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Events

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Rethink glamour at a pair of Ryerson photo exhibitions

Rethink glamour at a pair of Ryerson Image Centre photo exhibitions

Mia Wasikowska (Image: Alex Prager, Touch of Evil, 2011, digital video still. Originally produced by The New York Times Magazine. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong)

In a pair of clever new exhibitions, the Ryerson Image Centre documents how photography has shaped Western conceptions of glamour—and how photography can just as effectively tear those notions down. Burn With Desire: Photography and Glamour and Anti-Glamour: Portraits of Women, both opening on Jan. 21 at the RIC, depict polar approaches to the representation of women in photography. Through portraits of Marilyn Monroe, archival Vanity Fair covers and projects by Andy Warhol, Burn With Desire explores how the medium—with its pre-Photoshop attention to immaculate lighting and gauzy romanticism—equated glamour with aesthetic perfection and vulnerable seduction. Anti-Glamour, meanwhile, playfully upends everything its counterpart professes, featuring contemporary pictures that affront viewers with the stark, sometimes ugly reality of gun-wielding femme fatales and brazen bare-breasted figures. The result is a jarring juxtaposition that gives new meaning to iconic images we thought we’d figured out long ago.

Jan. 21–Apr. 5. Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould St., 416-979-5164, ryerson.ca.

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Features

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#TorontoIsFailingMe: My seniors’ group safeguards the mall

Toronto’s inner suburbs have become shorthand for crumbling postwar apartment blocks, underfunded schools or gang warfare. They’re among the neighbourhoods with the lowest incomes in the city, the longest trek to a TTC stop, and the highest concentration of immigrants and visible minorities. This month, we’re sharing stories from Torontonians who live in the inner suburbs, told in their own words. Some are shocking, some tragic, some hopeful. Together, they convey an urgent truth: Toronto is failing too many of its citizens. Have a story of your own? Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #TorontoIsFailingMe to tell us.
#TorontoIsFailingMe: My seniors' group safeguards the mall

Wilma Inniss, front and centre, and members of her mall walking group. (Image: Eamon Mac Mahon)

Wilma Inniss, 77
Malvern

I came to Canada from Trinidad in 1963. When I retired from my job at the ­Ministry of Transportation 14 years ago, a couple of my friends told me about a seniors’ walking group at the Malvern Town ­Centre. I’ve been going ever since, and I now run the program with my younger sister, Gemma.

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Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $585,000 for a heavenly suite in a converted church on Dovercourt

Condo of the Week

Address: 701 Dovercourt Road, Unit 201
Neighbourhood: Palmerston-Little Italy
Agent: Edwin K. Brdlik, Toronto Lofts Realty Corp., Brokerage
Price: $584,900

The Place: A two-bedroom slice of  almost-literal heaven in a former Methodist church that was built in 1906 and converted to condos in 2010. There’s an open-concept living room, kitchen and dining area, with bedrooms off opposite sides.

Big Selling Point: Many condos in conversions don’t have balconies because the original structures makes them difficult to add. This one does.

Bragging Rights: Original stained-glass windows refract a kaleidoscope of colours into the living room and bedroom. Worshippers of nature will be especially happy with the subject matter—tulips, rather than religious figures.

Possible Deal Breaker: The kitchen counters are small, so they may not work for someone who throws weekly dinner parties, and while there might be room for a kitchen island or a big table, there probably isn’t for both.

By the Numbers:

• $584,900
• 800 square feet
• 24-square-foot balcony
• $473 in monthly maintenance fees
• 10-foot ceilings
• 2 bedrooms
• 1 washroom
• 1 parking space
• 1 storage locker

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Columns

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Why an end to police carding is only the beginning

(Image: Jack Landau)

(Image: Jack Landau)

I was asked, in November, to join a panel on police relations with young Torontonians. Early on in the event, police chief Bill Blair took questions from high school students. When one of them brought up the uncomfortable topic of police carding, Chief Blair said, “You have to strike a balance between community concerns and community safety.”

