TORONTO’S FLATIRON BUILDING, FIRST OF ITS KIND IN NORTH AMERICA, WAS BUILT IN 1892

The first flatiron building in North America was TORONTO’s Coffin Block, constructed in the triangle formed by Front and Church Streets.  The stubby little structure housed the offices of a stagecoach company.It was demolished and replaced in 1892 by the present day Flatiron or Gooderham Building.  For the record – NEW YORK CITY’s Flatiron was completed in 1903.The present-day Flatiron was constructed for $18,000.  Until 1952, it contained offices for George Gooderham of the giant Gooderham and Worts Distillery.  There’s now a pub in the basement, a patio outside, and Berczy Park in behind.  The Flatiron is close to three theatres, St. Lawrence Market, St. James Cathedral, Hockey Hall of Fame and numerous fine restaurants and pubs. <photo above by bmccle . . . #streetsoftoronto>

TORONTO WELCOMES IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE 1ST RATE TECH BACKGROUNDS – REPORTS ‘OZY.COM’

OZY is an American media company tailor-made for the Change Generation. Or, as one fan put it, “OZY is what cool people read to be smart and smart people read to be cool.” They’re saying now that TORONTO is wooing tech immigrants away from California’s Silicon Valley.The tech industry is growing rapidly in TORONTO’s city and region, as well as in WATERLOO & OTTAWA – so much so that in 2018 more tech jobs were created here than in San Francisco and most other North American cities. The population of software developers, engineers and programmers grew by 82,100 between 2012 and 2017, according to CBRE, the commercial real estate firm.Mentioned in the article – the MaRS Discovery District <ABOVE>; the Artificial Intelligence program at the University of Toronto, Donald Trump’s “buy American and hire American” policies; the mixed TORONTO population, which includes 51% born outside the country; and the new tech changes to Canada’s immigration policy.It’s worth a read if you’ve a mind to come up north – https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/how-toronto-is-wooing-tech-immigrants-away-from-silicon-valley/92962

FRED HERZOG LOVED VANCOUVER & THAT SHOWS IN HIS ARCHIVE OF COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

FRED HERZOG, one of the best when it came to photographing a Canadian city, died on Monday, September 9/2019 at the age of 88. He found subject matter in the streets of Vancouver, focusing on architecture, people, cafes, billboards, darkened streets, neon, and life in some of the roughest parts of town.<‘Modern Colour’ Vancouver – by Fred Herzog>  Born in Stuttgart, he moved to Vancouver in 1952. During the day he’d work as a medical photographer and at the University of British Columbia.<Equinox Gallery Vancouver – Granville Street at Night by Fred Herzog>  His off-times were mostly taken up with making pictures. He’d work primarily with Kodachrome slide film to create a wonderful vision of Vancouver, as it was in the 1950’s when neon was king.Herzog photographs are in the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, numerous private collections and books. He’s survived by his daughter Ariane and son Tyson. His wife Christel died in 2013.  <ABOVE – Alexander Street by Fred Herzog – Equinox Gallery Vancouver – >

MASSEY HALL WILL HAVE AT LEAST ANOTHER YEAR TO GO BEFORE RE-OPENING NIGHT

Constructed for about $150,000 in 1894, now undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, TORONTO’s oldest concert hall and National Historic Site will soon be making yet another debut.Behind the tarps and iron fencing the MASSEY HALL crews are fully occupied restoring 100 stained glass windows, building glass-walled walkways, renovating the old building & constructing a new one, along with modern loading dock facilities, new artist dressing rooms and improved technical facilities for large touring productions. It’s one busy place at 92 Shuter Street.On the horizon, amongst all of this, will be two new music venues, one in each building – the largest will seat 500, and the other will be an intimate ‘coffee house’ performance space in a redesigned Centuries Lounge. The main concert hall will seat over 2,000. Retractable seating will allow wide-open, general admission floor space.MASSEY HALL’s last major renovation took place in 1948. Financed by the federal and provincial governments as well as the city, this one will be over the top.  <RENDERINGS – Massey Hall>

F.Y.I. – FRED KNAPP’S ROLLER BOAT WAS THE STRANGEST CRAFT EVER LAUNCHED IN TORONTO

FOR YOUR INFORMATION – This unusual boat measured 125 by 25 feet. There was an opening at each end where people could board. The inside remained stationary, while the outer casing, equipped with small paddle-like projections, revolved around it. This allowed the ship to roll sideways along the surface of the water like a rolling pin.
<PHOTO ABOVE – the inventor of the Roller Boat, FRED KNAPP>
In 1897, while a large crowd was watching, the ship demonstrated a top speed of 5 miles per hour in TORONTO Bay. The idea was dropped because the vessel was too slow and very expensive. <PHOTO above – City of Toronto Archives; WATERCOLOUR below by THOMAS HARRISON WILKINSON, 1847-1949>

TORONTO REBUILDS ITSELF – WITH SCAFFOLDINGS, DEMOLITIONS, TRAFFIC JAMS & CRANES EVERYWHERE

It’s a great opportunity for those with a camera, and without a car. There are photographic opportunities around almost every corner. With 103 construction cranes now at work, buildings are going up and coming down amazingly fast.The cityscape is evolving. A good case can be made for either liking it or lumping it.  Walking is one of the best ways to take in these rapid changes.  The good news is that many heritage buildings are being passed over – or at least their facades are being saved.  Take your bike out on a Sunday morning and be prepared for a surprise.

WHAT KIND OF PUBLIC ART WOULD FIT A 76-STOREY SKYSCRAPER? – “SAFE HANDS” BY RON ARAD

Even people who live at One Bloor Street East may not know who created their condo’s sculpture. <ABOVE – Night time design proposal, Ron Arad Studio>The installed sculpture is 88 feet tall, and consists of two 31-metre stacks of intertwined metal tubing, looking as if it’s climbing the building, and occupying a smallish space where Bloor meets Yonge.The artist, RON ARAD, industrial and architectural designer, was born in Tel Aviv in 1951. He’s a busy man, and his work occupies public spaces in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Milan, Tel Aviv, Singapore – and now TORONTO. On a much smaller scale, Mr. Arad has also designed perfume bottles, bookshelves, memorials, and eyewear.The title ‘Safe Hands’ refers to the safety you’ll feel once you’re inside this building at the corner of Yonge and Bloor Street East.