ONCE YOU SAW THEM – NOW YOU DON’T. CONSTRUCTED – 1978; DEMOLISHED BY 2010

The Sanzhi (UFO), reminiscent of a flying saucer were a set of abandoned and never completed pod-shaped buildings in the Sanjhih District of New Taipei, Taiwan. They were intended as a vacation resort and were marketed towards American military officers who’d be coming off their East Asian postings. However, the project was never completed by1980 due to investment losses, several car accident deaths, and suicides during construction. By 2010, all of the UFO houses had been demolished, and the site was to be converted into a commercial seaside resort and water park.

GETTING IN A& OUT OF CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES THESE DAYS COULD BE CHALLENGING

The Canadian Border Services Agency has been watching the numbers go up as our American neighbours’ incoming traffic has increased by 25% in one week. Of course those already allowed in were fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents and those already allowed to cross. Vice-president of the Border Agency’s travelers branch, Denis Vinette said “We ask people to be patient at the border, dealing with the land border environment, long lineups and folks coming in for the weekend.” “The big thing for folks to understand is what qualifies as a fully exempted traveler under Canada’s definition,” Mr. Vinette said. “It’s about having had the full regimen, or both shots, and having had 14 days pass after your second shot.” Vaccines approved by Health Canada – Pfizer; BioNTech; Maderna; Oxford-AstraZeneca; or Johnson & Johnson. They’re all exempted from the 14 days’ quarantine.  Visitors must also use the ArriveCAN app or an online portal to submit their vaccine information, and results of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 3 days before departure. <From The Canadian Press & Globe and Mail, Saturday, July 10, 2021>

ONCE A STUDENT RESIDENCE, THIS ROW OF APTS. MAY SOON BE HOME TO 24 HOMELESS TORONTONIANS

As Toronto continues to find and/or create sites to house the homeless, this row at 292-296 Parliament Street will house approximately 24 homeless residents in one and two bedroom apartments, each with its own bathroom and kitchen. Laundry, dining and programming space will be shared. Units will be granted to women, Indigenous people, seniors, the disabled and others. A non-profit housing provider will manage the building, and be on site 24 hours a day. Close to 8,000 people are homeless every night in Toronto, sleeping in shelters, parks or encampments according to Abigail Bond of the city’s housing secretariat. Plans are to have the apartments ready by December/2021.  <Excerpts from The Bridge magazine, by Kayla Higgins, July 2021>

ON SUMACH ST. AT EASTERN AVE. THERE’S “VISUAL POETRY” BY A TORONTO & PHILADELPHIA TEAM.

This creation by Scott Eunson and Marianne Lovink occupies a 40-metre-long site, and portrays a history of humanity that once occupied this part of Toronto. The focus is on the era of once residents Thornton and Lucie Blackburn from 1834-1890. They were refugee slaves from Kentucky who started Toronto’s first taxi business. The couple lived near Inglenook Secondary School. Artists, students and historian, Karolyn Smart Frost, assembled the stories and poetry together, and the art took shape by 2015. It’s well worth an in-depth look if you pass by.

DRIVE-IN CINEMAS COULD BE SAFE WAYS TO WATCH MOVIES DURING A PANDEMIC

In all of Canada there are only 52 drive-in theatres left, down from 250. In the United States there are 336, where there once were 4,000. There are quite a few drive-ins scattered around the Greater Toronto Area. For a different kind of movie experience – watching the sun go down and seeing a first-run feature on a giant screen – altogether a different kind of experience. Today there are drive-ins in Toronto, Hamilton, Barrie, Newmarket, London, Guelph’s Mustang, Oakville, and Port Hope.In the not-so-distant past the city itself had 10 of them, but with urban sprawl, increasing land values, and $80,000 to install one digital projector, most have found the operating costs crippling. “I can’t make a drive-in look sexy at two in the afternoon. But when the sun goes down, and the kids are on the swings, and you can smell the popcorn and the neon comes alive, it really is quite special.” – BRIAN ALLEN, president of Premier Operating Drive-Ins

WHO’D HAVE IMAGINED AIRSHIPS ONCE DOCKED ON UNIVERSITY AVE AT QUEEN?

