A small sampling of the tombstones listing the fates of famous writers in the window of Type, across the street from Trinity-Bellwoods Park. Of the authors selected, I almost saw Kerouac's final resting spot in Lowell, Massachusetts on a roadtrip a couple of years ago. Almost, but not quite.
Why am I picturing Berryman's demise as a Warner Brothers cartoon?
From November 2011 through July 2012 I wrote the "Past Pieces of Toronto" column for OpenFile, which explored elements of the city which no longer exist. The following was originally posted on December 2, 2011.
The Starbucks at 675 Yonge Street isn’t your typical branch of the
corporate coffee giant. The walls are lined with sturdy old wooden
bookshelves while the floor is a checkerboard of black and white. Why
this location is not like the others is hinted at on the façade. Look up
to the second floor and you’ll notice a legendary name in Toronto
bookselling: Albert Britnell. The quality of the literature on the
shelves inside doesn’t always match the standards the Britnell family
maintained for over a century of book retailing, but it’s a nod to the
building’s past that comes in handy while waiting for a friend or first
English native Albert Britnell entered the book trade by working in
his brother John’s bookstore in London. Both brothers moved to Canada i…
From November 2011 through July 2012 I wrote the "Past Pieces of Toronto" column for OpenFile, which explored elements of the city which no longer exist. I've republished all but two of those pieces on this website.
Here's the first of the final pair, both of which provided good lessons for future writing. Prepare yourself for a lengthy preamble.
From November 2011 through July 2012 I wrote the "Past Pieces of Toronto" column for OpenFile, which explored elements of the city which no longer exist. The following was originally posted on February 19, 2012.
Honest Ed Mirvish had a giant beef with his restaurant empire on
King Street West. A 500-ton-per-year-sized beef. Chosen as his signature
dish due to the simplicity of cooking and serving it, the affordable
roast beef dinners Mirvish devoured amid the bric-a-brac at Ed’s Warehouse
and its sister restaurants kept actors, businessmen, theatregoers and
tourists well fed for over 30 years. Diners enjoyed Yorkshire puddings,
canned peas, Salvation-Army seating, galleries of forgotten actors and
Tiffany-style lamps, but only so long as men donned a jacket and tie.
Long after most Toronto restaurants abandoned formal dining dress
codes, Ed’s Warehouse stuck by its fashion policy. Show up without
either jacket or tie, and staff either forced the garments upon diners…