TORONTO FORGES AHEAD WITH “THE BENTWAY” BENEATH THE GARDINER EXPRESSWAY

THE BENTWAY, named after the undulating Gardiner Expressway, will eventually stretch from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street – a 1.75 kilometre strip linking Exhibition Place, Liberty Village, Niagara, Fort York, Bathurst Quay, Wellington Place and City Place.

A skating trail under the Gardiner Expressway? It’s a brilliant idea supported by Mayor JOHN TORY, and by the end of December/2017 it will be a new gathering place for TORONTO’s growing population.

Along with the skating trail plans include gardens, markets, art, recreational amenities, exhibits, festivals, theatre and musical performances. Unused land under the expressway is being turned into useful public space. Bravo!

A $25-million gift from the Judy and Wilmot Matthews Foundation made this possible. Ms. Matthews is a granddaughter of E. J. Lennox (1854-1933), an architect who designed many of TORONTO’s iconic buildings, including Old City Hall and Casa Loma.

THE BENTWAY is underway.

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BUILT IN 1963, THE ROSEHILL RESERVOIR FOUNTAIN IS A CANADIAN WATER LANDMARK

The atomic-age fountain can be found on top of the Rosehill Reservoir, which dates back to 1873-74, and was covered over in the 1960’s. It became TORONTO’s first environmentally friendly green roof, and is connected to the John Street Pumping Station 8 kilometres away.

Adjacent to the fountain – Rosehill Garden, a project of the city and fundraising neighbours, David Balfour Park and Ravine, a collection of Victorian-era homes and the best autumn colours anywhere in the inner city.

DOWNTOWN’S WATERFRONT EAST IS MATURING INTO A YEAR ‘ROUND ‘GO-TO’ DESTINATION

After a short walk or bike ride from the city centre, you’ll arrive at TORONTO’s relatively quiet eastern lakefront.

Waterfront East has grown over the past year, combining the great outdoors with a number of smart condo buildings, parks, wading pools, at least one sandy beach and a restaurant. This is a good place to bike or watch the boats go by.

There are plenty of condos here, with many more on the way.  The Lake Ontario view is prime.

One of the originals – Sherbourne Common

The pink umbrellas of Sugar Beach

ALLAN GARDENS CONSERVATORY CELEBRATES OUR SEASON OF COLOUR WITH CHRYSANTHEMUMS

allangdns1Open daily from 10am to 5pm THE CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW/2016 is now on at Allan Gardens Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Avenue. Take the #506 eastbound streetcar from College subway station. Get off at Jarvis and walk a half block east, then south past the dog park.  The show is free.

Website – http://www.toronto.ca/parks/conservatories

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THE RECENT PAST LIVES AGAIN AS MORE THAN 60 ARTISTS BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO ONTARIO PLACE

ontarioplace1<ONTARIO PLACE, May 5/1971, a few weeks before it opened.  PHOTO – Graham Bezant, Toronto Star Archive>

ontarioplace7There were a lot of sad faces in 2011 when the province decided to shut down TORONTO’s waterfront theme park and tourist attraction. Ontario Place wasn’t generating enough revenue to offset the funds needed to keep it alive.ontarioplace8The government had plans to re-open the site eventually, but artists, dancers and musicians from around the world have jumped the gun this September. They’re showing the potential of the 14-acre island site – IMAX films made in the 1970’s screened at Cinesphere, 45 musical and stage performances, outdoor sculptures, photography and paintings in the silos.

ontarioplace5The goal of the In/Future Festival is to give local artists and arts organizations a platform to showcase their talents on a much bigger stage.

ontarioplace4Festival founder and co-curator LAYNE HINTON: “This is a temporary transformation of the area, but I hope it’ll reflect what could happen in the future at the site.”  The Festival continues until September 26.

ontarioplace9See what Ontario Place looks like right now at http://www.blogto.com/arts/2016/09/this_is_what_ontario_place_looks_like_right_now/

ontarioplace10<Summer at Ontario Place before the 2011 shut down>

IN ITS 5TH YEAR ‘CHRISTIE PITS FILM FESTIVAL’ PRESENTS ITS BIGGEST-EVER SCHEDULE

CHRISTIEPITS1Christie Pits, 750 Bloor Street West at Christie, is a 22 acre park boasting baseball diamonds, basketball courts, a soccer/rugby football field, an ice rink, splash pad – and now one of the largest summertime outdoor film festivals.

CHRISTIEPITS3Founder EMILY REID – “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished. I think we’re really challenging our audience with less than mainstream titles. This is the most ambitious program we’ve ever put on.”

The Christie Pits Film Festival runs from June 26 to August 28. Subway stop – CHRISTIE. For more info go to http://www.christiepitsff.com

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GRANGE PARK GETS ITS $15-MILLION MAKEOVER THANKS TO TORONTO & W. GALEN WESTON

GRANGEPK4The City of TORONTO and private donor W. Galen Weston are funding the renovation of GRANGE PARK to the tune of $15-million. Work has now begun.

GRANGEPK1<“Hanging on the Gates of Grange Park”/1925, hand-tinted photo, William James Collection, City of Toronto Archives>

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<Grange Park under construction & downtown skyline, May/2016 – PHOTO Ross Winter>

GRANGEPK3<The Grange and Grange Park under construction>

The park belongs to the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was bequeathed by Harriet Boulton Smith to what was then called the Art Museum of Toronto. In 1911 the City of TORONTO agreed to maintain the grounds as a public park, but in a continuing policy of tax cutting this has become much more difficult than it used to be.

GRANGEPK6<Grange Park as it will be, decorative water feature, rendering courtesy of GPAC>

GRANGEPK5<Grange Park, overhead view of restored elliptical carriage path, rendering courtesy of GPAC>

GRANGEPK7The famous bronze sculpture ‘Large Two Forms’ by Henry Moore, will be moved from the corner of Dundas Street West and McCaul into the centre of the park. “Pretty damn cool!” said Councillor Joe Cressy.