This Stalinistic Canada Life building on University Avenue in the 1930’s was a mooring point for airships – once viewed as luxurious aircraft, until replaced by passenger airplanes. From 1951 the tower was then re-converted into Toronto’s weather beacon and that’s what we see today. You know you’re in T.O. when you see the iconic beacon light with its forecast information, updated four times daily, 7 days a week, thanks to Environment Canada. What do the lights mean? Green (clear); Red (cloudy); Flashing Red (rain); Flashing White .(snow). <Photo above by Richard Lautens, Toronto Star>

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR TORONTO & ONTARIO MOVIE-GOERS – CINEMAS TO REOPEN

Step #3 is about to take place, and Ontario’s cinemas are about to re-open on Friday, July 16th. There’s a safety catch though – attendance across the province will be restricted to audiences of 50% within all auditoriums – locations big or small. More upcoming good news – the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) should take place this coming September. Festival staff had been hoping that all Ontario movie theatres would open this summer and stay that way. Some film titles in waiting – ‘A Quiet Place Part II’, ‘Zola and F9’, ‘The Green Knight’, and ‘The Black Widow’ among others, some of which were screened in Drive-In Theatres.

TORONTO WILL BE COMING BACK SOON – THESE LISTS COULD COME IN HANDY

LARGE THEATRES
*Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street, http://www.canadianstage.com
*Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front Street East, http://www.canadianstage.com
*CAA (formerly Panasonic) Theatre, 651 Yonge St., http://www.mirvish.com
*Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.ticketmaster.ca
*Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/venues/fleckdancetheatre/
*Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (Opera House), 145 Queen St. W., http://www.coc.ca
*Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., http://www.mirvish.com
*Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W., http://www.mirvish.com
*Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., http://www.sonycentre.ca
*Streetcar Crow’s Theatre, 345 Carlaw Av., http://www.crowstheatre.com
*St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E., http://www.stlc.com
*Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St., http://www.tocentre.com
*Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.ticketmaster.ca
*Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
*Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front Street East, https://tickets.youngpeoplestheatre.ca/TheatreManager/1/onlineMORE THEATRES
*Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, http://www.alumnaetheatre.com
*Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor Street West, http://www.baddogtheatre.com
*Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., http://www.buddiesinbadtimes.com
*Cahoots Theatre Company, staging diversity, 388 Queen St. E., http://www.cahoots.ca
*Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth Av., http://www.coalminetheatre.com
*Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street, http://www.factorytheatre.ca
*Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto, http://harthouse.ca/hart-house-theatre/
*Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Ave., http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
*MacMillan Theatre, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, http://www.music.utoronto.ca
*National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen Street West, https://national.ballet.ca
*Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen St. E., http://www.redsandcastletheatre.com
*Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton, Ontario, http://www.brampton.ca/sites/rose-theatre/en/Pages/Welcome.aspx
*Second City, sketch comedy theatre that’s launched many careers, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
*Shaw Festival Theatres, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, https://www.shawfest.com/
*Stratford Festival Theatres, Stratford, Ontario
*Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor Street West, pushes creative boundaries, an original, http://www.thestorefronttheatre.com
*Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., http://www.tarragontheatre.com
*Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., http://www.theatrecentre.org
*Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue, http://www.passemuraille.on.ca
*Toronto Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester St., Cabbagetown, http://www.tdt.org
*Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club, 224 Richmond St. West, https://www.yukyuks.com/toronto
CONCERT HALLS
*Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Av., http://www.thedanforth.com
*George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge Street, http://www.tocentre.com/theatres/george-weston-recital-hall
*Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W., http://www.cbc.ca/glenngould
*Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com
*Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., http://www.hughsroom.com
*Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, http://www.rcmusic.com
*Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street, http://www.masseyhall.com
*Opera House, 735 Queen St. East, http://theoperahouse.ticketoffices.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4P_S_OGJ2QIVlLjACh0D0QC9EAAYASAAEgJVj_D_BwE
*Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, http://www.roythomson.com
*Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W., http://www.trinitystpauls.ca
CENTRAL CITY CINEMAS
*Carlton, 9 screens, fully licensed, $5 Tuesdays, 20 Carlton Street, https://imaginecinemas.com
*Grand Gerrard Theatre, 1035 Gerrard St. East, independent, film screenings, live music, comedy, performance art, one of Toronto’s oldest cinemas, https://www.blogto.com/arts/2019/04/toronto-grand-gerrard-theatre/
*Hot Docs Ted Rogers, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West, https://www.cinemaclock.com/theatres/hot-docs-ted-rogers-cinema
*Market Square, 80 Front Street East, several screens, https://imaginecinemas.com/cinema/market-square/
*Mount Pleasant, 675 Mount Pleasant Road, big screen, 2nd run features, some European films, etc., https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/mount-pleasant
