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Culture

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Jonathan Castellino’s photos make familiar Toronto landscapes weird again

Jonathan Castellino: Interference Patterns

(Image: Jonathan Castellino)

Jonathan Castellino’s photo series, Interference Patterns, is named after a natural phenomenon that happens when two waves of similar frequency overlap, creating a new oscillation. Over the past two years, Castellino, best known for his architectural photo blog, Sacramental Perception, has been creating intricate images by layering different photos on top of one another and then combining the resulting jumble into a single frame. The finished photographs are jarringly complex, with familiar Toronto landmarks (the CN Tower, the greenery of the Don Valley ravine) getting lost in surreal new surroundings. We spoke with Castellino about his work. Click through the image gallery to read what he said.

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Twelve Thirty Six

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In today’s Twelve Thirty Six, Toronto’s new lunchtime tabloid, Tom Mulcair likes vegan doughnuts (and Skrillex)

“Tim Hortons voters” aren’t being glazed like they used to be. Stephen Harper was in Hamilton yesterday, where he mocked Justin Trudeau’s “teeny tiny little deficit” ambition with head-crushing fingers. Shockingly, while he was there he didn’t make the ritual visit to city’s flagship Timmies. Could it be that Tim Horton’s new Burger King overlords make the chain a political no-go-zone? Tom Mulcair also opted for alternative roasteries this week, and even made an extra stop for vegan doughnuts.

“It was driven, sounded islandy and his voice was good.” ET Canada’s Roz Weston compared facial hair with Tom Mulcair, then played him a preview of the new Justin Bieber single, “What Do You Mean,” ahead of its release today. “I like the backbeat,” added the NDP leader—a compliment to its producer, Skrillex.

News media still bored enough to look for Bathrobe Guy. The hunt continues for the hirsute young man whose workout was interrupted by Chrystia Freeland’s Cambridge Club protest. A producer for CBC’s Power & Politics claimed to have found the guy on Twitter, although no interview has aired yet. NOW’s Jonathan Goldsbie found a phone number—but got no answer last night. Metro, which blazed the trail for Bathrobe Guy coverage, could only get Cambridge Club CEO Dean Brown to comment on the quest: “He’s going to end up on Jimmy Fallon the way things are going.”

Federal scientist paid to stay home while public service investigates his protest song. “Harperman,” a Pete Seeger-style music video by soon-to-retire Environment Canada habitat planner Tony Turner and an all-ages choir, was uploaded to YouTube two months ago and eventually featured on Rabble.ca. The effort garnered about 48,000 views. But more will hear it now that Turner is being investigated for possibly breaching the value and ethics code for federal employees.

OHIP willing to sicken vintage health card holders into getting photo IDs. A woman in a car accident who was turned away from a Brampton hospital with a concussion has drawn renewed attention to the province’s push to eliminate the 20-year-old red-and-white health cards. But there are still 3 million out there, and the campaign to get the word out appears to involve confusing the hell out of everyone.

Kathleen Wynne’s crazyface returns to Ontario PC advertising. Patrick Brown is obviously hoping to avoid being defeated in cottage country, like a certain former PC leader was. A commercial seeks to remind Simcoe North voters that the Liberals lie about Brown’s record in order to cover up lies of their own. In other words, the usual.

Ashley Madison’s founder has broken up with the company. Noel Biderman is stepping down from Avid Life Media while his ex-underlings pursue legal action against the hackers.

Judge had an artistic reason for not convicting a guy of voyeurism. Wendell Craig Taylor has been convicted of mischief for concealing a camera in his backpack in order to capture the bikini-clad rear ends of women on Woodbine Beach. But he was acquitted of voyeurism. “I cannot completely discount the possibility that he made these recordings for an esthetic purpose,” wrote Ontario Court Justice Richard Blouin in his ruling, as reported by the Toronto Star. “There are many artists (Robert Mapplethorpe, for example) that create nude images that are designed to be appreciated for reasons other than sexual gratification.”

A classic Annex apartment building owes its revived paint job to Facebook. The restoration of modernist architect Uno Prii’s rental building at 100 Spadina Road is detailed by Dave LeBlanc in the Globe and Mail. Along with a glass-frosted simulation of its original circle-patterned balcony railings—no longer allowed due to building codes that restrict anything climbable—the exterior was going to be repainted to what was assumed to be the original grey, until a photo on the wildly popular “Vintage Toronto” group on Facebook proved it was initially more blue.

Two stations are ditching the CBC after six decades. The CRTC rubber-stamped a request by Peterborough’s CHEX and Kingston’s CKWS, both owned by Corus Entertainment, to change their affiliation to the higher-rated CTV as of Monday. Both had been with the CBC since 1954. The two TV stations were once a source of some of the lowest-budget kiddie Canadiana to ever get beamed into Toronto: the Campus Quiz game show, The Silver Basketball starring Ron Oliver and a murder of Ritalin-requiring kids, and a reality show about a leprechaun named Harrigan.

