rfmcdonald: (photo)
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.
rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • 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!

rfmcdonald: (photo)
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.

West Queen West fashion (1) #toronto #queenstreetwest #westqueenwest #queerstreetwest #fashion


West Queen West fashion (2) #toronto #queenstreetwest #westqueenwest #queerstreetwest #fashion


West Queen West fashion (3)  #toronto #queenstreetwest #westqueenwest #queerstreetwest #fashion
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Picasso on Richmond #toronto #architecture #condos #picassocondos #richmondstreet #entertainmentdistrict #queenstreetwest #picassoonrichmond #latergram


Picasso on Richmond #toronto #architecture #condos #picassocondos #richmondstreet #entertainmentdistrict #queenstreetwest #picassoonrichmond #latergram


Picasso on Richmond is an eye-catching tower in the heart of the Entertainment District, a 39-story condo tower with what Urban Toronto is right to note is a "decidedly edgy silhouette", all different colours and shapes.
rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • 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.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • 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.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • 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.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • 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.

rfmcdonald: (photo)
The Jane's Walk tour of the Ossington strip north from Queen to Dundas took us past many sites, from street art to trendy bars to hip charchuteries to, even, intersections I once lived near, with the Portuguese and Vietnamese legacies of this neighbourhood still apparent at places.

IMG_2215


IMG_2217


IMG_2218


IMG_2219


IMG_2220


IMG_2221


IMG_2222


IMG_2225


IMG_2226


IMG_20170506_171855


IMG_2230


IMG_2231


IMG_2233
rfmcdonald: (Default)
The Toronto Star's Peter Goffin reports on the online response to the TTC's plan to close down the Queen streetcar line this summer.

The TTC’s announcement that it will replace streetcars with buses during repairs to Queen St. this summer has jumpstarted conversation on social media.

Facebook and Twitter were flooded Wednesday morning with Torontonians bemoaning the change to their commute, criticizing the timing, and complaining about the construction projects that are causing the conversion.

Some were worried that putting more buses on the road would create more pollution.

“Buses are more harmful for the environment than streetcars, as streetcars run on electricity and not fuel,” wrote TJ Phelan on Facebook.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Global News' David Shum describes how, this summer, the Queen streetcar line will be replaced by buses.

For the first time in TTC history, transit riders will have to make due with buses along the entire 501 Queen streetcar route this summer.

From May 7 to Sept. 3, streetcars will not be travelling the busy corridor due to a number of construction projects.

“Because of a number of construction projects along Queen Street that would disrupt regular streetcar service, it was decided that replacing them with buses would allow for a better customer experience in the short-term,” TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said.

In total, 65 buses will be replacing 27 streetcars from the Neville Loop in the east end to the Long Branch loop in Etobicoke.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Michelle Da Silva's brief article in NOW Toronto notes that Queen Street West in Toronto will finally get some free public WiFi--indeed, already has it. Now for the rest of Toronto to follow suit!

Accessing free WiFi in Toronto can often mean ducking into a McDonalds, Starbucks or other fastfood chains. In “world class” cities, such as Tel Aviv, New York City, Seoul, Barcelona, Bangalore and Osaka, free Internet access is readily available everywhere.

The neighbourhood of West Queen West is hoping to change that. Starting February 23, anyone walking along Queen West between Niagara and Markham streets will be able to access free WiFi by logging onto FREE WQW WI-FI.

The service is being offered by the West Queen West BIA and Besify, a Markham-based Internet firm. This stretch of Queen West marks the first phase of a project. Rob Sysak, executive director of the WQW BIA, says that phase two of the project, which includes Queen West between Gladstone and Dovercourt, will launch in March.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962), on metal


The first appearance of Spider-Man, in the August 1962 issue of Marvel comic anthology Amazing Fantasy, was printed on metal and sold as a sort of poster at Queen West store Rusteak.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
blogTO notes that construction will make the 501 Queen a rather shorter route this coming year.

The 501 streetcar spent much of 2016 avoiding a portion of Queen Street West, between Spadina and Shaw, thanks to construction. While there were shuttle buses on route, many riders chose to take the detour, which brought streetcars down along King Street West.

That portion of the route has reopened, but for most of 2017, the TTC will replace the western part of the 501 - past Roncesvalles Avenue - with buses.

"Starting Jan. 8, and throughout 2017, buses will replace streetcars on the portion of the 501 Queen route west of Roncesvalles Ave. to accommodate City of Toronto work on the Queensway Bridge, TTC streetcar track and overhead work, and the renewal of the Humber Loop," reads a note on the TTC website.


The TTC note is here.
rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith writes about Christmas cards and memory.

  • blogTO notes the impending expansion of the Drake Hotel.

  • The Broadside Blog describes a documentary, The Eagle Huntress, about a Mongolian teenage girl who becomes a hunter using eagles, that sounds spectacular.

  • Crooked Timber asks readers to help a teenager who has been arrested by the LAPD.

  • Dangerous Minds notes some weird monsters from Japanese folklore.

  • The Dragon's Tales suggests that the Hellas basin hides the remnants of its ocean.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the finding that Russia was trying to get Trump elected.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers the issue of hate speech and immigration.

  • Window on Eurasia quotes a former Ukrainian president who argues Russia does not want to restore the Soviet Union so much as it wants to dominate others.

  • The Yorkshire Ranter notes how the Daily Telegraph is recommending its readers use tax shelters.

  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the language of side-eye and stink-eye.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
The Globe and Mail's Marcus Gee tells the story of a Queen West convenience store now closing down on account of the gentrification of its neighbourhood.

