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East on Geary at Dufferin #toronto #davenport #night #gearyave #dufferinstreet

Standing on Geary Avenue just east of Dufferin Street, this one of Toronto's newest hip streets looks perfectly ordinary and quietly miraculous under the line of street lights.
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  • Daily Xtra's Arshy Mann and Evan Balgord report on how the Jewish Defense League plans on marching in Toronto Pride. Grand.

  • Spacing's Shazlin Rahman reports on the Jane's Walk she organized around sites of significance to Muslims around Bloor and Dufferin.

  • The Toronto Star's Nicholas Keung and Raju Mudhar reported earlier this month on the happy reunification of a Syrian couple with their cat.

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Shrine among the flowers in late evening


I was walking south on Dufferin Street towards St. Mary of the Angels, a Roman Catholic Church on the southeast corner of Davenport Road and Dufferin in Davenport, when I saw this shrine and these flowers.
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Oh, my Dufferin Street! From CP24:

The Canadian Automobile Association says Burlington Street East in Hamilton has won the dubious distinction of being voted Ontario's worst road for 2017.

[. . .]

Dufferin Street has made nine appearances on the provincial top 10 list since the campaign's inception more than a decade ago.
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Maintenance crew on the platform, walking west


I was waiting for the eastbound train at Dufferin station when I saw these maintenance workers emerge from the tunnel walk past us all.
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Wallace Emerson Community Centre in spring


I love these arches, and will be sad to see them go with the impending condo development at Dupont and Dufferin.
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NOW Toronto's Joshua Sherman tells the story of a Jane's Walk organized by Shari Kasman around the parking lots of Dufferin and Dupont.

"Thanks for coming to this beautiful parking lot on this beautiful, sunny day in Toronto.”

Shari Kasman is speaking into a red-and-white megaphone. And it’s not sunny at all. It’s a drizzly May 6 Saturday afternoon outside the Galleria Mall at Dufferin and Dupont.

Kasman, a local artist and author, is starting her latest guided tour, Parking Lots & Parking Spots: Galleria Mall & Beyond. It’s one of nearly 180 that took place last weekend in Toronto as part of the annual Jane’s Walk festival, named for the late urban activist Jane Jacobs.

While other local Jane’s Walks explore the historic aspects of the city, this tour is dedicated to the unglamorous and utilitarian: where Torontonians in a small pocket of the west end park “from the perspective of a non-expert,” Kasman tells NOW ahead of the event, making it clear this tour is no joke.

She may not be a parking authority, but Kasman, who already has two other Galleria-based Jane’s Walks under her belt, has been busy reading up on the subject for the past few weeks.
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Torontoist's Nikhil Sharma reports on how locals in Bloordale have been aiming to have more say in what a new community hub, planned for the southwest corner of Bloor and Dufferin, will be like.

Andrea Nann is a homeowner in Toronto’s Bloordale neighbourhood and the parent of a Grade 12 student at Bloor Collegiate Institute. There’s a lot at stake in planning changes to her neighbourhood. Nann is a member of the Building a Better Bloordale Community Group, a collective of people concerned with the sale and redevelopment of Toronto District School Board property at the southwest corner of Bloor Street West and Dufferin Street.

A 30,000-square-foot community hub with a licensed child-care centre, as well as a new secondary school, is slated for the site. Ontario’s provincial government has also committed $20 million to the project. Last month, the City, Province, and the TDSB announced that Capital Developments purchased for $121.5 million the 7.3-acre site that was declared surplus by the TDSB in 2013.

Several schools in addition to Bloor CI used to operate on the site, but Kent Senior Public School closed in 2012 after the Board of Trustees voted in June 2010 to shut it down due to decreasing enrolment in the area. Brockton High School has been closed since 1995, but the building has been leased by many organizations over the years, including the TDSB’s Aboriginal Education Centre, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and non-profit food security organization FoodShare. About 900 students from Bloor CI and Alpha II Senior Alternative School—which currently operate under the same roof—will relocate to a new secondary school when it’s built.

Nann said members of her community group have been meeting regularly since November 2014, when the TDSB announced plans to sell the public land at Bloor and Dufferin.
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CBC News' Amara McLaughlin tells of a local story of some concern to me.

People living near Bloordale Village have launched a petition hoping to secure a community hub in the 30,000-square metre redevelopment at Bloor and Dufferin streets.

The land is one of 21 properties the Toronto District School Board is looking to sell in an effort to take some pressure off of its $3.3 billion-maintenance backlog. The three hectares for sale include the former Kent Public School and a portion of the Bloor Collegiate Institute site.

Neither school is currently occupied by the board's students. Kent Public School is being leased to other community organizations, including a German school and a daycare.

Residents are demanding that any redevelopment include community facilities, affordable housing and reinvestment in Bloor Collegiate. They say they're concerned the school board's open call for proposals overlooks vital community space.

Steve De Quintal has been living in the area since he was a child, and now uses the area's green space to play with his five kids. His is one of 1,200 signatures on the petition to ask the board to impose a mandatory clause creating a community hub.
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This summer, as I walked west along Dupont towards my Dufferin Street bus stop, I was greeted by a brilliant front yard garden full of iridescent zinnias. Their bright colours, some verging on the neon, were a welcome site. Even in October, there are still enough of these flowers to be noteworthy to passersby.

