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Monthly Archives: October 2012

The historic house opposite Trinity Bellwoods Park

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I have written numerous post about Toronto during the previous twelve months. However, the one that I learned the most from my research was the historic house on the south side of Queen Street, opposite Trinity Bellwoods Park. I have walked by this structure for the past ten years, wondered about it, but never knew who built it. Judging from its architecture, I was aware that it dated from the mid-nineteenth century, or possibly earlier. Its design is similar to The Grange behind the AGO, and the Campbell House at the corner of Queen and University Avenue. Both of these houses date from the early 1800s.

After completing my research, I discovered that not only was the house historically significant, but also the site where it is located. I discovered many interesting things about Toronto’s past that I had not previously known. When, I now stroll past this house, I look at it with new eyes. 

To view the post about this house.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gems-the-farr-house-at-905-queen-street-west/

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Toronto

 

Graffiti about Rob Ford is highly disturbing

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This mural on the wall at 185 Augusta Avenue is one of the few graffiti items that I can show on this posting.  The other items I have seen, on walls, fences and in washrooms are too crude to display. I have lived in Toronto all my life, and love the city. I have never witnessed this type of reaction before. Whether you are a Ford supporter or opposed to him, is not the point. I find it very disturbing that the office of the mayor is being subjected to such disrespect. Many may feel that Mayor Ford has brought the ridicule on himself by his own actions. Whether you agree with this or not, again, it is not the point.

When a democratically elected leader is subjected to this type of scorn, it brings into question the validity of the important political position that he holds. Many people read about his most recent escapades as if he were a comedian on TV or on stage in a club. Of the three levels of government, City Hall influences our lives the most. When he is speaking as mayor, he is not simply “one of the boys,” having a beer, shooting the breeze, and saying whatever pops into his head. What he says and does is extremely important. The eyes of the media are on him, and his words are repeated in newspapers throughout the country and far beyond.

The damage the graffiti and media coverage that Ford creates engenders the attitude that the office of the mayor is not to be taken seriously, so why bother voting ?  

To view posts about Toronto events and its history:

Risqué and charming George Hamilton at Bell Lightbox on 30 Oct. 2012

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/risqu-and-charming-george-hamilton-at-bell-lightbox/

Robo Cop seen on Queen Street West:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/robo-cop-on-queen-street-and-other-odd-scenes-on-torontos-avenues/

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Toronto

 

Experience autumn scenes in the Bloor West Village

In 2011, I was not in Canada for the autumn season. I never realized how much I would miss its delights. I vowed that I would never again depart from Canada during September and October. They are glorious months, with warm afternoons and pleasantly cool evening. I realize that there are also rainy, damp miserable days. However, on afternoons when sunshine filters through the golden leaves on Toronto’s forested streets, I feel more than compensated for the dreary days that the season presents.

On 25 October 2012, the season presented one of those perfect sun-filled days. The afternoon temperatures hit 23 degrees. Early in the morning, I departed from downtown Toronto, where I reside. I rode the subway to the Bloor West Village and strolled among the residential streets north of Bloor Street. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Crunching dry leaves underfoot brought back fond memories of childhood. I recalled warm sunny October afternoons, returning from school, when I kicked chestnuts and acorns with my shoe. Autumn – glorious autumn.

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                          A tree-lined street in the Bloor West Village

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                                    Other Bloor West Village scenes

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                            A street and a small park in the Village

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                   Autumn colours abound on the streets in October

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                 A scene in a garden that would make an excellent oil painting

To view other posts about Toronto experiences:

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Toronto

 

Photos of 1880’s building at Queen and Peter St. gutted by fire-30 Oct. 2012

While hurricane Sandy roared through Toronto during the early-morning hours of 30 October 2012, fire roared through a historic building on Queen Street West. Streetcar service was halted as firemen fought the blaze. At ten o’clock in the morning, fire hoses continued to pour water into the site to prevent any residual smoldering hot-spots from reigniting. The building has been completely destroyed.

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The Roots Store that was gutted was to the west of the famous “Silver Snail” comic book store, and was two doors east of the Peter Pan Bistro at 373 Queen St. West.

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The rear wall of the building collapsed, revealing the buildings to the rear of the premises.

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                                    Pouring water into the site.

