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  • Torontoist introduces its readers to the now-vanished neighbourhood of The Ward.

  • The heated discussion of condo development in Yorkville has been taken to the level of community mediation.

  • Yorkville is an ever-changing neighbourhood, evolving far past its low-rent hippie days of the 1960s. The Globe and Mail explores.

  • NOW Toronto notes how the York Square development in Yorkville is set to be leveled, past value notwithstanding.

  • Global News reports on how in some booming neighbourhoods, like Leslieville, local parents cannot find places for kids in local schools.

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  • At Torontoist, Sean Marshall praises the Keesmaat legacy.

  • At Spacing, John Lorinc notes how the new downtown core of Toronto is arguably the landmark legacy of Jennifer Keesmaat.

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Half a house, 54 1/2 St.Patrick Street (1) #toronto #grangepark #stpatrickstreet #house #oddities #54stpatrick


Half a house, 54 1/2 St.Patrick Street (2) #toronto #grangepark #stpatrickstreet #house #oddities #54stpatrick


Half a house, 54 1/2 St.Patrick Street (3) #toronto #grangepark #stpatrickstreet #house #oddities #54stpatrick


The strikingly halved house at 54 1/2 St. Patrick Avenue, lone survivor of what was a stretch of row houses on this street north of Queen Street West and just a couple minutes' walk west from University Avenue, has received international attention, from sites like Atlas Obscura and Amusing Planet. In April of 2013, blogTO's Chris Bateman explained how this building came to be and just how it managed to survive.

The row of houses was built between 1890 and 1893 on what was first Dummer Street, then William Street, then, finally, St. Patrick Street. The names of the roads in this part of the city area have been shuffled more than most: St. Patrick Street used to refer to the stretch of road that's now part of Dundas west of McCaul; McCaul used to be William Henry Street, then West William Street, for example.

For much of its past the street was blighted by poverty. Early photos show severe faces, crumbling wall cladding, and backyards strewn with detritus. More recently the area between University and Spadina has been home to a large Chinese community.

Starting in 1957, most of the block bound by Queen, McCaul, St. Patrick, and Dundas Street was purchased in pieces by Windlass Holdings Ltd., the company that developed the Village by the Grange, sometimes using aggressive tactics to secure land deeds.

The owner of 54 St. Patrick Street - once part of the original terrace - complained to the Toronto Star that the company's actions were "an extreme example of blockbusting," claiming he had received over 300 directives on his property in a single year.

Despite some resistance, the owners of the homes sold up at different times, and the row was pulled down in pieces like tooth extractions. The sole-survivor pictured here was once in the third house in the row from the south - the similar buildings next door are a later addition built on top of a laneway.

Instead, the company demolished its neighbour to the north with surgical precision, ensuring not even the woodwork on the facade of the hold-out building was disturbed. An internal supporting wall became a blank exterior when the house next door came down.


Also in 2013, Patty Winsa wrote in the Toronto Star about the house from the perspective of its current owner.

The 120-year-old residence at 54 ½ St. Patrick St. bears the scars of a development battle.

The Victorian row house was awkwardly severed from its neighbour in the 1970s when the owners refused to sell, and it lacks the symmetry of another side.

It is literally “half a house,” says its current owner, Albert Zikovitz, laughingly from his adjacent office in the Cottage Life Magazine building. “Everybody looks at it.”

The house is one of a few single-family homes left on the densely packed street near Queen and University. But Zikovitz, who purchased the house last year after the owner went into a retirement home, says he won’t tear it down.

“I love the house,” says Zikovitz, who is president of the magazine. Plans are in the works this year to restore the exterior of the building and turn the interior into office space.


Work was being done on the house when I passed by Tuesday evening. Here's to hoping this anomaly survives: the reflexive double-take of passersby is fun.
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  • CBC reports that the different express bus routes set up by the TTC have had more riders than expected.

