- The Toronto Star looks at how buildings destined for demolition for condos are, in the interim, enjoying some innovative alternative uses.
- CBC Toronto takes a look at the efforts of photographer Jon Simo, owner of Neon Demon Studios, to preserve and promote neon signs. (I went to the pop-up museum this weekend; photos to come.)
- Toronto Life shares old photos of the Drake Hotel predating its transformation into a west-end hub.
- blogTO lists the best, and the worst, Pizza Pizza locations in Toronto.
- blogTO shares photos of Let's Survive Together, the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror room bought by the AGO for its permanent collection.
- Urban Toronto looks at the new proposal for a condo tower at 300 Bloor Street West, at Bloor and Huron.
- Toronto's Great Hall, on Queen Street West, is up for sale. blogTO reports.
- Residents and tenants of the Coffin Factory at staging a funeral for this location as it is on the verge of being made into a condo development. blogTO reports.
- A new exhibit in North York is profiling the history of immigrant construction workers in Toronto. CBC reports.
- Could a tax on multi-million dollar homes in Toronto be used to generate funds for the homeless? The Toronto Star reports.
- CBC reports on what is going on one year after the arrest of Bruce McArthur.
- r/Toronto shares this image showing how recorded temperatures in the Toronto area have been rising for well over a decade. This is surely not only the heat island effect, here.
- Tanya Mok at blogTO notes how an abandoned food court on Queen West has been taken over by homeless people seeking shelter.
- Donovan Vincent at the Toronto Star does a good job exploring how Dufferin Street, from the waterfront to points far north, is becoming a hub for densification. Is infrastructure--like transit--ready?
- Steve Munro takes a detailed look at the $C 33 billion the Toronto Transit Commission will need over the next 15 years. What will it need to do? Where will the money come from?
- Urban Toronto shares a photo of the rising 1 Yorkville tower.
- Tanya Mok at blogTO takes a look at the fast-disappearing cluster of antique shops on westernmost Queen Street West in Parkdale, near Roncesvalles.
- Steve Munro takes a look at the effect of the King Street pilot project on 501 Queen transit times.
- Might the Toronto Zoo have its own maglev train? blogTO reports.
- A petition has been launched to save the York Pillars from demolition. I, for one, will sign it. Can you, too? Global News reports.
- blogTO took a look at the history of Little Tibet, the stretch of Parkdale home to one of the biggest Tibetan communities outside of Asia.
- Extensive electrical issues with 650 Parliament, the property manager claims, will keep that huge tower's inhabitants from their homes for months. Global News reports.
- Urban Toronto notes how the new Downsview Park will make its densifying neighbourhood that much more attractive.
- John Lorinc at Spacing considers the contributions, and possible threats, posed by fringe candidates in this year's mayoral election in Toronto.
- Samantha Beattie at the Toronto Star reports on what some of the candidates who have dropped out of the race following the halving in the number of Toronto's wards are doing now.
- Shawn Micallef is quite right to note that the fight for local democracy is not just worth it, but that it can be won. The Toronto Star has it.
- Christopher Hume notes the leading role now played by developers in creating new neighbourhoods in Toronto, over at the Toronto Star.
- Dylan Reid at Spacing takes a look at the question of how the Unilever lands, the Unilever Precinct, need to be developed.
- Vice reports on the very recent meeting between Vegandale proponents and Parkdale residents. I have to say that many of the Vegandale types come off incredibly badly.
- Author Catherine Hernandez writes about CBC Arts about her Scarborough, a collection of restaurants and performance spaces and more.
- Despite profound uncertainty as to the fate of the election, Kalsang Dolma is continuing to run for her Parkdale ward. The Toronto Star reports.
- Designer Fabrics, a costumer catering to theatre and film for 64 years, is set to close in Parkdale after 64 years. The Toronto Star reports.
- "Vegandale", a district dense in vegan retail and restaurants on Queen west of Dufferin, has created a lot of controversy among people in Parkdale. The Toronto Star reports.
- A community forum has been called to deal with the "Vegandale" marketing. NOW Toronto has more.
- Global News reports on the dispute between the long-settled residents of Parkdale and the newer incomers, brought out by "Vegandale".
- blogTO reports TTC plans to further improve service on the 29 Dufferin route.
- This lawsuit lodged by the companies building the Eglinton Crosstown against Metrolinx for breach of contract is unwelcome news. The Toronto Star reports.
