Monthly Archives: March 2018
ARTSCAPE BUCKS THE TREND OF KICKING ARTISTS OUT OF GENTRIFYING NEIGHBOURHOODS
TORONTO can take great pride in Artscape YoungPlace, 180 Shaw Street – a massive school building converted into a 3-storey arts complex.
Home to the Koffler Gallery, artists’ workplaces, a happening cafe, a dance company, yoga, piano and paper-making studios, and offices for the Luminato Festival, the structure contains 75,000 square feet entirely devoted to artistic expression. <PHOTO ABOVE – Andrew Williamson>
The building was purchased in 2010 from the Toronto District School Board after it had been vacant for over a decade. Artscape’s continuing goal is to find studio space in the city centre for thousands of artists displaced by rampant development. 180 Shaw Street fit perfectly into that plan. Following a $17-million rebuild, the century-old former Shaw Street School re-emerged as a vibrant hub for the arts and a proud member of the community.
Artspace Youngplace takes its name from the Michael Young Family Foundation, and joins other artist-friendly centres across TORONTO – the Distillery District, Regent Park, 401 Richmond, the Gladstone and Drake hotels, and the Wychwood Barns.
The building at 180 Shaw Street, between Queen and Dundas, is open to the public daily from 8am to 5pm. Website: http://www.artscapeyoungplace.ca
<PHOTO ABOVE – ‘No Walls Between Us’ by Pablo Munoz, digital artwork on the theme ‘Solidarity in Canada’, erected outside Artscape Youngplace for World Pride/2014.>
MANSIONS, NIGHTCLUBS, ANTIQUES, ART, TAVERNS, WIRES, BILLBOARDS, ROOMERS – MUST BE PARKDALE
PARKDALE is a neighbourhood that’s seen plenty of ups-and-downs, but these days things are looking up. Young professionals, new immigrants, hipsters and artists have been moving in – joining those who’ve seen much better days.
PARKDALE is one of the few places in old TORONTO where there’s any hope of finding a reasonably priced Victorian townhouse or mansion, or renting an affordable artist’s studio or loft.
PARKDALE is roughly 1 square kilometre, bounded by Roncesvalles Avenue, Dufferin Street, Queen West and King West. It began life as an independent settlement in 1850 and amalgamated with TORONTO in 1889. For the first half of the 20th century the neighbourhood was upper income residential. The construction of the nearby Gardiner Expressway ended that, when apartment buildings sprouted and the mansions were turned into boarding houses.
PARKDALE is a neighbourhood worth exploring. Queen Street West, the main drag, is lined with Victorian-era commercial buildings housing restaurants, bars, Tibetan restaurants, a couple of art galleries and antique shops. A multitude of Victorian-era homes still survive, and you’ll find many of them on the leafy side streets. All-in-all PARKDALE is a walk on the wild side – TORONTO-style.
SOCIALLY AWARE MILLENNIALS ARE OPENING THEIR HEARTS & HOMES TO GIVE DOGS A SECOND CHANCE
<Micke, who was rescued after he was abandoned as a puppy in the Dominican Republic>. TORONTO’s ‘NOW Magazine’ has assembled a multi-page story about rescue dogs – among them survivors of Hurricane Harvey in HOUSTON last August. Animal shelters in that city were overwhelmed, and dogs were left swimming in flooded streets and fending for themselves. There were reports of mass euthanasia. PHOTOS BY Samuel Engelking
<Redemption Paws’ founder Nicole Simone with former Houstonians IRWIN & CHARLIE.>. To help out NICOLE SIMONE arranged for a van to go to Houston and bring back 10 dogs to TORONTO. Her GoFundMe campaign went viral and Nicole raised enough money to make four trips to Texas. Since early September, over 120 hurricane dogs have found homes here through her rescue organization, ‘Redemption Paws’.
<Kyle Swanson adopted his husky puppy, OTIS, from Team Dog Rescue. Otis’s parents were rescued from Syria during the conflict.>
<Jen Brailsford adopted her rescue dog, POND, three years ago. Among the other dog rescue organizations in TORONTO – Save Our Scruff (SOS), one of the city’s biggest, founded in 2014 by 29-year-old LAURA BYE. The oeganization relies heavily on Instagram and Facebook to share photos of available dogs – http://www.saveourscruff.org/ . . . TEAM Dog Rescue founded in 2012, http://teamdogrescue.ca/ . . . Redemption Paws – http://redemptionpaws.org/ . . . Read the story at https://nowtoronto.com/lifestyle/how-millennials-turned-owning-a-rescue-dog-into-a-social-issue/
30,000+ HISTORIC PHOTOS ARE NOW ON-LINE THANKS TO SIDEWALK LABS & CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES
This is quite an achievement. An awesome collection of historic photos of TORONTO is now at your fingertips after great efforts by the City of Toronto Archives & Google’s Sidewalk Labs.
<Exterior of new brick building of Orr Brothers billiard academy, 40 Richmond Street East, with Humphrey gas arc light hanging outside, ca1913>. The site was built by members of the engineering team at Sidewalk Labs. The project was led by Senior Software Engineer Dan Vanderkam (creator of OldNYC and OldSF) and Associate Product Manager Matt Breuer. Several members of the City of Toronto Archives staff provided critical guidance.
