TORONTO’S VENERABLE MASSEY HALL IS ADDING TWO VENUES FOR UPCOMING MUSICIANS

Presently MASSEY HALL is fully occupied restoring 100 stained glass windows, building glass-walled walkways, demolishing one building & constructing another, and expanding its loading docks.

On the horizon, amongst all of this, will be two new music venues, one in each building – the largest will seat 250-500, and the other will be an intimate ‘coffee house’ performance space in a redesigned Centuries Lounge.

<MASSEY HALL, as it will be in 2020, with the new building in the rear>

IN A BIG CITY LIKE TORONTO ‘LITTLE THINGS’ CAN MAKE YOUR DAY – A FEW EXAMPLES

     <Queen West @ Abell Street>

<Bobbie Sue’s Mack & Cheese>

<Dalmation fireplug @ the Grosvenor Street Fire Station>

<Filmores Hotel and its ever-changing sign, Dundas Street East>

<Opposite side of a fence facing an Ossington subway platform>

<Shops of Don Mills>

<Sculpture at Concord City Place>

<Dressed for it on College Street West>

<Welcoming chicken at the Tollkeepers Museum, Bathurst Street @ Davenport Road>

IT’S NOT SURPRISING THAT TORONTO IS MORE DIVERSE THAN EVER – STATISTICS CANADA/2017

The latest census figures show that 51.5% of Torontonians are members of visible minority communities. That’s up from 49% in 2011.  Increases since 2011 – ASIA – 674,495; EUROPE – 298,270; THE AMERICAS – 212,010; AFRICA – 77,445; INDIGENOUS total 23,065 (First Nations, North American Indian 14,380); Metis 7,270; Inuk (Inuit) 275.

LANGUAGES spoken in the city – English only (2,323,235); French only (2,725); both English & French (245,695); neither French nor English (132,765).  Number of Aboriginal languages spoken – 425.

TINY DRAPER ST. – VINTAGE 1880‘S, A BLOCK LONG, 28 HOUSES, HERITAGE CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Holding tight, with condo construction all around, DRAPER STREET seems undisturbed – east of Portland, north of Front, south of Wellington. The semi-detached cottages and row houses once housed many of the labourers working for the nearby railroads.

West of Draper is a pedestrian bridge linking the neighbourhood to a fairly distant waterfront.

CARMEL (IND.) ALMOST BOUGHT TORONTO ISLAND’S ANTIQUE CAROUSEL, BUT IT’S BEEN SAVED

TORONTO Island’s Centreville Antique Carousel was rescued by 2,200 people who signed a petition, eight city councillors who wanted to keep the carousel, and Council itself that passed a motion.

The Motion“Let’s Keep Going Round and Round – Saving Toronto’s Antique
Carousel” – put forward by Councillor Paula Fletcher <PHOTO ABOVE>, seconded by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.

The 110 year old antique boasts 52 hand-carved wooden animals
including cats, pigs,ostriches and rabbits. It’s one of only a handful of Dentzel Menagerie Carousels left in the world and the only one in Canada.

TORONTO’S GAY VILLAGE (CHURCH & WELLESLEY) IS STEADILY GOING SKY-HIGH

Upon approval, the famed intersection of Wellesley and Church Streets may soon have a 43-storey tower on it, with a balconied piazza on the corner.

This piazza will be of great interest to the LGBTQ community. It will be reminiscent of The Steps, where passersby informally gathered to chat over coffee. A two-storey atrium is planned leading to a wraparound mezzanine intended for events such as TORONTO’s annual Gay Pride Month.  During unpleasant weather the piazza will be closed off.

Best of all, this will be a much-needed new rental building.

IF YOU’RE BUILT FOR WOODS & LAKES, ANOTHER WORLD AWAITS TWO HOURS NORTH OF TORONTO

One of the best times to visit Ontario’s Northland is now when all the bugs, blackflies and mosquitos have bid farewell. I make two trips up there – once in the fall and again in the winter. In October nature puts on quite a show, a couple of weeks before the fall colours appear in the city.

BELOW – a preview of what’s in store soon. How fortunate we are to live in a land with four distinct seasons.

ADAM BUNCH HAS WRITTEN ABOUT THE SPOOKY WAY SOME TORONTONIANS HAVE LEFT THE PLANET

We all have to go someday and leave this beautiful city behind. For some, death was anything but peaceful and TORONTO has witnessed countless lives lived and lost – from ancient First Nations burial mounds to gruesome Victorian-era murders, to tales of war and plague, duels and executions, suicides and séances.

The author ADAM BUNCH is the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project, and has written about the history of the city for Spacing Magazine, Torontoist and the Huffington Post. In 2012, he earned an honourable mention for a Governor-General’s History Award. Adam lives in TORONTO.

An ideal read for Hallowe’en . . . ‘The Toronto Book of the Dead’

https://www.dundurn.com/books/Toronto-Book-Dead

RAIL DECK PARK IS HIGH ON MAYOR TORY’S MUST-DO LIST – HE JUST NEEDS MORE $$$$$$’S

There aren’t many neighbourhoods in more need of a park than this one in Downtown Westside. Packed with massive condo buildings and bisected by the Bathurst West Rail Yards, there’s a limited amount of green space.

Mayor JOHN TORY is battling it out with developers whose vision is more condo and office towers along with a 12-acre park over the rail corridor. The city’s plan is to forget the towers, and build a 21-acre ‘Rail Deck Park’. It can be done. CHICAGO has proven it.

Meanwhile, for TRAINSPOTTERS this is one of the best places downtown to watch rolling stock pass by – especially at rush hour.

A TORONTO HISTORIAN WAS GIVEN A CHALLENGE – TRACK DOWN ONE SPECIAL 2-STOREY HOUSE

This red brick structure in a painting by Group of Seven artist LAWREN HARRIS, sold at auction in 2016. The buyer cleverly asked ELLEN SCHEINBERG, historian, heritage consultant (and house detective) to find it – if it was still with us.  TORONTO has neighbourhoods filled with similar homes, but after some research ERA Architects narrowed things down. “They identified this as a Second Empire house and gave me an idea of which neighbourhoods might have this type of home,” said Ms. Scheinberg <PHOTO BELOW>.

City of TORONTO Archivist PATRICK CUMMINS then came on board. “He wasn’t exactly sure where it was, but he knew it was in Yorkville.”

With that clue, and some help from Google Maps, Scheinberg tracked the house down at the corner of McMurrich Street and Roden Place. The search was over.  You’ll find a much more detailed report on SpacingTORONTO’s website http://spacing.ca/toronto/2017/10/12/search-elusive-lawren-harris-toronto-house/

<Yet another hidden TORONTO tale>