HIGH-FLYING BIRDS ABOVE UofT’S ST. GEORGE CAMPUS MAY HAVE SEEN THE NEW GLASS SKYLIGHT

In this photo by NICK IWANYSHY/University of Toronto, we’re looking down on the rooftop of 114-year-old Convocation Hall. A new glass skylight was being installed by a crane parked over King’s College Circle. It was hoisting the skylight’s superstructure into place. The installation of the new skylight, or oculus, is part of a broader refurbishment of the heritage building, which serves as the university’s biggest classroom and the site of its annual convocation ceremonies.– RAHUL KALVAPALLE – University of Toronto Magazine.

A RYERSON UNIVERSITY HISTORY PROF. COMPARES OUR PANDEMIC WITH 1918’S ‘SPANISH FLU’

Professor ARNE KISLENKO writes “We can draw on history for an understanding of how previous generations survived pandemics. The 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ was amongst the deadliest in history, killing an estimated 50 to 100-million worldwide, including nearly 55,000 Canadians.”<ABOVE – Telephone company women in Calgary have masked up while taking a break outside.>Just as in 2020, marginalized populations were ravaged. Indigenous communities faced a mortality rate five times the national average.Connaught Laboratories in TORONTO developed a vaccine by late 1918, but offered no guarantee if it would work. . . . When the virus dissipated, Canada emerged a different country. A federal Department of Health was created. Some communities were destroyed, or changed forever.<photo – children at Victoria Park Forest School in Toronto practice blowing their noses, 1913; City of Toronto Archives> In 1918 there was no public health insurance, diets were poorer, and sanitation standards were lower. . . . . Anti-viral drugs and other front-line technologies used today were non-existent.   We’ve learned that only patient and concerted action can manage the historical realities of pandemics.” <from the Ryerson University Magazine, Winter/2021>From the TORONTO STAR, 1918 – ‘WEAR A MASK OR GO TO JAIL’ – “A family of six had all been infected with this strange new disease. The father, mother and four children were recovering. But the dad had been laid off for weeks. A terrible hole had been made in the resources of this little family.

FROM THE ULTIMATE WINDOW SEAT IN 2013, CHRIS HADFIELD PHOTOGRAPHED CANADA IN WINTER

Born in SARNIA, Ontario in 1959, former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, CHRIS HADFIELD, circled the globe aboard the International Space Station.  His images appeared in newspapers and other media around the world. As the Space Station passed over the largest country in the world – Canada – Chris took pictures of our landscapes,  and some cities and towns.  PHOTOS BY CHRIS HADFIELD BELOW – 1)  TORONTO by day.  2) MONTREAL by day. 3) TORONTO (left), MONTREAL (right), 350 miles in between. 4) WINNIPEG, Manitoba.5) QUEBEC CITY at night.6) DETROIT (top), WINDSOR, Ontario (bottom) by night.7) CALGARY. Alberta.8) VANCOUVER, British Columbia

NOT THE PRETTIEST OF FACES, BUT IT MADE THE FRONT COVER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE

After the death of SUDAN,45, a male Northern White Rhinoceros, our planet was left with only two of the species – NAJIN, a grand daughter and FATU, a daughter. Sudan was the last male Northern White Rhino left on earth – stretching back millions of years. He’d been well looked after 24/7 by Kenyan caretakers. Visitors traveled from all over just to see him, pet him and feed him snacks. He especially liked carrots. Sudan was a singular creature who weighed more than two tons, but would soon be gone forever. Some visitors cried after spending time with him.Sudan still had two living descendants – Najin and Fatu, who by themselves would not be able to save their subspecies. They spend their days grazing from dawn to dusk, in a field protected by a tall electric fence. Safari vehicles can now stop along the fence and take a look. The story by Sam Anderson, with photographs by Jack Davison, can be found at this address — https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/06/magazine/the-last-two-northern-white-rhinos-on-earth.html