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To view posts about Toronto events and its history:

Risqué and charming George Hamilton at Bell Lightbox on 30 Oct. 2012

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/risqu-and-charming-george-hamilton-at-bell-lightbox/

Robo Cop seen on Queen Street West:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/robo-cop-on-queen-street-and-other-odd-scenes-on-torontos-avenues/

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Toronto

 

Risqué and charming George Hamilton at Bell Lightbox

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TIFF’s Bell LIghtbox has offered amazing evenings this fall. On 30 October, taking advantage of the appearance of George Hamilton at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, the Bell Lightbox arranged for the actor to appear in conjunction with the screening of his 1978 film “Love at First Bite.” He was the major star and co-producer of the film, a spoof of vampire movies. Mr. Hamilton was warmly received and appreciated by those who attended. It was a blustery night outside the building, the audience braving the winds and rain of hurricane Sandy to participate.

Mr. Hamilton introduced the film with humorous stories and an interesting explanation of how the movie came to be filmed. He explained that no one in Hollywood wanted to be involved with the film as they did not envision him as a comedian. As a result, he raised the money on his own, and hired a writer, director and various actors. The total cost of the film was 1.4 million. The movie was a hit, and it grossed 78 million. He more than proved his worth as a comedian. Mr. Hamilton, who performed the role of Count Dracula in the movie, never over-played his Romanian accent, and his vampire costume was quite sexy. Arte Johnson, who became famous in the TV show “Laugh-in,” was excellent as Count Dracula’s assistant. All of the small roles were superbly cast and added much hilarity to the film.

The movie was delightful, full of great lines, made more humorous because of the manner in which they were delivered. Timing is everything in comedy. Very few comedian, including those popular today, can deliver lines better than Gorge Hamilton. The audience howled with laughter and clapped loudly. George Hamilton, age 73, remains the consummate entertainer.

However, the best entertainment of the evening was the question and answer period after the film ended. Mr. Hamilton was relaxed, funny, and personal. He regaled the audience with personal stories about Hollywood and his years working in the film industry. He poked fun at himself, and told stories of incidents that happened during the filming of “Love at First Bite.”  He also explained the reason for his constant sun tan, and how it became  a part of his identity. He mentioned that many of the jokes submitted for the film were too raunchy to be used. He even told one of them. The audience roared. I guess times have changed.

I saw George Hamilton perform in “La Cage aux Folles” the previous week. I thought he was slightly wooden in the first act, but was amazed how he came to life in the second. It took a while before I realized that he had few lines in the first act that gave him much of a chance to shine. However, in the second act, he truly came to life. His delivery and sense of timing were superb. I realize that The Star newspaper did not give the show a rave revue. This is a pity.  Although it is not serious theatre, but rather light entertainment, it is an excellent show and well worth seeing. 

After the evening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, I came away with the feeling that Mr. Hamilton would be a fascinating person to chat with over dinner. A true gentleman, with a keen sense of humour. He is the ultimate performer, witty and charming.  

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To view posts about Toronto events and its history:

Robo Cop seen on Queen Street West:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/robo-cop-on-queen-street-and-other-odd-scenes-on-torontos-avenues/

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s naughty but nice Bloor West village in autumn

The following photos are “nice,” but the one at the end is a trifle naughty. I prefer the nice, but do not dismiss the naughty.

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It’s always good to end a post with a touch of the naughty. This was in a window display on Bloor Street. The pirate lass is indeed suitably attired for Halloween. May the gods of fate bring her to your door after the children are tucked into their beds. Have a treat – no tricks !

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

To view posts about Halloween in Toronto.

Toronto prepares for the 2012 celebration of Halloween

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/toronto-prepares-for-halloween-in-2012/

Halloween traditions in Canada

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/halloween-traditions-in-canada/

“Shelling Out,” now called “Trick or Treating” in decades past

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/shelling-out-for-treats-on-halloween-in-toronto-in-1945/

A short story about trick or treating on Halloween

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/a-short-story-about-halloween-of-yesteryear/

Celebrating Halloween in Portugal

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/a-canadian-in-portugal-on-halloween/

To view other posts about Toronto:

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Toronto

 

The Leslieville Cheese Shop at 541 Queen West is gone forever

I passed by the Leslieville Cheese Shop this week and noticed that the premises are “For Lease.” A sign in the window stated, “We are gone forever. However, our store in the Donlands is flourishing, at least until they open a Loblaws in that area too.” Most of us who live in the neighbourhood were pleased when the new Loblaws opened at Queen and Portland Streets. However, it is sad that the cheese shop became a casualty of the supermarket.

Toronto’s  downtown is changing rapidly, with building cranes littered throughout the area. The Queen/Spadina District is particularly in transition. In the nearby Kensington Market, new stores are opening, most of them up-scale. Some are pleased with the changes, but the Kensington Market is losing its European atmosphere. Personally, I hope that Queen West, between Spadina and Bathurst, does fall prey to the American chain stores, such as has happened east of Spadina. If I wish to shop at those stores, I can always walk over the the Eaton’s Centre. 

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Toronto