Semi-isolated MOOSE FACTORY, 850 kilometres north of TORONTO

MOOSE7<Map of the Province of Ontario, Natural Resources Canada>  TORONTO is the capital city of a vast land mass known as the Province of Ontario.  Second largest province in Canada, ONTARIO covers an area of 415,000 square miles (or 1 million square kilometres), population 12 million.  By comparison, TEXAS (area 269,000 square miles or 696,000 square kilometres), population 27 milion.  To drive from east to west in the province takes the better part of 2 days.

At the top end of Ontario, just below the Arctic tundra line, on James Bay, you’ll come to MOOSE FACTORY, 850 kilometres north of TORONTO.  There’s no road access to Moose Factory.  To get there you must travel to COCHRANE, then take a five hour train ride to MOOSONEE, and from there board a boat, helicopter or water taxi.  CHRISTOPHER MANSON (Documentary Media MFA/2011), winner of Ryerson University Magazine’s photo competition, visited Moose Factory last summer.  He was working on a project documenting the rise of Type 2 Diabetes in the area.  <PHOTOS BELOW – 1) overhead utility pipes provide steam heat – cannot be buried because of permafrost; 2) Teepees are sometimes used as garages and storage facilities for aboriginal families.

<Wendy Innis inspects her grocery bill; food prices are high in Moose Factory, 3 times that in Toronto>  For more of Christopher’s photos of Moose Factory, visit

Ryerson University’s ‘secret garden’ . . . in the heart of downtown.

SHELDON LEVY, the motorcycle-riding president of Ryerson University has been opening up his campus to the city for some time now.  St. James Square, 50 Gould Street, is a tranquil space of mature trees, flowers, and an expansive grassy knoll – five minutes from the bustle of Yonge and Dundas.  St. James Square is hidden in plain sight.

EGERTON RYERSON (1803-1882) founded Ontario’s first teacher training facility here in 1852.  The Toronto Normal School was succeeded by a Royal Canadian Air Force training facility during World War II,  the Toronto Training and Re-establishment Institute for ex-servicemen and women, then Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, and in 2001 Ryerson University.

As city-builder SHELDON LEVY puts it: “a healthy downtown is good for Ryerson, and a healthy Ryerson is good for downtown.”