TORONTO’S LARGEST FISHING HOLE IS GRENADIER POND IN THE WEST END’S HIGH PARK

The old Town of York Garrison once dropped their lines into Grenadier Pond back in the early 1800’s. The tradition continues to this day as Torontonians land largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, brown bullhead and carp. The large body of water is deep, and the fish are safe to eat.The Pond receives water from Wendigo Creek (a small creek that begins near Dundas Street West and Law Street and runs down to Lake Ontario, along with other underground streams from the north. The northern, southern and south-western shores are naturalized, improving the Pond’s health.  Grenadier Pond exits into Lake Ontario via pipes near Sir Casimir Gzowski Park<PAINTING ABOVE – Grenadier Pond in 1800, by John George Howard, 1803-1890>

<20,000 PEOPLE on the ice watching a dog sled race, 1914>

<WALKING ON THE ICE, 2008-13>

<FLOWER GARDEN AERIAL, 2018, photo – @shanii1 . . . ALL PHOTOS – except the one above are from the City of Toronto Archives/Sidewalk Labs>

SOMETHING VERY BIG & DISTINCT IS MOVING ONTO KING STREET WEST – IT’S BEEN APPROVED

Developed by WESTBANK and ALLIED PROPERTIES, the design of this project differs from any other in the downtown core or anywhere else in TORONTOBIG, a Copenhagen, New York and London based group of architects, designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and product designers, researchers and inventors, will create this assemblage of structures from 489 to 533 King Street West.  “With KING STREET WEST, we wanted to find an alternative to the tower and podium you see a lot of in TORONTO, and revisit some of MOSHE SAFDIE’s revolutionary ideas. But rather than a utopian experiment on an island (as in Montreal), it will be in the heart of TORONTO. It would be strange if one of the most diverse cities in the world had the most homogenous architecture.” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.

PREMIER FORD UNINTENTIONALLY AWARDED MAYOR JOHN TORY A HUGE ELECTION VICTORY – THE STAR

From The TORONTO Star – Suburbs versus Downtown isn’t what it used to be. Ontario’s premier DOUG FORD chopped the wards and councillors almost in half (47 down to 25), just as the election was getting underway – a move many downtowners thought was designed to hobble progressive forces on council.

JOHN TORY seemed to transcend that divide on election night, winning every ward across the city except one (Davenport), and resoundingly defeating his former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat. Experts say he was able to win the entire city by appealing to stability in an especially chaotic election dominated by DOUG FORD.

SIMPLE TOOLS, GREAT SKILL AND ARTISTRY GAVE ONTARIO THE SHARON TEMPLE

You’ll need a car to reach the SHARON TEMPLE, a National Historic Site in the Village of Sharon, roughly an hour’s drive northeast of TORONTO.  Built from 1825-1832 by a small religious community known as The Children of Peace (former Quakers), the site encompasses 9 historic buildings in a park-like setting.Completed in 1832 and restored in 2011, The Temple is located at 18,974 Leslie Street, East Gwillimbury Townshiphttp://www.sharontemple.ca or 905-478-2389.  COLOUR PHOTOS – http://www.smallhomebigstart.com
Other buildings on the site – David Willison’s Study, 1829;  Ebenezer Doan House of 1819; the “cookhouse” where communal meals were served; the “drive shed” with its period carriages; and David Willson’s round outhouse.

<PHOTOS ABOVE – The Sharon Temple in 1860 and 1900>

ON INT’L SNOW LEOPARD DAY AT TORONTO ZOO, QUAIL & PUMPKINS ARE ON THE MENU

The TORONTO ZOO’s snow leopards Ena, Mylo, and Kita are shown from 9:30am to 4:30pm daily.  One source estimates there are 4,500 to 7,500 snow leopards in the wild and other sources say that number is between 2,500 and 10,000. It is very difficult to get scientifically accurate numbers, as these cats are so elusive and currently, only 2% of their habitat has been thoroughly studied. Threats to snow leopards include poaching, habitat loss, farmer retaliation kills, and more recently groups of wild mastiff dogs.

TORONTO HAS SOME SPLENDID CHURCHES AND SYNAGOGUES NEAR THE DOWNTOWN CORE

Fresh from a multi-million dollar renovation, the 169-year-old St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, is the principal church of Canada’s largest English-speaking Catholic archdiocese.  It’s on Bond Street at Shuter.

St. George Greek Orthodox Church is also on Bond Street – at #115

St. James’ Anglican Cathedral occupies the corner of King Street East at Church.  Over the years this impressive building has been visited by Queen Elizabeth and other members of the Royal Family several times.

The Kiever Synagogue in Kensington Market

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 130 Bathurst Street at Adelaide

The 154-year-old St. Anne’s is Canada’s only Byzantine Revival Anglican church. It’s patterned after ISTANBUL’s Hagia Sophia, and in 1998 was designated a National Historic Site.  St. Anne’s is further afield on Gladstone Avenue in the west end, and the interior was designed by members of the famous Group of Seven painters, and sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wyle.

Above – the choir loft at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Basilica on Power Street at Queen Street East

ARON CHAPMAN LOVES BOTH LEGO & TORONTO’S CANADIAN-MADE BOMBARDIER SUBWAY TRAINS

ARON CHAPMAN is a train driver on the busy Yonge-University subway Line 1. He’s also fascinated by the world of LEGO and obsessed with his current goal to put Canada on the LEGO map. Subject matter – the TORONTO Transit Commissions new trains and the system itself.

“(There aren’t) any LEGO kits based on Canada,” he said. “There are all types of world LEGO – the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower – but nothing on Canada, not even the CN Tower.”  After almost immediate approval by the TTC, ARON recently submitted his model to LEGO for production & retail consideration.

The build features 2910 bricks, 28 pieces of track, 2 TTC operator minifigures and hundreds of details that only an insider would know.  In order for the design to make it onto shelves, Aron needs 10,000 votes. You can support his project by casting a vote at http://www.totrain.ca<PHOTO – and here’s the real thing.>

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PARTNERS WITH INDIA’S TATA TRUSTS TO RESEARCH CITIES & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Part of a School of Cities alliance in either MUMBAI or BENGALURU, the research and entrepreneur centres will open in 2019. University of TORONTO undergraduates, graduate students and faculty will have the opportunity to experience “real local engagement and activity” on site in India.  U of T’s priority these days is to increase global partnerships. The study of cities is part of an international project created by the Indian philanthropic organization TATA TRUSTS. It’s not the first time the University has worked with the charitable organization. This time the partnership will connect India’s “smart city” priorities with U of T’s “thought leadership” and its School of Cities.

<PHOTO ABOVE – University of TORONTO St. George Campus>