What it is: Four proposed waterfront towers east of Lower Jarvis Street, the tallest of which would top out at 48 storeys. (This is where the Guvernment nightclub complex used to be before it held its last party in January.) The first phase of the development—called “Daniels Waterfront: City of the Arts,” a name that reads like it was written by George Lucas—would consist of two smaller towers with offices, retail and a “creative hub” with space for arts and cultural organizations. The first commercial units are supposed to be ready in 2018. The second phase would include more than 900 condos, as well as space for a school like OCAD University to use.
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Next week’s city council meeting will be the setting of another classic Rob Ford forced apology, as he owns up to a few racist lowlights. The occasion is a report from the city’s integrity commissioner, who found that then-mayor Ford broke city council’s code of conduct in March 2012 during a wild St. Patrick’s Day bender, when he called a taxi driver “Paki,” then mocked him with “fake language sounds.” Ford will also be apologizing for his 2014 boast that he is “the most racist guy around,” and the language he used then to describe black people (in the commissioner’s judiciously hyphenated report, “n----ir”), Italians (“w-p” and “d-go”) and Jews (“k---e”).
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I work near Victoria and Adelaide, which is almost always occupied by TV crews. I can’t go anywhere without some dictatorial, floppy tuque–wearing third assistant in a headset ordering me to stop—walking, talking, laughing—lest his shoot be interrupted. What would or could he do if I just ignored him and walked right on through?
—Scene Disturber, Downtown Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
The Break-In Artist: the hunt for the cat burglar who terrorized Toronto’s wealthiest neighbourhoods
The Fort Knox of Thornhill is a stucco mansion with a mansard roof, front-yard fountain and U-shaped driveway on the area’s most coveted street. It’s owned by a middle-aged couple named Tony and Sherry, who asked that we not publish their last name, and is equipped with every security measure on the market: eight interior and exterior video cameras, reinforced locks, motion detectors in all rooms, a siren, contacts on every window hard-wired to a central response station, glass-break sensors, a 1.8-metre-high wrought iron fence with a buzzer system at the front and a brick retaining wall at the back. In home security–speak, the place is a “hard target,” meaning most thieves will take one look and move along.
So it came as a shock when, at 6:06 on the evening of Wednesday, November 6, 2013, Sherry received a call from her alarm company, Vigilarm, informing her that the second-storey master bedroom window had been opened. At the time, Sherry was at the Richmond Hill Public Library with her 11-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter for the kids’ weekly tutoring sessions. If she were being robbed, the timing made perfect sense: every Wednesday between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., just as it was getting dark outside, the house was empty. Tony, a manufacturing executive, stayed at work on Wednesdays until 7 p.m., and the nanny always left at 5. Sherry instructed Vigilarm to dispatch the police, called Tony and then, leaving her kids with the tutor, sped the seven kilometres home, weaving through rush-hour traffic and running amber lights down Yonge Street. She didn’t know what she’d do if she encountered a burglar, but in the moment, she didn’t care.
David Hulchanski has been thinking about affordability and cities ever since he moved here from upstate New York in the late ’60s (tuition was cheaper in Canada). After decades of research, the University of Toronto professor is currently best known for his series of “Three Cities” reports, which detail the steady disappearance of middle-income neighbourhoods in Toronto and other Canadian cities. Over the years, Hulchanski has emerged as the voice of scientific inquiry into income polarization in Canada, his name regularly invoked in legislative chambers and in the media. We asked him about growing inequality in Toronto, what the loss of the mandatory long-form census means for his research, and making $1.25 an hour at his first job.
How did you become so invested in the idea of inequality?
I was always involved in issues like this, right from high school, and I just continued. As a professor, part of my job is research. In the past ten years we’ve had a couple of very large social science research grants focused on income inequality, income polarization, and how cities and neighbourhoods are changing. This is during a period where income inequality and income polarization are dramatically growing.
— Ian MacIntyre (@MrIanMacIntyre) March 24, 2015
You may be wondering about the the oily mystery liquid currently leaking onto subway tracks at College Station and preventing trains from running on the Yonge Line. What is it? Is it harmful? Where is it coming from? Will subway service be restored before the evening commute? These are the wrong questions. What we need from officials is a clear, unequivocal answer to the following: this unknown substance—is it like the music-loving subway-tunnel ectoplasm from Ghostbusters 2, or does it bear more of a resemblance to the mutagenic sewer ooze from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Twitter, so far, is evenly divided between the two.
