38% OF TORONTO CONDOS AREN’T ALWAYS OCCUPIED BY OWNERS – GLOBE AND MAIL SEPT/2021

The number of non-owners who occupied properties went up by 34,915 in 12 months to January/2020. The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) said “when a property is not owner-occupied in the cities with major universities, they are most likely rented or vacant. When it’s more rural they might be used for recreational purposes.” CHSP reported the percentage of foreign-owned property remained steady from 2019 to 2020, with the highest share in the Vancouver region. That area was close to the University of British Columbia – where 17% of foreign owners topped the list, followed by 7% in Toronto. The data is based on early 2020.

FRED HERZOG LOVED VANCOUVER & IT SHOWS IN HIS ARCHIVE OF COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

<‘Modern Colour’ Vancouver – by Fred Herzog, courtesy – Estate of Fred Herzog & Equinox Gallery.> German-born, Vancouver-based (1930–2019) he was a pioneer of colour street photography in the 1950s, when only black and white was considered fine art of the medium. In 1953, he was regularly covering city streets, camera in hand. snapping photos of the docks, the airport, the street, the people. Adds Herzog – “I loved the city for its grittiness”—a quality he captured in vivid colour using Kodachrome slide film.

NATURE’S PERFECT NEST DESIGN – MADE BY BEES, HORNETS . . . . OR WASPS? PHOTO – BRYAN BLENKIN

Bryan says the photo above is “Nature’s Perfect Design.” Yes, they’re good at making nests, but be careful with stinging insects. We’re not sure what stung Bryan yesterday morning during a trip to The Toronto Dump. The trip was fine at first, but then he discovered an insect on the car seat, and picked it up. The insect stung him, and Bryan tossed it out the window. Not certain what it was exactly. . . . . .  I got stung a couple of weeks earlier at College Park on my upper lip, by what I believe was a hornet. That sting took about three weeks to subside.

IN THE 1960’S SURFACE CAR PARKS WERE ‘KING’ IN TORONTO – BERCZY PARK WAS ON ITS WAY

While tearing stuff down to make way for the car was considered progress, Toronto’s city centre was littered with autos and their surface parks. But eventually wiser heads prevailed, and these days all but a couple of surface parking lots are gone. Some have been converted into below-grade parking. Nearly all of the lots have been developed, while a triangular-shaped Berczy Park with its’ dog fountain was built behind the Flatiron Building.  This much-loved park seems to be a change for the better in this old part of Toronto.  <Photo – St. Lawrence Market Neighborhood, ca1970’s, City of Toronto >

CABBAGETOWN’S WINCHESTER STREET CHURCH AND THEATRE DATES BACK TO 1891

Former home to St. Enoch’s Presbyterian Church it’s one of the few bold examples of Romanesque Revivals in Toronto – with round arches over windows and doors, deep entry points, thick masonry walls, brick or stone facades, and rounded towers. The architects, Gordon and Halliwell, designed nearly 200 commercial, institutional, ecclesiastical and residential buildings over Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. Best of all today is the church, now a longtime home to The Toronto Dance Theatre. The company’s name is known far and wide – from New York’s Joyce Theatre, a six-city tour of India, a sold-out season at London’s Royal Opera House, performances at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa and the Festival TransAmériques in Montreal, as well as numerous performances in Toronto and across Canada . . . . . . . <Information from the PSN newspaper>

TRUST THE NEW YORK TIMES TO RENDER A LIVELY PAGE. THIS ONE APPEARED ON SUNDAY, OCT. 3, 2021

From the Paris Dispatch – ‘Europe’s New Cycling Capital, or a Pedestrian’s Nightmare?’ Politicians (as in Toronto) want to make cycling cities, but the Parisians aren’t following any rules, and street crossings can be risky. <The photo above> “On a recent afternoon, the Rue de Rivoli looked like this: cyclists blowing through red lights in two directions. Delivery bike riders fixating on their cell phones. Electric scooters careening across lanes, Jay walkers and nervous pedestrians scrambling as if in a video game. Paris (population 10-million) now ranks among the world’s top 10 cycling cities.” Copenhagen is the model Paris aspires to.

TORONTO CITY COUNCIL IS PROCEEDING WITH ANOTHER SECTION OF YONGE STREET – DOWNTOWN

The city core takes in over 100,000 pedestrians daily, along with special events, such as lengthy parades and marches. The section from College Street to Gerrard is now undergoing revitalization. It’s replacing an aging water main that runs below Yonge Street. Thousands of new condo units have been or are being, built in and around the strip, and every one of them requires running water. In the above section (off the image) a permanent spine occupies the middle of this part of the street – the equivalent of two established traffic lanes. Enlarged sidewalks are very much needed, and there’ll be a minimum of 4 metres’ widening on each side. As you can tell Downtown is happening.