increase of $96 annually – $8 a month. Additional child care – 1 cent/month; TTC transit track maintenance – 10 cents/month; better park maintenance – 2 cents/month“.

queenspk4Researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) recently mapped urban canopies in eleven cities around the world. Using Google Street View they measured the percentage of each city’s area covered by tree canopy. At 19.5%, TORONTO came in fourth, ahead of Paris, London & New York, but behind Vancouver, Geneva, and Seattle.

movies3movies1Plans are in the works to create an IMDb page as a marketing tool for TORONTO’s film industry. Location managers, directors and production designers can then sit in their offices in LOS ANGELES or elsewhere and see the impressive list of projects that have been, or are being, shot here.

What is IMDb? It’s an online database of info related to films, television and video games. IMDb is a subsidiary of Amazon.com.

gingerbreadto1It took nine batches of gingerbread and a kilogram of candy plus hours of work, to create an edible TORONTO City Hall with its famous sign and skating rink. Graphic designer AMELIA ROBLIN and her family laboured through the baking, and then many hours of assemblage.

“We did smash it up and eat it a week ago,” admitted Ms. Roblin, who lives in OAKVILLE.

ttc2The TORONTO Transit Commission’s merchandising shop has been quite the success. People love the stuff. But Mike and Marty of NotInService couldn’t resist sending up the TTC ‘s marketing success story. A website http://www.notinservice.ca is now selling their version.  <ABOVE – the fuzzy announcements that sometimes come over the subway PA system>

The TTC on-line shop can be found at http://www.ttcshop.ca

da-mao1DA MAO, one of TORONTO Zoo’s pandas, loves nothing better than rolling in the snow.  DA MAO, a star attraction, has a distinct personality and his facial expressions are often human-like. He’s the father of two panda cubs who are also at the Zoo.

da-mao2

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