Toronto Christmas Market

The tree is up and the decorations are being hung.  The Distillery District’s annual Christmas Market is just days away from opening for the season.  If you haven’t had the chance to go yet, perhaps this is your year to experience it.   It’s a wonderful way to catch the Christmas spirit and experience an old world celebration of the season.  Read more on all the market has to offer here

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Winter Market

The Leslieville Farmer’s Market is launching its winter market at the Redwood Theatre.  This is great news for fans of the market who have enjoyed the local produce for 8 summer seasons.  Find out more here

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Looking outside the bidding box

On The Block, a Toronto based brokerage is offering home buyers and sellers an alternate method of approach when buying or selling a home.  An open, online auction instead of the current standard of blind offers is becoming the manner of choice for some home owners when putting their houses on the market.  In this article, read how the Ontario Real Estate Association has asked the province to revamp the Real Estate & Business Brokers Act to allow agents to disclose not only the offer price but other elements of the bid to potential buyers when multiple offers are on the table.  The move could potentially benefit buyers and sellers alike.

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A City Tree With A Purpose

A recent installation in London may just be the next big thing in the battle against city smog.  Designed by Green City Solutions, this city bench is home to a variety of mosses that effectively act as a large air purifier.  This living wall soaks up pollution that would otherwise take the equivalent of 275 trees to do the same job.  Read more about this sound, environmentally conscious design here

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News from Sheridan

Sheridan College will soon be the recipient of a new, state-of-the-art theatre.  Details can be found  here in this recent Canadian Architect article.

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Help for Healthcare

With Toronto in desperate need of more hospital beds, the plans of this ground breaking is good news for all.  This new rehabilitation centre scheduled to open in 2024 will be located in Humber Valley.  Find out more on the West Park Heathcare Centre Hospital here

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Revel with a Cause

Some houses just make you swoon.  Ironically, this house could make people swoon not only for its timeless elegance but for its former celebrity owner.  This iconic Hollywood Hills house once the former residence of James Dean has the clean, crisp lines that are not just elegant, but beautifully warm and inviting.  It has undergone a restoration since its famous owner resided there, but the personality of the home exudes an old-time charm with a present-day panache.  For anyone currently planning on a move south, this beauty could be scooped up for a mere $4,000,000.00 along with the bragging rights of sleeping under James Dean’s roof. Click here to get the scoop on these digs.

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And the winners are…

The winning designs have been chosen for the makeover of two significant parks in the downtown core.  After a lengthy design competition,  Rees Park  and York Street Park will be undergoing massive facelifts in 2019/2020 in keeping with the city’s mandate to provide areas of recreation and leisure to the downtown residents.  Read more  here from Canadian Architect magazine on the winning designs and the teams who imagined them.


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Graffiti gets pumped

The unique exterior wall art of Ernest Zacharevic is the subject of an article in Architecture and Design Magazine.  Incorporating his art into the public forum utilizing existing buildings and everyday form has earned this artist a great deal of accolades from peers and public alike.  See some of his exciting work here and learn more about this talented young artist.

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Pop-up Potty

As a fundamental necessity to any metropolis, the requirement for public washrooms increases as density and tourism considerations grow.  Like clean water, basic sanitation is a human right and Winnipeg this summer is host city to a test project of a very unique design addressing just these issues.  The Winnipeg Pop-Up Toilet, located in central downtown Winnipeg is a quirky building offering fully accessible facilities as well as an attendant on site maintaining the washroom facilities while selling t-shirts, water and newspapers.   The attendants are at-risk youths from a local mission who are paid for the hours worked.

