GOOGLE & SIDEWALK LABS HAVE SIGNED ON TO CREATE A NEW KIND OF TORONTO NEIGHBOURHOOD

<WATERFRONT EAST as it looks today>. TORONTO’s eastern waterfront may soon be in revival mode.  SIDEWALK LABS, a sister company of GOOGLE and a division of ALPHABET INC., has become very interested in developing the city’s aquatic border lands. So much so, that upon final approval SIDEWALK will invest $50-million (US) in a year-long planning process for 12-acres (4.9 hectares) – the so-called Quayside Project.  Plans are to eventually expand that to a greater investment over a much larger area.

Should all this happen, the development would contain 3.3-million square feet of residential, office and commercial space – as well as new headquarters for Google Canada.

This could end up being North America’s largest ‘smart city’ built around information technology, using data about traffic, noise, air quality, and the performance of systems including trash disposal and the electrical grid.

Mayor JOHN TORY – “This is a moment for TORONTO. By having Sidewalk interested in coming here, we’re building up our credentials as the place to be in the world.”  <PHOTOS & IMAGES – Sidewalk Labs>

TORONTO FORGES AHEAD WITH “THE BENTWAY” BENEATH THE GARDINER EXPRESSWAY

THE BENTWAY, named after the undulating Gardiner Expressway, will eventually stretch from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street – a 1.75 kilometre strip linking Exhibition Place, Liberty Village, Niagara, Fort York, Bathurst Quay, Wellington Place and City Place.

A skating trail under the Gardiner Expressway? It’s a brilliant idea supported by Mayor JOHN TORY, and by the end of December/2017 it will be a new gathering place for TORONTO’s growing population.

Along with the skating trail plans include gardens, markets, art, recreational amenities, exhibits, festivals, theatre and musical performances. Unused land under the expressway is being turned into useful public space. Bravo!

A $25-million gift from the Judy and Wilmot Matthews Foundation made this possible. Ms. Matthews is a granddaughter of E. J. Lennox (1854-1933), an architect who designed many of TORONTO’s iconic buildings, including Old City Hall and Casa Loma.  THE BENTWAY is underway.

BUILT IN 1963, THE ROSEHILL RESERVOIR FOUNTAIN IS A CANADIAN WATER LANDMARK

The atomic-age fountain can be found on top of the Rosehill Reservoir, which dates back to 1873-74, and was covered over in the 1960’s. It became TORONTO’s first environmentally friendly green roof, and is connected to the John Street Pumping Station 8 kilometres away.

Adjacent to the fountain – Rosehill Garden, a project of the city and fundraising neighbours, David Balfour Park and Ravine, a collection of Victorian-era homes and the best autumn colours anywhere in the inner city.

TWO OF THE MANY VOLUNTEER PROJECTS THAT MAKE TORONTO A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE – WAY TO GO!

PROJECT #1 – the Downtown De-Fence Project has a rotating group of volunteers who make it their business to remove chain link fences from residential neighbourhoods.  DAVE MESLIN, who founded the Project 15 years ago says “I want to feel like a live in a city where people know their neighbours. Fences send the opposite message. Taking down a fence symbolizes a commitment to building relationsships.”

ABOVE – Dave’s before and after photos: “It’s a makeover. It transforms the entire space around a lawn.” For more informaton – http://www.publicspace.ca & email – defence@pigeonhat.ca

PROJECT #2 – The Patch Project, supported by the Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space (STEPS). Developers by law must make 50% of the fencing around building sites available for some form of artwork. A 100-strong crew of local artists have been creating murals, live events and on-site heritage displays in neighbourhoods across the city.

“FUEL” by BAREKET KEZWER, an artist, muralist, graphic designer, curator, writer and optimist. She’S dedicated to making TORONTO more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. She works with bright colours to get people’s attention and feel joyful about their city.

“POLLINATORS”, supported by OBEN FLATS, was created by NICK SWEETMAN using acrylic and aerosols. It will remain on Gerrard East at Sherbourne Street until a 13-storey building is built behind. The artist even went so far as to replace one panel defaced by taggers (a.k.a. cityscape destroyers).  For more information – http://www.thepatchproject.com

ON MY VACATION – ADMIRING GLASGOW’S FASCINATING SKYLINE FROM ‘THE LIGHTHOUSE’

The Lighthouse, part of Scotland’s Centre for Design & Architecture, is just high enough to allow an uninterrupted view of GLASGOW’s city-centre skyline.

The multiplicity of architectural styles and building designs, all bunched up together, is quite wonderful.

The Lighthouse, 1895, designed by famed architect CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH was the Glasgow Herald‘s former headquarters.  Its helical staircase to the MacKintosh Tower is accessible from the 3rd floor.

<PHOTO by George Gastin/Wikipedia>. The sixth floor viewing room is reached by an elevator.  To access the MacKintosh Tower on the north side, the only way up is by this staircase.  The Lighthouse contains one of the UK’s extraordinary observation towers.

ONE OF CANADA’S FINEST PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERIES HAS MOVED – TO 1356-58 DUNDAS ST. WEST

After 14 years on Queen Street West, the STEPHEN BULGER GALLERY outgrew itself and has moved into a much bigger space in Little Portugal. The new location – which can be divided into smaller spaces, depending on the show – is now open to the public.

Gallerist STEPHEN BULGER has played a significant role in both the Canadian and international photography markets.  STEPHEN BULGER GALLERY, 1356-58 Dundas Street West