<Seaton House play, “Healing of the Blind Knight”, May 4, 1933>
<Front Street west of Simcoe Street, November 6, 1920>
<Slum interior, occupied – 161 York Street, January 20, 1911>
The easy-to-use format will pull you in, and before long Old Toronto will live once again. The address – https://oldtoronto.sidewalklabs.com/. For information on how the site was created and the tools used to construct it go to https://oldtoronto.sidewalklabs.com/about.html
THE MODEL RAILROAD CLUB OF TORONTO, 11 CURITY AVE. WAS FOUNDED IN 1938 & IT KEEPS ON GOING
The MRCT was born in Harry Ebert’s basement, and from there moved on to new premises in Union Station. When World War II ended the railways needed the space, so in January 1946 the Club moved into another basement, beneath a former munitions factory in (what is today) Liberty Village.
The Club’s final move took place in April/2013 to spacious premises at #11 Curity Avenue.
The Club is open to visitors on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 10:00 pm. You may also visit on Saturdays by prior arrangement. Call ahead at 416-536-8927 or send an e-mail (preferred) – fill out the form at this address – http://www.modelrailroadclub.com/about.html
THE EARLIEST-KNOWN PHOTOS OF TORONTO TAKEN FROM THE ROSSIN HOUSE HOTEL IN 1856 OR 1857
<Osgoode Hall is in the upper left corner>. The five-part panorama is from the City of Toronto Archives. Photogaphers – Armstrong, Beere and Hime. It’s possible that these pictures were intended to accompany TORONTO’s submission to the Colonial Office to promote its selection as capital of the Province of Canada. In the end, Queen Victoria chose OTTAWA to be Canada’s capital.
<The developing city from York to Bay Streets along King Street West.>
THE FEDERAL & PROVINCIAL GOV’TS ARE ABOUT TO INVEST HEAVILY IN TORONTO TRANSIT
<Ontario Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli, (left), & Amarjeet Sohi, the federal Minister of Infrastructure & Communities; PHOTO – Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star>
<‘NEXT STOP: SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW’, editorial cartoon by BRIAN GABLE, Globe and Mail/Toronto/2017>. After years of pleading, finally the two senior governments have recognized the necessity of improving transit infrastructure in TORONTO. The city will get $4.89-billion from the federal government, and that will be matched with $4.04-billion from the province. That’s about $9-billion altogether. $9-billion won’t be enough to build everything on TORONTO’s wish list, but it’ll be a significant boost (covering about 75%) to priorities such as the Scarborough subway extension, Smart Track, the Line 2 subway relief connector, the Eglinton East LRT, and the Waterfront LRT.
<The light at the end of the tunnel – upcoming federal & provincial elections/2018 may have something to do with governmental largesse. I wonder.>
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF – SWEAT DISCOVERING YOU’VE BEEN FIRED ON TWITTER
What a way to go – your career ends, you’re out the door, and there’s little recourse. It’s the latest phenomenon in politics and business. POTUS, the class bully, practices it with aplomb by using a spitball (tapping the SEND key). The technique is to catch the target off-guard (sitting on the toilet as in the case of one member of the president’s cabinet), and then hit them on the back or side of the head.
The Twitter President is a showman who sure knows how to work the medium. With a single tweet viewed by millions, and then amplified on news and social media, the victim’s dismissal goes worldwide. In seconds it’s over – but not for the fired ones who must piece their lives back together.
THE TORONTO DANCE THEATRE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF OUTSIDE-THE-BOX CREATIVITY
<1968 – The founders Patricia Beatty, David Earle and Peter Randazzo. That year the company received an Ontario Arts Council grant of $1,250.>. Photos below from the Toronto Dance Theatre’s extensive archive. For more titles & the names of all the dancers and choreographers, plus the history of the company go to https://tdt.org/tdt50/
<1969 – Danny Grossman & Patricia Beatty in ‘Against Sleep’; choreography Patricia Beatty, photo by David Davis>
<1976 – ‘National Spirit’, choreography by Danny Grossman; photographer unidentified>
<1990 – The Company in front of the Winchester Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester, Cabbagetown, a converted church owned by the Company, which houses a performance space & the Toronto Dance Theatre School.>
<1991 – At the Joyce dance theatre in New York City where they’ve performed many times; opening night, November/1991>
<2003 – ‘Sly Verb’, choreography by Christopher House; photograph by David Hou>
<2005 – ‘In The Boneyard’ with ‘The Hidden Cameras’, choreography by Christopher House>
<2006 – ‘Timecode Break’, choreography by Christopher House; photograph by Aaron McKenzie Fraser>
<2009 – ‘Awareness Etudes for 6 Performers & an Audience’, from the Berlin/Toronto Project, choreography by Felix Marchand; photograph by David Hou>
<2017 – ‘Mercury Dust’, choreography by Emily Law; photo Omer Yukseker>
In NOW Magazine this week – “50 Things To Know About the TORONTO DANCE THEATRE” by KATHLEEN SMITH. You’ll find the article at https://nowtoronto.com/culture/stage/50-things-to-know-about-toronto-dance-theatre/
<The Toronto Dance Theatre Company in BOGOTA, Colombia, 2017>