46-YEAR-OLD CHARLES & 20-YEAR-OLD NGOZI HAVE DELIVERED A BABY WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLA

The baby is the eleventh of the critically endangered species to begin life at the TORONTO ZOO. As yet, the keepers haven’t been able to get close enough to determine its sex.

“We are very excited with this birth,” said MARIA FRANKE, Curator of Mammals. “Gorillas are under extreme threats in the wild. It’s predicted that the wild population will have an 80% reduction over three generations, and it’s essential that we do everything we can to save this species.”

Over the past 15 years there’ve been many successful births at the TORONTO ZOO – Siberian Tiger cubs, Komodo Dragons, two pandas, several Masai giraffes, a Grevy’s Zebra, a polar bear, gorillas, snow leopards – the list goes on.

To reach the TORONTO Zoo – by car, from downtown, take the 401 Eastbound to Exit 389, Meadowvale Road.  Follow the Zoo signs to 361A Old Finch Avenue.  Large parking lot.

By TTC bus, take the subway (Sheppard Line) to DON MILLS STATION.  Bus #85 leaves from here, and will drop you in front of the Zoo entrance about 45 minutes later.  Along the way, you’ll pass through suburban Don Mills and Scarborough.

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THE NATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL OF CANADA, FOUNDED IN 1959, IS A WORLD LEADER IN BALLET TRAINING

The National Ballet School (NBS) occupies a number of buildings – some historic, some brand new – on Jarvis and Maitland Streets in downtown TORONTO.

Since its founding, NBS has been acclaimed for excellence in the training of dance professionals. Graduates perform in major companies worldwide, and include some of the finest choreographers and artistic directors. The School is associated with the National Ballet of Canada, itself founded in 1951.

<PHOTO – Ballet School audition, Kashmala Fida/CBC>

NBS provides dance training, academic instruction and student housing on its TORONTO campus. Founders – CELIA FRANCA and BETTY OLIPHANT, both now deceased.  <PHOTO ABOVE – Betty Oliphant Theatre>

The School opened in a former Quaker Meeting House, <PHOTOS ABOVE> at 111 Maitland Street. It was purchased for the sum of $80,000.  The building has been totally renovated, inside and out, and is now the dining hall.

Since the year 2000, the School has expanded by occupying several buildings formerly owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. <PHOTO ABOVE – the former CBC Radio building>

<PHOTO – the CBC’s former headquarters for Ontario>

Major expansion of the NBS was completed in 2007 at a cost of $100-million.

EYEBALL TO EYEBALL – CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL CONFRONTS ‘POTUS’ AT QUEBEC’S G-7 SUMMIT

Canadians are furious today at some of the tweets made by POTUS, while winging his way to Singapore for a showdown with Kim Jong-Un of NORTH KOREA. And well they should be. Arriving late at the G-7 gathering in La Baie, QUEBEC, and leaving early – the Trumpster more-or-less trashed the Summit and Canada’s Prime Minister. He essentially called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a liar who made “false statements” about Canada-US trade.

DONALD TRUMP – “Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our US Reps not to endorse the (G-7) Communique, as we look at tariffs on automobiles flooding the US market.” – Sunday Star, June 10/2018

THE TORONTO REFERENCE LIBRARY COLLECTS CANADIAN COMIC BOOK SUPERHEROES – THEY DO EXIST

Scott Pilgrim, Captain Canuck, Nelvana, Superman, Johnny Canuck and Capitaine Kebec are just a few of the Canadian comic book heroes you might encounter in the TORONTO Reference Library’s Collections, 789 Yonge Street.

Superman artist JOE SHUSTER is one of many talented Canadians behind comic superheroes, who became internationally famous – and are still doing so.

The TORONTO Reference Library also has a super bookshop on the main floor. It’s worth a visit.

20 MINUTES AFTER THE POLLS CLOSED, DOUG FORD & HIS TORYS SPRINTED TOWARD VICTORY

<“OH BOY!”, editorial cartoon by THEO MOUDAKIS, Toronto Star, June 8/2018>

ONTARIO woke up this morning to a Progressive Conservative majority government, headed by a controversial premier – DOUG FORD. Torontonians have already enjoyed four years of chaos with Doug’s younger brother – former mayor, the late ROB FORD – and now we’re in for another term of Ford-style governing, only on a much grander scale.

OUT OF 124 SEATS in the Legislative Assembly – Progressive Conservatives 76; New Democrats 39; Liberals 7; and the Green Party 1.

The New Democrat’s ANDREA HORWATH will head the Opposition. Both the Green Party and the Liberals ‘achieved’ non-party status. Premier KATHLEEN WYNNE saved her seat but will resign as Leader of the Liberal Party,

<The ‘Pink Palace’ (Legislative Assembly) will soon be rockin’>

A RAINBOW FLAG OF 3,000 PAPER CRANES AT HART HOUSE CELEBRATES PRIDE MONTH IN TORONTO

The University of TORONTO celebrates Pride Month in June with a rainbow flag of 3,000 cranes in HART HOUSE. Handmade from origami paper, the cranes make a proportionate flag measuring 9 feet by 15 feet.

The idea came from LUCY CHUNG, the director of Infrastructure Planning for the Faculty of Arts and Science. It took about two weeks and more than 50 people to fold the cranes and assemble the flag.

<PHOTO – U of T News>

BUILDING UNDERGROUND STATIONS FOR EGLINTON AVENUE’S CROSSTOWN TAKES SOME PRE-PLANNING

Building under one of TORONTO’s busiest streets isn’t a job for amateurs. METROLINX, the provincial transport agency, is constructing three underground transit stations (out of 22) between Yonge Street and Bayview AvenueWhat does it take to build underground rapid transit? – pile driving, excavating, shoring, installing water valves and pipes, re-directing heavy traffic, pouring concrete, laying foundations, erecting temporary bridges, re-routing Hydro lines, assembling new Hydro infrastructure, jack-hammering, building storm sewers and water shut-off valves, working all night . . . and so much more.

The CROSSTOWN, served by LRT’s, will be part of TORONTO’s subway system when it’s finished in 2021. The first phase of the 12-mile line (19 kilometres) will stop at 22 stations – with the possibility of more in the future.

<RENDERING OF EGLINTON STATION – public art by Rodney LaTourelle & Louise Witthoeft, “Light from Within”>