RIVERSIDE’S LANDMARK HOTEL GETS A TOTAL MAKEOVER AND IS ABOUT TO RE-OPEN ITS DOORS

Under the tarp – another of TORONTO’s 19th century hotels which will soon have a new lease on life – thanks to Streetcar Developments. The company, headquartered in Riverside (Queen Street East at the Don River), purchased the 126-year-old building and has been working on it for the last couple of years.

First named Dingman’s Hall after an Alberta oilman, it became the Broadview in 1907. Then it was renamed the Lincoln Hotel, then back to the Broadview. By the 1970’s it was boarding house with JILLY’S, a strip club on the ground floor.  “We’ve restored it to its original purpose – a neighbourhood gathering place and hotel – while keeping in mind its various incarnations through its 125-year history,” says Jeff Schnitter, Streetcar’s VP of architecture.  <PHOTO ABOVE – the old Broadview sign will be part of the new decor>

The street-level café and bar will serve breakfast, take-out and coffee during the day and become a cocktail and champagne bar at night. <IMAGE – Norm Li>

The Rooftop Restaurant features a skylight and floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s housed in a glass box. <IMAGE – Norm Li>

The tower will be open for private events, with room for 20 diners or 30 for receptions. On the seventh floor, this part of the old hotel features exposed brick and wood, arched windows and a vaulted ceiling. <Interior Design credit: DesignAgency / Rendering credit: Norm Li>

TORONTO’S EAST END. ALONG GERRARD ST. E. WAS A ROUGH & TUMBLE NEIIGHBOURHOOD, 1915-1930

<Installing streetcar tracks – Broadview at Gerrard St. East>

<Cleaning out an industrial chimney, East End, 1930>

<Gerrard Street East backyards, 1937>

<Half-a-house on Gerrard – you still see some of these today, 1930’s>

<Looking west down Gerrard Street at Main, 1915 – all PHOTOS from the City of Toronto Archives>

DESPITE THE STRIKE AT TORONTO ZOO, MOTHER NATURE HAS DELIVERED 10 EXOTIC CATS

  The Toronto Zoo is proud to announce the healthy births of snow leopard cubs, clouded leopard cubs and cheetah cubs.

The snow leopard cubs arrived on May 18, born to mother Ena and dad Kota. Ena came to TORONTO from Japan’s Tama Zoo.

For the first time in the Zoo’s history, two clouded leopard cubs were born on Saturday afternoon, May 13 to mom “Pavarti” and dad “Mingma.” Both parents came originally from the Nashville Zoo.

On April 30 five cheetah cubs came into the world. Laini and Patonga are the parents. The arrival of these cubs brings the number of cheetahs born at the Toronto Zoo to 53.

CABBAGETOWN’S RIVERDALE FARM ANNOUNCES THE ARRIVAL OF SEVERAL NEW BORNS

It’s springtime at Riverdale Farm, located among acres of parkland and ravine at Sumach & Winchester Streets in Cabbagetown. Run by the City of TORONTO, the animals here are well-looked-after and the farm and park are partially financed by local residents. For details on their ‘buy-a’brick‘ program go to http://www.frpw.org

To reach Riverdale Farm take the #506 eastbound streetcar to Sumach Street and walk north.

TORONTO SHORT STORIES – MAY 15-22/2017

<BASS ISLAND property in Muskoka, listed at $10,800,000>. TORONTO’s real estate frenzy has spread to cottage country as city dwellers cash out and head north. The value of waterfront property in Muskoka, Haliburton and Orillia surged 51.4% year over year in April. The median price of $485,000 was up 30.4% from April/2016. Last week in Haliburton/Muskoka on three big lakes, there were 51 properties listed with an average price of $3-million.  “Privacy is still the key factor when it comes to price. Up here, the definition of privacy is when you can stand on your front deck naked and nobody can see you. You need 200 feet of waterfront to do that.” – Hugh Nichols, Re/Max North Country agent

TORONTO’s Little Portugal and Trinity-Bellwoods Park area have just been ranked #1 for music production in Canada. In a news release The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) says “”This diverse and culturally-rich neighbourhood in TORONTO’s south-western quadrant is a hub of creative musical talent, live music venues, and businesses using music to their advantage.”  <PHOTO – Canterbury Music Company, 322 Dufferin Street>

A newborn lamb, one of three, at TORONTO’s inner-city Riverdale Farm. The Farm is located on Sumach Street, north of Carlton. You can reach it easily on the #506 eastbound streetcar. Get off at Sumach and walk north to Riverdale Park.

TORONTO again proves its key importance by landing the federal government’s infrastructure bank. The city’s Financial District will give members easy access to investors whose cash the feds need to make their bank work.  $35-billion in federal funds will be used to entice private investment in public transit, highways and electrical grids that generate revenues through user fees or tolls. Approximately $15-billion of that will be cash, with the remaining $20-billion in repayable loans or equity stakes that shouldn’t affect the government’s bottom line.

Londoner ROSE POWER sent her best wishes to TORONTO this week in a letter published by Metro News.  “I would recommend anyone wanting to enjoy great food, sights and friendly people in a safe city, really ought to give TORONTO a try!  They won’t be disappointed.  I also think TORONTO should be held up as an awesome model of multiculturalism working at its finest.”

A BLUE WHALE’S HEART IS SURE TO BE THIS YEAR’S MAIN ATTRACTION @ ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM

<PHOTO – Samantha Phillips>.  The BLUE WHALE, world’s largest animal, has a heart that’s 4 feet wide, 3 & a half feet tall, and 3 feet thick. It pumps 150 litres of blood (40 gallons) per beat and weighs in at 400 pounds. This particular heart was taken from a whale that washed ashore in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland.

<PHOTO – Lance McMillan>. David Hains in Metro News writes “4 months were needed to prepare the heart in nearly sixteen 200-litre barrels of formaldehyde. Technicians then dehydrated the heart using 22,000 litres of acetone, a process that took nearly 5 months. Then came dissection, reshaping and colouring.  The ROM team shipped the heart to Gubener Plastinate in Germany to preserve and plastinate it, and then a team of six prepared it for shipping back to TORONTO.”

<PHOTO – Lance McMillan>

FROM THE CABBAGETOWN/REGENT PARK MUSEUM – TWO LONG-GONE PARLIAMENT STREET CINEMAS

The Eclipse, 389 Parliament Street, made way for apartment buildings in North Regent Park in the mid-1950’s. It was quite normal for Cabbagetown theatres to show out-of-date movies, and The Eclipse was one of them. <PHOTO – The Eclipse, July 27, 1949. City of Toronto Arcives.>

The Bluebell Theatre, later named The Gay, stood next to Frenchie’s Fish & Chips on Parliament at Dundas. After a renovation, it didn’t take long to again become a dump. According to the Museum, the Bluebell’s floor was coated with gallons of spilled soda pop making it very sticky. Saturday matinees could get so rowdy that there was a bouncer on hand to throw troublemakers out.

CARVED FROM BACKYARDS OF NEIGHBOURING HOMES, CRAVEN ROAD’S ‘TINY TOWN’ HOUSES ARE UNIQUE

“As TORONTO continues to be surrounded by more and more condo buildings, it is fun being reminded that somewhere near these gigantic high-rise buildings lives a world of little spaces. Craven Road and the Tiny House Society have managed to prove that a few hundred square feet is more than enough space to live comfortably — even among rooms full of history.” – Spacing Magazine

CRAVEN ROAD is reachable by the Queen Street East and Dundas East streetcar lines. The subway stop is COXWELL.