TORONTO TAKES A RELAXED APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO URBAN WILDLIFE – RACCOONS FOR INSTANCE

We have them all – coyotes, squirrels, rats, mice, chipmunks, skunks, foxes, groundhogs, muskrats, stray dogs, bats, beaver, possums, and #1 on the list – a lot of raccoons. In fact Toronto and Brooklyn, New York are the raccoon capitals of North America. They can pick latches, ride the subway now-and-then, invade attics in 10 minutes, browse back yards and gardens, climb trees, open the green food bins, establish themselves on rooftops and so on. They’re in charge and they know it. Toronto’s raccoons are fatter than ever. Temperatures have gone up and hibernation has become a non-starter for these cute, noisy, garbage-loving creatures of the night.  <Photo Above – a raccoon who lives at the Toronto Zoo.>

OH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL – FAMOUS PLAYERS’ IMPERIAL CINEMA ON YONGE ST., CA1960’S

The Imperial could seat about 3,000 movie-goers, and then it was sub-divided.  In the 1960’s while a Ryerson student, I had the privilege of a job there in uniform – which meant a lot of standing and holding a flashlight.  After a while I moved on to Loew’s, a block or so south.  Same job, similar uniform.  There I watched ‘Gypsy’ 27 times, ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’, ‘Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte’, the Doris Day movies with Rock Hudson, and several other musicals and dramas over and over again.  That’s the life of an usher.

TORONTO IS STILL IN PARTIAL LOCKDOWN, BUT WE CAN SALUTE THE IRISH ON MARCH 17TH

In September/2017 Ross and I were in The Republic of Ireland and had plans to visit Northern Ireland when the skies opened up and we sampled an Irish deluge. We’ll go up north next time. My day was made when the tourism lady asked my name. When she heard my last name, Moore, she said “you’re one of us!” with a jolly good laugh. We went off to explore the capital and there was plenty there to explore.You can’t miss the Spire of Dublin, or the Monument of Light. Either one, it’s made of stainless steel, 121 meters tall, located on the site of the former Nelson’s Pillar on O’Connell Street in the heart of the city.Oscar Wilde’s childhood home, now restored and occupied by the American College DublinThere’s so much to do and see in Dublin, that once the pandemic ends, we’ll both be on our way there again.Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

REMEMBERING CHARLES THOMAS CONNORS, AN ALL-CANADIAN PATRIOT WHO LEFT US IN 2013

He’s gone now – but the legendary STOMPIN’ TOM CONNORS left behind 61 albums of Canadiana folk hits to remember him by.  What red-blooded Canadian hasn’t heard Bud The Spud, Sudbury Saturday Night, Canada Day, Up Canada Way – and his all-time gift to the National Hockey League – The Hockey Song.  Stompin’ Tom received the Order of Canada in 1996, and was put on a postage stamp in 2009. Stompin’ Tom was married to LENA WELSH on November 2, 1973.  The wedding was shown live on Elwood Glover’s CBC television show, followed by lunch, a screening of Connors’ concert film, and a party for 600.Born in SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick, he was adopted by a family in SKINNERS POND, Prince Edward Island, and lived there until he was fifteen – <PHOTO – Dorothy Steward> Stompin’ Tom was a regular performer at TORONTO’s Horseshoe Tavern on Queen Street West.