THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CANADIAN TELEVISION REALLY WAS WONDERFUL IN THE 1950’S

Anyone who was watching television in the 1950’s would be familiar with the Indian Head Test Pattern. A service to technicians and tv repairmen, the pattern was visible with music until sign-on time around 4:00 pm. That’s when programming began, with sign off at midnight.In the 1950’s television was taking over.  The only Canadian networks were the CBC and French-language Radio-Canada. A few local stations had connections to the national nets, but many did not. These small-market stations with many hours to fill, built their own star systems, and waited patiently for a microwave hookup. ABOVE – 1) Marconi television sets, 1950’s, made in Montreal; 2) CHEK-tv, Victoria, British Columbia – an advanced control room for 1957; 3) A Dumont studio camera, 1950’s; 4) The Dipsy Doodlers, CJON-tv, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 1957; 5) The Bunkhouse Boys, CKCW-tv, Moncton, New Brunswick, 1950’s. CBC’s nationally televised ‘Front Page Challenge’, on air from 1957-1995 ran long enough to set a North American record. <ABOVE – Pierre Berton, Fred Davis, Betty Kennedy & Gordon Sinclair on the ‘Front Page’ set.>Watching televsion soon replaced movie nights out, and in a few households TV Dinners were replacing home-cooked meals. Small market stations developed their own ‘star’ system. Familiar faces appeared in person at local food markets and at church on Sundays. <ABOVE – Nople Bircumshaw and the lion cub, CHCT-tv, Calgary, Alberta, 1957>ABOVE – 6)“At Home with Mary Ashwell”, CFPL-tv, London, Ontario, 1955; 7)Swimwear fashion show on CKCW-tv, Moncton, New Brunswick, 1957; 8) Channel ID’s featured station mascots.And then Videotape was born – a revolutionary new process for recording and reproducing the sound and picture of television programs on magnetic tape. Stations began buying the costly machines, and some programming was pre-recorded. – Ampex Corporation, 1957.

Advertisements

BOARDED UP FOR OVER 100 YRS., MASSEY HALL’S STAINED GLASS WINDOWS WILL SOON FACE THE SUN

There are 93 of them altogether. They were so dirty and encrusted in grime, that no one even knew they existed. But now, thanks to a team of five glaziers from TORONTO’s EGD Glass and Vitreous Glass, this vast array of stained glass is getting a second chance.

<PHOTO ABOVE – boarded up Massey Hall windows before renovations began>

Restoration expert EVE GUINAN, in an interview with David Friend of The Canadian Press, said “pigeons had gotten between the glass and the plywood, and it was full of straw and all sorts of material for nesting. There were bird skeletons, old beer bottles. It was quite a treasure trove.”<PHOTO – Chris Young, The Canadian Press>

Subject matter – portraits of legendary composers & musicians decades ago.

<PHOTO – Chris Young, The Canadian Press; holding Johann Sebastian Bach’s head>

Ms. Guinan’s team dismantles each window, washes them and reassembles them. The painting cannot be modified. Touch-ups are made on another layer of glass on top of the original. For protection against the elements all of them will be placed behind a layer of clear glass.

<PHOTO – Chris Young – the original stained glass portraits of Franz Shubert and Charles Gounod on a light table.>

Another layer of soundproof glass will keep out street noises. On top of all that, blackout blinds will close off the windows during concerts.

The revitalization project of MASSEY HALL will be finished in 2020. The budget – $139-million, contributed by the federal and provincial governments, the city, developers and private donors.

“We don’t have to knock it down and build something new,” says Eve Guinan, with relief.

<Interior of MASSEY HALL, the “Old Lady of Shuter Street”, before renovations began>

DREAM WEAVER PREMIER DOUG FORD, ANNOUNCES A $28.5-BILLION TRANSIT ‘PHANTASMAGORIA’

<$28.5-billion total cost; $11.2-billion covered by Queen’s Park; $17-billion by the city & the federal government; 15-kilometres, length of new Ontario line to be completed in 2027; $5.5-billion cost of 3-stop Scarborough extension to be built by 2030> – Toronto Star, April 11/2019>

DEAD ON ARRIVAL?  Is it possible? Will it ever be built . . . and paid for? Many Torontonians are skeptical, but Premier Ford says he’s going full speed ahead on transit in the Greater TORONTO Area (GTA).

“It’s going to be the largest infrastructure transit project in North America. It’s going to be $28.5 billion that we’re looking to invest to get people moving from Point A to Point B.

