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  • Building two thousand affordable housing units in Toronto is a nice step forward. Will there be more steps? The Toronto Star reports.

  • This charming bit of improvised art down at Humber Bay Park reminds me that I really need to head down there. From the Toronto Star.

  • Montréal has stopped representing genocidal General Amherst on its flag, replacing it with a native pine tree. The National Post reports.

  • Emily Macrae at Torontoist suggests co-housing, drawn from a Québec model, is something Toronto might want to look into.

  • Richard Longley at NOW Toronto explores the Toronto Islands. Do they have a future? What will they need?

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  • A Hamilton church is digging up hundreds of dead for an old cemetery turned parking lot to make room for condos.

  • A RV fire that left an elderly couple in Victoria homeless highlights the affordable housing crisis there.

  • MacLean's notes how the Royal Canadian Legion is starting to make a new fortune, in eateries and real estate even.

  • Why is the St. Lawrence BIA using security guards to kick homeless people out of a park? (Rhetorical, I know.) NOW Toronto looks.

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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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  • At CBC, Don Pittis notes--in this time of a refugee crisis--Canada is economically able to handle more newcomers.

  • I really do want to see this origami diorama tomorrow at the CNE.

  • In this year of free national park admissions, Lauren Krugel notes how Parks Canada prepared for the surge.

  • Atlas Obscura notes that, after almost three decades, the Trans-Canada Trail is finally complete, from coast to coast.

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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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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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  • Steve Munro evaluates the next plans for Metrolinx for regional transit.

  • Evan Balgord at Torontoist looks back at the anti-Nazi Christie Pits riots of 1933.

  • Cheryl Thompson at Spacing looks at the extent to which gun violence in Scarborough is a symptom of deepening poverty.

  • Nikhil Sharma at Torontoist notes that private parkettes are an imperfect substitute for public parks.

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In the beautiful late afternoon of Wednesday the 16th, I went to Allan Gardens to take a look around. The greenhouse is lovely, but so too is the surrounding park, all bright and warm in the heat of a summer that has finally gotten here.

All the photos I took that afternoon are neatly organized in albums on Facebook and Flickr

#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse

#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse


#toronto #allangardens #green #parks #greenhouse
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  • blogTO notes that the Toronto Reference Library will be holding a huge sale again next week.

  • Inside Toronto profiles Sephora Hussein, new collection head of the Merril Collection.

  • Michael Lyons writes about the importance of the newly-reopened Hanlan's beach on the Toronto Islands.

  • Jake Tobin Garrett argues at Torontoist for the importance of the proposed Rail Deck Park.

  • Emily Macrae argues at Torontoist there is much Toronto can learn from the green--literally--laneways of Montréal.

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  • This story of a TTC worker who took a day's fares home with him, where they got confiscated by police, and then compensated by union pressure for having been suspended without pay ... wow.

  • Edward Keenan makes the point that cost overruns for city infrastructure need to be taken seriously. The quoted price for a park staircase is just off.

  • Daily Xtra notes the sad state of repairs of the rainbow crosswalks of Toronto.

  • CBC reports on Twyn Rivers Drive, a Scarborough route some say should be marked as off-limits for heavy vehicles.

  • NOW Toronto reports on how Mississauga is starting to outshine Toronto in the department of bike lanes.

  • Torontoist's Tricia Wood writes about the almost impressive dysfunction at Metrolinx.

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Looking south at the Dominico Field baseball diamond, Christie Pit #toronto #christiepit #parks #baseball #evening


Dominico Field, in the northeast of Christie Pit, can look rather impressive when seen from the northern lip of the park on Barton.
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  • John Michael McGrath argues at TVO that leaving Toronto for Ontario cities with cheaper housing misses the issue of jobs. For starters.

  • Michelle McQuigge looks at how the CNIB is helping make Yonge and St. Clair accessible to the blind.

  • In The Globe and Mail, Erik Heinrich looks at how a mid-rise office tower at 1133 Yonge Street is being transformed into condos.

  • The Toronto Star reports that the condo/hotel tower at 325 Bay Street no longer bears the name of Trump. Toronto is free!

  • The end of the Palace Arms rooming house at King and Strachan, Christian Controneo notes at Torontoist, must be seen as terrible for the people who live there.
  • blogTO notes that E. Coli levels on mainland Toronto beaches make them unsafe for swimmers. No lake water this year!

  • blogTO notes that Montréal architect Claude Cormier, designer of HTO and Berczy, will next do a cat-themed park.

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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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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


Tower


Along the promenade


Tower through trees


Towards the AGO


Playground


Playing amid fountains


Benches


Play


Grange and stairs


Stairs above


Playing on the green grass


Henry Moore, Two Large Forms


Beneath tall trees
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  • The anthropology group blog Savage Minds now has a new name, Anthrodendum.

  • Anthropology.net reports on the first major study of ancient African human DNA. New history is revealed.

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait reports on how gravitational lensing led to the identification of a single star nine billion light-years away. (This is a record.)

  • Centauri Dreams reports the possible detection of a debris disk around pulsar Geminga, augury of future planets perhaps?

  • Dangerous Minds reports on Seoul's Haesindang Park, a park literally full of penises--phallic symbols, at least.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes one analysis arguing for the plausibility of unmanned probes using imaginable technology reaching the ten nearest stars in a century.

  • Imageo shares photos from space of the southern California wildfires.

  • Language Hat shares some stirring poetry in Scots.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on the scale of child labour in North Carolina's farm sector.

  • Marginal Revolution thinks that American observers of Putin think, far too much, that he actually has a plan. The degree of chaos in Russia's affairs is apparently being underestimated.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw notes the unsettling rural Americana of photographer Gregory Crewdson.

  • Window on Eurasia notes Zhirinovsky's plan for a sweeping Russian annexation of Ukraine, leaving only the northwest independent.

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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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  • 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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  • Torontoist's Emily Macrae notes the importance that parks will have for a Toronto with an aging population.

  • The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr reports that Siemens is challenging Metrolinx's award of the contract for new streetcars to Alstom.

  • Global News shares arguments from business owners that the floodwaters around the Toronto Islands has fallen enough to reopen them.

  • CBC News' Justin Li reports that Ward's Island, easternmost of the Toronto Islands, actually is open for business.

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  • With news that Toronto police is now treating the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman from his Cabbagetown a week ago as suspicious, the search for Kinsman is taking on new importance. Please, if you can help in any way, let Toronto police or his friends--anybody--know.

  • The Toronto Star's Hina Alam reports on the huge crush over the Canada Day weekend to see the World's Largest Rubber Duck.

  • The Parkdale Villager's Hilary Caton reports on the push to make West Queen West a protected district.

  • The National Post shares the Canadian Press' poll reporting on general anxiety, including among the well-off, on affordable housing in Canada.

  • The Globe and Mail's Kenny Sharpe writes about controversy at Ryerson University over the legacy of founder Egerton Ryerson.

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