WHAT’S ON IN TORONTO – MARCH/2017 (CLICK ON WEBSITES FOR MORE INFORMATION & TICKETS)

<An up-to-date listing of what’s on in North America’s 4th largest city, and where to find it>

MUSIC, MUSICALS & DANCE
– March 22 – April 9 – Sousatzka, new musical, prior to Broadway, Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.sousatzkamusical.com
– March 22 – May 14 – The Bodyguard, from London with UK cast, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– March 22 – April 16 – The Book of Mormon returns, Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King Street West, http://www.mirvish.com
– March 22-26 – Evita, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Argentinian musical, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street, http://www.jdptheatreproductions.com
– March 22 – April 23 – Mrs. Henderson Presents, biographical musical set in London’s Windmill Theatre, Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. West, http://www.mirvish.com
– March 22-24 – Pinocchio, National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen Street West, http://www.national.ballet.ca
– March 22 – April 2 – Stupidhead!, a musical comedy about the glamour of failure, Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue, http://www.passemuraille.ca
– March 23-26 – The Baroque Diva, Karina Gauvin, soprano and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, http://www.tafelmusik.org
– March 31 ongoing – Spoon River, new musical, winner of a Dora Mavor Moore Award, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill Street, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– Ongoing – Friday Night Jazz at the Aquarium, second Friday of every month, included with general admission, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Rd, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada

COMEDY, THEATRE & SPOKEN WORD
– March 22 – April 14 – A Peculiar Place For Curious Creatures, improvised show based on young adult Gothic fiction, Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor Street West, 8pm, http://www.baddogtheatre.com
– March 22-25 – Five Faces For Evelyn Frost, collaboration between Canadian Stage and Theatre Francais Toronto, in French & English, Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street, http://canadianstage.com
– March 22-26 – Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, Kensington Hall, 56 Kensington Avenue, http://www.wolfmanortheatre.ca
March 22-27 – The Best of Second City, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– March 22-26 – The Devised Theatre Festival, new work from 4th year students, York University, Accolade East Building, Studio 209, 4700 Keele Street, http://www.devisedtheatrefestival.com
– March 29 – Battle of the Bards, 20 poets, emerging and established, Brigantine Room, Harbourfront, supporters and students free, 7:30pm, http://www.ifoa.org
– Until April 9 – The Millennial Malcontent, Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Avenue, http://www.tarragontheatre.com

MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, ART
– Ongoing – Syria: A Living History, exhibition, symposium, lectures, performances, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, http://www.agakhanmuseum,org
– March 22 – ongoing – ‘Out of the Depths, The Blue Whale Story’, from the deep a giant emerges, Royal Ontario Museum, tickets at http://www.rom.ca
– March 22-25 – Geoffrey James, photography, Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen Street West, http://www.bulgergallery.com
– March 22-31 – Myseum Intersections, exhibits, events, interactives, for details and venues go to http://www.myseumoftoronto.com
– Until April 2 – Francis Alys: A Story of Negotiation, fantastic art exhibition, poetic, political, beautiful and absurd, 4th floor, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until April 2 – Vice & Virtue, when Toronto was good & very bad, Toronto Reference Library, TD Bank Gallery, 789 Yonge Street, http://www.tpl.ca
– Until April 4 – Tom Thomson & The Group of Seven, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, http://www.50years.mcmichael.com
– Until April 9 – Power To The People, photography and video of repression and Black protest, Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould Street, http://www.ryerson.ca/rric
– Until April 28 – Evolution, Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street, free, http://www.dx.org
– Until May 1 – Tributes + Tributaries, Toronto artists’ work through the 70s and 80s, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until May 21 – Anthony Caro, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until May 21 – Janet MacPherson, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, 111 Queens Park, http://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca
– Until June 4 – Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, http://www.agakhanmuseum.org
– Until June 18 – Visual Arts Winter Exhibitions, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com
– Until June 25 – Kind Words Can Never Die: Victorian Needlework, Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Street, http://www.textilemuseum.ca
– Until October 2017 – Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels, Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
– Ongoing – Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Exhibit, Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street, http://www.hhof.com
– Ongoing – Black Creek Pioneer Village, the way life used to be, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, 416-736-1733, http://www.blackcreek.ca

GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered, queer, etc.)
– March 22 – Bathhouse Raids Revisited, storytelling performance, Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church Street, 7pm, free, http://www.fb.com/1981BathHouseRaids
– Ongoing – Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps individuals in countries where being LGBTQ is an invite to violence, imprisonment or death, http://www.rainbowrailroad.ca
– Ongoing – ProudFM 103.9, Toronto’s LGBTQ radio station, http://www.proudfm.com
– Ongoing – Legit, second Thursday of every month, legal counsel for same-sex couples immigrating to Canada, 519 Community Centre, 519 Church Street, http://www.legit.ca
– Ongoing – Get Out! Running Group, every Sunday, people of all ages and experience levels, 10-11:30am, Fuel Plus 471 Church Street, free, http://www.getoutcanada.com
– Ongoing – Glad Day Bookshop & Cafe, since 1970, oldest LGBTQ bookshop in the Americas, 499 Church Street, licenced, coffee bar, warm welcome, http://www.gladdaybookshop.com
– Ongoing – Out and Out LGBTQ outdoors club, http://www.outandout.ca
– Ongoing – Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps of Toronto (ROTC), colour guard, band, drum corps, baton, dance, http://www.rotctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue at Howard Street, http://www.mcctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Xtra magazine, gay community news in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx
– Ongoing – The Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory for Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton and Niagara/St. Catharines, http://thepinkpagesdirectory.com
– Ongoing – (CLGA) Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, second largest in the world, research centre, art gallery, 34 Isabella Street, http://www.clga.ca

THE MOVIES AND OTHER STUFF
– Ongoing – TAPto free walking tours by Toronto Greeters, book online at http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e14d3a2f287c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
– March 22-27 – Winter Stations installation, lifeguard stations between Woodbine and Victoria Park, http://www.winterstations.com
– March 22-25 – Canadian Film Fest, feature films, shorts, workshops, indie-spirited, Scotiabank Theatres, 259 Richmond St. West, http://www.canfilmfest.ca
– Until December 31 – To Canada With Love, Toronto’s cultural events celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, various venues, http://www.toronto.ca/canada150
– Ongoing – Free Arts in the Parks, concerts, films and arts of all kinds, for full events listings and details go to http://www.artsintheparksto.org
– Camera Bar Cinema, 1028 Queen Street West, Toronto’s smallest movie theatre, free feature films on Saturdays at 3:00pm, http://www.bulgergallery.com/camera.html
– Mount Pleasant Cinema, 675 Mount Pleasant Road, big screen, 2nd run features, some European films, etc., https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/mount-pleasant
– Carlton Cinemas, 9 screens, fully licensed, $5 Tuesdays, 20 Carlton Street, http://www.rainbowcinemas.ca
– Market Square Cinemas, 80 Front Street East, several screens, https://imaginecinemas.com/cinema/market-square/
– Regent Cinema, 551 Mount Pleasant Road, 2nd run features, big screen, https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/regent
– TIFF Bell Lightbox, 5 cinemas, movies that don’t play in the multiplex, for times and schedule go to http://www.tiff.net/whats-on
– Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West, http://www.bloorcinema.com
– Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, neighbourhood cinema, second-run, docmentary & foreign features, http://www.revuecinema.ca
– Royal Cinema, documentaries, festivals, foreign, second-run features, 608 College Street, http://www.theroyal.to
– Ontario Science Center Omnimax,770 Don Mills Road, https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/imax
– Scotiabank Toronto Imax, 259 Richmond Street West, http://www.imax.com/theatres/scotiabank-toronto-imax
Ongoing – ride the ferry to Ward’s Island & have lunch at the Rectory Cafe (only open restaurant on the Islands), 101 Lakeshore Avenue, 416-203-2152, http://www.therectorycafe.com
– Ongoing – Medieval Times, dinner and jousting tournaments, Exhibition Place, foot of Dufferin Street, http://www.medievaltimes.com or 888-we-joust
– Ongoing – Edgewalk, CN Tower, walk around the edge of our tallest free-standing structure, http://www.edgewalkcntower.ca
– Ongoing – Sunday Antique Market, free, Jarvis Street south of King
– Ongoing – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Boulevard, at the bottom of the CN Tower, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada

TORONTO SAVVY is now on the UK-based website ‘Walked Thru’ – http://www.walkedthru.com

<. . . And this used to be the Lincoln Bedroom.” – editorial cartoon, Brian Gable, Globe and Mail, March 22/2017>

Gone, but not forgotten. The Odeon Hyland, St. Clair and Yonge, opened its doors on November 22, 1948. At the time it was one of the largest auditoriums in TORONTO, with over 800 seats on the ground floor and 500 in the balcony. It was a beauty. I remember seeing “Tom Jones” there. <PHOTO – Ontario Archives>

BETTY KENNEDY, once one of Canada’s best-known television and radio personalities, has died at 91. For 27 years she hosted The Betty Kennedy Show on TORONTO’s CFRB. And for 33 years she was the only female panelist on CBC television’s “Front Page Challenge”. Mrs. Kennedy-Burton was also a senator for seven months – retiring, as required, in January/2001 upon reaching the mandatory age.

