MOTHER NATURE HAS SAVED THE BLOOR-YORKVILLE ICE SCULPTURES – THANKS TO OUR CRYSTALLINE AIR

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SOUNDS WORTHY . . . BUT IS IT REALLY? ONTARIO GOV’T’S PLAN FOR TORONTO’S PUBLIC TRANSIT

Cutting through Premier DOUG FORD’S hyperbole, the provincial government’s plan for the TORONTO Transit Commission (TTC) might work. Its ace seems to be money, and the province’s ability to cut through red tape when it comes to the subway’s expansion in the Greater Toronto/Hamilton Area (GTHA).

The plan, presented at Queen’s Park, says Ontario would take over the building and maintenance of the present & future subway; TTC would deal with day-to-day operations; TTC would continue to run the streetcars and buses and keep fare box revenues; a push would be made to integrate the TTC with GO and regional transit systems; the province & city would agree on the dollar value of the present subway system and the maintenance price tag.According to the Toronto Star, the two sides are negotiating the subway’s value. It seems to be worth about $9-billion, with maintenance and upgrade of tunnels, signals and track amounting to $5.6-billion. This suggests, according to the Star, there’d be a one-time net gain of $3.4-billion for the city.

In a report published by the TTC in January/2019, the subway network and stations would need an estimated $22-billion in capital investment over the next 15 years. This wouldn’t include expansion projects, such as the downtown relief line.

This could be a ‘spider and the fly’ type story.  “I think we’re being suckered,” said city councillor JOSH MATLOW, the only councillor who voted against talks with the province.

24 HOURS A DAY, TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY’S ‘DIAL-A-STORY’ IS ON THE LINE AT 416-395-5400

TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY is the world’s busiest public library system. Every year, more than 16-million people borrow about 30-million items from 99 branches. One of their services is ‘Dial-A-Sory’ for children under 12.

For a multi-lingual/cultural city like this one, stories are made available in fifteen languages – including English, French, Cantonese, Gujarati, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Somali, Tamil and Urdu. Storytime readers have included library volunteers, Blue Jays players, actors and National Ballet dancers.

ANDREW DO says learning English as child was made easier through the ‘Dial-a-Story’ program. <(Moe Doiron – photo>  What better way for children (or adults) to learn another language or improve on the one he or she speaks. All you need is a phone. It’s free. ‘Dial-a-Story’ was created in 1989 by a consortium of libraries in Caledon, Vaughan, Brampton and North York. With amalgamation, the TORONTO Public Library took over the service in 1998.

FROM THE ZOO’S PHOTO ALBUM – ANIMALS & BIRDS THAT CALL ONTARIO & GTR. TORONTO HOME

TORONTO is home to thousands of black & gray SQUIRRELS.  By burying seeds and nuts, they’e an important part of the city’s ecosystem.  Their hard work promotes germination and forest renewal.

The MASSASSAUGA RATTLESNAKE is an endangered species.  Over a dozen have been born at the Zoo.  They’re shy reptiles, and it’s illegal to harass, harm or kill one.

Owls in the Greater TORONTO Area – Great Horned, Eastern Screech, Barred, Northern Saw Whet, Great Grey & occasional/seasonal, the Snowy Owl.Elsa, the ARCTIC FOX, 1.5-years-old, came to TORONTO from Parc Safari.  She’s joined others in the Tundra Trek.

Breathing in the Northland, a member of the Zoo’s POLAR BEAR family.

And one new-resident of Ontario, an AFRICAN PENGUIN, a participant in the Zoo’s Species Survival Plan.  Seventeen new chicks were born here, since the species arrived in 2011.

It’s easy to get to 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 there, 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.

RECOGNIZE THIS? IT’S AN AERIAL VIEW OF THE NEW CAMH CAMPUS AT OSSINGTON & QUEEN ST. WEST

Construction began in October 2017, and now the West Queen West campus of CAMH (Centre for Addiction & Mental Health) has been greatly enlarged. The project includes two seven-storey institutional buildings, the McCain Complex Care & Recovery Centre at the corner of Ossington Avenue & Queen, and the Crisis & Critical Care Building on Queen at White Squirrel Way.  <PHOTO, looking south – courtesy of PCL>

“CORONER” HAS BECOME CBC TELEVISION’S HIGHEST-RATED NEW DRAMA SERIES LAUNCH

Co-produced by Muse, Back Alley & Cineflix & shot in TORONTO, “CORONER” has become CBC’s highest-rated drama series launch in four years. NUMERIS, the Canadian audience measurement organization, confirmed that the series reached two-million in Canada and delivered an average minute audience of more than one-million viewers for each episode on CBC television.

Dr. Jenny Cooper (played by actress Serinda Swan) investigates suspicious, unnatural, or sudden deaths in TORONTO. In the photo above Dr. Cooper is shown extracting a foot from a car grill. (Somebody’s got to do it.) 
In the United Kingdom the series premiered as Universal TV’s highest-ever rated series launch.
“’Coroner’ has struck a chord with viewers in Canada and the UK, which is a testament to the series’ outstanding cast and creative team and the authenticity of its themes and characters,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Programming, CBC.

TORONTO’S PEARSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS A PERMANENT ART & SCULPTURE COLLECTION

<Getting there – the UP Express connects downtown TORONTO with the airport.  There’s a train every 25 minutes from Union Station, and vice versa from Terminal 1.Oftentimes travelers are under too much pressure to take in Pearson’s art and sculpture collection. Throughout Terminals 1 and 3 there are examples of work by artists from Canada and elsewhere.

<One of three Inuksuit outside the terminals>

<‘Skin of Flight’ by Dereck Revington, Domestic Departures, Terminal 3><‘As One’ by Jaume Plensal, International Baggage Hall, Terminal 1><Sculpture by Richard Serra, Terminal 1><Textiles by Tazeen Oayyum, 2013, Terminal 1><Consecutive Bands, Sol Lewitt, 2003, Terminal 1><Holding more than 18,000 litres of water, this massive tank filled with little cubes was designed by Germany’s INGO MAURER. It’s part of Pearson’s permanent collection.>