Saturday October 1, 2016
Friday September 30, 2016
As I pass Granville Street on my way east along Robson, I cannot walk by the India Gate restaurant without hearing the music of the ’70s spilling out from the 616 Club and imagining dropping in and letting Big Bird pour me a stiff gin and ginger.
Across the street at Robson and Seymour there’s a shiny steel and glass Roger’s Wireless outlet. I recently went in and asked the young staff what they’d think if a flash mob of senior citizens suddenly arrived with a boom box, and started wobbling about to Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown” or lip-synching to Shirley Bassey’s “This Is My Life!”.
Just as they were exchanging concerned glances and wondering whether to call security, I explained that we were on the dance floor of what was once Faces, the hottest gay disco in town. I paced out the location of the bar and they were suitably amused when I did a little disco move to demonstrate where the mini-stage had been when Gary Gilbertson was our first go-go-boy. They laughed, and I felt surrounded by ghosts.
There are few places in downtown Vancouver or the West End where I don’t have moments like that. At Davie and Seymour I see the drag queens hurrying out of Champagne Charlie’s to cab down to BJ’s on Pender Street for their next show.
Further down Davie Street, I walk with the long-gone girls on their way to the Davie stroll and Tranny Alley to pick up the latest street-level gossip. I have moments when I almost expect to run into young Jamie Lee Hamilton loitering outside the White Lunch.
The mayors of Canada’s largest cities are making a billion-dollar push for federal housing money just as the Liberals are set to finalize a national strategy, and the minister responsible is trying to manage expectations.
The mayors want the federal Liberals to set aside $12.6 billion during the next decade to help build new affordable housing units and alleviate a growing need in places like Toronto and Vancouver.
The lion’s share, about $7.7 billion, would go to repairing and maintaining existing units nationwide. A further $4.2 billion would go to building up to 10,000 new affordable housing units annually across the country. There is also approximately $700 million for a portable rental subsidy that wouldn’t be tied to a unit, but to a recipient.
It’s a major ask of the federal government as it works to finalize the second phase of its infrastructure program and allocate $17.7 billion for affordable housing, seniors homes, recreational facilities and child care — with each of those sectors competing for the cash.
“The highest need for most of us would be housing, and it’s not to say there aren’t pressing needs for seniors’ infrastructure, for culture and recreation infrastructure, and for child care space infrastructure, but without adequate, safe and decent dignified housing for families, those other services are less relevant,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, chairman of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities big city mayors’ caucus.
Vancouver’s quest to regulate sites like Airbnb could serve as a blueprint for Toronto as the city grapples with the effects of short-term rentals on the housing market, experts say.
The west coast city is proposing bylaws that would ban so-called ghost hotels -- short-term rentals that people aren’t living in -- and require business licences for anyone using Airbnb.
Vacancy rates in Vancouver are at historic lows, and the move is an attempt to bring 1,000 rental units back onto the market, Mayor Gregor Robertson told reporters Wednesday.
Thorben Wieditz, a researcher with Unite Here Local 75, which represents hospitality workers, applauded Vancouver’s proposal as a “great first step.”
Combined with their new vacancy tax, Wieditz, said Vancouver is “leading the charge” on making sure that rental units are not taken off the market for short-term stays.
An ambitious plan to demolish Toronto’s dated west-end Galleria Shopping Centre and replace it with a sleek mix of condos, shops, office space, a new community centre and a large park is expected to get a rough ride as it includes a cluster of towers, one as high as 42 storeys, more than twice the height now allowed on the site.
“I think it is completely out of context and the character of the neighbourhood,” Ana Bailao, the local city councillor, said of the proposal from a joint venture of ELAD Canada and Freed Developments, which were to file a master plan with the city on Friday.
Ms. Bailao said the towers could create shadow impacts, and she has concerns about traffic and the strain on public transit that the dense development could create.
Still, she said there were many good things in the plan to rip up and redesign the site near Dupont and Dufferin Streets, a rapidly gentrifying area traditionally home to the city’s Portuguese community.
Ms. Bailao praised the developers for launching community consultations over the past year and incorporating that input into their designs, which include a fully funded and expanded community centre to replace the aging existing one.
Glass fell from the Sick Kids Centre for Research and Learning for the second day in a row on Thursday morning.
Bay St. was closed between Elm St. and Walton St. around 5:30 a.m. when the glass fell from a window on the fifth floor of the building.
Cpt. David Eckerman from Toronto Fire Services said that it fell from about 50 feet up.
The road was closed for nearly two hours, causing traffic and TTC routes to divert as police investigated and cleaned up the scene.
Falling glass is a frequent issue in the downtown core.
