2018 HAS BEEN A WICKED YEAR WHEN IT COMES TO GUN VIOLENCE IN OUR CITY

<Editorial cartoon by THEO MOUDAKIS, Toronto Star>

TORONTO has recorded its highest homicide numbers since 1991. Eighty-nine (89!) lives have been lost since January, and there are still six weeks to go before year’s-end. Most of these deaths were caused by gun violence, and most of those who died were young.

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BACK WHERE IT BELONGS – THE EL MOCAMBO TAVERN SIGN RETURNS TO SPADINA AVENUE

Absent for two years from the north end of Spadina Avenue at College Street, the El Mocambo neon sign is back. The original, damaged beyond repair, has been replaced by a new identical version in both shape and size.

PRIDE SIGNS in Cambridge, Ontario made the replica, which will light up on Thursday night, November 15th.

The building itself will reopen sometime in the future. But El Mocambo Records & Merchandise will continue at 464 Spadina.

<PHOTO ABOVE – HARLTON EMPIRE – @HarltonEmpire><PHOTO ABOVE – the original El Mocambo sign>

<PHOTO – two years ago the marquee told the public the palm tree sign would return “better and greener” than ever.><PHOTO ABOVE – the illuminated sign in September/2014>

<PHOTO ABOVE – the El Mocambo on July 25/2012 when it was TORONTO’s #1 rock music venue.  History might repeat itself.>

THE NEW YORK TIMES’ “SUNDAY STYLES” CATCHES UP WITH TORONTO’S NOTORIOUS MATHAROO SISTERS

“After years of romances with a series of fabulously wealthy Nigerian boyfriends, the flamboyant Canadian sisters Jyoti and Kiran Matharoo needed somewhere to store the pricey spoils of their dating careers. So they converted a bedroom in their TORONTO home into a large walk-in closet that resembles a luxury boutique.

“An entire wall is lined with more than 70 pairs of designer high-heeled shoes. Glass wardrobes display dozens of handbags and purses from brands like Hermès, Celine, Gucci and Saint Laurent. Equally pricey clothing drapes tightly from hangers and fills trunks stacked up to the ceiling.“Did they even pay for any of this stuff? “Not really, no,” said Jyoti, 34. Her sister responded similarly. “The only time I go shopping is when someone gives me their credit card, said Kiran, 32. – from ‘Billionaire Roulette’ by DAN LEVIN, New York Times, November 10/2018

Read the entire story at – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/style/the-canadian-kardashians.html

<PHOTOS – 1) TARA WALTON for the NY Times; the Matharoos at the Consort Bar in TORONTO’s King Edward Hotel ; 2) Jyoti and her walk-in closet, KEMISOLA ADEYEMI

TORONTO DID CANADA PROUD ON LAND, SEA & AIR DURING ‘THE GREAT WAR, 1914-18

<ABOVE – encampment on the grounds of the University of TORONTO><PHOTO – Overseas Contingent – largest military parade ever held in TORONTO; Queen’s Park in the background.>TORONTO was headquarters for a military district spanning central Ontario, and became a focal point for recruiting, training and sending men and women off to war.  As the War neared its end, the city faced food shortages and the Spanish flu pandemic.<ABOVE – Robert Ford Gagen’s painting “Shipbuilding – Ashbridges Bay, 1918”.  During World War I there were four active shipyards in TORONTO.  This one was at the foot of Sherbourne Street.  Front and centre, the War Taurus><LEST WE FORGET – Remembrance Day, 2018>

JACK NICHOLS, CANADA’S PRE-EMINENT WAR ARTIST CAPTURED WARTIME HORROR IN ‘DROWNING SAILOR’

“Drowning Sailor” was finished in 1946, and drew this comment from its painter, JACK NICHOLS (1921-2009): “When you are drowning, you lose your nationality, don’t you?”<PHOTO – JACK NICHOLS and his painting ‘Drowning Sailor’, 1945>

Deckhand, painter, printmaker, draftsman, educator – Jack Nichols was well known in art circles, but just an average man in his own neighbourhood – that is, until a blue plaque appeared outside 395A Sackville Street in TORONTO’s Cabbagetown.

His work is in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Canada, the National War Museum & numerous private collections.This REMEMBRANCE DAY, November 11, marks an exact century since World War I ended. The sacrifices of Canadians who fought and died to promote democracy and human rights, are honoured by this garden of 11,800 flags on the lawn of Manulife’s headquarters, 200 Bloor Street East.

The flags honour the 118,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces who died in service – in Europe, South Africa, Afghanistan, and on peace-keeping missions around the world. Each flag represents 10 fallen soldiers. The flags will be on display until sundown, November 11th.

U. OF T. PROF. RICHARD FLORIDA SAYS TORONTO IS A ‘CITY STATE’ & SHOULD START ACTING LIKE ONE

Speaking at the Urban Land Institute symposium on TORONTO this week, RICHARD FLORIDA, urban thinker and professor at the Rotman School of Management & the University of TORONTO’s school of cities, said this city must begin thinking seriously about a new model for growth. <PHOTO ABOVE – University of Toronto>“Once you pass the mark of 5 or 6 million as a metropolitan region, up to that point you can grow by (urban) sprawl, but somewhere you hit a wall and you can no longer grow or scale in the same traditional way.” <Greater TORONTO (GTA) now has a population close to 6-million.>

He also noted that in terms of total economic output, the Greater Toronto Area — including the Golden Horseshoe — is responsible for about “$700 billion” (U.S) in economic output.

“Which means our … region is equivalent to that of SWEDEN. So we are a city state, a mega region. We are a powerful global city with lots of assets to build on,” he said.On the negative side, Florida pointed out that TORONTO is among the most unaffordable cities in the world. 40% of Torontonians, the “creative class”, make $75,000 to $100,000 annually; 50% of residents earn $30,000 a year. “Our city is not as divided along ethnic lines or along lines of nationality, but it is divided by socioeconomic class, giving us our own kind of spin on poverty,” he told the audience.FLORIDA went on to talk about traffic congestion, the high cost of housing, and the need to invest in public transport.

On the positive side, he said, we are inoculated by a social safety net, “health care that works, public education that works” and a city that compared to others around the world is “relatively safe.”