Sunday, May 24, 2015Clear 15°C

5 things you didn't know about The Ward in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 23, 2015

toronto the wardIf you have heard of The Ward, you have probably also heard stories the stories of deep poverty, appalling living conditions, and crippling hardship many of the neighbourhood's inhabitants experienced on a daily basis. Loosely bound by University, College, Queen, and Yonge, The Ward--officially St. John's Ward--was the city's first distinctly immigrant neighbourhood.

Chinese, Irish, Italian, Eastern European, and African American newcomers arrived there in various waves, starting in the 1840s. Housing was often cheap, run-down, and crowded, and city officials took a dim view of the scene that was quite literally unfolding outside their window.

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News Flash

Road closures in Toronto: May 23-24 2015

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 22, 2015

toronto road closuresRoad closures in Toronto for the weekend of May 23 and 24 rounds up the key transportation shut-downs affecting the city, including street and TTC closures.

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5 Toronto buildings the public will never have access to

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 20, 2015

toronto whitney blockNow in its 16th year, the annual Doors Open festival has given millions of Torontonians the chance to discover parts of the city that are often closed to the public. In total, more than 450 Toronto buildings have participated over the last decade and a half, making it one of the most popular events of its kind in the world.

Still, despite all the excellent places to snoop around this year, there are numerous buildings in Toronto that still remain firmly closed to the public. Often there are safety or security concerns, but in several cases the necessary accommodations could be made with a little creative thinking.

Here are 5 buildings we wish were part of Doors Open, but probably never will be.

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The top 15 buildings to see at Doors Open Toronto 2015

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 19, 2015

doors open torontoDoors Open Toronto is back for its 16th year. On May 23 and 24, more than 155 buildings and institutions across the city will be inviting the great Canadian public inside for a look around.

In honour of the upcoming Pam Am Games, this year's theme is Sports, Recreation and Leisure, and there are a preponderance of stadiums and other athletic sites on offer, including BMO Field and the Toronto Track and Field Centre.

Here are my picks for the top buildings to see at Doors Open Toronto 2015.

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The top 10 events for Toronto Bike Month 2015

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 18, 2015

toronto bike monthTime to pump up the tires and lube up the chain, Bike Month is here again. From May 25 to June 25, hundreds of cycling-related events will take place across the GTA. From tune-ups, to repair workshops, to Polish-themed bicycle rides around the city's west end, you're bound to find something to match your level of enthusiasm and skill level.

Bike Month traces its origins to the first Bike to Work Day in 1989. Since then, it's grown into a highlight in the Toronto bicycle calendar, with events in Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington, Milton, and Peel, York, and Durham regions. Bike to Work Day still runs. This year it takes place on May 25.

Here are 10 highlights from this year's calendar of events.

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How Toronto used to celebrate a long weekend

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 17, 2015

toronto long weekendTorontonians have been enjoying the Victoria Day, May Two-Four weekend for 170 years. As the first long weekend of the summer (well, technically spring,) it's often the first real chance to hit the beach or the park under the splendour of a warm sun.

Victoria Day celebrates the birth of Queen Victoria on May 24, 1819. It was declared a public holiday in 1845 and in 1952 the federal government decided the day should be taken on the first Monday before May 25 (hence why this year's day falls on May 18.)

These candid photos cast our forebears in a different light. Instead of the staged, often rather serious portraits often found in the city archives, these images show the people of the 1910s, 20s, 30s, and 40s at play: goofing for the camera, fishing, enjoying games, and generally relaxing.

In honour of the Victoria Day long weekend, here's a look at how Toronto used to take time off work.

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