THERE’S THE PILOT TAVERN IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO – AND WE STILL HAVE IT!

The Pilot was born “The Pilot Grill” in 1944 at its original location 800 Yonge Street, just north of Bloor. The name of the bar was a tip of the cap to the heroic RCAF flyers of World War II. During the Yonge Street era, The Pilot was a clubhouse, meeting place and sacred temple for artists, musicians and writers. This iconic restaurant made its mark in Bloor-Yorkville for nearly 75 years with its Flight Deck rooftop, eclectic menu, and live jazz nights. Back in the day artists, writers & musicians hung out at the spot. During the Yonge Street era, The Pilot was a clubhouse, and meeting place for artists, musicians and writers.
The restaurant has been around the city streets of Toronto since it opened in 1944 at its original location on Yonge Street. It’s a catchy clever name The Pilot, and was a tribute to those who fought in World War II. After the war, it became a favourite hang-out for local artists, and the bar remained popular through Yorkville’s transition to a hippie community. It was in 1972 that the Pilot moved to its present location – 22 Cumberland Street, in the heart of Yorkville. According to legend, some of the Pilot’s regular customers carried the original bar to the new location. 
<<BELOW – a new version of The Pilot>.     In 1987, the current owners took possession of the popular spot, and have kept it true to its original charm. They introduced to the “Flight Deck”, one of the largest rooftop patios Toronto has to offer. They have also introduced the “Stealth Lounge”, a more sophisticated party space, that can be rented out for parties ranging in size from 30 to 130 people. The Stealth Lounge offers its’ own bar, complete with comfy lounge seating. The food selection is average, but the food itself is quite good. I have never personally had any problems with food or service. And for being in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in TORONTO, it is very unpretentious.

FROM “the bridge” News paper – PEOPLE, PLACES & IDEAS FROM TORONTO & DOWNTOWN EAST.

> Among Cabbagetown businesses when it comes to the “Parkscape installation” – there is for now a park-like creation down the middle of Parliament Street. In short, it’s a park in the middle of a major street. Few have the notion to do something like this. With faux fallen logs, decorated green turf the installation provides greenery amid a giant city’s animation and busyness. The Parkscape lines a small section of Parliament at Carlton Street until September 11th.


>> Co-owner, Amar, of ‘Cabbagetown Organics’is skeptical of the installation outside his shop, saying “I don’t know how they’re going to maintain it for two months.”

>> Sam Muthreja, an other co-owner agrees that business is definitely slower. The two also say conflict has arisen between pedestrians and the homeless, especially at night, but there are some doubts about the effectiveness of the Security Guard.

>> Johnny G’s Diner owner, Dinesh, has a different perspective on the Parkscape, saying “I see parents with their kids playing, even though there are other parks around, and they come in and order food.” Dinesh reports an increase with in-person dining since he took over in November, perhaps due to easing of pandemic restrictions and anxiety efforts to improve restaurants and the Parkscape.

>> “Corner Convenience”, declined to comment on Parkscape.

>> A few of the writers on “Disputed Grass”along with Nellianne Bateman and Daryl Gonsalves have opportunities to link themselves as they look at patches of greenery and deal with populations of the locals. According to the CBC, the Parkscape features grass and trees rising out of concrete, with benches and stumps for visitors to sit upon. The idea is to welcome more foot traffic, and for the BIA to uplift more customers and have them.
As for The BIA it’s a UnitedStates’ Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

WELCOME TO ONTARIO’S FAVOURITE SMALL TOWN – THE STORY OF PORT HOPE – IT’S A BEAUTY.

This can be a way of learning more about the town’s development, and some of its citizens, along with a number of historical buildings. The CAPITOL THEATRE – At a time when money was scarce during the Great Depression, The Capitol Theatre was one of the first buildings to use steel girders. It was one of Canada’s first movie houses for. “talking pictures”. Opening night in 1930 featured “Queen High” starring Ginger Rogers in her first musical. Today, the Capitol is a National Heritage Site, the last fully restored “atmospheric” theatre in Canada, the only one of its kind in Ontario. It resembles a medieval castle courtyard with a twilight sky and forest mural. It closed in 1987 and local citizens became responsible for restoring the theater in the 1990’s to its former glory. It’s now renowned for live productions and technical innovation, drawing tourists to town. The Capitol Theatre, 14 Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. THE DOWNTOWN CORE – Port Hope experienced tremendous economic growth in the 1850’s by exporting lumber, whisky and grain to the United States and Europe. Its’ wealth drove development of large blocks of downtown land. Although the storefronts are different, the upper rooms are in uniform blocks. Many have been subdivided. Fires, although tragic, have led to the restoration of original store fronts not long ago. This worked in co-operation with the ACO (Architectural Conservancy of Ontario). Thus Port Hope’s downtown continues as an example of heritage restoration of original store fronts not long ago. This worked in co-operation with the ACO (Architectural Conservancy of Ontario). Thus Port Hope’s downtown continues as an example of heritage.