“That’s just the transit side. We have some fabulous ideas for the Queen Elizabeth Way and the Gardiner Expressway, as well as the 401 because not every single person hops on the subways. But we’re going to have an incredible transit system and a transportation system to get people moving and get people from Point A to Point B, but get goods from Point A to Point B,” the premier said in BURLINGTON earlier this week.

Getting from Point A to Point B will mean a massive withdrawal from the provincial treasury, which is already weighed down by a $13-billion overdraft. Is there a flying pig somewhere in the neighborhood?

Federal Finance Minister BILL MORNEAU says he wasn’t consulted, and TORONTO’s mayor JOHN TORY was kept in the dark until the last moment. It was DOUG FORD’s show.  <IMAGE ABOVE – Spacing Magazine>

IS THE PROVINCE CAPABLE OF BUILDING TRANSIT IN TORONTO? – “NO!” SAYS EX-MAYOR DAVID MILLER

DAVID MILLER, mayor of TORONTO from 2003 to 2010 wonders if ONTARIO has the knowledge and skills needed to build a $28.5-billion transit system. His conclusion – not very likely.

In point form, Mr. Miller’s reasoning . . .
#1 – Premier Doug Ford believes in cars.
#2 – Conservatives have a legacy of transit destruction in TORONTO.
#3 – We’re mired in talk about building subways that never arrive.
#4 – Subways need density; LRT’s medium density.
#5 – Provincial track record on transit is simply awful.
#6 – Outsiders shouldn’t be deciding TORONTO’s transit future.
#7 – Rapid transit knowledge rests with the TTC – not Queen’s Park.
#8 – Public-private partnerships seldom work.
#9 – The Scarborough subway extension has become a political football.

#10 – “The TTC is owned by the people of TORONTO and needs to be planned and run in their interest by the people they elect, not by the province, and certainly not by this premier.”

<Present Mayor JOHN TORY (L) and DAVID MILLER; Toronto Sun photo>

DAVID MILLER is a lawyer, environmentalist, former mayor of TORONTO, and former CEO of the World Wildlife Fund-Canada. He is currently Director, International Diplomacy for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD’ WAS ON MY SHELF GATHERING DUST FOR YEARS – I DECIDED TO GIVE IT ANOTHER GO

DON SHEBIB’s 1970 Canadian 16 mm masterworkGoin’ Down The Road’ holds its own even today. Starring Doug McGrath, Paul Bradley, Jayne Eastwood and Gayle Chernin, with songs by Bruce Coburn, the story is about two young Cape Breton Islanders who leave Nova Scotia and take off for the big city – that’s TORONTO – where the jobs are.

Everything goes well for a while, but then disaster strikes – the guys are laid off work in a bottling plant, food is scarce, they’re living in a dump, they’re homesick, Betty (played by Jane Eastwood who went on to a brilliant movie and television career) gets pregnant; and suddenly TORONTO doesn’t seem so friendly anymore.

I especially liked the shots of the city in 1969-70. Downtown looked especially morose, with some forlorn streetscapes dotted here and there, Many of the film’s sequences were improvised on the spot depicting the locals; there’s some nudity; and a surprising amount of swearing. In the early seventies that was revolutionary.

Even Quebec filmmakers were influenced by the realistic look. It shows in several French-Canadian films that appeared in the 1970’s. The MONTREAL Gazette called it “a superb movie, the finest Canadian effort ever, and excellent by any standards.”

A digital restoration of the film was released in 2017.Goin’ Down The Road’ has been designated and preserved as a ‘masterwork’ by the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada; and the TORONTO International Film Festival ranked it in the Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time.

THERE’S A FULL-FLEDGED REAL ESTATE DECLINE IN VANCOUVER, BUT TORONTO IS HOLDING STEADY

The Financial Post reports TORONTO’s housing market is “steady”, while VANCOUVER’s has suddenly become “dismal”. In TORONTO almost the same number of units were sold in March 2019 as in March 2018. The housing market here isn’t declining, but the gains are modest. New and active listings are down.The number of housing sales in Greater VANCOUVER dropped 31% from March 2018 to 2019. There hasn’t been such a plunge since 1986. Compared to March 2018, the number of houses listed for sale in the west coast city was 52% higher in March 2019.

ASHLEY SMITH, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver believes government regulatory changes are responsible for the decline of a formerly red hot market.

For more information on what’s happening in CANADA’s housing markets. consult the HAIDER-MORANIS BULLETIN – https://hmbulletin.com/