She is survived by three sons – Mark, Shawn and D’Arcy Kennedy and a daughter, Tracy Brown.

<PHOTO – Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press>

As global financial markets go, TORONTO is NOT nearly the most expensive rental market. It’s a bargain according to http://www.RentCafe.com

The U.S.-based online site puts TORONTO at #13 on its list of the world’s top 30 financial centres. But this city ranks #26 when it comes to rental costs. New York City’s average price for a one-bedroom apartment is $4,900 Canadian per month. TORONTO’s average for the same one-bedroom is $1,776, not dissimilar from Vancouver at $1,868.

“Are you really my friend?” Maine-based artist TANJA HOLLANDER went on a road trip to 180 cities and 424 homes to photograph 451 people – her entire Facebook network. The result, along with videos, travelogues and documentation will be on display at Mass MOCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (an 8+hour drive from TORONTO) until early 2018.

“I think there are a lot of misleading headlines that people are not authentic on social media,” she says. “I haven’t found that much difference from real life and online life.”

WHEN IT COMES TO GENTRIFICATION & HIGH RENTS TORONTO AND BERLIN ARE SISTER CITIES

BERLIN & TORONTO have many things in common – population (3.5-million); art, theatre, opera, northern climate, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, post-industrial, LGBTQ-friendly, home to the media, multiple government bureaucrats . . . and increasingly expensive real estate.

Until recently both cities have been relatively inexpensive places to live. Artists and musicians populated downtown TORONTO neighbourhoods, and in BERLIN the Kreuzberg graffiti-covered district has been home to art studios, small shops and people of all descriptions.

Johannes Novy, a German urbanist, believes what is at stake is the very heart of the city. He says Berlin’s affordability and mixed social makeup is “what makes it attractive to begin with.” Malte Voss, a freelance videographer who is part of a tenant collective said “people have lived and worked here for a long time, and even if they aren’t making much money, they are part of the city. They are the reason Kreuzberg is like it is.”

Read the whole story about gentrifying Kreuzberg and BERLIN at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/world/europe/berlin-rent-fight-against-gentrification.html?_r=0

TORONTO SHORT STORIES – MARCH 6-20/2017

The world’s largest rubber duck will pay TORONTO a visit this coming summer during the Redpath Waterfront Festival, July 1-3. Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s 30,000 pound sculpture made its debut in 2007, and since then copies – of which this will be one – have been touring the world. It’s 61 feet tall, 79 feet wide and 89 feet long.

The duck’s itinerary includes five other Ontario towns – Owen Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Midland, Amherstburg and Brockville.

NOBU Hospitality, the luxury restaurant and hotel chain founded by actor Robert De Niro, famous Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, will soon be coming to TORONTO. Two 49-storey bronze towers will be built above the current Pilkington Glass Factory on Mercer Street, and will include a hotel, NOBU, retail space and an outdoor Zen garden. The glass factory’s facade will be part of the development.

BMO Economics says TORONTO’s housing bubble will pop in 24 months. “At the rate we’re now going with 20% year-on-year price increases, assuming stable mortgage rates and continued income growth, we’ll be at 1989 valuation levels in about 24 months,” senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote last week.

TORONTO’s average house price jumped 27.7% in February/2017 from a year earlier, to $859,186. Single-family homes soared to $1.57 million on average, a jump of nearly 30% in a year.

Sidewalk superintendents gathered to watch DON, one of two tunnel-boring machines (TBMs), hoisted above ground and taken apart. It had been digging underground for nearly four years, helping to build the Crosstown LRT’s north tunnel.

The 400-tonne monster was disassembled along Eglinton Avenue. A second TBM, named HUMBER (after the river), surfaced a few days later. The TBM’s bored 16-20 metres below ground, around the clock, with a crew of six operators each.

