Monday, September 22, 2014Mostly Cloudy 10°C
City

5 historic Toronto buildings that could use a makeover

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 21, 2014

toronto waverly hotelBroadly speaking, these are good times for heritage buildings in Toronto. Developers are increasingly aware of the value of historic structures and the various levels of government are becoming better at ensuring links to the city's past are kept safe from destruction or manhandling (there are still grievous loses, however.)

Problems often surface if businesses that own historic buildings fall on hard times. When the cash flow dries up, so too does the ability to properly maintain the building. Repairs get postponed, cracks go unfixed, and paint starts to peel. If the property is outside of an area popular with developers, the neglect can snowball, like it did at Walnut Hall. Jilly's at Queen and Broadview was reportedly close to collapsing into the street last year.

Here are 5 historic Toronto buildings--some with heritage protection, some without--in need of love.

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City

Everything worth knowing about opossums in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 20, 2014

toronto opossumWhat's the size of a large house cat, has a long rat-like tail, sharp fangs, and a face like a psychotic rodent? It's the opossum, of course, the weirdest and hardiest creature in Toronto's urban menagerie.

Sightings are rare, but the city is home to a small population of the strange looking marsupials. When an opossum appears, the reaction is often fear and confusion.

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City

The top 10 places to sneak a nap in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / September 19, 2014

nap torontoLife in Toronto would be greatly improved if we seriously considered the siesta as an official thing, but given that it won't happen in our lifetime, I thought I'd take a stab at rounding up some public places suitable for napping in this city. The criteria is pretty basic: relatively comfortable seating, some privacy (or at least anonymity), and relative quiet. In short, you're unlikely to find a perfect place to snooze without heading home or laying down some cash, but there are places that will allow you to do so if you're particularly exhausted.

Here are 10 places to sneak a nap in Toronto.

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City

Bike lane sticker bandits look to shame careless drivers

Posted by Derek Flack / September 19, 2014

bike lane stickersIf you're the type of driver who doesn't think twice about parking in the bike lane, your car might get bombed with an "I Parked in a Bike Lane" sticker, which a group of guerrilla cycling advocates hope will help to curb this unfortunate and quite frankly dangerous behaviour. The Instagram account affiliated with the stickers has been up and running since late August, and while it doesn't boast too many photos, spottings have been frequent enough on social media with the tag #IParkedInaBikeLane.

The best part, if you're into these sorts of things, is that the people behind the sticker campaign will send interested parties their own set so they can tag perpetrators as they see them and then post the evidence to social media. It's a clever way to leverage the crowd in a sort of mass shaming ritual. Will it work? That's another story. I suspect some people would be mortified to make an appearance with the sticker while others would just shrug it off. Either way, I expect this tactic to get plenty of attention.
City

Jilly's could become a boutique hotel and restaurant

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 18, 2014

jillys boutique hotelThe new owners of the Broadview Hotel are planning to extensively renovate the 123-year-old Riverdale building to include a 58-suite hotel, restaurant, cafe, and rooftop terrace.

According to a site plan application filed with the city, Streetcar Developments, which bought the former Jilly's strip club earlier this year, would like to build a four storey addition to the building and re-work the interior to provide six floors of equal ceiling height, rather than the current four.

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City

New in Toronto real estate: Gloss Condos

Posted by Derek Flack / September 18, 2014

Gloss CondosGloss Condos is a 24-storey development on Richmond Street West, that will sit right next to the more daringly designed Picasso condos. Developer Greenpark had a bit of trouble getting this one through the approvals process, but the project is now officially in pre-construction after being scaled back a bit from its first proposals.

I suspect opinion will be divided on the aesthetic merits of this building, in part because it looks very different depending on the angle from which you approach it. From the south, the condo looks rather monolithic and institutional. The podium breaks things up a bit, but there's not a whole lot of flair. When looked at from the north, however, one sees that upper floors feature graduated terraces and balconies that jut out the side of the building, which makes for significantly greater visual interest.

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