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2008 05 19
Holiday Tour Of Leslieville In Pictures
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Toronto, it is often said, is a city of villages. In spite of its seemingly endless expansion at the edges, the city's centre is always brought back to a collection of small, centralized communities that predated the automobile. Each of these villages seems to await its turn at rejuvenation. This is the story of one.

Since Queen Street West became the cultural mecca of Toronto's arts community, shop prices there have soared. Smaller businesses can no longer afford to buy in to that market—but they can afford Leslieville. In case you don't know the city, Leslieville is located along the other end of Queen Street. Just go east from Yonge, over the Don Valley, past Broadview, and you're almost there. Given new life by Toronto's nearby film studios, Leslieville has everything a culturally savvy visitor needs to explore. New restaurants seem to open every week. Furniture stores with a modern bent flourish. The city's latest collection of art galleries are doing well. Shops like Gadabout with its shelves full of quirky collectibles offer a timeless respite from the Internet era. And coffee shops are everywhere.

We took a walk along Queen on Saturday evening on our way to dinner atEdward Leveque's Kitchen (which was a real pleasure for us with a terrific wine list—although the steak is not the best item on the menu) Here are a few photos from that stroll.

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[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 05/19
2008 05 17
Harbourfront Nets Surprising Fish Installation
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When I was a kid my grandfather took me fishing along the shores of Lake Erie. The shallowest of the Great Lakes, Erie then supported a sizable fishing industry out of harbours like Port Stanley and Port Burwell. No longer. Most Ontarians today wouldn't know the difference between a salmon and a pike, but two Toronto artists want to change that. They want your kids to enjoy the natural abundance the lakes once offered and could again.

If you haven't taken the time to visit Toronto's Harbourfront this spring the holiday weekend provides a perfect reason to pack up the kids, jump on a streetcar, and come down to the York Quay Gallery to take in the FishNet experience. You won't regret it.

The show's creators, Angela Iarocci and Claire Ironside describe it this way:

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FishNet: The Great Lakes Craft and Release Project is a two-part project comprised of a craft phase and a release phase, transforms textile fish into real fish. Led by Toronto-based designers Claire Ironside and Angela Iarocci, the project is now on display at the York Quay Gallery, Harbourfront Centre from May 3 to June 22, 2008.

The heart of the crafting phase centres on 25 Toronto based schools each building a regionally specific school of textile fish and researching their species as part of their classroom curriculum.The release phase occurs when Harbourfront Centre, acting metaphorically as a fish hatchery, sponsors the 'release' of the crafted textile fish, an activity which will ultimately underwrite fish habitat restoration and restocking programs in the Great Lakes.

FishNet is to be presented to the public in a variety of forms including a project web site, classroom activities, a public exhibition, and as an invitation to other schools within the Great Lakes bio-region to undertake similar projects. When complete, the project will have combined and coalesced the creative talents of approximately 2,000 students, educators, artists and designers for the purposes of exploring and engaging in the multiple themes of sustainability, collaboration and activism.

FishNet identifies absence or neglect as the creative basis for a subtle form of protest art—one that provokes an engaging solution while strengthening the ties that bind us as a community living within the Great Lakes bioregion and beyond.

FishNet has received grants from Harbourfront Centre's Fresh Ground new works and the Ontario Arts Council, Arts Education program. Additional financial support has been provided by the Toronto District School Board and Inner City Angels.

Please come to Harbourfront and support the project by releasing a fish. For more information go to http://www.projectfishnet.org.

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 05/17
2008 05 16
Toronto’s Answer To Kids Who Like Trees?
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The satellite photo above shows what the trees edging Mossgrove Park looked like a little more than a month ago. The bottom photo shows what happened after the city responded to some complaints that kids were 'hanging out' in the park after dark. Let's think about that... kids were hanging out in the park—after dark. I guess that means the residents of Riverdale where I live should prepare themselves for a wholesale decimation of the trees in WIthrow Park. Let's not stop there. High Park has to be next. Toronto's ravines? Why not!

Police spokesman said that they asked the city to cut off the trees' lower branches. The city's Parks Department missed the memo.

Sometimes I worry that we are becoming a society that can no longer tolerate differences and any amount of uncertainty. Let's face it, there are always people whose choices in life are driven by fear. If the majority of us accept that condition, just turn off the lights of our culture and lock the door, because the forces of fear will turn us into a country few, if any will want to be part of.

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[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 05/16
2008 05 15
Buenos Aires Animates The Street
'Blu' offers up a recent graffiti animation from the streets of Buenos Aires. Watch it and you will not believe what the artists accomplished. One questions though—how long did it take?


MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 05/15
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