The other ETNA

etnaSure, when you think of ETNA, it’s the volcano that comes to mind, but that’s the old ETNA. The new one is the East Toronto Neighbourhood Association, inspired by the successes of Beach Hill. The ETNA website even itemizes some of the things the BHNA got done, just by organizing a bit.
One of my first impressions of Toronto, when I came here in the 70s, was that it is a city of neighbourhoods (with nondescript patches in between). Looks like it’s truer than ever, but the nondescript parts are shrinking.

Screwing a new condo into place

I have been puzzled for weeks by a forest of pipes sticking out of a construction site on Gerrard Street, between Coxwell and Greenwood. What are the pipes for? Today, the sign on a workman’s pickup door led me to this explanation:

So now I know. A foundation-building method I’ve never seen before. The pipes will root the concrete foundation into sandy soil. that Otherwise it would not be stable enough to support a multi-storey building. Hope it works!

Still life with drums

still-life-with-drumsMy sister’s living room in Salmo, B.C., with many drums, large and small.
Joni takes after her mother Helen, and her grandparents before that, in her appreciation of indigenous arts and culture. Helen responded in her own expressive way, but Joni is more immersed.
Joni plays and sings in drum circles, on drums of her own making. A couple of months ago, she passed a guy who was dressing a deer and asked what he was going to do with the hide. Odd, isn’t it? When you dress a deer, you take its coat off. Anyway, he gave her the hide, she prepared it and made the wooden cylinder from spruce.
drum+stickShe sent one small drum to us as a gift. It came with a fur-covered drumstick and there’s some nice beadwork on the handle.
Depending on where and how you strike it, different sounds are possible.

Sounds a bit bigger than it is

The “Up” part of the Upland Forest must come from the fact that it is on a mound that was bulldozed into position when developers created the park. The “forest” consists of a slope planted with trees and vegetation native to the region.
The sign may be a little ambitious in its name, not to say pretentious, but the idea is a good one. Native plants pretty much take care of themselves, without requiring fertilizers, pesticides and watering. By showing city slickers how attractive these species are, more may want them in their own yards.
The view today from the Upland Forest, overlooking the artificial but pleasantly reeded Swan Pond.

Lakeshore Loblaws mimics Maple Leaf Gardens

Many design touches have been picked up from the flagship store now occupying Toronto’s former hockey shrine, including the orange floors, tile surfaces and even the two-storey cheese case. The old “big-box” look still applies to the outside of the Lakeshore Loblaws, but the inside does look better.
The corner of Leslie and Lakeshore needs all the help it can get. Physically close to the waterfront and parklands, it looks like neither. Newly installed streetcar barns have sealed the fate of the intersection. Car and transit dominated, the shopping mall zone looks suburban, not like part of the city and certainly not an inviting area to walk.

"Who's Vince?" question answered

It’s not a guy, as I expected; not even a relative of the developer. The new street, created for townhouses off Edgewood, is named for Corinne Vince, a popular teacher at Corpus Christi school before it was demolished to make way for the residential street.
I learned this by reading a posting on the Orchard Park bulletin board, which says something for such boards and for taking time to see what’s on them.

New year, new dangers

This just in from the I.M.P. Newswire …
Teacher Arrested At London Heathrow Airport – held in isolation.
A secondary school teacher was arrested today at London’s Heathrow International airport as he attempted to board an international flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a pair of compasses, a slide-rule and a calculator. Continue reading