NEWS FOR THOSE STUCK ON FM RADIO – AM RADIO IS STILL ALIVE & WELL IN NORTH AMERICA

I grew up with AM radio, worked in it for some time, and love its ‘reach’.  <ABOVE – my grand mother’s Westinghouse, 1946, made in Hamilton, AM & Short Wave, stands beside my bed> Unlike FM, which is usually tied to its home market, AM’s signal can go almost anywhere, within reason. For instance, TORONTO’s CFZM, 50,000 watts, clear channel, reaches a vast audience in Ontario and the northern American states. <ABOVE – my Telefunken AM/FM radio, sat dormant for two years, but surprisingly remained fully functional.  It’s been part of the family since 1970.><And this little guy by TIVOLI is in charge of the kitchen.  It’s on AM every night – while I’m washing dishes.> FOR THOSE who really love AM, there’s a celebratory tribute on YouTube. It features Medium Wave channels from 530 kHz to 1700 kHz, with an emphasis on New England. Canadian AM outlets on the site – CKGM, Montreal, 50,000 watts; CJBC (French), Toronto, 50,000 watts; CHML, Hamilton; CHOK, Sarnia, 10,000 watts; CJEU, Gatineau (French); CKDO, Oshawa; CHHO, Toronto; & CHLO, Brampton, Ontario. Thanks to PETE BYERLEY for sampling AM stations right across the band. “TRIBUTE TO A CENTURY OF RADIO BROADCASTING” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKRZJ5uO2Mw&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2XcSmV9-wBU1MkV0Pagtc_E9AIrXqIqw6-oLY5cdgsnoVm-OhbSwLirt4

LIKE YOUR PORTRAIT PAINTED BY PICASSO? THIS ONE JUST SOLD FOR $6.8-MILLION IN TORONTO

It’s a portrait of DORA MAAR, signed and dated June 13, 1941, titled ‘Femme au Chapeau’. Predictions were it would be the star of the evening at the HEFFEL fall sale. And it was. The 24-by-15 inch canvas was sold on Wednesday evening, along with paintings by Emily Carr ($2.4-million) Joan Mitchell (over $1-million), a bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth and an oil painting by J. W. Morrice.

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.

LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THIS I’M SURE, BUT A PINK SUNRISE WAS SOMETHING NEW FOR ME

TORONTO has some wonderful winter sunsets, but I’ve never seen a sunrise quite like this one. Between 07:13 and 07:20 this morning my office was bathed in pink. Outside, rain and snow were in the forecast, but for those seven minutes the view inside was quite tropical. <ABOVE – the pink sky from Uptown by BENITO, Urban Toronto.ca>THEN IT FADED AWAY – another day began, and we were back to normal.

TORONTO STAR & TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY’S VINTAGE PHOTOS OF THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE

TORONTO’s Santa Claus Parade, founded by Eaton’s Department Store in 1905, is one of the largest Christmas parades in the world.  The outdoor spectacular attracts hundreds of thousands every year – in person, and on US and Canadian television.<The man himself, date unknown><Bird’s Eye view of the parade, 1962><A 50-foot dragon with flapping wings, 1985, photo-Reg Innell><Cartoon mouse, 1976, photo-Graham Bezant><The Pinnochio float, 1962, photo-Don Dutton><Santa and his reindeer, 1979, photo-Keith Beaty>

ONE OF A SERIES OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY THE CITY – THIS TIME IT’S ALL ABOUT NORTH YORK

Recently I featured a SCARBOROUGH guide book. Since then, two more publications on self-guided touring within the inner suburbs have been produced. This one is about NORTH YORK, once a city, now a ‘division’ amalgamated with TORONTO. You can find this publication, as well as another on EAST YORK, in the book rack, ground floor, Toronto City Hall. BELOW are some excerpts from ‘Explore North York’.AGA KHAN PARK, ISMAILI CENTRE & MUSEUM – 77 Wynford Drive (page 6). This is the city’s newest cultural hub. The formal gardens across from the Museum feature reflecting pools and facilities for festivals, film screenings and other events. Learn more about the park at http://www.agakhanpark.org NOOR CULTURAL CENTRE, 123 Wynford Drive (page 8) – Once the Japanese Cultural Centre, designed by celebrated architect Raymond Moriyama, the building is now a centre for Islamic learning and culture. For more information – http://www.noorculturalcentre.ca The RAINBOW TUNNEL MURAL (page 9) is often noticed by northbound drivers on the Don Valley Parkway. The original was painted in renegade fashion over 40 years ago by Norwegian B.C. Johnson in memory of his friend Sigrid. It’s an upside down smile for Sigrid to look down on from above.TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN, 777 Lawrence Avenue East (page 14). Consisting of 17 award-winning themed gardens spanning nearly four acres, the park features a range of indoor and outdoor programs for all ages. EDWARDS GARDENS is adjacent at 755 Lawrence Avenue East. For more info – http://www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca FOUR SEASONS by Douglas Coupland, southeast corner of Sheppard Avenue and Don Mills Road (page 24). Inspired by Laurentian pencil crayons, 48 to 60 feet high, the Vancouver artist’s creation represents the four seasons. Other cones are placed intermittently.WINFIELDS’ NORTHERN DANCER PAVILION & THE CANADIAN FILM CENTRE, 2489 Bayview Avenue (page 30). Docent tours of the Film Centre can be booked in advance by calling 416-445-1446 x312. The Winfield estate was once the home of E.P. Taylor, a businessman who formed Canadian Breweries in 1930; developed Don Mills; built the O’Keefe Centre; bred champion horses, including Northern Dancer. For more information – http://www.cfccreates.com TORONTO CENTRE FOR THE ARTS, 5040 Yonge Street (page 36) – The building is one of the city’s premiere performing arts facilities – home to the 1,856-seat Apotex theatre, the 1,025-seat George Weston Recital Hall, a studio theatre, and two art gallery spaces.LEE LIFESON ART PARK (page 37) is named after two well-known Willowdale musicians – Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of the rock band RUSH. They’ve produced gold and platinum records and have received numerous awards.GIBSON HOUSE MUSEUM, 5172 Yonge Street (page 42). The mid-19th century, red brick Georgian Revival farmhouse was once home to David Gibson – surveyor, farmer and political reformer – born in Scotland. It’s now one of ten historic sites owned and operated by the City of TORONTO.MILLER TAVERN, 3885 Yonge Street (page 49), This Georgian-style commercial building was constructed in 1857, replacing a former hotel that burned down in 1856. It survived floods, Hurricane Hazel, a gambling den, threats of demolition, and was finally purchased by the City of TORONTO, and is now a familiar landmark.BLACK CREEK PIONEER VILLAGE (page 61), offers a collection of many of Ontario’s oldest heritage buildings, some dating back to the early 1800’s. For more information on the village, and how to get there go to – http://www.blackcreek.ca