ON APRIL 21ST, 2022 TORONTO WELCOMED THE WORLD TO CELEBRATE “THE URBAN PAVILION IN REGENT PARK”

From Mitchell Cohen, President and CEO, The Daniels Corporation. Mr. Cohen wrote “It was a landmark moment in the history of our city, celebrating the spirit of community at the heart of the Regent Park revitalization. It was also a day to honour the late Councillor, Pam McConnell, who envisioned and nurtured the revitalization, and residents of the community – and took action to bring their dreams to life. The new Pavilion will be a place to learn with and from city-builders around the world. Private-sector partners brought enormous resources and expertise to the table. Post-secondary institutions have demonstrated the impact of being “on the ground.” The City of Toronto has embraced a public/private partnership model, enabling innovation and creativity across all sectors.   <To learn more about The Pavilion visit worldurbanpavilion.org.>

CINEPLEX IS LOSING CASH DESPITE SOARING REVENUE, MEANING THE CINEMA BUSINESS IS ON ITS WAY.

From The Canadian Press —- CINEXPLEX INC. reported a first-quarter loss of $42-2 million, as its revenue soared up with customers returning to movie theatres. CEO Ellis Jacob put it this way: “Operating restrictions have now been completely lifted across theatres. And customers are returning. They’re seeing positive results and momentum across business lines. Revenue totaled $228-7 million, up from $41-4 million in the first three months of 2021.I’d say that’s an amazing improvement!

“Ross and I decided to hit the road & enjoy another of Ontario’s colourful cities.”

MISSISSAUGA’s population is about 722,000 and TORONTO numbers about 6,300,000. They both offer a lot. The challenge is finding a way to get into Mississauga. By our mistake we by-passed a highway entrance and found ourselves in an expensive-looking suburb of beautiful houses with plenty of trees. We drove forever it seemed. The Marilyn Monroe towers popped up on the horizon. We managed to find underground parking, and then met a young man in a tourism booth. He highlighted several places worth seeing. We began by walking through Mississauga City Hall and its surroundings. This was well worth exploring. We stopped and admired a painting of Hazel McCallion , former Mayor of Mississauga, who was elected in 1978, retired in 2014 after putting in 36 years with her rapidly growing city. Ross and I realized the City Centre was filled with skyscrapers. Some were plain, but several were spectacular. We spent more time walking around, enjoying a muffin, taking in the urban scene of Ontario’s third largest city. Neither of us found it boring, even when some of the shops were closed because of the pandemic. MISSISSAUGA has a mind of its own. It has a fine downtown  with shops, restaurants, higher education institutions and malls, lakes, and all kinds of people – 23% of residents are of non-European descent; 8% Chinese; 7% Black; 5% Arab; 5% Filipino; as well as Latin Americans, Koreans and Southeast Asians. Mississauga Transit buses serve within Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, and Hamilton areas. GO Trains provide service between Toronto’s Union Station and the eastern suburbs. It offers three main lines: the Kitchener line, Lakeshore West line, and the Barrie line. So public transit is available in many locations. Even Car Shares are easily available for getting home late at night when public transit arrives less frequently. All in all Ontario’s MISSISSAUGA is one great city.

TORONTO’S ANNUAL FORSYTHIA FESTIVAL WILL ARRIVE ON SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2021.

That giant-sized Forsythia above has become a gorgeous photograph. Thanks to George Pyron and Jo Lamberton for sending it to ‘toronto savvy’. I asked for the picture and they allowed me, saying “go ahead and help yourself.”
WILLIAM FORSYTH (1737– July 25 1804), was a Scottish Botanist. He was a Royal Head Gardener and a founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society – a genius of flowering plants. Forsythias are named in his honour. – <Photo of William Forsyth is from Wikipedia>

