THE TORONTO STAR – ‘A LIVING HISTORY’ THE CAPITAL OF QUEBEC. PAY A VISIT, BUT BE AWARE OF COVID-19.

From DEAN LISK – Special to The Star – Learn about traditional French-Canadian and Indigenous cultures while Wheels takes a road trip through the province learning more about the people, culture and history of Ontario’s eastern neighbour. We’re leaving for the provincial capital, where you can stand in a place that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years.  As you see below this capital can spread like any other major Canadian city. So, what to do in Quebec City and the Eastern Townships? – #1) Breakfast at the Grand Hotel Sherbrooke.  Follow the Chemins des Cantons, the heritage route to the town of Eaton Corner. #2) Head for Lennoxville and Brûlerie Faro for coffee. Then keep driving to Cookshire-Eaton, named after John Cook, a Loyalist who settled the area in 1795, home to the first school built in The Eastern Townships. Afternoon – #3) After lunch follow roads and go for routes 116 and 162 to Autoroute 29 – The Trans-Canada Highway, go northeast to Quebec City, about a 2-hour drive.

Once checked in this great hotel, orient yourself in the cobbled streets of Canada – Quebec (city).  A top feature in Quebec – The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and Terrasse Dufferin.   <Photo above by Getty Images>

Enjoy dinner at The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.  It’s a very photographic building, home to Sam Bistro – and the Champlain Restaurant.  Next morning in Quebec City – #4) continental style breakfast at des Augustines. Be sure to visit the museum which chronicles the story of the Augustinian Sisters;  #5) – In the afternoon go to the lower section of the Old City for lunch at Le Don, fully vegan; take a short walk to where you can take in the Hôtel – Musée Premières Nations (the People of Quebec), with more than 375 artifacts & documents, plus insight into cultures of the province – recounting the history of the Huron-Wendat people. Millions of Canadians and Americans can trace family histories of the early settlers of New France, so they can trace their Family Trees. Vieux-Quebec is a perfect place to begin searching.

DOWNTOWN PROGRESS IN TORONTO CENTRE WITH HELP FROM CITY COUNCILLOR KRISTYN WONG-TAM

 

From Councillor Wong-Tam – “Over the last 12 months the Toronto Centre team responded to over 5,000 resident service requests. We launched several local campaigns – protecting tenant’s rights, saving small businesses, advancing cultural designation for the Church-Wellesley Village; and successful charge for Yonge/TOmorrow, and of course there’s more.”1) – Massey Hall Revitalization after 3 years. The entire revitalization will soon be part of a bigger facility called The Allied Music Centre, featuring a multi purpose, multi stage performance and education complex. 2) – Then there’s The  Downtown East Action Plan to get elevated levels of service to systemic issues such as neighbours’ homelessness, mental health and addiction crises, new funding for affordable and addition services – as well there’s needle pick-ups, and more Parks Ambassadors in a strong network across the ward. 3) – The Ontario brand of a much-needed new subway line proposed by the province, connecting The Science Centre to Exhibition Place – a long distance between those two. There’ll be 15 stations, including three in Toronto Centre. 4) – Improvements to the Glen Road Bridge and Tunnel across the Rosedale Valley Ravine. Work is expected to begin imminently and will last two years. 5) – The North Market Redevelopment is now underway! The St. Lawrence Market complex has been a city landmark for more than 200 years. It’s one of the most valuable historic sites in Toronto. Expected to be operational in 2023. 6) – And a few more . . . . Revitalization plan for Dundas and Sherbourne neighborhoods; St. James Town food hub; plus an Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 22,000 square feet of office space downtown at 200 Dundas Street East. It will be the largest Indigenous innovation hub in the world.  And there you more or less have it. Thanks to City Councillor Kryistyn Wong-Tam, Ward 13, Toronto Centre.

JILL PRESCESKY WAS AGHAST WHEN MAUD LEWIS PAINTINGS WERE STOLEN FROM HER RENTED COTTAGE

The rented cottage once was formerly occupied by deceased Maud Lewis and was on site in Smith’s Cove, near Digby Gut, Nova Scotia. 100-years-old it connects Annapolis Basin with the Bay of Fundy. The paintings are unique, partly because oxen are rare and iconic in this part of Atlantic Canada. The financial appraisal of the work is close to $80,000. Nova Scotia’s RCMP said the cottage break-in was unlike any they’d seen in the area. The Lewis paintings have doubled in value in recent months. International buyers try to collect Nova Scotian folk artist works. Maud Lewis would doubtless have been at the top. Possible thieves are aware of auction values of sharply rising artist works. For sure.
Alan Deacon, a Maud Lewis collector says the rise in value of Lewis’s work may cause some people to sell them fearing break-ins.

NOTHING MUCH BETTER THAN CANADIAN FORCES ‘SNOWBIRDS’ FLYING OVER TORONTO ON A SUNDAY A.M.

The Canadian Forces’ Snowbirds took to the air on a Sunday (about two years ago) as part of their cross-Canada tour inspiring hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. Snow and hail hit the city on Saturday but on Sunday’s mild Mother’s Day their planes took off. The Snowbirds were without a doubt expected to show up and they did. After flying over Toronto and landing at Pearson International, the pilots kept on with their next destination set for just after noon. By the close of that day there were already 35 new deaths and 308 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Ontario.

TORONTO STAR – QUEBEC’S CREATIVE SIDE – CLEVER PEOPLE & BUSINESSES WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED.

