WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO ‘THE BIG APPLE’ & ITS PEOPLE – 42ND STREET AS IT ONCE WAS

You’d never recognize the place today.  New York City’s Movieland, 42nd Street, has been cleansed – Disneyfied, gentrified, purified, glamourized, call it what you will.  The seediness is all gone.Chicago artist, MITCH O’CONNELL at – http://www.mitchoconnell.blogspot.ca “Way back in the late 80s, right before 42nd Street was swept clean and purified by Disney goodness, you could still enjoy New York in all its noisy, colourful, rude and vivid glory.”“I wish I had taken 1000 more photos (and gone back at night) of the amazing buildings and people that could only be found there, but at least I got a handful of snapshots of the long gone cool decaying seediness of that bustling stretch of real estate.”

‘WEIRD ILLUMINATED SKY PAINTINGS’ (W.I.S.P.’S) ARE CREATED WITH LED LIGHTS AND DRONES

Drones have been getting some pretty bad press lately.  But they can do other things besides dropping bombs or hunting down terrorists. In fact, a drone is capable of showing us the world as we’ve never seen it before. A new art form has appeared, using drones and LED lights to create trails of light and colour in the sky.Fortunately or unfortunately Transport Canada has put the kibosh on flying drones near airports, heliports and aerodromes, as well as night time flying by hobbyists. These are a few TORONTO W.I.S.P.’s captured before the ban went into effect.  You’ll no doubt recognize the CN Tower, the back side of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Sharp Centre for Design at OCADU.For much more information on TORONTO’s drones and W.I.S.P.’s check out this site – http://www.yongestreetmedia.ca/features/drones121514.aspx

ST. ANNE’S ANGLICAN CHURCH & THE GROUP OF SEVEN PAINTERS, 270 GLADSTONE AVENUE

On the outside St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Avenue, is rather grim, but inside it’s another story.In 1923, the painter, J.E.H. MacDonald, assembled a group of Canadian artists (unfashionable in church circles at the time), including Fred Varley, Frank Carmichael, other members of the famous Group of Seven, and sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wyle.Together they created more than a dozen large paintings, decorative medallions and reliefs of the four evangelists.  Combined with the building’s vaulted roof and central dome in the Byzantine Greek Cross style, and stained glass from the original church on Dufferin Street, St. Anne’s became a sight to behold.  As it is to this day.The 154-year-old building is Canada’s only Byzantine Revival Anglican church. It’s patterned after ISTANBUL’s Hagia Sophia, and in 1998 was designated a National Historic Site.St. Anne’s has regular Sunday services, or you can arrange individual or group tours through the church office.  Coronavirus permitting.

TORONTO’S NIGHT LIGHTS DATE BACK A HALF CENTURY OR MORE – MANY OF THEM ARE NEON

<THE DOWNTOWN cinema, home of ‘double bills’, Yonge Street at Gerrard East, is now a jewelry mall><FRAN’S, an iconic TORONTO restaurant.  Two of them still exist.><RONCESVALLES CAR BARN, photo by John Bromley, ca1950’s or 60’s ?><FILMORE’S HOTEL, Dundas Street East, still exists.><‘FOUR BIG HITS’, the RIO ‘grindhouse’ cinema on Yonge, south of Gerrard Street><TERMINAL ONE at Pearson International Airport, TORONTO’s first modern air terminal with parking space above><THE REGENCY HOTEL, Yorkville; replaced by a Howard Johnson’s><‘DANCING NIGHTLY’, the Edison Hotel, Yonge Street at Gould>

TORONTO PHOTOGRAPHER ELIOT WRIGHT INVESTIGATES THE CITY’S TRANSITIONING DUPONT STREET

A seemingly unremarkable thoroughfare, DUPONT STREET is located alongside the Canadian Pacific Railway line that long ago marked TORONTO’s city limits.Leaving behind its industrial past in the face of rapid redevelopment, the old street epitomizes the fact that modern, urban landscapes are always in flux.

THE FIRST IMAGE ON CBC ENGLISH TELEVISION IN CANADA WAS AN UPSIDE DOWN STATION ID-SLIDE

The ID slide above is part of Canadian television history. When CBLT, the local TORONTO channel went on the air for the first time, viewers were greeted by a back-to-front, upside down slide, put there by an overly-fastidious technician. EMIL ZVARICH got his 15 minutes of fame by cleaning the slide one last time, and then popping it into the projector and up it went to air.  Making things worse, all the CBC brass were in the control room at the time. Then a film jammed in the projector gate. It was September 8, 1952 – and CBLT was born.From our kindly neighbours at the BUFFALO COURIER-EXPRESS “Observers in eastern New York say they are amazed at the professional skill demonstrated by CBLT. All in all, it looks as though Canadian television is sure of a substantial US audience.”  From a TORONTO newspaper critic – “CBC television was not triumphant in its opening. There was little worth sitting through and nothing you’d want to endure a second time.” And from another kindly Buffalonian – “. . . three hours of unusual, interesting and highly professional entertainment . . . their pattern could well be followed by the US television industry. All in all, a very refreshing evening.”  “TORONTO RECEPTION GUARANTEED!” – an advertisement in a Lewiston, New York store selling television sets.<Among those who performed that night – puppets Uncle Chichimus & Hollyhock><GLENN GOULD, who later appeared often on both television and radio.><DON HARRON (shown here as Charlie Farquharson) – writer, producer, director, actor, comedian, star of the US television series ‘HEE HAW’>

<PERCY SALTZMAN, who made weather forecasting & chalk-tossing into an art-form; and BELOW, LORNE GREENE, CBC radio news anchor, starring later in ‘BONANZA’. On opening night he reported on the manhunt for the BOYD GANG, dangerous escapees from the Don Jail.>