MISSISSAUGA WANTS TO STOP FEEDING $85-MILLION ANNUALLY TO OTHER TOWNS & CITIES

<PHOTO ABOVE – Mississauga City Hall, adjacent to the Living Arts Centre>  If the Ontario government approves, TORONTO’s neighbour, MISSISSAUGA plans to break away from Peel Region and become a grown-up, totally independent city of 721,000 – third largest in Ontario.

Mississauga is wasting money according to Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Analysis shows we send $85-million annually to the Region of Peel to fund the growth of other cities (such as Brampton). Our money should go towards Mississauga priorities. It’s money that … should be spent in our own city.”  Makes sense to me.

<ABOVE – Mississauga City Centre, from Eglinton Avenue and Mavis Intersection.> 

ABOVE A DRUG MART @ YONGE/DUNDAS SQ. – A MICRO MUSEUM CELEBRATES 50/60’s YONGE ST.

<PHOTO ABOVE – the Yonge Street strip in the 1960’s>  First came the world’s original Hard Rock Cafe. That was replaced in 2018 by a Shopper’s Drug Mart franchise. Recognizing the musical history of this downtown neighbourhood, Shoppers did the right thing. The building’s second floor became a micro museum honouring the musicians and their nightclubs that once inhabited these blocks.

<Friar’s Tavern, c 1960s-70s; the BIA (Business Improvement Area) produced the project, and Shopper’s franchise owner ANDREW YEH underwrote it. Admission is free.>

Among those who frequented Yonge Street’s clubland in the 50s, 60s and ‘70s – Bob Dylan, Robbie Lane (now a nighttime dj on Zoomer Radio), Grant Smith, Cathy Young, Ronnie Hawkins, Ritchie Knight & The Mid-Knights, David Clayton-Thomas & The Shays, George Olliver, Jay Jackson, Jeff Cutler of Jon & Lee & The Checkmates, and Jay Douglas and Everton “Pablo” Paul of the Cougars, Oscar Peterson, Jackie Shane, as well as radio legends Duff Roman and Doug Thompson.<PHOTO ABOVE – the micro museum occupies 140 square-feet.  Exhibits will change this spring>  Other “micro museums” planned for the strip include Yonge Space, a pop-up gallery at Yonge and Gerrard streets, a tribute to Sunrise Records and a display celebrating the Colonial Tavern.>Pictured L-R: Jay Douglas (formerly of the Cougars), singer-songwriter Cathy Young, Everton “Pablo” Paul (Cougars), Bernie Letofsky (Cheapies Records), Bobby Sniderman (Sam the Record Man), Shoppers franchise owner Andrew Yeh, Grant Smith (of Grant Smith & the Power), Downtown Yonge BIA head Mark Garner, Robbie Lane (of Robbie Lane & the Disciples) and Jeff Cutler (of Jon and Lee & the Checkmates).On FACEBOOK there are lots of photos – https://www.facebook.com/FriarsMusicMuseum/<ABOVE – clubland on a weekend night, 1960’s – Ryerson Polytechnical students loved TORONTO’s ‘great white way’And there were cheap movies too.  TRIPLE BILL ANYONE?>

I REVISITED MY BUCKET LIST OF GREAT CITIES – ROTTERDAM, ANTWERP & VENICE – MARCH/2019

Bombed by the Nazis during World War II, ROTTERDAM has now become a Dutch cuisine, night life, art and architecture capital.  It’s a popular destination for tourists and cruise ships, but not in the extreme.  This, of course, might change as the word gets out.

Manhattanizing ROTTERDAM is now building the tallest skyscraper in Europe.  It’s no longer the ‘second city’, and these days it’s holding its own against rivaling AMSTERDAM.  <PHOTO ABOVE – the Erasmus Bridge> ANTWERP, Belgium, is another favorite of mine, with two brand new museums to visit – the Museum of Modern Art, and an exceptionally fine Fotomuseum<PHOTO ABOVE – Antwerp’s unique railway station, which is on several levels; BELOW – feeding time for the flamingos at Antwerp Zoo>A TORONTO surprise in ANTWERP was brought to our attention by SABINA, a tour guide we happened to meet on the street and asked for directions. She said the Peter Paul Rubens painting ‘The Massacre of the Innocents’ had returned to Antwerp, the city where it was painted. It’s on loan to Rubens House from the Art Gallery of Ontario.  The painting is reportedly worth about $200,000,000 – a gift from the Thomson family.This painting crossed oceans and mountain ranges, survived wars, been lost and found, and set an auction record. But it had never been exhibited in a European museum.When it returns to TORONTO you can be sure this masterpiece will receive more attention than usual.The ‘Queen of the Adriatic’, otherwise known as VENICE, was the third city we visited. A watery land of canals, magnificent architecture, history wherever one looked, this ancient city lives up to its reputation and then some. How amazing that it still exists.IT WAS GREAT SEEING ALL THREE OF THEM AGAIN.

