JAMES TURRELL’S “STRAIGHT FLUSH” LIGHTS UP THE BAY/ADELAIDE CENTRE, FINANCIAL DISTRICT

turrell1In this season of light, why not stop by the Bay/Adelaide Centre, 333 Bay Street, to enjoy James Turrell’s animated sculpture, “Straight Flush”.  Installed in 2009, it’s in the lobby on the south side.

JAMESTURRELLJames Turrell, born in 1943 in Pasadena, California, is known for his light tunnels and projects, which take on a three-dimensional quality.  “My interest is working with light and space.  I have always been fascinated with the range of light at different locations around the world.” – James Turrell

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CONGRATULATIONS TO MONTREAL – CROWNED THE BEST STUDENT CITY IN THE WORLD BY ‘QS’

MONTREAL13QS, headquartered in the United Kingdom, has elevated MONTREAL to the #1 spot on its list of Best Student Cities in the World. The rankings are based on the student mix, desirability, employer activity, affordability and the opinions and experiences of students.  VANCOUVER was the only other Canadian city in the Top 10 list at #10.  Ben Sowter of the QS Intelligence Unit – “For Montreal and other Canadian cities, the actual experience that people are having when they go there is much more positive than the imagination or expectation of it before they go.”

UOFT8Meanwhile, the University of TORONTO has noticed a surge in the number of Americans visiting its website – http://www.future.utoronto.ca – since Donald Trump’s election. U of T is consistently ranked one of the top 10 public universities in the world.  https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-named-best-global-university-canada-21st-world-us-news-world-report

LISTEN TO CANADA ON CBC: MUSIC, TALK, PODCASTS, VIDEOS, & RADIO STATIONS 24/7 – IT’S FREE!

cbc8CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), known locally as the ‘Mother Corp.’, boasts one of North America’s largest music libraries. Classical, jazz, aboriginal, soul, rock, pop, country, electronic – it’s all there for the listening at http://www.music.cbc.ca/# – free of charge.  <ABOVE – CBC’s Broadcasting Centre in TORONTO>

The CBC is Canada’s public broadcaster, with radio and television transmitters coast-to-coast-to-coast covering 6 time zones. CBC broadcasts daily in English, French and several aboriginal languages, largely commercial-free on Radio 1 (talk), Radio 2 (music) and Radio 3 (music) along with 50-plus web stations and a wide assortment of podcasts.  For relatively unbiased news reporting, radio documentaries, videos, sports and investigative journalism go to this address – http://www.cbc.ca

A few CBC talk programs – ‘As It Happens’, ‘Day Six’, ‘ Sunday Edition’, ‘The House’, ‘The Current’, ‘Q’, ‘The 180’, ‘The Candy Palmater Show’ and ‘The World At Six’. For an archive of interviews and other programming look under podcasts.  The CBC websites are vast. Prepare to spend some quality time browsing through them.

CANADA’S ‘WORLD TREASURE’ IS GREAT BEAR LAKE, ONE OF THE TEN LARGEST IN THE WORLD

greatbear1Peter Kujawinski, novelist and freelance journalist, has written a beautifully illustrated story about the Sahtuto’ine (the Bear Lake People) in this weekend’s New York Times. Sometimes it takes foreign media to make us realize what treasures we have in this country.

greatbear3greatbear4Peter writes “It’s like the Mona Lisa – a world treasure. Great Bear Lake straddles the Arctic Circle in the remote Northwest Territories. At just over 12,000 square miles, the lake is the eighth largest in the world. It is bigger than Belgium and deeper than Lake Superior, and is covered in ice and snow most of the year. The only human settlement is the town of DELINE, population 503.”

greatbear2Great Bear Lake is the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to be led by an Indigenous community. This came to be in 2016. It is the largest such site in North America. <PHOTO ABOVE by Christopher Miller for The New York TimesRead the entire article at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/travel/great-bear-lake-arctic-unesco-biosphere-canada.html?_r=0

QRC WEST IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENTS IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO

allied1allied2It’s not every day that a TORONTO developer saves two heritage structures, installs a super atrium connector and puts up a multi-storey office building with an eOne sign on top. Such is the case with QRC WEST, at the corner of Peter Street and Richmond West. It’s photogenic in the extreme.

allied4allied6         The two heritage buildings were once Weston bread & baked goods factories. Now they’ve been modernized, connected and house some of TORONTO’s most coveted office space.

allied8<PHOTOS – Peter Street as it was in the 1940’s, 50’s>

allied9<Richmond Street West as it once was>

allied10<PHOTO ABOVE – connecting the two elderly red-brick structures; HGC Engineering>  Owned and developed by Allied Properties, QRC West was designed by Sweeny, Sterling, Finlayson & Co. Architects.

THE NEW LONDON DOUBLE-DECKERS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE EVEN FOR LONDON

londonbuses2No doubt about it. They are beauties. But the new Thomas Heatherwick-designed buses cost a fortune and will now be discontinued. The first 600 vehicles purchased in 2012 by (former mayor) Boris Johnson cost £354,000 each, while the next 200 in 2014 cost £325,000 each.  London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan first suggested his plan to discontinue the buses during his own election campaign, as a cost-saving measure to help pay for a four-year freeze on fares.

#10 TORONTO STREET MAY BE SMALL, BUT IT’S BIG IN HISTORY AND INTRIGUE

10TORONTOST4Built in 1851-1853 for the Province of Canada, the Seventh Post Office was designed by TORONTO architects Frederic Cumberland and Thomas Ridout. The structure, in the Neo-classical style, resembles a Greek temple with the Royal Arms of England on top.

10TORONTOST5#10 Toronto Street served as a post office until 1873, and then housed government offices until 1937. It was sold to the Bank of Canada and later purchased and refurbished by ARGUS CORPORATION, an investment and holding company. Argus was once Canada’s most powerful conglomerate, controlling Canadian Breweries, Dominion Stores, Hollinger Mines, Crown Trust, Malting Company, Orange Crush and British Columbia Forest Products Ltd.

10TORONTOST.1From Argus Corporation the building was passed on to CONRAD BLACK’s Hollinger Inc., media holding company. It was from #10 that Mr. Black himself was taped removing boxes of documents from his office – against court orders. This partly led to Black’s imprisonment in a US jail for a few years.  INTERIOR PHOTOS – Crossley Engineering/Toronto & http://www.carillion.ca

10TORONTOST2In 2006, the building was sold to Morgan Meighen and Associates, a Canadian investment manager, for $14-million ($1800 per square foot), roughly three times the price of a typical building in downtown TORONTO.

10TORONTOST6