TORONTO TRANSITIONS INTO ‘LA LA LAND’ AS STARS DESCEND FOR THE 42ND ANNUAL INT’L FILM FEST

Who’s coming to the TORONTO International Film Festival? Some members of the A-list below –
Lady Gaga
Matt Damon
Rachel McAdams
George Clooney
Willem Dafoe
Nicole Kidman
Travis Fimmel
Drake
Colin Farrell
Octavia Spencer
Benedict Cumberbatch
Penelope Cruz
Alicia Vikander
Peter Dinklage
Vince Carter
Angelina Jolie
Claire Foy

Liam Neeson
Kate Winslet
Judi Dench
Jim Carrey
Jennifer Lawrence
Daniel Craig
James Franco
Jake Gyllenhaal
Idris Elba
Helen Mirren
Halle Berry
Grace Jones
Gael Garcia Bernal
Eric Clapton
Ben Stiller
Shia LaBeouf
Annette Bening

The 42nd annual TORONTO International Film Festival, September 7-17, http://www.tiff.net

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THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM’S BLUE WHALE EXHIBIT IS GOING ON A ROAD TRIP

This summer’s really big show at TORONTO’s Royal Ontario Museum has now closed. It will soon head out on a cross-country tour.

<PHOTOS – Tanja Tiziana>

The museum hasn’t confirmed travel plans, but it will probably go to three or four Canadian venues – and maybe internationally – before being installed permanently in TORONTO at the ROM.

The Blue Whale’s gigantic heart

The female whale washed ashore in Trout River, Newfoundland in 2014, bloated with gas and threatening to explode. Turning the 90-tonne whale into an exhibit was a gargantuan task, taking almost three years. A second blue whale, which washed ashore in Rocky Harbour, Nfld., will eventually be on display at Memorial University in St. John’s.

DOWNTOWN’S WATERFRONT EAST IS MATURING INTO A YEAR ‘ROUND ‘GO-TO’ DESTINATION

After a short walk or bike ride from the city centre, you’ll arrive at TORONTO’s relatively quiet eastern lakefront.

Waterfront East has grown over the past year, combining the great outdoors with a number of smart condo buildings, parks, wading pools, at least one sandy beach and a restaurant. This is a good place to bike or watch the boats go by.

There are plenty of condos here, with many more on the way.  The Lake Ontario view is prime.

One of the originals – Sherbourne Common

The pink umbrellas of Sugar Beach

VICTORIA SQUARE, TORONTO’S OLDEST MILITARY CEMETERY, HAS BECOME A PUBLIC PARK

Our city’s oldest military cemetery was established by Governor Simcoe to receive bodies from nearby Fort York.  His youngest daughter, Katherine, was the first to be buried here, followed by another 400 – including some casualties from the War of 1812.

Fortunately, a few of the earliest gravestones have survived, and they now form a wall of remembrance.

In the centre of the park is an impressive monument to the War of 1812, sculpted by Walter Seymour Allward.  The Union Jack flies over all.

The cemetery was closed in 1863, and virtually abandoned until the late 19th century, when it was turned into a public park.

STREETCARS NEEDING A REBUILD HEAD FOR THE TTC’S HARVEY SHOPS – UNIQUE IN NORTH AMERICA

The TTC’s Hillcrest maintenance shop, 1138 Bathurst Street, is where the streetcars and buses go for an overhaul and repairs. Opened in 1923, the property was once home to the Hillcrest Race Track. It’s now a major TORONTO Transit Commission maintenance centre.  <PHOTO – Vic on Flickr>

Highly skilled employees here have the expertise and equipment to build streetcars from scratch, a project the Commission undertook a few years ago.

The Harvey Shops are named after D. W. Harvey, the TTC’s general manager from 1924-1938.  They’re actually a series of small repair shops under one roof – each specializing in different skills – from sheet metal and upholstery, to motor, body repair and paint.

<PHOTO ABOVE – a yellow rail grinder car in front of the Harvey Shops at Hillcrest, ca1967-68>

<PHOTO ABOVE – one of the city’s new streetcars arriving at Harvey Shops. It will go into a series of road tests before entering public service.>

For anything and everything about TORONTO’s transportation system – subways, buses and streetcars – take a look at Steve Munro’s excellent website: http://www.stevemunro.ca

MASSEY COLLEGE, 4 DEVONSHIRE PLACE, IS ONE OF THE CITY’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS

MASSEY COLLEGE, 4 Devonshire Place, is a well-connected and financially endowed institution in downtown TORONTO.  Designed by Canadian architect, RON THOM, and opened in 1963 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the College was conceived by VINCENT MASSEY, 18th Governor-General of Canada, as a “place of dignity, grace, beauty and warmth”. <PHOTOS 1 & 2 by SchwerinG/wikipedia>

The Founding Master (from 1963-1981) was Canadian journalist and author, ROBERTSON DAVIES.