Until Thursday, Sandy Chen and Henry Zhou ran a convenience store on Toronto’s Queen Street West. As the neighbourhood around them went from seedy to artsy to trendy, their Queen’s Grocery & Variety at the corner of Queen and Lisgar streets remained stubbornly the same.

Year after year, day after day, they stood sentry behind the store counter, cheerfully hawking (as the sign outside proclaimed) “pops, snacks, ice creams, ATM, TTC, Lotto” and other necessities of urban living.

But cities are always evolving and even Queen’s Grocery couldn’t resist forever. Real estate values have soared on Queen, one of the hottest streets on the continent. Someone bought the building from their old landlord last spring. Faced with a doubling of their rent, the couple, now in their 50s, decided to wind up the business that sustained them for 17 years.

As they prepared to close on Wednesday, a handwritten sign announced “Everything must go!!!” Inside the store, already half empty, Ms. Chen was slashing prices and giving lots of stuff away free. The sound of hammering and drilling came through the wall as renovators encroached. A contractor who looked in said the space would become (what else?) a vegetarian restaurant.

It is a process that is underway on city streets from London to Chicago to Shanghai. Rundown downtown neighbourhoods are reviving. New money and new blood is rushing in. The local hardware becomes a yoga studio, the greasy spoon a coffee bar. This stretch of Queen used to boast two car-wash joints, now priced out and long gone.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
The Toronto Star's Jim Coyle describes what seems to be the successful first stage of Alexandra Park's revitalization.

On a golden early-autumn day, under flawless blue skies, local residents took to the streets Saturday to celebrate fresh starts and brighter futures in the downtown neighbourhood of Alexandra Park.

The 18-acre tract — originally built in the 1960s as public housing, squeezed between the bustle of Kensington Market, Chinatown and Queen St. W. — has long been terra incognita to many in Toronto, and regarded by some who did know it as a no-go zone of gangs and hidey-holes.

But all that’s changing under a revitalization plan that began in 2008 with not much more than dreams and determination and, eight years on, celebrated the official opening Saturday of its first 40 new townhomes.

The party brought drum bands and bouncy castles and ice-cream trucks and smoking barbecues onto the sunny streets, along with delighted residents like Hamza Waseem.

Waseem, 21, came to Canada from Pakistan at age 5 and has lived in Alexandra Park since 2004.

“As a community we were known for drugs, violence, crime,” he told the Star. “But now it’s bringing more safety, and we feel better for sure. We were closed off, we were isolated from the community,” he said. “This is opening us up and making it safer.”
rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Beyond the Beyond links to an exhibition of art by a Brazilian inspired by War of the Worlds.

  • blogTO shares photos of Vaughan's new library.

  • Centauri Dreams reports on the difficulty of reaching Proxima b.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on KS-39b, a hot Jupiter orbiting a subgiant.

  • False Steps reports on a proposed late Soviet space shuttle.

  • Inkfish notes a study suggesting that cuttlefish can count to five.

  • Language Hat reports on efforts to revive indigenous languages in Australia.

  • Language Log shares a sign in New York that combines Latin and Chinese scripts.

  • The Map Room Blog notes a Korean movie about a mid-19th century mapmaker.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer wonders what the Trump meeting with Mexico's president was about, and is unimpressed by Jill Stein.

  • Savage Minds sparks a discussion among its readers about what moment made them an activist for equality.

  • Torontoist reports on how the Great Hall was saved.

  • Understanding Society looks at a cutting-edge sociology anthology from 2008.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on the decision of an American court to allow a Muslim convert to Christianity to file a civil suit with a pseudonym.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russia-Ukraine tensions, and wonders about the consequences of Karimov's death of Karakalpakstan and Uzbekistan generally.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
Jeremy Willard writes at Torontoist about the many problems facing Toronto's queer businesses. I did not know that Come As Your Are had closed down.

From the outside, Come As You Are appeared like any other storefront on Queen West. But get a little closer, and the shop slowly revealed itself to passersby: vibrators sat in the front window, and lime green interior walls reflected the bright and adventurous toys sold inside. The shop was unabashedly sexy—and for years, it had been considered one of the most sex-positive and LGBTQ-friendly sex stores in the city.

But, that has come to an end. Come As You Are is now closed, reverting to an online-only store–and another one of Toronto’s queerer businesses has been forced to shut its doors.

The store gave no warning that its final day of business would be Sunday, August 28. Anyone passing by the following morning would have been surprised to see signs in the windows reading, “Goodbye Queen West.”

“We wanted to close quietly,” says Jack Lamon, one of the co-op’s worker-owners. “I guess we didn’t want to spend the last month doing a lot of emotional processing on the [sales] floor.”

Queer businesses are struggling now more than ever. This summer alone has seen the closure of the bar Zipperz—known for its drag king nights and thriving lesbian club scene—and the martini bar and restaurant Byzantium. Glad Day Bookshop, the world’s oldest surviving LGBTQ bookshop, is moving to a new location in the hope that expansion will save the struggling business.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Toronto transit blogger Steve Munro has been kind enough to share his vintage photos of the 1972 move of the 19th century Campbell House through the streets of Toronto, from a site near the Financial District to its current location on the northwest corner of Queen and University.

Profile

rfmcdonald: (Default)rfmcdonald

October 2017

S M T W T F S
12 3 4 5 6 7
89 101112 13 14
15 16 17181920 21
22232425262728
293031    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 04:40 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios