BUILDINGS ON QUEEN’S PARK GOV’T CAMPUS ARE BEING RENOVATED – PHOTOS BY ROSS WINTER

With warm weather upon us, and much of the city shut down, what better time than now to do some renovating? The Ontario government is doing precisely that at Queen’s Park. One thing about our federal and provincial governments – they preserve their aging hand-me-downs when it comes to buildings.

TORONTO’S BIKE SHARE PGM. IS GROWING TO 6,850 BIKES; 625 STATIONS; 12,000 DOCKING STATIONS

Now the Bike Share system is getting much bigger, expanding into 30 new neighbourhoods. Adding 160 stations and 1,850 bikes to the system, it will span 200 km2 in TORONTO. As well, more bike lanes will soon be put into place.After years of debate, the powers-that-be are now paying attention to cyclists, their needs and the city’s needs. This is at least one positive outcome from the coronavirus.

SURPRISE! CANADA’S ECONOMY ADDED 290,000 JOBS IN THE MONTH OF MAY – WAY TO GO!

Both Canada & the United States added employment gains in May, which came as a surprise to economists in both countries.

In Canada, the number of employed increased by 289,600; in the United States 2.5-million jobs. Canada’s results “suggest the recession lasted just two months, March and April, and that the recovery has begun,” said Douglas Porter, chief economist at the Bank of Montreal. “The initial signs are mildly encouraging. It’s a long road ahead, though.”

<‘GOING UP! Is a CBC children’s book about an elevator ride to a birthday party, written by Sherry J. Lee; illustrated by Charlene Chua, available on Amazon>

ABOVE IT ALL: A HALF-DOZEN PHOTOS OF OUR CITY FROM THE. AIR – 1914-2020

<‘BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF TORONTO, looking northwest, postcard, 1914><YONGE/DUNDAS SQUARE, Gil Meslin @g.meslin, 2018><CN TOWER & ROUNDHOUSE PARK, Toronto Railroad Historical Association><MARKHAM HOUSING/2004, Tony Bock/Toronto Star><SPRAYING DURING GYPSY MOTH INFESTATION, May & June/2017><SNOW & ICE STORM, Pearson International Airport, 9:30 am, April 15/2018><CASA LOMA, Toronto’s castle, in the foreground; city in background. Photo by @zenomads . . . . #StreetsOfToronto, 2020>

TORONTO-DOMINION’S C.E.O. FORESEES TOUGH TIMES AHEAD BEFORE RECOVERY IN THE U.S. & CANADA

Toronto-Dominion Chief Executive BHARAT MASRANI has praised Canadian leaders for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic more quickly than their U.S. counterparts. “New York is going through a really rough patch,” he said. “The pandemic peak is going to probably come earlier, but it’s going to be much steeper and a higher peak than what people were expecting.”Mr. Masrani spent seven years running the Bank’s U.S. operations, with 26,000 employees. The situation he sees unfolding in New York City is having a “deep psychological impact” on one of the world’s leading financial centres, he said. “Every day it changes, based on new data.” Toronto-Dominion (TD) has more branches along the U.S. eastern seaboard – 1,200 of them – than in all of CANADA. Mr. Masrani said New York City is like the Bank’s second home, which means TD will be on the front lines helping American customers cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.Mr. Masrani: “We have this motto at TD for many years now that we don’t make bad loans during good times, in order to allow us to make good loans in bad times.” Having been the Bank’s former chief risk officer, he knows what he’s talking about. <Information above is from the Globe and Mail’s ‘Report on Business’, by Andrew Willis & James Bradshaw, April 4/2020>

A RESEARCH TEAM FROM TORONTO & HAMILTON HAVE ISOLATED THE AGENT FOR THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Thanks to collaboration among researchers from Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, McMaster University in Hamilton and the University of Toronto the agent responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19 has been isolated. The team was able to culture the virus from two clinical specimens in a Level 3 containment facility. <PICTURED ABOVE – left to right, Dr. Robert Kozak, Dr. Samira Mubareka, Dr. Arinjay Banerjee>“We need key tools to develop solutions to this pandemic. While the immediate response is crucial, longer-term solutions come from essential research into this novel virus,” said Dr. Samira Mubareka, microbiologist and infectious diseases physician at Sunnybrook. “Researchers from these world-class institutions came together in a grassroots way to successfully isolate the virus in just a few short weeks,” said Dr. Rob Kozak, clinical microbiologist at Sunnybrook. “It demonstrates the amazing things that can happen when we collaborate.  Now that we have isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork,” he said.

Robert Kozak and Samira Mubareka are part of a local working group of scientists researching the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and developing a suite of tools to control it (photo by Nick Iwanyshyn)  “The more viruses that are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”  Many thanks to Canada’s NATIONAL HEALTH.

 

F.Y.I. – IN 2018 THE MOVIE BUSINESS DEPOSITED NEARLY $2-BILLION INTO TORONTO’S ECONOMY

FOR YOUR INFORMATION – In 2018 according to the City of TORONTO, production investments in film, television, digital and commercials dropped $1.9-billion into the economy. 1,412 projects were shot in the city, and 30,000 jobs were supported by the industry. – Globe and Mail, March 14/2020.

THEY’RE TINY, THEY’RE YAPPY, AND MANY ARE LIVING IN DOWNTOWN’S SMALL GLASS BOXES

The condominium boom has brought with it more than 21,000 toy dogs, and the numbers are still going up.Ranging from under six pounds – the smallest Chihuahuas – to 20 pound Pugs, the little ones have taken over. They’re popular In TORONTO.  Smooth-coated Chihuahuas jumped from 192 in 2005 to over 1,300 in 2020 according to municipal license data.Pomeraneans that fit inside purses went from 258 to nearly 900.Downtown TORONTO has become a city of condos, squeezing people into small units, with little room for Great Danes or even Golden Labs. Inside those glass boxes, many tiny dogs are stuck. Their owners have discovered litter boxes and ‘pee pads’, which means the pups don’t often get outside.Small dogs enjoy the sun and dirt as much as the big ones. They want to be social, and for some reason do a lot of barking when they meet big dogs, who oftentimes totally ignore them. It’s not so easy being tiny.

AFTER ONLY TWO DAYS OF WARM WEATHER THE BIRDS ARE BACK, SINGING & SEARCHING FOR PARTNERS

Unfortunately in a city like TORONTO many birds are doomed, crashing into windows or being murdered by cats. ACOPIAN BIRDSAVERS, an American company, has come to their rescue.Jeff Acopian’s solution: “Birds were hitting our windows and dying,” he said. “And we didn’t like it.”  An engineer by profession and a naturalist at heart, he came up with Birdsavers, a fixture that involved dangling pieces of parachute cord in front of windows to keep birds from flying into them. It works, and “it’s not objectionable at all. You can reduce collisions without making your house look ridiculous.”Window collisions kill hundreds of millions of birds every year across Canada and the United States.Cats do the rest. Joanna Eckles of the Audubon Society says these numbers can be greatly reduced simply by putting up a visual barrier outside the windows, held in place by velcro. “This isn’t something that has to happen. This is preventable.”<ABOVE – a Do It Yourself version of Acopian Birdsavers. On the left three vertical hanging cords from an aluminum support strip. On the right, 3 cords hanging from a ‘support parachute cord’ suspended from small aluminum tabs. The horizontal support structures are attached to the house with velcro.>For more information, and other solutions on making your own ACOPIAN BIRDSAVERS go to this address – https://www.birdsavers.com/make-your-own/