It is a concept whose time is long overdue, and every Canadian city should be considering a solution similar to this one.  Read more about this ingenious design and the people behind it here


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Canada’s First Autonomous Shuttle Service

A suburb on Montreal’s south shore has launched Canada’s first autonomous shuttle service.  The town of Candiac has been testing the service with passengers through the summer months.  During the winter months, the vehicle will continue to be tested for the winter road conditions without passengers aboard.  Read more about it here

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The Bentway is ushering in its fall season with an art exhibition entitled “If But What If” that will run from September 11 – November 30th.  As part of this multi media installation, The Bentway has announced the inclusion of an extraordinary large scale light installation entitled WATERLICHT.   Using LED lighting and software, this magical show will serve to bring attention to the importance of clean water, environmental issues and climate change.  The simulation of blue waves under the Gardiner,  will be accompanied by a customized  soundscaping which will include stories of local civic figures, historic facts and artists.

Partnering up with The Bentway for this very significant event is the AGO, Ryerson University and the Ontario Climate Consortium amongst others.

To find out more information on the event, click here

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Return to the Badlands

In 2015, the decision was made to close off  public access to the Cheltenham Badlands due to fears of erosion caused by overuse.  Since then, The Ontario Heritage Trust together with the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo have been working on a master plan to quell the damages to the fragile shale formations.

Good news came recently when it was announced that the Cheltenham Badlands located in Caledon, will re-open to the public on September 22.  Designated trails and a new boardwalk will allow visitors to explore this unique landscape while ensuring its protection for generations to come.  Read the article from Blogto for more information.

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From Dusk Till Dawn the party lives on.

Toronto’s all nighter is coming back to town on September 29th to 30th.  Nuit Blanche is our annual dusk till dawn celebration of everything creative and artistic.  Check out this year’s event lineup on Nuit Blanche’s official website here.

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Topping Up.

An interesting art installation cropped up recently that had many people scratching their heads and wondering what happened to the once unassuming statue of Adam Beck near Queen and University.  Adam Beck, the founder of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, might be scratching his head right now, if he could get to it!  Read the story here to find out more about this unique art commission.

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Catch the Fever

Architecture and civil engineering students from across Canada will be competing for the top prize in this year’s Timber Fever Design Build competition.  The annual design and construction competition has doubled in size this year and includes sixteen teams from universities across Canada.  Presented by Moses Structural Engineers, each team must design and construct a life size structure imagining the theme of The”Reading Room”.

The competition runs from September 20th – 23rd and the public are invited to attend the judging on September 23rd at 4:00 p.m.  For all the details click here

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Sidewalk Labs Toronto has opened it’s arms to the general public to share ideas, engage in discussions as well as educate the curious, with interactive workshops and demonstrations.  Inviting the community in to share ideas is a sound formula for getting the community behind such an ambitious project which is aiming to give birth to a new generation of accessible cities.

Sidewalk Toronto 307 is an interactive experience utilizing a large experimental work space to get people talking and sharing their ideas.  Open every weekend to the public, it is informative, educational, entertaining and worth the trip down to 307 Lakeshore St. E.   Find out more here

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Screaming Heads

The backpacks and school supplies have disappeared from the shelves and have quickly been replaced with copious displays of Halloween paraphernalia.   No longer a kids only activity where dressing up and collecting candy from homes with single lit pumpkins was the norm, Halloween has now become a favourite seasonal celebration for not just the young but the young at heart as well.   Haunted castles, haunted homes and corn field mazes are increasing in popularity as families extend the spooky spirit to more than just one night.

If you have yet to visit The Screaming Heads art exhibit north of Muskoka, it is worth a visit.  These concrete cast sculptures lie on a 310 acre property which is open to the public to walk around and view these spectacular art pieces.  The owner and artist, lives on the property in a funky castle and welcomes visitors all year round, but at this time of the year with the foliage turning colours and everything spooky in the air, it is truly worth the trip.  Check out more here

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MOCA on the move.

Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is set to open its doors in their new location in the Lower Junction.  Moving into a landmark heritage building, the museum will be continuing its dedication to showcasing contemporary art and cultural practices.  The Grand Opening is free admission and takes place on September 22 – 23.  For more information on the museum and the grand opening, click here

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