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News Flash

Santa Claus Parade Road Closures in Toronto 2015

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 13, 2015

santa claus parade road closuresSanta Claus Parade road closures will affect numerous streets in Toronto this Sunday, November 15. While the closures don't get underway until 8 a.m. police will be removing cars parked along the route as early as 6 a.m.

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City

Toronto used to have a cocktail bar in an old airplane

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 12, 2015

regal constellation airplaneFor just under 10 years, the Trans-Canada Air Lines aircraft registration CF-CGE flew commercially across the Americas and Europe. A Lockheed Super Constellation built in Burbank, Calif., it could hold roughly 100 passengers and had a range of about 8,200 kms--roughly the distance between Toronto to Moscow.

Unfortunately, the propellor-powered Super Constellation was launched just prior to the start of the jet age. The wildly successful, jet-powered Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 models, released in the 1950s, were almost twice as fast and capable of covering greater distances than the Super Constellation.

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The 5 oldest hotels in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 12, 2015

toronto gladstone hotelThe York Hotel at King and Berkeley was one of the first hotels in Toronto. Opened 1805, just 12 years after the founding of the Town of York, the timber-framed, two-storey building briefly housed the Upper Canada legislature meetings after the first parliament building was destroyed during the American occupation of the town in 1813.

Today, the site is a the construction site for the Globe and Mail Centre.

Though no longer operating, a small number of hotels from the York Hotel era survive. Montgomery's Inn at Dundas West and Islington dates back to 1832. Lambton House (1847) and the Miller Tavern (1857) are still standing, but no longer accepting overnight guests.

Here's a look back at five of the oldest hotels still in business in Toronto.

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Reversing escalators and TTC crowd control tactics

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 7, 2015

ttc crowd controlNavigating the Toronto subway at the height of rush hour is a major headache, but the TTC has a few weapons in its arsenal designed to manage the crowds. Among them: plastic barriers, megaphones, and reversible escalators.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross says many of the escalators from the Bloor-Danforth platforms at Bloor-Yonge station run up to the Yonge platforms during the morning rush and down in the evening.

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The life and death of Googie architecture in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 4, 2015

toronto googieThe Googie architectural movement didn't last long. For about two decades, starting in 1940s post-war Southern California, the distinctively whimsical building style became the go-to aesthetic for motels, drive-thrus, gas stations, and other (mostly) auto-centric structures across the U.S. and Canada.

In Toronto, Yonge-Finch Plaza stands out as a classic example of Googie. For $1 in the 1960s, drivers could pull in for a carnauba wax at the car wash and grab a hamburger from one of Ontario's first McDonald's. The hamburger stand, a carbon copy of the chain's drive-up restaurants south of the border, had a capsule-like dining room anchored by two giant golden arches.

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City

Where do the coconuts at Sunnyside Beach come from?

Posted by Chris Bateman / October 30, 2015

toronto humber coconutA few years ago David Snaith was walking on the beach near Sunnyside with his young son when they came across a coconut washed up on the sand. It was intact, and showed no hint as to its origins.

"I'm from Australia, and a coconut washed on the beach isn't such a big deal, but this is Lake Ontario," he says. "I thought maybe someone threw it in the water somewhere and it washed up, so I didn't give it too much thought. A few weeks later I found another one."

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