ABOVE A DRUG MART @ YONGE/DUNDAS SQ. – A MICRO MUSEUM CELEBRATES 50/60’s YONGE ST.

<PHOTO ABOVE – the Yonge Street strip in the 1960’s>

First came the world’s original Hard Rock Cafe. That was replaced in 2018 by a Shopper’s Drug Mart franchise. Recognizing the musical history of this downtown neighbourhood, Shoppers did the right thing. The building’s second floor became a micro museum honouring the musicians and their nightclubs that once inhabited these blocks.

<Friar’s Tavern, c 1960s-70s; the BIA (Business Improvement Area) produced the project, and Shopper’s franchise owner ANDREW YEH underwrote it. Admission is free.>

Among those who frequented Yonge Street’s clubland in the 50s, 60s and ‘70s – Bob Dylan, Robbie Lane (now a nighttime dj on Zoomer Radio), Grant Smith, Cathy Young, Ronnie Hawkins, Ritchie Knight & The Mid-Knights, David Clayton-Thomas & The Shays, George Olliver, Jay Jackson, Jeff Cutler of Jon & Lee & The Checkmates, and Jay Douglas and Everton “Pablo” Paul of the Cougars, Oscar Peterson, Jackie Shane, as well as radio legends Duff Roman and Doug Thompson.

<PHOTO ABOVE – the micro museum occupies 140 square-feet.  Exhibits will change this spring>

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<PHOTO BELOW – the drum wall at the Museum.  Other “micro museums” planned for the strip include Yonge Space, a pop-up gallery at Yonge and Gerrard streets, a tribute to Sunrise Records and a display celebrating the Colonial Tavern.>

<PHOTO BELOW – the city-building founders . . .>

Pictured L-R: Jay Douglas (formerly of the Cougars), singer-songwriter Cathy Young, Everton “Pablo” Paul (Cougars), Bernie Letofsky (Cheapies Records), Bobby Sniderman (Sam the Record Man), Shoppers franchise owner Andrew Yeh, Grant Smith (of Grant Smith & the Power), Downtown Yonge BIA head Mark Garner, Robbie Lane (of Robbie Lane & the Disciples) and Jeff Cutler (of Jon and Lee & the Checkmates).

On FACEBOOK there are lots of photos – https://www.facebook.com/FriarsMusicMuseum/

<ABOVE – clubland on a weekend night, 1960’s – Ryerson Polytechnical students loved TORONTO’s ‘great white way’And there were cheap movies too.  TRIPLE BILL ANYONE?>

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TWO GREAT VIEWS OF VENICE – ONE ABOVE A SHOPPING CENTRE; THE OTHER ATOP A MUSEUM

Free of charge, but a reservation is necessary, VENICE’s first ultra luxury shopping centre – the PENDI – offers spectacular views in two directions from the Fondaco dei Tedeschi terrace. Vogue predicts the ritzy shops underneath could well become Italy’s Harrod’s.

To make a reservation on a specific day and time, you’ll have to do some Googling. A friend made our booking.

CA’REZZONICO, is an art museum fronting on a canal. Amongst an over-supply of nudes and cherubs on the top floor, you’ll find another aspect of the metropolis. The photos below were taken through a very clean window. Access to the view is included with your admission.

CLAUDE CORMIER IS THE MAN BEHIND BERCZY PARK’S REDESIGN & MUCH-LOVED DOG FOUNTAIN

He’s one of Canada’s best-known landscape architects, and his work can be found across Ontario, Quebec, and recently Chicago and Houston. A graduate of the University of TORONTO, Guelph and Harvard universities, Claude Cormier now has 50 different projects under way, including another TORONTO creation featuring 20 cast-iron cats. It will be part of a massive redevelopment on Front Street West at Spadina Avenue called The Well.

<PHOTO ABOVE> Smiley, is named for a blind golden retriever that worked in the St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program in TORONTO.

‘The Secret to a Great Urban Space’ is a fascinating story by JASON McBRIDE <@jasonmcbride68>; photos by JAIME HOGGE at http://www.jaimehogge.com in the University of Toronto Magazine. It’s well worth taking the time to read about this Canadian landscape architect’s methods and philosophy.

As for the dog fountain – “We did our research and found dogs everywhere in art history,” Cormier says. “It goes back 5,000 years!”

You’ll find the complete story here –
https://magazine.utoronto.ca/people/alumni-donors/the-secret-to-great-urban-space-claude-cormier-landscape-architecture/

CANADA’S 552-CARAT YELLOW DIAMOND IS THE SEVENTH LARGEST FOUND IN THE WORLD

Considered the largest diamond ever discovered in North America, it’s about the size of a chicken’s egg.

The diamond was uncovered in October/2018 in DIAVIK, Northwest Territories, about 135 miles from the Arctic Circle.  <ABOVE – the Diavik Diamond Mine>

It was found by Rio Tinto Group & Dominion Diamond Mine Company. “Abrasion markings on the stone’s surface attest to the difficult journey it underwent during recovery, and the fact that it remains intact is remarkable,” said the company on December 14/2018. The diamond will soon be cut and polished, once its value is determined.

The company said, “A diamond of this size is completely unexpected for this part of the world and marks a true milestone for diamond mining in North America.” The largest one ever found at DIAVIK was in 2015. It was a 187.7-carat “Diavik Foxfire”.

TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY HAS CREATED A DIGITAL MAP CELEBRATING THE WORKS OF LOCAL POETS

The TORONTO Poetry Map is a collection of poetic excerpts written about different parts of our city. It’s simple to use. Just click on a neighbourhood and a verse pops up, along with a link to books where the poem was published.

There are about 200 poems on the map running the gamut of emotions.
To operate the map go to http://www.torontopoetry.ca

GREENWOOD STATION
We bought a house. Beneath it, thunder.
Our neighbour says, take a bath,
put your head under the water and the train
is in there with you. In the tub, water
belongs to us, warm, fourteen feet
to the street. Moves in the pipes. Belonging
or not belonging, the new house works,
fitted into the city’s plug.
Sewage treatment down hill.
Greenwood station at the top.
– RONNA BLOOM, book of poems, ‘Public Works’; photo by Shelbie Vernette-Grant

THE JUNCTION
Temperance dried up these streets
in nineteen oh something
& thirst became the hidebound
neighbourhood legacy –
oasis reversed.
– GLEN DOWNIE, published in ‘Loyalty Management’

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Look they’ve knocked down
that brick building
near the university
where we sat sometimes at night
and talked
about the way things would someday be.
– SUZANNE BOWNESS, published in ‘The Days You’ve Spent’

LIFE IN FOREST HILL
Here at the confluence
of Forest and Hill
our Cadillac-driving neighbours never wave
in their flow to and from Bay St.
– JOHN OUGHTON, published in ‘Gearing of Love‘

A NEW EXHIBIT HAS OPENED AT THE MZTV TELEVISION MUSEUM IN TORONTO’S LIBERTY VILLAGE

‘PHILO T. FARNSWORTH – FORGOTTEN GENIUS’ at the MZTV Museum and Archive highlights the most famous person nobody’s ever heard of. Almost 100 years ago, 14-year-old PHILO came up with an invention that would transform our lives – TELEVISION!

Farnsworth conceived the idea for electronic television and his story is being told at the Museum.  Exhibit curator Phil Savenick says Farnsworth made the groundbreaking discovery while plowing potato fields back in 1922, before he attended high school.

<PHOTO – Philo T. Farnsworth in 1939>

“Forgotten Genius: The Boy who Invented Electronic TV” is now open at the MZTV Television Museum and it’s FREE.  For more information – http://www.MZTV.com