I knew that the balance wasn’t being struck. Later on during the event, the other panelists and I spoke with those students about their own experiences with police. I asked the students if they had themselves been carded. A couple of them raised their hands. Another panelist asked if they had been stopped by police, but not necessarily “carded.” Of the roughly twenty kids in front of us, most of them—every non-white child in that group—raised their hands.

We asked how it made them feel, and the answers were heartbreaking. Some felt “singled out,” others felt they couldn’t trust police, and still others said that, if they had a problem or felt unsafe, they would find someone other than an officer to talk to. The kids’ experience was consistent with the statistics: in neighbourhoods throughout the city, people with dark skin have been shown to be two to 10 times more likely to be carded than white people.

The difficulty with the conversation about carding is how unclear many of us are on what “carding” actually is. (For anyone still unfamiliar, it’s a police investigative technique that involves questioning people not suspected of any particular crime and logging their information in a database.) The problem became apparent a couple of weeks ago, when the media learned that Chief Blair had quietly ordered a temporary suspension of all carding activities. While it was obvious that police would no longer issue contact cards, what wasn’t clear was how police intended to address the real issue, the one that those kids had seemed to grasp so intuitively: racial profiling. If officers would no longer be carding members of the public, would they also stop targeting black Torontonians for questioning?

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Politics

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Watch Toronto Life’s Sarah Fulford talk #TorontoIsFailingMe on Global

This month’s cover story on Toronto’s inner suburbs and what it’s like to live in them hits newsstands today, and this morning, Toronto Life editor Sarah Fulford went on Global’s Morning Show to talk about it. “Toronto’s core value proposition is that you can start in poverty and through our public institutions move into the next class,” she told the show’s co-hosts. “What we’re seeing more and more in Toronto is a divide between wealthy people and people who have fewer resources, and it’s becoming harder and harder to skip from one class to the next.” Click the play button above to watch.

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Events

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Say farewell to The Guvernment with a Deadmau5-led dance party

deadmau5

(Image: The Guvernment)

The Guvernment, the iconic 18-year-old dance club, will soon be demolished for a strip of waterfront condos—but before that happens, it’s hosting one last thumping blowout. The massive entertainment complex has tapped a slate of star DJs—including the Dutch trance maestro Armin van Buuren and Australian electro duo Knife Party—to lead its epic three-night funeral march, but the best reason to come is Toronto’s Joel Zimmerman, a.k.a. Deadmau5, who’ll be capping off the party. Zimmerman, who got his start at the Guvernment a decade ago, is known for his dedication to all-manual production in a sea of push-play DJs—his smart, dynamic beats and relentless EDM sets appeal to club kids and indie rock fans alike. He’s going bigger than usual for the Guv’s finale, promising a live 130-minute set, including a 20-minute rendition of “Strobe,” his epic 2009 hit that blends clever digital melodies, slow builds and cathartic payoffs. Naturally, the show is sold out, but there are still tickets floating around for anyone who wants to bid farewell to Canada’s largest and longest-running nightclub in true Guvernment style: thrashing and drenched in sweat.

Sun. Jan. 25. SOLD OUT. The Guvernment, 132 Queens Quay E., 416-869-0045, theguvernment.com

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Features

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#TorontoIsFailingMe: My parents worked round-the-clock to lift us out of poverty

Toronto’s inner suburbs have become shorthand for crumbling postwar apartment blocks, underfunded schools or gang warfare. They’re among the neighbourhoods with the lowest incomes in the city, the longest trek to a TTC stop, and the highest concentration of immigrants and visible minorities. This month, we’re sharing stories from Torontonians who live in the inner suburbs, told in their own words. Some are shocking, some tragic, some hopeful. Together, they convey an urgent truth: Toronto is failing too many of its citizens. Have a story of your own? Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #TorontoIsFailingMe to tell us.
#TorontoIsFailingMe: My parents worked round-the-clock to lift us out of poverty

Abirami Jeyaratnam at her Victoria Park and Ellesmere semi. (Image: Eamon Mac Mahon)

Abirami Jeyaratnam, 29
Victoria Park and Ellesmere

My parents fled Sri Lanka as refugees from the civil war, arriving in Canada 30 years ago. My brother, Gobi, was born in 1981. I was born in Montreal in 1986, and we moved to Toronto in 1987, settling near relatives at Jane and Finch. My father, a high school dropout, loved Canada and thrived here. He worked at an automotive factory and at a KFC. In between, he picked up paper routes, delivery jobs, whatever he could do to make extra cash. He woke up every day at 5 a.m. and usually didn’t finish work until midnight. My mother and we kids would go to pick him up; that car ride was our family time. He worked like that until he had a heart attack in 2000. After he recovered, he took on a position as a security guard at a residential apartment.

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The Yorkville Swindler: how Albert Allan Rosenberg scammed his way into high society

To his wife and girlfriends and business partners, Albert Allan Rosenberg was a billionaire, a Swiss baron, a merchant banker with holdings around the world, the most charming guy in the room. The incredible story of how he fooled them all

The Yorkville Swindler

Rosenberg in 2011, when he was posing as a merchant banker

Looking back, it does seem unlikely that a Swiss billionaire baron would be seeking love on the Internet, but when Antoinette met Albert Rosenberg on eHarmony in February 2012, she just figured she got lucky. Along with the European title, he was also charming, successful, dashing and, yes, mega-rich, hard at work on his latest venture, a Canadian merchant bank called Marwa Holdings. He was educated at Harvard, fluent in French and German, a world traveller. Rosenberg had a thriving medical software business back in Zurich and a sizable trust in the multimillions. He was heir to the Ovaltine fortune, a direct descendent of Albert Wander, who invented the popular Swiss malt drink back in 1904. This was how he supported his lavish lifestyle. Or so he said.

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Events

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Get lost in the Gladstone’s annual art takeover

Gladstone: Come Up to My Room

(Image: Gladstone Hotel)

Every year, as part of the alt-design event Come Up To My Room, the Gladstone Hotel lets artist loose on its quirky rooms and exhibition spaces. This year, they’re taking it even further, filling the entire building with new, site-specific works from a scattershot collection of artists, architects and interior designers: a wall of mounted papier-mâché masks by Toronto’s Annie Tung, a dark room lit only by neon-and-wire installations from public-space design collective DTAH, and a hallway of irreverent Nike branding curated by local graphic designer Carla Poirier. The event runs to Jan. 25, with live music and panel discussions planned throughout, but we suggest saving your visit for the Love Design Party, where local psychedelic singer-producer and Grimes collaborator Petra Glynt will turn the Gladstone’s ballroom into an immersive cornucopia of sci-fi-inspired visual art, high-saturation video work and noisily entrancing electro-pop.

To Sat. Jan. 25. $10 for one day, $15 for entire festival. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635, comeuptomyroom.com.

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Features

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#TorontoIsFailingMe: I want to teach kids that this neighbourhood isn’t a curse

Toronto’s inner suburbs have become shorthand for crumbling postwar apartment blocks, underfunded schools or gang warfare. They’re among the neighbourhoods with the lowest incomes in the city, the longest trek to a TTC stop, and the highest concentration of immigrants and visible minorities. This month, we’re sharing stories from Torontonians who live in the inner suburbs, told in their own words. Some are shocking, some tragic, some hopeful. Together, they convey an urgent truth: Toronto is failing too many of its citizens. Have a story of your own? Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #TorontoIsFailingMe to tell us.
#TorontoIsFailingMe: I want to teach kids that this neighbourhood isn't a curse

Abdul Nur in his neighbourhood. Click to see photos from his day volunteering at Westview Centennial Secondary School. (Image: Eamon Mac Mahon)

Abdul Nur, 19
Jane and Finch

I grew up in a five-bedroom townhouse in the ­Edgeley Village community housing complex. My whole life I had neighbours and friends who looked out for me. I have seven ­brothers and sisters, five older than me and two younger. My dad was a veterinarian in Somalia, but he now works in a shipping department. My mom keeps me on the right path.

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Real Estate

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House of the Week: $2.5 million for a huge Casa Loma home designed by Eden Smith

toronto-house-of-the-week-223-balmoral-boulevard-intro

Address: 223 Balmoral Avenue
Neighbourhood: Casa Loma
Agent: Nigel Smith Wain, Re/Max Unique Inc., Brokerage
Price: $2,495,000

The Place: A 1906 mansion near Casa Loma, designed by the famed architect Eden Smith.

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Politics

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Rob Ford, who lied about everything all the time, accuses John Tory of lying

now-what-newBefore being elected mayor, Rob Ford enjoyed a weird sort of moral high ground. His outsider status on city council meant he had nothing to lose by antagonizing then-mayor David Miller, so that’s what he did. Ford’s own time as mayor seems like it should have destroyed his credibility as a political critic, and yet here’s the National Post declaring him city hall’s new unofficial “leader of the opposition.” What did councillor Ford do to earn himself this distinction? According to the Post, he wowed reporters by criticizing John Tory for raising TTC fares and property taxes. “I was honest with taxpayers. John’s not,” Ford said, dishonestly.

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Features

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#TorontoIsFailingMe: I moved to Mississauga to get away from gang life

Toronto’s inner suburbs have become shorthand for crumbling postwar apartment blocks, underfunded schools or gang warfare. They’re among the neighbourhoods with the lowest incomes in the city, the longest trek to a TTC stop, and the highest concentration of immigrants and visible minorities. This month, we’re sharing stories from Torontonians who live in the inner suburbs, told in their own words. Some are shocking, some tragic, some hopeful. Together, they convey an urgent truth: Toronto is failing too many of its citizens. Have a story of your own? Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #TorontoIsFailingMe to tell us.
#TorontoIsFailingMe: I moved to Mississauga to get away from gang life

Rajeev Sathiyaseelan, 26
Wexford

I was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, in 1988. My mother moved to Canada a year later, and my father followed soon after. But they left me in Jaffna with my maternal grandparents until 1991, when they were able to bring us all to Toronto. We lived in a three-bedroom townhouse in Rexdale with my mother’s family. There were seven of us in the house—and I shared a room with my parents. My brother was born in 1993.

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#TorontoIsFailingMe: I ran against Rob Ford and suffered the consequences

Toronto’s inner suburbs have become shorthand for crumbling postwar apartment blocks, underfunded schools or gang warfare. They’re among the neighbourhoods with the lowest incomes in the city, the longest trek to a TTC stop, and the highest concentration of immigrants and visible minorities. This month, we’re sharing stories from Torontonians who live in the inner suburbs, told in their own words. Some are shocking, some tragic, some hopeful. Together, they convey an urgent truth: Toronto is failing too many of its citizens. Have a story of your own? Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #TorontoIsFailingMe to tell us.
#TorontoIsFailingMe: I ran against Rob Ford and suffered the consequences

Munira Abukar at her Rexdale townhouse complex. (Image: Eamon Mac Mahon)

Munira Abukar, 22
Rexdale

My parents came to Toronto from Somalia during the civil war. I’m the fourth of nine children: eight girls and one boy. I still live with my parents, in the same five-bedroom townhouse where I grew up. My dad has always supported us on a taxi-driver’s income; my mom stayed home and took care of us kids. My brother joined the Canadian military six years ago and helps with the bills. It’s been a challenge, but my parents are strong-willed and determined.

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Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $2.6-million new-build that proves contemporary homes can have lively interiors

Address: 14 Windham Drive
Neighbourhood: Bayview Village
Agent: Nora Akhbari, Re/Max Realtron Realty Inc., Brokerage

The Property: This custom build sets itself apart from other modern homes with its use of wood materials, which warm up the interior colour palette. Also unusual: an open-concept design that splits the main floor into multiple tiers. A winding staircase leads to the bedrooms, each with its own en suite washroom.

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