TORONTO SHORT STORIES – FEBRUARY 13-27/2017

lastfarmer1The Reesors came to the TORONTO area in 1804. “It was a Mennonite family. They came from Pennsylvania. travelled up and bought land in this area. It’s been in the same family ever since,” said Dale Reesor to Metro News reporter Chris Bateman. Their farm is the last significant chunk of undeveloped land in northern SCARBOROUGH.

donmills1Purchased 50 years ago for $27,000, this 1,500-square-foot, 3 bedroom Don Mills house sold for $2.3-million. That’s more than $1.5-million over the $1.9-million list price.

Another house in the same neighbourhood was listed for $990,000 a few weeks ago. It sold for $1.95-million. <PHOTO – real estate agent Sohail Mansoor>

Shawn Micallef EventSo near and yet so far. In his new book, Shawn Micallef – among other things – brings some old skeletons out of the closet. The Rob Ford ‘administration’, the gravy train, amalgamation, the village mentality, NIMBYism, suburbs vs downtown elites, taxes, transit, gridlock, the province – the whole roiling mass.

Micallef paints a picture of a city facing serious social, environmental and economic challenges, yet also in a position to create a promising future.

stuartmclean1STUART McLEAN, CBC radio host of ‘The Vinyl Cafe’ and award-winning humorist and storyteller died of melanoma at the age of 68. Both on the stage and on radio he had millions of fans from the late 70’s to the present day.

McLean also created current affairs radio documentaries for CBC Radio’s ‘Sunday Morning’, including an ACTRA Award-winning piece in 1979 about the Jonestown massacre.

banksy1A stencil painting by BANKSY, created several years ago in a TORONTO laneway, has been saved and reinstalled at #1 York Street. The restored artwork can be found in a second-floor PATH pedestrian walkway in a condo, office and retail building, just south of the Gardiner Expressway.

The piece was created during the artist’s trip to TORONTO for the release of his film, ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’, a documentary about street art.

nandu1NANDU, the Indian Rhino calf at Toronto Zoo is one year old this month and weighs in at nearly 1,400 pounds.

His horn continues to grow and he’s still playful with his mom ASHAKIRAN. The marks you see are minor scratches as he and mom spend a lot of time playing with one another. The marks heal quite quickly and it isn’t long before they are both playfighting again.

meme5Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU meets with President Trump in Washington DC.  He neatly avoids the Trumpster’s crushing handshake.

tourism1A new 31-page publication from Toronto Tourism celebrates the 150th year of Canadian Confederation with an emphasis on Canada’s largest city. You can find FREE copies at City Hall, 100 Queen Street West or go online at http://www.seetorontonow.com/

The book is a primer to 150 quintessential TORONTO people, places and things, experiences, happenings, food, drink, history, art, architecture, fashion, entertainment, sports, and where to enjoy them all in Canada’s downtown: TORONTO.

bookmobile1TORONTO Public Library has unveiled its new technology-filled bookmobile ready to hit the streets this coming May. The $300,000 vehicle is equipped with free Wi-Fi, large computer screens and tablets – ideal for job searches and research.

juno1Toronto Zoo’s JUNO, a 15-month-old polar bear cub, is heading west to WINNIPEG on March 1. It’s been decided that the little bear needs to socialize with other cubs close to her age. Juno was born at the Toronto Zoo on Nov. 11, 2015 but was raised by zoo staff because her mother couldn’t produce milk.

realestate1TORONTO has placed 8th out of 500 cities in the 10th annual Innovation Cities Index by Melbourne-based 2thinknow consulting company. The cities are scored on 162 indicators grouped into 3 categories: culture, infrastructure and location & access to networked markets.

The Top 10 – 1) London 2) New York 3) Tokyo 4) San Francisco/San Jose 5) Boston 6) Los Angeles 7) Singapore 8) TORONTO 9) Paris 10) Vienna

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22-year-old film student and cameraman JAN JESSEN from Hamburg, Germany has just released a short film that captures the sights and sounds of TORONTO and the mighty NIAGARA.

Jan had this to say about our city: “I was really impressed by the diversity of the people and the architecture. In most cities, if you want to go from a neighbourhood full of skyscrapers to smart urban living, you have to drive an hour — not walk 10 minutes. We walked 20 or 25 kilometres a day and rarely took a bus.”

