A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘three torontos

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Yoko Ono, cars, St. Clair, York Region, First Nations, Quayside

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  • At NOW Toronto, local artist Jean Yoon reviews Yoko Ono’s new conceptual work The Riverbed, currently being exhibited at the Gardiner.
  • John Rieti at CBC notes the oddness of an observation by mayor John Tory that it is rare for parents in Toronto to not own a car.
  • Transit Toronto notes the installation of beacons to guide the blind at St. Clair station.
  • Apparently York Region’s school board does not pay students’ foster families enough. CBC reports.
  • A new study suggests that First Nations people in Toronto experience above-average levels of poverty and hunger. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Developers of a huge office-dominated complex in planned for emergent Quayside are seeking funding. The Toronto Star reports.
  • blogTO has a cute little item noting how author Elan Mastai is promoting his new book using the Little Free Libraries of Toronto.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Vimy Ridge Avenu, Community Housing, GO Transit, Toronto police

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  • The midtown Toronto street formerly known as Vimy Ridge Ave was renamed in 1928 because that First World War battle simply had not penetrated the Canadian consciousness. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Toronto Community Housing is going to sell off high-value real estate it owns while apparently not inconveniencing its tenants. The Globe and Mail reports.
  • Metrolinx is still going to approve two new GO Transit stations, Kirby and Lawrence East, despite apparent political interference. The Toronto Star reports.
  • It did take the murder of well-connected, out, white Andrew Kinsman to get police to take the idea of a serial killer seriously. What police told the family of Abdulbasir Faizi is unforgiveable. Global News reports.
  • Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders is lying about the lack of active community concern about the possibility of a serial killer at work in Church and Wellesley, and is underplaying the incompetence of Toronto police and his own role. What else can we say? The Globe and Mail covers this.

[URBAN NOTE] Seven Toronto links: Dafonte Miller, Pacific Mall, Scarborough, real estate, TTC

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  • The whole sorry story of Dafonte Miller, who was brutally beaten by two off-duty policemen whose actions were not reported to SIU and may in fact have been covered up by (among others) their cop father, is appalling. Do not trust the police. The Toronto Star reports.
  • The Pacific Mall has started to crack down, again, on counterfeit goods. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Extending bike share programs to Scarborough sounds like a good idea in theory, but is there yet the density and infrastructure needed to support this? The Toronto Star reports.
  • Trying to avoid Toronto becoming a preserve of the rich is a key goal. Will this result in the structural change to housing markets needed? The Toronto Star reports.
  • Residents of a condo complex at Bayview and Eglinton are concerned about the effects of Eglinton Crosstown construction, making it difficult for them to feel safe going to and from their homes. CBC reports.
  • Transit Toronto reports on the TTC’s latest overcrowding measures.
  • A Toronto real estate crunch could well drive talented people and professionals away from the city, one study reports. The Toronto Star notes.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: King Street, Annex, Yonge and Sheppard, Chinatown, Keita Morimoto

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  • Global News reports that, based on spending data from Moneris, consumer expenditures on King Street have not dropped during the transit experiment.
  • The homeless shelter in the Davenport Triangle area, thankfully, seems to be going through notwithstanding some local opposition and with the help of other locals. The Toronto Star reports.
  • An area of unused land near Yonge and Sheppard may not become a park after all, due to disputes over ownership. CBC reports.
  • These photos exploring how Chinatown on Spadina has evolved over the decades provide a good perspective on the development of this key neighoburhood. CBC reports.
  • Toronto Life showcases the classic paintings of Keita Morimoto, currently with an exhibition at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery downtown.

[URBAN NOTE] Six Toronto links: Come From Away, Toronto Tool Library, 401 Richmond, homeless, crime

  • Toronto Life interviews the creators of hit musical Come From Away, come back from New York City to play in Toronto.
  • blogTO notes that crowdfunding has saved the Toronto Tool Library.
  • Toronto city council backs a bigger tax break for culture hubs like 401 Richmond, the Toronto Star reports.
  • Paul Salvatori at NOW Toronto reports on one night–sad, fearful–that he spent in a Toronto shelter for the homeless. Surely the city can do better?
  • The Church of the Holy Trinity recently saw a memorial ceremony for the homeless of Toronto. The Toronto Star reports.
  • The iconic Leuty lifeguard station, down at Woodbine Beach, was recently tagged with racist graffiti. Police are investigating.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: King Street, Homeless Memorial, Kensington Market, Commerce Court

  • The King Street transit experiment could have been much broader, and much more radical, reports The Globe and Mail.
  • Emily Mathieu reports on Toronto’s Homeless Memorial, remembering the hundreds of people who died on the streets. Dean Lisowick is the latest addition to the sad list. The Toronto Star has it.
  • blogTO has some recommendations for people on interested in spending a night out in Kensington Market.
  • A development proposal means that the Commerce Court observation deck, in the Financial District, might be reopened to regular visitors some time in the foreseeable future. blogTO reports.
  • Edward Keenan has some fun imagining how, in a Toronto winter, some works of world literature might be adapted to reflect the weather. The Toronto Star has it.