- The apparent trend to prescribe injured workers not medical marijuana for their pain but the potentially much more dangerous opioids sounds like a mistake to me. CBC reports.
- The giant Okuda San Miguel mural on the wall of a student resident at Jarvis and Carlton is now complete. CBC reports.
- Samantha Edwards at NOW Toronto has written a fascinating long feature on the rise of veganism in Toronto, not only as a popular and visible food style but as a force responsible for gentrification (the block of Queen between Dufferin and Brock is home to a new vegan district).
- Aaron Hutchins reports on the potential of the upcoming Doug Ford campaign in Toronto to reveal the strength, or not, of populism in Canada.
- Jesse Winter reports at The Globe and Mail on how the redevelopment of a warehouse at Queen and Dufferin, in Parkdale, is set to displace the artists and creators now based there.
- Ben Spurr notes that, although the entire TTC now has cell service, only Freedom Mobile--not any of the big three--has signed a contract to let users take advantage of this, over at the Toronto Star.
- blogTO notes that the decision of restaurant Kaboom Chicken to blame price increases on the minimum wage increase has met with a negative reaction.
- Narcity notes that some east-end 7/11 stores have shut down suddenly, apparently because of minimum wage increases.
- Global News notes one report suggesting high levels of noise on the TTC could cause hearing loss.
- Massive tax increases linked to development are now subjecting West Queen West to the possibility of being developed out of existence, at least for many of its businesses. blogTO reports.
- This report suggesting architectural and other design changes to Toronto City Hall, to protect against terrorism, is saddening. The Toronto Star has it.
- More than 7% of employment in Toronto is linked to the financial sector. Will this city become a truly major international hub, I wonder? The Globe and Mail reports.
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.
- 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!
Toronto's West Queen West, along Queen Street West to the west of Bathurst, is home to many small indie fashion stores. Late at night, the front windows of stores like Mericani (630A Queen Street West), WTFash (632 Queen Street West), and The Store on Queen (662 Queen Street West), look almost like art gallery displays.
- 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.
- Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith talks about "cis", "trans", and the non-obvious meaning of this classification.
- The Big Picture shares photos of a recent sailing festival in Boston.
- blogTO reports on the trendy charcoal-black ice cream of a store across from Trinity Bellwoods.
- Centauri Dreams considers the idea of a "runaway fusion" drive.Crooked Timber wonders how a bad Brexit agreement could possibly be worse than no Brexit agreement for the United Kingdom.
- D-Brief warns of the possibility of sustained life-threatening heat waves in the tropics with global warming.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog considers how sociology majors are prepared, or not, for the workforce.
- Language Hat links to a wonderful examination of the textual complexities of James Joyce's Ulysses.
- The LRB Blog looks at how British big business is indebted to the Conservatives.
- Marginal Revolution reports on China's emergent pop music machine.
- Steve Munro reports on the latest on noise from the 514 Cherry streetcar.
- The NYRB Daily has a fascinating exchange on consciousness and free will and where it all lies.
- The Planetary Society Blog reports on a successful expedition to Argentina to examine Kuiper Belt object MU69 via occultation.
- Peter Rukavina celebrates Charlottetown school crossing guard Dana Doyle.
- The Globe and Mail describes how the flooding of Lake Ontario is starting to impact buildings built near the waterfront on the mainland, like some of Toronto's new condos.
- All of Toronto's beaches will be, CBC reports, at least partly closed on account of the flooding.
- Lucas Powers' photo essay at CBC tracks the impact of flooding on the Toronto Islands.
- Steve Munro continues his study of buses on Queen Street, noting that the frequency of buses needs to be increased to keep pace with streetcars.
- Edward Keenan argues in the Toronto Star that Michael Ford's call for a study for Queen Street transit will reveal that streetcars are the better way.
- Daily Xtra notes that, in the 1930s, the shops of Yonge and Dundas supported a queer community. The tours described sound interesting.
- Torontoist's Tricia Wood arguesthat the proposed high speed rail route in southern Ontario is wasteful spending, reflecting a two-tier transit network.
- Steve Munro crunches data on the Queen Street route to find that buses have an advantage over streetcars.
- The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr notes that the TTC is planning to noticeably expand its express bus network.
- NOW Toronto's Lisa Ferguson writes about potential NIMBYism in the opposition to new high-rises in High Park.