AN ENGINEER’S NAMESAKE, THE KEATING CHANNEL IS A WATERWAY MOST OF US HAVE NEVER SEEN

Named after engineer EDWARD HENRY KEATING (1844-1912), the waterway is a 1,000-metre-long connecfion between Ashbridges Bay, the Don River, the inner harbour and Lake Ontario.<The Keating Channel looking east, Toronto Public Libraries, 1914>
Early on, the banks of the Channel were lined with industry, including the Toronto Shipyard Company, which built World War I vessels and freighters.The elevated Gardiner Expressway, the Cherry Street drawbridge and the condo towers of the Distillery District add some urban ambience.

HALIFAX IS LOSING ITS MASCOT – ‘THEODORE TOO’ – THE TUGBOAT IS UP FOR SALE FOR $495.000.

Trust the coronavirus for cutting tourism revenue in Nova Scotia. Ambassadors Gray Line can no longer subsidize the tug boat’s daily tours around Halifax harbour and under the bridges. Normally it would seat 49, but with social distancing that number could drop to an estimated 12. The vessel was built in DAYSPRING, Nova Scotia, and is a replica of the title character in a CBC children’s television program between 1993 to 2001.

REMEMBERING THE BILTMORE – A YONGE STREET FIXTURE FROM 1948 TO 1982

The BILTMORE, 319 Yonge Street, was one of three downtown cinemas known for showing double and triple bills for a modest admission price. The others were the Downtown and the Rio – all within a few metres of each other. The BILTMORE was constructed by the wealthy OKUN brothers, who’d made their fortune selling ladies hats under the Biltmore label.This flagship theatre had 916 seats, 300 in the balcony – and sat on land now occupied by a large shopping centre and a multiplex of 26 movie screens.<EXTERIOR PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives>

GIBRALTAR POINT’S LIGHTHOUSE IS ONE OF TORONTO’S OLDEST BUILDINGS; PHOTO BY BRYAN BLENKIN

Built in 1808 when only 400 people lived in the Town of York (now TORONTO) this fully functional lighthouse remains on the Toronto Islands. It’s the second oldest lighthouse in Canada after Sambro Island in Halifax. It’s said that in 1815 the lighthouse keeper was murdered in the tower by soldiers from Fort York, and that his ghost still haunts the building. All that’s really known is that he disappeared on January 2, 1815. His body was never found.

DE LA SALLE OAKLANDS – “THE YELLOW BRICK HOUSE ON THE HILL”

It sits in gothic splendour on top of the escarpment overlooking downtown TORONTO.  A heritage building – former home of Senator John MacDonald, this house (with its tower observatory) is now occupied by the Brothers of the Christian Schools.  De La Salle Oaklands, so-named for the Brothers and the great oak trees dotting the campus, is a co-educational Catholic school founded in 1851, and located here in the 1930’s.<DE LA SALLE OAKLANDS as it was in 1891>

THE WORLD’S OLDEST QUEER BOOKSHOP WAS ON A TIGHTROPE UNTIL ITS SURVIVAL FUND KICKED IN

The Glad Day Bookshop is a popular gathering place for TORONTO’s queer and trans community. Everyone is welcome – drag queens, artists, book buyers, DJs, readers and talkers. The rent for this beautiful space at 499 Church Street is $18,000 a month, which sounds like quite a responsibility, but it’s in a popular neighbourhood.Enter the Glad Day Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers, along with the Bookshop itself. MICHAEL ERICKSON, Glad Day’s lead owner told the Globe and Mail: “It was life saving. A lot of us felt powerless in this crisis (affecting the community). We didn’t know how to help – and then our fund provided people a really concrete and immediate way to give a bit of money and know they were making a difference.”So far Glad Day and other community members are staying afloat. But more donations – big and small – are most welcome at this address – http://www.gladdaylit.ca