“THE SNC-LAVALIN AFFAIR FAILS THE SCANDAL TEST – SO FAR”, BUT CBC & THE NEWSPAPERS KEEP TRYING

In a Globe and Mail opinion piece, PENNY BRYDEN, a Professor of History at the University of Victoria, & president of the Canadian Historical Association, writes that three criteria are needed for a true scandal. “There must be a transgression, then a cover-up and finally sustained public outrage.”Former Conservative cabinet minister BEV ODA (pictured above) hit the scandal jackpot with her $16 orange juice, limousine service, a suite at London’s luxurious Savoy Hotel – after rejecting her government-booked Grange St. Paul’s 5-star domicile. The Canadian public had a fit.With a federal election upcoming on October 21st, isn’t it about time we considered other matters?

IN THIS WORLD THERE ARE SUCH BEINGS AS RONCESVALLES (SPHYNX) CATS & ALBINO SQUIRRELS

They’ve been called “the ugliest cats alive” because of their angular, elongated, mostly hairless bodies. But they’re friendly and suitable for cat lovers with hair allergies. The sphynx cat arrived in TORONTO’s Roncesvalles neighbourhood in the winter of 1966. Its mother, Elizabeth, delivered a wrinkled, hairless male kitten, later named ‘Prune’. A cat breeder turned Prune’s mutation into a new breed, which eventually became the famed Roncesvalles Cat. <PHOTOS by Holly Nellis> There’s much more to this story, and you’ll find it at – http://torontoist.com/2013/03/toronto-invents-the-sphynx-cat/GRAEME MACKAY, a cartoonist with the Hamilton Spectator, came across an albino squirrel <ABOVE> near the Capitol building in WASHINGTON DC. He had never seen anything like it, and posted the photo on his Twitter site.<PHOTO ABOVE – A Crawford Street albino, by John Phillips>
TORONTO, which is full of black squirrels, once had pure white albinos in Trinity-Bellwoods Park. You could also find them in the west end, in High Park or even on Crawford Street. Then again, you might not. If they’ve disappeared, it’s a shame.

FIRST OF ITS KIND IN CANADA – TORONTO ZOO OPENS A STATE-OF-THE-ART WILDLIFE HEALTH CENTRE

The TORONTO Zoo takes pride in being a centre of excellence when it comes to animal care, reproductive sciences, nutritional physiology, conservation and wildlife research.Now the Zoo has a modern facility and a team devoted to wildlife health care.
<Dr. PAULINE DELNATTE working on a “client”.>TORONTO Zoo invites you to see behind-the-scenes in several of the rooms – Diagnostic Imaging, Treatment, Surgery, Clinical Lab and Endocrinology Lab.The Wildlife Health Centre is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. From the Tundra Zoomobile Station, follow the path adjacent to the Greenhouse.

UNION STATION TORONTO >>> UNION STATION CHICAGO – AMTRAK IS WORKING ON IT

AMTRAK, the American passenger railroad, has seriously proposed a Chicago/Toronto service on its Wolverine Line. ”Amtrak is exploring places to modernize and expand its network. A Chicago/Western Michigan to Detroit to Toronto corridor is one of the routes where we see promise,” Marc Magliari, Amtrak Public Relations Manager, told NARCITY.
The travel time would be about the same as the AMTRAK service from TORONTO to New York City – anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. Both Chicago and New York are each around 500 miles from TORONTO. In terms of border crossing, upgrades would have to be made.

RACCOONS HAVE TAKEN OVER AT THIS YEAR’S CDN. NAT’L. EXHIBITION – UNTIL SEPT. 2/2019

‘RACCOONS REIMAGINED’, a salute to TORONTO’s wildlife; a Godzilla celebration; the EX Race; National Geographic photography; the SUPER DOGS Show; CNE Innovation Garage (robots); CNE Gaming Garage; Casino; First Nations exhibit.New ride for 2019 – STAR DANCER; Burton Cummings; 50th anniversary salute to Woodstock; Johnny Orlando; April Wine; Buffy Sainte-Marie; Jann Arden; Kid’s World; a Wine Garden, farm animals.The Cat Show; Warriors’ Day Parade; Fan Expo Celebrity Car Show;Oktoberfest; Comedy Night . . . . . etc. For all the details and times go to http://www.theEx.com

THE C.N.E.’S FOOD BUILDING BEGAN LIFE IN 1922 AS THE ‘PURE FOOD BUILDING’

Rather a crotchety old thing, the Canadian National Exhibition’s PURE FOOD BUILDING was demolished in 1953 to make way for something more modernist.<PHOTO ABOVE – the modern Food building, 1957>To this day, it remains one of the highlights of the Fair.  <b/w photos by City of TORONTO Archives and Sidewalk Labs>One of the highlights of the Food Building itself is TINY TOM’s “tiny doughnuts”, a CNE fixture since 1959. There’s nothing more synonymous with the CNE than those morsels of deep-fried dough. They can’t make enough of them. The tiny treats were perfected by Ron and Syd Brazier more than 50 years ago – inspired by another vendor who’d come up from New York State. His Tom Thumb Donuts begat Tiny Tom Donuts – and the rest is history.This year, the Canadian National Exhibition runs from Friday, August 16 to Labour Day, Monday, September 2/2019. . . . . Have fun at the Fair!

