Toronto events!!!

Toronto Fun Parties

Saturday, February 29, 2020

TTC fares go up in Toronto starting today

If your plans for the day include taking the TTC, don't forget that most fares officially increase starting today

As of March 1, the cash fares for all types other than the adult cash fare have increased by $0.10. This also includes Presto pay-as-you-go payment.

The adult cash fare remains the same at $3.25, but the cost of monthly passes has also increased across all fare types.

The fare increase was originally approved just over two months ago as a way to deal with lost revenue from mass fare evasion following the news that the agency lost over $70 million to the practice in 2019. 

At the time, Mayor John Tory said the increase would bring the TTC about $31.5 million in extra revenue, which would help fund "the largest investment in TTC state of good repair work" and more.

News of the imminent fare increase hasn't exactly gone over well with commuters, who are equally fed up with several of the TTC's other approaches to fare evasion including an aggressive public education campaign and a pledge to hire even more controversial fare inspectors

TTC fares went up by 10 cents at the beginning of 2019 and have been raised a total of eight times in the past 10 years. 

by Mira Miller via blogTO

5 things to do in Toronto today

It's Sunday Funday in Toronto and things to do today let you pick up a yummy cookies totally free as The Night Baker celebrates its birthday. Wizards, witches and muggles alike are welcome at a Harry Potter beer festival and a film series looks at rare indie queer film.

Events you might want to check out:

Free Cookies in Toronto (March 1 @ The Night Baker)
The Night Baker is celebrating its first birthday by giving away a free Classic or Campfire S'mores cookie to anyone who drops by while supplies last.
The Wizard's Beer Festival (March 1 @ CRAFT Beer Market)
Your letter to Hogwarts has arrived and a big boozy party awaits at this Harry Potter-themed beer festival with costumes, music, activities and more.
Epic Moments of Personal Failure (March 1 @ Sibling Gallery)
Once upon a time, Toronto was a rad, cool place to be and this retrospective exhibition showcases zines from the 80s and 90s underground scene.
Glass Animals (March 1 @ Mod Club)
If you can snag a resell ticket to see psych pop stars Glass Animals, it's worth it to hear a mix of old and new tunes that make up their recognizable sound.
Queerly Beloved (March 1-31 @ Paradise)
Inside Out and Paradise Theatre are teaming up to present a month of independent and influential films that have shaped the narrative of queer cinema.

by Lisa Power via blogTO

Friday, February 28, 2020

The historic R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant is where Toronto gets its drinking water

The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant may be one of four city plants providing clean water to Toronto, but it is undoubtedly the largest and most prized of them all. 

Sitting on a hill that ascends from the most eastern end 0f Balmy Beach, this cluster of Art Deco buildings endures as one the city's most precious structures for more reasons than one. rc harris toronto

The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant was completed in 1941. 

Its most obvious purpose: this sprawling plant cleans and produces more than 950 million litres of clean water daily.

What that boils down to is roughly 45 per cent of our water: without it, Toronto and parts of York Region would be short nearly half of its drinkable lake liquid. 

water treatment plant toronto

The sprawling Art Deco property has been designated an historic site by two different organizations. 

The sheer immensity of that volume is staggering, but even more so when you put together that, of Toronto's four water treatment plants, it predates the others by at least 20 years. 

water treatment plant toronto

The Filter Building is accessible to the public during Doors Open Toronto. 

But it's not the plants filtering capabilities which have captured the city's imagination with its nickname, The Palace of Purification, or transformed its impenetrable wall into the face of multiple movie prisons, or made it the backdrop for Ondaatje's Toronto epic, Skin of a Lion.

water treatment plant toronto

A series of underground pathways connect all three buildings together. 

Designed in the 1920s and completed in 1941 to address unclean water and shortages throughout the city, the R.C. Harris represents the rare balance of a structure that is as beautiful as it is useful. 

Dubbed an historic site, both by the Ontario Heritage Act and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, it takes its name after one of Toronto's public works commissioners: Rowland Caldwell Harris, a man who left behind a 33-year civic legacy that includes the North Toronto Sewage Treatment Plant and the Prince Edward Viaduct

rc harris water treatmnent plant

The Pump Station houses small and large pumps which direct the water flow to and from the lake. 

Nearly a hundred years since its opened, the plant—made up by a filter building, service building, pumping station, and a connecting underground system—looks kind of like how you'd expect our water to taste: pristine. 

rc harris water treatmnent plant

In the background, you can see the limestone panel, which resembles an elevator. 

