<ABOVE – a lone skater on the Square’s ice rink as the sun comes up. PHOTO – Bryan Blenkin>
<BELOW – this year’s Official Christmas/Holiday card features Nathan Phillips Square>
<ABOVE – Finnish architect Viljo Revell, shows his design for New City Hall to Professor Takamasa Yoshizaka in 1960; PHOTO – Gilbert A. Milne>
<ABOVE – Opening Night for New City Hall in 1965. Unfortunately Mr. Revell, the architect, had passed away the previous year.>
In 2007 an international design competition was launched to bring the square into the 21st century. The rebuild was accomplished by a consortium of mostly TORONTO firms. Architects and designers from Perkins + Will and PLANT Architect Inc. over-hauled everything, installing new fountains, a permanent stage, moving the Peace Garden with its full-growth trees, and planting a green roof around the third level of City Hall itself.
<ABOVE – the Square, site of the city’s Christmas Tree, fireworks on Canada Day and at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The TORONTO sign was inaugurated for the PanAm/ParaPanAm Games and has now become a popular photo-taking site – rivaling the CN Tower.>
<YAYOI KUSAMA with Pumpkin/2010>. The show opens on March 3, 2018 (it closes on May 27), but already thousands of tickets have been sold (zero to 18,000 in the first few hours). Only around 120,000 slots are available.
‘Infinity Mirrors’, has been touring the United States, from the HIRSHORN MUSEUM in Washington, D.C., to the SEATTLE ART MUSEUM to the BROAD MUSEUM in Los Angeles. And soon it will be in TORONTO. The TORONTO Star says “It all amounts to a perfect storm: Unprecedented demand running headlong into the scarcest of time.”
With an oeuvre of painting and sculpture best described as candy-coloured fantasia, 88-year-old Yahoi Kusama’s work has helped make her into an Instagram superstar.
RICHARD LONGLEY writes in NOW Magazine – “Freemasonry was once big in TORONTO, and though grand masonic temples and lodges still dot the cityscape, most of them have been adapted to new uses. The six-storey Renaissance Revival Masonic Temple at Yonge and Davenport doubled as the Concert Hall, hosting the likes of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner, the Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, The Who, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie.“
Teeple Architects’ award-winning 60 Richmond Street East provides innovative, affordable housing just east of TORONTO’s Financial District. An infill project, the building uses reclaimed materials and energy-saving strategies to keep maintenance costs down. It also features a resident-owned and operated restaurant and training kitchen on the ground floor.
Vegetables, fruit and herbs grown on the sixth floor terrace help supply the restaurant with food. The cut-in facade adds spark to a rather bland neighbourhood.
In a growing, dirty and dangerous city, children created their own playgrounds. Photographers found them in laneways, backyards, behind houses, on construction sites, sitting on stoops and staircases and playing chicken with streetcars.
For immigrant children in The Ward (officially known as St. John’s Ward), TORONTO’s downtown slum, the street was where they played, watched and wandered. Here they were masters of their own destiny.The Playground Movement in Canada began in the early 1900’s. TORONTO’s Cherry Street Playground opened in 1909, St. Andrew’s and Elizabeth Street playgrounds in 1913. A department of social work was established in 1914 at the University of Toronto. The Ward became the site of early health and hygiene planning and slum clearance. PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives – Website – http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=7cb4ba2ae8b1e310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
<PHOTO ABOVE – a modern playground in newly renovated GRANGE PARK, behind the Art Gallery of Ontario.>
Three towers will form a portion of Pinnacle One Yonge, a project that includes five new buildings & the renovation of an existing block. The property being designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, will cover two city blocks. The northern part of the site, currently a car park, will host the three residential towers, a hotel, community centre, affordable housing and retail. There’ll be an underground connection to Union Station. To the south, two new office buildings reaching 35 and 22 storeys will join the current Toronto Star building completed in 1971, which will be refurbished & reclad.
What is CKDH you might ask? It was, and still is, a small-town radio station in AMHERST, Nova Scotia. After a lengthy career as a reporter, documentarian and news reader IAN HANOMANSING, born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, is now a co-anchor of CBC television’s The National – the network’s hour-long, prime time nightly newscast. <ABOVE – Ian on the left is next to co-anchors Andrew Chang, Adrienne Arsenault & Rosemary Barton>
Beginning his broadcasting career at CKDH – “For somebody like me to walk in the door of a radio station, looking for a job with my long, unusual last name – not only did (Station Manager Geoff De Gannes) hire me, but not once did (he) suggest I change that last name to something that might be a little more radio friendly.” <PHOTO BELOW – IAN on the air at CKDH in 1979; photo Ron Bickle>
Hanomansing to De Gannes – “You gave me an opportunity that you didn’t have to. (The CKDH job) was essential to where I ended up.”
IAN walking into CKDH looking for a job in 1979, was preceded by your faithful ‘torontosavvy’ blogger 20 years earlier. I was in high school at the time, and managed to land a non-paying gig hosting a Saturday afternoon show for teens <PHOTO ABOVE, me at the mike in 1958>.
From there it was on to ‘The Malt Shop’, also for teenagers and then a Sunday shift that nobody else wanted, and after that Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, commercial radio and television in Montreal & Toronto, and finally 3 decades producing and directing public television. It began for both of us in a 250-watt radio station (later 1,000-watts, and now 23,000 watts). We bow to you, CKDH!
As Jane Jacobs once said “new ideas need old buildings”, and the Berkeley Street Complex, 26 Berkeley Street, personifies that comment. Built as a Consumer’s Gas pumping station in 1887, the venerable structure contains two theatres, a large rehearsal space, props and wardrobe facilities and administrative offices.Demolition wreckers were on their way in 1971, but thanks to the efforts of TOM HENDRY, co-founder of TORONTO Free Theatre, the building was saved. It’s partly owned by the City of TORONTO, supported by the Toronto Arts Council Strategic Funding, and is an East Side base for the Canadian Stage Company.