Women in Construction

In the May 11th edition of Now Magazine, Kelly Boutsalis reports on how colleges are working to diversify the student population enrolled in construction related industries.  In a predominantly male dominated industry, colleges such as George Brown and Fleming as well as community-based initiatives funded by organizations like the Central Ontario Building Trades (COBT) are reaching out to women, visible minorities and indigenous people to fill what will soon become a large void in the industry.  The programs are beginning to gain popularity with women who value the job security and financial gains they could provide.  For the whole story and information on the programs, click here

Redpath Waterfront Festival

This great city of ours has no shortage of summertime events to enjoy and participate in, and the Redpath Waterfront Festival is no exception.  With food and drink, a circus, outdoor market, beach balls and even the navy thrown in for good measure, this is definitely one not to be missed.  On from June 22 – June 24th, find all you need to know here.



Everyone is King

Interesting things are popping up all over King Street these days.  From interactive stationery bikes that light up a cubical when passersby jump on and start pedaling, to a conversation nook made from sponge pool noodles (called the Woggle Jungle), and even beautifully painted Muskoka chairs inviting the public to sit down and rest awhile.

They are all part of Toronto’s Everyone is King Design Build Competition, launched January 2018,  where designers submitted their entries for temporary curb lane installations along King Street .  You can find the winners here or by strolling down King and enjoying the artistic installations in person.


Toronto Pride

The 38th Annual Pride Festival kicked off on June 1st with the raising of the Pride Flag at City Hall.  A month long event, there are a bevy of fun and interesting things to do leading up to the iconic Pride Parade on Sunday, June 24th.  Check out all the activities here




Exit the skaters, enter the skateboarders.  The Bentway Conservatory and Build for Bokma have joined forces to bring CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture to The Bentway Skate Trail this summer.  Commencing June 30th, CITE is an art installation/skatepark featuring skateable sculptures, live music performances, skate demos, open skates and a bevy of fun things to do for the skateboard enthusiast.  Everything you need to know is right here.

Tall Wood Building coming soon to U of T

Fresh on the heels of George Brown’s announcement of the construction of a new tall wood, low carbon, institutional building to add to their campus, U of T has just announced their plans to build a wood and concrete structure at their Bloor street campus.    The 14 storey building is slated to be the tallest of its kind in North America and plans are in the works to commence construction as early as 2019.  Find out more here.

Luminato – Something for everyone

Overture, curtain, lights this is it, the night of nights”… or in Luminato’s case, the nights of nights. Toronto’s annual festival of theatre, dance, music, inspirational talks and all things creative, is running from June 6 – June 24.  And the lineup is impressive. Events cover a wide range of scope which include educational, artistic and thought provoking human rights talks and documentaries, there is something for everyone.  Book your tickets now at https://luminatofestival.com/2018/Events. 

Rising to the occasion

The Real Estate News Exchange reports two joint venture developments are being proposed for the city, which would provide much needed affordable rental housing in the years to come.   The first is Waterfront Toronto Quayside located in the West Don Lands area close to the Distillery District, and will be home to 1500 rental and retail units.  Initial occupancy is slated for 2021.

The second development will be located in the Yonge/College area within walking distance of the College TTC subway station.   It is proposed to have a total of 700 units of which 30% will be designated for affordable rental housing for a minimum of 40 years.  However, the purchase of this land is still in the process and not expected to close until 2019.  Find more information on the projects and the developers involved here

Update on the Bentway

Riding on the heels of the very successful Bentway Winter Skating park, the City of Toronto is gearing up for an equally entertaining summer under the Gardiner.   The Bentway Summer Bash and other outdoor events to be announced in the next few weeks, will extend this new community venue’s accessibility and usage throughout the year.  A number of art installations and music events are planned throughout the summer months.   For more info check out the Bentway or click here for information from Blog.to.

Food Destination – Union Station

Transit users who have suffered through the seemingly never-ending Union Station renovation are finally able to reap some of the rewards.  In addition to a streamlined transit hub, Union Station has become a new food and retail destination for the thousands of people moving through its corridors every day.   While you can still grab some fast food and a quick coffee on the run, the options are more refined.   And, if you feel like kicking back and enjoying  a good meal in a nice space, you have that option too. Check out here what’s new in the food and retail end of things at Union.

The Ever-Changing Eaton Centre

The redevelopment of the Toronto Eaton Centre continues with the recent announcement of  the restoration and renovation  of the historic corner building at 2 Queen Street West.  The owners, Cadillac Fairview, have committed to restoring this beautiful  1880’s building in addition to adding 3 more storeys to the structure which will house, among other commercial businesses, a new restaurant and outdoor terrace.     For more on the upcoming renovation work, click here

Doors Open

Be sure to save the date for this year’s Doors Open Toronto, happening May 26th – May 27th.  This year’s theme,  Film:  The Great Romance opens the doors, to beautiful vintage cinemas,  film and TV sound studios, and various locations where scenes have been shot for the big screen and for television alike.  These venues are not typically open to the public, so here’s a great chance to take a peek behind the scenes.  For a list of the Doors Open Toronto Building List, click here.