It was the subject of two $20-million class-action lawsuits in 2012, when shattered glass incidents prompted developers at Murano Towers on Grosvenor St. and Festival Tower on John St. to seal residents’ balconies.
A group of developers is laying claim to the rights over a large stretch of the rail corridor downtown, complicating the city’s intention to build a 21-acre park in that space.
Mayor John Tory last month announced the proposal to build a rail-deck park between Bathurst St. and Blue Jays Way — which city staff now say could cost more than $1 billion. The mayor’s executive committee voted last week to move ahead with that plan, which Tory has backed as a legacy project.
The city, Tory and local Councillor Joe Cressy have said that preliminary talks over the sale of the air rights over the active rail lands with two rail companies, who say they own most of those relevant rights, have been “positive.”
But Matthew Castelli, a GTA developer behind Senator Homes and the Kingsman Group, says those air rights have already been sold to a consortium of developers that includes the Craft Development Corporation, based in Etobicoke.
“I can’t really talk about anything at all. The only thing I can confirm is I’m part of a consortium that do own the air rights over the rail lands,” Castelli told the Star on Friday.
Today, the Cheonggyecheon stream flows through almost 11 kilometres of downtown Seoul, but it spent much of the last century covered in concrete. As the city grew, the stream became increasingly polluted, until it was paved over in 1958.
When an expressway was built along the stream’s course in 1971, it seemed like local politicians had literally prioritized the circulation of vehicles over the water cycle.
However, between 2003 and 2005, the city invested $900 million (U.S.) to restore the stream and remove the elevated highway. Today, water once again winds through the downtown while the source is anchored by a large public plaza.
[. . .]
From an environmental perspective, the stream is only a partial victory. As activist and academic Eunseon Park explains, the stream bed is made of concrete, which limits integration with surrounding ecosystems and contributes to an expensive algae problem.
Socially, the project lacked public consultation and was instead pushed through by the mayor, intent on cementing his legacy before entering national politics.
A 30-minute drive from his home near High Park, Carl Leslie’s peppers are turning a deep, vibrant red. “Sweet bell pepper success!” he proclaims in a photo caption to his social media followers. “First time ever. A testament to a hot, hot summer.”
Leslie’s harvest—of peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, watermelon, squash, and some 30-odd other fruits and vegetables—is also testament to the success of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) near-urban agriculture projects that now span the GTA.
Since 2008, the TRCA has been partnering with agricultural organizations and private farmers to develop farm enterprises closer to the city. These farm initiatives offer farmers like Leslie, who live in or near urban centres, access to land, equipment, and mentorship needed to run a startup or family farm.
Leslie runs his half-acre plot on McVean farm, a 45-acre chunk of TRCA land in Brampton within Claireville Conservation Area. McVean, one of the TRCA’s four near-urban farms, is managed by Farm Start, which leases the land from the TRCA and rents out small plots to farmers. For some land-users, McVean is a pilot program—somewhere to dabble in farming before deciding whether to scale up and buy their own land. For some, it’s a place to grow food for their families and communities without moving out of the city. And for others, it’s simply a way to feel connected to the land.
Rated: Parental Guidance (Language May Offend, Mature Theme)
Runs: 111 minutes
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson
Meryl Streep will get most of the attention accorded the crowd-pleasing Florence Foster Jenkins thanks to a performance that may single-handedly set off a boom in the earplug industry. But the actor you should keep your eye on is Simon Helberg. It is his reactions to her vocal travesties that really make the movie sparkle. Ms. Streep plays the title character, a real-life figure who was a patron of the arts in New York in the first half of the last century but also fancied herself a singer. She most definitively wasnt, but money can go a long way toward bolstering any delusion, and in 1944 Jenkins bought her way onto the Carnegie Hall stage, performing an awful concert that became the stuff of legend. Ms. Streep is a delight, hilarious when shes singing and convincingly on edge at all times. She gives us a woman who is tethered to reality just enough to function, but divorced from it just enough to be clueless about her lack of musical ability. Hugh Grant plays her romantic partner and enabler, St. Clair Bayfield, who pays off critics, makes sure her recitals are packed with only sympathetic ears and tucks her into bed at night before running off to his mistress. Is he just stringing Florence along because of her money, or does he really love her?... The tale, though, wouldnt be half as engaging without Mr. Helberg... He plays Florences pianist, Cosmé McMoon... Mr. Helbergs reaction when he first hears her voice is by itself worth the price of admission. Cosmé, of course, realizes immediately how irredeemably terrible she is, and he soon fears for the effect that being associated with her might have on his own career... Mr. Frears doesnt delve too deeply into human frailty, the lust for fame or the other darker themes suggested by Jenkinss story. Hes content to let his three leads be eminently watchable in a beautifully conjured midcentury New York. - Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
- blogTO shares photos of the new Yonge-Eglinton Centre.
