Is something missing? It’s half a house.

Is something missing? It’s half a house.

This half house is the result of a true David and Goliath battle which pitted a lone homeowner against a corporate developer. In the 1970s before the Village by the Grange condos were built the developer bought numerous residential properties but ran up against one stubborn hold-out. A paper battle raged until finally the other half of the duplex home was sold and demolished and the result was the half a house that stands at 54 1/2 St....

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The Goonies on guard

The Goonies on guard

What are neighbourhood watch signs supposed to do? The ubiquitous red and black, big-brother eyes are meant to warn bad guys that this neighbourhood is a place where we watch out for one another, we take care of our own and will foil any potential wrong-doing by our amateur sleuthing and nosiness. There is a small town homespun cosiness to the watch program and that’s why a new installation project in central west Toronto has hit such a...

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Top 5 Toronto-centric news apps

Top 5 Toronto-centric news apps

Why is traffic backed up? Who’s demonstrating in front of city hall? What has Rob Ford done lately? If you need to know what’s going on in Toronto then these are the top five apps for keeping you in-the-know. 1. City News City takes a “hyper-local” look at the news and events around Toronto. 2. Toronto Sun Toronto’s tabloid newspaper. 3. 680 News Up-to-the-minute news, traffic...

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Doig painting sells at auction

On June 26, I posted (see here) about a Peter Doig painting titled Country-Rock (wing-mirror) that was inspired by a well known landmark in the Don Valley in Toronto. The painting was scheduled to auction at Sothebys in London June 30th and the estimates were that it would fetch $16 million. The final sale price at auction was £8,482.500 British pounds or $15.46 million which includes the buyers premium. The buyer bid £7.5 million pounds and...

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How to talk to Canadians

How to talk to Canadians

They look like you, they even sound like you but what are they saying?? Here is your handy guide to understanding what Canadians are saying: 1. They may refer to your head-covering as a toque (touk) This is not an insult it is simply a French-Canadian term and means a stocking cap. If you visit any time from late October to March you might want to practice this one. 2. They may ask for a loonie or toonie...

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Do you have your flag?

Do you have your flag?

Is this you? You have recently moved to Toronto and feel a visceral tie to your birth-country. You are first or second generation in Canada and are a hyphenated Canadian i.e. Italian-Canadian, Peruvian-Canadian, German-Canadian. You are multi-ethnic, multi-national true melting pot of which Toronto is so proud and can choose to self-identify as any of a number of nationalities. The many ways that we Canadians “classify” ourselves is one of...

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16 million dollars worth of inspiration in the Don Valley

For years we noticed the rainbow painted tunnel south of Lawrence Avenue when we drive or bike the Don Valley and thought it was a charming landmark but not much more. Well, apparently it is more… potentially $16 million more! Peter Doig’s painting Country-Rock (wing-mirror) based on this same rainbow tunnel is the centre piece of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on June 30. A link to that event can be found here. There...

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The war on Toronto’s streets

The war on Toronto’s streets

There is a full blown battle happening in Toronto’s streets and you may not even be aware of it. In one corner is Toronto’s infamous mayor Rob Ford and in the other corner are a stealthy group of street artists. Rob Ford has vowed to eradicate graffiti from the streets of Toronto and was even photographed removing paint with a water sprayer. There has been some push-back from street artists and ever since the “video incident” the push...

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Hidden far under Toronto

Hidden Toronto Tuesday this week is truly hidden. So hidden we can’t get a photo of it or see it! The Toronto Transit Commission (the TTC) built a second subway station under the currently used Queen and Yonge Street station. When the TTC was planning and constructing the Yonge Street subway line in the 1950s they optimistically thought that a Queen Street branch would follow soon. The funding from the federal government never materialized and...

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Lyrical poem in Riverside

Lyrical poem in Riverside

Have a seat. Lean back on the grass and look up. On the edge of Jimmie Simpson Park on Queen Street East you’ll find the third of a three-part art installation by Eldon Garnet called Time: and a Clock. There are four posts each bearing a word on a pennant that make up a lyrical poem. Coursing, Disappearing, Trembling, Returning The first stage of the installation is further west above the Queen Street viaduct over the Don Valley and...

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