TOWN HALL – 56 QUEEN STREET – Port Hope was incorporated as a town in 1834 by an act of Parliament which provided for the establishment of police and public markets. The Town Hall cornerstone was laid September 9th, 1851, and the building was completed two years later in 1853 at a cost of about $30,000 dollars. It housed council chambers, a courthouse on the upper floor, and a market square and civic centre on the ground floor. The building was completely gutted by fire in 1893 and Toronto architect Samuel George Curry, a native of Port Hope, was hired to oversee the rebuild. It was completed a year later with a higher clock tower and steeper roof. The covered market was removed. The Saturday morning farmer’s market now sets up behind Town Hall.

THE GANARASKA FOREST – WINTER AND SUMMER – The Story of Port Hope – “100,000 years ago, retreating glaciers formed the landscape of Port Hope. The first inhabitants called this vast area”the meeting place”, referring to the meeting of the River and the Lake. Later, the Hurons named the river Ganaraske, or spawning ground. Interactions between the first Europeans, mainly French fur traders in the 1680’s were sometimes cordial and sometimes hostile. The first treaties gave the First Nations exclusive rights to the North Shore of Lake Ontario, leaving most of the province untouched until after the American Revolution. Fearing the newly formed United States might try to expand northward, the British hurriedly passed the famous Gun Treaty which allowed for settlement on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The British colonization system of the time granted huge land tracks to businessmen, who in turn set up local governments loyal to the Crown. In 1792 they petitioned Governor Simcoe of the First Upper Canada Council for land grants to establish the 5th township of Hope. A year later, they brought 40 families to settle the area. Development here slowed as TORONTO became an industrial centre, the Prairie Bread Basket opened to the West. Our town continued to slowly mature, and the forests were depleted of their timber. Communities courted heavy industries. The Port Hope you see today – is a place where old buildings live contemporary lives. But so much has happened with this City.

THE MEMORIAL PARK BANDSHELL – This historic structure was built in memory of all our armed forces who fought since Confederation in 1867. It was constructed with plans purchased from the Canadian Band Masters’ Association that provided “the most up-to-date scientific principles of sound technology” which makes it a memorable stage for summer concerts, theatre, and and festivals. from the Canadian Band Masters’ Association.

ONLY TWO HOURS FROM TORONTO – THERE’S PLENTY FOR NIAGARA FALLS’ WEEKEND GETAWAYS’

Like Ontario’s Capital, Toronto, Niagara Falls doesn’t need to be introduced. It has nearly everything visitors would no doubt enjoy. Once they’re there, almost at once, people find showy attractions, among others, on famous Clifton Hill including haunted houses, speeding go-karts, Tyrannosaurus Rex meaning something like “King of the Tyrant lizards.” It’s commonly called T-Rex for short. Check out Niagara Parks’ Butterfly Conservatory, 2565 Niagara Parkway. 2,000 butterflies from over 40 species at North America’s largest butterfly conservatory, within The Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens. Never squash a fluttery friend. Next, head for “The Bird Kingdom”, 5651 River Road.The Kingdom itself tells a story. In the 1950’s it was the Niagara Falls Museum, featuring the collection of Curator Thomas Barnett from 1827 – including Egyptian mummies; added in 2003 a free-flying indoor AVIARY.  The Niagara Parks Power Station is a new attraction. Catch the “Currents” night show, and there are several Niagara classics – The Niagara Wheel and Niagara Falls Illumination (4960 Clifton Hill.). There’s an  aerial view of the roaring waterfalls on both sides of the United States and Canadian borders. A helicopter is available too. There’s Brunch at Skyline Tower’s revolving restaurant, or a Zip Line if you dare. The best – are multi-coloured lights. 42 gondolas can carry a group up to six, 175-feet above a bird’s-view of The Falls, and other surrounding cities. And this would be the sun setting over CLIFTON HILL (at last) beneath you.
So you can can see Niagara Falls itself is not just about water. There are lots of other things. The weekend getaways are only two hours from colourful TORONTO and the amazing good times that offers.

“MONTREAL – MONTREAL!” – I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOUR RETURN – SOMEDAY SOON!