  • Steve Munro finds there's much to be concerned about with the way the TTC bought some new electric buses.

  • blogTO notes that the new western extension of the Line 1, into Vaughan, has a set opening date: December 17.

  • The sheer display of TTC fandom displayed by the Athanasopoulos siblings, collectors of transfers, is awesome. The Toronto Star reports.

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CN Tower, red (1) #toronto #cntower #night #red #lights


CN Tower, red (2) #toronto #cntower #night #red #lights


CN Tower, red (3) #toronto #cntower #night #red #lights


Monday night, the CN Tower was illuminated in red.
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  • Malcolm Campbell reports for CBC on how the Island's organic agriculture sector is dealing with ineffective provincial regulation.

  • At the Toronto Star, Ainslie Cruickshank describes new measures to reserve GTA farmland in the Greenbelt for agricultural uses only.

  • Leonid Bershidsky reports for Bloomberg View on how climate change is making Russia--and Ukraine, and Kazakhstan--a major agricultural force.

  • At the Toronto Star, Alex McKeen reports on a North York warehouse that hosts a highly productive vertical farm.

  • Frank Viviano's National Geographic article looking at the enormously productivity of high-tech agriculture in the Netherlands shows the future.

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Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (1) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture


Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (2) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture


Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (3) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture


Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (4) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture


Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (5) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture


Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (6) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture


Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (7) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture


Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (8) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture




I was pointed to the existence of this art in the forum of Telus House, on York Street in the PATH, by Paul. This array of lights, constantly shifting in colour, is entrancing, evoking for me the grains of a crystal.
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Last night, I went downtown to King Station to take in the latest high-profile public artwork by Montréal artist Aude Moreau, "Less Is More Or." The choice of the Toronto-Dominion Centre, and of the use of the Mies van der Rohe phrase "Less is more", and the use of lights on the night skyline, was inspired.

"Less is more or" (1) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (2) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (3) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (4) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (5) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (6) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (7) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (7) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (8) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (9) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism


"Less is more or" (10) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism #roundhousepark


"Less is more or" (11) #toronto #financialdistrict #torontodominioncentre #audemoreau #lessismoreor #lights #tower #skyscraper #miesvanderrohe #minimalism #roundhousepark


This press release explains the work--its creator's intent, its scale, its viewability.

Over the Labour Day weekend, Toronto's original skyscrapers will be used as colossal canvases for the largest public art project of its kind undertaken anywhere in the world. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights, artist Aude Moreau will use lit and unlit windows on the top ten floors of the Toronto-Dominion Centre's towers to form the words "LESS IS MORE OR" in hundred-foot-tall glowing letters. Building on the phrase made famous by TD Centre's luminary modernist architect Mies van der Rohe, the ambitious artwork is presented by Cadillac Fairview and TD Bank Group as part of TD Centre's 50th anniversary celebrations.

"Fifty years on, these towers have left an indelible mark on our skyline and helped transform Toronto into the world-class city it is today," said David Hoffman, TD Centre General Manager. "This remarkable artistic endeavor reflects TD Centre's bold vision and ongoing leadership in design excellence, innovation and sustainability – none of which would have been possible without the collaboration and support of our tenants and the community."

The ambitious undertaking has required months of planning and preparation, as well as the help and cooperation of tenants across the complex. Five electrical contractors – Guild, Ainsworth, Symtech, Plan and ACML – donated their services to temporarily reconfigure the buildings' automated lighting systems, while a crew of staff and volunteers will work to open and close blinds on over 6,000 windows across the TD Centre's five towers.

"When Aude Moreau proposed the project almost a year ago, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to partake in a public art installation of this magnitude," Andrea Barrack, VP, Community Relations and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. "TD has been a proud supporter of the arts in Canada for decades. The creative and innovative manner in which Moreau celebrates the architecture and legacy of Mies van der Rohe is just another example of how Canadian artists are continuing to raise the bar in contemporary art."