First-off you need to know about COVID-19. “Consult the provincial website for most up-to-date information, and contact individual businesses to confirm how they’re currently operating.” From Dean Lisk – Special to the Toronto Star – Wheels take a road trip through Montreal <and the efficient Metro> learning more about the people, culture and history of Ontario’s eastern neighbour.” This week we’re exploring Montréal. In the morning, grab some bagels from iconic spots like the famous St. Viateur Bagel Shop (since 1957) . <Photo – Sesame the Bagel  holds court on the streets of Montreal as the mascot of St. Viateur Bagel.> After Sesame why not head to Mont Royal Park and its iconic Catholic cross.  <Photo from The Gazette> Head inside the Biodome in Montréal’s Olympic Park. Walking through the expansive building you’ll encounter plants and animals from North and South America, including a tropical rainforest with penguins from Antarctica, and the Laurentian Forest. In the Afternoon – bread, pastries, cheeses and coffee at one of the city markets such as the Jean Talon Market in Little Italy, or The Atwater close to the Lachine Canal. If you want to learn more about the markets Spade and Palacio offers ‘Beyond the Market Walking Tour’ starting in May, and a 2-hour ‘Mural Art Tour’ including 20 massive works from 2-9 storeys high. In the evening – take one of the climate control gondolas at the Grande Roue de Montréal. (This is a Ferris wheel built at the Old Port of Montreal for festivities on the 375th anniversary of the city.) Located in the Old Port the wheel soars 60-metres high, offering one-of-a-kind views of the city and St. Lawrence River.

After that, explore Old Montréal and enjoy dinner at one of its amazing restaurants. On DAY 2 – Leave Montréal and cross the Samuel de Champlain Bridge <A new bridge, photo below> to Quebec’s Eastern Townships,  along with small bridges and cities between the St. Lawrence River and The  Border of The United States of America.

AMONG OUR BIG CITIES, TORONTO & VANCOUVER BRING US LOW VACANCIES & HIGH-RISE RENTS

Vancouver, Canada’s West Coast metropolis within British Columbia, have both been inundated with floods, fires, windstorms and deaths over the past year. And yet the city kept on going, handling a second year of the pandemic. Still, this fine major city presented the lowest vacancy rate (1.2% in purpose-built rentals; 0.8% for rented condos; and highest rents up to $2,398. for a two – bedroom condo.) Toronto’s vacancy increased by 4.4% as some people left the city centre. Toronto’s metropolitan region of about six million added 1,609 purpose built rental units and 8,280 investor-held rental condos – about 37% of the 22, 280 condos completed overall in the last year. The CMHC report (Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation) implies that international migration will likely fuel growth in rental demand and place downward pressure on vacancy rates, assuming migration continues to recover from pre-COVID levels. – <Detailed information from DARRYL DYCK and both The Canadian Press and The Globe and Mail, February 19, 2022>

‘T3BAYSIDE’ ARE TO BE ULTIMATE TIMBER OFFICE BLDG’S NEAR TORONTO CENTRAL & THE LAKE

T3 will be the first of two heavy timber office buildings at Bayside that will be equipped with various amenities. It will be the ultimate contemporary, professional work environment and that’s saying a lot. There’ll be light-filled interiors, spectacular city and lake views, open floor plates that are highly efficient, ground level incorporating retail on all sides, shopping and restaurants, cultural venues and walking along the promenade at the water’s edge. When construction is totally finished this will be the tallest wooden office building in North America – and it’s on Toronto’s Queen’s Quay.   <Rendering below – T3BAYSIDE when it’s built.>

TORONTO STAR – ROAD TRIP ALONG THE OTTAWA RIVER TO MONTREAL – BE AWARE OF COVID-19

From Dean Lisk – Special to The Toronto Star – “In this series Wheels takes a road trip to Quebec learning more about the people, culture and history of Ontario’s “eastern neighbour”. La Belle Province is “Ours’ to Discover” this winter and beyond.” Starting off on the first day – Take Highway #401 , then turn north onto Highway #416. Cross the Ottawa River from the Nation’s Capital to reach Gatineau.  In the Afternoon – Head for the Canadian Museum of History which chronicles the story of what we now call CANADA. The lower level is dedicated to Indigenous culture – totem poles, and the Spirit of Haida Gwaii sculpture by Haida artist Bill Reid. The third and fourth floors take you to modern Canada – the formation of ‘New France’, ‘Expo 67’, The October Crisis, and Meech Lake Accord.  Leaving Gatineau, drive north along Route #5 to  WAKEFIELD.

 In the Evening check into the Wakefield Mill and Spa with 40 guest rooms between its 1838 building. and a modern one. In the main dining room Jere’s your chance to enjoy traditional French and Québécois cuisine. In the Morning – breakfast at La Muse at Wakefield Mill. Then it’s going back to Gatineau, then east on Route #323, and then north to Parc Omega, home to 450 wild animals – bison, caribou and wolves – roaming 2,200 acres. It’s a safari park in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Quebec. Afternoon – Follow Route #323 south to Montebello to enjoy wood-fired pizza at Restaurant Le Bistro Montebello. MONTREAL is only an hour-and-a-half drive from Montebello. Once you arrive there head straight for Place Ville Marie (photo below). It’s a large office and underground shopping complex in Downtown – the centre of it all in Montreal (Centre-ville), the busiest hub. Don’t miss theMusée d’art contemporain de Montréal It’s located on the Place des festivals in the Quartier des spectacles and it’s part of the Place des Arts complex. All-in-all Montreal is a fine city with lots to do.