SOME RESIDENTS OF TORONTO ZOO, CANADA’S LARGEST – THEY’RE PHOTOGENIC NATURALS

It’s easy to get to TORONTO ZOO – by car, from downtown, take the 401 Eastbound to Exit 389, Meadowvale Road.  Follow the Zoo signs to 361A Old Finch Avenue.  Large parking lot.

By TTC bus, take the subway (Sheppard Line) to DON MILLS STATION.  Bus #85 leaves from here, and will drop you in front of the Zoo entrance about 45 minutes later.  Along the way, you’ll pass through suburban Don Mills and Scarborough.

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GHOST BLDGS. ON TORONTO ISLANDS – GONE FOREVER, BUT THEIR IMAGES SURVIVE IN THE ARCHIVES

TORONTO Islands, a vast network of parks, canals, a boardwalk, superb views of the skyline, an antique carousel, labyrinth, the harbour and Lake Ontario, along with a community of 250 winterized cottages (on Ward’s Island) . . . only 15 minutes from TORONTO’s Financial District.

Catch a ferry at the foot of Yonge Street and minutes later you’re there. Winter and summer schedules differ, and the ferries take different routes. Water taxis are also available.

The “ghost buildings” of TORONTO Islands exist only in the city archives. Below – paintings by TORONTO artists, dating from 1856 to 1949.

<Old Fog Bell, Toronto Island, by William Armstrong (1822-1916)>

<Elias Rogers’ Belvedere Cottage, Centre Island, artist unidentified, 1890>

<Louis Privat Hotel, Toronto Island, where The Eastern Gap is now, 1850, by Owen Staples (1866-1949)>

<David Ward Senior’s house, Centre Island, built in 1856, by Joseph Thomas Rolph (1831-19160>

<William Ward House, ca1871-85, Centre Island, by Owen Staples (1866-1949)>

<The Monarch, paddle steamer, ran aground on Toronto Island, November 29/1856, by William Armstrong (1822-1916)>

<Lookout Tower, Toronto Harbour Police, 1949, by Nicholas Hornyansky (1896-1965)>

<PHOTO – Toronto Island wharf in winter>

NOT MANY CITIES HAVE TWO BOTANICAL GARDENS – BUT THERE ARE TWO OF THEM WITHIN THE GTHA

The ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS are located roughly 40 miles southwest of TORONTO midway between BURLINGTON and HAMILTON (GTHA).  A National Historic Site, the gardens cover 2,400 acres with 27 kilometres of walking trails.

The RBG is home to more than 50 at-risk species, and it’s a major stop-over point for thousands of migrating birds.

TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN, 777 Lawrence Avenue East at Leslie, is one of Canada’s finest urban gardens.  It’s compact, somewhat hilly but easily walkable.  Accessible by public transit, bicycle and automobile, the Toronto Botanical Garden, Edwards Gardens and Wilket Creek Park lead from one into the other.  And it’s all FREE, including the parking.

EDWARDS GARDENS, 775 Lawrence Avenue East, is a former private estate, featuring an extensive rockery, rhododendrons and wildflowers bordering Wilket Creek Valley, with perennials, roses, an arboretum and a Teaching Garden on its uplands.
And Wilket Creek Park is part of our city’s crisscrossing ravine system, with several kilometres of paved bike trails.

From the EGLINTON SUBWAY STATION take Bus #54 Lawrence Avenue East, or Bus #51 Leslie East.  http://www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca

YORKDALE, TORONTO’S MOST SUCCESSFUL SHOPPING DESTINATION, IS REDUCING ITS CARBON FOOTPRINT

At a time when the Progressive Conservative provincial government is doing everything it can to screw up the environment, OXFORD Developments is working on a vast green roof and solar panel installation atop Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

The solar panel installation is the largest in Greater TORONTO, with more than 600 panels, producing 235,000 kWh annually – equal to the annual energy consumption of 40 houses, and providing a quarter of Yorkdale’s inner & outer lighting.  <PHOTO – Louis Thomas Kelly>

The green roof covers 150,000 square-feet and saves energy by reducing atmospheric heating, air pollution and makes use of surface water run-off. The rainwater collection system supports the rooftop ecosystem.