[. . .

By adding the word "or" to Mies van der Rohe's statement on minimalism, Moreau invites the viewer to reconsider the values of modernism - to reinvestigate the architect's famous words, to reconsider the values of openness and transparency in the modern world, and to complicate the phrase, leaving it open to a multiplicity of viewpoints. The work revisits the interpretation of the evolution of modernism and the possibilities of what is to come.


My thanks to Paul for pointing me towards Roundhouse Park, to the southwest of the Toronto-Dominion Centre at the foot of the CN Tower, as a viewing point. The last two photos in the series were taken there, while the other nine were taken as I was either approaching or exploring the complex.
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  • James Bow writes about the latest computer purchase he has made.

  • Far Outliers notes the scarily minimalist goals of the American occupation in early post-war Japan.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that The Nation is not exactly covering itself in glory with its pro-Putin coverage of late.

  • Drew Rowsome quite likes the new musical endeavours of Adore Delano.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel notes how stars--and which stars--make elements heavier than iron.

  • Transit Toronto notes the impending partial resumption of streetcar service on Queen Street.

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  • Edward Keenan observes that Toronto is a city that, rather than plan, prefers to make deals.

  • Jennifer Pagliaro notes how recently departed planner Jennifer Keesmaat tried to stop the ill-judged Scarborough subway extension.

  • Steve Munro updates his readers on the slow progress on streetcar service on the Queensway.

  • blogTO has a photo essay looking at past demolition practice in Toronto. Who does it, and how?

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I had intended last night to walk down to the new Trillium Park, but I had forgotten it would be inaccessible on account of the Exhibition. Instead, I found myself walking west on the Humber Bay shores, through Marilyn Bell Park and up to Vimy Ridge Parkette as evening descended. I was a bit cool--I really should have worn a light jacket--but the light outside was superb and the calm sky above awesome.

Looking out #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening


Skyline #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #skyline


Breakers of tide #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #skyline


Looking east to Ontario Place #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #ontarioplace


Sky above #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #sky


Calm under the moon #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #sky #moon


Hook and ladder #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #sky #hook #ladder


Light pole and skyline #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #sky #skyline #lights


Landward #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #sky #skyline #lights


Skyline #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #sky #skyline #lights


Birds under the moon #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #marilynbellpark #evening #sky #blue #birds #moon


Towards Jameson #toronto #lakeshoreblvd #parkdale #skyline #jamesonave


Harbour at night #toronto #lakeontario #humberbay #canada #flag


Looking west on the beach #toronto #lakeontario #skyline #humberbay #night #lighys #beach #vimyridgeparkette


Fade to dark blue #toronto #humberbay #skyline #lakeontario #blue #night #lights
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Panorama, Woodbine Beach


My Nexus 5's Photos app stitched together this panorama of Toronto's Woodbine Beach out of individual photos I had taken during last week's photo expedition to the Beaches. It did not do a bad job at all, I think, possible wonkiness in the west aside.
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  • Robert Benzie notes that Ontario tenants will soon have greater protection against eviction, including compensation.

  • In the aftermath of the successful Parkdale tenants' strike, Jonathan Robart provides resources for the interested.

  • Ellen Brait notes that making front yards in Brockton Village into vegetable gardens is a thing. I approve.

  • John Tory wants the Ontario government to reconsider a tax structure that threatens to end Yonge Street businesses. Too late?

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I had not been to the Beaches in evening before, but I wish I had. Starting my walk at the iconic Leuty Lifeguard Station and continuing west, I saw the Kew and Woodbine beaches emptied, clear sight-lines uninterrupted by crowds of beachgoers. The effects of flooding are noticeable, especially in the west of Woodbine Beach where the water has infiltrated to form a little bay, but not longer overpowering.

