A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Toronto’ Category

[PHOTO] Abandoned plush, Dovercourt at Hallam

leave a comment »

Abandoned plush, Dovercourt at Hallam #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dovercourtroad #hallamstreet #abandoned #plush

Written by Randy McDonald

September 23, 2016 at 10:59 am

[PHOTO] Three non-Harris works from The Idea of North

leave a comment »

One thing I liked about The Idea of North was the inclusion, mostly towards the end, of works which inspired Harris or which were inspired by Harris. His aesthetic lives on.

Rockwell Kent‘s Icebergs, Greenland, also painted in the 1930s, looks at the same Arctic territory Harris explored.

From Icebergs, Greenland, Rockwell Kent #toronto #artgalleryofontario #ago #theideaofnorth #rockwellkent #greenland #iceberg//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

A triptych of works by Nina Bunjevac, The Observer, reflected nicely Harris’ earlier urbanism. Sunny Days, below, looks at City Hall.

From The Observer: Sunny Days, Nina Bunjevac #toronto #ago #artgalleryofontario #theideaofnorth #lawrenharris #ninabunjevac #cityhall

This still from Jennifer Baichwal and Nick De Pencier‘s Ice Forms takes a look at Harris’ Arctic as the landscape enters a melt.

Still from Ice Forms, Jennifer Baichwal and Nick De Pencier #toronto #ago #artgalleryofontario #theideaofnorth #lawrenharris #jenniferbaichwal #nickdepencier #harrisago

[PHOTO] Columbus Parkette, Dundas at Sorauren, night

leave a comment »

Columbus Parkette, Dundas at Sorauren #toronto #night #columbusparkette #dundasstreetwest #soraurenavenue #roncesvalles #parks

Written by Randy McDonald

September 21, 2016 at 5:27 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Nearly triple the number of subway trains shut down by TTC because of extreme heat”

with one comment

The National Post‘s Victor Ferreira reports on the overheating subway cars on the Bloor-Danforth Line, still overheating on the 19th. (Believe me, I can testify to this.)

When James Ross takes the TTC to work in the morning, he’ll inevitably walk onto a Toronto subway car without air conditioning.

It’s unbearable for Ross, the TTC’s Head of Subway Transportation, but instead of following the flock of riders off onto another train car, he’ll stand inside and take the heat.

“I’ll stick it out because I’m trying to set an example, but we can’t kid ourselves,” Ross said. “It’s not pleasant.”

Between June 1 and September 13, the TTC took 63 trains out of service because of the extreme heat inside the cars, according to internal data obtained by the National Post. The number nearly tripled from 2015, when there were only 23 trains placed out of service in the same time frame due to hot cars. It took between nine and 225 minutes to repair and get each train back on the line during a summer when up to 25 per cent of subway cars were operating without working air conditioning units, causing an uproar among riders.

The chance of a train going out of service increases when the weather spikes, Ross said, because of a greater strain on the HVAC systems to keep trains cool. This August was the hottest one on record in Toronto, with temperatures rising 20 times above 29 C. In August, there were more cases of hot cars forcing trains out of service — 25 — than in the entire four-month span between June and September in 2015. Five cars were taken off the line because they were too hot on Aug. 12, when the temperature spiked to a high of 35.9 C.

But the TTC continues to place trains out of service due to hot cars, even when temperatures dip in the fall. A train on Line 2 was put out of service on Oct. 9, 2015 because it was too hot, despite temperatures only reaching 16.7 C that day. Later, on Nov. 5, 2015 — Toronto saw a high of 20.5 C — a train was taken out of service again because of hot cars.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 20, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Toronto, Urban Note

Tagged with , , ,

[URBAN NOTE] “Goodbye Vancouver: Foreign buyers now flooding Seattle and Toronto real estate markets”

leave a comment »

Global News’ Jill Slattery reports on how foreign buyers, disincentivized in Vancouver, seem now to be flooding into Canadian Toronto and nearby Seattle.

Foreign buyers are leaving Vancouver en masse, instead heading to cities like Seattle and Toronto to invest in real estate, according to numbers provided to Global News from Chinese realty website Juwai.com.

Juwai.com is “where Chinese find international property” according to their website. They claim to have over 2.4 million real estate listings across 58 countries and have for a long time, marketed Vancouver to their clientele as an attractive place to purchase homes.

But the allure of Vancouver may be fading, according to numbers from the company that suggest there was an 81 per cent drop in buying inquiries in Vancouver in August compared to August 2015.

The recorded drop comes the month after a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax was introduced in Metro Vancouver to thwart off the foreign demand that has helped to fuel an unprecedented rise in home prices across the region.

The demand may have shifted south of the border and to other cities across the country, according to Juwai.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 20, 2016 at 4:45 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Ontario will need to implement foreign buyer tax on housing, CIBC says”

leave a comment »

Well, yes. This CBC News report is unsurprising.

A prominent economist says that Ontario will have little choice but to implement a tax on foreign house buyers, similar to the 15 per cent surcharge recently slapped on home purchases in Vancouver.

In a recent note to clients, Benjamin Tal of CIBC says the biggest problem facing policymakers with regard to hot housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver is a limit on the supply of new homes.

In both cities, there’s a lack of undeveloped land to build new real estate in the downtown core.

“The main reason behind higher prices in the [Greater Toronto Area] is a policy-driven lack of land supply,” Tal said. “And with no change on that front, policymakers have to use demand tools to deal with what is essentially a supply problem.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Influx of Syrian refugees helps drive rise in use of food banks”

leave a comment »

The Globe and Mail‘s Tavia Grant shares some sad, if unsurprising, news about Syrian refugee poverty in Toronto.

Toronto’s food banks are seeing more people come through their doors, among them, an influx of Syrian refugees who are struggling with the city’s high cost of living.

The number of people accessing the city’s food banks rose 1 per cent this year, to 905,970, from last year and is still 13 per cent higher than 2008 levels, an annual count to be released Monday shows. The increase was partly driven by hundreds of newcomers from Syria who, having fled the five-year-old civil war, are now grappling with high rental costs and limited incomes.

Demand had been stable, but the sudden increase in the first three months of the year was the most rapid since the 2008 recession, noted the Daily Bread Food Bank report. “This most recent spike is the result of a combination of stagnant incomes, rapidly rising food and housing costs and an influx of newcomers, including Syrian refugees, making the difficult transition to a new country with little income.”

Canada has admitted 30,647 Syrian newcomers since last November as both government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees, with thousands more due to arrive this year. More than 12,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict have settled in Ontario since November.

Christine Markwell, who co-ordinates the Agincourt Community Services food bank, saw a “huge increase” in demand from Syrian families this year, and cites rental costs as a major factor. She has adjusted services as a result, now offering a drop-in on Tuesday afternoons especially for Syrian families, and recruiting more Arabic-speaking volunteers.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 20, 2016 at 4:15 pm