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.

FROM TROUT RIVER, NFLD. TO TORONTO – THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM’S ‘BLUE WHALE STORY’

The idea for an R.O.M. project began when two dead Blue Whales washed ashore at TROUT RIVER, Newfoundland in 2014.

The locals were understandably alarmed that this mammoth creature – the world’s largest mammal – could explode, become a danger to public health, or at least lie there reeking in the noonday sun. <PHOTOS ABOVE – NTV Television, Newfoundland>

TORONTO’s Royal Ontario Museum saw a rare opportunity, and after negotiating with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, dispatched a team to the east coast. The museum team disassembled the whale, which – as expected – was dirty, nauseating work. Imagine a 100-tonne sea creature baking away on the beach.

<The Blue Whale’s heart alone was almost the size of a Smartcar>

<PHOTO ABOVE – Kate Allen/Toronto Star>  The skeleton was loaded onto a truck and driven 1,580 miles to Trenton, Ontario, and from there to TORONTO, where it was readied for an exhibition ‘Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story’.  It’s now on at the Royal Ontario Museum, Bloor Street West at Avenue Road.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Tanja-Tiziana>  Information and lots of photos are available online at the Museum’s website – https://www.rom.on.ca/en/collections-research/research-community-projects/blue-whale

TORONTO TREASURES – 2 CHOIRS, 1 OPERA COMPANY, 1 BAROQUE ORCHESTRA & A DRUMMING ENSEMBLE

St. Michael’s Choir School, 69 Bond Street, was  founded in 1937.  Among the appearances of the St. Michael’s Boys Choir: Vatican City’s Basilica of Saint Peter, where they sang for the Pope.

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has sung great classical masterworks with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1937.  Websites: http://www.tmchoir.org & http://www.tso.ca

Opera Atelier was founded in 1985 by co-artistic director MARSHALL PYNKOSKI and his dancer/choreographer wife, JEANETTE LAJEUNESSE ZINGG.

The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra was founded in 1979.  Both the Orchestra and Opera Atelier have performed several times over the last few years at the Royal Opera House in Versailles. Their home-base is TORONTO.

Founded in 1998 Nagata Shachu Taiko and Music Group, based in TORONTO, has toured in many parts of Canada, the United States and Italy.  The ensemble has produced three annual concerts focusing on the presentation of new works.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, CANADA’S OLDEST NATIONAL NEWSPAPER, IS DIGITIZING ITS PHOTO LIBRARY

<Montreal Canadiens hockey player Jacques Plante in a face mask; PHOTO David Bier/Globe and Mail ArchiveThese three press photos are from the photography archive(750,000 images in total) of the Globe and Mail. A good slice of our country’s history can be found therein. 25,000 pictures will go to the  Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada, and the remainder will be distributed to other institutions. As decades pass, these photos will become ever more valuable.

<Famed pianist Glenn Gould, ca1971; PHOTO Erik Christensen/Globe and Mail Archive>

<Jim Vipond, sports columnist atop Patrick O’Connor, Irish wrestler from New Zealand; PHOTO Michael Burns/Globe and Mail Archive>

THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY, ONE OF TORONTO’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS, IS DEVOTED ENTIRELY TO MUSIC

rc6Founded in 1886 and incorporated in 1947 by King George VI with a royal charter, The Royal Conservatory of Music is both an education centre and a concert venue.

rc5<KOERNER HALL, photo by Richard Lautens/Toronto Star>

rc3<PHOTO – Ettore Mazzoleni Hall>  There are two concert halls – Koerner Hall, which opened in September/2009 and seats 1,135, and the Ettore Mazzoleni Concert Hall which opened in 1901 with seats for 237. The Temerty Theatre, a smaller performance space, is also on site, with space for 150. This theatre replicates the acoustic quality and stage size of Koerner Hall and is used to prepare students for live performances.

rc1Rising above the traffic din on Bloor Street West, the Royal Conservatory is quite the complex, devoted entirely to music.  For details on the building, the concert halls, and the Conservatory’s outstanding graduates – including piano virtuoso Glenn Gould – go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Royal_Conservatory_of_Music

rc2