The City

York University: from brutalism to beauty

From its origins as a suburban, brutalist response to the need for more universities in Toronto and Canada, York University has transformed into a vibrant, lively campus of beautiful new buildings and world class academic programs.

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– Robert Fisher

 

Lake swimmers update

Record rainfalls and high water levels have transformed our shoreline. We went beach prospecting to see conditions for ourselves. Will Toronto still be a lake swimmers’ city?

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– Schuster Gindin

“Jazz at Massey Hall” Day

On May 15, 1953, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Charles Mingus and Bud Powell played together at Massey Hall in Toronto in a recorded concert that became “Jazz at Massey Hall: The Quintet”. To Ambrose Roche and jazz lovers everywhere, the sounds were revolutionary.

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– Ambrose Roche

Common Ground: revitalizing Oakwood Collegiate’s landscape

A historic Toronto high school is being revitalized with the help of a local community group. Here is the plan for a new recreational and green space for students and neighbours. You’re invited to help and celebrate!

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– Schuster Gindin

A Horoscope for TorontoToronto Piscean horse

What is Toronto’s future? Should it build a subway out to Scarborough? Should it raise taxes or cut services? Since we can’t trust our politicians to be guided by the facts, is there another solution? Can the sun, moon and stars offer some insight what we should do ?

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– Elizabeth Cinello

Ryerson Entrance to Ryerson Student Learning Centre.University’s Newest Building: putting students at the centre

Ryerson University’s new Student Learning Centre is architecturally innovative in a sea of bland new construction. More importantly, it’s an effective instructional space, especially for students learning how to solve big-city problems.

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– Schuster Gindin

Distilled LightDigital Origami TIger on the ground

Once again in Toronto someone is out to prove that you don’t have to be athletic to enjoy going outside in winter. That’s right, no skiing, skating or sledding involved.

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– Schuster Gindin

Hughes P.S. front doors during destruction.Sold! Two historic Toronto schools gone and more on the block

Since Ontario school boards are no longer allowed to raise tax dollars, the Toronto Board has begun selling off older schools, often historic buildings, for cash to make repairs on other aging schools. Many of the sold properties are demolished, usually not in the best interests of their communities

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– Elizabeth Cinello

Music on Every ScaleOpera Pub male soloist.

Toronto offers a rich array of live classical music on every scale of performance. In addition to large concert halls, there are small venues where you can hear solo and ensemble performances by musicians at every level of professional accomplishment playing stimulating new, unconventional, or seldom heard compositions.

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– Schuster Gindin

TransiBoarding St. Clair streetcar.t Geek in the City

Councillor Joe Mihevc’s dedication to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is unwavering. Like a proud father, the self-described transit geek dotes over this growing colossal public service, which in 2021 will celebrate its 100th anniversary. His own father was a TTC mechanic.

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Trinity Belwoods Gate.Trinity Bellwoods: Reshaping an Urban Landscape

Trinity-Bellwoods Park is a hub of urban activity in downtown Toronto. It was not always so. It used to be a 50-acre field with a small river famous for its salmon fishing. Our resident historian Robert Fisher traces the history of the park from its bucolic days to its bohemian times to its current artists’ oasis.

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– Robert Fisher

Gardiner Museum.Gardiner of Earthly Delights

Returning home to Toronto recently, Ambrose Roche found comfort, excitement and inspiration in the fascinating and varied gardens of the Gardiner Museum.

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– Ambrose Roche

Sarees and bangles.India’s Great Diversity Lives in Toronto

India is a kaleidoscope of a country with 14 official languages and four major religions. Luckily, this dizzying diversity has been transplanted to thriving neighborhoods in Toronto.

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– Robert Fisher

Luminato: AMirror ball inside the Hearndventure at the Hearn

Our thrilling trek though the derelict industrial site of the Hearn Generating Station, now the locus for the Luminato Festival.

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– Schuster Gindin

Cherry BeachTaking the Plunge

We know that Lake Ontario is slow to warm in the spring, but the heat and pea soup humidity around here drove us to the beach. The dip was exhilarating!

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– Schuster Gindin

images-2Umberto Eco and Toronto

The late great Umberto Eco was a frequent visitor to Toronto and was especially fond of the Robarts Library at U of T. He considered the city ‘very civil’ and said that after New York and – Schuster GindiParis, Toronto would be the only other city he would move to, to live and work.

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– Elizabeth Cinello

Entering Belly of the Bear installation on beach.GET INSIDE: The Winter Stations at the Beach

Winter Stations are back, and we explore the installations both outside and in.

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– Schuster Gindin

En RoutFerry to island airport.e: where am I?

Taking the world’s shortest ferry ride to Toronto’s island airport is a unique experience for travelers. The new tunnel that’s supposed to get you there more efficiently just makes the transit feel like every other generic airport drudge. For now, we still have the two options. Let’s keep the one that makes trips to and from Toronto memorable.

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– Schuster Gindin

Singing.Singing her Heart Out

Barbara Bailey is a Toronto graphic designer who loves Bollywood dancing and singing in a choir. The latter diversion happens to involve Choir! Choir! Choir!, the local phenomenon lauded nationally and internationally for its exuberant approach to crooning with a crowd, in harmony.

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– Miria Ioannou

Timothy BrownFinn with an Oyster: The Story behind Toronto’s New City Hall

Its two curved towers elegantly embrace the centre of our civic life, and stand their ground amidst the rising condo chaos taking over downtown. Fifty years ago, against a backdrop of opposing visions for a growing and changing city, a familiar refrain for Torontonians, our City Hall took shape. See city hall’s story in Michael Kainer’s documentary film.

