TORONTO HAS PUBLISHED TWO MORE CULTURAL LOOPS GUIDES – THE LATEST: ETOBICOKE & YORK

These are fine guide books with detailed descriptions, maps and photography – and they’re all free. ‘Explore York’ details several tours on foot or on a bike you could take in this part of the inner city. Everything from public art, historic buildings, places to eat and local wildlife are contained in the slick little books. Scarborough and North York are in the series as well. For more information – http://www.toronto.ca/culturalhotspot<Reggae Lane (2015), 1529 Eglinton Avenue celebrates the musical legacy of Little Jamaica. This 1200-square-foot mural was designed by local youth, under the mentorship of artist Adrian Hales.><Squibb’s Stationers (1927), 1974 Weston Road, is TORONTO’s oldest bookstore and third oldest stationers.><Weston Public Library, 2 King Street, built in 1913, is one of 10 TORONTO libraries funded by the Carnegie Foundation, based in New York. It features ornate decoration inside and outside.><Weston Plank Road Company, 2371 Weston Road, built in 1841. Plank roads were constructed from wooden planks or split logs to make roads smoother.><The former Odd Fellows Hall, 24 Church Street, was once a Methodist Episcopal church, and the Odd Fellows turned it into a lodge. Today, the building is a private residence.>

GONE FOREVER – FAREWELL TO THE MATADOR – A CONDO HIGH RISE WILL SOON TAKE ITS PLACE

They once had plans to turn Toronto’s old honky tonk into a parking lot, but now it will be replaced by condominiums. Owners of the storied Matador Club, 466 Dovercourt Road, made every attempt to make it rise again, but that won’t happen. “Blame for its death lies squarely with city hall,” writes Marcus Gee in the Globe and Mail.  Millions of dollars have been spent fixing it up, but soon a demolition crew will knock it down.<PHOTO – R. Jeanette Martin/NOW magazine>  This after-hours club, known locally as a “booze can”, was a go-to late night destination for musicians of all stripes including Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Joni Mitchell, Stompin’ Tom Connors and Leonard Cohen.  Catherine O’Hara and Indiana Jones (aka Harrison Ford) paid a visit, as well as garden variety locals who wanted to stay up late, have a few drinks, do some dancin’ and party. There was live music every Friday and Saturday night from 1:30 until 5:30 am.k.d. lang’s official video for “Turn Me Around” (1987) features the Matador sign and street frontage as well as long shots of the stage and its dusty cowboy boots.  That’s k.d. in the photo above.Founded in 1964 by ANN DUNN, the after-hours dance venue was shut down in 2007 and it’s never re-opened.Leonard Cohen’s 1992 music video “Closing Time” was – in a way – a love song to The Club Matador.
Ah we’re drinking and we’re dancing
and the band is really happening
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high
And my very sweet companion
she’s the Angel of Compassion
she’s rubbing half the world against her thigh
And every drinker every dancer
lifts a happy face to thank her
the fiddler fiddles something so sublime
all the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it’s partner found, it’s partner lost
and it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops:
it’s CLOSING TIMEYeah the women tear their blouses off
and the men they dance on the polka-dots
and it’s partner found, it’s partner lost
and it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops:
it’s CLOSING TIMEAh we’re lonely, we’re romantic
and the cider’s laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit’s crying, “Where’s the beef?”
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief
So we struggle and we stagger
down the snakes and up the ladder
to the tower where the blessed hours chime
and I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can’t say much has happened since
but CLOSING TIME<PARTIAL LYRICS “CLOSING TIME” – Writer(s): Leonard Cohen
Copyright: Sony/ATV Songs LLC, Stranger Music Inc.>

A UNIQUE EXHIBIT AT TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY’S TD GALLERY – ‘YOU, ME, US’ – UNTIL JANUARY 26/2020

IBBY (the International Board on Books) is one of many free collections within the TORONTO Public Library system. IBBY features over 4,000 multilingual reference books for young people with disabilities.There are regular books in print and other formats such as Braille, sign language, picture communication symbols, tactile and simplified text, along with fiction about inclusion and ability awareness.IBBY is headquartered at the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street. For more information – http://www.tpl.ca/ibbyNow showing at the TD Gallery, within the TORONTO Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, downtown ‘You, Me, Us’, features several excerpts from the IBBY Collection.

FOR OVER 100 YRS., SIMPSONS & HUDSON’S BAY CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS WITH ANIMATED WINDOWS

There’s something totally different this year on Queen Street West as Hudson’s Bay windows show us the inner workings of Santa’s up-to-date toy factory. The display.has been totally modernized, and the kids are giving their approval. One of the windows is even interactive. Push a button and a robot responds. These windows have always been great fun for grown-ups too.

5200 SQUARE FEET OF PUBLIC ART HAS BEEN ADDED TO YONGE AND ST. CLAIR’S URBAN LANDSCAPE

You can’t miss it. TORONTO street artist birdO has brought more colour and life to Yonge and St. Clair with a 10-storey mural in his signature surrealist style. This mural is one in a series of commissions from the StreetARToronto Monumental Program and is the latest step in revitalizing the neighbourhood, spearheaded by Slate Asset Management<PHOTO by Riley Snelling>

<PHOTO ABOVE – by Riley Snelling; BELOW – by Yonge & St. Clair>  Although his art has been commissioned around the world, birdO loves working in TORONTO because it allows him to live with his pieces longer. “As an artist, I’m not here to inundate you with visual clutter – my intention is to brighten street corners and make you scratch your head. I moved to TORONTO when I was 18 years old and the first place I landed was at Yonge and St. Clair. It’s a special moment in my career to return to the area and paint the largest mural I’ve ever done,” says birdO.