A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Toronto’ Category

[PHOTO] Dufferin Gate Loop, 11:16 pm

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Dufferin Loop, 11:16 pm #toronto #dufferinstreet #night #dufferinloop #ttc

I snapped this nighttime picture of the Dufferin Gate Loop, southern terminus of the 29 Dufferin route, while about to return from my failed attempt to see the lunar eclipse.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 1, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Photo, Toronto

Tagged with , , , ,

[URBAN NOTE] “Coun. John Filion’s Rob Ford book to hit shelves in October”

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CBC shares the news from the Canadian Press.

The antics of Coun. Rob Ford have inspired yet another book — this time written by a fellow city councillor.

Random House Canada says John Filion’s The Only Average Guy: Inside the Uncommon World of Rob Ford will examine “what drives him, why he acts the way he does, what’s important to him.”

Filion was a journalist before entering municipal politics, and Random House says he developed an unlikely camaraderie with the wildly unpredictable councillor from Etobicoke, Ont.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 30, 2015 at 10:05 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “To remember the Galleria Mall is not to hate change”

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I liked Edward Keenan’s Toronto Star article about the Galleria.

My esteemed colleague John Semley recorded a video column for thestar.com this week, pithily taking the vinegar out of “people who lament the passing of so-called ‘vintage Toronto,’” including the “tacky, gaudy neon stretches of Yonge St.,” and the “iconic eyesore Honest Ed’s.” The occasion for his comments was that some of us had been pouring one out and saying a few kind words in anticipation of the likely redevelopment of Galleria Mall, near Dufferin and Dupont.

“Nostalgia is fine and everything, but there’s a certain phoniness in shedding crocodile tears for a halfway rundown strip mall that most of us only went to to smirk about how halfway rundown it is.” Instead, he says “good riddance” and suggests we all need to “embrace newness.”

Now, I can’t be sure Semley is talking about me here. But as perhaps the only mainstream newspaper columnist to have recently written a remembrance of Galleria Mall — and as someone who has written lovingly in the past about Yonge St. neon, Honest Ed’s, and Captain John’s, among other passing eyesores — I figure I might as well make a point of clarification. Because whenever I write about memories of a place to mark a significant change, I get responses from people that are variations of “good riddance”: Why you getting sentimental about that ugly, unloved relic, Keenan? What do you want to do, freeze the city in amber? Save some junky old restaurant or store? Why do you hate change?

The thing is, I love change. I think that the mark of a living, growing city is that it’s constantly evolving, constantly being reinvented, as new generations and new immigrants make their own marks atop the footprints of those who came before.

I just also like noticing change — taking note of things, especially landmarks, that have been an odd or familiar or interesting part of the city as they’re about to disappear. I think of it like a little retrospective slideshow played at a graduation ceremony: we’re moving on to bigger and better things, and we’re happy about that, but we sure had some moments there in that place we’re leaving behind, didn’t we?

Written by Randy McDonald

September 30, 2015 at 9:54 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Vjosa Isai in the National Post on making Old City Hall a mall and museum

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Vjosa Isal’s report caught my attention.

In at least five years, visitors at Toronto’s Old City Hall could be greeted not by metal detectors at a security screening checkpoint, but shiny new storefronts. The former city hall building could be transformed into a mall, according to a city staff report.

Toronto’s Government Management Committee is set to consider the report next Monday, which proposes tenant options for the heritage property after provincial and municipal courts clear out by Dec. 31, 2021.

Real estate brokerage firm Avison Young was hired to analyze the space and market, and recommended that plans for the historic building at Bay Street and Queen Street West be implemented within five years “in order to generate and maintain market interest”.

“The results of the analysis concluded that the highest and best use for Old City Hall would be conversion to a retail centre that contains a mix of food service, leisure, event and civic uses,” it said, with part of the space possibly reserved for management and city offices.

The city’s suggested base rental rate is $41 per square foot, not including maintenance and operating costs.

See also Kelly Korducki’s Torontoist post.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 30, 2015 at 6:15 pm

[PHOTO] Ephemera of Leningrad, Gadabout Vintage, Toronto

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Ephemera of Leningrad #toronto #leslieville #ephemera #leningrad #sovietunion #stpetersburg #russia #cyrillic

Leslieville’s Gadabout Vintage ((1300 Queen Street East) has a vast collection of knick-knacks, including this thing, a box with a photo of a statue of Peter and Catherine.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes that Toronto’s old City Hall may yet become a shopping mall once the courts move out.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that worlds without plate tectonics are doomed to stop being habitable, and looks at different kinds of cosmic ray environments.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the Iranian buildup in Syria.
  • A Fistful of Euros has a reading list for Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Otto Pohl talks about the historic role of German minorities in Africa and Asia.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog shares a map of the Middle East’s Kurdish populations.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at campus safety in the age of threatening tweets.
  • Towleroad notes Michael Sam stating he could have had a better NFL career had he not come out.
  • Transit Toronto notes the TTC has taken its tenth new streetcar into service.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at intersections between assisted suicide and religious liberty.
  • Window on Eurasia notes controversy in Belarus over a Russian military base and looks at Circassians in Syria.

[PHOTO] Radish, flowering

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Radish, flowering #toronto #garden #gardening #radish #flowers

Only one of my many radish seeds sprouted this summer. This one, I let flower.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 29, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Photo, Toronto

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