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Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $950,000 for a King West townhouse where a Raptor used to live

The condo for sale at 25 Oxley Street

(Image: Caralyn Ing)

Address: 25 Oxley Street, Townhouse 3
Neighbourhood: King West
Agent: Nick Whittington, LoftStyles.com
Price: $954,900

The place: A townhome in a 16-storey building, with a balcony and plenty of storage space.

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Features

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The Nanny Diaries: Toronto’s Filipino caregivers talk about low wages, long days and immigration delays

SINCE 1992, some 75,000 Filipinos have become permanent residents of Canada through the federal government’s caregiver program. The sales pitch was hard to resist: help raise our children for two years, and we’ll reunite you with yours and give everyone a shot at permanent residency. Last year alone, some 23,687 Filipinos came to Canada under the program. But it has become a victim of its own success. Today, the backlog of applications for permanent residency is 17,600 names long. Citizenship and Immigration has promised swift action: it implemented an annual cap on the number of permanent residencies at 5,500, added educational and language components to the criteria, and announced plans to expedite the approvals process. But for many, the wait, which now averages 50 months—and that’s after two years of employment—is torture. At home, their kids are growing up without them. And with rock-bottom wages in the Philippines, going back isn’t a viable option. Here, the stories of five Filipina nannies whose lives are on hold as they await their fate.

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Real Estate

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House of the Week: $4.8 million for a summery new home in the Beach

The house for sale at 20 Neville Park Boulevard

Address: 20 Neville Park Boulevard
Neighbourhood: The Beach
Agent: Ken Digilakis and Nicole Digilakis, Re/Max All Stars Realty Inc., Brokerage
Price: $4,788,000

The place: A two-storey Cape Cod–inspired house a few minutes’ walk away from the Balmy Beach waterfront.

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Real Estate

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Not Your Average Joe: who cottages where on Muskoka’s luxest lake

Of the three major Muskoka lakes, Joseph is cottage country’s most star-studded. Its lots—generally bigger than those on nearby Rosseau and Muskoka—attract celebrities and business titans who require adequate room for their toys, boats and egos, and prefer not to rub elbows with nosy neighbours. The maximal-living trend is most obvious on the lake’s northern tip, dubbed Billionaires’ Row, where one lakeside cottage compound recently went on the market for a record-setting $25 million. Here’s a look at who calls Lake Joe their home away from home.

(Images: Bronfman, Ivey, Crawford, Cynamon and cottage, Hamlin by Getty Images; Kenny G via Wikimedia Commons, cottage by Ted Yarwood; Walker cottage via Instagram; O’Leary courtesy of CBC, cottage by the National Post; Stavropoulos via Twitter. Illustration by Chloe Cushman)

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Best Bets

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Camp out on the Islands, see some buskers and seven other things to do this week

Toronto things to do, August 2015

(Images, clockwise from top left: Jane Levy in Bang Bang Baby, courtesy of Red Eye Media; Sketchbook Project pop-up, courtesy of the Sketchbook Project; Silver and the Sauruses, courtesy of Buskerfest Toronto; the Weather Station, courtesy of Wavelength Toronto)

Attend an indie-rock campout on the Islands
For five years, Toronto’s friendliest music fest, ALL CAPS!, offered listeners of all ages an idyllic island retreat and intimate shoreside sets from the country’s finest indie bands. Now, ALL CAPS! organizers Wavelength are resurrecting that festival’s rustic-getaway vibe—overnight camping included—with Camp Wavelength, a Canada-centric lineup featuring Toronto roots rockers the Wooden Sky, singer-songwriter the Weather Station and dubby psych-pop trio Doomsquad. Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30. $75; $150 with camping access. Artscape Gibraltar Point, 433 Lakeshore Ave., Toronto Islands, 416-546-2745, wavelengthtoronto.com.

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Real Estate

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Here’s what Ace Hotel’s Toronto expansion could look like

Ace Hotel's proposed Toronto expansion

A view of the proposed building from the north.

What it is: A proposed Toronto location for Ace Hotel, a chain that prides itself on art-friendly boutique hospitality. (Imagine the Drake Hotel, but a multinational corporation.) The new building would be located just southwest of Queen and Spadina, at the corner of Brant and Camden streets. It would be 13 storeys tall, with 130 hotel rooms on the upper floors, a lobby on the ground floor and a restaurant on a lower level.

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Real Estate

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Cottage of the Week: $450,000 for a rustic retreat in Frontenac

The cottage for sale at 141 Badour Island

(Image: The Real Image)

Address: 141 and 142 Badour Island
Neighbourhood: Frontenac
Agent: Rhonda Grant, Sutton Group Masters Realty Inc., Brokerage
Price: $450,000

The place: A two-lot property on an island in Bob’s Lake in Frontenac. It consists of a guest house, a tree house and a main building.