See Shad before he becomes a CBC star, hang out with Laverne Cox and eight other things to do this week
Watch the new host of CBC’s Q in his natural element
Two weeks ago, Shad was selected as the new host of Q on CBC Radio. Before he takes over, he’s finishing a victory-lap concert tour for his 2013 album, Flying Colours, which earned a Juno nomination and a spot on the Polaris Prize short list. It’s a collection of freewheeling, retro rap tracks about the immigrant experience, race and colonialism under a cloak of fast rhymes and electro beats. March 27. $19. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.
Sale of the Week: the $640,000 unit that proves condo living in St. James Town isn’t only for the young
The Property: This modern corner-suite condo has an open concept design with new hardwood floors and an upgraded kitchen. A television and custom fireplace are built into a feature wall in the living room.
Doug Ford told the Sun that he’s very, very disappointed by John Tory’s decision not to attend a $300-a-ticket fundraiser, the proceeds of which will help retire about $900,000 in Ford-for-mayor-related campaign debt. It’s not uncommon for mayoral competitors to raise money for one another after an election is over (in fact, Tory is doing exactly that for David Soknacki), but the Fords have remained openly hostile toward Tory during the first few months of his mayoralty, which makes Doug’s complaint a little puzzling. “Mr. Tory doesn’t want to help, but that’s his choice….I don’t know what his problem is, to be honest with you,” Ford told reporters. Tory, for his part, denies he was even invited to the fundraiser.
On Tuesday afternoon, a 21-year-old man named Ahmed Siyad was shot in the parking garage of a Toronto Community Housing high-rise at 2063 Islington Road, which wouldn’t be so remarkable were it not for the fact that, according to the Sun, Ahmed Siyad is the brother of Liban Siyad, the alleged gang member whom Rob Ford’s friend Sandro Lisi is accused of extorting during a frantic attempt to recover Ford’s first crack video. (Lisi’s pretrial hearing began earlier this month.) If the story weren’t strange enough already, the Sun adds another weird detail: Ford was in the neighbourhood when Ahmed was shot, and even spoke to him before he was taken to the hospital. Ford told the Sun he was making routine constituency calls. “I am in TCHC buildings a lot assisting people,” he’s quoted as saying.
Disabled Theater stars actors with intellectual disabilities—and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen
Live performance can feel starkly, claustrophobically intimate. In Disabled Theater, a strange and stimulating new Harbourfront production, that closeness is cunning, because it forces the audience to look at people we might typically turn away from. The production is composed entirely of professional actors with Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. If you are like me, you have deliberately trained yourself to ignore their difference. But Disabled Theater gives you no choice: the performers speak, dance and engage the audience directly without the filter of characters, telling you who they are and how they see the world. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Every March, the TIFF Bell Lightbox hosts digiPlaySpace, an exhibition of kid-friendly interactive art. This year’s marquee installation is Forest, a co-creation of new-media artist Micah Elizabeth Scott and 26 students from Ryerson University’s new-media program. It’s a massive digital canvas made up of over 7,500 LEDs and controlled by software Scott developed herself. Young visitors interact with the piece by turning wooden spinners with their hands. “I designed something that wasn’t a screen,” Scott explains, “something that has a lot of real, tactile sense to it, and isn’t just fingers sliding against glass.” Here’s an annotated look at how it works.
People with their arms crossed in front of things they’re against: a taxonomy of the Star’s favourite visual cliché
Two things are inevitable in a big city: constant change, and constant opposition to change.
Local media outlets have a tough time depicting the latter. How do you photograph local residents’ ill will toward the newest sources of perceived aggravation in their neighbourhoods? Some newspaper photographers have mastered an effective visual cliché for use in these situations: a picture of the aggrieved party standing strong, arms crossed, in front of the object of his or her ire (or the vacant locale it’s planned to occupy). No one is better at this bit of inventive visual grammar than our city’s own newspaper of record, the Toronto Star. Observe: