- The area of Humber River Bay may yet be radically transformed by the development of the vast Christie's site. The Globe and Mail reports.
- Torontoist notes how the City of Toronto is starting to let apartment dwellers know if they might die in a disastrous fire like Grenfell.
- Wired reports on the vast Google plan to make not just Quayside but the entire waterfront a high-tech prototype.
- TVO's John Michael McGrath argues that the city does not need Google to design good neighbourhoods.
- Apparently many people are escaping the Toronto affordable housing crisis by moving into vans. The Toronto Star reports.
- The scale of the changes impending for Bloor and Dundas is, literally, immense. blogTO reports.
- Alas, the venerable Green Room hidden behind Bloor and Brunswick is set to leave its abode. blogTO reports.
- I love this proposal at Spacing by Michael McClelland for an archeology park in storied downtown Toronto.
- I agree with Simon Bredin at Torontoist that it would be a shame for Torontonians to losing public access to the Hearn Generating Station.
Back on the 21st of September, I posted a series of photos that I took just east of Ontario Place, in the area of the new Trillium Park. I had continued exploring west of Trillium Park, into Ontario Place, but I had never gotten around to posting my photos of Ontario Place in all of its mid-20th century modernist grandeur.
There will be more photos tomorrow.
There will be more photos tomorrow.
- These Forest Hill homeowners' claim that renovating neighbours stole their intellectual property seem silly to me. The Toronto Star reports.
- Shawn Micallef notes that the traditional architecture style of Toronto is of one pastiche or another. Maybe modernism especially?
- Toronto Life shares photos of a beautiful waterfront home in the Beaches, one I have passed by frequently. Only $6 million!
- Ellen Scheinberg of Spacing tells how detective work tracked down the house that was subject of Lawren Harris' "Toronto House".
- Spacing's John Lorinc considers confusion over what the idea of "mixed-use" development on the waterfront is.
- Dave Leblanc looks at the PATH, the underground tunnels in downtown Toronto making up a huge mall. It counts. The Globe and Mail reports.
- It turns out that the #worldslargestrubberduck was actually really good for waterfront businesses. The Toronto Star reports.
- Toronto Life interviews RioCan head Jonathan Gitlin, who thinks rent control will be terrible for renters.
- Alex Bozikovic looks at the plans for 1 Bloor Street West, The One. This tower may well become a national icon.
- Will a Google company play a leading role in the construction of the east waterfront neighbourhood of Quayside? The Toronto Star reports.
- The idea of the Parkdale library becoming the centre of a bigger cultural hub is provocative. NOW Toronto reports.
- This art show at York featuring works by artists from the old internal suburbs of Toronto sounds great. The Globe and Mail reports.
- There will be huge changes at Bloor and Dufferin, including one proposed tower a few dozen stories high. blogTO reports.
- The St. Regis, the former Trump Tower, is set to offer very high-end luxury condos in the Financial District. The Toronto Star reports.
- In the aftermath of a string of pedestrian deaths, Shawn Micallef notes the design failures of Toronto leading to loss of life.
- Spacing talks about what the North Market of Toronto can learn from the historic El Born of Barcelona.
- blogTO notes that an abortive scandal over the placement of a Little Free Library came to nothing in the end.
- Politics in a small Newfoundland community seem to literally be a family matter, of Crockers and Blakes. The National Post reports.
- Goldfish are taking over the water systems of the Alberta city of St. Albert's. The National Post reports.
- This BBC feature looks at the lives of the inhabitants, survivors and not, of the 21st floor of Grenfell.
- This Guardian feature looks at ways cities can protect themselves against disaster, especially with water.
- Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait notes the continuing maps and naming of the Pluto system.
- Centauri Dreams considers one method to detect photosynthesis on Earth-like worlds of red dwarf stars.
- D-Brief notes the discovery of Octlantis, a permanent community of octopi located off the coast of Australia.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes Earth-like world can co-exist with a Jovian in a circumstellar habitable zone.
- Hornet Stories notes that Morrissey is now in Twitter. (This will not go well.
- Language Log notes the kanji tattoo of one American neo-Nazi.
- The LRB Blog notes how the English town of Tewksbury is still recovering from massive flooding a decade later.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the improbable life of Barry Sadler, he of "The Ballad of the Green Berets".
- The Map Room Blog shares this terrifying map examining the rain footprint of Hurricane Irma.
- Spacing reviews a fascinating dual biography of architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson.
- Window on Eurasia notes an call to restore to maps the old Chinese name for former Chinese Tuva, Uryankhai.
- MacLean's argues that, in Canada and arguably the West generally, it is much too soon to rehabilitate the swastika.
- Global News reports on a proposal to rename Nova Scotia's Cornwallis River.
- This effort to engage in a minimalist, non-misleading restoration of a Spanish castle is controversial.
- The argument that human history goes back millions of years, and encompass a huger area than thought, is compelling.
- blogTO argues East Chinatown, at Broadview and Gerrard, is an up-and-coming neighbourhood.
- East-end Toronto, from Leslieville to points east, definitely is up-and-coming. The Globe and Mail reports.
- It looks like the Kirby GO Station was approved for political reasons, not because of actual local need. The Toronto Star reports.
- Steve Munro notes that, on the 23rd, the TTC Overhead Shop will have an open house explaining the streetcars' pantograph.
- In July, Torontoist looked at Toronto architect Eden Smith, connected to the Arts and Crafts Movement in Canada.
- Far Outliers notes how the new Suez Canal helped create a network of coal-using port cities across Eurasia.
- Hornet Stories notes that Serbia's out lesbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, marched in Belgrade's pride parade.
- Joe. My. God. notes a statement by the Pentagon that transgender troops can still re-enlist for the next few months.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes a fundamentally ill-thought defense of colonialism by Bruce Gilley.
- Marginal Revolutions notes that Swedish support for the far right is linked to perceptions of foreign threats to employment.
- Out There looks at the last days of Cassini at Saturn.
- Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw notes real estate shenanigans in greater Sydney.
- Drew Rowsome has a critical, but positive, review of closeted gay author Frank M. Robinson's autobiography.
- The Volokh Conspiracy sums up the outcome of the controversial monkey selfie copyright case.
- Window on Eurasia suggests that Russian challenges to language legislation in Tatarstan hint at future challenges.
- blogTO notes an exciting open house on the 28th of October for three of the new University Line subway stations.
- Alex Bozikovic praises the architectural innovation behind the new stations on the Eglinton Crosstown line.
- Christopher Hume's argument (from August) that Toronto will, despite itself, have to invest in its future works.
- NOW Toronto notes how Gibraltar Point marks the Toronto Islands' point most vulnerable to erosion.
- It seems, as Fatima Syed notes, that the Centreville carousel will not be bought by its intended buyer.
- VICE reports on a young Toronto architect who suggests condos could be more affordable if they were more modular.
- A highly disproportionate number of Toronto's innovative post-war architects were Estonian refugees. Stunning works. The Globe and Mail reports.
- At Spacing, John Lorinc is rightly concerned with the impending Doug Ford run for the mayoralty.
- Spacing takes a look at the futuristic parking garages of mid-20th century Toronto.
- blogTO looks at the classic department stores of mid-20th century Toronto, at the apogee of this retail model.
- This Toronto Star feature on the plight of temp workers in Toronto is upsetting. Is this the future we have made?
- 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.
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.