LOTS OF CHANGES ARE HAPPENING IN CANADA’S REAL ESTATE MKT. – DESPITE COVID-19, FEB. 22/2021

The Globe and Mail has delivered three solid pages of what’s happening in Canada’s real estate market. The market has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rachelle Younglai did the reporting. Some highlights below . . . .
ATLANTIC CANADA is a big winner. People are flocking to the East Coast. Average selling price of a home in Nova Scotia $331,429; Halifax $400,000; New Brunswick about $200,000, including Saint John and Fredericton; Newfoundland and Labrador – bigger properties with ocean views; Prince Edward Island above $300,000.TORONTO – average selling price – nearly $930,000.HAMILTON, Ontario – house prices topping $700,000 – not so affordable any more. 63 months to save a down payment on a Hamilton house.DOWNTOWN MONTREAL – apartment vacancy 10.2%; metropolitan area 2.7%CITY OF TORONTO – 7.3%; metropolitan area 3.4%VANCOUVER – 6.3%; versus 2.6%IMMIGRATION – plunged 46% to 184,370; lowest level of permanent new residents in more than two decades.

WYCHWOOD PARK, CA1870, A FORMER ARTISTS ENCLAVE, IS HIDDEN IN THE HEART OF THE CITY

WYCHWOOD PARK was founded as a private artists colony by painter Marmaduke Matthews<Marmaduke Matthews’  ‘Autumn Still Life/1888′ above> and businessman Alexander Jardin.  It exists intact to this day.Mr. Matthews’ home, Wychwood, #6 <above>, still stands, beside another 60 houses built around a small pond, which is actually a dammed up Taddle Creek –  http://www.lostrivers.caWYCHWOOD PARK is our only neighbourhood with a warning sign for quicksand and one of the few still lit by TORONTO’S old streetlamps.  Some of the houses have spectacular downtown views.  The village combines rusticity and exclusivity; house prices here run into the millions.  Adjacent are the Wychwood Car Barns and artist studios.  Great place for a long walk.

A SMART IDEA FROM GALLERY 1313 IN PARKDALE, CURATED BY PHIL ANDERSON

If you missed it in June/2020 when COVID-19 was just getting under way, here it is again.  Phil Anderson sent out a call for pandemic portraits, and artists sent in their work from across the world. These portraits are unlike any others. There were so many submissions they became overwhelming, and many of them show a wonderful sense of humor. We need that now more than ever in 2021.
<“I AM BORED”, by Steve Stober, Toronto photographer><‘ISOLATION IN SILENCE’ by Jacques Desruisseaux, Lennoxville, Quebec><‘NURSE’, by artist and nurse Christina Damianos><‘GAY COUPLE’, by John Hryniuk – “Showing how the pandemic has no prejudice and affects us all – cultures, races, genders, sexual identities, classes, etc.”><‘FREEKY’, mixed media, by Polar Canpolat, Turkey><‘SELF PORTRAIT IN ISOLATION’, by Sarah Leonard>GALLERY 13/13 can be found at 1313 Queen Street West, Toronto; Gallery 1313’s website – http://www.g1313.org

CLEANING YOUR HOUSE WHILE OTHER PEOPLE ARE WATCHING? – IT DOES HAPPEN

Millions of subscribers tune in to YouTube to watch ‘Clean With Me’, ‘Jessica Tull’, ‘Extreme Cleaning’, ‘The Secret Slob’, ‘Jamie’s Journey’, ‘This Crazy Life’ etc. – and they all have about the same goal – tidying-up and keeping the house clean.Not much fun when you’re doing this all alone, but with help from YouTube, life suddenly becomes easier.Cleaning a house – mine has four storeys can be totally tedious, especially vacuuming the stairs with a large piece of machinery. This goes on for over an hour, and then come the bathrooms to be cleaned, the kitchen and the downstairs hallway which, in the winter, needs serious scrubbing. Fortunately two of us take turns.Meanwhile, YouTube is offering up many possibilities. My computer is on the fourth floor and, for the most part I’m on 1,2 and 3.levels.  Not easily reachable. Ms. Paige, whose YouTube channel is ‘This Crazy Life’ with close to 300,000 subscribers, said “It’s nice to know that you’re not alone. YouTube opened me up to a community of people. It helped me feel less lonely.” And if nothing else, you can always watch her tackle the kitchen.

