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 – – or the World Wildlife Fund –


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.

archiving2Fearing slash-and-burn from DONALD TRUMP on Environmental Protection, researchers at the University of TORONTO hosted a “guerrilla archiving” event to save important U.S. climate change data.

Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Centre for Science and Democracy; “Many of the people . . . appointed to prominent posts in the new U.S. administration have either attacked climate scientists or been hostile to them . . . Now that they’re inside the walls of the castle, there’s a lot of concern that they will do deep damage.”

arctic2In an effort to head off Donald Trump before he takes office, the US President has designated the bulk of American-owned waters in the Arctic and some areas of the Atlantic as off-limits to oil and gas leasing – in perpetuity. This edict appears to be iron-clad.  (Trump has said he plans to open up offshore drilling.)

Canada will ban all offshore and gas licensing in the Arctic for at least the next five years.

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.

housing1The price of a new detached house in the TORONTO region has risen 27% in the past year to an average $1.24-million per house according to the latest statistics from the Building & Land Development Association (BILD).

60% of the 43,651 new homes sold in the region this year were high-rise condos. The average sale price of those was $493,137. On average the size of condos in 2016 rose to 820 square feet.

CLGADANCE6CLGA4Toronto’s Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archive will soon become much more accessible. The second largest lesbian and gay archive in the world (after Los Angeles) will soon be renovating and installing new ramps, larger bathroom spaces and a working elevator. The three-storey house on Isabella Street downtown contains only a third of a huge collection, which is housed for the most part off-site.

Founded in 1973, the century-old structure also hosts an art gallery and is open to the public several nights each week. For further information go to

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“.

canadanyt1NYTIMES1This week there are three full pages about Canada and its capital city OTTAWA in the New York Times Travel Section. On pages 6 and 7 “five Canadian authors reflect on the one place that holds an enduring memory.” Says The Times – “Canada, our No. 1 pick for this year’s ’52 Places to Go list’ spans millions of square miles. It contains multitudes, not just of people and locations, but of memories.”

The places chosen by the authors – Port Hardy, Vancouver . . . Grindstone Island, Ontario . . . Dawson City, Yukon . . . Niagara, Ontario . . . and the Eastern Townships, Quebec.

ottawa1As for OTTAWA, it gets a full page all to itself. “36 Hours in Ottawa – the capital gears up for its 150th birthday bash this year, with exhibits, galleries and a thriving food scene.”

Craig MacDonald, director of Ottawa Walking Tours sees the value in a New York Times plug. “The larger the newspaper, the more likely you are to have (visitors) come up here. We’re looking forward to a fantastic year.”

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

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 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

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.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s