<‘FREE AT LAST!’, Friday’s editorial cartoon by PETER BROOKES, January 31/2020, LONDON UK><‘SMALL ISLAND’, The Guardian, LONDON UK>
It’s all there if you can afford the rent. This mixed-use complex on a prime piece of land in the downtown core connects with the subway, as well as eight cinemas, a very large book shop, an LCBO liquor store, a super market, a gym, the new Eataly food emporium, Bay/Bloor Radio, Birks jewelers, and a bank amongst other things.<PHOTO ABOVE – Manulife apartments by Vic Pahwa/flickr>The building also connects with a sparkling new underground tunnel system, lined with shops of all descriptions, including upscale Holt Renfrew.The Manulife Centre was built in the 1970’s. It was designed by the TORONTO architecture firm Lifford and Lawrie, and is now in the process of being updated.<PHOTO – view from the top of the Manulife Centre>
Kent Monkman, who’s become a well-known artist in Canada, has been given a prime spot in New York’s Metropolitan. Two of his monumental paintings are hanging in the Great Hall, at the entrance to one of the finest museums in the United States.<Photo above – Radio-Canada><‘Welcoming the Newcomers’ and ‘Resurgence of the People’ were both commissioned by the Met, and will be on display until April 9, 2020. <Kent Monkman (Cree, b. 1965). ‘Welcoming the Newcomers’, 2019. Acrylic on canvas – ABOVE><Kent Monkman (Cree, b. 1965). Resurgence of the People’, 2019. Acrylic on canvas – ABOVE>
OK (State II), lithograph, 1990, ED RUSCHA
First the good news – In the Greater Toronto Area nearly 70,000 apartments were under construction or proposed in 2019. This would be 4.5 times higher than the total number of rentals in the GTA since 2005.Now the bad news – Torontonians are staying put. The GTA’s turnover rate was 9.5% in 2019, compared to 15.9% in 2016, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Montreal’s turnover 15.7%; Vancouver 13.6% and Calgary 33.3%.More bad news – When a unit is vacated (after being on rent control), landlords can charge whatever they wish. A new tenant will, no doubt, pay much more than the previous one.And even more bad news – Canada Mortgage and Housing has determined that the average two-bedroom condos rent for $2,476; a bachelor or studio unit might go for $1,725 or more; one-bedroom units, according to RENTALS.ca can be as much as $2,300 a month.
Once upon a time Downtown TORONTO was dotted with surface parking lots. Nearly every one of them has disappeared. Underground parking has taken over. The above Google map from MAPto shows us the lower city centre, as it was in 1978. To the left – the CN Tower and surface parking; the Financial District towers in the centre; and lots of surface parking on the right.ABOVE – Forty years later things have certainly changed. The Rogers Centre is on the left; the Financial District and Union Station are in the middle; and there’s massive amounts of development along the waterfront and on the right. This photo was taken in 2019.In the above photo from #Streets of Toronto, it’s obvious redevelopment has spread far and wide. The Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat says this city now has 67 skyscrapers (150 metres or taller), with 31 more under construction, and another 59 proposed. We’ll soon pass CHICAGO to take second place behind NEW YORK CITY with the most tall buildings. Some – but not all – of us love what’s happening. Anyway, most of the surface parking lots are gone – for the better..
1) Wonder of the world – Taj Mahal, 651 Gerrard St. East, Little India; 2).Bricks and wagons mural, 1289 Gerrard St. E., artists – Jim Bravo, Anthony Delacruz, and Em Ciobanica; 3) GerrardArtProject, artists – Adrian Hayles and mosaic artist Anna Camelleri, Red Dress Productions, 2012, 1330 Gerrard Street East; 4) Graffiti Alley East, 2015, artist – Tim Schjins; 5) Guidant Mural, 2017, artist Mediah, 1014 Queen Street East. 6) Sports Heritage Mural, 1 Munro Street, artist – Monica Wickeler. Riverside is home to one of Toronto’s oldest curling clubs.