FROM THE STREET, THE MAX TANENBAUM SCULPTURE GARDEN IS WELL HIDDEN – BUT IT’S THERE

Between Toronto’s Bridgepoint Hospital and the Don Valley Parkway, you’ll find a large sculpture garden containing 20 works by the deceased Canadian artist WILLIAM LISHMAN. The life-sized sculptures aim to celebrate the human spirit, and they were gifted by the Tauba and Solomon Spiro Foundation.<PHOTO – George Pyron>Residents of the Hospital have a pathway below the sculptures. There are plenty of benches and a forest of trees separating the walking path from the expressway – which can get quite noisy. To get there, cross the Gerrard Street Bridge and turn left on the west side of the Hospital. Straight ahead the Garden will come into view. <PHOTO – Flickr><PHOTO – Diane Walton><PHOTO – George Pyron><PHOTO – FlickRriver><PHOTO – urbantoronto.ca><ABOVE – Bridgepoint Hospital>

F.Y.I. – ARRANGING FOR HOME REPAIR DURING THE PANDEMIC – FROM JEN TRIPP’S NEWSLETTER

1. Ask the repairman or technician before arrival if they’ll be wearing a face mask. Don’t assume this.
2. Ask in advance if they will keep their distance.
3. Ask if they’ve been screened for COVID-19 symptoms or been exposed to the virus.
4. Keep your distance when they’re working, and refrain from engaging in conversation.
5. Avoid hand shakes, wear a mask as long as the repairman is there; give them space to work.
6. Before the technician or repairman arrives, disinfect the work area.
7. Before arrival, disinfect areas they may touch – door knobs, bathrooms, and sink faucets.
8. Repeat #7 once the technician or repairman has left.“Life happens, even during a pandemic. The washing machine breaks, the sink leaks, the stove goes cold. For months, you’ve been limiting house guests. But this is different: You need a service technician. Having someone breach your safe space is not without risk, so it needs to be done carefully. Something else you can do: Open doors and windows. The fresh air may dilute any virus that might have hitched a ride with the service tech. Running a central A/C may also help. Herb Weisbaum, The Washington Post.>

TORONTO, CHICAGO, AL CAPONE, BILLIE HOLIDAY, PROHIBITION & THE WINCHESTER

Chicago mobster Al Capone made himself at home in TORONTO’s Winchester Hotel.Billie Holiday sang from the stage.  Hooks in the ceiling supported a trapeze used in burlesque acts, and some of the biggest entertainers of the 1920’s and 30’s played for the locals.  While MONTREAL was entertaining gangsters in its nightclubs and bars, staid TORONTO was busy making rye whisky at the huge Gooderham and Worts distillery on lower Parliament Street.  It was a natural fit for Al Capone and the mob.  Buy the booze in Ontario, transport it to Windsor, then through the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, or on an intercity ferryboat, and onward to thirsty Americans.  At its peak, in 1928, Windsor-Detroit had anywhere from 16,000 to 25,000 speakeasies, blind pigs, clubs and joints.  The patrons were drinking booze made 250 miles east in conservative, church-going, teatotaling TORONTO.  The waterways separating Windsor and Detroit saw a huge part (one estimate: 75%) of the alcohol consumed in the United States during Prohibition.<ABOVE – customs officers at work during Prohibition><ABOVE – Al Capone’s hangout – the Winchester Hotel bar in Cabbagetown>

OCTOBER 15/1954 WAS THE NIGHT TORONTO REALLY FELT THE WRATH OF MOTHER NATURE

TORONTO has had its share of natural disasters – The Great Toronto Fire of 1906, and a couple of blizzards each and every year . . . . Serious floods as recently as 2013 and 2018;High winds on a regular basis.On the evening of October 15, 1954, HURRICANE HAZEL attacked TORONTO with winds reaching 124 kilometres an hour, and 200 millimetres (8 inches) of rain falling every 48 hours onto already saturated ground. <AERIAL PHOTO – Canadian Press>For this city, the eventual death toll was staggering –81 people died, 1,868 were left homeless, houses built on floodplains were demolished, 50 bridges damaged, and roads washed out.<PHOTO ABOVE – Pottery Road in the Don Valley, Star Weekly><PHOTO ABOVE – Rescue attempts during the storm’s aftermath – Toronto Telegram>The arrival of HAZEL was a surprise. TORONTO had no prior hurricane experience. Due to the destruction in Canada, the United States and Haiti, the name ‘Hazel’ was retired, and never used again for an Atlantic hurricane.As a result, all developments were banned on floodplains. Parks took the place of low-lying houses. Four conservation authorities formed the TORONTO & Region Conservation Authority to oversee watershed management and sustainability practices. Two large dams were built to control flooding, and all of this has shown its value to this very day.

ON A SUNNY HOLIDAY WEEKEND PHOTOGRAPHER ROSS WINTER CHECKED OUT CABBAGETOWN

<Metcalfe Street is alive with a multitude of trees – and black squirrels><F’Amelia, a very popular dining spot at #12 Amelia Street,><Some gingerbread on Sumach Street – one of the neighbourhood’s most photographed houses.><Hard to believe, but this was once a convenience store. Notice the traffic calming signs. They’re everywhere.><The corner ice-cream and coffee shop & gathering place – Sumach Street, opposite Riverdale Park.><A typical Cabbagetown laneway – there are many of them. Coming soon – more laneway houses if City Hall permits.>

‘EMPTY TOWERS IN SEATTLE’ – FROM THE TIMES, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6/2020

<With companies finding that many employees prefer to work from home, the end of the pandemic might not mean the end of remote work. An estimated 90% of Seattle office space is currently vacated due to the pandemic as employees work from home. Maybe TORONTO should take a deep breath.>

CROSSING CANADA IN A MODEL-T FORD WITH NO MOTOR COULD BE A CRAZY DREAM OR A NIGHTMARE

Two men from Amherst, Nova Scotia did it in 1927. The trip in a battered Model-T Ford was a brainchild of George Scott and Frank Elliott, whose descendants were named later for a famous carnival in Northern Nova Scotia.  With a bet of $1,000 they left Halifax on July 18, arriving in Vancouver on October 15,1927.  Their first tow took them to Truro, and from there to their hometown of Amherst. Crowds gathered as they crossed the land. The adventurers raised money by selling postcards, and hitched rides with passing vehicles, often along unpaved roads.Altogether their free lifts numbered 168; four were by teams of horses, and two by mule teams. Along the way people sheltered and fed them. They made the Guinness Book of Records after traveling 4,759 miles, and returning home via a coal boat through the Panama Canal.