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Picasso on Richmond #toronto #architecture #condos #picassocondos #richmondstreet #entertainmentdistrict #queenstreetwest #picassoonrichmond #latergram

Picasso on Richmond #toronto #architecture #condos #picassocondos #richmondstreet #entertainmentdistrict #queenstreetwest #picassoonrichmond #latergram

Picasso on Richmond is an eye-catching tower in the heart of the Entertainment District, a 39-story condo tower with what Urban Toronto is right to note is a "decidedly edgy silhouette", all different colours and shapes.
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  • Spacing notes how mapping can reveal the extent of flooding on the Toronto Islands.

  • blogTO reports on Boblo Island, home to an amusement park abandoned more than two decades.

  • At NOW Toronto, Richard Longley describes the wonderful scenic new Trillium Park, built on the former Ontario Place grounds.

  • Global News notes how Mississauga is planning to buy old homes in Cooksville to convert into a new central park.

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The Queen Richmond Centre West (134 Peter Street) is a interesting building, a modern glass tower built on and around an old brick warehouse. The weight is partly supported, as noted by architects Sweeny&Co, by Mega Delta Frames visible in the photos: "After a year of research and development, the team found a solution to structurally support the new tower over the top of the existing historic structures. They designed Mega Delta Frames—using three, each is capable of supporting forces of 80,000kN. The legs of the Mega Delta Frames are pressure-filled with concrete which, in composite action with tubular steel sections, contributes to the structural capacity of the frame and further contributes to the relative slenderness of the legs. Each leg is 40-inches in diameter with a steel thickness of 2-inches. The inherent lateral stability of the Mega Delta-Frames provide the majority of the building’s structure, allowing for only a single reinforced concrete stair and elevator core to descend down through the atrium, thus providing full visual exposure."

Queen Richmond Centre West, top

Queen Richmond Centre West, bottom
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  • What will happen to the legal records of those convicted of marijuana-related charges once legalization comes? The Toronto Star considers.

  • NOW Toronto reviews a new exhibit of First Nations-oriented work at the AGO.

  • NOW Toronto features an article showing how Toronto startup Wattpad is making celebrity fanfic (among other things) economically lucrative for writers.

  • Torontoist considers the idea of laneway suites as a way to deal with the city's housing crisis.

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I was alerted earlier this week by the likes of blogTO to the fact that renovations in Toronto's Grange Park had been completed. Walking over there with a friend after catching the Monday night performance of The Seat Next To The King, we concluded that the work was a success. This marvelous green space in the heart of Toronto, with the Art Gallery of Ontario and its Georgian Grange Manor and Frank Gehry wing of glass blue titanium to the north and OCAD University with its simple stunning Sharp Centre for Design to the east, the refurbished Grange is a relaxing friendly place for people to walk and recharge. The Henry Moore sculptures, Two Large Forms, relocated here from their former location at Dundas and McCaul amid some controversy last year, belong here--indeed, surrounded by organic forms of all sizes and scales, they arguably look better than they did directly on the street.

Entering the Grange Park


Along the promenade

Tower through trees

Towards the AGO


Playing amid fountains



Grange and stairs

Stairs above

Playing on the green grass

Henry Moore, Two Large Forms

Beneath tall trees
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  • Torontoist remembers Pam McConnell, former deputy mayor and a person committed for a long time to the health of Toronto.

  • The Toronto Star's Jesse Winters notes the controversial planned addition of two condo towers, somewhat modified, to the Distillery District.

  • The Toronto Star reports on the rescue of two photo-taiking tourists stranded midway the Scarborough Bluffs. I'm not saying I've climbed these very same inclines, just that I empathize with their position.

  • The Star's Emma McIntosh confirms what we suspected: The flooding of the Toronto Islands is such that large portions will remain closed off all summer.

  • The Globe and Mail's Stephen Wickens notes that there is not a large commerical real estate boom along the new Eglinton Avenue LRT.

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  • The National Post's Victor Ferreira notes that CAMH will be driven from its College Street home by its landlord to make room for condos.

  • blogTO notes the site of a former heritage building at Yonge and Eglinton will become--surprise!--a condo site.

  • The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr notes the deputy mayor wants to encourage the TTC to buy future streetcars not from Bombardier.

  • Steve Munro looks in detail at the amended plan to give priority on King Street to mass transit.

  • Tricia Wood at Torontoist talks about ways the TTC can improve bus service, starting with better scheduling.

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The Anne Johnston Courtyard, located in the middle of the Minto Midtown complex, just south of Eglinton on Yonge, is a very nice green space cradled between the complex's two towers. Praised by the likes of The Globe and Mail and blogTO as one of the top hidden public spaces in Toronto since it was opened in 2008, the Anne Johnston Courtyard is an example of a great privately-owned publicly-accessible space. Ryan Starr reported in the Toronto Star in 2010 that this park was an integral part of the design team's environmentally-friendly plans.

Standing in the courtyard of MintoMidtown, Andrew Pride beams with delight as he lists off the property's various green design elements.