Neon pink zinnia #toronto #flowers #zinnia #pink #latergram


Twin pink #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #pink


Late orange #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #orange


Red #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #red


Pink #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #pink


Red #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #red


Orange #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #orange


White #toronto #flowers #zinnia #latergram #white
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The Globe and Mail's Jeff Gray reports on the proposal to radically redevelop the Galleria Mall, my neighbourhood's centre at Dupont and Dufferin.

An ambitious plan to demolish Toronto’s dated west-end Galleria Shopping Centre and replace it with a sleek mix of condos, shops, office space, a new community centre and a large park is expected to get a rough ride as it includes a cluster of towers, one as high as 42 storeys, more than twice the height now allowed on the site.

“I think it is completely out of context and the character of the neighbourhood,” Ana Bailao, the local city councillor, said of the proposal from a joint venture of ELAD Canada and Freed Developments, which were to file a master plan with the city on Friday.

Ms. Bailao said the towers could create shadow impacts, and she has concerns about traffic and the strain on public transit that the dense development could create.

Still, she said there were many good things in the plan to rip up and redesign the site near Dupont and Dufferin Streets, a rapidly gentrifying area traditionally home to the city’s Portuguese community.

Ms. Bailao praised the developers for launching community consultations over the past year and incorporating that input into their designs, which include a fully funded and expanded community centre to replace the aging existing one.
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  • Antipope Charlie Stross imagines future directions of evolution.

  • Anthropology.net reports on a reconstruction of the vocal tract of Iceman Otzi.

  • blogTO notes the temporary return of the Dufferin jog owing to construction.

  • Centauri Dreams considers asteroids.

  • The Dragon's Tales reports on the expected crash of China's Tiangong-1 space station.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that San Francisco's Millennium Tower is sinking into the ground.

  • The LRB Blog notes Brexiteers' use of the Commonwealth.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at what might be the beginning of culture wars in Mexico.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy talks about the need to make it easier for Americans to move.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that Lukashenka wants to "Belarusianize" the clergy of local churches.

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Sunday night I rode the new 514 Cherry streetcar created this weekend just passed, travelling west on King from its eastern terminus in the Distillery District to its western terminus in the Dufferin Loop, at the foot of Dufferin Street.

My streetcar was waiting in the Cherry Street Loop.

514 Cherry, pre-departure #toronto #ttc #streetcar #514cherry #distillerydistrict


I got off a bit more than a half-hour later at the last stop on the line, Dufferin at Bringhurst.

514 Cherry, Dufferin and Bringhurst #toronto #ttc #streetcar #514cherry #dufferinstreet


The streetcar sat at the Dufferin Loop for a bit.

514 Cherry at rest #toronto #ttc #streetcar #514cherry #dufferinloop


Then, it got going again.

514 Cherry eastbound again #toronto #ttc #streetcar #dufferinloop #514cherry
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I have made two other visits to the CN Tower, but last Monday's visit felt different. The first time I was in the CN Tower was in 2002, the next in 2003. Both times, I was very new to Toronto and did not know what streets or what buildings I was seeing from high above. This time I did know what I was seeing.

I knew that the below was Billy Bishop Airport, on the western end of the Toronto Islands.

Toronto Island Airport #toronto #cntower #torontoislands #billybishopairport


I could follow the rail corridor as it stretched west, past the new condo districts to the south and under the bridges of Spadina Avenue, Bathurst Street, and Dufferin Street.

Looking west from on high #toronto #cntower #lakeontario #harbourfront #ontarioplace #humberbay


Over the rail corridor #toronto #cntower  #rail #spadinaavenue #bathurststreet


I could look north to the leafy west-end neighbourhoods I know well.

Looking north #toronto #cntower


I could appreciate the safety cage used by the workers who, in cleaning the windows of the CN Tower, made these views possible.

Safety cage #toronto #cntower


I could pick out the line of towers stretching north along Yonge.

Towers #toronto #cntower #skyline #tower #skyscraper


Going outside, I could pick out the Financial District through thick mesh.

Financial District through mesh #toronto #cntower #financialdistrict #skyscraper #tower


Looking down over the lip of the CN Tower, on its eastern edge, from the east, I could see that corner of Toronto as if in miniature.

From above #toronto #cntower #rail


The view is fantastic. If you're in Toronto, you really should go.
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The planned redevelopment of the Galleria Mall is the subject of this Toronto Star article by Verity Stevenson. The transformation of the southwest corner of Dupont and Dufferin into a futuristic complex of towers is, as one would expect, something a lot of locals are concerned about. I'm concerned about it: The planning is interesting, but it would change the neighbourhood hugely.

On a recent rainy Sunday afternoon, Sidonio Da Silva sat on a bench in the middle of Galleria Mall and chatted with another man.

“We come here to talk about life . . . food,” the 75-year-old said with a laugh, clutching a bamboo cane and wearing a white flat cap.

Da Silva mostly visits the Galleria, as he calls it, on Sundays. But he’d caught wind of the fate of the mall at Dupont and Dufferin Sts., which was discussed the day before at an open house called “Reimagine Galleria.”

Placards depicting renderings of a development that could replace the 1970s-era mall were installed in a neon-lit hallway between two fitness centres.

They showed four triangular buildings boasting more than 2,000 units, wedged into half of the 12-acre land. The other half, separated by a diagonal road connecting Dupont and Dufferin Sts., would be a park and a new community centre.


Much more, including the developers' sketches of the future of the neighbourhood, is at the Toronto Star.

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