‘SIMPLI’ ASSEMBLED FIFTY PHOTOS OF ICONIC LOS ANGELES – EACH WITH A STORY TO TELL

Below – five of the photos from Simpli. . . . . . LOS ANGELES will always be one of my favourite cities, and I’ll never forget the good times I’ve had there. At the moment both TORONTO and L.A. are in lockdown. Best wishes to both and those who live in them. <Above – City Hall, Downtown Los Angeles.  It’s an icon alright.>HOLLYWOOD CINEMA, 1951. “open all night” Hollywood was annexed by Los Angeles In1950. Population then was 1,970,358 and today it’s 12,447,000 (or more).FREEWAY INTERCHANGES – A complex of intersecting freeways is not that unusual in Los Angeles.LAKEWOOD BUILDING PROJECT – One of those aerial geometric designs Los Angeles is famous for. They look better from the air, and at night they’re spectacular.STREETCAR GRAVE YARD, 1960 – That’s about when the street railways were shut down and replaced by more freeways, buses and cars.MISS CONTROL TOWER, 1951 – Being Miss Control Tower must have been something you’d never forget. This is a picture showing a car wash employee posing with a beauty contest participant.  The Control Tower was built in the late 1960’s and is located at the Brackett Field Airport, which had only one runway.’A STAR IS BORN’ starring Judy Garland, 1954. – Jack Warner sent invitations to every movie star in town, weeks before the premiere. Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Doris Day, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall were among some of the biggest named stars at the premiere. This was the first televised film debut and it aired on NBC.

A STRIKING MURAL BY GERMANY’S JUSTUS BECKER HAS TAKEN ITS PLACE ON CHARLES ST. EAST

JUSTUS BECKER, Germany’s famous street artist, has brightened up a newly renovated Green P parking garage, just off Yonge Street. It’s hard to miss. The painting will be the first between Frankfurt and Toronto muralsts.This Mural Exchange Project celebrates the 30-year relationship between the two cities, whose landscapes appear in the reflected glasses (Frankfurt on the left; Toronto on the right).  A TORONTO street artist will collaborate by painting a mural in Frankfurt with a similar theme.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, 33, & PRINCE PHILIP UNDERTOOK A 1959 CROSS-COUNTRY TOUR OF CANADA

H.M.Y. (Her Majesty’s Yacht) ‘Britannia’ docked on June 29,1959, delivering the Queen and Prince Philip to TORONTO. They were in the process of visiting the Maritimes and Quebec after their landing in Gander, Newfoundland on June 18th. This was to be an extensive Royal Tour.The Queen and her Prince carried on regardless around the Great Lakes, parts of the United States, including the Detroit River, the Prairies and the West Coast. Inside the Harbour, the royal couple were welcomed with a 21-gun salute, a ceremoniously decorated Lake and several ocean liners, and the thundering cheers of Canadian sailors.During their two days in Ontario’s capital city, they stopped at City Hall for a ceremony, had dinner at the Royal York Hotel, visited the O’Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts, and took in the 100th running of the Queen’s Plate. Along the way, they waved and met many Canucks from coast-to-coast, and a good number of Americans too. Eventually they were off from Malton Airport (now Pearson International) for Ottawa, and then to Halifax, Nova Scotia. After that, the famous couple left the country on August 1, 1959, bound for London. They’ve visited us many times since.<Queen Elizabeth iI and Prince Philip as they were on June 10, 2016>

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR TORONTO TRANSIT FROM THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO

The TTC has been soldiering on despite the nastiness of COVID-19 in Canada’s largest city. You can still get from here to there via buses, streetcars and the subway. Premier Doug Ford has announced that the province will be giving up to $1.6-billion to municipalities to help public transit get through financial shortcomings. $400-million, a first phase of funding of that payout, will go to the Toronto Transit Commission. <Photo – Urban Toronto>It’s estimated that the TTC will still be short $700-million by the end of the year. Associate Minister of Transport for the Greater Toronto Area said “This additional funding will keep municipal transit systems running and will help keep trains, buses, and stations safe so people can feel confident in choosing public transit as they go back to work.”