AUTHOR LEE SHIMANO IS A TRUE FAN OF THE C.N.E. AND SHE’S PUBLISHED A BOOK ABOUT IT

LEE SHIMANO is a CNE enthusiast, and her treasured collection of Canadian National Exhibition memorabilia is most impressive. As a youngster she says “the CNE was this huge, magical world. It was only open for . . . 10 to 14 days. So it was very special.”  And a perfect subject for a book.Ms. Shimano’s book, ‘Treasures of the CNE”, features her private collection and the positive stories of.people who loved Canada’s largest fair. The self-published book came out in 2017. It’s from FRIESENPRESS, and it’s also available from AMAZON as well as several other outlets. <PHOTO BELOW – the Canadettes on the big stage at the Ex, 1960’s>

NOT SO LONG AGO, THE TWO GATEWAYS TO EXHIBITION PLACE WERE ARCHITECTURAL CHALLENGES

The first DUFFERIN GATE was built in 1895 <that’s it in the middle>. It became a meeting place for people preparing to enter the Canadian National Exhibition. But as the Fair was modernizing, the first low-rise gate was torn down in 1910 and replaced by architect G.W. GOUINLOCK’s grand structure, with single storied wings on either side of the entrance.Then in 1959 a new modern gateway took shape, with nearby railway, streetcar and bus stops.  The new Gate was decorated with flags, lightbulbs and garlands, giving it “a theatrical look”, according to William Dendy in his book ‘Lost Toronto’. It was designed by ARTHUR KEITH, who’d been chief architect on Toronto Transit’s Yonge subway project.  It reminds me of a smaller version of the St. Louis Arch. <b/w photos by City of TORONTO Archives & Sidewalk Labs>Meanwhile, on the east side of the grounds, a spectacular new Princes’ Gate, dedicated to the Prince of Wales, took the place of honour as the main entrance to Exhibition Place and the C.N.E.

REACHING TORONTO HIKING & BIKE TRAILS, BEACHES, THE ZOO, GARDENS, BLUFFS, ETC. BY PUBLIC TRANSIT

MARTIN GOODMAN WATERFRONT TRAIL – a 78-kilometre multi-use path for biking, running and walking along TORONTO’s waterfront. The Trail traverses the lake shore from Humber Bay in the west to the Rouge River in the east. Take the subway to Union Station, then the streetcar to Queen’s Quay, and you’re there.TORONTO ISLANDS’ FERRY DOCKS – foot of Bay Street at Queen’s Quay, west of the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. From Union Station walk south on Bay Street. Ward’s Island boasts a small village and the island’s only patio restaurant. Kids love Centre Island.EAST END BEACHES – Line #2 subway to Woodbine station; transfer to Woodbine bus #92 . . . . . . .  OR from Queen Street downtown take the Queen streetcar #501 eastbound to Neville Park. Get off at Woodbine and Queen and then walk south. Woodbine is the largest beach in the area.TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDENS, 777 Lawrence Avenue East at Leslie Street.  Line #1 subway to EGLINTON station.  Then take the 51, 54 or 162 bus to LAWRENCE Avenue. The Gardens are on the southwest corner. From the south end of the Gardens there’s access to the Don River Ravine.TORONTO ZOO – subway Line #1, transfer to Sheppard Line at Sheppard Station, to DON MILLS STATION.  Bus #85 leaves from here, and will drop you in front of the Zoo entrance about 45 minutes later.SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS – Line #2 east to Victoria Park station. Then a 12 or 12-B Kingston Rd bus east to the Brimley Rd/Kingston Rd intersection. From there the Scarborough Bluffs are about a 10 minute walk south on Brimley Rd. Running 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) along the coastline of Lake Ontario, the Bluffs are home to beaches, walking trails, wild flora and fauna, a marina and some of the finest homes in the city.EVERGREEN BRICKWORKS – in the Don Valley, where the bricks were made that built TORONTO. A city bus is operated by the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission).  Take the #28 from DAVISVILLE subway station on Line #1. The bus runs from 6 am to 1:00 am from Monday to Saturday and 8am–6pm on Sundays . . . . . . There’s also the Evergreen shuttle bus, Monday to Friday, every 30–45 minutes from the parkette on Erindale Ave, east of Broadview Ave., north of Line #2’s Broadview subway station. Capacity of the bus – 20 seated; 6 standing.And of course there’s so much more including city-run golf courses, the vast ravine network, West TORONTO beaches, public swimming pools and aqua centres, and the Bike Share program, sponsored by the Toronto-Dominion Bank.

CONSTRUCTION WORK IN GRAND DAD’S DAY (1914-1930’S) WAS NO “PIECE OF CAKE” IN TORONTO

There are over 30,000 historic photographs on the OLD TORONTO project’s website.  Created by the City of TORONTO Archives and Sidewalk Labs, this valuable research facility is very easy to use and well worth exploring.  The photos below illustrate day-to-day life of the city’s construction workers.  For more of the same go to – https://oldtoronto.sidewalklabs.com/<A shoveller at work for Bell Canada, Temperance and Sheppard streets, 1923.  This site would soon become a new telephone exchange to house an automated system.><Hard to believe, but this was the site of Union Station on July 28, 1914.  Smoke gallore.  Construction was about to begin.><Thompson Welding and boiler industries at 169 Adelaide Street West, January 28, 1914><Laying concrete on Front Street at John, January 13, 1928.  Workers are watched over by “the suits” on the left.><Deconstruction site at 432 Bay Street, which seems to be adjacent to Shea’s Hippodrome, February 18, 1937>And to take the chill off, here’s a rare photograph of movie star MARY PICKFORD in front of her birth place home, 211 University Avenue – an address now occupied by TORONTO’s Hospital For Sick Children. Ms. Pickford’s photo was taken on March 23, 1924.