‘THE WELL’ IS TORONTO’S BIGGEST CONSTRUCTION SITE (FOR NOW) – SPADINA AVENUE @ FRONT ST. W.

It’s a big one alright. 500 truck loads of rocks and mud are coming out of this giant pit every day. When finished in November, 690,000 cubic metres will have been trucked away. Nine excavators, three bulldozers and one loader are doing the job. The excavation will reach a depth of 23 metres (75 feet) in the middle of the site – making room for loading docks and parking space for 1,732 vehicles.  <PHOTO by UT Forum contributor AHK>

IN HIS BACKYARD SHOP MICHAEL TOROSIAN WRITES, DESIGNS & PRINTS BESPOKE PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS

Lumiere Press in TORONTO’s Parkdale has turned out a select group of handmade photography books since 1986. “I decided I wanted a life of the mind and a life in the arts,” MICHAEL TOROSIAN told the Globe and Mail. “And if that meant sacrifices in terms of materialism, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.”

Just published – ‘The Ballad of Soames Bantry’. hard-bound and hand-crafted, an elegant celebration of the late American photographer SAUL LEITER. <© Saul Leiter Foundation. Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC.>. “I guess it’s like someone who makes violins or something: There might be monetary incentive to turn out 100 violins a year, but if you can only really do 18 credibly, then you’d better stick to the 18.”

<PHOTO ABOVE – by Bernard Weill, October 17/2015 captures an overview of the Lumiere shop with a fisheye lens>

Torosian’s limited-edition books are marketed as works of art and are in the collections of at least 150 museums. “Everything is bespoke. Nothing is off the rack.” The books are unique and so are the prices.

For more about Michael Torosian’s printing & binding process (1950’s lead typecasting machine & hand binding), check out this documentary from YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P16qF7RsAL4&feature=youtube

THE DISTILLERY DISTRICT – 40 HERITAGE BLDGS., 3 THEATRES, GALLERIES, SHOPS & BISTROS, 13 ACRES

Once this was the largest distillery in the world, but now it’s a major TORONTO tourist attraction and a National Historic Site. The Gooderham and Worts Distillery was founded in 1832 and provided 7,600,000 litres of whisky to a thirsty world. Most of it was exported onto the world market, and a good deal of it went south to the US.

In 2003 the District opened to the public, with a variety of small boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, coffee houses, a micro brewery – but no chain stores.

Several condominium buildings have been built in the area – making the District financially viable.  About 900 movies and television shows have been filmed here – including ‘Chicago’ and A Christmas Story’.

<The Corkin painting and photography gallery is on Tank House Lane>

<One of three theatres inside the Young Centre for Performing Arts, home to the Soulpepper Theatre Company & George Brown College’s theatre school>

<The Stone Distillery, built in 1859, is the oldest and largest structure in the Distillery District.  It’s made from limestone imported from KINGSTON, Ontario – and is an outstanding representation of Victorian industrial architecture.  The #514 Cherry streetcar, which travels along King Street, terminates its eastern run near the Distillery District.

GEORGE BROWN’S “ARBOUR COMPETITION” WINNERS – TORONTO & VANCOUVER ARCHITECTURE FIRMS

Moriyama & Teshima Architects of TORONTO and Acton Ostry Architects of VANCOUVER have won the competition to design George Brown College’s tall wooden structure to be built beside Sherbourne Common Park in the East Bayfront neighbourhood.

The ARBOUR
*16,250-square-metre footprint
*research facilities for climate-friendly building practices
*a School of Computer Technology
*a child-care facility
*Canada’s first Tall Wood Research Institute
*$130-million to build
*Construction scheduled to begin in 2021

The innovative design was chosen from a field of four finalists, the other three teams being Patkau Architects of VANCOUVER + MJMA of TORONTO, Provencher Roy of MONTREAL+ Turner Fleischer of TORONTO, and Shigeru Ban of TOKYO + Brook McIlroy of TORONTO  <ABOVE – the four finalists for The Arbour>

GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE is a rapidly growing institution, with its Fashion X development in Regent Park, campuses at Casa Loma, the Waterfront, and the St. James neighbourhood. Its School of Media & Performing Arts connected to the Young Theatre Centre in the Distillery District; Studies in Community Health at Ryerson University; the Prosthetic & Orthotic Programs at Sunnybrook Hospital; and the Chef’s House on King Street West.

NOW THAT THE PANDAS HAVE LEFT TOWN, OTHER MEMBERS OF TORONTO’S ZOO FAMILY GET TO SHINE

Meet Stevie the fruit bat, an Ontario native – one of several in the Zoo’s collection.

The Zoo has over 20 species of frogs. One of them is the Dusky Gopher Frog. There are a dozen altogether. In 2017 an in vitro fertilization procedure took place, resulting in the first ever metamorphosis of these frogs in Canada. They’re hoping for several more tadpoles to increase the population. Only 100-200 exist in the wild.

Hamlet, the hairy-nosed wombat, has three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He’s directly related to every hairy-nosed wombat in North America except two, and he’s still full of life when he isn’t sleeping (which is most of the day). Hamlet gets a dental checkup every six months, eats vegetables, timothy hay, vitamin pills & mineral pellets.

Budi, the organutan, is in the middle of sub-adulthood, which begins at age 8 and continues until he’s 15. His face is getting darker and his big cheek pads will soon become slightly more noticeable.

The lemurs and their long tails, which are used for balance and communication.

A ratsnake hatching, 45 centimetres long for now, but it will grow to 2.4 metres as an adult. The Zoo is home to 63 reptile species.