IN THIS WORLD THERE ARE SUCH BEINGS AS RONCESVALLES (SPHYNX) CATS & ALBINO SQUIRRELS

They’ve been called “the ugliest cats alive” because of their angular, elongated, mostly hairless bodies. But they’re friendly and suitable for cat lovers with hair allergies. The sphynx cat arrived in TORONTO’s Roncesvalles neighbourhood in the winter of 1966. Its mother, Elizabeth, delivered a wrinkled, hairless male kitten, later named ‘Prune’. A cat breeder turned Prune’s mutation into a new breed, which eventually became the famed Roncesvalles Cat. <PHOTOS by Holly Nellis>There’s much more to this story, and you’ll find it at – http://torontoist.com/2013/03/toronto-invents-the-sphynx-cat/GRAEME MACKAY, a cartoonist with the Hamilton Spectator, came across an albino squirrel <ABOVE> near the Capitol building in WASHINGTON DC. He had never seen anything like it, and posted the photo on his Twitter site.<PHOTO ABOVE – A Crawford Street albino, by John Phillips>
TORONTO, which is full of black squirrels, once had pure white albinos in Trinity-Bellwoods Park. You could also find them in the west end, in High Park or even on Crawford Street. Then again, you might not. If they’ve disappeared, it’s a shame.

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FIRST OF ITS KIND IN CANADA – TORONTO ZOO OPENS A STATE-OF-THE-ART WILDLIFE HEALTH CENTRE

The TORONTO Zoo takes pride in being a centre of excellence when it comes to animal care, reproductive sciences, nutritional physiology, conservation and wildlife research.Now the Zoo has a modern facility and a team devoted to wildlife health care.
<Dr. PAULINE DELNATTE working on a “client”.>TORONTO Zoo invites you to see behind-the-scenes in several of the rooms – Diagnostic Imaging, Treatment, Surgery, Clinical Lab and Endocrinology Lab.The Wildlife Health Centre is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. From the Tundra Zoomobile Station, follow the path adjacent to the Greenhouse.

UNION STATION TORONTO >>> UNION STATION CHICAGO – AMTRAK IS WORKING ON IT

AMTRAK, the American passenger railroad, has seriously proposed a Chicago/Toronto service on its Wolverine Line. ”Amtrak is exploring places to modernize and expand its network. A Chicago/Western Michigan to Detroit to Toronto corridor is one of the routes where we see promise,” Marc Magliari, Amtrak Public Relations Manager, told NARCITY.
The travel time would be about the same as the AMTRAK service from TORONTO to New York City – anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. Both Chicago and New York are each around 500 miles from TORONTO. In terms of border crossing, upgrades would have to be made.

WHAT’S UP AT THIS YEAR’S CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION ? – UNTIL LABOUR DAY, SEPT. 2/2019

‘RACCOONS REIMAGINED’, a salute to TORONTO’s wildlife; a Godzilla celebration; the EX Race; National Geographic photography;The SUPER DOGS Show; CNE Innovation Garage (robots); CNE Gaming Garage; Casino; First Nations exhibit.Canadian International Air ShowNew ride for 2019 – STAR DANCER; Burton Cummings; 50th anniversary salute to Woodstock; Johnny Orlando; April Wine; Buffy Sainte-Marie; Jann Arden; Kid’s World; a Wine Garden, farm animals.Nova Scotia’s Amethyst Scottish Dancers;The Cat Show; Warriors’ Day Parade; Fan Expo Celebrity Car Show;Oktoberfest; Comedy Night . . . . . etc. For all the details and times go to http://www.theEx.com

THE C.N.E.’S FOOD BUILDING BEGAN LIFE IN 1922 AS THE ‘PURE FOOD BUILDING’

Rather a crotchety old thing, the Canadian National Exhibition’s PURE FOOD BUILDING was demolished in 1953 to make way for something more modernist.<PHOTO ABOVE – the modern Food building, 1957>To this day, it remains one of the highlights of the Fair.  <b/w photos by City of TORONTO Archives and Sidewalk Labs>One of the highlights of the Food Building itself is TINY TOM’s “tiny doughnuts”, a CNE fixture since 1959. There’s nothing more synonymous with the CNE than those morsels of deep-fried dough. They can’t make enough of them. The tiny treats were perfected by Ron and Syd Brazier more than 50 years ago – inspired by another vendor who’d come up from New York State. His Tom Thumb Donuts begat Tiny Tom Donuts – and the rest is history.This year, the Canadian National Exhibition runs from Friday, August 16 to Labour Day, Monday, September 2/2019. . . . . Have fun at the Fair!

AUTHOR LEE SHIMANO IS A TRUE FAN OF THE C.N.E. AND SHE’S PUBLISHED A BOOK ABOUT IT

LEE SHIMANO is a CNE enthusiast, and her treasured collection of Canadian National Exhibition memorabilia is most impressive. As a youngster she says “the CNE was this huge, magical world. It was only open for . . . 10 to 14 days. So it was very special.”  And a perfect subject for a book.Ms. Shimano’s book, ‘Treasures of the CNE”, features her private collection and the positive stories of.people who loved Canada’s largest fair. The self-published book came out in 2017. It’s from FRIESENPRESS, and it’s also available from AMAZON as well as several other outlets. <PHOTO BELOW – the Canadettes on the big stage at the Ex, 1960’s>

NOT SO LONG AGO, THE TWO GATEWAYS TO EXHIBITION PLACE WERE ARCHITECTURAL CHALLENGES

The first DUFFERIN GATE was built in 1895 <that’s it in the middle>. It became a meeting place for people preparing to enter the Canadian National Exhibition. But as the Fair was modernizing, the first low-rise gate was torn down in 1910 and replaced by architect G.W. GOUINLOCK’s grand structure, with single storied wings on either side of the entrance.Then in 1959 a new modern gateway took shape, with nearby railway, streetcar and bus stops.The new Gate was decorated with flags, lightbulbs and garlands, giving it “a theatrical look”, according to William Dendy in his book ‘Lost Toronto’. It was designed by ARTHUR KEITH, who’d been chief architect on Toronto Transit’s Yonge subway project.  It reminds me of a smaller version of the St. Louis Arch. <b/w photos by City of TORONTO Archives & Sidewalk Labs>Meanwhile, on the east side of the grounds, a spectacular new Princes’ Gate, dedicated to the Prince of Wales, took the place of honour as the main entrance to Exhibition Place and the C.N.E. <PHOTO BELOW by JACK LANDAU, UrbanToronto.ca >