- Beyond the Beyond's Bruce Sterling makes the comparison of the Middle East now to central Europe in the Thirty Years War.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes the discovery of a hot Jupiter orbiting a T Tauri star just two million years old.
- Joe. My. God. reports on the conviction of a man who had been accused of involvement in kidnapping the child of same-sex parents.
- Language Hat reports on the American Jewish accent.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that Republicans are coming to accept Donald Trump.
- The Map Room Blog reports on a Boston exhibition of Hy-Brasil.
- The Planetary Society Blog reports on the 9th anniversary of the Dawn probe's launch.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer points out that Erik Loomis is wrong, that Ford is not moving jobs to Mexico.
- Window on Eurasia suggests an isolated Russia might lash out against Belarus, and looks at Putin's support in non-Russian republics.
The Daily Specials at Casa Mia Restaurant for Friday, September 30, 2016 are:
- Tomato Parmesan Soup...4.99
- Chicken Apple and Maple Pecan Salad $12.99 Seasoned chicken, apple, and maple pecans on a bed of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and house dressing. Served with grilled focaccia.
- A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
- Acts of Volition
- Aiken House & Gardens
- An Island Walk
- Aquilium Group Inc.
- Brackley Drive-in Theatre
- Casa Mia Daily Specials
- CEO Blues
- Changing Trains
- Charlottetown Police News Releases
- Charlottetown Police Police Reports
- Charlottetown Police Public Announcements
- City of Charlottetown
- Doc Grimes Clinic
- E.T. Concentrators Car Club (Pex MacKay)
- EdTechTalk (Dave Cormier)
- Environment Canada Weather Alert
- Food Matters (Ian Petrie)
- Gail and Greta's Adventures
- Gen X at 40
- Goats' Notes
- Government of Prince Edward top news stories
- greenspree.ca (Andy Collier)
- I Do Cake Toppers
- I Used to be on TV (Jeff Hutcheson)
- In Other Words...
- Island Girl's Ink
- Island Musings
- Island Tweethearts
- Jobo Designs
- John Cairns Blog
- Journal-Pioneer Arts
- Journal-Pioneer Business
- Journal-Pioneer Living
- Journal-Pioneer Local
- Journal-Pioneer Opinion
- Journal-Pioneer Sports
- Journal-Pioneer Travel
- kuhlschrank.com (Andrea Vail)
- Life a la jen mac
- Life on a Canadian Island
- Living in the Shadows in Prince Edward Island
- Lot 65
- Matt Campbell
- Misfortune Cookie
- Modern Jane
- Moving from Toronto to PEI
- Mussel Beach
- My Island Bistro Kitchen
- My Island Farmhouse
- My Way
- nathan rochford:blog
- New Glasgow Lobster Suppers
- NJN Network
- Ooka Island
- Pedaling PEI
- PEI Beer Guy
- PEI Curmudgeon's Blog
- PEI History Guy
- PEI Poet Laureate
- PEI Renewable Energy - 100% Renewable Island is possible - Blog
- PEI Rink Fries - Who has the best?
- PEI's Shores And Beyond
- PEIBlog.ca - Need peace? Go East!
- PEIinfo.ca | New Topics
- Positive Change Nutrition (Rachelle Wood)
- Riki's Misadventures At Life
- Robert Paterson's Weblog
- Rose Chintz Cottage
- ruk.ca from peter rukavina
- ScrapBooking & WireWrapping SeaGlass
- ScreenScape Official News
- Sean Casey
- Shizamo FEED
- Simplify & Save - Blog Save & Simplify
- Socialwrite (Jevon MacDonald)
- Tachyon City (Nathan Shumate)
- The Annekenstein Monster
- The Dominee Huisvrouw
- The Guardian - Arts
- The Guardian - Between the lines -- Ryan Ross
- The Guardian - Between the lines -- Teresa Wright
- The Guardian - Business
- The Guardian - Living
- The Guardian - Local News
- The Guardian - Opinion
- The Guardian - Sports
- The Guardian - Travel
- The Monkey Rodeo
- The Snapped Fork
- The Witch's Island
- The Writing On The Wall
- tomato transplants
- Tonight at City Cinema
- Weather for Charlottetown from the Weather Network
- Welcome PEI!
- Will Pate's blog
- Woman, Wife, Mother and a Professor
- Women's Equality PEI
- ~ Denise of Ingleside ~