In a series of photographs on display at HAILED COFFEE, 801 Gerrard Street East in Riverdale, STEVEN EVANS tours one of TORONTO’s few remaining mid-century industrial sites. The abandoned machinery that once manufactured products as ordinary as soap, stand still and silent like forsaken ancient totems. They remind us of the persistence of the past and the ephemerality of the present.
<Coal Bucket Elevator, top floor, Boiler House>
<Perforation in ceiling for Mixer Tank, Liquids Manufacturing Building> Steven Evans Photography – http://www.stevenevansphotography.com/
The water’s rising
but we’re not drowning yet.
When we’re drowning
we’ll do something.
When we’re on our roofs.
When we’re deciding between saving
the cute baby or the smart baby.
When there aren’t enough helicopters
or news crews to circle
over everyone. When sharks
are in the streets. When people
are dying. When people
with wine cellars
are dying. We’ll build dams
and dikes, put stilts
on our V-8s and golf courses,
cut down anyone
who cuts down a tree,
paint our Jesuses
green, we’ll grow wings, we’ll go
to the moon. Soon.
BOB HICOK is the author of nine collections of poetry, including “Hold”, out in October from Copper Canyon Press.
A national charity, the Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, are constantly changing. Bike clinics, murals and art galleries, movies, hiking trails, a quarry garden, wildlife, a farmer’s market, industrial architecture, music, programming for children – and the original kilns and brick-making apparati. Website – http://www.evergreen.ca
<PHOTO – the Don Valley Brick Works in 1891; City of Toronto Archives> Recorded as both Nechenquakekonk and Wonscotonach in Algonquin language, the DON was part of an ancient Indigenous trail network connecting Lake Ontario to the upper great lakes, It was prized by the Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabek Confederacies as a seasonal, resource-rich terrain. The Valley became a major industrial site, producing the bricks needed for a rapidly growing TORONTO.
GETTING THERE: shuttle bus, 7 days a week, every half hour, from BROADVIEW subway station; TTC’s 28A Davisville bus offers half-hourly service on Saturdays from 7:30am–6pm and Sundays from 8am–6pm. http://ebw.evergreen.ca/visit/getting-here
On Saturday nights in the 1950’s and 60’s, ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ (HNIC) was on the air, and MURRAY WESTGATE, wearing a service station hat, did all the commercial breaks for ESSO. He reached the age of 100 this past April, and died on Monday at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre. “As a kid watching HNIC, I really did believe he had his own Esso station,” said PAUL PATSKOU, hockey historian and Canada’s top video archivist of the Maple Leafs and NHL. “If he was on HNIC, he had to be real. And I believe it’s true that people from out of town drove around looking for Murray’s station in TORONTO . . . “I had no idea he was an actor (nominated for a Genie, winner of an ACTRA) until years later.”
<The East York logo – Leaside Life> EAST YORK was once Canada’s only borough, but in 1998 it was amalgamated by Mike Harris and his Progressive Conservative government into the “megacity” of TORONTO. It’s kept its personality however, with some high-rise, blocks of bungalows and commercial strips that look as if they came from a STEPHEN SHORE picture book.
Population – about 112,000, which includes Bengalis, South Asians, Jamaicans, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Greeks, Chinese, Koreans, Latin Americans and Sri Lankans. CHARLES MARKER took a series of photos of EAST YORK on May 24, 2009. They’re now in the City of TORONTO Archives. PHOTOS BELOW – 1) The Ritz Restaurant, Donlands @ Gamble Avenue; 2) Last Drop Cafe & Dairy Mart, Sammon Avenue at Coxwell; 3) Former Corner Store, Mortimer Avenue at Linsmore; 4) Former East York Shoe Repair, Sammon Avenue at Marlowe; 5) Former Corner Store, Sammon Avenue at Monarch Park; 6) George’s Grill, 1329 Woodbine Avenue at Virginia
You don’t want to mess with one of these. Two friends, traveling home from a restaurant north of their cottage, wrote “fortunately we saw the moose way in the distance being chased by a dog. It ran a long way on the road, then turned around and ran back past us, and then finally into the bush. Worse still – we were in the red Prius! Talk about waving a flag at a bull!” – BRYAN BLENKIN (driver) ALAN ROWE (photographer)