Our morning began in a Taxi, driving through Downtown Toronto after arriving at our home and then at 6:00 a.m inside Union Station, for departure at 6:45 a.m.And from there we were off to Montréal, Québec, on board a Canadian VIA Business Modern Train. It was a beauty, rapidly picking up speed, and free breakfasts were served to one and all.  Montréal, the city of “joie de vivre” was waiting for those on the way, along with Old Montréal; Parc Jean-Drapeau, Plateau-Mont-Royal; the famous Jacques-Cartier Bridge; Little Italy; The Gay Village; and Chinatown.

Later that day, after unloading luggage we came across a massive construction site close to Downtown. It was fascinating and we checked it out end-to-end. The non-stop noise was non-stopping. That very night we were inundated by a heavy rain storm. Being outside isn’t something to take lightly – but we took it.<ABOVE – THE MONTREAL STREET MIRROR by Ross Winter.  Others are by David Moore.>  That afternoon, in the atrium of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the cascade of water down the glass was like being under Niagara Falls.  Being outside isn’t something to take lightly. 

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES, SUNDAY, JULY 3, 2022 & “GAYBORHOODS” ARE APPEARING

“Gayborhoods” are falling victim to Rents and Social Change. Cultural leader Cleve Jones, graduate from Phoenix and hitchhiked to California. He created the nationally recognized AIDS Memorial Quilt. He swept The Castro in 1978 after the assasination of Harvey Milk, was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors; helped define The Castro community – and much more. The monthly cost of his one-bedroom apartment soared from $2,400 to $5,200 – priced out of a gentrifying housing market. And that’s where “Gayborhoods” came in. LGBTQ couples are starting traditional features – public schools, parks and larger homes – while deciding where they want to live. Looking to escape discrimination and harassment, reflecting acceptance of gay and lesbian people. Gay bars leading to relationships or sexual encounters. There are few places where a transformation is more on display than in The Castro over the past 25 years. Mr. Jones said “I just can’t help but think that soon there will be a time when people walking up and down the street will have no clue what this is all about.”

 

THE CITY OF HAMILTON, ONTARIO – SOMETHING NEW FOR ROSS AND DAVE IN JULY, 2022 – TO DO & SEE.

 

On June 17th, 2022, the City of Hamilton, Ontario surpassed $1 billion worth of construction since the beginning of the year. That marks the earliest the City has reached a billion-dollar mark in construction value. The milestone was achieving 3,761 building projects in the residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial sectors. With school out for the summer, residents can take advantage of the open municipal golf courses, or a golf tournament at King’s Forest Club and Chedoke Golf Club. Dundurn Castle along with the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology reopened for museum tours last week. The Cooks were excited to get back to demonstrate Victorian recipes in the Historic Kitchen. Hamilton’s Pumphouse was built in 1859 to get clean Lake water to the city. It’s received plenty of attention. Hamilton is home to The Royal Botanical Gardens, The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, The Bruce Trail, McMaster University, Mohawk College and Redeemer University. McMaster University is ranked 4th in Canada. Hamilton has a population of 569,353, and it’s home to “The Hamilton Tiger Cats” The city is 58 kilometers (36 miles) southwest of Toronto in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area (GTHA).

TORONTO IS LADEN DOWN WHEN IT COMES TO CINEMAS AND NEIGHBOURHOODS. THERE ARE PLENTY OF BOTH.

The Paradise Theatre is in comeback mode after near demolition in 2007.  As time passed the exterior was plastered with tags and graffiti – not a pleasant sight for those walking by 1006 Bloor Street West.  . The finished building should be fully functional by 2019. The 218 seats (formerly 400) will hopefully fill up with live music, talk series, comedy, programming for kids, and other events – along of course with feature movies and series. The Grand Cinema – one of Canada’s oldest, dating back to 1911, re-opened at 1035 Gerrard Street East.  There are now lineups. (I’ve always believed that the best neighbourhoods have movie cinemas in them.) This one, in Toronto’s East End, was renamed The Grand Gerrard – the latest in a series, including the Bonita, the Athenium, the Sri Lakshmi, the Gerrard, the Wellington, and the Projection Booth. Robinson’s Musee  – a museum-turned theatre – was the first to screen a motion picture in Toronto on August 31st, 1896. Gutted by fire a year later, it lead to the vaudeville stage by the giant HIPPODROM in Toronto. Shea’s Hippodrome. Bay St., w. side, s. of Albert Street in TORONTO – was gutted by fire a year later, and then lead to the vaudeville stage by The Shea Amusement Company and eventually office space. The Crest will always be a part of Toronto’s Theatrical History. Opened in 1927 as The Belsize, it became The Crest in 1953, and in 1971 The Regent. The Crest Theatre Company was founded and a year later opened its first eleven-play season. This was the beginning of indigenous, commercial theatre in Toronto. Up until then there had been mostly touring productions from the West.