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.

TORONTO IS RANKED THE TOP TECHNOLOGY CITY IN CANADA BY THE CBRE GROUP

What is CBRE? The short form stands for Caldwell Banker Richard Ellis, an American commercial real estate and investment firm.Among its findings – 1) TORONTO tech occupations have grown 54% from 2013 to 2018, with about 230,000 jobs in the field . . . .  2) average income has grown from 2013 by 10% to $81,828 . . . . . 3) the number of tech degrees in computer science, math, statistics and tech engineering, has gone up by 42% in TORONTO between 2012 and 2017.OTTAWA came in second place for tech talent, with Vancouver, Waterloo Region, and Montreal trailing behind.

TORONTO MAY SOON HAVE A NEW 10,000-SQ.-FT. APPLE STORE IN THE EATON CENTRE OR AT YONGE & BLOOR

APPLE fans are speculating that a much-larger Eaton Centre Apple outlet will be at street level, occupying space recently vacated by Abercrombie & Fitch. It would more than double the size of the current store.The other possibility is a plan to build near the corner of Yonge and Bloor adjacent to The One high-end condo building now under construction. It would be Apple’s first TORONTO store not In a mall. Which shall it be? And when?

QUALITY OF LIFE & TOURISM – THE GOOD TIMES SEEM TO BE ROLLING FOR CANADA & TORONTO

For the second year in a row CANADA ranks #1 in the world for being a good place to live. Says who? US News’s top 20 surveyed ‘Countries With the Best Quality of Life’. Again we’re first on the list for job security, political stability, individual freedom, environmental quality, economic stability, family friendliness, income equality, safety, well-developed public education, and public health care. Sweden was #2, Denmark #3, Norway #4, United States #17, Singapore #18, Portugal #19 and China #20.As for TORONTO, tourism has been booming. In a report just released by Tourism Toronto and the Toronto Region Board of Trade, 27.5-million visitors generated $10.3-billion in economic activity in 2018. “This is a destination with visitors as diverse as the city itself,” said Scott Beck, president of Tourism Toronto. “The visitor economy is thriving.” Tourism accounted for 70,000 full-time jobs or about 4.6% of the city’s workforce in 2018.

WHERE DO THEY GET THESE IDEAS? MPP MICHAEL COTEAU THINKS FREE TRANSIT IS A NIFTY ONE

Presently, the Toronto Transit Commission has all it can do to handle overstuffed subway trains, streetcars and buses. Imagine if the entire population could ride free-of-charge.MICHAEL COTEAU, who’s hoping to become leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, says “It’s taking an issue like climate change, and looking for opportunities to improve transit.” This may very well be, but who’s going to pay for it? No details are forthcoming.TORONTO Transit is expected to collect about $1.3-billion in fares this year. The money is used to operate Canada’s largest transit system. If that is tossed aside, what’s going to replace it?Children under 13 already ride free on both the TTC and the GO suburban transit system.And seniors do get a deal with Presto cards. Shelagh Pizey-Allen, executive director of TTCriders, a non-profit advocacy group, said she supports lower fares and believes transit should be free for lower-income residents. But “people who can afford a car won’t ditch it if their bus is infrequent and unreliable.” (or packed to the rafters). “You don’t have to change overnight,” says MPP Michael Coteau.

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.