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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

What Lawrence Avenue used to look like in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / April 23, 2014

Lawrence Avenue History TorontoAt the turn of the 20th century, the territory covered by current day Lawrence Avenue was almost entirely farmland. Named after Jacob Lawrence, a prominent farmer in the area, the street was little more than a narrow concession connection farmhouses. In the years that would follow, the residential core of the street would appear west of Yonge with many of the homes that make up Lawrence Park, one of the city's most affluent neighbourhoods, built during this period. Not so much has changed along this stretch -- between Yonge and Bayview -- in the last century. The street has gotten wider, but its overall residential makeup is the same.

It's a different story east of Bayview. Broken by the west branch of the Don River and Glendon College campus, the street resumes in the ultra-monied Bridle Path area (which wasn't really developed until after the second World War) before becoming the main drag of Don Mills, the city's first planned suburb. Heading east into Scarborough, the heightened retail character of the street continues in the form of 1960s era strip malls beyond Victoria Park.

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City

House of the week: 94 Amelia Street

Posted by Staff / April 22, 2014

94 Amelia Street TorontoIt doesn't get much more adorable than 94 Amelia Street. Located on a quiet stretch of Cabbagetown, this Victorian cottage is cute as a button. Don't let the quaint outside deceive you, however. The interior has been extravagantly renovated. It's a tale of two houses with a modern kitchen and bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a vaulted ceiling on the second floor. It's a modern house inside a Brothers Grimm fairytale cottage. You might not want to replicate the pseudo-Versailles look in the living room, but that's just other people's junk anyway.

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City

420 rally brings a plume of smoke to Yonge & Dundas

Posted by Derek Flack / April 21, 2014

420 Yonge DundasHundreds of potheads and supporters of the movement to legalize marijuana gathered at Yonge-Dundas Sqaure on Sunday for a smoke-filled display of solidarity. The day started with a parade down Yonge Street just before noon and ended quietly around 5:30pm as the crowd slowly dispersed from the Square (insert hilarious weed-makes-you-hungry joke here). Organizers report that over a 1000 free joints were given out over the day, a number that's easy to believe when you see the plume of smoke that engulfed the crowd in the minutes after the clock struck 4:20 p.m.

Some 50 police officers were on hand, but they kept to the sidelines as the rally went down without incident. There were Rob Ford and Justin Trudeau signs, two weed-focused mascots, and some of the biggest joints you've ever seen. One wonders if the rally is an effective political strategy, but those gathered sure seemed to have fun.

Check out all the 420 action in Toronto in this photo gallery.
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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