SONG DONG’S ‘WISDOM OF THE POOR: COMMUNAL COURTYARD’ GIVEN TO THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO

This will take up serious storage space. It’s an “immersive” labyrinth of 100 Chinese doors assembled by Beijing avant-garde artist Song Dong (b.1966) – originally for the Venice Biennale – and now in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. The armoire doors were rescued from within the Beijing hutongs, a vast network of laneway housing either being demolished or gentrified, in a capital city that’s been expanding and rebuilding at breakneck speed. ‘The Wisdom of the Poor’ addresses the role of traditional architecture in today’s changing urban environment. <PHOTO – Song Dong, Pace Gallery>. <Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West>

KENSINGTON MRKT. IS AN EAST VILLAGE, VENICE BOARDWALK AND WOODSTOCK ROLLED INTO ONE

Kensington Market is a National Historic Site and the locals fight hard to keep it that way. There are no big box stores. The multicultural neighbourhood occupies a large tract of land from College Street to the north, Spadina on the east, Dundas on the south and Bathurst Street to the west. The area is filled with food stores of every kind, a variety of upscale & downscale restaurants, nightclubs, coffee bars, vintage clothing shops, synagogues, and re-jigged architecture of every description.

MATH IS INVOLVED: 18-YEAR-OLD RYAN DINEEN CREATED THIS MURAL 20 YEARS AGO.

In 2000 Ryan Dineen approached every B.I.A. in Toronto and landed this one on Carlton St. at Parliament on the edge of Cabbagetown. It’s a winner, instantly recognizable, and from the beginning was created by an accomplished artist who, since 2013, has been represented by the Ingram Gallery in fashionable Yorkville. Many people recognize instantly this image, and know exactly where it’s located, having had much exposure on the Internet. Ryan Dineen now says “My focus these days is primarily oil painting on canvas.”<Information – Parliament St. News>

THE ECONOMIST RANKS TORONTO AS “THE SECOND SAFEST CITY IN THE WORLD”

How about this folks? Sure we’ve had our share of gun violence, traffic jams, and crazy driving, but we rank just behind Copenhagen at the top.This 2021 Economist List takes into account digital, infrastructure, personal and environmental security, and especially health security. We did well with pedestrian friendliness, infrastructure security, our public transport systems, the road network and its maintenance. Over the last 17 months our pandemic preparedness and healthcare system helped bolster our score. Here’s the full list in order – 1) Copenhagen, 2) Toronto, 3) Singapore, 4) Sydney, 5) Tokyo, 6) Amsterdam, 7) Wellington, 8) Hong Kong, 9) Melbourne, and 10) Stockholm.

WHAT IS THIS EXACTLY? IT’S OFFICIALLY “DONNIE THE TUNNEL BORER”

Tunnel borers have been at work in Toronto for years, with more to come as our subway system expands. Donnie probably weighs about 400 tonnes and would be something like 10 metres long. This machine was assigned to drill The Coxwell By-pass Tunnel to stop storm overflows of sewage into Lake Ontario, thus improving Toronto’s waterways. This project is part of the $3-billion Don River and Central Waterfront Project. Way to go, Donnie!

JAMES TURRELL, BORN IN PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, IS KNOWN FOR LIGHT TUNNELS & PROJECTS

“My interest is working with light and space.  I have always been fascinated with the range of light at different locations around the world.” – James Turrell . . . . Stop by the Bay/Adelaide Centre, 333 Bay Street, to enjoy Mr. Turrell’s animated sculpture. “Straight Flush”. installed in 2009. It’s in the lobby on the south side.