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.

THE LOEW’S SIGN REMINDS ME OF WORKING A FEW NIGHTS WEEKLY AFTER CLASS & FOR THE MOVIES.

As a  school usher I remember being certain that visitors managed to find a convenient place to sit down and behave themselves. One of the youngsters got very sick and I brought in the cleanup brigade. I remember several movies that played in Loew’s – “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte”, “Days of Wine and Roses”, “Teacher’s Pet” starring Doris Day and “Gypsy”, a famous musical. I haven’t forgotten any of them. They’ve all become classics, and they were all at LOEW’S once upon a time.

SCREENING PARTS OF A“PRIDE PARADE” IN MY FORMER HOME TOWN, AMHERST, NOVA SCOTIA. I’M SURPRISED !

That was some time ago when Amherstonians took to the streets and put on a wonderful “Pride Parade”Some details on Amherst’s “Pride Parade”. – The first Pride Parade in Amherst was June 3, 2017. There were also parades on 2018 and 2019. No parades were held in 2020 and 2021, due to Covid. This year Amherst proclaimed June 13th to June 18th as Pride Week. On June 18th, 2022 there will be a vendor market, music and festivities in Victoria Square from 11 am to 4 pm with a Pride Parade at 2 pm.

LATELY OCAD UNIVERSITY GRADS PAINTED NEW MURALS LINKING TWO TORONTO DISTRICTS.

These are two of the art works, both murals credited to EMILY MAY ROSE & HEIDI BERTON. One is “Hello – Bicycle Riding” And the other is labeled “Honk Honk – Hit The Road.”  Both are Universal Triangle Images. And there are more to come. A brilliant idea from OCAD.

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.