No 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.
Built 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.
#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.
From 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
In 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.
TORONTO’s live-music venues – under pressure from boomtown construction – are struggling to survive. Both Mayor John Tory and Councillor Josse Colle “share the disapointment of musicians, fans, the music community” and say they’re working to address the problem.”
On the good news front, the venerable El Mocambo on Spadina is reopening. Jazz and folk outpost Hugh’s Room clings to life in the west-end, waiting to be rescued by a crowdfunding campaign. If that goes well, plans are to re-open in March as a not-for-profit. A newly renovated Velvet Underground is on the way.
<HUGH’S ROOM, Dundas Street West>
<THE CAMERON HOUSE, Queen Street West>
The 90-year-old Cameron House seems stable. Grossman’s jazz and blues joint on Spadina and the Rex Jazz Club on Queen West are both going concerns. <PHOTOS ABOVE> The Hoxton is gone, along with Tattoo, the Hideout, the Tennessee (a.k.a. the old Mitzi’s Sister), the Old Laurel (a.k.a. the old Rancho Relaxo), long-running DIY space Soybomb HQ, Cabal, Cherry Cola’s and, in just the past couple of weeks, the Central.
The long-running Silver Dollar Room, in a heritage building on Spadina Crescent, may disappear this coming May. Student housing will soon replace the 118-year-old Waverly Hotel next door.
Mayor JOHN TORY: “It’s the bad-news side of a strongly and rapidly growing city. While there are some places being lost, there are lots of other often smaller places that are a bit more out-of-the-way that are still thriving and we want to make sure that continues to be the case.” Musician PRIYA PANDA at the Cherry Coke Bar says this should be a priority at City Hall. In other words, get on with it.
Cree artist Kent Monkman: “We survived a lot of horrible things and we’re still here. We’re not relics of the past. Canadians are learning more about the darker history of this country that has been glossed over, that was never in our school curriculums.”
<ABOVE – “The Daddies”, the artist’s version of the famous portrait ‘Fathers of the Confederation’, with Monkman’s alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle front and centre. “The point is there was no thought toward Indigenous people in that meeting.”.>
“I’m calling it my ‘Canada150’ … I wanted to present a perspective that reflected on the 150 years of Indigenous experience. This is my celebration of the resilience of Indigenous people.”
<ABOVE – “The Scream” shows Indigenous children being taken away from their families by the Catholic church.>
<PHOTO – Panda Associates Photography and Art Services>