A CAR STUCK IN OUR STREET – TWO SHOVELS IN OUR GARAGE – DUST PANS ONLY WAY TO REACH THEM

We had to manage both getting out of the house, and then in through the garage door to access those shovels. And for that the dust pans were most helpful. Once outside we went to work, first using the dust pans, and then sweeping and shoveling. And it’s snowing again! <Photos by Ross Winter>

THREE WAYS OF PRESENTING “A STARRY NIGHT” – ORIGINALLY PAINTED BY VINCENT VAN GOGH

< Dutch Post-Impressionist, Vincent van Gogh and his oil-on-canvas, captures two lovers and “A Starry Night Over The Rhône”. The view is from the quay on the east side of the river.> The piece features short, painterly brushstrokes, a colour palette, and a focus on luminescence. This treatment helps explain why it’s so famous and, for the public, a fine piece of art. It resides in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Another “Starry Night” has received plenty of attention, especially by viewers from Toronto and other parts of Canada. The CN Tower occupies the left side of the painting, along with a row of Downtown skyscrapers. And yes, the star giant swirls are very much there too. Ted Hamer, a Toronto artist, designed his “Starry Night” originals in a more modern style.

A POPULAR SERIES OF EXAGGERATED CARDS WAS REPRODUCED BY TORONTO’S CDN. POSTCARD CO.

For sure there is a market for popular series of wildly exaggerated postcards. From SteFan Buszynski, a resident of Orillia, Ontario and there’s Marcel Rousseau, who assembles a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos. Some were previously published by OMAH, The Orillia Museum of Art and History, and in a book ‘Postcard Memories Orillia’. A choice was made here to show three examples of “tall tale” or “exaggerated” postcards sold in Orillia in the 1940’s. Originally produced in 1908 by photographer William H. Martin of Ottawa, Kansas, U.S.A. these postcards became so popular that his company was allegedly turning out 10,000 a day<Postcard #1 – shows off Orillia’s giant cabbages> <Postcard #2 – Sports fishermen are pulling in a giant one, with an axe to help them out.> And <#3 – Close by here’s a load of fancy poultry about to be pulled off by a loyal horse with a wagon.  And those were the three chosen ones.

KNOWN AS ‘THE DEPOT’, IT LOOKS LIKE A GIANT FLOWERPOT, AND SITS IN ROTTERDAM

As a cultural symbol in mirrored glass, it occupies space in the heart of Rotterdam, just as the Eiffel Tower does in Paris. It reflects the extraordinary character of its function – to store more than 151,000 works of art in the collection of The Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum close-by. This outstanding Museum itself is under construction until at least 2028. Rotterdam, a major world port city, was reduced to ashes in the City Centre by bombardments of the Luftwaffe in 1940. It has been rebuilt over many years in successive strata – a worthy competitor to  Amsterdam. I first visited Rotterdam in the 1950’s when it was pulling itself together. These days architects and construction experts are creating a magnificent old and new Dutch metropolis, certainly worth more than one visit.

‘The Tely’, a Toronto-based newspaper was one of Canada’s 1st. to introduce Sat. & Sun. editions.

It was the voice of the working-class, and of ‘Conservative Protestant Orange Toronto’ in 1881, and attracted the largest circulation daily in the city, but lost that position in 1932 to The Toronto Star and never regained it. For a while The Evening Telegram was located on Bay Street near King St. , but later moved on to Front Street. Some notable staff members – Andy Donato (cartoonist); Clyde Gilmour (CBC Radio broadcaster); Scott Young (sports reporter, father of Neil Young); Dale Goldhawk (later at CBC, CTV and Rogers); Ben Wicks (cartoonist), and so on. The Toronto Telegram folded on Saturday, Oct. 30, 1971, and almost 400,000 copies were printed — twice the regular print run. Long lines of people waited to buy the last-ever copy of the paper.  <Information – CBC & Wikipedia>

‘TORONTO IN ART’ – 170 PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS AND WATER COLOURS ABOUT OUR CITY

“Toronto in Art” was written by EDITH C. FIRTH in 1983 to mark the city’s 150th anniversary.  Without a doubt, it’s one of the finest collections of paintings, drawings and water colours about Toronto.  Copies may still be available from the publishers, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, or you might find one in a used bookshop. IMAGES -1) University College Fire, J.E. Usher, 1890.   2) – Backyard Baldwin Street, Albert Franck, 1964.  3) Tracks and Traffic, J.E.H. MacDonald, 1912. 4) Houses on St. Patrick Street, Lawren Harris.  5) Subway Construction, Eric Freifeld, 1952.

The Boreal Chickadee from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Chickadees are named after their distinctive “chick-a-dee” vocalizing. Like most year-round northern birds, they brave the winter in their bare uninsulated legs and feet. Their toes remain flexible and functional in all temperatures. Boreal chickadees live in boreal forests throughout Canada. We’ve come across several in southern Ontario. Some can breed even in the distant Yukon and Northwest Territories. Flocks break apart when Spring arrives and pairs occupy breeding territories. Females lay clutches of 5-7 eggs, but some have managed a maximum of 13. When the climate is warmer parents feed the nestlings with caterpillars and insects.  <Information and photo from Thunder Bay Field Naturalists>

IT’S A WINTER AFTERNOON IN NEWFOUNDLAND & THE SUN IS GOING DOWN; PHOTO BY BRYAN BLENKIN.

This reminds me of late afternoons in Nova Scotia after having played some street hockey and being called home for supper by my grandmother. We’d be no more than 7 or 8 years old. She’d signal by flashing a kitchen light. Amazing what an image like that does for you. I remember it well.

JOURNALISTS MAY ENJOY REPORTING, BUT COULD LOSE THEIR LIVES & MIGHT END UP BEHIND BARS

There’s been a new high of journalists over the past year who’ve been jailed. CHINA remains top-of-the-list for the third year in a row with 50 locked up, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists. MYANMAR moved to second place because of a military coup. EGYPT, VIETNAM and BELARUS were the next three. This is the 6th consecutive year that The Committee has recorded at least 250 journalists, jailed for reporting. And of course there’s a whole pumpkin patch of Authoritarian Leaders terrorizing people. Some dictators can’t put up with a free press. Think of the United States & Canada on occasion. No names “s’il vous plaît”.
The United States has at least two of North America’s finest newspapers – Thre’s The New York Times & The Washington Post in the USA, and In Canada there’s The Globe and Mail which is getting better all the time.  All three of them are worth reading. <For your information – The New York Times printed this editorial called “A Record Number of Journalists Jailed”. Released on Sunday, December 19th it might be worth finding an issue. Good luck with that.>