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>

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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.