GHOST BLDGS. ON TORONTO ISLANDS – GONE FOREVER, BUT THEIR IMAGES SURVIVE IN THE ARCHIVES

TORONTO Islands, a vast network of parks, canals, a boardwalk, superb views of the skyline, an antique carousel, labyrinth, the harbour and Lake Ontario, along with a community of 250 winterized cottages (on Ward’s Island) . . . only 15 minutes from TORONTO’s Financial District.  Ferries leave from the foot of Yonge Street and minutes later you’re there. Winter and summer schedules differ, and the ferries take different routes. Water taxis are also available.  The “ghost buildings” of TORONTO Islands exist only in the city archives. Below – paintings by TORONTO artists, dating from 1856 to 1949.<Old Fog Bell, Toronto Island, by William Armstrong (1822-1916)><Elias Rogers’ Belvedere Cottage, Centre Island, artist unidentified, 1890><Louis Privat Hotel, Toronto Island, where The Eastern Gap is now, 1850, by Owen Staples (1866-1949)><David Ward Senior’s house, Centre Island, built in 1856, by Joseph Thomas Rolph (1831-19160><William Ward House, ca1871-85, Centre Island, by Owen Staples (1866-1949)><The Monarch, paddle steamer, ran aground on Toronto Island, November 29/1856, by William Armstrong (1822-1916)><Lookout Tower, Toronto Harbour Police, 1949, by Nicholas Hornyansky (1896-1965)>

I KNOW EGLINTON-YONGE ALMOST BY HEART – BUT A ‘NEW VIEW’ MAY BE COMING ITS’ WAY

Having worked for about 30 years near the intersection of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, I’ve seen this neighbourhood spread and heighten. It’s now evolving full speed ahead, with a possible massive mixed-use complex of five office and residential skyscrapers.  Oxford Properties, one of Canada’s major developing companies, has submitted a Zoning By-law Amendment application to the City in hopes of developing 9.2-acres in Midtown.<Photo above – Eglinton-Yonge, more or less as it is now>  The project would take over a block already occupied by three office buildings. They’ll be demolished, along with an elevated parking garage. The Crosstown LRT is being assembled under and above ground, making Eglinton-Yonge a prime interconnection for the Line Number One subway, and several TTC bus routes.<Rendering above – 9.2-acre site with a 3 million square foot mixed-use masterplan. Image – Oxford Properties.> Renowned architects Pelli Clarke Pelli will work with designers in the north precinct, and Toronto’s well-known and much admired Hariri Pontarini Architects will take on the south.  Pelli Clarke Pelli has designed the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong, and other of the  world’s tallest skyscrapers.

PHOTOGRAPHER RONNY JAQUES’ EARLY TORONTO IMAGES RESIDE IN CANADA’S NATIONAL ARCHIVES

RONNY JAQUES (1910-2008) was a British photographer whose family moved from England to Canada, then on to New York City and TORONTO, where he opened a studio at 24 Grenville Street. He stayed here until 1941 when he closed the studio and moved back to New York. During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s his photographic specialties were fashion, travel, food and lifetstyle. His work is everywhere, but unfortunately he’s no longer with us.Mr. Jaques was in TORONTO long enough to record some splendid images of our city between 1939 and 1951.  <Photo above – Queen Street East at Yonge Street>A large number of these are in Canada’s National Library and Archives.  <Photo above – Trading Floor, the old Toronto Stock Market>.  The building still exists on Bay Street in the Financial District.You can scan through the Archives’ vast collections at this address – http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca<Photo above – Kensington Market>

THE LEUTY LIFEGUARD STATION IN THE BEACH HAS NOW PASSED ITS FIRST CENTURY

Should you see The Leuty Lifeguard Station you’re in The Beach – actually a neighbourhood of four beaches on the edge of Lake Ontario. One of the best known Toronto landmarks, it’s been well admired and protected by the locals and the city itself. Now it’s 100 years old, and still being photographed and painted year ‘round, winter or summer.<Photo above – UrbanToronto.ca><Photo above – a particularly snowy day, February, 2014 – by  Edward Row><The Station was built by the architectural firm Chapman, Oxley and Bishop. Photo – July 19, 1920, from PortsToronto.><The winter of February, 1977 – from Candace McLaren><ChristmasTime lighting – from Marley Adams><Leuty’s staff, summer 1987 – from Bruce Hollowell><100 years old, Leuty Lifeguard Station – – – 1920-2020>