PORTER AIRLINES HAVE SOME GOOD NEWS FOR EASTERN CANADA – THEY’RE RESUMING FLIGHTS AGAIN!

Porter Airlines is resuming flights among Eastern Canadian destinations. They are – Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Moncton, Halifax, Quebec City and St. John’s. From September 17th Porter will be adding Boston, Chicago, New York City and Washington DC. Other destinations are on the way.

IF YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, YORKVILLE IS GOING HIGH-RISE AND MORE YOUTH-FUL.

Yorkville is evolving from low-rise to high, as new luxury condo buildings are rising onto the skyline. “In the last 10 years, I think the Four Seasons was the catalyst bringing Yorkville further east,” said Jared Menkes, executive vice-president, with Menkes Developments Ltd. He grew up in Toronto and no doubt remembers the days of beatniks, hippies, coffee houses, clubs and occasional raids by the police. Don Kottick, President and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s Canada said “Many of the new condominiums are now offered at prices starting from $8-million. Yorkville is truly one of Toronto’s flagship luxury neighbourhoods. <So, no doubt there are big changes in the neighborhood – The Globe and Mail.>

ANNE HIDALGO, MAYOR OF PARIS, IS RE-ARRANGING A FEW THINGS IN HER CITY

The Mayor’s plan is to make central Paris car-empty as much as possible. Not surprisingly the population within the city centre, for the most part, agrees with this. The suburbs and rural districts however are objecting. Suburbanites need their cars, often daily, to get to work. Mayor Hidalgo is slapping on a speed limit in most parts of the city, dropping allowable speeds to 30-kilometres-per- hour. Already she’s planning to fill the streets with bicycle riders, and eliminate parking spots. Last year cars were banned from the Rue de Rivoli, which passes the Louvre and crosses the city centre. The Seine River has gone from a motorway to a waterside park  TORONTO motorists have been complaining lately about bikes, major streets under renovation, cones all over the place, traffic jams, and reckless driving. Mayor Hidalgo is working on a different platform, battering down the gates and getting on with it, wherever. <Excerpts from Eric Reguly, The Globe and Mail,  and below – JBAUTISSIER/PANORAMIC>

HALIFAX HAS BECOME ANOTHER CANADIAN FILM & TV PRODUCTION CENTRE & WHY NOT?

<Photo – the Bank District, Downtown Halifax> The “Industry” is in town, and making itself at home. . . . 2021 is predicted to be that city’s busiest movie business in years. Executive Director of ‘Screen Nova Scotia’, Laura Mackenzie said “I’d say probably between August and December of 2020, I was on the phone all day long with studios wondering what was happening in Nova Scotia,”  The answer came from Ms. Mackenzie, who heard from all the large U.S. streaming services. Preparing to support major productions and series means dealing with visitors and their upcoming creations. In 2015 the Nova Scotia government cut the film tax credit, a 50-65% refundable corporate income tax credit for shows hiring provincial personnel. <Photo by The Toronto Star – The film above is the crew for a Halifax legal drama. Things look better these days with foreign service productions, and reliable N.S. money for labour, accommodations and locations. Ms. Mackenzie also said finding studio space for out-of-town productions needing interiors, it can be as challenging as finding available crews, and competing for warehouse space.  There’s so much more that can be said, but this gives some idea of what’s happening in and around Nova Scotia’s capital city. As one who worked for about 40 years in television and was born in Nova Scotia, (that’s me, David Moore) I can happily say “Good luck Haligonians, and may this new achievement be a solid part of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.”

HONEST ED’S BARGAIN STORE, LANDMARK & FUN PALACE’, WILL BE A NEW MIRVISH “VILLAGE” SOON

The established older building was knocked down a few years ago, and now its replacement is rising, and should be finished within a year or so. The Mirvish Village Park is being developed by the Westbank Corporation who bought the site in 2013. Now they’re making use of the space. Emphasis is on outdoor greenery, along with mix-used residential buildings, boutique shops, restaurants. food entrepreneurs, live music and artisans. The outdoor area will accommodate perks like bird-friendly gardens, shade trees, outdoor seating space, and a children’s water feature. It’s to be expected with such a massive production many details still have to be worked out and assembled.

THE ECONOMIST RANKS TORONTO AS “THE SECOND SAFEST CITY IN THE WORLD”

How about this folks? Sure we’ve had our share of gun violence, traffic jams, and crazy driving, but we rank just behind Copenhagen at the top.This 2021 Economist List takes into account digital, infrastructure, personal and environmental security, and especially health security. We did well with pedestrian friendliness, infrastructure security, our public transport systems, the road network and its maintenance. Over the last 17 months our pandemic preparedness and healthcare system helped bolster our score. Here’s the full list in order – 1) Copenhagen, 2) Toronto, 3) Singapore, 4) Sydney, 5) Tokyo, 6) Amsterdam, 7) Wellington, 8) Hong Kong, 9) Melbourne, and 10) Stockholm.

WHAT IS THE ONTARIO LINE, WHERE WILL IT GO, AND WHY DO WE NEED IT?

The Ontario Line will create faster connections between dozens of vibrant neighbourhoods and make it easier than ever to travel within Toronto and beyond. The 15.6-kilometre, 15-stop subway line will run from Exhibition Place, through the heart of downtown, and all the way to the Ontario Science Centre. It will give people great relief from regional GO trains, to existing subways, to new light rail transit lines, and more. With fifteen potential stations between Exhibition Place and The Science Centre, and potential links to GO Transit and TTC Lines #1 and #2, the Ontario Line will bring more transit to more in-need communities sooner than previously thought by using a mix of at-grade (surface) track, elevated guideways and underground tunnels. The Ontario Line would be able to reach transit-deprived communities such as Flemingdon Park, Thorncliffe Park, Liberty Village and Fort York. For the record, Vancouver’s SkyTrain network has become the longest rapid transit system in Canada. The Dockland’s Light Railway System in London has grown to nearly 40 kilometres worth of track. Major construction on The Ontario Line is slated to begin in 2023.

WHAT IS THIS EXACTLY? IT’S OFFICIALLY “DONNIE THE TUNNEL BORER”

Tunnel borers have been at work in Toronto for years, with more to come as our subway system expands. Donnie probably weighs about 400 tonnes and would be something like 10 metres long. This machine was assigned to drill The Coxwell By-pass Tunnel to stop storm overflows of sewage into Lake Ontario, thus improving Toronto’s waterways. This project is part of the $3-billion Don River and Central Waterfront Project. Way to go, Donnie!

TORONTO’S TRANSIT SYSTEMS, DESPITE THE PANDEMIC, ARE SOMEWHAT FLOURISHING

First off – the newly renovated Union Station. Mayor John Tory says: “After construction work that has seen delays and increasing costs, renovations to Union Station are finally complete”. <Photo above by Metrolinx – Opening Day of The Bay Concourse> TTC’s streetcars have picked themselves up, and the riderships are increasing. The cars are well looked after and they seem to have an increased number of riders, who follow the rules choosing seats. Queen’s Park has a newly renovated subway station. It’s a big improvement over the previous tile design. The subway system itself has been undergoing construction improvements during the summer. <The photo above is by Ross Winter.>.