Marble, brass railings, green stones and terrazzo tiles make up the building's vast halls and rounded arches. It's an enviable workplace, for the mere 30-something employees, mostly plant technicians, that work there. 

Gordon Mitchell, who has been the plant manager since 2014, and working at Toronto Water since the 1990s, emphasizes the importance of maintaining old parts of the plant without building on top of it. 

rc harris water treatmnent plant

The marble signal pylon in the Filter Building still lights up. 

He's recently overseen a new coat of seafoam green paint in the pumping station—with its soaring plaster ceiling, Queenston limestone, and herringbone tilework—that's refreshed the numbered pumps. 

A limestone signal panel on the second floor of the eastern end remains from the original build, with numbers that light up, depending which pumps are operating. 

rc harris water treatmnent plant

Taps in the staff room show the water quality in its different stages at the plant. 

Head here just once during Doors Open (the only time the R.C. Harris opens to the public) and you'll long for the days when the plant still opened weekly on Saturdays, before security-related fears of the Gulf War, then 9/11, closed it off for good. 

rc harris water treatmnent plant

The galleries which hold 20 filters are off-limits. 

Features like a carved fountain in the Pumping Station and the largely ornamental marble signal pylon in the Filter Building are big highlights. But my favourite part is definitely the two-storey window that offers a seriously breathtaking view of Lake Ontario. 

The Filter Building is home to 20 filters, which can be accessed via their original doors, made with several different types of marble. Unfortunately guests of Doors Open aren't granted into the actual filter galleries, which feel otherwordly.  

rc harris water treatmnent plant

Sludge cakes are essentially soil that's taken from the backwash water at the Residue Management Facility.

The newest part of the building is the Residue Management Facility, an underground facility which filters out the plant's backwash water (used to clean parts of the plant) before sending it back into Lake Ontario. 

The R.C. Harris' yearly operating budget is around $12 million, which seems like pennies in the face of this massive operation that includes chlorine from Montreal, phosphoric acid from China, maintenance, and, naturally, a whopping hydro bill. 

rc harris water treatmnent plant

by Tanya Mok via blogTO

Toronto artist creates massive designs out of snow on backyard ice rink

Robert Greenfield has been working on his backyard ice rink in the Glen Park area since the winter of 2012. The most difficult part of the job, he says, is constantly shovelling snow off the ice — so he found a way to make the process a little more fun.

The Toronto resident has been creating art with the snow on his ice rink for several years now.

He said his very first creation was "I [heart] U" for his wife in 2013, and he's made more than 20 other designs since then.

"It just dawned on me one time that the rink was like a big Etch-A-Sketch," he said. "It just made clearing the snow a bit less tedious to create something out of it. And somehow it turned out I was able to make some fun things with it."

Greenfield's many designs include the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Snoopy, the Mona Lisa, a Chanukah menorah and, most recently, the logo for the Hamilton musical.

"My inspiration for this one was that my oldest daughter became a huge Hamilton fan several years ago and got the rest of the family into it," he told me. "So when we heard the show would be coming to Toronto, making the logo on the rink just made perfect sense."

He said the snowy designs usually take him an hour or two to finish, depending on the details involved. The Hamilton logo, for instance, took almost two hours because of the lettering.

And though it may look like he's simply doing it from memory due to the speed of his time-lapse videos, Greenfield said the designs would be impossible to create without mapping them out first.

"I take the design and overlay it on a sheet of grid paper," he explained.

"Each square is one foot by one foot, so I can figure out far to go with each part of the design. And then once I'm on the rink I use landmarks to figure out where to go. I know that the swingset lines up with the middle of the ice, so the flat part of Hamilton's start just lines up with that, for example," he continued.

"It basically becomes a very big 'paint by numbers.'"

Greenfield said he aims to get two or three designs done each winter. But as long as he finishes at least one, he's happy.

"It just depends on so many things, like when is cold enough to have ice, how much snow we get, how heavy they snow is, whether we want to go skating immediately, and simply whether the design turns out," he said.

Still, he does his best to get as many designs in before the snow and ice melt for the season. And even though it's already almost March, he said he hopes to complete one more before spring.

"Next on my list is to attempt to make Mickey Mouse," he said.

"The forecast isn't looking great but if we get some snow next week, I can give that one a shot. And if it doesn't work out, there's always next winter."

by Mira Miller via blogTO

Toronto restaurant that's also a social enterprise is closing

A Toronto restaurant that's done a lot of good through hospitality will be closing its doors next month. 

