UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PARTNERS WITH INDIA’S TATA TRUSTS TO RESEARCH CITIES & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Part of a School of Cities alliance in either MUMBAI or BENGALURU, the research and entrepreneur centres will open in 2019. University of TORONTO undergraduates, graduate students and faculty will have the opportunity to experience “real local engagement and activity” on site in India.

U of T’s priority these days is to increase global partnerships. The study of cities is part of an international project created by the Indian philanthropic organization TATA TRUSTS. It’s not the first time the University has worked with the charitable organization. This time the partnership will connect India’s “smart city” priorities with U of T’s “thought leadership” and its School of Cities.

<PHOTO ABOVE – University of TORONTO St. George Campus>

<PHOTO BELOW – Aerial view of GURUGRAM, India, by Sanjeev Verma, GETTY IMAGES>

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TORONTO’S NEW SUNLIFE FINANCIAL & HARBOUR PLAZA TOWERS HAVE BEEN FITTED INTO SOUTHCORE

The One York mixed-use complex by Sweeny&Co Architects contains a Class ‘A’ office building, connection to the PATH underground tunnel system, and two residential towers of 63 and 67 storeys. All three towers were mostly leased or sold in the early stages of construction, allowing the trio to rise without phasing.

The office tower, completed in 2016, is aiming to cut energy consumption to less than half that used by traditional office buildings.

MISSISSAUGA, TORONTO’S NEIGHBOUR, LANDS A CBS TELEVISION PRODUCTION CENTRE, OPENING – 2019

America’s CBS (the Columbia Broadcasting System) has decided to build a 260,0000 square-foot production centre near Pearson International Airport in MISSISSAUGA. The hub will include six sound stages, production offices and other support facilities.

CBS currently produces 63 series, including Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Hawaii Five-0,The Good Fight and The Late Late Show with James Corden. It shoots Star Trek: Discovery and In the Dark in TORONTO, but has several other productions in CANADA, including one for the reboot of Charmed.

The Mayor of Mississauga, BONNIE CROMBIE, says the studio will be the first of its kind in her city “and a major investment for this industry. I ’m proud that our months of hard work to secure this investment has finally paid off.”

DAVID STAPF, president of CBS Television Studios, said in a statement – “The TORONTO area specifically has provided our series with diverse and appealing locations as well as production infrastructure and craft expertise that cannot easily be found.”

With expansion announcements this year from PINEWOOD Studios, CINESPACE and MARKHAM MOVIELAND — which will feature the continent’s largest sound stage — TORONTO can truly promote itself as Hollywood North.

HONEST ED’S DISCOUNT DEPARTMENT STORE IS GONE, BUT A NEW COMMUNITY IS RISING

<HONEST ED’s as it once was – Bloor at Bathurst>

<The site as it is today>

Here’s what’s coming to Bathurst Street at Bloor Street West – 36 individual buildings, a revitalized, pedestrianized Markham Street, 24 conserved heritage buildings, 880+ rental units, 10% deeply affordable units: 40% family units, 30,000-square-feet of public market space, a micro-retail incubator for small-scale entrepreneurs, and a new public park.

MIRVISH VILLAGE is behind bars. The row of Victorian houses on Markham Street will become part of the new development by Vancouver’s Westbank. The plan is to keep and restore 23 of the 27 heritage buildings on site.

Even the hoarding around the project is exceptional, with an invite to ‘sit under the Balboa Tree’ and contemplate the late Ed Mirvish and the sense of community he created. Ed brought together people from all walks of life, incomes, ethnic backgrounds and ages.

ED MIRVISH, who died in 2007, opened his first store at the corner of Bloor and Markham Streets, in 1948.  He and his son, David, went on to build a family empire.

  The two of them ran an art bookshop on Markham Street; purchased the Royal Alexandra Theatre when it was destined to become a parking lot; built the Princess of Wales Theatre; rescued and renovated London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre; purchased the Pantages (now the Ed Mirvish) theatre on Yonge Street; founded Mirvish Productions, a major live-theatre company; and continued operating Honest Ed’s.

THE PINK UMBRELLAS ARE MOVING NORTH AS SUGAR BEACH CONNECTS WITH CITY OF THE ARTS

The first phase of Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts is now receiving tenants, and soon will join up with the popular Sugar Beach park.

The wedge-shaped Sugar Beach North will be on two levels, feature the park’s signature pink umbrellas, Muskoka chairs, and shade trees.  <PHOTO – skycandy/urbantoronto.ca>

Sugar Beach North will join up with a retail-lined pedestrian mews known as “The Yard” – between the office building and residential towers.

Daniels Waterfront is a mixed-use retail/office/institutional/residential complex on Queens Quay at Lower Jarvis Street, with towers as high as 45 storeys.

<RENDERING – Daniels Corporation>

SOME TORONTO RENTAL HOUSING NUMBERS – FROM NOW MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER/2018

The current vacancy rate in TORONTO – 1% A healthy rental market would have a vacancy rate of 3 to 5%
$1,803 is the average rental fee for a one-bedroom apartment in the city.
47% of Torontonians are renters.
120 days is the advance notice required by a landlord to tenants for building renovations.
TORONTO renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
Mayor JOHN TORY is promising to build 40,000 additional rental units in the next 12 years.

THERE’S NOTHING ‘DEADER’ THAN A DEAD SHOPPING MALL – TODAY’S ‘ANCIENT’ RUINS

<Rolling Aires Mall, abandoned, AKRON, Ohio, New York Times>

Scattered across Canada and the United States are thousands of defunct shopping malls – fortunately many more there, than here.

<Boarded up Zellers store at the mall, AMHERST, Nova Scotia, photo – Ross Winter>

KATE FOLK, writing in the New York Times magazine believes “no other category offers the spectacle of modern ruin on such a horrifying scale: the scars of familiar logos on storefronts, the desiccated planters, the sheer volume of emptiness and waste . . . a once-beloved edifice that, in the space of a few years has become so worthless no one even cares enough to tear it down.”

<Bayside Mall, formerly the Eaton Centre, SARNIA, Ontario, photo – seanmarshall.ca>

Ms.Folk unwinds late at night “by watching tours of dead and dying shopping malls on YouTube.” She says “there are two basic types. The first explores a mall that is still open, though the end is evidently nigh – the retail equivalent of a sinking ship. Then there are the tours of malls that have already been shut down and abandoned, often for years – deep sea footage from within the moldering shipwreck.”

<Mall debris, VIRGINIA>   But fortunately there are exceptions – many shopping malls are going strong. YORKDALE in TORONTO is thriving – more these days than ever before. Part of its success no doubt comes from a longtime connection to the city’s subway network.

The WEST EDMONTON MALL, North America’s largest, boasts over 800 stores and services, 9 attractions, 2 hotels and over 100 places to eat and drink. There’s parking for 20,000 vehicles, and it’s visited by 32-million annually.