<SHIPBUILDING IN ASHBRIDGES BAY, 1918, artist – Robert Ford Gagen, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa>
The three green cubes at the foot of Sumach Street, TORONTO landmarks since 1996, are up for sale. Unfortunately they’re sitting on a prime piece of land and could go for over $3-million. The home was last sold in 2002 for $265,000 when the neighbourhood was pretty much an undeveloped wasteland. But all of this is changing rapidly. Hopes are high that they can somehow be saved. <PHOTO – Eduardo Lima/Metro News>
Bonnie and Clyde, High Park Zoo’s most famous rodents, are now mom and dad to three bundles of joy. Born on February 23, the pups have been kept indoors because “they’re South American and they’re babies, so they need to stay inside,” said city spokesperson Megan Price. <PHOTO – Jason McCullough>
BETTY KENNEDY, once one of Canada’s best-known television and radio personalities, died at 91. For 27 years she hosted ‘The Betty Kennedy Show’ on TORONTO’s CFRB. And for 33 years she was the only female panelist on CBC television’s “Front Page Challenge”. Mrs. Kennedy-Burton was also a senator for seven months – retiring, as required, in January/2001 upon reaching the mandatory age. <PHOTO – Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press>
TOURISM TORONTO has launched a new campaign – ‘The Views Are Different Here’ – promoting our city as Canada’s Downtown.
Andrew Weir, CEO of Tourism Toronto says T.O. is the most-visited destination in Canada. While other cities have vibrant downtowns “international visitors will start in TORONTO … because that’s where the planes fly. People want Canada, and they want the cities of Canada.” Check out Tourism Toronto’s website and see their new video – http://www.seetorontonow.com/#sm.00003d3687bc0ctvw3r19grtn5c68
A grand piece of TORONTO architecture – the Dominion Public Building – has been sold for $275.1-million. It was purchased by Larco Investments, a Vancouver-based company that also owns Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier Hotel. The Dominion Public building, 1 Front Street West, was the federal government’s first customs house, where imports and exports were administered and inspected. The building’s first of two phases was built from 1929 to 1931. In 1934 and 1935 the west pavilion was added.
GILBERT BAKER, the “Betsy Ross” of the Rainbow Flag died on Friday, March 31. Although the original underwent a few revisions, the design has endured for over 30 years as the international symbol of the LGBTQ community. The first Rainbow Flag appeared at San Francisco Pride on June 25, 1978. Mr. Baker said “I knew instantly when I saw the reaction that it was going to be something. I didn’t know what or how or – but I knew.” He refused to apply for a trademark for his creation, saying it was his life’s work and his gift to the world. Mr. Baker was 65.
<Hard Rock Cafe, Yonge-Dundas Square> The Hard Rock Cafe is about to become a Shoppers Drug Mart. That seems to have put at least one city councillor on alert. MIKE LAYTON doesn’t want the chains to take over, and we’re rapidly headed in that direction. Pure and simple, with sky-high rents Mom and Pop can’t afford storefront property any longer.
<The Allenby Cinema has metamorphosed into a Tim Horton’s coffee shop & On The Run>
<A Rexall Drug Store occupies the ground floor under these Victorian-era flats – it pays the rent.> Mike Layton wants “to create an environment that’s more of an incubator for small-scale stores.” The downtown councillor is impressed by a SAN FRANCISCO policy called Formula Retail Use, in which chain stores face additional regulations – a more rigorous approval process, controls on matching the neighbourhood’s character and prohibitions in some areas. TORONTO’s Yonge Street can certainly use some of that right now.
<Yonge, south of Gerrard, will soon be redeveloped>
Mike Layton: “You can’t just have the same formula for every development. This isn’t saying no to chain stores, but there needs to be some local consideration.”
More than 50 buildings, 20 parking garages, 6 subway stations, 8 major hotels, Union Station, the CBC Broadcasting Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame, the Stock Exchange, Hudson’s Bay department store, Canada’s six banks, Roy Thomson Hall, the Rogers Centre, the CN Tower, City Hall, the Air Canada Centre and 1200 shops and services are all accessible via PATH. About 5,000 people work in the tunnels themselves, and a few hundred thousand in the office towers above.
Altogether, TORONTO’s PATH network is 30 kilometres (19 miles) end-to-end-to-end. It contains 372,000 square metres (4 million square feet) of retail space. By comparison, the tunnel network in HOUSTON, Texas is approximately 6 miles (9.7 kilometres) long.