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– Elizabeth Cinello

Walkers on beach.Community in Motion; Walking with Momentum1

Here’s an easy way to find walking tours in Toronto and Ontario – especially if you don’t want to walk alone. Momentum1 ‘Community in Motion’ has launched a new website.

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– Elizabeth Cinello

A TIFF MOMENTbeyond line; An Outsider Looks In

A Torontonian puts her book down to experience TIFF, and finds the interminable line-up and the screaming insanity over the movie stars of a light-weight comedy drama drives her back to real life in the city.

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– Elizabeth Cinello

Out in the water.Swimming Toronto’s Beaches

Toronto is a beach city and summer isn’t over yet. We checked out all 11 designated swimming beaches from a swimmer’s point of view.

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– Schuster Gindin

Violins.1000 Strings in Yonge Dundas Square

1000 Strings create a transcendent aural spectacle in Yonge Dundas Square.

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– Schuster Gindin

Japanese-Canadian Cultural Centre.GLIMPSES OF PARADISE: the gardens at the Aga Khan Museum and Japanese-Canadian Cultural Centre

Just as the eyes are the windows of the soul, so are gardens windows of the world’s cultures.

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– Robert Fisher

Island Toronto Island ferry.Hopping

In Toronto, taking the ferry over to Centre Island can be something of a cliché since it’s been a thing for city-folks for so many years. It’s often one of the first outings that recently arrived immigrants do when they get to the city – that and Niagara Falls.

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– Miria Ioannou

A Different ViewCN tower edge walk.

Ever done the Edgewalk at the CN Tower? When visitors to Toronto really want to do it, you pretty much have to comply.

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– Anya Orzechowska

Robert Fisher open door.DOORS OPEN 2015

Doors Open 2015 is coming very soon. There are so many venues to choose from so we thought we’d help you out with some recommendations.

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– Miria Ioannou

Oakwood CI and surrounding community.OAKWOOD COLLEGIATE: The School that Built a Community

Before there was a neighbourhood, streets or public transit, there was a school. Since 1911, Oakwood Collegiate has been an anchor at the heart of a community. That is how we used to do city building – first the infrastructure, then the housing.

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– Schuster Gindin

RacooRacoon mural on box.n Revenge

Toronto’s Mayor John Tory and his entourage were giddy at the news conference announcing the new raccoon-proof green bins, declaring, “….we cannot be defeated by these critters.” At first, I was giddy, too.

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– Elizabeth Cinello

Buddhist flags.TORONTO THE GOOD, TORONTO THE ESOTERIC: Buddhism in the City

Toronto has changed from a mostly Presbyterian city to one that includes people from all the religions of the world. Among the many places of worship across the GTA, there are Buddhist temples in the unlikeliest of places. Here’s an overview of the locations and the philosophy that inspires them.

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– Robert L. Fisher

Tonga.Little Kingdoms

Tonga calls itself the land where time begins. Situated immediately left of the International Date Line, Tonga is the first place on earth to greet each new day. That’s where Mary Li will spend the next year. But she’ll miss so many things about Toronto.

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– Mary Li

Fire eater.Kensington Market Winter Solstice Parade: 25 Years of Revelry

So long darkness, hello sunshine. For 25 years Torontonians have congregated in Kensington Market to ignite the darkness of the longest night.

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– Elizabeth Cinello

Incense Orthodox churchand Song: Toronto’s Orthodox Churches

Created in exotic, even fairytale, shapes these churches contrast with the mercilessly functional buildings of many North American cities. They are fabulous gems set down, as if by an archangel’s hand, in the great urban sameness.

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– Robert L. Fisher

Under Glencedar bridge.Low Down Walking

An October walk through Cedarvale Ravine, an easily overlooked topographical treasure.

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– Schuster Gindin

Un écureuil un peu fatiguéDon’t become a victim of Election Fatigue!

It’s true, it feels the mayoral campaign has been going on since the beginning of time. And it all seems to be about the personalities instead of issues. Don’t let that put you off.

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– Schuster Gindin

Cherries in the tree at night.Midnight Cherries

A cherry tree planted at a city parking lot?
There’s going to be jam tonight!

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– Schuster Gindin

KFC bucket.The Bucket Is Gone

Streetscapes of the city continue to evolve as midsize condos go up along the avenues. Sometimes there is a certain continuity in the development…

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– Elizabeth Cinello

11 Division’s Police Station: a success in architectural preservation

Renovated school as police staton.What does it take to not only save a grand old building but to incorporate it into a new one? Citizen involvement, the will of some politicians, sympathetic architects, tenacity and patience. Here is the first-hand account of a Toronto resident who played a major role in the saving and building of a landmark.

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– Claude Bergeron

Our Big City Mayor and Our Dirty Little Secret

Graffiti.We’ve moved up in the world, that’s why the international media is here covering our mayor. We’re the fourth largest city in North America, a major investment centre, a place where people want to live, work, study, and play. Our standard of living is consistently ranked amongst the top ten cities worldwide. Toronto has snuck its way onto the world stage and now everybody knows our dirty little secret – our relationship with a maelstrom of a mayor…

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– Elizabeth Cinello

Why Mayor Ford Matters: thoughts after a gun crisis at work

More than enough towers.Many people are suggesting that Toronto is too full of itself and that we are making too much of Mayor Ford’s appalling behaviour. I ask those who live in other places to consider the following…

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– Sarah Shartal