TRINITY ST. PAUL’S, 427 BLOOR ST. W., IS A UNITED CHURCH, COMMUNITY CENTRE & CONCERT HALL

RICHARD LONGLEY IN ‘NOW’ MAGAZINE – “(Faced with a shrinking congregation) Trinity St. Paul’s church has made room for 483 tenants, who rent for periods ranging from one hour to year ‘round. They include Greenpeace, Montessori Day Care, Middle Eastern Language School, a base for Tafelmusik, the Toronto Consort, Middle Eastern Language School, International Socialists and the Common Good, etc. It’s a jewel in TORONTO’s halo.” <PHOTO ABOVE – Eric Parker>

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FOREIGN STUDENT ENROLMENT IS NOW THE GREATEST SOURCE OF UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO REVENUE

Today, money from international students makes up 30% — $928.61 million — of the university’s revenue, above the 25% and 24 per cent that provincial government grants & domestic tuition provide respectively.Since 2007, the university’s operating budget has increased by 89%, corresponding with the rapid rise in the international student population. International students have become U of T’s only consistently growing source of revenue.CHINESE international students made up about 65% of the international undergraduate student population in 2018. With diplomatic tensions ongoing between Canada & China, the credit rating agency MOODY’s warned of a devastating financial impact on the university’s cash flow – if CHINESE students are pulled out of Ontario universities. – The Varsity, University of TORONTO

“TORONTO IS A GREAT CITY RUN BY VILLAGERS” – MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE, MARCH/1971

Excerpts from a 1971 MacLeans article, by Douglas Marshall:
—- “It seems only yesterday that TORONTO was just another leafy provincial capital – hardly more than a village, really – full of a lot of dull Protestants preoccupied with money.  Only the people who loved the city, and they were few, realized that what TORONTO lacked in public greatness it made up for in private joys.”“In TORONTO each year about 50 major new buildings go up in the downtown core; some 23,500 apartment units and 8,300 homes are completed . . . and $20 million is spent improving the efficiency of what is already Canada’s finest and longest (4,284 miles) sewer system.” – MacLeans/1971“Expansion has left TORONTO facing crises in transportation, in urban renewal, in the fundamental decision-making machinery of municipal government.” – MacLeans/1971“TORONTO may be big.  It may even be great. But it is fast losing its private joys.” – MacLeans/1971“TORONTO continues to be run mainly by men who still think of it as a village – only grown larger.” – MacLeans/1970’s

BAD NEWS FROM MOVIELAND – THE HUMBER CINEMA WILL BE DEMOLISHED FOR A 12-STOREY CONDO BLDG.

For about three years it’s been a waiting game to determine if or if not, one of TORONTO’s oldest cinemas would bite the dust. The time has come. Saturday, June 1st will be the last day the HUMBER is with us.Opened in 1949 as an Odeon, it was shut down in 2003 and then re-opened in 2011. Four cinemas (two downstairs) were created out of the original two, but the integrity of the building was maintained.It’s always sad when a movie theatre is torn down. These happy gathering places are oftentimes the heart and soul of a community, and when it’s a beauty like The Humber doubly so.TORONTO has at least 10 intact, fully functioning neighbourhood cinemas – many of them survivors from the Golden Age. Unfortunately the Humber won‘t be joining the club.

AS WE WATCH TORONTO GROW – SOME FACTS AND FIGURES FOR YOUR INFORMATION (FYI) #1

Like all big towns TORONTO has some not-so-tall tales to share about the buildings, people, events and curiosities set here in Canada’s largest city.A BAY STREET legend – in the late 1700’s Mr. JUSTICE BOULTON’s horses chased a wild bear into the harbour. The street began as Bear Street, later corrupted to Bay Street. Being the principal thoroughfare in the Financial District, it’s bears and bulls yet again.Toronto’s last hanging took place at the DON JAIL on December 11, 1962. Ronald Turpin & Arthur Lucas were tied back-to-back, hooded, and then hanged. Turpin had killed a police constable, and Lucas was a hit man who murdered a witness in an American drug trial and a bystander.The ROYAL BANK twin towers on Bay Street were built in the 1970’s. All of their windows were coated with 14,000 pieces of 24-karat gold glass. The gold makes the tower shimmer in the sun and provides excellent insulation, reducing heating bills.The HOCKEY HALL OF FAME may have a ghost in it. There’ve been rumours of flickering lights, hands on shoulders, moving chairs and other occurrences in the former Bank of Montreal building. A young teller named DOROTHY, mysteriously died there in 1953.

‘SWEET WILLIAM EUSTACE, part of the original construction team of the iconic CN Tower, parachuted down 465 metres (1526 feet) from the tower’s deck to the ground, and survived. When he landed, he was immediately fired. <PHOTO – Toronto Star Archives>

FRONT ENTRANCE OF THE HARRISON POOL – Canada’s first public municipal swimming pool, opened in 1909 and is still operating on Stephanie Street. Few houses in a nearby slum district – The Ward – had indoor plumbing, which made this bath house essential. <The Varsity>

FORT YORK, 1793, BIRTHPLACE OF MODERN TORONTO, WAS THE SITE OF THE BATTLE OF YORK

Surrounded by an expanse of high-rises and the Gardiner Expressway, Fort York is one of the few Canadian fortresses that actually saw battle.On April 27, 1813 the Battle of York took place here as part of the three-year-long War of 1812. In the following year, as revenge, British troops set fire to the White House in Washington DC.Fort York is home to Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings and is designated a National Historic Site, open year-‘round with seasonal guided tours, musket drill, and an increasing number of special events. It’s at 100 Garrison Road, off Fleet Street. Website – http://www.toronto.ca/culture/fort_york.htm

TORONTO’S BRIGADOON – RARE PHOTOS OF THE GERRARD STREET VILLAGE, ENCLAVE OF BOHEMIA

In the 1920’s, artists, writers, shopkeepers and bohemians began settling into 19th-century row houses along Gerrard West and neighbouring streets.  They painted the stuccoed houses in rainbow colours, opened art galleries, bookshops, restaurants and – a first for TORONTO – an outdoor patio.  The neighbourhood was christened GERRARD STREET VILLAGE.  It became our city’s Greenwich Village, Soho, the Left Bank – an enclave of bohemia in the middle of a very conservative town.

CSILLA FEL remembers TORONTO’s first patio: “The first patio with the yellow awning was a rented house and was called “The Jack and Jill” . Catherina Barca, aged 97 passed away quietly this spring. The Globe and Mail called the Barcas ‘pioneers in sidewalk cafes.’ This was my backyard as a child and the atmosphere of coffee and creativity has stayed with me my whole life.” 

Ernest Hemingway called the Village home for a while; the Group of Seven’s Lawren Harris sketched here; painter Albert Franck rented a shop in the 1940’s.  Some other villagers – poets Al Purdy and bp Nichol, Margaret Atwood, Milton Acorn, Michael Ondaatje, Joe Rosenblatt, Gwendolyn MacEwen – a slew of intellectuals, designers, booksellers and writers.

Only a few of the Victorian-era houses remain – “totally emasculated” as one old-timer put it.  A hotel, parking lot, hospital buildings, a condo and a steam plant occupy – what was once – TORONTO’s ‘Brigadoon’.

<PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives; Image above – David Mason Books>