A ‘WHOPPER’ DOWNTOWN TORONTO PENTHOUSE IS UP-FOR-SALE AT A ‘WHOPPER’ PRICE

For sale a four-bedroom, 9,000 square-foot penthouse apartment in the heart of TORONTO’s Yorkville, with four separate terraces, 24-hour concierge service and it’s own elevator. Ready to move in. Its owners have begun divorce procedures.

The penthouse is on top of the 55-storey Four Seasons Private Residences Tower. But don’t get your hopes up. It’s on the market for $36-million.

LOS ANGELES CONTINUES TO REBUILD ITS CITY CENTRE AND CREATE A PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK

The great sprawling mass that is America’s second largest city is developing a downtown, and this year there are several cranes on the skyline and more construction than I can ever remember. Once a ‘no man’s land’, Downtown LA has become one of my favourite places to visit in California.  It’s fascinating to watch a fine city evolve.

<The old Central Market – best ice cream, best coffee, a must for foodies>

<Super graphics are everywhere – this one features actor Anthony Quinn, and has just been given a fresh coat of paint>

<The LA Phil performs at Grand Avenue’s Walt Disney Concert Hall; the Broad Museum is next door and the Museum of Contemporary Art is across the street.>

<The Bradbury Building – a Los Angeles architectural treasure>

Downtown Los Angeles has more 1920’s, 30’s. and 40’s buildings than any other North American city. Many have been lying dormant for half a century or more. They’re coming back to life, and some are being earthquake-proofed. (A newly discovered fault lies beneath the city centre.)

<The Hotel Cecil is still there.  This was home base during my first visit to LA in the 1960’s.  It has quite a shady past.>

<One of those wonderful La La Land sidewalks on Broadway.  This street is home to several old movie palaces, which are either locked up or repurposed.>

<The juxta-positioning of buildings all over Los Angeles reminds me of TORONTO>

  On Spring Street musicians, artists and gallerists are hanging on by their fingernails as developers move in. LA’s Gallery District is rather short on galleries these days. Also, I was told, Skid Row is expanding as more of the homeless find themselves on the streets. But overall, things seem to be looking up.

<Los Angeles Central Library>

<One of several LRT lines spanning out from Downtown – this one goes to Santa Monica and the beaches.  More are on the way.>

<ABOVE TWO PHOTOS by Ross Winter, another Downtown Los Angeles fan>

<On the freeway, this little sign popped up in a forest of warehouses>

          <Of course it wouldn’t be Los Angeles without a freeway.  Downtown is encircled by several of them.>

RONCESVALLES AVENUE (KNOWN LOCALLY AS THE RONCY) IS A WEST END DESTINATION

There’s a genuine community feel about Roncesvalles Avenue and its adjacent streets. Now flourishing after a two year facelift, the west end’s “Main Street” is packed with one-of-a-kind shops, pubs, restaurants and TORONTO’s oldest cinema.

<The community-run REVUE Cinema opened in 1912>

<Coffee and all that Jazz, Howard Street>

Centre of the Polish community, birthplace of the first Canadian Sphynx Cat, High Park next door, The Roncy is reachable by three streetcar lines and the subway.

A Roncesvalles Avenue first – the friendly, hairless Sphynx Cat, suitable for cat lovers with hair allergies. Read the Sphynx Cat story at http://torontoist.com/2013/03/toronto-invents-the-sphynx-cat/

The King, Dundas and College streetcars all pass through the Roncesvalles neighbourhood.  Subway stop – DUNDAS WEST, and walk 3 blocks south.

“TORONTO IS NOW THE GREAT CANADIAN FOOD CITY” – MONTREAL CHEF DAVID MCMILLAN

Those words are nearly sacrilegious in this country. Until lately MONTREAL has been the go-to citiy for foodies, but “I feel we have lost the title in Montreal” writes David McMillan of Joe Beef in a Foodism Magazine guest column.

“MONTREAL was the pioneer and set the template for Canada. TORONTO has picked up the ball and run with it, because it’s a bigger place,” says John Bil, the seafood specialist behind Honest Weight in the JUNCTION. “I spend 90% of my time eating Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese and Korean food. It’s not just new age (downtown) chef-type restaurants. We can branch out to Scarborough, Mississauga and Brampton, where there are pretty amazing places to eat.”

Worth reading – a column in Montreal’s La Presse about TORONTO’s emergence as the foodie capital by Marie-Claude Lortie. http://startouch.thestar.com/screens/dbcc054b-3240-4265-9803-77c477ef6c3f%7C_0.html

WE’RE GETTING A SMART, NEW BRIDGE TO CELEBRATE THE EATON CENTRE’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY

British architectural firm WilkinsonEyre has designed a new pedestrian bridge, connecting the TORONTO Eaton Centre with Saks Fifth Avenue and the Hudson’s Bay deparment store. It should be in place by this coming fall.

WilkinsonEyre has done projects around the world. The IKEA Museum in Sweden and Guangzhou’s Financial Centre are two of them.  <RENDERINGS – CFEaton Centre>

SOUTH CORE IS NO LONGER ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS – IT’S TORONTO’S NEW BUSINESS HUB

TORONTO‘s Financial District has outgrown Bay Street. It’s spreading towards the waterfront, south of Union Station. South Core is expecting an influx of 20,000 new office employees and close to 10,000 new residents in the immediate future. Forecasters predict the area’s population will grow 80% to 130,000 by 2031.

This new neighbourhood is giving Bay Street North a run for its money when it comes to attracting large corporate tenants. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce recently announced that it’s moving 15,000 employees from King and Bay to new headquarters in South Core.

CIBC will join head offices for Telus, the Health Care of Ontario Pension Plan, CI Financial Corporation, and Sun Life Financial. The Royal Bank of Canada (the country’s biggest) is moving 4,000 employees to the neighbourhood; Cisco Systems Inc. has chosen South Core for its new Canadian headquarters and one of four global innovation hubs.