Young people from both the United States and other parts of the world are looking to Canada for their post-secondary education. In TORONTO, both Ryerson University and the University of Toronto are reporting an 80% increase in applications from south of the border. In 2017 so far, the University of Toronto has 1,791 American applicants – up 790 over last year.

There’s been a 35% increase in student applications from England; 62% from Mexico; and 53% from the United Arab Emirates.

German Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL spent some time at the White House and left many of us wondering just what she was thinking as the day progressed. Ms. Merkel has a very expressive face, and news photographers captured a variety of candid nuances from pleasure to bewilderment.

Headline of the year from the Catskills.  In Newburgh, New York, folks were digging out from under 18-24 INCHES of snow.

Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU, his wife Sophie, former PM Jean Chretien and his wife Aline, along with Ivanka Trump and 120 ambassadors from around the world, attended “Come From Away” on Broadway.

In remarks before the show, Trudeau got on stage and said he was pleased that, “the world gets to see what it is to lean on each other and be there for each other through the darkest times.” The Canadian/American musical at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre opened to rave reviews.

Charles Edward Anderson CHUCK BERRY, one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n roll, has died at the age of 90. He grew up in Missouri during the time of racial segregation; rose to become a worldwide star; was jailed for robbery at the age of 17; lived an outrageous life; became famous for his ‘duck walk’ as well as Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven and Sweet Little Sixteen.

“He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers,” – Mick Jagger.

<Top 10 Canadian cities viewed by Chinese buyers – Juwai.com>

Canada remains the third most popular real estate market for Chinese buyers according to Juwai.com and Sotheby’s International Real Estate.
It seems the main reason Chinese buyers want to get into the Canadian housing market is education.

They love our schools. By the end of 2015, Canada had 119,335 Chinese students enrolled in institutions across the country – up from 39,850 in 2004. British Columbia saw the biggest growth in Chinese students with a 253% increase, compared to 214% in Ontario and 209% in Nova Scotia.

After being in storage for 9 years, Ryerson University is bringing Sam The Record Man’s sign back to downtown TORONTO. The ‘spinning records’ will be shining brightly atop 277 Victoria Street, near Yonge-Dundas Square, this coming summer.

PLUMPEST PIGEONS IN TOWN – FRANK STOLLERY PARKETTE, DAVENPORT ROAD AT YONGE STREET

FRANK STOLLERY PARKETTE has become a tiny urban beauty spot.  The park is built on an old Aboriginal trail, which wound along the Escarpment, one of TORONTO’s most distinctive geographical features.  13,500 years ago, this was the shoreline of Lake Iroquois, forerunner of today’s much smaller Lake Ontario.  Photos and maps are posted; you can read a short history lesson, and there’s a parkette-side restaurant too.

PHOTOGRAPHER RONNY JAQUES’ EARLY TORONTO IMAGES RESIDE IN CANADA’S NATIONAL ARCHIVES

RONNY JAQUES (1910-2008) was a British photographer whose family moved from England to Canada, then on to New York City and TORONTO, where he opened a studio at 24 Grenville Street. He stayed here until 1941 when he closed the studio and moved back to New York. During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s his photographic specialties were fashion, travel, food and lifetstyle. His work is everywhere, but there’s no sign of the man himself.

Mr. Jaques was in TORONTO long enough to record some splendid images of our city between 1939 and 1951. A large number of these are in Canada’s National Library and Archives. You can scan through the Archives’ vast collections at this address – http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca

<KENSINGTON MARKET>

<QUEEN STREET AT YONGE>

<THE BELTLINE FERRY DOCK>

THIS SUMMER CINEPLEX WILL OPEN ITS 2ND ‘REC ROOM’ AIMED AT 18-34-YEAR-OLDS IN TORONTO

The first one is in Edmonton. The second will appear this summer in a former railroad roundhouse within TORONTO’s Railway Museum park, 255 Bremner Boulevard.

Formerly occupied by a furniture store <PHOTO ABOVE> the 40,000 square foot, multi-use venue will have a family entertainment arcade, areas for e-sports, virtual reality and video game tournaments, and live music. Some of the concerts will be free.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Sarah Greene/Now>

Within the Rec Room, each area will have a theme: grab-and-go restaurants, dining, arcade games, a store for gamers, a huge patio and a massive screen along with 80 smaller screens scattered around the site. 24 draft beers on tap, 10 of them local craft beers, and wine will also be available.

<The John Street Roundhouse from above, image by Michael Muraz via Flickr>