The vice-president of Minto's "green team" notes the LED exterior lighting, which provides ample illumination but uses minimal energy.

He directs his visitor's attention to chairs made from recycled steel, and to a rainwater-fed fountain with wind sensors that ensure the water doesn't blow all over passersby in the event of a sudden gust.

Pride points out that the limestone used throughout the courtyard is locally sourced, which cut down on transportation-related emissions.

"The courtyard is a great gathering place," he says of the two-tower highrise condo on Yonge St. just south of Eglinton Ave. "It's the heart of this sustainable community."

As Shawn Micallef observed, inside this well-designed park it's almost possible to forget that one's in the middle of a high-rise condo complex.

Entering the Anne Johnston Courtyard

Fountain and trees

Looking south

Among the potted trees

At play

Carefully green

Looking north
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  • blogTO observes that a former ferry from Halifax is coming to Lake Ontario, to connect mainland Toronto to Centre Island.

  • Shawn Micallef notes in the Toronto Star how Toronto fell for the World's Largest Rubber Duck.

  • Alex Bozikovic notes in The Globe and Mail how Toronto(and other cities) can prepare for climate change by trying to adapt to flooding, not prevent it altogether.

  • CBC notes that the more sunshine Greenland gets, the faster its ice cap melts.

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  • Steve Munro notes the appallingly bad official presentation of ridership data on the Union-Pearson Express.

  • Edward Keenan notes that, though external funding news is good, Toronto needs to somehow find four billion dollars on its own. Where?

  • Ben Spurr notes that the new King Street plan prioritizing transit will make exceptions for taxis at some times.

  • Martin Regg Cohn notes that Metrolinx desperately needs to be insulated from political interference.

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Three Star Variety (1)

Three Star Variety (2)

Three Star Variety (3)

Three Star Variety (621 Bathurst Street) caught my eye as I was passing by with the building's colourful graffiti-style painted walls.
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This year, I happily again had the chance to review plays in the Toronto Fringe Festival for venerable local theatre website Mooney on Theatre. The six plays below are the ones I reviewed.

  • Good Morning Apocalypse's 13 Ways The World Ends is amusing apocalypse sketch comedy. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/06/13-ways-the-world-ends-flash-dazzle-productions-2017-fringe-review/

  • "Not Enough", featuring Megan Phillips, is amazing theatre: Innovative, brave, thought-provoking. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/06/not-enough-megatron-productions-2017-fringe-review/

  • "Alone In This Together", by Not Oasis, is smart, inventive and hilarious Toronto-centric sketch comedy, not to be missed. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/alone-in-this-together-not-oasis-productions-2017-fringe-review/

  • Post No Bills is a provocative show revealing the forgotten stories of our city, starting from The Ward. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/06/23/post-no-bills-then-speak-2017-fringe-review/

  • "You Are Perfect" is chilling, compelling theatre examining Manson Family's Susan Atkins. Why did she do what she did? This show answers. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/you-are-perfect-white-horse-theater-company-2017-fringe-review/

  • "Motherland" is a play of vivid characters, illustrating the eternal conflict between the local and the global. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/motherland-amber-heart-productions-2017-fringe-review/

    My favourite is "Not Enough." I cannot emphasize the way in which this one-person show is not just brilliant theatre but authentically thought-provoking. We all would do well to take lessons from this show.
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    • Sarah-Joyce Battersby writes for Metro Toronto about how civic activists need to look before the downtown for paradigms of sustainable growth.

    • Steve Kupferman argues at Toronto Life that Toronto is not yet on the brink of a housing market collapse.

    • The Globe and Mail's Alex Bozikovic describes how the Bentway, a public space underneath the Gardiner by Fort York, is an unexpected success.

    • Scott Wheeler notes in the Toronto Star how the World's Largest Rubber Duck successfully drove traffic to the waterfront.

    • Jennifer Pagliaro notes in the Toronto Star what I think is a fundamentally misconceived opposition to a newly approved condo tower at Yonge and Eglinton.

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    Cranes over Bathurst, between College and Dundas

    As I was walking south down Bathurst Street in the emerging night, I was caught by these two cranes. Still, they seemed almost to bridge this street from the western side.
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    Alley by 95 Wolseley Street

    This graffiti painted on the white brick wall of the east side of 95 Wolseley Street caught my eye.
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    • In an old NOW Toronto article from March, Lisa Ferguson writes about how a neighbourhood land trust hopes to control prices in Parkdale.

    • The Globe and Mail's Jill Mahoney and Justin Giovannetti note a recent study suggesting that less than 5% of home sales in the Toronto area are to foreign buyers.

    • The Globe and Mail's Carolyn Ireland notes that, in a fluctuating market, homeowners are caught between pressures to buy and to sell.

    • NOW Toronto's Sheila Block argues that, among others, the Bank of Canada needs to prepare for a housing crash.

    • The Toronto Star's Jennifer Pagliaro notes that Toronto Community Housing has been ordered to close no more units. No word on where the money will come from.


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    July 2017

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