Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates
What it is: Robarts Common, a glassy, zinc-plated, five-storey addition to the west side of the University of Toronto’s Robarts library, which the university says will add 1,222 new work and study spaces.
The buyers: 29-year-old twins Jennifer Carroll, a health-care product reviewer, and Krista Carroll, a municipal project manager for Peel Region.
The story: In the fall of 2013, Krista moved home to Toronto from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she’d been working for an NGO. Unsure about her next steps, she crashed at her twin sister’s condo, a 900-square-foot two-bedroom at Sherbourne and Wellesley. Jennifer was renting out the second bedroom, so Krista took the couch. It was a tight fit for three, but the twins loved living together. Determined to find a place they could comfortably share, they pooled their resources, set a budget of $500,000 and started hunting for the perfect house. Their wish list was ambitious—two bedrooms, a big kitchen, a lush backyard and a basement rental unit—so they focused their search on the northwest corner of the city, hoping to land a well-maintained home in an up-and-coming area.
What it is: A 57-storey tower with an existing century-old industrial building at 19 Duncan Street incorporated into the west side of its podium.
On the surface, the decision to anoint rapper Shadrach Kabango as the new host of CBC’s Q might seem like an odd one. Shad, as he’s known, has zero journalistic experience, nor does he have any training in radio broadcasting. What he does have is deep roots in Canada’s arts and culture scene, having won a 2011 Juno award (he beat out some dude named Drake) and made the Polaris Music Prize shortlist three times. Despite his successes, the Canadian-raised Kenyan has managed to remain humble (for now, at least), and in that way and many others, he’s the antithesis of his disgraced predecessor, Jian Ghomeshi. Ahead of his debut on April 20, we caught up with Shad to talk about his new job, the art of the interview and why pretzels suck.
Congrats on your new gig. You’re going to keep putting out albums, right?
That’s the plan, but there’s nothing coming up in the near future. I’m always scribbling stuff here and there. I call it climbing that hill, and I haven’t started climbing that hill yet.
It’s like that ’80s song.
It’s not running up that hill for me. It’s more a slow walk up the hill.
I have to ask the obligatory baggage question, because there’s a lot of it surrounding the show. How much did that figure into your deliberation process about whether or not you’d take the job?
That didn’t exactly factor in for me, and maybe it should have. Everyone has asked it. And I guess it’s made me think, “Should I have thought about that?” But it didn’t really factor in. I did a week on the show and really enjoyed it, and I pretty much came away from that week thinking that if they were interested in having me, I couldn’t turn it down.
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I’m a young dad, and I take my 16-month-old son to and from daycare on the subway during rush hour. Is it wrong to get annoyed when people don’t give up a seat and I’m stuck carrying a squirming toddler for the entire 10-stop ride?
—Last Man Standing, Bloordale Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Regent Park is in the process of being transformed from a social housing project into a mixed-income neighbourhood where condo-dwellers and low-income renters can live near one another, shop in the same grocery stores and hang out at the same parks and fancy athletic facilities. The final realization of that dream is still a few years off, though. For the time being, the 69-acre site, currently under heavy redevelopment by Daniels Corporation, is a construction zone. This March marked a milestone: 14 Blevins, a Toronto Community Housing apartment tower that happened to be the last original 1958 Regent Park high-rise still standing, was completely demolished to make way for what’s next. Here’s how ProGreen Demolition wrecked the building without dropping any bricks on the elementary school next door.
Last fall, the star catcher signed a five-year, $82-million deal with the Jays. This month, he’ll make his debut on the field. Here, the 10 things he can’t live without
I’ve got really big thighs, so it’s impossible to find pants that fit right. The ABC pants from Lululemon are a life changer! They look great with a sport coat, but they’re as comfortable as yoga gear.
See a play in an abandoned high school, bid farewell to Dame Edna and seven other things to do this week
See a play in an abandoned high school
One of the season’s most ambitious theatre creations is Sheridan College’s Brantwood 1920–2020, an imaginative lark that takes place in the abandoned Brantwood School in Oakville. The cast will play out scenes and songs from the school’s fictional history in different classrooms. Ticket-holders arrive at Sheridan College, where, appropriately, a school bus will transport them to the Brantwood campus. April 11 to May 3. $35. Sheridan College, 1430 Trafalgar Rd., Oakville, 905-815-4049, sheridancollege.ca.
The artificial turf at the Rogers Centre has, oddly enough, been a source of some controversy over the past few years, because players think its tough, unyielding surface is leading to on-the-field injuries. Blue Jays management is doing everything in its power to hasten the arrival of honest-to-goodness natural sod, but the process is more complicated than it seems. Keeping grass alive and happy in a stadium requires all sorts of fine adjustments and mechanical upgrades. “We’re working with the University of Guelph on a specific species of grass,” says Kelly Keyes, Rogers Centre’s vice president of building services. “Ourselves and the Tampa Bay Rays are the last two teams that play on turf.” As a stopgap measure until the happy day when the real grass arrives, the stadium has just invested in a brand new set of Astroturf. According to Keyes, the new stuff has a more realistic, two-tone look—and, because it hasn’t suffered years of abuse, it’s also quite a bit softer than the previous turf, and not as heavy.
The fuzzy green carpet went down for the first time at the end of March, after Disney’s redundantly titled Frozen on Ice cleared out of Rogers Centre ahead of the start of baseball season. Here’s a step-by-step look at the surprisingly exacting process of turning a concrete floor into a lush, playable field of fake grass.
Neighbourhood: East York
Agent: Andrei Angelkovski, Re/Max Ultimate Realty Inc., Brokerage
The Property: This open-concept bungalow has a loft-like design, accented with doors and finishes made of reclaimed barn wood. An abundance of skylights and windows brings the outside in. The basement has its own kitchen, meaning it can be used as an income suite.
What the Toronto Islands ferry terminal might look like in a few years, if Waterfront Toronto gets its way
What it is: An undulating wooden structure designed by KPMB Architects, West 8 and Greenberg Associates as a replacement for the aging, cruddy Toronto Islands ferry terminal, now known as the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. This concept was announced today as the winner of a design competition led by Waterfront Toronto.
Anyone considering a home purchase in Toronto knows the feeling: the panicky vertigo that sets in whenever prices hit a new high. But you can still get some serious bang for your budget in this city. Sufferers of real estate anxiety: here is your Xanax