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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

10 Toronto intersections as they were in the 1990s

The Toronto of the 1990s doesn't seem like such a distant place at first thought, but the more you consider the sweeping changes the city has undergone over the last three decades, the more it seems bizarre that there were so few condos and so many undeveloped industrial sites

This is a Toronto I remember so well. There was an unfinished feel it. You could ride a bike around places like Liberty Village, the Eastern Waterfront, and the Junction and feel like time moved very slowly.

Here's a look back at Toronto intersections before the ubiquity of condo podiums, big box retail, and the near-total elimination of our inner city industry.

Queen and Spadina

toronto 1990s

Yes, there were still PCC streetcars in service on Toronto streets in the 1990s. Here we're looking east along a much quieter Queen Street at Spadina Avenue (photo by David Wilson). Here's what the view looks like today.

Queen and Bathurst

toronto 1990s

Oh, the Big Bop. Before it was a furniture store targeted towards condo owners, this building at the southeast corner of Queen and Bathurst was a raucous live music venue. Here's the current view

Yonge and Davenport/Church

toronto 1990s

The view up Yonge Street at Church/Davenport hasn't changed that much — yet. Here's what it looks like today

Trinity and Mill

toronto 1990s

Before the Distillery District was born, the old Gooderham & Worts site was used regularly as a film set. 

Queen and Shaw

toronto 1990s

You know what there wasn't a lot of the in 1990s? Adaptive re-use projects. That's why the building on the right side of the frame at Queen and Shaw streets looks so run down. Eventually it would become the Candy Factory Lofts. Present day view here

East Liberty and Lynn Williams

Toronto 1990s

Neither of these streets existed in the 1990s, when Liberty Village was still somewhat industrial and only starting to draw in production companies. This is the view today

Parliament and Front

toronto 1990s

The old Consumers Gas Building at Front and Parliaments streets looked ready for the wrecking ball until it was restored as a Police Station. Here's what it looks like today

King and Bay

toronto 1990s

This view of the Financial District at King and Bay streets doesn't look that different, but where's all the traffic (photo by David Wilson)? Present day view here.

Yonge and Balmoral

toronto 1990s

Pretty much everything in the foreground of this photo at Yonge Street and Balmoral Avenue has changed. This is the view today

Yonge and Queens Quay

Toronto 1990s

Look at that! Not only does Captain John's look pretty good in this photo at Yonge Street and Queens Quay, but there's not a condo in sight. This is what it looks like now (RIP CJ's).

by Derek Flack via blogTO

Old garbage plant could be Toronto's next hot event space

Toronto Islands now closed until at least August

The Toronto Islands haven't had it easy this spring after rising water levels in Lake Ontario led to widespread flooding.

Earlier this month, the city of Toronto announced it would be cancelling permits for events and activities at the Toronto Island Park until June 30, but today, it extended that cancellation period to July 31.

According to a city news release, more than 300 permits, as well as 350 summer camp registrants, have been affected.

Ferry service is still restricted to residents and essential personnel as 40-50 per cent of the Islands remain under water. Until now, local businesses have been trying to stay afloat, but the popular Rectory Cafe announced it'd be shutting down after Thanksgiving. 

Hopefully we'll be able to get across before then.

by Amy Grief via blogTO

Toronto's Harry Potter bar opening castle-themed patio

CN Tower to host huge fireworks show on Canada Day

Canada's sesquicentennial is kind of a big deal. So to celebrate here in Toronto, the country's tallest freestanding structure will host a huge fireworks show that'll light up the sky on July 1.

Fireworks erupted from the CN Tower during the Pan Am Games' opening ceremony in July 2015, and Toronto hasn't seen a light show of that caliber since.

On July 1, the fireworks are slated to kick off at 10:30 p.m. and the whole spectacle will be set to a soundtrack playing on the radio station Boom 97.3

Be sure to tune in and look up on Canada Day. 

by Amy Grief via blogTO

Rental of the week: 165 Bathurst Street

The term "studio apartment" tends to be abused on apartment listing sites. Pretty much any unit without a bedroom gets this description, when in fact a studio should infer ample space to establish a live/work setup.

165 Bathurst Street TorontoThis apartment near Queen and Bathurst doesn't suffer from misidentification: it's a sizeable warehouse space with separate kitchen area that could double as a residence and work studio thanks to its tall ceilings and open layout.

165 Bathurst Street TorontoOf course, it doesn't come cheap. Both the location and the size contribute to a listing price that will surely drive away many people in the market for a studio space. Still, you get the sense that someone will be drawn in by the exposed wood ceilings, modern kitchen and loft sensibility. 

