THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO RECEIVES A $100-MILLION GIFT FOR A.I. & EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

The $100-million donation is the largest in the history of University of TORONTO and the largest gift ever to the Canadian innovation sector.

Donors Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman, co-owners of INDIGO, a Canadian bookstore chain, commented – “U of T is a global leader in artificial intelligence, biomedicine and exploring intersections of society and technology. We’re immensely proud to be part of an initiative that will spark innovation, and illuminate the importance of socially responsible technology.” <PHOTO by Ed Middleton/CBC>

The gift will accelerate creation of a 750,000-square-foot complex to anchor the university’s cluster of artificial intelligence scientists and biomedical experts, its entrepreneurship network, and Canada’s largest concentration of student and faculty-led startups.

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GHISLAINE MILORD SENT US A PHOTO OF “A MOUTH OF TRUTH” – AN ANCIENT VENETIAN ‘SNITCH BOX’

A few of them still exist today. This one, photographed by Ghislaine Milord, a Newfoundlander who knows Venice top to bottom, writes “this box is at the Zattere vaporetto stop.”

Embedded in the walls of key justice, civic or church buildings across the city, the bocche di leone (Mouth of the Lion) look like ornate letterboxes. Typically carved with the open-mouthed faces of the emblematic lion of VENICE, the slots were intended for the use of ordinary citizens and subjects.

Residents in the 1300’s would have seen them springing up all over the place as every district had one. But this was not a mail service. It cost nothing to post your letter and there could only be one destination: the Council of Ten.  Upstanding residents, and not-so upstanding ones too, were encouraged to bring criminal, unsanitary, immoral or treasonous matters to the state’s attention by writing letters to the Council.  For details on the Mouth of Truth, as well as the justice system of ancient VENICE & ITALY in general, check out this great website – L’Italo Americano at – https://italoamericano.org/story/2017-11-16/venice-mouth-truth

TORONTO’S LARGEST RETROFIT IS UNION STATION & WHO KNOWS WHEN IT WILL BE FINISHED

Without a doubt, when it’s done, TORONTO’s rebuilt Union Station will be Canada’s largest transportation hub.

<Old clock image by UT Forum contributor crs1026>  Under construction for several years now, the station’s revitalization includes an expanded GO concourse, an increase in the number of exits and entrances, alleviated commuter congestion, and restoration and preservation of the station’s heritage elements.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Global News>

QUEBEC’S NEW GOVERNMENT (la CAQ) PLANS TO BAN RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS IN ITS MOVE TO SECULARIZE

QUEBEC’s new Legault government is now selling secularism – Bill 21 – to Quebec’s population. Needless to say, the plan has hit the fan.

The minister responsible, Simon Jolin-Barette <shown above with an applauding Premier Legault; photo – Jacques Boissinot / Canadian Press> said he expects groups threatening not to respect the new law of the land, will eventually conform. “I am convinced that people targeted by the bill, will respect the law.”

Bill 21 would prohibit any public worker (teachers, judges, police officers, etc.) in a position of authority, including new public school teachers, from wearing religious symbols, including hijabs. The Immigration Minister said all religious symbols — regardless of the size of the object — would be prohibited. A religious tattoo or a hairdo, such as Rastafarian dreadlocks, are not considered religious symbols, he said.

<Front page Le Journal de Quebec, March 29/2019 – ‘C’est Reparti’ – ‘Here We Go Again’>

MONTREAL Mayor Valérie Plante is concerned. Neighbouring ONTARIO has no such law.

GET POLITICIANS INVOLVED IN TORONTO’S PUBLIC TRANSIT & YOU’VE GOT A POTENTIAL DISASTER

Now what’s he doing? As part of Premier DOUG FORD’s plan to take over the TORONTO subway, provincial officials have released letters proposing big changes to four transit projects.  #1) the Scarborough subway extension would grow from one to three stops; #2) a significant portion of the Eglinton West LRT would run underground; #3) the Downtown Relief Line would be built using different technology than other parts of the subway system; and #4) the Yonge North extension should progress in parallel to the Relief Line to speed completion.City councillor GORD PERKS warns that the province’s plan would mean scrapping years’ worth of planning and severely delaying delivery of new lines.  “It’s the Ford transit season two. We got absolutely nothing built when (Ford’s late brother) Rob was the mayor because he scrapped all the existing (Transit City LRT) plans, and came up with his own impossible-to-deliver plan.”

Looking on the bright (ish) side – Downtown TORONTO is presently served by two subway lines (packed during rush hours) and ten streetcar lines, as well as local and express buses. May those remain untouched by wannabe mayor DOUG FORD.

<THE FORD GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO OVERHAUL SUBWAYS – editorial cartoon by THEO MOUDAKIS, Toronto Star, March/2019>

CANADA’S 2018 NATIONAL NEWSPAPER AWARDS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED – 63 FINALISTS IN ALL

Canadians are well served in print, despite competition from social media, television, radio and countless other outlets. It’s a rat race out there, and our papers fight hard to survive. TORONTO alone puts out four broadsheet papers six days a week, with another two on Sunday.

In the upcoming 2018 National Newspaper Awards, The Globe and Mail has been nominated for 20; Toronto Star & Montreal’s La Presse 6 each; Saltwire Network 2; Canadian Press 4, Saskatoon StarPhoenix & Waterloo Region Record 3 each; Winnipeg Free Press, St. Catharines Standard, Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun & Ottawa Citizen 2 each.

Full details at – http://www.nna-ccj.ca

TORONTO TO HONOUR TERRY FOX, ATHLETE & CANADIAN HERO, WITH WATERFRONT INSTALLATION BY 2020

Jon Sasaki + DTAH are thrilled that their design concept, “We Are Shaped By The Obstacles We Face”, has been selected for a new integrated art and landscape installation, inspired by Canadian hero TERRY FOX.

Terry’s goal was to run nearly 4,000 miles across Canada from east to west. He made it about as far as Thunder Bay, Ontario, but was overcome when his cancer returned.  TORONTO’s citizen-funded project will be dedicated to the spirit of courage, determination, and action that Terry Fox embodied.

For more information on this and other @LAPT projects go to http://www.legacyartproject.com/news/

<TERRY’s image in Canoe Landing Park, TORONTO>