About two years ago NETFLIX set up a Toronto production hub, leasing studio spaces along the waterfront. The company recognized this city’s many talents, partners, international festivals and production crews, some of which also applies to Vancouver. In its forthcoming corporate office, Netflix expects 10 to 15 employees will be based in Toronto. First priority is hiring the Content Executive in June, who will work directly with creators, deciding on ideas for films and series.Other jobs will be posted in the careers section of the Netflix website.Toronto’s Mayor JOHN TORY said “a new Canadian office will call Toronto home! Our pitch: We’re a film friendly city that celebrates the screen industry. Quality and our talent pool diversity is unmatched. Our production and post-production industry is robust and expanding.”
Canadian artist Jesse Colin Jackson, based in Los Angeles, has been photographing tower block neighbourhoods since 2006. His “Radiant City” project, is focused on Toronto’s aging tower blocks and their significance. As they’re being revitalized Jackson’s work revealed the size and complexities these buildings embody. Oftentimes they’re home to incoming immigrants – essential housing for at least a quarter of this city’s population. The location of much of Toronto’s urban poverty, would be products of planning ideologies gone awry, locations of past glory, current dynamism and future potential. Jesse Colin Jackson has previously taught at the University of Toronto and OCAD University, also in Toronto – as well as the Department of Art at the University of California, Irvine. <Photo above – #1) – The Buckingham, 714 + 716 The West Mall> #2) – 3151 Bridletown Circle;#3) – 190 Exbury Road & 2269 Jane Street;#4) – Leaside Towers, 85 + 96 Thorncliffe Park Drive; #5) – Riverside Apartments, 2737 + 2757 Kipling Avenue
Bill McVean in this photo from Toronto Public Library, was a multi-talented, hard working radio personality on 50,000-watt CFRB-AM, Toronto. He died on Sunday, March 21/2021 at the age of 95. His career began at Ontario’s most powerful AM station in 1960, preceded by CKNX in Wingham, CKOC and CHML in Hamilton – all in Ontario; and did some work for CBC television and commercials. Bill, while on-air at CKOC, Hamilton became the first person in the world to deliver aerial traffic radio reports, while piloting a plane at the same time. His first brush with death came at a North Bay Air Show when his plane suddenly failed and he crash-landed, destroying both himself and the aircraft. During his six months in a hospital bed Bill kept on doing a live radio show for CFRB.Then came more than 20 years when he was the man in charge of the Canadian International (CNE) Air Show. After working there as the announcer/emcee, he went on to be Director and a member of the CNE Board. There’s so much more, all-in-all an outstanding career and a significant life – a real loss for those who appreciate Canadian radio broadcasting and CFRB-AM.
<An outstanding photo of a ‘grumpy robin’ – who wasn’t enjoying the snowfall. Photo from Mary-Ellen Hynd – @msmellen on Twitter. May this be the last
In the 1920’s, artists, writers, shopkeepers and bohemians began settling into 19th-century row houses along Gerrard West and neighbouring streets.They painted the stuccoed houses in rainbow colours, opened art galleries, bookshops, restaurants and – a first for TORONTO – an outdoor patio. The neighbourhood was christened GERRARD STREET VILLAGE. It became our city’s Greenwich Village, Soho, the Left Bank – an enclave of Bohemia in the middle of a very conservative town. CSILLA FEL remembers TORONTO’s first patio: “The first patio was a rented house and was called “The Jack and Jill”. Catherina Barca, aged 97 was part of the Barca pioneers in sidewalk cafes. She once said “this was my backyard as a child and the atmosphere of coffee and creativity has stayed with me my whole life.””Ernest Hemingway called the Village home for a while; the Group of Seven’s Lawren Harris sketched here; painter Albert Franck rented a shop in the 1940’s. Some other villagers – poets Al Purdy and bp Nichol, Margaret Atwood, Milton Acorn, Michael Ondaatje, Joe Rosenblatt, Gwendolyn MacEwen – a slew of intellectuals, designers, booksellers and writers.Only a few of the Victorian-era houses remain – “totally emasculated” as one old-timer put it. A hotel, parking lot, hospital buildings, a condo and a steam plant occupy – what was once – Toronto’s ‘Brigadoon’.“You mention Albert Franck having a hop on Gerrard, but he and his wife Florence Vale, actually lived there too. Harold Town frequented their place (he wrote a couple of books on Franck, and Joyce Wieland and Kazuo Nakamura were, I think, mentioned by Franck. Also on that strip is where the collective General Idea (Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, and AA Bronson, of whom Bronson is the sole surviving member) had their first salon.” – from STEVEN ERIC KETOLA <PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives; Image above – David Mason Books>
<Photo above by BRYAN BLENKIN of Downtown’s panorama. It was taken from the Leslie Street Spit, one of the best locations to get a good view of the city’s skyline.><Two fine photos of Downtown Toronto from PRIME.CONDO
In 1936, at the heart of The Great Depression a rich widower, Dr. George Robert Jackson, was running a health food empire on the West Side of Toronto. His home, which is still there, east of the Toronto Zoo, is in the Tudor country house style near the Rouge River.The breakfast cereal behind Dr. Jackson’s success, was his Roman Meal brand health food products, introduced just before World War One. A blend of whole-grain wheat, rye, bran and flaxseed, it cost about 25 cents a box and you boiled it into a porridge in about 30 minutes. The Doctor promoted its laxative properties, and added that it could cure kidney problems, hardened arteries, high blood pressure, arthritis and double glaucoma that made him blind in one eye.For a detailed story about the house, Dr. Jackson and the Cereal, go to The Toronto Star story ‘Business History: The House That Cereal Built’, written by Angus Skene, January 19, 2015.