TORONTO SHORT STORIES – JANUARY 15-24/2017

HOUSING1If you’ve got it, flaunt it – and that’s what they’re doing in some TORONTO neighbourhoods. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada released its annual luxury home sales report this week. The city had a 95% gain in sales of $4-million plus properties in 2016.

BRAD HENDERSON CEO of Sotheby’s: “There’s no question that in TORONTO anything above $2.5-$3-million is considered luxury – so at $4-million plus, it’s definitely the luxury market.”

16,534 homes were sold in the GTA (Greater TORONTO Area) in the $1-million to $2-million range in 2016, compared with 9,425 in 2015.

pennyoleksiak3TORONTO’s Summer Olympics/2016 champion swimmer (1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) PENNY OLEKSIAK used Twitter to save several of our city’s public pools. Mayor JOHN TORY happened upon the tweets and “gold medal message received,” he wrote. “I’ve asked the Budget Chief to save these pools.”

CHRIS WILSON of Swimming Canada said “to shut down as many as 48 at one time would be one of the most disastrous and short-sighted decisions.”

brexit1Canada might soon be the most desirable place for E.U. students to attend university. A new Red Brick Research survey of 219 international students in the United Kingdom rated Canada #1 – ahead of the U.K., the United States and New Zealand.

Anver Saloojee of TORONTO’s Ryerson University said “I think definitely there will be a Brexit bump, there’s no doubt about it. They certainly wouldn’t want to spend time in a region that is unwelcoming.”

<IMAGE ABOVE – The Guardian>

alternatefacts1‘The Little Golden Book of ALTERNATE FACTS’ makes an appearance.

shopify2SHOPIFY is growing and growing fast. The e-commerce platform company has just opened its second TORONTO office downtown, near its primary headquarters in the financial district. Shopify has 300 employees right now, with a goal of hiring another 200 at its new R & D office, and another 500 by 2019.

The new R & D office is home for a large part of Shopify’s user experience (UX) design team and a big chunk of its engineering talent. Shopify Garage also calls it home.

682199_Rooster_BK6_Stamp_400CANADA POST celebrates the Year of the Rooster with a collection of specially designed stamps. To see the full collection go to http://www.canadapost.ca/roostercollection

islandtheatre2Didn’t know that – TORONTO Islands once had a cinema.  Photo above is from the City of Toronto Archives/John Milne – the Island Theatre in the 1940’s.

circus2circus4After 146 years “The Greatest Show on Earth” won’t exist after May/2017. Dropping ticket sales, high operating costs and legal battles with animal rights activists no doubt brought on the closure.

The Circus performed in TORONTO several times. <PHOTO ABOVE – horses at Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, Coliseum, TORONTO, 1973 – photo Boris Spremo/Toronto Star>

JOHNTORY-LATESTMayor John Tory has announced a plan to cancel tax rebates to landlords and business owners who harbour empty storefronts. These eyesores can be found in several downtown neighbourhoods, and are costing the city roughly $22-million a year.

“We are subsidizing people to keep space empty that is increasing, almost hourly, in value,” Tory told reporters. From 2001 to 2013 the city handed out $367-million to landlords of vacant commercial and industrial buildings, and 50% went to downtown businesses where property values are “skyrocketing.”

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