WHERE PARLIAMENT ST. MEETS DUNDAS ST. EAST YOU’LL FIND A GATHERING PLACE AND THE ARTS

Complete with Story Murals and the Toronto Council Fire Native’s Cultural Centre this community keeps on growing. The murals are connected with the Centre’s Spirit Garden Project, and it’s funded in part by Canadian Heritage and the Toronto Arts Council (TAC). Muralist Philip Cote <photo above> has painted Indigenous stories all across Toronto. Chances are you’ll come across Philip’s murals as this is a special time for our city’s “Year of Public Art” The Arts Council helps by animating the streets.  “Philip Cote, Anishinaabe-Algonquin, painter, historian, young spiritual elder and educator’s work could be found in public spaces big and small.  Thanks again, Philip.
Council Fire began in 1976 with a small group meeting for worship at St. Barnabas Church. They’d noticed increasing numbers of Native people were gravitating to the downtown core. Many were becoming homeless, and as a result began to attract and serve a client base of infants to seniors, as well as those new to Greater Toronto. The drop-in area in particular has become a popular place now to meet friends, have coffee and play bingo. Now the Council Fire is going through restructuring and revitalizing. The Cultural Centre in the future envisions providing the same level of quality support and services now as it grows along with the community.

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE WITH A MULTI-YEAR REFIT OF THE ROBARTS COMMONS IN TORONTO

The Robarts Commons are named after John Robarts, the 17th Premier of Ontario from 1961. He served there until 1971. The libraries contain more than 4.5 million book items, 4.1 million microform items, 740,000 other ones which kept on growing. He was an advocate of freedoms, and promoted rights of the provinces against initiatives of the federal government. Mr. Robarts is remembered for improving education, being Chancellor of York University, the Ontario Science Centre and Ontario Place – plus the GO Transit railway system, and he introducing nuclear power to Ontario’s electricity grid. Unfortunately his son, Timothy, died of suicide in 1977. John also died of suicide on October 18, 1982. He is buried in Toronto’s St. James Cemetery. Universities and research centres carrying Mr. Robart’s name are impressive. York University, was founded in 1963. Mr. Robarts was Chancellor from 1977-1982. The Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario opened  in 1986 in London.  There are also Robarts School for the Deaf and the John P. Robarts Research Library at the University of Toronto.
Now we come to the magnificent John P. Robarts Research Library, commonly referred to as ‘Fort Book’ at 130 St. George Street, a branch of the University of Toronto Libraries. The new Robarts Commons, a five storey glassed-in addition to the U.of T’s Robarts Library isn’t completely finished, but with the pandemic restrictions it will soon happen. The project is part of a multi year refit to prepare for the future as most libraries are progressing technologically. The University of Toronto’s collections are spread over 42 heavily-used libraries, popular with students. About 20,000 people pass through on a busy day, and some students work at their desks late into the night. The original plans for the Robarts Library, drawn up in the 1960s, called for a pavilion on the west side. Now, almost 50 years since the library was built, the western pavilion is finally being realized. Gary McCluskie of Architects’ Diamond Schmitt says on their website: “When the new Robarts Common opens in the 2021-2022 academic year, the library’s 18,000 daily users will quickly see and feel that the million square feet of the entire library complex are more social, collaborative and human,”

THE WINTER STATIONS, TORONTO, 2022 – AN INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION

The Competition missed a few years during Covid. It asks for temporary structures associated with the lifeguard stations along Woodbine Beach. This year’s theme is ‘Resilience’. Here are three of a larger group of this year’s winners.
Enter Face (MELT, Turkey). The pandemic significantly shifted our perception of the world to digital screens. The two black boxes have outward looking screens so that those inside (for adults, their heads, for kids, their entire bodies) are subtly aware of each other, and together are watching the world outside.
Hive (Canada). Honey bees demonstrate resilience by working in unison in their hive, feeding the queen, keeping warm with their body heat in the winter, colony-level responses. Visitors to this station become, briefly, the Hive cluster, sharing the experience.
One Canada – (Guelph U School of Environmental Design and Rural Development) Our Indigenous people demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity and oppressive policies. The seven levels wrapping around the lifeguard station represent the Grandfather Teachings. The enveloping structure invites a coming together of disparate people in unity through its protective embrace.  <Photos by Ross Winter>

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.

BROOKFIELD PLACE IS A FIRST-RATE LOCATION TO TAKE-IN SOME OF TORONTO’S BUSINESS DISTRICT

Designed by Santiago Calatrava. close to Bay Street. and near the corner of Front and Yonge Streets, with the Hockey Hall of Fame in the lower level – that’s part of Brookfield Place. If you’re wandering down Bay or Yonge be sure to go inside and admire Calatrava’s superb architectural success. Stop for lunch at Marche inside and then walk through the giant hallway. Generous space is provided for plenty of spectacular photography.