By JULIA MASTROIANNNI – “Some of the most interesting buildings and developments are slated to go up in the next few years and will transform how we experience the cityscape – for better or for worse. From developments billed as sustainable to future skyline icons and hyped neighbourhood game-changers, we looked at projects that will alter the city in environmental and aesthetic ways, impact the city’s heritage buildings and attempt to address the affordable housing crisis.” 1 – The One, 1 Bloor West – Foster + Partners, Core Architects. This condominium tower will become a skyline icon – and the tallest building in Canada. and the second-tallest man-made structure in the country after the CN Tower. 2 – St. Lawrence Market North, 92 Front Street East, City of Toronto, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Adamson Associates Architects. Much-anticipated St. Lawrence Market North building has been over 10 years in the making. The development will combine courtrooms, offices and a large market in the open hall that will continue to operate as a covered, outdoor marketplace that can be adjusted to the seasons. 3 – The Arbour – 185 Queens Quay East, One of Toronto’s first large span mass wood structures will also make a mark on the skyline. Who is involved: George Brown College, Moriyama & Teshima, Acton Ostry Architects. 4 – One Delisle – 1 Delisle (St. Clair), Studio Gang Architects, WZMH Architects, Creating a new green-focused model for future residential buildings. Studio Gang is designing the unique structure of this 47-storey condo building, which is billed as a sustainability first for the city. One Delisle meets Tier 1 of the Toronto Green Standard, a set of sustainability requirements for new private and city-owned developments proposed after 2018. 5 – Mirvish Village – 581 Bloor West. Those involved – City of Toronto, federal government, Mirvish Village BIA, neighbouring resident associations, Henriquez Partners Architects and Diamond Schmitt Architects. Many residents were sad to see discount store Honest Ed’s go in 2017, and years of work and community consultation went into the planning of the current development, which will include heritage elements, retail, residential, green space and affordable housing. 6 – The ORCA Project – 433 Front Street West, Who is involved: Moshe Safdie, PWP Landscape Architecture, Sweeney & Co Architects, City of Toronto. The most complex construction would create a skybridge fortress. Mayor John Tory has been aiming for this since 2016 in favour of the ORCA Project (which stands for Over Rail Corridor Area). A Rail Deck Park would have transformed the 21-acre space above a central rail corridor into a massive park, covering Bathurst to Blue Jays Way West along Front. Now, the proposed $5 billion ORCA Project, a private developer’s plan to turn the space above the rail corridor into a sky community, will become the most complex construction in the history of Canada – that is, if it actually gets built. For an additional five buildings go to the NOW magazine website. The address is https://nowtoronto.com/
<PHOTO – The Canada Pavilion in Venice, transforming into movie mode> For a long time I’ve been watching Canadian cities stand-in for other places and cities across the United States and in many parts of Europe. We’ve been happily faking it, and filmgoers can seldom tell the difference from the real thing. Toronto often portrays parts of New York City, occasionally Tokyo, and was featured in the Academy Award winner ‘The Shape of Water’, parts of which were also shot in Hamilton, Ontario. Vancouver and Montreal masquerade as Moscow, Paris, and New York. Alberta has helped depict the American West. ‘Impostor Cities’ celebrates Canada’s cities by being cinematic impostors, bringing attention to how our architecture is able to make appearances worldwide on the silver screen. ‘Impostor Cities’ poses the question: why are Canada’s buildings so good at doubling somewhere else in feature films? There’ll be fun to immerse visitors in this “impostor” experience – allowing visitors to consider what makes distinct Canadian architecture capable of blending into Paris and/or New York on the movie screen. This exhibition, the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, makes people aware that many film-famous buildings and spaces are really Canadian. It’s about our movie-making identity – we love it.
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These century-old heritage buildings at 153-185 Eastern Avenue in the West Don Lands are important parts of Canada’s industrial railway history. Councillor Wong-Tram is trying to save them.The structures owned by the Province of Ontario, were recently being demolished without any community consultation nor a formal notice to the City of Toronto. Councillor Wong-Tam successfully stopped demolition until a formal hearing could be put into place. City Council adopted her motion for the City Solicitor to seek court enforcement of the Ontario Heritage Act, along with an additional Plan of Subdivision with the City. Negotiations are underway and updates will be posted at this address – kristynwongtam.ca/respectlocalplanning
Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, May 24th was made to be known as Victoria Day, By law the 24th is a date to remember the late queen, who was deemed the ‘Mother of Confederation’. And in 1904, the same date by Imperial Decree was made Empire Day throughout the British Empire – of which Canada was a member. <Above – Queen Victoria’s sculpture in Queen’s Park, 1910, Toronto> Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day and in 1977 it was moved to the second Monday in March, leaving the Monday before May 25th as both Victoria Day and the Queen’s Birthday. That’s where we are in 2021. <Above – Her Majesty Queen Victoria on her Coronation Day, painted by George Hayter.> Queen Victoria appreciated his merits and appointed Mr. Hayter her Principal Painter and also awarded him a Knighthood in 1841. – Information from Wikipedia.
