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City

Why did Bright Street get so bent?

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 23, 2014

toronto bright streetNumber 32 Bright Street is a non-conformist. The squat little bungalow sits sandwiched between two bay-and-gable Victorian terraces, angled to face a street that moved in the early 1860s. It's a relic of the very earliest days of the street and old Corktown.

In its first incarnation, Bright Street, a narrow residential road opposite the old Don Brewery building, was aligned parallel to Sackville Street which, before the Don Valley Parkway on-ramps forced the reconfiguration of local roads, ran in a dog-legged kink between Queen and King.

The street is named for Thomas Bright, an early landowner whose land was subdivided and sold by his son William Bright after his death in 1857.

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City

Where is the centre of Toronto?

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 23, 2014

toronto city hallThere is a sign at the side of the 401 just after the cars merge from the on ramp at Brighton, Ont., heading west. It lists the distances to nearby towns and cities, including Colbourne, Cobourg, Oshawa and Toronto. According to the sign, it's 151 kms to Ontario's capital from that exact spot at the edge of a camp ground.

What exactly constitutes "Toronto" isn't immediately clear. One imagines it could be the nearest city limit, which, heading west on the 401, would be the Rouge River. Or it could be 33 Wanless Crescent, a residential address near Bayview and Lawrence that is the geographic centre of the city, according to Torontoist.

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City

The story of T. H. Johnson and the great fire of Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 19, 2014

toronto fire 1904The night of April 19, 1904 was unseasonably cold. The temperature lingered around three degrees Celsius and persistent snow squalls dragged on a stout breeze out of the northwest had men and women across the city turning up the thick collars of their coats.

The news of the day dealt with the possible construction of a Methodist hospital at the bequest of the recently deceased Hart A. Massey, the namesake of Massey Hall, and salary cuts at the Board of Education. Prof. Bradley, a doctor accused of treating his patients with various "queer" methods, including pouring honey in the eyes of a Junction woman, was in court charged with breaching the medical act.

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City

Rob Ford ignites re-election bid with bombastic fan fest

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 18, 2014

toronto rob fordRob Ford's bid for re-election is officially in high gear. Before a raucous crowd of some 1,000 Ford Nation patriots, the mayor, surrounded by people in baggy white "Ford More Years" t-shirts, pledged to keep working for the taxpayers and battling the gravy train. He said be believed in "the spirit of second chances."

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City

New condo set to shake up Queen and Greenwood

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 18, 2014

toronto queen greenwoodQueen Street East at Greenwood has (so far) been mostly overlooked by the recent popularity of Leslieville and the Beaches, perhaps because the stretch doesn't quite feel like it's part of either neighbourhood.

But that could all be about to change with the arrival of an 8-storey, mixed-use condo on the south side of the street, just west of Greenwood. Where there are currently three semi-detached homes that date back to before 1913, developers are planning a new mid-rise residential building with room for four stores.

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City

The top 5 issues set to define the 2014 Toronto election

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 16, 2014

toronto island airportSo you want to be the next mayor of Toronto. Well, you'll have to learn to talk the talk on a bunch of issues that matter to the people of the city (or at least be good at deflecting questions for the next few months.) Toronto needs new transit and leadership on a range of issues from the expansion of Billy Bishop airport to who's going to pick up the garbage east of Yonge Street.

Here's a quick guide to the top 5 issues in the 2014 election.

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