TORONTO SHORT STORIES – JANUARY 15-24/2017

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>

SCARBORUGH BLUFFS IS BOTH A GEOLOGICAL WONDER AND AN ‘ALMOST-WILDERNESS’ AREA

BLUFFS10There are many places in TORONTO where you can get away from it all.  The Scarborough Bluffs is one of them. Running 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) along the coastline of Lake Ontario, it’s home to beaches, walking trails, wild flora and fauna, a marina and some of the finest homes in the city. The highest point: 90 metres (or 300 feet).

BLUFFS9Chunks of The Bluffs fall off from time to time due to erosion.  And occasionally someone leaves the planet by tumbling over the side to the rocks below.

Bluffs5GETTING TO SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS VIA PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Bloor-Danforth subway east to Victoria Park station. Then a 12 or 12B Kingston Rd bus east to the Brimley Rd/Kingston Rd intersection. From there the Scarborough Bluffs are about a 10 minute walk south on Brimley Rd.

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ANSHEI MINSK SYNAGOGUE – PLAIN OUTSIDE, BUT A DECO MASTERPIECE INSIDE

synangogue4Typical of many TORONTO buildings, the Anshei Minsk Synagogue is dour on the outside, but a delight on the inside.  The Byzantine-style structure, with a deco interior, was completed in 1930 – a step-up from the original 1912 shtibel or small storefront synagogue typical of poorer Jewish immigrant communities of the time.  The founders were poor Jewish immigrants from Russia (mostly Minsk).  10 St. Andrew Street, Kensington Market.<PHOTO – Robert Burley>

‘SMOKY THE BAR’, A NIGHT OUT IN 1980’S TORONTO – YOU COULD BARELY SEE THE BAR THRU THE SMOKE

SMOKYTHEBAR<Purgatorio, A Drinkingbout, National Gallery of Canada Collection, Sandra Meigs/1981>  Curator RAE JOHNSON: “It has the quality of much of the imagery of the era, with an interest in psychology and the human condition, especially its darker side.”  That’s the ’80’s for ya.  “Smoky, the bar.  Are those tears in your eyes?  No, Smoky the bar.  They aren’t tears.”

BARACK OBAMA’S PARTING WORDS TO THE PRESS – “AT MY CORE I THINK WE’RE GOING TO BE OK.”

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in the Briefing Room of the White House on April 30, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama answered questions on various issues including the current situations in Syria. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A classy man all around and one of Canada’s best friends, US President BARACK OBAMA delivered some parting words to the Press Corps yesterday.  PHOTOS BELOW – by White House official photographer PETE SOUZA.

obama7January 20, 2009. ‘The President-elect was about to walk out to take the oath of office.’

obama5August 15, 2012. ‘The President hugs the First Lady after she had introduced him at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa.’  Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times – “The graciousness that the Obamas displayed toward the Trumps, even as in private they must have been beating their heads against the wall, exemplified class.  And if, as I fear, we see the White House transformed into a bog of scandals flowing from an unprincipled narcissist, we as a nation will be more appreciative of a first family that set an impeccable example for all the world.”

President Barack Obama, right, and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, stand to shake hands following their bilateral meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila, Philippines, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

November 19, 2015 – Canada’s Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU and the President at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit in Manila.  PHOTO – Susan Walsh.AP

U.S. President Barack Obama, centre, is greeted by a standing ovation in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Adrian Wyld/CP

June 29, 2916 – President Obama is greeted by a standing ovation before addressing Canada’s House of Commons.  PHOTO – Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

obama4October 1, 2015 – the President sits on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office while talking with two aides.

obama9April 9, 2015 – ‘The President’s wave aligns with a rainbow as he boards Air Force One  prior to departure for Kingston, Jamaica’  Happy (temporary) Retirement, Mr. President!  We miss you already.

PAINTING THE TOWN – ONE UTILITY BOX AT A TIME

TORONTO’S muralists and street artists are giving utility boxes a shiny new face.  PHOTOS BELOW – “Yorkvillians”, Hazelton Avenue at Davenport Road, Lee Sjastrom; “Skyscraper Gardens” and “Cardinals and Butterflies”, Isabella Street, Dan Walsh and Dan Buckley.

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Below, two others by unidentified artists . . .

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THE BEACHES TAKE THE CHILL OFF WITH THEIR 3RD “WINTER STATION DESIGN” COMPETITION

STREETCARINSNOW2Like it or not TORONTO is a winter city, and at Kew, Scarborough and Balmy beaches they’re again embracing the season by transforming lifeguard stands into works of art. The 3rd annual Winter Stations Design Competition is back from February 20 to March 27.

stations6Among the installations this year “BEACON” by Joao Araujo & Joanna Correia Silva, PORTO

stations2“I SEE YOU ASJIYU”, Japanese hot spring-inspired installation by Asuka Kono & Rachel Salmela, TORONTO