Avéole, an urban beekeeping company, has installed two rooftop hives with 5,000 inhabitants – and plans to eventually house 50,000 honey bees – improving pollination all around the neighbourhood.

Elevated Eats occupies space above a parking garage – an urban garden that produces 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables. The garden’s produce is forwarded to local food banks.  <PHOTO – Louis Thomas Kelly; details from urbantoronto.ca>

ALLAN GARDENS, FOUNDED IN 1858, ONE OF TORONTO’S OLDEST PARKS, WAS A GIFT FROM GEORGE W. ALLAN

One-time Mayor of TORONTO, president of the city’s horticultural society and long-time senator, GEORGE WILLIAM ALLAN donated a five-acre oval parcel of land to the city in 1858. It’s an early example of public philanthropy.

The botanical reserve was meant to be the centerpiece of a subdivision of villa estates – patterned after Regent Park in London & Gramercy Park in New York.

A rickety pavilion was built in the centre of the oval as a concert and horticultural venue.  It was torn down in 1878 and replaced by a grand three-storey enclosed structure.  <PHOTO – Toronto Public Library>

A tall, cascading fountain went up outside. Management of both the park and pavilion was passed on to the taxpayers of TORONTO.

ABOVE – a rare photo of the Horticultural Gardens photographed by OCTAVIUS THOMPSON and published in his “Toronto in the Camera” in 1868. The maple planted by the Prince of Wales, in 1860, is just to the left of the pavilion in front of the fence. <Toronto Reference Library>

Then the pavilion burned down, as a lot of buildings did in those days, replaced by today’s Palm House and conservatory.

For more information on Allan Gardens and its history – https://torontofamilyhistory.org/simcoesgentry/5/allan-gardens

 

46-YEAR-OLD CHARLES & 20-YEAR-OLD NGOZI HAVE DELIVERED A BABY WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLA

The baby is the eleventh of the critically endangered species to begin life at the TORONTO ZOO. As yet, the keepers haven’t been able to get close enough to determine its sex.

“We are very excited with this birth,” said MARIA FRANKE, Curator of Mammals. “Gorillas are under extreme threats in the wild. It’s predicted that the wild population will have an 80% reduction over three generations, and it’s essential that we do everything we can to save this species.”

Over the past 15 years there’ve been many successful births at the TORONTO ZOO – Siberian Tiger cubs, Komodo Dragons, two pandas, several Masai giraffes, a Grevy’s Zebra, a polar bear, gorillas, snow leopards – the list goes on.

To reach the TORONTO Zoo – by car, from downtown, take the 401 Eastbound to Exit 389, Meadowvale Road.  Follow the Zoo signs to 361A Old Finch Avenue.  Large parking lot.

By TTC bus, take the subway (Sheppard Line) to DON MILLS STATION.  Bus #85 leaves from here, and will drop you in front of the Zoo entrance about 45 minutes later.  Along the way, you’ll pass through suburban Don Mills and Scarborough.

THE TORONTO ZOO IS NOW HOME TO (AT LEAST) SIX NEW ARCTIC WOLF PUPS

For the first time in 15 years a litter of six Arctic wolf pups have cautiously emerged from their den to see the world. They’ll only come out for short periods of time “until 8 to 12 weeks after they were born,” said Zoo spokesperson AMANDA CHAMBERS.

They’re protected by their mother, DORA. A second wolf, named AUNT VERA, is allowed to babysit the litter, while the father, IMIQ, patrols the perimeter of the den.

From the Zoo – a YouTube video of a weary Dora and her pups –
https://www.youtube.com/embed/_d_AERv50Uc