A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘christianity

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto’s black history unearthed in excavation of landmark church”

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John Lorinc reports for the Toronto Star about a fascinating dig on the site of an old African Canadian church, the British Methodist Episcopal church in the middle of Toronto.

It has been called “one of the most important blocks of black history in Toronto,” a place where African Americans, fleeing slavery, found refuge to live, work and worship.

On this tract of land, just north of Osgoode Hall, a handful of African Methodists built a small wood frame church in 1845. It served as the spiritual and political centre of the city’s growing black community, which was asserting its voice in the abolitionist movement and welcoming an influx of families seeking freedom via the Underground Railroad.

Eventually, the congregation outgrew the tiny church and replaced it with a handsome brick temple. But after more than a century, membership dwindled, the congregation moved and the temple was sold off. In the late 1980s, the building was demolished to make way for a parking lot and, until last fall, the church was largely forgotten.

Now, with that same lot being prepared for the development of a new state-of-the-art provincial courthouse, the rich history of Chestnut St.’s British Methodist Episcopal Church has resurfaced, along with that of the 19th-century neighbourhood surrounding it.

Hundreds of thousands of artifacts have been discovered at the 0.65-hectare site — larger than a football field — near University Ave. and Dundas St. Infrastructure Ontario, the government agency overseeing construction, provided the Toronto Star with unique access to the five-month dig, considered one of the most extensive urban archeological projects in North America.

Unearthed ceramics, tools, toys and remnants of clothing are helping to compose a fascinating and largely untold story of the distant origins of Toronto’s diversity.

“Archeology often becomes the voice for the people without history,” says Holly Martelle, the consulting archeologist for the dig.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 23, 2016 at 11:15 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Beyond the Beyond considers the floating mountains of Pluto.
  • The Boston Globe‘s Big Picture notes the story of a church that transitioned from an old-style church building to a storefront.
  • blogTO shares a photo of the Gardiner Expressway, closed for construction.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the search for life around red giant stars.
  • Crooked Timber criticizes left-wing Brexit proponents for the contradictions in their politics.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at mountain-building on Io.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas wonders if the kids are all right in an age of ubiquitous technology.
  • The LRB Blog notes Trump’s acceptance by Fox.
  • Otto Pohl shares a list of his articles dealing with the Crimean Tatars.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer examines air pollution and car traffic in Mexico City.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the political popularity of Sufis in Dagestan.
  • Arnold Zwicky celebrates actor Joe Dallesandro.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes that the Canadian government has prevented Conrad Black from selling his Forest Hill mansion on account of taxes.
  • Dangerous Minds shares a beautiful 1981 live performance by The Church.
  • Language Log notes the inclusion of Singaporean and Hong Kong English words into the OED.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the four Italian nuns who helped the Vatican map prt of the sky.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the increasing concentration of the Quakers in Kenya, and by extension other Christian denominations in Africa.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the success of solar energy in Mexico.
  • Strange Maps notes the history of Middle Eastern migration into Europe.
  • Torontoist looks at a Kensington Market project displaying graffiti from around the world.
  • Towleroad notes Donald Trump’s refusal to reveal his tax returns.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the role played by Vladimir Zhirinovsky in Russian politics.
  • Zero Geography links to a paper co-authored by the blogger looking at the online representation of Jerusalem.

[LINK] “Latin America’s Indigenous Peoples Find an Ally in the Pope”

Emilio Godoy’s Inter Press Service article is enlightening.

“We want Pope Francis’ message to come true…We want the rights of indigenous people to be supported, respected and strengthened,” Yuam Pravia, a representative of the Misquito native people, said in this city in southern Mexico.

Pravia, a Misquito indigenous woman from Honduras, was taking part Feb. 13-14 in a gathering of native people from Latin America in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

The forum was part of the activities organised ahead of the pope’s Monday Feb. 15 visit to this impoverished state with a mainly indigenous population.

“With the ‘Laudato Si’ encyclical we defend the rights to land, territory and forests,” was the theme of the two-day gathering, which referred to the first encyclical in history dedicated to the environment, published by the pope in June 2015.

“We want tangible results, for each country to take the pope’s message on board,” Pravia, the representative of the non-governmental organisation Asla Takanka Miskitia-Moskitia Unity of Honduras, told IPS.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Nuns who feed San Francisco’s homeless face eviction”

Al Jazeera America notes that rising rents are driving a Catholic sisterhood out of San Francisco.

Sister Mary Benedicte wants to focus on feeding the hungry lined up outside a soup kitchen in a gritty part of San Francisco.

But the city’s booming economy means even seedy neighborhoods are demanding higher rents, threatening to force out an order of nuns who serve the homeless.

The sisters of Fraternite Notre Dame’s Mary of Nazareth House said they can’t afford a monthly rent increase of more than 50 percent, from $3,465 to $5,500, and they have asked their landlord for more time to find a cheaper place to serve the poor.

“Everywhere the rent is very high, and many places don’t want a soup kitchen in their place,” Sister Mary Benedicte said Tuesday, in French-accented English. “It’s very, very hard to find a place for a soup kitchen where people can feel welcome and where we can set up a kitchen for a reasonable price.”

Since 2008, the modest kitchen has sat on a derelict street in the Tenderloin neighborhood, long associated with homelessness and drug use. But it’s within walking distance of a revitalizing middle Market Street area, led by the relocation of Twitter in 2012.

There’s been a “dramatic increase” in residential and retail rents in the middle Market area since 2010, spilling over into the Tenderloin, said Brad Lagomarsino, an executive vice president with commercial real estate company Colliers International.

The still-seedy neighborhood, in other words, is trending up.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • As noted by The Dragon’s Gaze, Centauri Dreams hosts an essay hotly defending the argument that KIC 8462852 has dimmed sharply.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the links between classical liberalism and the refusal to aid the victims of the Irish famine.
  • D-Brief notes that ancient Babylonian astronomers were close to developing calculus.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that a large majority of Germans and a majority of Australian MPs back marriage equality.
  • Marginal Revolution speculates that much of China’s growth slowdown is a consequence of declining construction.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares photos from Chang’e 3.
  • Peter Rukavina describes his work creating an online Schedule for Charlottetown transit.
  • Savage Minds considers authenticity in relationship to digital models of artifacts.
  • Science Sushi, at Discover, notes the complex social lives of at least some octopi.
  • Transit Toronto notes rising GO Transit prices.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the decline of the Russian Orthodox Church’s presence in Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • blogTO looks back to see when Yonge and Dundas was cool.
  • James Bow is decidedly unimpressed about Toronto’s ever-shifting plans for mass transit.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the opposition of Pope Francis to Italy’s civil unions bill.
  • Language Log notes Hong Kong’s mixture of Cantonese and English, and shares a bit of pop music.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw wonders if Australia has peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, if its originality ended then.
  • Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Science Blog shares XKCD’s charting of the spaces for undiscovered but possible planets in our solar system.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes that the Ukrainian population is continuing to decline.
  • Spacing Toronto examines the history of the Toronto Coach Terminal.
  • Transit Toronto suggests that current mass transit plans evoke Transit City, the difference being that Transit City would be substantially done by now.
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