“TORONTO IS NOW THE GREAT CANADIAN FOOD CITY” – MONTREAL CHEF DAVID MCMILLAN

Those words are nearly sacrilegious in this country. Until lately MONTREAL has been the go-to citiy for foodies, but “I feel we have lost the title in Montreal” writes David McMillan of Joe Beef in a Foodism Magazine guest column.

“MONTREAL was the pioneer and set the template for Canada. TORONTO has picked up the ball and run with it, because it’s a bigger place,” says John Bil, the seafood specialist behind Honest Weight in the JUNCTION. “I spend 90% of my time eating Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese and Korean food. It’s not just new age (downtown) chef-type restaurants. We can branch out to Scarborough, Mississauga and Brampton, where there are pretty amazing places to eat.”

Worth reading – a column in Montreal’s La Presse about TORONTO’s emergence as the foodie capital by Marie-Claude Lortie. http://startouch.thestar.com/screens/dbcc054b-3240-4265-9803-77c477ef6c3f%7C_0.html

‘TORONTO THE GOOD’ WAS VERY, VERY GOOD, BUT HERE’S ANOTHER SIDE TO THAT FAIRY TALE

TORONTO was once known as a city of multiple churches and relentless conservatism. But like all cities it was oftentimes naughty, and you can experience some of that in the Police Museum and Discovery Centre, the Old Don Jail and, until April 30 ‘Vice and Virtue‘, a stellar exhibit at the Toronto Reference Library. All are free.

You’ll find the Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Centre on the ground floor of Police Headquarters, 40 College Street, open Monday to Friday from 8:30am – 4pm.  Elmer the Safety Elephant, the Boyd Gang, an old fashioned police station, traffic signals, handcuffs, finger printing, a motorcycle and police car, photographs, models – they’re all here.  Kids love it, and the exhibits are adult-friendly as well.

Self-guiding yourself through the Old Don Jail is something completely different. THE DON is a heritage building with a very shady past, our city’s Alcatraz, site of 70 executions and numerous escape attempts, home-from-home in the 1950’s for the notorious Boyd Gang, minuscule cells, segregation cells, punishment cells, the Polka Dot Gang’s temporary residence – and now it’s been given one of Canada’s finest restorations and is open to the public for self-guided walk about tours.

It’s a kinder, gentler place now, and you’re welcome to visit from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays, from 9am to 5pm. Groups of 15 or more must arrange their visit in advance. Call 416-461-8252 and ask for the Communications Department.

Streetcar #506 travels along Gerrard Street East to the Don. It’s near the corner of Broadview & Gerrard.

‘Vice & Virtue, Booze, Broads and Sunday Laws’ is on until Sunday, April 30 at the Toronto Reference Library, 769 Yonge Street. It’s open every day and it’s free.

From the Baldwin Collection of Canadiana the exhibit looks at moral reform in a city facing rapid growth and industrialization at the turn-of-the-century. ‘Vice & Virtue’ explores changing attitudes and the regulation of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, homosexuality, delinquency and prostitution in the late 19th and early 20th century. It’s a winner!

THIS SUMMER CINEPLEX WILL OPEN ITS 2ND ‘REC ROOM’ AIMED AT 18-34-YEAR-OLDS IN TORONTO

The first one is in Edmonton. The second will appear this summer in a former railroad roundhouse within TORONTO’s Railway Museum park, 255 Bremner Boulevard.

Formerly occupied by a furniture store <PHOTO ABOVE> the 40,000 square foot, multi-use venue will have a family entertainment arcade, areas for e-sports, virtual reality and video game tournaments, and live music. Some of the concerts will be free.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Sarah Greene/Now>

Within the Rec Room, each area will have a theme: grab-and-go restaurants, dining, arcade games, a store for gamers, a huge patio and a massive screen along with 80 smaller screens scattered around the site. 24 draft beers on tap, 10 of them local craft beers, and wine will also be available.

<The John Street Roundhouse from above, image by Michael Muraz via Flickr>

TORONTO TREASURES – 2 CHOIRS, 1 OPERA COMPANY, 1 BAROQUE ORCHESTRA & A DRUMMING ENSEMBLE

St. Michael’s Choir School, 69 Bond Street, was  founded in 1937.  Among the appearances of the St. Michael’s Boys Choir: Vatican City’s Basilica of Saint Peter, where they sang for the Pope.

