Wednesday, January 27, 2016

off the grid: ghost city 925 bloor street west

This installment of my "Ghost City" column for The Grid was originally published on January 22, 2013.

Toronto Star, October 26, 1948.
Until 1948, anyone headed to the southwest corner of Bloor Street and Concord Avenue typically went to peruse the area’s long succession of furniture businesses, looking for that perfect addition to their home d├ęcor. The granting of a liquor license that year to the Concord Tavern ushered in the intersection’s long association with music as a venue and instrument seller.

Monday, January 25, 2016

off the grid: ghost city 1195 danforth avenue

This installment of my "Ghost City" column for The Grid was originally published on October 23, 2012.

Allenby Theatre lobby, 1936. Image courtesy Silent Toronto, which has more on the feature presentation depicted here.
A suggestion for anyone hitting the town in their best Rocky Horror Picture Show finery this Halloween: Make a pit stop at the Esso/Tim Horton’s at Danforth and Greenwood. Walk through the restored front doors underneath the marquee of the old Allenby theatre. Buy some snacks to fuel an evening of time-warping. Take a look at the old ads in the showcase by the front doors and take a moment to pay tribute to the place where the movie became a Toronto cult favourite.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

off the grid: retro t.o. gambling on conventions with paul godfrey

This installment of my "Retro T.O." column for The Grid was originally published on May 15, 2012.
The City, June 18, 1978.
For as long as Paul Godfrey has been involved in Toronto’s affairs, he has pitched hard for what he feels the city deserves. His current campaign for a local casino is the latest in a long string of projects he has promoted as a politician, media executive, or general deal-closer. As Chairman of Metropolitan Toronto in the late 1970s, his presence was seen as a plus when local tourism officials organized a trip to three American cities in April 1978 to bring in convention dollars.

Friday, January 01, 2016

previewing the maple leafs' 1977/78 season

hny 1977-78 cover
The WHA! The original Jets! Willi Plett!
Some people treasure pristine mint editions of old books and magazines. I treasure ragged copies that were well-loved, which display the repeated wear-and-tear of an owner who regularly flipped the pages (just as long as none of those pages are missing).

This is one of the most worn items in my collection: The Hockey News 1978 Yearbook, previewing the 1977/78 NHL and WHA seasons. Part of its weary appearance is due to little Jamie's use of it as something to press down upon while scribbling maps, fake hockey cards, or whatever else entered my brain. Part is my childhood fascination with a season just slightly before I followed pro hockey, spotlighting a league (the WHA) which was gone by the time I started watching Hockey Night in Canada and collecting sports cards.