AMHERST (POP. 9,500), MY HOMETOWN, COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET WITH ITS 1ST PRIDE PARADE EVER

Everyone pitched in for AMHERST, Nova Scotia’s & Cumberland County’s first-ever Gay Pride Parade on June 3/2017.

From my sister who lives in rural Nova Scotia: “They had a lot of support from various groups, unions, organizations, businesses in town and one that Mom would like I’m sure – the Anglican Church. The Y’s Men helped with traffic control. The Parade Marshall was transgendered – one of the hottest chicks in town according to the straight guys.”

<Grand Marshall Corey Hunter>

<PHOTOS – Amherst News & Citizen-Record>

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HOW HIGH’S THE WATER, MAMA? VERY HIGH, AS LAKE ONTARIO ASSERTS ITSELF AT THE BEACHES

LAKE ONTARIO is rearranging the landscape at TORONTO’s beaches. This past weekend photographer STEVEN EVANS was amazed “at how much water there is down there.” . . . . . http://www.stevenevansphotography.com

TORONTO & CHICAGO VOW TO FIGHT TRUMP’S CASH SLASH TO GREAT LAKES RESTORATION

Mayor JOHN TORY (L) met with Mayor RAHM EMANUEL (R) while visiting CHICAGO this week. Both of them are united in their efforts to oppose Donald Trump’s proposal to cut federal cash to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Funds from the initiative are used to fight algae blooms, pollution and invasive species. “We don’t want to go backwards on that and (cutting $300 million) would take us backwards (on cross-border efforts)”, said Mayor Tory.

Mayor Emanuel has announced that CHICAGO will adopt the Paris climate-change guidelines no matter what Donald Trump has in mind.  Toronto, Montreal and Chicagothree amigos – plan to do more work on a joint position and sign a resolution in Montreal later this month.  Crain’s Chicago Business – http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170608/BLOGS02/170609878/toronto-mayor-john-tory-has-some-advice-for-rahm-emanuel

IN ‘A VIBRANT PAST’ HANNA KOSTANSKI BRINGS TORONTO ARCHIVAL PHOTOS TO LIFE WITH PAINT

<Scarborough Beach, 1915>  TORONTO archival photos have taken on a new life in a series of paintings by artist HANNA KOSTANSKI. Using Acrylics she’s painstakingly reanimated these old black and white’s. ‘A Vibrant Past: Toronto in the 20th Century’ will be on display in August at the Urban Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West. Opening reception – August 3.

<Bay Street at Adelaide, 1940’s>  HANNA KOSTANSKI lives in HAMILTON and works in TORONTO. She’s a 2007 graduate of OCAD University. Her work can be found in private and public collections, as well as several law offices, hotels and a hospital.

<Bloor Street West, 1958> . . . http://www.hannakostanski.com

<Yonge and Dundas, 1978>

FOR 5 YEARS NOW RYERSON U. STUDENTS & STAFF HAVE BEEN FARMING UP ON A ROOFTOP

You’d never guess it was there, but four storeys above busy Church Street at Gould, the Ryerson University Urban Farm (RUF) is turning out thousands of pounds of fresh, organic and local produce.  The farm is a student-run initiative to grow fresh food atop the George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre in the middle of the concrete jungle.

RUF produces an amazing 10,000 pounds of produce annually, and distributes it among Ryerson Eats, the Gould Street Farmers’ Market and a Community Supported Agriculture Program. On the ground level the Ryerson campus also hosts a food forest, flower farm, two rain gardens (under development) and a pollinator plant garden.

All of this is within a 15-minute walk of downtown’s epicentre.

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

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>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.