[URBAN NOTE] On the end of Coffee Time at Dupont and Lansdowne and Toronto gentrification

I’ve lived five minutes’ walk from the Coffee Time restaurant at 1005 Lansdowne Avenue, on the northeastern corner of Lansdowne and Dupont, for more than a decade, but I would be surprised if I went there as many as a half-dozen times. It never happened to be on any of my corridors, for TTC buses or for walking, and if I really wanted to go out for coffee locally then the McDonald’s at Dupont and Dufferin would have been much closer.

The location’s reputation may, perhaps, have entered my thinking. The restaurant’s lone reviewer at Yelp back in July rated it only one star, noting that the crowd hanging out here, in a traditionally poor neighbourhood of Wallace Emerson close to apartment towers once linked to crime including drugs and prositution, is “interesting.” See, also, the passing mentions in archived discussion threads here and here.

Coffee Time, Dupont and Lansdowne #toronto #wallaceemerson #dupontstreet #lansdowneave #coffeetime

As I noted when I blogged about it back in July of 2017, this Coffee Time’s location was limited. The transformation of the neighbourhood into one populated by tall condos and relatively affordable rentals is ongoing, and substantial: the towers at St. Clarens are no longer the only towers in the area. Approaching from the east, along Dupont from the direction of Dufferin, the Coffee Time stands right in front of a Food Basics grocery store that plays an outsized role in this transforming neighbourhood’s mythology.

Coffee Time by the towers (and Food Basics) #toronto #dupontstreet #wallaceemerson #coffeetime #foodbasics #condos #towers

This Food Basics is location is anchor store for the Fuse Condos development, on the northwest of Dupont and Lansdowne. This new grocery store opening was welcome by some, who saw no reason this store could not co-exist with the FreshCo in the Galleria Mall just a few minutes east at Dupont and Dufferin. To some, this was a betrayal: Fuse Condos had produced a Metro grocery store, a higher-end grocery store with more selection, and some buyers were quite upset. There was even a petition calling for a Metro.

All this was satirized in The Beaverton, and aptly analyzed in the Toronto Star by Edward Keenan. Keenan pointed out that this behaviour was wildly out of place given the decidedly working-class nature of Wallace Emerson. Food Basics, obviously, got installed regardless.

The Coffee Time, though, is now closed. I learned of this from a post at blogTO on Thursday, a post that made use of the first photo I posted above. I walked by Saturday morning in the light of day, and I saw the doors closed, signs thanking customers for their patronage, chairs on tables ready for movers, and someone working at packing away the equipment behind the counter and below the emptied menu display.

Coffee time, closed (1) #toronto #coffeetime #wallaceemerson #dupontstreet #lansdowneave #closed

Coffee Time, closed (8) #toronto #coffeetime #wallaceemerson #dupontstreet #lansdowneave #window #closed

Coffee Time, closed (7) #toronto #coffeetime #wallaceemerson #dupontstreet #lansdowneave #window #reflection #closed

Chelsea Lofts, on the southeast corner of Dupont and Lansdowne, is visible reflected in the Coffee Time window in the last photograph above.

This Coffee Time was far from being an undiscovered gem in the rough in west-end Toronto. It was utilitarian, catering competently to its working- and lower-class demographic in what had been until a bit more than a decade ago a consistently relatively poor area of Toronto. It’s gone. What will happen to its clientele? It may never have been very busy, but there were consistently people there, making use of a relatively affordable restaurant in their community as a meeting space. Where will these people go now?
(The r/toronto thread considers the possibility of a migration down Lansdowne towards Bloor.) There was a public-access computer available for use, presumably for people who lacked home Internet. What will the people who used this computer do now?

I don’t doubt, myself, that there is going to be condo construction on the emptied site on the northeast corner of Dupont and Lansdowne, just as there has been on every other corner there. Nothing has been filed yet, blogTO reported, but that’s only a matter of time. Dupont and Lansdowne is the hub of a rising neighbourhood, blocks and towers reaching into the sky, and all the space that can be freed up for further density in this portion of midtown Toronto so close to downtown Toronto is desperately needed. Wallace Emerson will transition towards a new equilibrium, one where–among other things–the coffee shops will have a rather nicer ambiance.

I am fine with all of this. It’s just that I think a place that has been a landmark in the area where I’ve lived, and that has been a reasonably prominent features for innumerable tens of thousands of people, deserves some commemoration. The Coffee Time at Dupont and Lansdowne was here, was open, was recognizable, and served its purpose. What better can be said of any public space than that? (I just gave it three stars on Yelp!. That seems fair.)