*Ontario Science Centre Omnimax,770 Don Mills Road, https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/imax
*Paradise Cinema, 1006 Bloor Street West, newly restored, independent, an outstanding schedule of films old and new, https://paradiseonbloor.com/
*Regent, 551 Mount Pleasant Road, 2nd run features, big screen, https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/regent
*Revue, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, neighbourhood cinema, second-run, documentary & foreign features, http://www.revuecinema.ca
*Royal, documentaries, festivals, foreign, second-run features, 608 College Street, http://www.theroyal.to
*Scotiabank Toronto Imax (Cineplex), 259 Richmond Street West, multiplex & IMAX, 14 screens, http://www.imax.com/theatres/scotiabank-toronto-imax
*TIFF Bell Lightbox, 5 screens, movies that don’t play in the multiplex, for times and schedule go to http://www.tiff.net
*Varsity Cinemas (Cineplex), Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West, 12 screens, https://www.cinemaclock.com/theatres/cineplex-varsity-vip
*Yonge-Dundas Cinemas (Cineplex), multiplex & IMAX, 26 screens, 10 Dundas Street East, http://www.imdb.com/showtimes/cinema/CA/ci25232552/CA/M6M1W6
******Complete movie times, Toronto cinemas, reviews, from NOW Magazine, a handy address – http://movies.nowtoronto.com/#/nowplaying
MUSEUMS IN & AROUND TORONTO
*Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, http://www.agakhanmuseum.org
*Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King St. West, Hamilton, http://www.artgalleryofhamilton.com
*Art Gallery of Mississauga, http://www.artgalleryofmississauga.com
*Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.ca
*Bata Shoe Museum, only two in the world, 327 Bloor St. West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
*Black Creek Pioneer Village, heritage museum, partly outdoors, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, http://www.blackcreek.ca
*Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto’s castle, http://www.casaloma.ca
*Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Boulevard, http://www.fortyork.ca
*Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, 111 Queen’s Park, http://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca
*Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street, http://www.hhof.com
*Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle, http://www.arts.utoronto.ca/galleries.htm
*Mackenzie House Museum, 82 Bond Street, interprets Victorian life of the 1860’s, 416-302-6915
*McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, http://www.mcmichael.com
*Metropolitan Toronto Police Museum & Discovery Centre, 40 College St., http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/museum
*MZTV Museum of Television, 64 Jefferson Ave., Liberty Village, http://www.mztv.com
*Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road, http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca
*Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, free, http://www.thepowerplant.org
*Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Museum & Archives, https://www.qormuseum.org
*Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, http://www.rom.on.ca
*Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), 33 Gould Street, large photography gallery, free admission, http://www.ryersonimagecentre.ca
*Spadina House Museum and gardens, 235 Spadina Rd., 416-392-6910, https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/museums/spadina-museum/
*Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Street, http://www.textilemuseum.ca
*Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 216 Main Street, Markham, http://www.varleygallery.ca
CITY CENTRE ART GALLERIES
*A Space, established contemporary, 401 Richmond St. West, http://www.aspacegallery.org
*Barbara Edwards Contemporary, 1069 Bathurst Street, http://www.becontemporary.com
*Bay of Spirits, 156 Front St. West, First Nations art, http://www.bayofspirits.com
*Canadian Sculpture Centre, 500 Church Street, http://www.cansculpt.org
*Christopher Cutts, 21 Morrow Avenue, http://www.cuttsgallery.com
*Clint Roenisch, 190 St. Helens Avenue, contemporary, avant-garde, http://www.clintroenisch.com
*Corkin Gallery, 7 Tank House Lane, Distillery District, http://www.corkingallery.com
*Daniel Faria, contemporary, converted warehouse, 188 St. Helens Avenue, http://www.danielfariagallery.com
*Diaz Contemporary, 100 Niagara Street, http://www.diazcontemporary.ca
*Koffler Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, http://www.kofflerarts.org
*Mercer Union, contemporary art, 1286 Bloor St. West, http://www.mercerunion.org
*Mira Godard, 22 Hazelton Avenue, long-established, Canadian & international artists, http://www.godardgallery.com
*Olga Korper, 17 Morrow Avenue, long-established, http://www.olgakorpergallery.com
*Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, 30 Abell Street, founded in 1996, http://www.propellerctr.com
*Sandra Ainsley, 100 Sunrise Avenue #150, leading dealer in contemporary glass, http://www.sandraainsleygallery.com
*Stephen Bulger, 1356 Dundas St. West, long-established photography gallery, http://www.bulgergallery.com
*Thompson Landry Gallery, 32 Distillery Lane, Distillery District, specializes in Quebec art, both contemporary & the masters, http://www.thompsonlandry.com
LGBTQ COMMUNITY INFO
*(ArQuives), formerly the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, 2nd largest in the world, 34 Isabella Street, http://www.clga.ca
*Legit, 2nd Thursday monthly, immigration legal counsel, 519 Centre, 519 Church Street, http://www.legit.ca
*Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue, just above Gerrard St. East, http://www.mcctoronto.com
*Out and Out, LGBTQ outdoors club, http://www.outandout.ca
*Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory, http://www.thepinkpagesdirectory.com
*ProudFM 103.9, Toronto’s LGBTQ radio station, http://www.proudfm.com
*Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps individuals in countries where being LGBTQ invites violence, imprisonment or even death, http://www.rainbowrailroad.ca
*Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps, http://www.rotctoronto.com
*Xtra magazine, gay news from Toronto, Vancouver & Ottawa, http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx

URBAN VERSUS RURAL, ONTARIO HOUSE PRICES ARE GOING WAY UP – IS TORONTO THE FELON?

Toronto and its surroundings are getting lots of criticism for skyrocketing costs in the battle to try and secure homes in smaller towns and cities – not to forget farmers and others who depend on tourism. ‘Toronto Life’ headlines what’s going on above “a market gone berserk; over-asking hysteria; million-dollar dumps; rabid bidding wars; sight-and-unseen offers.” The big city in the south, that’s Greater Toronto, has become the cherry-on-top amongst realters, and it’s now being grilled by the press. Is the city to blame for this?  Data in the Globe and Mail puts it – “Toronto buyers are behind the uptick in house prices across Ontario.”With images like these in the back of our minds, some thoughts were forthcoming from Rachelle Younglai in a June 5th Globe story. First off, multiple offers are common now in much of Ontario. – “Torontonians are contributing to the spike in real estate prices in cottage country and smaller Ontario cities. (They are) driving up the prices . . . and have helped (increase them) on residential properties.”  It’s true that there are some higher paying jobs in Toronto, but along with those are much higher costs to afford a big city roof over our heads.  <Photo above – by Dreamstime> A Teranet Study, which analyzed mortgage activity in the provincial land registry, found that Torontonians and the rest of the province spent similar amounts if a condo was involved. The study found that a Toronto condo owner spent an average of $523,000 on a condo outside the city in 2020, compared to the provincial average of $505,000. According to the study, migrating Torontonians are busy increasing growth of the Simcoe Region and Cottage Country to the north, along with Durham to the east.

HOW GREAT IT IS WHEN CANADIAN STAGE SHARES ITS OUTDOOR AMPHITHEATRE WITH OTHERS

Canadian Stage is planning to make room for the much-anticipated return of live, in-person theatre, dance and music to Toronto this summer. It’s putting aside the normal Shakesperanean outdoor productions of the Bard – and instead share its 1,000-seat open-air Amphitheatre in High Park with a wide variety of local arts groups from the end of June/2021 into September. Most exciting will be full productions of a new Canadian musical; a new work by two-time Governor General’s Literary Award-winner Jordan Tannahill. A special performance beyond the Amphitheatre will use the entirety of High Park itself. All will be physically distanced, mask-wearing audiences up to 100 – with strict COVID-19 protocols on stage and off. Running times will be around 90 minutes. See the full Dream in High Park 2021 line-up. And there’ll be so much more.