TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING – MOCA, TORONTO’S MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART OPENS

<Lois Andison’s “golden on sterling”, produced for MOCA’s Benefit Editions>  Five storeys of the former Tower Automotive Building, 158 Sterling Road, have now been transformed into TORONTO’s new Museum of Contemporary Art. Built in 1920, the heritage tower has a long history of aluminum manufacturing, sheet-metal casting and automotive parts creating. Who could have imagined that one day it would become the city’s latest art museum?

In the Lower Junction neighbourhood, the former industrial building is the tallest structure for several kilometres around. In 2005 it was designated a heritage site. After lying fallow for 10 years or so, the tower now has a new reason for being.

The museum’s debut kicks off with the ‘Free International Grand Opening Weekend’, September 22 & 23, artists in attendance, 10 am to 5 pm.  For details go to https://museumofcontemporaryart.ca/calendar/international-grand-opening-weekend/

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ONCE THEY CALLED TORONTO “MUDDY YORK” – I WONDER WHY – ARCHIVAL PHOTOS, 1907

<Where King & Queen Streets meet, Parkdale, 1907, City of Toronto Archives>

<King & Queen Streets intersect near the bridge across the Don River, 1907, City of Toronto Archives>

AN IMPRESSION OF VANCOUVER IN FIFTEEN PHOTOS – NOT EASY, BUT I GAVE IT A ‘GO’

<From YVR to downtown VANCOUVER via the Canada Line computer-operated Skytrain, costs about $8, the price of a Transit Day Pass.  YVR on Sea Island is an award-winning airport – continually rated one of North America’s finest.>

<In this City of Glass, apartments can run you anywhere from $500,000 for a studio (without a bedroom), to the $$millions.  Don’t even think about buying a house – unless you’re a millionaire. Cables in the photo above are from a city-centre trolley bus.>

<It rains a lot in VANCOUVER.>

<The specks above are window-washers on the Wall building near the business district.  The city has a surprising number of seriously tall towers, without much space between them.  Several more are on the way. The one above is the most forbidding.>

<Canada Geese can turn up anywhere – from the wealthy West End to downtown streets to Stanley Park.>

<It’s a city with a multitude of marinas & sailors.>

<Taking the mascots of the Hotel Vancouver for an outing.>

<By mid-September, the trees are already changing colour and the temperature is brisk in the morning, warm in the afternoon.  Possibility of showers – anytime.>

<VANCOUVER’s Art Gallery is free (with a donation) on Tuesday evenings. It occupies a heritage building off fashionable Robson Street.>

<The trees in Stanley Park are massive.  For $2, the Pender Street trolley bus #19 will take you there.>

<Dr. Sun Yat Sen park and garden in the heart of Chinatown>

<The Aquabus to famous Granville Island & its markets, fare $2>

<The Vancouver Aquarium is a winner.  It’s one of Canada’s finest, and is known for environmental research.>

<The 80-year-old Burrard Street Bridge is a Vancouver landmark.  Recently, the span was given a top-to-bottom renovation.  It connects Vancouver with Kitsulano – and offers both sidewalks and bike paths.  In a city of bridges, I think this one is the best.>

<I didn’t actually see this, but it does exist – the House on Stilts sculpture>

<Way to go, VANCOUVER!>

A TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION RAIL GRINDING CAR, QUEEN STREET EAST, CA1950-65

The task of this early version of a rail grinder car was to make sure the streetcar tracks were smooth. This, and several later models were retired because they were not able to get up to speed in heavy traffic, and lighter machinery became available to do the job.

In September, 2002, the TTC removed grinders from their property, donating them to the Halton County Railway Museum. <PHOTO – City of Toronto Archives/Sidewalk Labs>

 

THE PINK UMBRELLAS ARE MOVING NORTH AS SUGAR BEACH CONNECTS WITH CITY OF THE ARTS

The first phase of Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts is now receiving tenants, and soon will join up with the popular Sugar Beach park.

The wedge-shaped Sugar Beach North will be on two levels, feature the park’s signature pink umbrellas, Muskoka chairs, and shade trees.  <PHOTO – skycandy/urbantoronto.ca>

Sugar Beach North will join up with a retail-lined pedestrian mews known as “The Yard” – between the office building and residential towers.  Daniels Waterfront is a mixed-use retail/office/institutional/residential complex on Queens Quay at Lower Jarvis Street, with towers as high as 45 storeys.

<RENDERING – Daniels Corporation>

IT’S COME TO THIS – CYCLISTS ARE USING POOL NOODLES TO KEEP CARS AT A SAFE DISTANCE

The noodles are soft, simple, harmless tubes that remind motorists to leave one-metre’s distance (about 3 feet) between the cyclist and the car.  “I was doored, closely passed and threatened a number of times,” wrote a cyclist on Twitter in May. “I now use a helmet camera, and soon, will be putting the pool noodle back on my bike. If they can’t give us 1 metre of passing distance (IT’S THE LAW!), they should lose the privilege to drive.”

SCARBOROUGH’S GUILD PARK & GARDENS DISPLAY ARCHITECTURAL RELICS FROM TORONTO’S PAST

<PHOTO – Ross Winter>  Never having been there before. I was totally surprised by the beauty of this Scarborough park, property of the TORONTO and Region Conservation Authority.

<The Greek Theatre was built from the remnants of a Bank of TORONTO; photo – SimonP.>  Located on the Scarborough Bluffs, this huge spread of grassy meadow is punctuated by large-scale relics from TORONTO’s past – mostly from the downtown Financial District. They were saved, beginning in the late 1950’s as the buildings themselves were being demolished.

<TORONTO Star Building, 80 King Street West, Chapman & Oxley Architects>

<The Osterhout Log Cabin, oldest building in Scarborough, commissioned in 1795 by John Graves Simcoe, First Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada>

<Carvings from the Bank of Nova Scotia, 39 King Street West, 1903-69>

The park is off Guildwood Parkway, east of Eglinton Avenue East and Kingston Road. Most of the area is forested and eventually leads to a ravine and Lake Ontario.

<ABOVE – the belfry of Victoria Park School>