Canadians Michael Kovrig (top right) and Michael Spavor (below) are safe at last in Canada, after 1,019 days locked up in a Chinese jail with lights always on 24 hours. From China, they landed in Calgary at 5:40 a.m. on Saturday morning, September 25th. They were flown in by a Royal Canadian Air Force jet from Anchorage, Alaska and were met by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who embraced both Michaels, along with Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau. China freed the two men in a deal which allowed Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou (on the left) to return from Vancouver to her home and family in China. The United States was very much involved in negotiating much of this.
It seemed we were sunk when the Cresford Developments real estate empire collapsed. That left the city with a partly built block of Yonge Street, the best known and most important downtown thoroughfare. Over several months an expansive, deep hole was dug up behind an abundance of small, important businesses. Miraculously, Vancouver’s Concord Adex discovered a rescue opportunity. It gained court approval to remove from bankruptcy the project formerly known as ‘Yonge Street Living Residences (YSL)’, and replacing that with a 95-storey building named ‘The Concord Sky’. Living up to its name, this will be one of the tallest towers in Toronto when it’s completed in 2026. Isaac Chan, vice-president, Concord Adex Sales and Marketing, said “We managed to come up with a good solution that all parties are happy with. It’s taken a little bit longer than we anticipated, but these are complicated projects.”
In a J.D. Power survey Toronto Pearson International Airport has ranked second-lowest among the 20 airports in the ‘mega’ category, which see at least 33 million passengers per year. J.D. Power, says Pearson fared relatively poorly because of facilities and pandemic policies. Michael Taylor, head of travel intelligence said “A lot of it had to do with COVID procedures, and some terminal facilities could be upgraded. It’s been a tough year.” <Photo above from blogTO> In the second quarter of last year Pearson had only half a million passengers, compared with 12.8-million in 2019, the same period. The second quarter in 2021 saw about a million people pass through its terminals. <The Canadian Press, September 22, 2021>
This will take up serious storage space. It’s an “immersive” labyrinth of 100 Chinese doors assembled by Beijing avant-garde artist Song Dong (b.1966) – originally for the Venice Biennale – and now in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. The armoire doors were rescued from within the Beijing hutongs, a vast network of laneway housing either being demolished or gentrified, in a capital city that’s been expanding and rebuilding at breakneck speed. ‘The Wisdom of the Poor’ addresses the role of traditional architecture in today’s changing urban environment. <PHOTO – Song Dong, Pace Gallery>. <Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West>
This city’s laneways & alleys come in many types – art galleries, bike paths, graffiti, painted garages, cartoons, little houses, rusting steel, decks, gardens, ramshackles, views, murals, treasures of all kinds.
MASSEY COLLEGE, 4 Devonshire Place, is a well-connected and financially endowed institution in downtown Toronto. Designed by Canadian architect, Ron Thom, and opened in 1963 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, this is one of the University of Toronto’s most beautiful buildings. The College was conceived by VINCENT MASSEY, 18th Governor-General of Canada, as a “place of dignity, grace, beauty and warmth”