A Blooming Good Time

Garden enthusiasts and lovers of flora should head on over to the Toronto Flower Market on Saturday, May 12th for it’s opening  day.  Founded in 2013, the market is a veritable feast of freshness, scent and colour.  For more information click here

Construction site makeovers

Thanks to The PATCH Project, dozens of Construction Sites in the city are sporting a creative front these days.  The initiative, driven by a city by-law that states  any construction site requiring hoarding on a public right of way must ensure that 50% of the hoarding be covered in artwork depicting community elements, is fueled by The PATCH Project, an off-shoot of The STEPS Initiative.  This award winning charitable organization is responsible for a number of inspiring creations throughout the city which reflect community values through art and culture.  Read more here

Transforming Space

An exhibit by renowned Canadian architect and artist,  Philip Beasley, is slated to open at the ROM in early June.  Beasley’s approach to structure and space, reflected in the emerging field of responsive architecture, is a feast for the eyes and the senses.  Beasley creates a metabolic architecture whereby man-made structures are interpreted not as inanimate, fixed objects, but as living, breathing entities capable of regeneration and growth.  A vast canopy of glass, polymers and metals float and sway in reaction to the viewer’s movements below while LED’s flash and mild, gentle scents subtly emerge.  It is a veritable feast for the senses.

Beasley has joined forces once again with Dutch Haute Couture designer, Iris Van Herpen in presenting their collaborative installations.  Beasley’s  “Transforming Space” and Van Herpen’s ”Transforming Fashion” can be seen concurrently at the ROM, from June 2- October 8, 2018.  For more information on the exhibit, click here.

Wellington West

Developers are seeking the city’s approval to build a number of high-rise buildings in this traditionally mid-rise neighbourhood.  The city’s resolution to allow construction of buildings no higher than 45 meters along Wellington between Portland and Spadina is being challenged by some developers at the OMB.  Some feel that the pending dissolution of the OMB to make way for a new less developer-friendly board  may be the catalyst in the rush to have applications on the table before it happens.

At least 6 proposals for buildings ranging from 55 – 78 metres – well in excess of the allowable 45 meters –  are up for review.  Some residents and business owners are concerned over how these proposed buildings will impact the neighbourhood and question why the city would consider changing the current height limitations.  The proposals paint a new face to this traditionally low/mid rise community, that many feel will cast a negative shadow on the heritage designated buildings in the neighborhood.  For more info on what’s proposed, read here

Art in the Beach

If you are looking to get out and about this weekend, why not check out the annual Beach Studio Tour.  For over 20 years, local artists have collectively opened their homes and their studios to showcase their art and give visitors a chance to peruse and purchase unique works.   The Tour runs May 4 through May 7 and all are welcome.  For a list of artists and locations,  check here.

Note: The artwork featured above is by Fine Artist, Lisa Bennett, just one of the many artists showcasing their work this weekend. 



Going with the Flow

With rapidly evolving environmental change, comes a need to address the issues at hand and to adopt new techniques to deal with global crisis.   In areas where flooding has become or is in danger of becoming a constant threat, architects and planners are developing procedures and structures to withstand the scourge of overflowing banks.

This ingeniously designed home in the UK is working with the forces of nature proactively to manage a potential flood disaster.  Dubbed as the UK’s first amphibious home, the unique design allows for the residence to rise above menacing flood waters if needed, safeguarding the structure, the people and the possessions within.

More on this clever design and execution can be found here



And the Award Goes To…

For the second consecutive year, Diamond Schmitt Architects has won the Office Development of the Year Award for the new Globe and Mail Centre.  The unique building design featuring shifting floor plates and 10 ft high windows is located east of the downtown core in the up and coming St. Lawrence neighbourhood.  Find out more here.

Silver Dollar Room gets a new lease on life.

Plans have been approved for a new luxury rental building to go up over the legendary Silver Dollar Room at 484 Spadina.  The new plans are being heralded as a huge improvement over the earlier proposal which would have seen a 20 storey rental building targeting students and offering shared living and kitchen accommodations.    Opposition was mounted against the original plan by those who felt it was not befitting the location or the heritage designation bestowed upon this historic landmark.

The site has now been acquired by Fitzrovia Real Estate Inc. who has named the project The Waverley as a nod to the hotel that had previously occupied the site.  The building will be home to 190 Class A rental units and will boast condo quality finishes and appliances, as well as accommodating a  refurbished Silver Dollar Room at street level.

For more information on the project, click here.