CABBAGETOWN’S WINCHESTER STREET CHURCH AND THEATRE DATES BACK TO 1891

Former home to St. Enoch’s Presbyterian Church it’s one of the few bold examples of Romanesque Revivals in Toronto – with round arches over windows and doors, deep entry points, thick masonry walls, brick or stone facades, and rounded towers. The architects, Gordon and Halliwell, designed nearly 200 commercial, institutional, ecclesiastical and residential buildings over Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. Best of all today is the church, now a longtime home to The Toronto Dance Theatre. The company’s name is known far and wide – from New York’s Joyce Theatre, a six-city tour of India, a sold-out season at London’s Royal Opera House, performances at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa and the Festival TransAmériques in Montreal, as well as numerous performances in Toronto and across Canada . . . . . . . <Information from the PSN newspaper>

MASSEY COLLEGE IS A “PLACE OF DIGNITY, GRACE, BEAUTY AND WARMTH”

MASSEY COLLEGE, 4 Devonshire Place, is a well-connected and financially endowed institution in downtown Toronto. Designed by Canadian architect, Ron Thom, and opened in 1963 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, this is one of the University of Toronto’s most beautiful buildings.  The College was conceived by VINCENT MASSEY, 18th Governor-General of Canada, as a “place of dignity, grace, beauty and warmth”

THERE MAY SOON BE ANOTHER MAYORAL ELECTION ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2022

By the sound of it, our Mayor John Tory, incumbent since December 1, 2014, will be involved in another mayoral election, scheduled for Monday, October 24, 2022. Candidate registrations for the Office of Mayor officially opens on Monday, May 2, 2022.  Deadline for candidate nominations is Friday, August 19 at 2:00 pm. So this could mean Mr. Tory might take part in the election, or maybe he’d go back into full-time broadcasting. John Tory can definitely do either, but hasn’t been clear in interviews over this past year.For sure, Toronto’s ‘Rumour Mill’ will be spinning.  <Photo above – Mayor Tory on his first day in office at City Hall, December 1, 2014>

THE RIVERDALE BRANCH OF THE TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY OPENED ON OCTOBER 19, 1910.

Riverdale was the last of four branches constructed with a $350,000 grant financed in 1903 by Andrew Carnegie. The branch was constructed of red brick with white Ohio sandstone trim at a cost of $24,174. Located at the “great transfer corner” where Broadview Avenue meets Gerrard Street East, as well as two streetcar lines. It’s one of the first to use the “open shelf” system, allowing visitors to browse around themselves, and one of the first Canadian libraries to use radial open stacks. From the entrance, Library staff can monitor reading rooms. the opened front door, and the stacks.

EARLIEST KNOWN PHOTOS OF TORONTO TAKEN FROM THE ROSSIN HOUSE HOTEL IN 1856 OR 1857

This five-part panorama is from the City of Toronto Archives. <Osgoode Hall is in the upper left corner>.<Photogaphers – Armstrong, Beere and Hime.> It’s possible that these pictures were intended to accompany Toronto’s submission to the Colonial Office to promote its selection as capital of the Province of Canada. In the end, Queen Victoria chose OTTAWA to be Canada’s capital. <ABOVE – The developing city from York Street to Bay Street along King Street West.>

WHO’D HAVE IMAGINED AIRSHIPS ONCE DOCKED ON UNIVERSITY AVE AT QUEEN?

This Stalinistic Canada Life building on University Avenue in the 1930’s was a mooring point for airships – once viewed as luxurious aircraft, until replaced by passenger airplanes. From 1951 the tower was then re-converted into Toronto’s weather beacon and that’s what we see today. You know you’re in T.O. when you see the iconic beacon light with its forecast information, updated four times daily, 7 days a week, thanks to Environment Canada. What do the lights mean? Green (clear); Red (cloudy); Flashing Red (rain); Flashing White .(snow). <Photo above by Richard Lautens, Toronto Star>

WHY IS VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAY, MAY 24TH NAMED AFTER QUEEN VICTORIA?

Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, May 24th was made to be known as Victoria Day, By law the 24th is a date to remember the late queen, who was deemed the ‘Mother of Confederation’. And in 1904, the same date by Imperial Decree was made Empire Day throughout the British Empire – of which Canada was a member.  <Above – Queen Victoria’s sculpture in Queen’s Park, 1910, Toronto> Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day and in 1977 it was moved to the second Monday in March, leaving the Monday before May 25th as both Victoria Day and the Queen’s Birthday. That’s where we are in 2021. <Above – Her Majesty Queen Victoria on her Coronation Day, painted by George Hayter.> Queen Victoria appreciated his merits and appointed Mr. Hayter her Principal Painter and also awarded him a Knighthood in 1841. – Information from Wikipedia.

THE GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT OF ‘OLD TORONTO’ IS PARTLY CREDITED TO STREETCARS

Hong Kong boasts double-decker trams. Double-decker buses signify London: the “L” rapid transit system trundles around Chicago. And bicycles are everywhere in Rotterdam.Toronto maintains and venerates its massive streetcar network. They’re longtime symbols, beginning as far back as the 1860’s several miles from the St. Lawrence Market to Yorkville Town Hall.  Rosie Shephard, a Monarch Park Collegiate student wrote about the streetcar saying “They have been a defining feature of many Toronto neighbourhoods, and developed them into ‘streetcar suburbs’. (They’re) also very profitable, triggering the growth and development of local businesses and restaurants.” The Cabbagetown neighbourhood is a well-rounded example that grew from a suburb to a successful neighbourhood thanks to the streetcar. Other neighbourhoods – Riverdale and The Beaches. <ABOVE – A Toronto Transit Commission streetcar, celebrating TTC’s 80th birthday; photo by Ted Wickson . . . . and #327 is part of the Halton Collection>