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Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $1.8-million Long Branch home that shows what 30 feet of Toronto lakefront is worth

Sold: the house at 85 Lake Promenade

Address: 85 Lake Promenade
Neighbourhood: Long Branch
Agent: Sohail Mansoor and Arlyn Fortin, Royal LePage Signature Realty, Brokerage

The property: This Long Branch home’s back deck is located just steps away from Lake Ontario, and the open-concept main level has a floor-to-ceiling view of the water. The master suite has a door that leads directly to the beach.

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Politics

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Doug Ford says he’ll take Stephen Harper’s job, but only if he has to

doug-ford-now-whatMonths after deciding not to run for leadership of the Ontario Tories, Doug Ford is once again openly musing about assuming control of a Conservative caucus—but this time (movie trailer narrator voice) it’s federal. During an interview with Bloomberg, Ford expressed interest in running for Stephen Harper’s job as head of the Conservative Party of Canada, should Harper resign after the election. The classic Doug Ford trial balloon came with a classic Doug Ford exaggerated feint at reluctance: “I don’t think I’ll have to because hopefully he’ll be prime minister for the next 20 years,” he said. “I never say never in politics.”

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Columns

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Memoir: after my mother died, I found solace in her religion

Memoir: after my mother died, I found solace in her religion

My mother used to compare Buddhism to a boulder in a rushing river: something you could grab onto whenever you needed it, an anchor in moments of chaos. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, we left our Vietnamese village on a fishing boat. When we settled in Regent Park, my father toiled as a mechanic, my mother as a seamstress—they were always working to make a better life for my two siblings and me. Throughout my childhood, my mother would pray to the ancestors for guidance or good fortune. She’d set up an altar, place food on a wooden table by the window, and burn candles and incense to create an auspicious crosswind. My father was skeptical of her practice; he thought religion was a hobby for the ignorant. I tended to agree with him.

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Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $870,000 for a piece of a Victorian near Casa Loma

The condo for sale at 300 Avenue Road

(Image: Toursler.com)

Address: 300 Avenue Road, Unit 2
Neighbourhood: Casa Loma
Agent: Marcus Williams, HomeLife Dreams Realty Inc., Brokerage
Price: $868,000

The place: A two-bedroom condo spread over three levels of a converted Victorian mansion. There’s a kitchen and living area on the main floor, a light-filled family room and guest bedroom on the lower level, and a large master suite upstairs.

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Features

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The Tenant from Hell: how a serial fraudster took advantage of Toronto’s red-hot real estate market

The Tenant from Hell

Wilf Dinnick and Sonia Verma moved to Qatar in 2014 and rented their west-end home to people who seemed like ideal tenants. (Images: House by Dave Gillespie; Gubb, Dinnick and Verma via Facebook)

In the summer of 2014, Wilf Dinnick, a former news correspondent, accepted a job running Al Jazeera’s website in Doha, Qatar. He and his wife, Sonia Verma, a newspaper reporter, had settled in Toronto in 2009. They bought a beautiful four-bedroom brick semi at 47 Lakeview Avenue, near Dundas and Ossington, for $719,000. They loved the area—minutes from Trinity Bellwoods Park, steps from their favourite restaurants and cafés, and surrounded by neighbours who quickly became close friends. Rather than sell the house before the move, they decided to rent it out. They knew that if they were ever going to return to Toronto, they would want to build their life in the same area. Plus, in a neighbourhood that continued to gentrify, selling didn’t make sense. They hired Chestnut Park, which deals with some of the most expensive real estate in the city, to ­manage the rental. For $4,000, Sarah Giacomelli, a realtor with over 20 years of experience, agreed to take care of ­everything: placing an ad, vetting the candidates, choosing the tenant and handling the paperwork. A few weeks after the family had arrived in Doha, Giacomelli reported that she’d found terrific tenants. The Gubbs were a family of four: Jesse, his girlfriend, Haruka, his brother, Troy, and his father, John. Jesse, who appeared to handle the rental negotiations for the family, worked in sales at a tech­nology company called Web Factory Studios Canada. He drove a Range Rover, had more than $44,000 in savings and would have no trouble covering the $3,600 monthly rent. Another potential tenant showed interest in the property, but Gubb won them over with a sob story: he was trying to get his family, once estranged but newly reunited, under one roof. He upped his rent offer to $4,000 to seal the deal, and it worked.

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Sports

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The ridiculously elaborate high-fives of the newly victorious Blue Jays

The Blue Jays have had plenty to celebrate lately—and, if you’ve just started paying attention, you’ve probably noticed they have some strange ways of doing that. Here, a selection of the most elaborate high-fives, handshakes, backslaps and other on-field victory gestures from a few of the team’s recent games.

Jose Bautista makes it rainThe Rainmaker
Jose Bautista and Ryan Goins appear to mime making it rain, shuffling bills from their hands into the sky.

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