A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘holidays

[URBAN NOTE] “Yonge and St. Clair business owners left reeling after Valentine’s Day blaze”

The Toronto Star reports on one strongly negative element from the fire two days ago at Yonge and St. Clair of the Badminton & Racquet Club: It deprived many stores in the area of much-needed business on Valentine’s Day.

It was a rotten Valentine’s Day for many businesses near a blaze that devoured a building in midtown Toronto.

Especially hard hit were the flower and card shops that rely on sales from the holiday.

“Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I’m a greeting card store, so you can only imagine that it definitely hit us hard,” said The Papery owner Marla Freedland, whose business sells cards and stationery.

The six-alarm blaze, which ignited Tuesday morning, tore through the historic Badminton and Racquet Club of Toronto until firefighters contained it in the evening. They stayed on-scene all night, and the fire was under control as of 5:45 a.m., said Chief Matthew Pegg of Toronto Fire Services.

“The two days of Valentine’s Day take care of the month of February. It’s not quite like Christmas, but for two days it’s like that,” she said of February 13 and 14.

Her business, at St. Clair and Yonge St. was closed at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, and didn’t reopen until 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that a Toronto family known for its Christmas lights display may be forced to ratchet back by city inspectors.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the apparent discovery of Kuiper Belt objects around white dwarf WD 1425+540.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining the possible orbital inclination of Proxima Centauri b, and points to another one speculating about upper limits to the masses of other exoplanets orbiting P_roxima Centauri.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to interviews with different historians noting how close the United States is to a scenario from 1930s Germany.
  • The LRB Blog notes that the actions of the American deep state to undermine elements of the Trump Administration seen as potentially threatening will certainly also undermine American democracy.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw looks at reasons for the continuing gap in life outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer links to a paper looking at the effect of Huey Long’s populism on Louisiana’s economy, noting that he had little effect on the markets. This suggests that counting on the markets to reign in populists before the crash may be a mistake.
  • Strange Maps links to a map and history of the Gagauz of Moldova.
  • Torontoist looks at the continuing decline of live music venues in Toronto.
  • Towleroad notes the origins of Der Spiegel‘s cover art showing Trump with the severed head of lady liberty in a Cuban exile’s work.
  • Window on Eurasia notes differences between how Russians and Americans think about ethnicity and citizenship in their diverse societies.

[URBAN NOTE] “Montreal can count on a double payout, sharing a birthday with Canada”

The Globe and Mail‘s Robert Everett-Green writes about how the conjunction of two anniversaries, Montréal’s 375th and Canada’s 150th, is set to give Montrealers a memorable year.

On May 18, 1642, a few dozen religious fanatics from France arrived at an island in the St. Lawrence River, held a celebratory mass and declared themselves home. Their goal was to build the New Jerusalem and convert the heathen.

Ville-Marie could have vanished like most utopian settlements, but it became Montreal. Many current residents may have little idea of the town’s original purpose, but lots of Montrealers have reason to be glad the missionaries didn’t reach their destination, say, a year earlier. If they had, Montreal would have lost a convenient overlap between significant anniversaries for their city and the country.

Canada 150 is also Montreal 375, as anyone who lives here can’t fail to know. In public discourse, the two fêtes are like paired runners in a three-legged race: One can’t appear without the other.

The convenience of this is that everyone in town, including federalists and sovereigntists, can feel festive without having to be specific about why. Also, since national celebrations inevitably bring on capital projects, Montreal can count on a double payout for every commemorative jackpot.

Each of the past two significant birthdays for country and city have yielded significant new building projects. For the 1992 celebrations, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts built a new pavilion, the Pointe-à-Callière museum of archeology and history opened its doors near the Old Port and the Musée d’art contemporain moved to its current site at Place des Arts. The McCord Museum had a major expansion, the historic Bonsecours Market reopened and the Montreal Biodome was installed in the former Olympic velodrome. Nineteen sixty-seven, of course, was the year of Expo, the ne plus ultra of overlapping anniversary projects. Expo helped provide the spark for the construction of the Montreal Metro and much else. Most importantly, for a few weeks in the summer, it made Montreal the undisputed centre of Canada, whatever Ottawa and Toronto might think. It also stoked the fever dreams of then-mayor Jean Drapeau, who imagined putting on some kind of international jamboree every five years, continuing with a failed Olympic bid for 1972 – disastrously realized, from a financial point of view, four year later.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm

[PHOTO] Happy Holidays from the TTC

Happy Holidays from the TTC #toronto #ttc #yongeandbloor #blooryonge #holidays #toytrain

Written by Randy McDonald

January 6, 2017 at 10:00 am

[URBAN NOTE] “Birthday bash or boondoggle? Montreal gets set to fête 375th anniversary”

The Globe and Mail‘s Ingrid Peritz describes controversy in Montréal over the cost of celebrating the 375th anniversary of the city’s founding. I’m for the idea: Why not celebrate an anniversary of some note? Everyone loves a party.

Montrealers do not need much of an excuse to party, but some are wondering why they are supposed to celebrate when their city turns 375 this year.

The birthday falls awkwardly between a semiseptcentennial (350 years) and a quadricentennial (400 years). The anniversary does not even have a formal name.

Then there’s the cost of the presents, including $39.5-million to illuminate the majestic Jacques Cartier Bridge. At least this gift is scheduled to arrive on time. Others are not expected until Montreal turns 376 or 377.

To boosters, however, staging a full year of celebrations – and spending millions doing it – is a way to lift the city’s spirits.

“It’s true, 375 isn’t a significant number,” admits Alain Gignac, general manager of the Society for the Celebration of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary. “But why not celebrate? We were starting to get used to a kind of gloominess. … We thought, why not mark the moment, give Montreal a little energy and pride, and a sense of belonging to Montrealers so that they can get into the party.”

Written by Randy McDonald

January 4, 2017 at 9:15 pm

[PHOTO] 12:01

12:01

Happy New Year!

Written by Randy McDonald

January 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Photo, Toronto

Tagged with , ,

[URBAN NOTE] “Kwanzaa connects Torontonians to ancestry as it marks 50th anniversary”

CBC News’ Taylor Simmons notes that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa.

Zakiya Tafari remembers celebrating his first Kwanzaa over 20 years ago.

“I was introduced to it at a very young age and just found it to be really empowering,” he said.

“There are some guiding principles that really help individuals know who we are as individual black people, what are some of the great things that our ancestry came from and what we need to be doing to move that message forward.”

He sees that continuation in his 12-year-old daughter. This year, she bought a new dashiki, a colourful African garment, to wear during their Kwanzaa celebration.

“It’s really cool to see a kid who grew-up in a different generation from me, who’s very much a modern kid … but she still respects some of her African ancestry and is proud to embrace it.”

The centrepiece of Kwanzaa, according to Tafari, is spending time with each other.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 26, 2016 at 10:29 pm