TORONTO SHORT STORIES – MARCH 6-20/2017

NOBU Hospitality, the luxury restaurant and hotel chain founded by actor Robert De Niro, famous Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, will soon be coming to TORONTO. Two 49-storey bronze towers will be built above the current Pilkington Glass Factory on Mercer Street, and will include a hotel, NOBU, retail space and an outdoor Zen garden. The glass factory’s facade will be part of the development.

Sidewalk superintendents gathered to watch DON, one of two tunnel-boring machines (TBMs), hoisted above ground and taken apart. It had been digging underground for nearly four years, helping to build the Crosstown LRT’s north tunnel.  The 400-tonne monster was disassembled along Eglinton Avenue. A second TBM, named HUMBER (after the river), surfaced a few days later. The TBM’s bored 16-20 metres below ground, around the clock, with a crew of six operators each.

German Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL spent some time at the White House and left many of us wondering just what she was thinking as the day progressed. Ms. Merkel has a very expressive face, and news photographers captured a variety of candid nuances from pleasure to bewilderment.

Charles Edward Anderson CHUCK BERRY, one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n roll, has died at the age of 90. He grew up in Missouri during the time of racial segregation; rose to become a worldwide star; was jailed for robbery at the age of 17; lived an outrageous life; became famous for his ‘duck walk’ as well as Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven and Sweet Little Sixteen“He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers,” – Mick Jagger.

Advertisements

PLUMPEST PIGEONS IN TOWN – FRANK STOLLERY PARKETTE, DAVENPORT ROAD AT YONGE STREET

FRANK STOLLERY PARKETTE has become a tiny urban beauty spot.  The park is built on an old Aboriginal trail, which wound along the Escarpment, one of TORONTO’s most distinctive geographical features.  13,500 years ago, this was the shoreline of Lake Iroquois, forerunner of today’s much smaller Lake Ontario.  Photos and maps are posted; you can read a short history lesson, and there’s a parkette-side restaurant too.

PHOTOGRAPHER RONNY JAQUES’ EARLY TORONTO IMAGES RESIDE IN CANADA’S NATIONAL ARCHIVES

RONNY JAQUES (1910-2008) was a British photographer whose family moved from England to Canada, then on to New York City and TORONTO, where he opened a studio at 24 Grenville Street. He stayed here until 1941 when he closed the studio and moved back to New York. During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s his photographic specialties were fashion, travel, food and lifetstyle. His work is everywhere, but there’s no sign of the man himself.

Mr. Jaques was in TORONTO long enough to record some splendid images of our city between 1939 and 1951. A large number of these are in Canada’s National Library and Archives. You can scan through the Archives’ vast collections at this address – http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca<QUEEN STREET AT YONGE><THE BELTLINE FERRY DOCK>

THIS SUMMER CINEPLEX WILL OPEN ITS 2ND ‘REC ROOM’ AIMED AT 18-34-YEAR-OLDS IN TORONTO

The first one is in Edmonton. The second will appear this summer in a former railroad roundhouse within TORONTO’s Railway Museum park, 255 Bremner Boulevard.

Formerly occupied by a furniture store <PHOTO ABOVE> the 40,000 square foot, multi-use venue will have a family entertainment arcade, areas for e-sports, virtual reality and video game tournaments, and live music. Some of the concerts will be free.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Sarah Greene/Now>  Within the Rec Room, each area will have a theme: grab-and-go restaurants, dining, arcade games, a store for gamers, a huge patio and a massive screen along with 80 smaller screens scattered around the site. 24 draft beers on tap, 10 of them local craft beers, and wine will also be available.

<The John Street Roundhouse from above, image by Michael Muraz via Flickr>

HOW TAXPAYER’S MONEY WAS SPENT – EXPENSES CLAIMED IN 2016 BY TORONTO CITY POLITICIANS

COUNCILLORS WHO SPENT THE MOST
Jim Karygiannis (Ward 39), Scarborough/Agincourt – $54,070.08
Ana Bailao (Ward 18), Davenport – $47.421.51
Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7), York West – $46,351.98
James Pasternak (Ward 10), York Centre- $44,944.14
Anthony Peruzza (Ward 8), York West – $41,439.19

COUNCILLORS WHO SPENT THE LEAST
Michael Ford (Ward 2), Etobicoke North – $1,403.42
Stephen Holyday (Ward 3), Etobicoke Centre – $2,601.18
Christin Carmichael Greb (Ward 16), Eglinton/Lawrence – $14,091.25
Frances Nunziata (Ward 11), York South/Weston – $14,829.77
Chin Lee (Ward 41), Scarborough/Rouge River – $15,059.16

Mayor JOHN TORY, whose larger office budget is approved by council, slashed his expenses nearly in half over last year from a total $103,319 to $56,581.

REMEMBERING THE TURBOTRAIN – HIGH-SPEED RAIL BETWEEN TORONTO & MONTREAL, 1968-84

It’s the closest Canada has ever come to high-speed rail.  The TurboTrain was one of the first tilting trains to enter service in both Canada and the United States.  The one above reached a top speed of 140 miles per hour, between Toronto and Montreal, in 1976.

<Concept drawing Canadian National>

ELECTRIC TROLLEY BUSES AND NEON LIGHTS – FRED HERZOG’S VANCOUVER IN THE 1950’S

Stuttgart-born FRED HERZOG is a master of colour photography.  After moving to VANCOUVER in 1953, he worked primarily with Kodachrome slide film to create a wonderful archive of that city, as it was in the 1950’s when neon was king.  His photography is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery, and he’s been the subject of numerous books.