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has sung great classical masterworks with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1937.  Websites: http://www.tmchoir.org & http://www.tso.ca

Opera Atelier was founded in 1985 by co-artistic director MARSHALL PYNKOSKI and his dancer/choreographer wife, JEANETTE LAJEUNESSE ZINGG.

The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra was founded in 1979.  Both the Orchestra and Opera Atelier have performed several times over the last few years at the Royal Opera House in Versailles. Their home-base is TORONTO.

Founded in 1998 Nagata Shachu Taiko and Music Group, based in TORONTO, has toured in many parts of Canada, the United States and Italy.  The ensemble has produced three annual concerts focusing on the presentation of new works.

LISTEN TO CANADA ON CBC: MUSIC, TALK, PODCASTS, VIDEOS, & RADIO STATIONS 24/7 – IT’S FREE!

cbc8CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), known locally as the ‘Mother Corp.’, boasts one of North America’s largest music libraries. Classical, jazz, aboriginal, soul, rock, pop, country, electronic – it’s all there for the listening at http://www.music.cbc.ca/# – free of charge.  <ABOVE – CBC’s Broadcasting Centre in TORONTO>

cbc6The CBC is Canada’s public broadcaster, with radio and television transmitters coast-to-coast-to-coast covering 6 time zones. CBC broadcasts daily in English, French and several aboriginal languages, largely commercial-free on Radio 1 (talk), Radio 2 (music) and Radio 3 (music) along with 50-plus web stations and a wide assortment of podcasts.

cbc4For relatively unbiased news reporting, radio documentaries, videos, sports and investigative journalism go to this address – http://www.cbc.ca

cbc7<PHOTO – television studios on the roof of CBC’s Broadcasting Centre>

cbc2cbc3A few CBC talk programs – ‘As It Happens’, ‘Day Six’, ‘ Sunday Edition’, ‘The House’, ‘The Current’, ‘Q’, ‘The 180’, ‘The Candy Palmater Show’ and ‘The World At Six’. For an archive of interviews and other programming look under podcasts.

cbc5The CBC websites are vast. Prepare to spend some quality time browsing through them.

WHAT TORONTO CAN LEARN FROM “LA LA LAND” BY AVNEET SHARMA IN THE VARSITY NEWSPAPER

varsity1<IMAGE ABOVE – Elham Numan/The Varsity>

AVNEET SHARMA, second-year student at Trinity College, thinks it’s about time we stopped doubling for other cities – especially American ones. Our chameleon city is seldom identified as TORONTO on the silver screen.

“Significant examples of this include the superhero movies Suicide Squad, X-Men, and Kick-Ass, which were filmed in TORONTO but are set in New York.” ‘Orphan Black’ is shot entirely in TORONTO and yet remains ambiguous as to where it’s set. There are many more examples, including ‘Chicago’, the musical, shot in (where else?) TORONTO.

varsity3‘La La Land‘ romanticizes LOS ANGELES, a city not that different from TORONTO in many respects, and opens with a massive production number on a freeway on-ramp. The film also promotes L.A.‘s Central Market, the nearly always defunct Angels Flight <PHOTO ABOVE>, Griffiths Observatory (which has never looked better), and Watt’s Towers.

varsity2Concludes Mr. Sharma – “TORONTO should more openly embrace and romanticize the flaws and characteristics that make up its identity, not just as ‘the city of Drake’, but rather as the multidimensional city that it is.”

To read the entire column go to http://thevarsity.ca/2017/01/22/what-the-6ix-can-learn-from-la-la-land/

THE PARTY’S OVER & NOW IT’S “LOOK OUT BELOW!” WE GOT THE MESSAGE, DONALD!

Front pages of some of CANADA’s major newspapers the morning after – Saturday, January 21/2017

The Record, Waterloo Region, Ontario . . . Journal de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec . . . National Post, published in Toronto . . . Toronto Star . . . Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba . . . Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, Ontario . . . Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario

trumped1trumped2trumped3trumped4trumped5trumped6trumped7

nytmagazine1And this is the New York Times Magazine cover on Sunday, January 22.  The story inside is about bald eagles – not President Trump.  Whew!