MAPto SHOWS US HOW ‘MANHATTANIZED’ TORONTO HAS BECOME – SURFACE PARKING LOTS ARE OUT

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..

PAINTERS & MURAL MAKERS HAVE BEEN AT WORK IN LITTLE INDIA, E. CHINATOWN & GRAFFITI ALLEY E.

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.

TORONTO HAS RESCUED MANY VINTAGE CINEMAS – THE PARADISE IS ADDING A BAR & RESTAURANT

Once a down-at-the-heels, tagged movie house, the art deco Paradise, 1006 Bloor Street West, is now a shiny new self. Foodies will soon be patronizing the Bar Biltmore, and the Osteria Rialto, coming early this year. Concessions from the in-seat only menu is now available, but this will expand to hot items in 2020.The Paradise, after a top-to-bottom renovation, screens a mixture of newly released films, the classics, and themed series – along with talks, multi-arts events, and comedy.

U. OF T. HAS LAUNCHED A MEMORIAL FUND FOR THOSE WHO DIED IN THE TRAGIC JET CRASH NEAR TEHRAN

The newly endowed Iranian Student Memorial Fund honours the memory of those who died in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 in Tehran. Six students from the University of Toronto were among 57 Canadians who died – along with another 119 on the manifest.

(Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn)  President Meric Gertler said “The University of Toronto continues to mourn the heartbreaking loss of so many members of our community, and to offer our sympathy and support to their families, friends, classmates and professors.”

THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO is dispersing$10,000 scholarships in memory of each of the 57 Canadian victims. Criteria for the scholarships will be based on academic merit and financial need, and recipients will be determined in consultation with the schools and families of the victims. – <IMAGES – U of T Magazine>

CONGRATULATIONS TO BOMBARDIER – THE LAST OF TORONTO’S NEW STREETCARS, #4603, IS ON ITS WAY

The last of 204 new streetcars ordered by TORONTO – #4603 – will soon be arriving in the city.  The push to build all of these cars has been long and frustrating, but now that seems to be behind us.  Way to go Bombardier and its Thunder Bay crew!

GONE FOREVER – FAREWELL TO THE MATADOR – A CONDO HIGH RISE WILL SOON TAKE ITS PLACE

They once had plans to turn Toronto’s old honky tonk into a parking lot, but now it will be replaced by condominiums. Owners of the storied Matador Club, 466 Dovercourt Road, made every attempt to make it rise again, but that won’t happen. “Blame for its death lies squarely with city hall,” writes Marcus Gee in the Globe and Mail.  Millions of dollars have been spent fixing it up, but soon a demolition crew will knock it down.<PHOTO – R. Jeanette Martin/NOW magazine>  This after-hours club, known locally as a “booze can”, was a go-to late night destination for musicians of all stripes including Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Joni Mitchell, Stompin’ Tom Connors and Leonard Cohen.  Catherine O’Hara and Indiana Jones (aka Harrison Ford) paid a visit, as well as garden variety locals who wanted to stay up late, have a few drinks, do some dancin’ and party. There was live music every Friday and Saturday night from 1:30 until 5:30 am.k.d. lang’s official video for “Turn Me Around” (1987) features the Matador sign and street frontage as well as long shots of the stage and its dusty cowboy boots.  That’s k.d. in the photo above.Founded in 1964 by ANN DUNN, the after-hours dance venue was shut down in 2007 and it’s never re-opened.Leonard Cohen’s 1992 music video “Closing Time” was – in a way – a love song to The Club Matador.
Ah we’re drinking and we’re dancing
and the band is really happening
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high
And my very sweet companion
she’s the Angel of Compassion
she’s rubbing half the world against her thigh
And every drinker every dancer
lifts a happy face to thank her
the fiddler fiddles something so sublime
all the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it’s partner found, it’s partner lost
and it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops:
it’s CLOSING TIMEYeah the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it’s partner found, it’s partner lost
and it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops:
it’s CLOSING TIMEAh we’re lonely, we’re romantic
and the cider’s laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit’s crying, “Where’s the beef?”
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief
So we struggle and we stagger
down the snakes and up the ladder
to the tower where the blessed hours chime
and I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can’t say much has happened since
but CLOSING TIME<PARTIAL LYRICS “CLOSING TIME” – Writer(s): Leonard Cohen
Copyright: Sony/ATV Songs LLC, Stranger Music Inc.>