TORONTO SHORT STORIES – MAY 23 – JUNE 3/2017

This was the week Donald Trump pulled America out of the Paris Accord on Climate Change.  In Sunday’s New York Times MAUREEN DOWD headlined her column ‘Trump Stomps Planet Earth”.  She writes “You know you’re in trouble when beclouded Beijing, where birds go to die, replaces you as a leader on climate change.

“America is living through a fractured fairy tale, in the grip of a lonely and uninformed mad king, an arrogant and naive princeling, a comely but complicit blond princess and a dyspeptic, dystopian troll (Steve Bannon) under the bridge.” – Sunday, June 4/New York Times

Getting ready for next year’s provincial election Premier KATHLEEN WYNNE announced the largest minimum wage hike in Ontario history – surprising both the opposition Progressive Conservatives and the New Democrats (NDP).

The increase will boost the current minimum wage of $11.40 to $15 an hour beginning in 2019. Ms. Wynne, a master politician, seems to have plucked the idea from the NDP.  <PHOTO – The Speaker.ca>

HAMILTON opened a pop-up ‘diplomatic’ mission on Queen Street West in TORONTO for a couple of days. The Hamilton Consulate highlighted our neighbouring city’s booming real estate market, foodie and emerging fashion scene – and cheekily promoted itself to would-be investors and businesses. Cutting TORONTO’s grass so-to-speak.  <PHOTO – Hamilton Spectator>

JORDAN BRAND opened a new store in downtown TORONTO joining Chicago, Hong Kong, Paris and Dubai. Why did the company choose TORONTO? It’s a tourist destination, has a diverse population, boasts a popular NBA basketball franchise, and it’s home to TORONTO-born rapper Drake – a Jordan Brand ambassador.

The store offers TORONTO-themed apparel, customized shoes and clothing, a kids section, a training facility for athletes and even a mini barbershop. 306 Yonge Street.

TORONTO’s police union has been invited to march in New York’s Pride Parade in uniform. “The invitation was extended because we felt they were being excluded from the Pride festivities in Toronto, and we fought very hard over a very long period of time here in New York City to have the right to march in uniform,” said Brian Downey, president of the Gay Officers Action League.

Way to go, NEW YORK!

After 25 years in retirement, TORONTO’s maroon-and-cream coloured streetcars are back on Queen’s Quay West. Rides on the Presidents’ Conference Committee cars are free from now until Labour Day – but only on Sundays.

The first NOBU restaurant in Canada is full-speed-ahead even if TORONTO’s real estate bubble might burst. The project on Mercer Street incorporates the Pilkington Glass Factory building, and will include 660 condominium units, a hotel and Nobu. The apartment units will start at roughly $400,000.

Partner ROBERT DE NIRO, who has visited TORONTO several times, will be getting a free apartment. “TORONTO is a great city. It’s got a great film festival, “ he said. “It’s an important city.”

It appears TORONTO’s booming housing real estate market is melting, thanks partly to new provincial regulations. BLOOMBERG NANOS found the share of Canadians expecting house prices to rise in the next six months has fallen to 45.5% from a record high of 50.1% three weeks ago.

“The frenzy is over — it’s over,” Century 21 brokerage owner Joanna Evans told Bloomberg. “Sanity is returning to the marketplace.”

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