KLEINBURG ISN’T QUITE WHAT IT USED TO BE – BUT THERE ARE STILL SOME REMNANTS OF THE PAST

<Group of Seven painter A.J. Casson’s depiction of the Kleinburg General Store.>  VAUGHAN, the sprawling mass north of TORONTO, is trying hard to become a city. Within the sprawl are a number of small villages and towns, one of which is KLEINBURG. Home to the superb McMichael Canadian Art Collection which focuses on the famed Group of Seven painters, the historic village has a population of roughly 1,000.

Much of the old town is gone or gentrified, but there are still some traces of the past. KLEINBURG is a popular spot for weddings, art aficionados, and visitors to the nearby Kortright Centre for Conservation and the Humber River Trails.

<KLEINBURG’s McMichael Canadian Collection is one of Canada’s finest art galleries.>

Developers and gentrifiers are updating the village streetscapes.  Bungalows are at the gates.

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THE COMIQUE WAS REPLACED BY THE WORLD’S 1ST HARD ROCK CAFE – IT WILL SOON BE A PHARMACY

The Comique, from 1908 to 1914 one of TORONTO’s earliest cinemas, stood on the site of the world’s original Hard Rock Cafe. That’s about to change. The Cafe will soon be replaced by yet another Shoppers Drug Mart. Oh woe. Yonge-Dundas Square.

HAVE A ‘LOCAL’ SHOW YOU THE TOWN BY TAKING A TORONTO GREETER TOUR – IT’S FREE

Greeters offer free walking tours of vibrant TORONTO neighbourhoods and districts by volunteers who love their city and enjoy meeting people. Fill in the form, tell us when you’ll be visiting, and the neighbourhood or theme that interests you. Give one week’s notice to make the match, set aside two to four hours, and let the tour begin!

As a long-time Greeter it was a pleasure to show these four young people from Germany around this spring. <PHOTO – Matthias, Katja, myself, Patrick and Julia>  The Greeter website – http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e14d3a2f287c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

PHOTOGRAPHER MICHAEL WOLF COMMENTS ON HONG KONG’S WACKO PROPERTY PRICES

“When will this spiral of ever-increasing property prices end? Most of HONG KONG’s youth can’t afford to rent, much less to buy their own apartments. Almost every person I speak with, who is under 35, lives at home with their parents . . . resignation abounds, a feeling of powerlessness to change the status quo.” <PHOTO ABOVE – Ross Winter>

“HONG KONG is the only place I know of when one moves, it’s always into a smaller space because the rent has become unaffordable. What’s next? 100-square-foot apartments for HK$5,000,000? I am sure the developers are working to make this happen.” – Michael Wolf

<PHOTO ABOVE – World Record: parking space in Hong Kong sold for $HK5.18-million (US$664,200 or CAD$881,195). The space is on the first floor of a luxury apartment complex near the harbourfront. Hong Kong Free Press>

THE GLADSTONE, TORONTO’S OLDEST HOTEL, 1214 QUEEN ST. WEST, WAS BUILT IN 1889

<The Gladstone’s tower rises above the railway underpass in ParkdaleCity of Toronto ArchivesThe Gladstone was built opposite the long-gone Parkdale Railroad Station. In the early days it was a luxurious hostelry, serving railway passengers and visitors to the nearby Canadian National Exhibition.  The owner, Susanna Robinson, a widow, lived there with her thirteen children.  In later years, the Gladstone became a bit of a flophouse, until it was rescued by the Tippin and Zeidler families about 15 years ago.

The Gladstone is now managed by Christina Zeidler, whose goal has been making the hotel fit into the surrounding community.  To that end, hotel employees found new homes for longterm residents, especially those who were elderly and most at risk.  Then all 37 rooms were re-designed by TORONTO artists, and a year ‘round program of art, special events and music was put into place.  The Gladstone is an important part of our city’s cultural landscape.

TORONTO FIGHTS THE EMERALD ASH BORER BEETLE WITH WASPS NATIVE TO CHINA

TORONTO’s ash trees, which make up 8.5% of the city’s tree canopy, are under attack from the Emerald Ash Borer beetle (EAB). Once the EAB is on an ash tree, its larvae use the tree as a feeding ground and restricts the tree’s nutrient flow, killing it within a few years.  Natural Resources Canada is breeding Tetrastichus planipennisi, a species of wasp native to China, to act as a predator of the beetle. Female wasps, once released, fly to the beetle-infested trees and lay their eggs on EAB larvae. Once they hatch, the wasp larvae will eat the EAB larvae and use their eggs as a home.  While the entire city of TORONTO is considered infested, there are still other cities like Winnipeg, Halifax, and Vancouver, that are anticipating the arrival of the EAB.  <IMAGE – Tess King/The Varsity> Read the entire article at http://thevarsity.ca/2017/04/03/torontos-forests-fight-back/