165 Bathurst Street TorontoSpecs
  • Address: 165 Bathurst St.
  • Apartment type: Studio
  • Rent: $1,635
  • Utilities: Included
  • Bedrooms: 0
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • Parking: No
  • Laundry? In building
  • Outdoor space? No
  • Pet friendly? Yes
165 Bathurst Street TorontoGood For

Someone who has always wanted a loft space but can't afford to buy a condo or rent in a high-end building like the Candy Factory.

Move On If

You need a bedroom. The living area in this apartment can easily accommodate a bed, couch and workspace, but there isn't any privacy here. 

by Derek Flack via blogTO

Win passes to an advance screening of It Comes At Night

Award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward Shults is bringing his psychological thriller It Comes At Night to theatres June 9. Want to see the flick before anyone else? We've teamed up with Mongrel Media to give readers a chance to win a pair of passes to an advance screening.

by Jaclyn Skrobacky via blogTO

The top 5 cider festivals in Toronto this summer

Cider festivals in Toronto this summer showcase the latest and greatest Ontario craft brews. We already have multiple cider bars with the sparkling stuff on tap, and cider will also make appearances at several of this season's biggest beer festivals.

Events you might want to check out:

Appleseed Cider Festival (June 3 @ Appleseed Cider Festival)
There's both a daytime family-friendly event and a 19-plus event in the evening. It's $30 to get in, and the first 300 folks get a souvenir glass.
Wine & Spirit Festival Toronto (June 16 @ Queens Quay)
This classy night of drinks features sider makers like Caple Rd., Brickworks Ciderhouse and Thornbury Village. There are also loads of food vendors and twinkling lights here.
Toronto Craft Beer Festival (June 23 @ Ontario Place)
Don't be fooled by the name; this giant craft beer festival by the water will feature local cideries. While they're not the spotlight drink of this fest, they'll be there alongside an army of food vendors.
Off-The-Island Lady Beer Fest (July 8 @ Henderson Brewing Co)
Fear not ladies who love to drink! This beer festival also features ciders. There are two sessions throughout the day, local food vendors, an arts market and music.
Toronto Cider Festival (August 26 @ Sherbourne Common)
Sample over 60 different ciders from Canada and around the world in a super relaxed environment.

by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO

The Best Furniture Stores in Toronto

The best furniture stores in Toronto are well known by design lovers and showroom loiterers (me) alike. Though they tend to be sprawling warehouses just outside the downtown core, a few of these places approach furniture display boutique-style, smack in the middle of the city.

Here are the best furniture stores in Toronto.

3 - Stylegarage (Ossington)

This Ossington shop is a mecca for locally-designed, customizable furniture and fixtures. Its 8,400 square feet is home to sleek wood dining sets, sofas of every size, shape, and texture, and geometric side tables that could pass as abstract sculptures.
7 - Klaus by Nienkamper

This King East destination appears sleek and shiny before you set foot in the door. The windows are adorned with the most refined pieces, illuminated by the sparkliest lighting fixtures. The store claims to carry timeless classics, but I think their pieces are far too exciting to be sold short like that.
10 - CB2 Toronto

Crate & Barrel’s sister shop sits on the corner of Queen and Bathurst and is two storeys of sleek and chic condo furniture. Most items require assembly, so I always say it’s like Ikea but more expensive and everything comes in white marble print.
4 - Elte Market

This sprawling warehouse is home to high-end furniture, rugs, and lighting. A destination for any urban dweller, the Castlefield store has something for everyone looking to decorate a small space with high impact.
5 - Mjolk

This Junction shop combines Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics for an ultra sophisticated selection of furniture and decor. Owned by devoted couple John and Juli, Mjolk is akin to a gallery full of high end, meticulously curated design work. Definitely a must-visit, even for a little look-see.
6 - Shelter Furniture

This Castlefied Design District store is a massive, brightly lit warehouse of modern furniture. Their greatest feat (save for the sheer variety of goods) is their ability to offer everything in a set; perfect for the furniture lover that wants everything to match.
11 - EQ3 (Liberty Village)

This chain is a go-to for the patriotic Canadian. With a chock full of Made in Canada pieces, the furniture chain has locations in Liberty Village and King East—easy access for any downtowner. Find budget-conscious house brand items as well as Herman Miller classics here.
8 - Avenue Road

This high end furniture store on Eastern Avenue is three storeys of exquisite contemporary goodness. The industrial standalone building peddles things like iconic seating by the likes of Oscar Niemeyer and textiles from Kvadrat’s Raf Simons collaboration.
9 - Pavilion

This lower level shop tucked away on Gladstone Avenue showcases a cool collection of modern sofas, tables, art, and accessories. Mid-century inspired furniture is aplenty here—plus, their clearance section is A+.

by Bianca Venerayan via blogTO