ONLY TWO HOURS FROM TORONTO – THERE’S PLENTY FOR NIAGARA FALLS’ WEEKEND GETAWAYS’

Like Ontario’s Capital, Toronto, Niagara Falls doesn’t need to be introduced. It has nearly everything visitors would no doubt enjoy. Once they’re there, almost at once, people find showy attractions, among others, on famous Clifton Hill including haunted houses, speeding go-karts, Tyrannosaurus Rex meaning something like “King of the Tyrant lizards.” It’s commonly called T-Rex for short. Check out Niagara Parks’ Butterfly Conservatory, 2565 Niagara Parkway. 2,000 butterflies from over 40 species at North America’s largest butterfly conservatory, within The Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens. Never squash a fluttery friend. Next, head for “The Bird Kingdom”, 5651 River Road.The Kingdom itself tells a story. In the 1950’s it was the Niagara Falls Museum, featuring the collection of Curator Thomas Barnett from 1827 – including Egyptian mummies; added in 2003 a free-flying indoor AVIARY.  The Niagara Parks Power Station is a new attraction. Catch the “Currents” night show, and there are several Niagara classics – The Niagara Wheel and Niagara Falls Illumination (4960 Clifton Hill.). There’s an  aerial view of the roaring waterfalls on both sides of the United States and Canadian borders. A helicopter is available too. There’s Brunch at Skyline Tower’s revolving restaurant, or a Zip Line if you dare. The best – are multi-coloured lights. 42 gondolas can carry a group up to six, 175-feet above a bird’s-view of The Falls, and other surrounding cities. And this would be the sun setting over CLIFTON HILL (at last) beneath you.
So you can can see Niagara Falls itself is not just about water. There are lots of other things. The weekend getaways are only two hours from colourful TORONTO and the amazing good times that offers.

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES, SUNDAY, JULY 3, 2022 & “GAYBORHOODS” ARE APPEARING

“Gayborhoods” are falling victim to Rents and Social Change. Cultural leader Cleve Jones, graduate from Phoenix and hitchhiked to California. He created the nationally recognized AIDS Memorial Quilt. He swept The Castro in 1978 after the assasination of Harvey Milk, was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors; helped define The Castro community – and much more. The monthly cost of his one-bedroom apartment soared from $2,400 to $5,200 – priced out of a gentrifying housing market. And that’s where “Gayborhoods” came in. LGBTQ couples are starting traditional features – public schools, parks and larger homes – while deciding where they want to live. Looking to escape discrimination and harassment, reflecting acceptance of gay and lesbian people. Gay bars leading to relationships or sexual encounters. There are few places where a transformation is more on display than in The Castro over the past 25 years. Mr. Jones said “I just can’t help but think that soon there will be a time when people walking up and down the street will have no clue what this is all about.”

 

THE LOEW’S SIGN REMINDS ME OF WORKING A FEW NIGHTS WEEKLY AFTER CLASS & FOR THE MOVIES.

As a  school usher I remember being certain that visitors managed to find a convenient place to sit down and behave themselves. One of the youngsters got very sick and I brought in the cleanup brigade. I remember several movies that played in Loew’s – “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte”, “Days of Wine and Roses”, “Teacher’s Pet” starring Doris Day and “Gypsy”, a famous musical. I haven’t forgotten any of them. They’ve all become classics, and they were all at LOEW’S once upon a time.

FOREGROUND – A CONDOMINIUM GOING UP . . . . BACKGROUND – YORKVILLE’S PUBLIC LIBRARY.

The Yorkville Public Library Branch, a classical building with pediment on the right in the Background, opened in 1907 as a philanthropic venture of Andrew Carnegie and is one of the hundreds of Carnegie libraries built across North America in the early part of the century. The Yorkville branch is the oldest library in Toronto and an official Heritage Site. <PHOTO BY ROSS WINTER>

SOME GREAT NEWS FOR AIRCRAFT TRAVELLERS IN THE FUTURE – FOR TORONTO’S IN’TL PEARSON AIRPORT

From The Globe and Mail – There’ll be a temporary suspension of COVID-19 bottlenecks for travellers as the federal government announced it will stop mandating random testing of fully vaccinated travellers.The suspension will be in place until July 1, when the random testing will resume outside of airports.

The changes are the latest attempt by the government to ease the bottlenecks at airports, especially Toronto’s Pearson, that leads to hours-long waits, missed connections and cancelled flights. Ottawa has hired more security screening officers and is installing more customs kiosks.

 

Toronto, Canada – August 24, 2018: A plane is landing at Pearson International.

EAST CHINATOWN IS A NEIGHBOURHOOD LOCATED IN OR NEAR TORONTO’S RIVERDALE

EAST CHINATOWN is one of several Chinatowns in and around the city. It was formed during the early 1970’s and is centered on Gerrard Street East between Broadview Avenue and Carlaw Avenue. East Chinatown is smaller than the one running along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. But it’s always a hub of activity and a great source for cheaper dim sum, pho, fresh vegetables and an assortment of Chinese baked treats.

THE 2021 ROYAL AGRICULTURAL WINTER FAIR WON’T TAKE PLACE IN PERSON THIS YEAR. IT WILL IN 2022.

The 2021 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will not take place in person this year. Instead the organization is looking forward to welcoming guests to its 100th anniversary celebration in 2022. The Royal’s Board of Directors made the decision to cancel the 2021 in favour of returning to an education focused online experience this year — in NOVEMBER 2022, The Royal will mark its 100th Anniversary then. Plans are to make it bigger and stronger than ever, and looking forward to celebrating with one-and-all. “As uncertainty surrounds COVID-19 it became clear we weren’t going to be able to host The Royal in its traditional way,” stated Charlie Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer at The Royal. But don’t forget NOVEMBER 2022!

AFTER SOLID TRAINING A YOUNG LAD MIGHT WELL BECOME AN AIRLINE PILOT. I KNOW ONE WHO DID.

How lucky I’ve been to have such a long-time, best friend, JAN ANDREA. We’ve known each other for decades and still regularly communicate. Jan told me “I was seven at the time the above photo was taken – we were living in Curaçao.”  We became good friends, and much later he set off working as a KLM Airline Pilot based in Amsterdam, flying internationally. Jan had never flown to Toronto, but when he came over here for the first time I gave him a detailed tour and after that we began more-than-once connecting to Amsterdam, and he took a liking to Toronto and then Montreal, back and forth. I got to know the Dutch quite well and Jan’s partner, HenkVos, who found his English improving all along the way.  Jan was already quite fluent in EnglishRoss and I took both of them on a tour around Nova Scotia and Halifax, over to Prince Edward Island, and then later we managed to explore the Netherlands. Just for fun a highlight for me was Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Holland.  Fire works were everywhere. I asked Jan if I could use his photograph. He said “Of course you can. All going well over there?”, And I said “Thanks again for the photo! We’ll talk one way or another real soon.”