Friday, April 18, 2014Mostly Cloudy 6°C
City

Jimmy Kimmel appears on Ford Nation YouTube show

Posted by Derek Flack / April 14, 2014

Kimmel Ford NationJimmy Kimmel actually made it onto Ford Nation, the Ford brothers floundering YouTube show. Dressed in a facsimile of the red and black "magician's outfit" that the mayor wore when he appeared on Kimmel's show last month, the late night host showed off his Rob Ford bobblehead dolls, fielded some inane questions from Doug, and cracked a few jokes at the Fords' expense. There wasn't much to it all, but you can bet that it'll be spun as something pretty major by Ford Nation.

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City

What Exhibition Stadium used to look like in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 14, 2014

toronto exhibition stadiumWhen expansion wraps up in 2016, BMO Field in Toronto will hold close to 30,000 people, a touch under 70% of the capacity of Exhibition Stadium when it was razed in 1999. The ancient ball park and football stadium was a mostly dormant relic when it was flattened with little fanfare 15 years ago.

Loved and loathed, the original stand that would later form part of Exhibition Stadium was built in 1879 for spectators of horse racing and equestrian shows at the Ex. It burned down in 1906 and was quickly re-built. During the 1920s, the horses, as they had on the streets of Toronto, gave way to deafening motorcycle and auto races. An astonishingly dangerous game called automobile polo was popular around the time of the first world war.

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City

Who's really funding new transit in Toronto?

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 13, 2014

Transit funding torontoIt's not easy to build new transit in Toronto. Right now, the Yonge relief line, arguably the most urgent and important transit upgrade in the city's history, is at least 16 years and several billion dollars away - a carrot on the end of a very, very long stick.

The biggest obstacle is funding. Subways are astronomically expensive: the smallest version of the relief line, which would link a station on Yonge with one on the Danforth, will cost upwards of $3 billion ($13 billion to reach Eglinton), excluding the western arm to Bloor. Even big cities like Toronto cannot afford a price tag that big without revenue tools and help from higher levels of government.

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City

The story of the Bay-Adelaide Centre stump

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 12, 2014

toronto bay-adelaide stumpFor 15 years, a six-storey concrete gravestone to the late 1980s Toronto office tower boom sat in the heart of downtown. Affectionately nicknamed "The Stump," the unfinished structural core of the first Bay-Adelaide Centre, was a constant reminder that building skyscrapers is a risky business.

The story of the grey, apocalyptic landmark, which marked the location of a massive underground parking garage and took a decade and a half to finally destroy, is one of deal-making, powerful lobbying and awful timing.

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City

Toronto deemed the most resilient city in the world

Posted by Derek Flack / April 11, 2014

Toronto resilientToronto tends to do well on lists. In addition to high marks on various livability rankings, we were recently deemed the best city for youth in the world. And now we can add resiliency to our portfolio. Grosvenor, a London-based developer, recently compiled a list of the world's most resilient cities and we earned top marks. Notably, the top three was rounded out by Vancouver and Calgary, signalling the strength of the Canadian economy.

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City

That time when Toronto was in love with Niagara Falls

Posted by Derek Flack / April 11, 2014

Niagara Falls History TorontoFlying into Toronto from the south, you might get lucky and see Niagara Falls. You need a west-facing seat, of course. And you best hope the Ativan has thinned in your bloodstream enough to allow your sagging eyes to recognize what amounts to a bit of mist. But if you know where and when to look, you can't miss the Queen of the Cataracts, rumbling away just 50 kilometres from the CN Tower -- two wonders of the world separated by half a lake.

Today we tend to look at Niagara with disdain. Tourist trap. Motel wasteland. Kitsch paradise. This is a place where the various wax museums seem to spill out into the streets and claim the town in suspended animation. The heart-shaped jacuzzi tubs are mostly empty now, residual metaphors of a place down on its luck. These days you go to Niagara to gamble, to revive old love in a falls-view suite. And you always come back broke.

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