Hawthorne Food and Drink was first created in 2012, and has provided free hands-on training for over 300 job-seekers. The enterprise is an extension of the Hospitality Workers Training Centre, designed to help trainees overcome barriers to employment. Over 75 per cent of graduates found employment because of the program.

The restaurant is also an OCTA FeastON designee, meaning their menus are composed of seasonal, sustainable, locally sourced ingredients and products.

"As an organization we have decided that it is time to explore other opportunities to grow our training programs and as a result the decision was made to close the retail operations of Hawthorne and refocus our efforts. But, the work still continues," says spokesperson Mandie Abrams.

"We will continue to deliver our culinary programs, at our existing location, though our exciting partnership with Second Harvest. Our trainees will focus on preparing meals with food donated through Second Harvest for community agencies including: shelters, seniors residences and childcare centres.

"Our server program will be delivered in partnership with our employer partners at different venues across the city."

The restaurant will be celebrating its achievements throughout the month of March before shutting down for good on March 31, so drop by this Financial District spot one last time before it's too late.

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO

10 markets and pop-ups in Toronto to shop at this March

Markets and pop-ups in Toronto for March 2020 are here to help you live your best life with a big focus on sustainable products. You can find lots of cool vintage stuff this month while the The One of a Kind Show is back to feature unique goods.

Events you might want to check out:

Toronto Made Market (March 7-8 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
It doesn't get anymore local than with a market dedicated to Toronto-made goods with over 70 artisans, crafters and small businesses on hand.
Casa Lovina Pop-Up (March 7 @ Fern Shop)
Toronto's own Casa Lovina is popping up inside the Fern Shop to showcase a sustainably made collection of lifestyle goods made by artisans from Bali.
Vintage Clothing Show (March 7-8 @ Queen Elizabeth Building)
This huge vintage show and antique market is back with a curated selection of vintage men's and women's designer finds, furniture and décor.
The Green Living Show (March 13-15 @ Metro Toronto Convention Centre)
It's never been a better time to go green and this show includes the latest in healthy and sustainable lifestyle solutions, organics and design.
OCAD Zine Fair (March 12-13 @ OCAD University)
An amazing collection of talent in alternative publications are dropping by for this zine fair with handmade works, comics, poetry, stickers and more.
Trinity Bellwoods Flea (March 22 @ The Great Hall)
Over 60 vendors are setting up shop inside the Great Hall to feature locally-made goods, art, food and drink, gifts, clothing, household items and lifestyle.
One Of A Kind Spring Show (March 25-29 @ Enercare Centre Exhibition Place)
Everything from soap to furniture can be found at this huge show that focuses on local and regional makers and crafters specializing in unique items.
Nerd Market (March 28 @ Hart House)
Calling all nerds for a day of geeky goodness as this big flea and swap returns to feature all kinds of used anime, comics, manga, tabletop games and more.
Buy Good. Feel Good. Expo (March 28-29 @ Evergreen Brick Works)
Sustainable, ethical and fair trade businesses are the focus of this show with over 100 vendors selling clothing, accessories, organics and home décor.
Old Book and Paper Show (March 29 @ Artscape Wychwood Barns)
Vintage paper, antique photography, books, postcards, maps and magazines are just some of the analogue treasures to be found at this show.

by Lisa Power via blogTO

This huge new downtown Toronto condo is going to take over an entire city block

A new condo development coming to 88 Queen St. East is in its final phase, and soon it'll occupy a full city block in downtown Toronto. 

The building, developed by St. Thomas Developments and designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects and Cecconi Simone, will be located at the southern part of the block and stretch between Mutual and Dalhousie streets. 

It'll also neighbour its counterpart, 88 North.

88 queen toronto

A rendering of one of the building's entrances

When completed, the new condo will rise 51 storeys tall, consist of 569 suites ranging from 514 sq. ft. to 2290 sq. ft, and units will start at $600,000.

88 queen

Looking at the building from the sidewalk

88 Queen also aims to be a community hub that includes green space, retail shops and art installations. 

88 queen

Looking east at the 51-storey building

The land is being transformed from a relatively massive surface-level parking lot into a vibrant mixed-use development, which will inevitably attract new residents to this part of the city and transform the fabric of the neighbourhood.
88 queen

Some of the retail shops on the ground floor of 88 Queen

The new development is set to begin construction this spring.

by Mira Miller via blogTO