Saturday August 27, 2016
Friday August 26, 2016
I am sure you have all heard Ella sing this song, when whe was at the beginning of her career or any time until she died. She performed it a lot. The Mathattan Transfer does a fabulous version.
Rated: 14 Accompaniment (Coarse Language)
Runs: 123 minutes
Director: Jeremy Sims
Starring: Michael Caton, Jacki Weaver, Nigali Lawford-Wolf
Cancer, euthanasia and a cab driver. It sounds like the unholy trinity of filmmaking. A veritable recipe for disaster... Yet there is something magnificent about the way in which writers Reg Gribb and Jeremy Sims have not merely overcome any supposed restrictions born of their complex subject matter. Rather they have embraced the wealth of characters and colour that come with them, to deliver a unique, powerful but above all entertaining Australian road movie... Michael Caton is magnetic as Rex, a Broken Hill cabbie who doesnt give advice and has never left town. Faced with incurable stomach cancer he volunteers to drive 3,000 km to become the first subject for Jacki Weavers assisted death machine, legalised under new Northern Territory euthanasia laws. While the film deals with that subject well it is the physical journey undertaken by Rex along with young Aboriginal footballer Tilly and English nurse Julie that makes up the substantive heart and time of the movie. They are a terrific trio full of life and energy... This is an elegantly-crafted film that almost errs on the side of subtlety. Yet this deft touch makes for a captivating experience, in the same way a whisper can make a listener lean in. Last Cab to Darwin is a classy treatise on tough subjects, a beautiful postcard for an underexposed part of Australia, but mostly a truly wonderful ride, start to finish. - Giles Hardie, Flicks.co.nz. If there's any justice in the world Last Cab to Darwin will soon be regarded as a modern Australian film classic. Touching, topical, emotionally raw and delicately directed, it's a heartfelt road film full of humour and pathos that never puts a foot wrong. - Jim Schembri, 3AW
Queen West venue the Great Hall will officially relaunch on September 21 after two years of renovation.
After Marioca Properties took ownership of the 126-year-old building at Queen and Dovercourt, Triangle Developments began a $3.5-$4 million overhaul to fix accessibility and capacity issues and restore its Victorian-era architectural details.
Port Perry-based company Adamson installed a new sound system and lighting rigs with moving fixtures in both the Main Hall and the downstairs venue formerly known as the Black Box. (A new name will be announced next month.) The builders have added more exits and washrooms, expanding the capacity from the 200s to roughly 500 people in the Main Hall and 420 in the Black Box.
An elevator has been installed to carry both patrons and equipment from street level to both rooms.
“There was a time when someone booking a show would go, ‘Oh my god, I’m gonna play on this mediocre sound system with a few LED lights,’” says Lina Beaudin, head of business development and programming at the Great Hall. “They would have to bring in all this equipment to make a show amazing. Now it’s ‘Come on in and play.’”
After years of local organizing, things are finally getting underway for the West Toronto Railpath extension.
The federal government announced this week that it will fund $11.7 million of the estimated total of $23 million for the extension. The news comes as part of a larger provincial and federal initiative to fund transportation infrastructure in Ontario.
The Railpath extension itself was approved by the City of Toronto back in January 2016, and the construction of Phase Two has already started on the Dufferin Street Bridge, which is being expanded by Metrolinx to make way for extra train tracks and the cycling trail.
“It’s all systems go,” says Jared Kolb, the director of Cycle Toronto. “It’s a really exciting development for the city. This will enable and create a really safe cycling connection. Taking it down to Strachan in terms of connectivity will be crucial.”
The current Railpath is 6.5 kilometres long and was completed in 2009. It runs along the Kitchener GO train line from just north of Dupont Street to Dundas Street West. Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati, the manager of cycling infrastructure at the City of Toronto says that as of May 2013, about 1,000 cyclists and 100 pedestrians use the current trail on a daily basis, and estimates predict that 2,000 people will use the path daily once the extension is finished.
Phase Two will run from Dundas Street West just south of Bloor Street West along the train tracks to Abell Street, which is just east of Dufferin. The extension will also connect western Toronto neighbourhoods to Liberty Village, and hopes are that it will eventually connect to Fort York and the downtown core, although that phase is still being researched.
In the last few weeks, City officials made a preliminary announcement about a new “Railway Deck Park” for downtown Toronto. This much-needed initiative relative to a large public space in the downtown has garnered a lot of press; if you put your ear to the ground, you can hear the design, planning, and engineering consultants all lining up to take a crack at this potentially transformative project.
Much has been made about Rail Deck Park having the potential to be Toronto’s “Central Park.” But let’s be clear: the space being proposed is 21 acres while Central Park stretches over 778 acres.
Despite the size constraints, this is an amazing initiative but also one that will present considerable design challenges. After all, it will be a deck, a bridge, and it by its very nature, a green roof.
If you look at the Spadina Ave. bridge now, crossing this area from north to south, you will see in profile that there is a large elevation change on both its edges, and that topographical reality have to be navigated to ensure the deck creates both a universally accessible space and a smooth transition north towards the city and south towards the waterfront.
As well, it is difficult to grow things on a concrete slab. The ecological challenges are great, but not technologically insurmountable. In the end, we want a strong, ecologically functioning and resilient park. The deck, in effect, poses the challenge of creating an ecology on a very thick slab that will bring with it all the difficulties of creating a functioning ecosystem that needs both an up and down functionality, as well as side-to-side integration. The soil medium will be one of the keys to a successful implementation as it will become the working surface to allow nutrients, gas exchange, water retention; all the essential elements for long term growth.
When the City of Toronto assumed control of Canoe Landing, it was in pristine condition. The creative new park with its signature red canoe overlooking the Gardiner Expressway was built by the developer of a vast residential complex, CityPlace. Gabriel Leung, an executive with the company, Concord Adex, remembers the painstaking care needed to make sure the park was in tip-top shape when the city took it over, making it part of Toronto’s public park system.
He has photos to prove it. They show meticulous new landscaping and close-cropped lawns. The giant fishing floats that are another centrepiece of the park gleam in the sun and light up in the dark. So does the stylized beaver dam with its artificial white logs.
But within months, Mr. Leung says, company officials noticed, “to our horror,” that the grounds were already looking tatty and rundown. Ever since, he has been battling with the city over inferior upkeep of the park.
He is so frustrated that he has approached city officials about having the company, rather than the city, do the maintenance. He is certain that if the city handed over whatever amount it spends on the park, he could hire a professional firm to do the work and keep the grounds in a much better state.
Canoe Landing stands as a sad example of a much broader problem: Toronto’s failure to maintain its parks and public spaces. Weedy grass, chipped and rotting benches, fountains that fail to function, dead trees in concrete planters – these things give the city an air of neglect and dysfunction. It’s an embarrassment. A city as big and as rich as Toronto should be able to keep its urban spaces from looking so shabby.
His Majesty King Harald V of Norway was sitting at the back of his sailboat, munching on a green apple, reflecting upon the day of sailing that had just been. A day that was not “good,” according to the king. It was not good because the king, a sailor since age two, a three-time Olympian and the skipper of the Sira, a classic eight-metre sloop that his father, King Olav V, had built in 1938, thrives on competition.
Even today, the 79-year-old King Harald wants to win. But on a breezy Wednesday afternoon on Lake Ontario the King and his crew of Norwegians, whom he has been racing with since 1987, did not win. They came ninth out of 12 boats. The dismal showing dropped them to second place overall in the race for the Sira Cup — a coveted international prize that the king’s father donated to the international sailing community in 1983 — that concludes here Saturday.
“I’ve raced all my life,” says the king, who last won the Cup in 2008. “You can’t stop playing, you know? The first time I was on this boat I was two years old. For me, with sailing, it’s about the competition. The wind — the weather — it doesn’t make any difference who you are, before the wind.”
Norway’s sailor king doesn’t look or act like one might imagine a monarch would. On his green-hulled boat with the wooden deck, with his crew sitting in a nearby boat enjoying a post-race beer at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on the Toronto Islands, the king cut the figure of a kindly grandfather (he has six grandchildren).
He was dressed casually: sneakers, white socks, shorts and a matching T-shirt. He crunched happily on his apple, consuming every morsel, including the core, before politely removing his sunglasses to reveal light blue eyes that crinkled at the corners when he smiled.
Ottawa is throwing its weight behind an effort to repatriate the remains of two Indigenous people taken from a Newfoundland gravesite in 1828 that are now at a museum in Scotland.
Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly has taken the unusual step of notifying the director of National Museums Scotland that Canada will make a formal demand.
The remains are Nonosabasut and his wife Demasduit, two of the last Beothuks, an Indigenous people declared extinct in 1829. Some historians have claimed the Beothuks were the victims of genocide.
[. . .]
The federal letter revives a campaign by the Newfoundland and Labrador government, and the chief of a Mi'kmaq band, to have two skulls and related burial objects returned to Canada.
"This is wonderful news," said Chief Mi'sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation of Conne River, N.L., that claims kinship with the Beothuks. "When they come back to Canada, I want to travel with them."
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