TORONTO SHORT STORIES – AUGUST 1-11/2017

<Chinatown West – waiting for the bus on a sweltering Sunday afternoon>

The YSL, tallest one of them all, may be coming soon to Yonge Street at Gerrard. If approved this monster will be 98 storeys tall, and city councillor KRISTYN WONG-TAM says “it could cast a shadow that actually touches Allan Gardens (3 blocks east). That’s how far the impact would be.” <IMAGE – Cresford Development Company>)

Neighbours are outraged over a box-like house that has appeared in their Victorian nirvana. The Cabbagetown house, on St. James Court, has been the subject of a 10-year battle over proposals for a bigger house on the lot, and then over damage and the incovenience caused by construction. – Toronto Star, August 11/2017>

<Five cheetah cubs born at TORONTO ZOO in April/2017>

BARBARA COOK, whose rousing songs and romantic ballads touched America’s heart in an odyssey that began in the golden age of Broadway musicals, overcame alcoholism, depression and obesity, and forged a second life in cabarets and concert halls, died early Tuesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 89.

Not-so-long-ago Ms Cook sang to a sold-out audience at TORONTO’s Koerner Hall.  I also remember seeing her at the Fleck Dance Theatre in T.O. and the Hotel Carlyle in New York.  No one could interpret Broadway melodies like Barbara Cook.

<PHOTO – Barbara Cook at Carnegie Hall in 2006. Credit Richard Termine/The New York Times>

Not so fast! 

When it comes to bike lanes TORONTO is in the Stone Age. So writes columnist David Hains in Metro News, August 9/2017. Just look at these numbers of lane installations in 2016 – New York City (120km!!!); Austin (46km); San Francisco (22.5km); TORONTO (10.9km). Our city now has only 20km of protected lanes and 250km overall of on-street bike lanes – serving thousands of taxpaying bikers.

Add to this the fully operational biking networks in Portland, Vancouver and Montreal – and you must conclude we are indeed back in the Age of Stone. Too many clipboards, surveys and consultations – not enough action! We can & should do much better.

PENDA, which has offices in China & Austria has collaborated with Canada’s Timber for the TORONTO Tree Tower project. They’re proposing an 18-storey residential block that would stand 62 metres tall, with a modular structure made from cross-laminated timber.

The TORONTO tower would include 4,500 square metres of residential area, along with 550 square metres of public space including a cafe, a children’s daycare centre, and community workshops.

The Canada/150 train rolls into HAMILTON in recognition of Cansda’s 150th birthday. Canadian Pacific is sending the historic engine and 10 heritage cars across the country, starting out from Port Moody, British Columbia on July 28. It’s a beauty! – Hamilton Spectator, August 10/2017

Our man in OTTAWA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, makes the cover yet again of a popular magazine. Says the Stone – “Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods.” – Stephen Rodrick/Rolling Stone

For a lengthy impression of Canada’s #1 ambassador and possibly “the free world’s best hope” read ‘Justin Trudeau: The North Star’. It’s in this month’s Rolling Stone.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/justin-trudeau-canadian-prime-minister-free-worlds-best-hope-w494098

Residents of CATHEDRALTOWN (a MARKHAM suburb) have something else to look at these days – besides the cathedral. It’s a chrome statue of a cow titled “Charity, Perpetuation of Perfection”, put there with the approval of city councillor Alan Ho – who is now facing the wrath of the populace. They want it gone ASAP.

“The last thing that would cross my mind would be to raise a life-sized cow with chrome-like finish two storeys in the air and consider that proper,” said local resident Danny Dasilva. “I hate it.”

Sephora Hosein is the new collection head at TORONTO’s Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation. It is one of the largest collections of speculative literature in North America, and Hosein wants to let more people know about it. – <PHOTO – David Nickle/Metroland>

<Summer in the city – and TORONTO keeps the young folks busy>