Leuty Lifeguard Station by evening #toronto #beaches #kewbeach #leutylifeguardstation #lakeontario #evening


Looking west #toronto #woodbinebeach #kewbeach #beaches #lakeontario #evening


Looking out #toronto #woodbinebeach #kewbeach #beaches #lakeontario #evening #latergram


In time of flood #toronto #woodbinebeach #kewbeach #beaches #lakeontario #evening #latergram


Stony shore #toronto #woodbinebeach #kewbeach #beaches #lakeontario #evening #latergram


Looking east #toronto #woodbinebeach #kewbeach #beaches #lakeontario #evening #latergram


Warning by rocks #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #evening #latergram


Evening by the boardwalk #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #evening #boardwalk #latergram


No lifeguard #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #evening #latergram


Looking south #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #boardwalk #evening #latergram


Last ones #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #boardwalk #evening #latergram


Seagull #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #birds #seagull #evening #latergram


Low tide, high tide #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #birds #seagull #evening #latergram


Infiltration #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #birds #seagull #flooding #evening #latergram


Looking back #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #flooding #evening #latergram


Me #toronto #woodbinebeach #beaches #lakeontario #me #selfie #evening #latergram
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  • NOW Toronto notes the huge impact of the departure of Jennifer Keesmaat on the city of Toronto. Who will be next?

  • At Spacing, John Lorinc notes that Lilie Zendel, head of Street ART Toronto, is leaving her successful public art job behind.

  • Julien Gignac writes about Andrew O'Connor's pirate radio broadcasting, based from Parkdale.

  • On how St. James Cathedral preserves in its archives a guest book signed by Diana, Charles, and their children.

  • Why, as Canadaland reports, would The Globe and Mail get rid of Tabatha Southey and Leah McLaren? (And keep Margaret Wente?)

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Toronto's Kew Gardens, in the Beaches with Queen Street East to the north and Lake Ontario to the south, is a lovely park in summer, dense with greenery and people.

Yoga in the park #toronto #beaches #kewgardens #parks #yoga #latergrams


Looking at the baseball diamond #toronto #beaches #kewgardens #parks #baseball #latergram


Back #toronto #beaches #kewgardens #parks #yoga #latergram


At play #toronto #beaches #kewgardens #parks #baseball #dog #latergram


Urban forest #toronto #beaches #kewgardens #parks #trees #latergram


Tennis greens #toronto #beaches #kewgardens #parks #tennis #latergram
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  • blogTO notes that the former location of Pages on Queen Street West finally has a new tenant, a housewares store.

  • Margaret Atwood's opposition to a Davenport Road condo development made headlines.
  • Christopher Hume in the Toronto Star makes the point that Toronto needs more midrise housing.

  • Global News reports the sad news that Toronto chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat has resigned.

  • Toronto Life describes how a lucky young couple in their 20s found an affordable apartment downtown, on Yonge, even!

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  • At Torontoist, a Scarborough transit group notes locals don't know of the negative implications of the one-stop subway extension.

  • Did Metrolinx succumb to political pressure in deciding to locate two new GO stations? The Toronto Star reports.

  • CBC describes how Bombardier lost a contract with New York City to sell cars on the basis of its terrible performance in Toronto.

  • The New York Times describes how legislators in New York State outside of New York City control the metropolis' mass transit system, evoking for me Ontario and Metrolinx.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw notes how light rail development in Greater Sydney is driving a property boom.

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The Ivan Forrest Gardens, its southern boundary delimited by Queen Street East, is a lovely little garden made out of the southern end of the Glen Stewart Ravine. The pond with waterfall is a nice touch.

Into the Ivan Forrest Gardens #toronto #parks #ravine #beaches #ivanforrestgardens

Waterfall and pond #toronto #parks #ravine #beaches #ivanforrestgardens  #waterfall #pond

Winding path #toronto #parks #ravine #beaches #ivanforrestgardens  #waterfall #pond #path

Towards Queen #toronto #parks #ravine #beaches #ivanforrestgardens  #path #queenstreet #queenstreeteast

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