HAPPY 150TH ANNIVERSARY CANADA FROM THE VILLAGE OF YORKVILLE & CUMBERLAND STREET!

2017icefest2The theme of this year’s Bloor-Yorkville Icefest is CANADA150, the year-long celebration of Confederation.

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For this, the Festival’s 12th year, 20,000 pounds of crystal clear ice has been shaped into iconic images of our country – Mounties, beaver, First Nations, the Eternal Flame, House of Commons, Canada geese, etc. At night the sculptures are illuminated.

http://www.bloor-yorkville.com/icefest

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BANK OF MONTREAL CELEBRATES 200 YEARS WITH A 17-FOOT WATER-FREE, DIGITAL ‘WISH’ FOUNTAIN

bmo1The Bank of Montreal, headquartered in TORONTO, has installed a modern-day ‘wish’ fountain in the atrium at First Canadian Place, King Street West at Bay.

bmo2The fountain was developed by the Mosaic agency; technology and infrastructure by Globacore; web development & digital by Secret Location. Canadian multidisciplinary artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins created the design  – which pays homage to “flip dots”, once used for train destination boards.  Sound effects are included.

bmo6Also for its 200th anniversary, BMO has released a book on its history, titled “A Vision Greater than Themselves: The Making of Bank of Montreal, 1817-2017,” written by McMaster University business historian Dr. Laurence B. Mussio.

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‘VICE & VIRTUE’, BOOZE, BROADS & SUNDAY LAWS – A STELLAR EXHIBIT @ TORONTO’S REFERENCE LIBRARY

vice2From the Baldwin Collection of Canadiana comes a new exhibit that looks at moral reform in a TORONTO facing rapid growth and industrialization at the turn-of-the-century. ‘Vice & Virtue’ explores changing attitudes and regulation of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, homosexuality, delinquency and prostitution in the late 19th and early 20th century. It’s a winner!

vice3ABOVE – a collection of scandal newspapers published in TORONTO, 1950’s and 60’s. Life could be ruined if you appeared in one of these.

vice7vice5ABOVE – ‘Of TORONTO the Good: A Social Study’ by C.S. Clark, 1898’. Clark includes vivid descriptions and addresses of popular brothels. He makes an argument for the legalization of prostitution in the city.

vice6ABOVE – Temperance Lesson 1-12, ca1912. Temperance organizations produced this set of twelve posters featuring some questionable facts and figures about the effects of alcohol on the body. Meanwhile TORONTO’s breweries were doing a healthy business locally and internationally.

vice8ABOVE – police raid on an ‘erotic’ art show in 1965

vice4vice10vice9ABOVE – pamphlet written by social reformer J. J. KELSO, founder of the TORONTO Humane Society & Children’s Aid Society in 1891. “Most of the juvenile offenders come from the ranks of the street hawkers, the vast majority of whom have nothing before them but a vagabond life.”

The Library conducts guided tours every Tuesday at 2pm. And there are numerous other programs connected with the exhibition. For details go to http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/exhibits/vice-and-virtue.jsp

HUSH 1931 - Large Roxy Ad, Thu Aug 22, 2013, 3:13:47 PM, 8C, 5780x4134, (82+3800), 100%, bent 6 stops, 1/60 s, R96.2, G62.0, B71.0

TORONTO Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. ‘Vice & Virtue’ continues until April 30/2017.

TORONTO’S 3RD ‘WINTER STATIONS DESIGN COMPETITION’ OPENED ON A SPRING-LIKE DAY

stations4Photographer STEVEN EVANS took in the event on Kew, Scarborough and Balmy beaches on a perfect holiday Monday. This year, designers transformed lifeguard stands into works of art and the kids certainly seemed to approve. Until March 27.

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stations7LISA ROCHON, Jury Chair for the competition, led visitors on a tour of the installations.

stations2Among the eight creations this year – ‘NORTH’ by Studio Perch, MONTREAL

stations8stations1Mayor JOHN TORY showed up to take in the festivities.

stations10“COLLECTIVE MEMORY” by Mario Garcia, BARCELONA & Andrea Govi, MILAN

stations9stations5One of the highlights – “BEACON” by Joao Araujo & Joanna Correia Silva, PORTO.  It’s best seen at night when a shaft of light points skyward.

stations6The Beaches are easy to reach by public transport. Take the #501 streetcar eastbound to Neville Park from the Queen Street subway station. Alight at Woodbine or Leuty and walk south from there.