“SOJOURN IN VENICE” BY TANEREDI (1927-64) SUMS UP THE ENERGY & CULTURE OF A TOTALLY UNIQUE CITY

<‘Sojourn in Venice’ by Taneredi, 1955, oil on hardboard, Ca’Rezzonico Museum>

Having taken 350 photos of VENICE in a few days, there’s no room for all of them. Below you’ll find a few.

<The RIALTO BRIDGE above>

This floater is one of the most expensive luxury yachts in the world. Try $180,000,000 on for size. Owned by billionaire heiress HEIDI HORTON, the Carinthia VII was built at the Lurssen yard in 2002 and had a refit 3 years later. She sails under the flag of Austria and is named after Austria’s Carinthia region.  Mrs. Horten and her late husband have owned several other large yachts, all named Carinthia. Presently, home base is VENICE. <PHOTO – Ross Winter>

<Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute (or St. Mary of Health) – above, faces toward St. Mark’s Basin>The city is much larger than I remembered & early March is a good time to visit – few tourists, easy admission to museums, efficient public transport, food is average and expensive, pizza is pizza, museum & transit passes may be worth while, back streets are an explorer’s delight, not much night life unless you drink, after dark many restaurants shut down.  Venetians dress smartly, there are churches everywhere, and if your room faces a major canal, remember it’s a busy thoroughfare & boats have horns.  <PHOTO – Murano Piazza, Christmas tree and tower>

<On the way back to Venice on Vaporetto #2 from Murano, an island that specializes in glass art.>They’re efficient, noisy and quick – the Vaporetto is an important part of Venice’s public transit system.

<The Doge; his palace has long lineups even in off-peak months. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state‘s aristocracy.>

<“CHANGING PLACE, CHANGING TIME, CHANGING THOUGHTS, CHANGING FUTURE”, courtyard of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum on the Grand Canal>

<Even public utilities have a certain artistic style in Venice>    <PHOTO ABOVE by Ross Winter, St. Mark’s Square – a must visit>

TWO GREAT VIEWS OF VENICE – ONE ABOVE A SHOPPING CENTRE; THE OTHER ATOP A MUSEUM

Free of charge, but a reservation is necessary, VENICE’s first ultra luxury shopping centre – the PENDI – offers spectacular views in two directions from the Fondaco dei Tedeschi terrace. Vogue predicts the ritzy shops underneath could well become Italy’s Harrod’s.

To make a reservation on a specific day and time, you’ll have to do some Googling. A friend made our booking.

CA’REZZONICO, is an art museum fronting on a canal. Amongst an over-supply of nudes and cherubs on the top floor, you’ll find another aspect of the metropolis. The photos below were taken through a very clean window. Access to the view is included with your admission.

TORONTO KEEPS GOING ‘FULL SPEED AHEAD’ WITH THESE UP-AND-COMING DEVELOPMENTS

That didn’t take long. CIBC Square in South Core is rising. TORONTO’s new financial district south of Union Station will soon have two new skyscrapers. CIBC, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, will eventually move south from its present headquarters building on Bay Street at King. <PHOTO – Canadian Chocho>

Good news for kids 12 and under. Beginning on March 9th, they’ll be able to ride GO Transit trains and buses for free, the province has announced. Children under five already ride for nothing on GO, while those between six & 12 are granted a discounted fare.  The under 12’s have been riding free for some time on the TORONTO Transit system, and the UP Express to-and-from Pearson Airport.  Not a bad deal all around.
Holder of two Michelin stars, sushi chef MASAKI SAITO is leaving New York City and opening a new restaurant in TORONTO’s Yorkville neighbourhood. Here he will present his interpretation of traditional edomae-style sushi.  Saiko opened the New York Branch of Sushi Ginza Onodera in 2016, earned his first Michelin star in 2017 and added another, at age 30, in 2018. He plans to put his roots down in TORONTO.The University of TORONTO is first in Canada in the 2019 QS World University subject rankings. It is also the only university in the world to rank in the top 50 for the vast majority of specific subjects included.University of Toronto has placed in the top ten globally in six QS subjects: library and information management (3rd), pharmacy and pharmacology (4th), sports-related subjects (5th), education (7th), nursing (7th), and anatomy and physiology (8th).  More than 1,200 institutions were ranked across 48 subjects this year.