J. Kelly Nestruck and Kate Taylor on Saturday, May 15th, examined some of Canada’s biggest art endowments and why they haven’t been making full use of them. There are funding restrictions, investment policies and the up-and-down health of the stock market – key roles in decision-making as what and where to Draw from the Endowments. A few of the Endowments below – Toronto Symphony Orchestra – $41.1-million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. The Art Gallery of Ontario, $84.4-million endowments along with another $23.5-million in assets. The Stratford Festival – a $93.9-million market value as of February 28, 2021, along with about half in restricted funds for areas such as training, new play development and maintaining gardens. A much more complete story is in The Globe and Mail edition, Saturday, May 15, 2021.
Hong Kong boasts double-decker trams. Double-decker buses signify London: the “L” rapid transit system trundles around Chicago. And bicycles are everywhere in Rotterdam.Toronto maintains and venerates its massive streetcar network. They’re longtime symbols, beginning as far back as the 1860’s several miles from the St. Lawrence Market to Yorkville Town Hall. Rosie Shephard, a Monarch Park Collegiate student wrote about the streetcar saying “They have been a defining feature of many Toronto neighbourhoods, and developed them into ‘streetcar suburbs’. (They’re) also very profitable, triggering the growth and development of local businesses and restaurants.” The Cabbagetown neighbourhood is a well-rounded example that grew from a suburb to a successful neighbourhood thanks to the streetcar. Other neighbourhoods – Riverdale and The Beaches. <ABOVE – A Toronto Transit Commission streetcar, celebrating TTC’s 80th birthday; photo by Ted Wickson . . . . and #327 is part of the Halton Collection>
Toronto’s latest attraction will be receiving visitors at #10 Dundas Street East on July 1st, providing all is going well with the pandemic. Under one roof you’ll be able to explore our nation in miniature – the sights, sounds and sometimes smells of The Great White North. A Little Canada passport will get things underway.<ABOVE – exploring TORONTO in winter> <ABOVE – a tulip garden, possibly in OTTAWA> <Much work has already been done on the project by those who are building the miniatures.> LAUNCHING IN 2021 – Little Niagara, the Golden Horseshoe, Toronto, Ottawa, Little North (now under construction), and Quebec. IN THE FUTURE – Montreal, the Prairies & the Rockies, the East Coast, History of Canada, and the West Coast. To find out much more check out the website – https://www.little-canada.ca/
<Photo – Stephen Otto, by Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail>. The ‘Friends’ were opposed to a massive condo development that was inappropriate for such an important historic site. Mr. Otto wanted to help save access to what he considered ‘The Birthplace of Toronto’. City council meanwhile was considering thousands of apartments to be built onto what’s known today as The Railway Lands. To the rescue came Stephen Otto and his Friends, who managed to bring forth breathing space for the Fort, allowing its garrison to be integrated socially and physically within the city. “What we like,” Mr. Otto told a reporter “is (giving) the Fort the visibility and dignity we think is appropriate. It’s a National Historic Site, and should be treated in more than a passing way.” As we can all see these days, the site has been saved and Fort York is very much at home here.
The Fortress of Louisbourg was established by French colonialists in 1713 on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. <Photo above by The Weather Network> A major shipping port, with a town population of several thousand, the Fortress was dismantled by the British in 1760, and named a National Historic Site in 1920. During Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s time in office funds were provided to renovate the Fortress, and since then it’s become one of the province’s top tourist destinations.Unfortunately Nova Scotia is now facing a threat from rising sea levels due to climate change. Powerful waves have stripped wood from the site’s exterior and flooding is occurring more frequently. In November/2018, a large storm surge coupled with a high tide breached the Quay Wall. That’s the possible challenge Nova Scotia has today. <Photo above by Ian Harte/Parks Canada>.