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>

TORONTO-BASED ARTIST, JAMES FOWLER, HAS A UNIQUE WAY TO PORTRAY THE URBAN LANDSCAPE

A former student in Film Studies at York University, JAMES FOWLER searched and found an original way to present urban landscapes in Canada, the United States and Europe. In 2019, 82% of the total population of Canada lived in cities. We don’t all live in the wide-open spaces any more. <Photo above from ‘Beautiful Amazing Mindful Troublemakers’ on CBC Arts, 2017><Looking down on Toronto’s geometric conurbation in living colour is fascinating. This painting begins at the Harbour, passes under the Gardiner Expressway, then through the Financial District, and immerses itself in packed housing further up north.><Toronto in autumn makes the grid system completely obvious.><The Toronto suburb Don Mills, the Don Valley Parkway & Highway 401><Toronto again, only this time in summer. This is Canada’s largest city, GTA population about 6-million; city 3-million. To escape the heat in summer there are ferries connecting the lakefront with the Islands.><Montreal is Canada’s second largest city, with a population of about three million. It has many steep hills, a famous mountain, outstanding architecture, the river, an island and some serious bridges.><Fredericton is New Brunswick’s capital.  It occupies both sides of the Saint John River – which is occasionally known to flood. Population – about 60,000><Amherst, northern Nova Scotia – the place where I was born and grew up. The bright colours are inspired by summer festivals, happiness, travel and fun. Population about 12,000>

THEY BELIEVED IT COULDN’T BE DONE BUT TESLA, THE ELECTRIC CAR-MAKER, IS DOING IT

The production numbers are impressive and so are the sales numbers. No other carmaker saw a 40% increase in sales as Tesla did in 2020. By January 2nd, 2021 a total of nearly 500,000 cars had come off the line. Its stock was added to the S&P 500 Index. The stock price ended last year at more than $700, up from less than $100 in 2019.Tesla has ramped up production at a Chinese factory, and sales growth there has increased. China’s sales growth is within the world’s largest market for electric and conventional cars. The company is also building factories near Berlin and Austin, Texas. <Photo above – Derek Gee, Buffalo News>There are only 11 Tesla stores in Canada, four of which are in the City of Toronto and suburban Oakville. Addresses – 1325 Lawrence Avenue; Yorkdale Shopping Centre; Sherway Gardens; and 225 Wyecroft Road in Oakville.

THREE HARD WORKING SNIFFER DOGS ARE OCCUPIED IN HELSINKI’S MAIN AIRPORT

Why is it so engaged? KOSSI, one of three ‘sniffer dogs’ has been greeting passengers at the Helsinki Airport since September/2020. Using their keen noses, they smell the sweat of travelers, searching for coronavirus tracks. The ‘doggie threesome’ has already smelled more than 4,000 passengers, and their noses have done very well indeed.The tests by the dogs take less than a minute. They’re cheaper than other methods, and more fun.If a trained dog detects the coronavirus it makes a specific sound. Employees then inform the passenger that he or she may be infected. The forewarned individual heads for the airport’s health centre for a free swab test. The dog gets a treat and moves onto the next wipe.

MOMA MARKOVICH CAPTURED ONTARIO’S TRANSPORTATION HISTORY – ONE PAINTING AT A TIME

There was plenty of subject matter, and painter MOMA MARKOVICH (1902-1977) took full advantage of it. During a 15-year career with Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation (MTO), the Serbian-born artist created 200 works detailing the province’s famous roads and bridges<PAVING HIGHWAY 11 near Harty Cochrane District><‘PLANK ROAD – The Smooth Roadway><QUEEN ELIZABETH WAY, Canada’s first super highway><DE HAVILLAND BEAVER, the first all-metal bush plane designed & built in Canada><Nipigon Junction of Highway 17 and Hwy 11>

<IMAGE ABOVE – ‘Carrying Place’, Humber River> One hundred of MOMA MARKOVICH’s paintings are in the Archives of Ontario.To see works on other subject matter from the Archives’ vast collection go to http://www.archives.gov.on.ca

QUEEN ELIZABETH II HAS PRESIDED OVER CANADA FOR ALMOST HALF OF THIS COUNTRY’S HISTORY

As Head-of-State Her Majesty will reach her 70th year on the throne, and shows no sign of withdrawing from her duties. Her most recent appearance, at the age of 94, was delivering her annual Christmas Speech to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. There are plans developing to honour the Queen’s 70th year in 2022.Canada has many reasons to take part in The Platinum Jubilee, to recognize the duty and service of a remarkable woman.<Her Majesty signs Canada’s Constitutional Proclamation on April 17, 1982 as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau looks on. Canadian Press Photo> <The Queen is now the longest-serving British monarch. Reuters News Agency Photo><She greeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November/2015 by saying it’s “nice to see you again… but under different circumstances. . . . I will say, you were much taller than me the last time we met.”> <On another occasion – Prime Miinister Trudeau told the Queen, 40 years after being introduced by his father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, as a 3 year-old. “Well, this is extraordinary to think of, isn’t it,” the Queen replied with a laugh.>In 1978, the Queen was leaving Canada from Moncton, New Brunswick, and a military band was playing. So 3-year-old Sacha and 5-year-old Justin (on the right) marched back and forth while their father, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, walked to his plane.  <PHOTO – Toronto Star><THE QUEEN & PRINCE PHILIP celebrated Canada Day/2010 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa – photo Zoran Karapanceu>

DANIEL NG’S BIG IDEA – DEPICT TORONTO POLICE, PARAMEDICS & TRANSIT DRIVERS IN LEGO

TTC streetcar driver DANIEL NG’s creative outlet is designing models – partly homemade, partly Lego – of everyday people working for the common good.“Everyday I see so many things while driving my streetcar,” he says “That motivates me into what I’m going to put into a Lego scene.”Creating these tiny figures involves buying Lego parts online, printing and gluing on patches and painting wherever needed.The idea is to share safety messages and reduce ‘tension’ between communities.For more examples of Daniel’s work check out https://twitter.com/legocopgta