Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
Jeff Healey's Grave
Published by Toronto Mike on August 22, 2014 @ 14:32 in Music, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
Many moons ago, an old Irish relative was visiting my grandmother while I was visiting her in Gilford, Ontario. This gentlemen proceeded to tell me that jazz and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist Jeff Healey was related to us somehow. I forget the details, but Jeff Healey was supposedly my second cousin twice removed or something to that effect.
Today, while visiting Park Lawn Cemetery, I found Jeff Healey's grave site and took a couple of pictures.
It's worth noting that in the early stages of planning my wedding, while we were picking the music, I made an impassioned plea for Jeff Healey's Angel Eyes. It didn't make the final cut, but I still think it's a sweet ditty.
54-40 Live in Southwest Toronto for Free
Published by Toronto Mike on July 28, 2014 @ 11:33 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
I like 54-40. They had a string of hits I dug, including "Baby Ran", "I Go Blind", "One Gun", "Miss You", "Nice to Luv You", "She La", "Radio Luv Song", "Assoholic", "Ocean Pearl", "Love You All", "Lies to Me" and "Since When". Rather prolific, weren't they?
They're playing a free show this coming Sunday at 9pm at Colonel Sam Smith Park. If you don't know Colonel Sam Smith Park, it's a great park in New Toronto.
This is all part of Lakeshore Mardi Gras so you also get lots of food, a midway and fun activities for kids. But I'll be going to see 54-40.
The Rogue BiWay
Published by Toronto Mike on July 22, 2014 @ 16:12 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
When I was a kid, there was a BiWay on Annette street just east of Jane. If a kid came to school wearing BiWay brand Champion's Choice clothing, the kids would let 'em have it. If you don't remember the BiWay, it was a discount department store chain that was shuttered for good back in 2001.
Although the BiWay doesn't exist anymore, there is one rogue BiWay that survives to this day. I snapped this picture yesterday on Lake Shore just west of Islington.
At least this rogue BiWay added the word "Zone" in small type and changed the logo. A mere five years ago, this is how that Rogue BiWay on Lake Shore appeared.
TTC Subway Hacks the Next Gen Won't Require
Published by Toronto Mike on July 19, 2014 @ 21:31 in TTC ~ Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
I took my oldest son to the Blue Jays game today, and we rode the subway to Union Station. On the Yonge–University line, both ways, we enjoyed the new Bombardier subway trains, and that got me thinking... This next generation of subway riders will never require the Red Rocket hacks we all knew and loved.
Anyone who has a regular subway route knows exactly where on the platform to board so when you reach your destination the doors open right across from the exit. This was always part of the game. It's a hack we all knew.
But the new subway trains allow you to walk between the cars while inside, so you can enter anywhere and simply walk to where the exit will be. It no longer matters where you board, as you'll see from this pic I snapped earlier today.
And any TTC subway veteran knows which side the doors will open on before you get to the station. All the guesswork has been taken out of the equation as the new subway trains give you the answer. My son will never know that feeling of getting ready to exit only to realize the doors are opening on the opposite side.
The game, by the way, was awesome. Stroman was brilliant and the Jays won. James is happy.
The Science of Rock 'n' Roll at Ontario Science Centre is Awesome
Published by Toronto Mike on July 12, 2014 @ 17:33 in Reviews, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
Today, I took my kids to the Ontario Science Centre to see the IMAX film "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" and check out The Science of Rock 'n' Roll experience. Both were pretty awesome.
"Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" is what you'd expect from a Morgan Freeman narrated IMAX movie about Lemurs, which is to say it's excellent. There's a lot about these cute little guys you likely don't know, and all of it is rather fascinating, and I'm a sucker for anything IMAX.
But the real attraction at the Science Centre these days is The Science of Rock 'n' Roll exhibit, and it's only here for a limited time. If you love music, you could easily spend an entire day reading about the history of rock, watching the many informative videos (narrated by Alan Cross, no less) and mixing, recording your own music.
The kids loved the hands-on interactive components, as did I. The hardest part is letting them have their turn.
Any time you can combine rock with science, you've got the perfect activity for the kids this summer. Throw in an IMAX film and you've got yourself a day to remember.
Sam the Record Man Sign Resurrected at Yonge-Dundas Square
Published by Toronto Mike on July 10, 2014 @ 11:50 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
Many years ago, Sam the Record Man at 347 Yonge Street closed. Ryerson bought the building and promised to save the sign. We Torontonians love our signs.
City council voted this morning to have the sign reassembled on the roof of 277 Victoria Street, a city-owned building on the east side of Yonge-Dundas Square, and have Ryerson University pick up the bill.
blogTO gives us an idea of what this will eventually look like. I'm cool with this. How about you?
The Grid Alternative Weekly Paper Discontinued
Published by Toronto Mike on July 2, 2014 @ 11:19 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
Taking the subway to university on Thursdays meant picking up a copy of Eye Weekly. Eye Weekly was a cool alternative weekly newspaper that was distributed for free in Toronto. I always found something interesting to read in there.
In May of 2011, Eye Weekly was rebranded / relaunched as The Grid and continued to publish weekly. Tomorrow's issue, however, will be their last.
Eye Weekly / The Grid: 1991 - 2014.
The GTA and the NBA
Published by Toronto Mike on June 26, 2014 @ 15:45 in Sports, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
The NBA Draft is tonight. Several Canadians, mostly from the GTA, are likely to be drafted.
That would make this by far the best NBA draft for Canadian talent. The previous high for Canadians drafted was three, set in 1983 and 2012. This year, three Canadians may go in the first round alone.
Here are 8 Canadians with a shot at being drafted tonight. Note that seven of them are from the GTA.
- Andrew Wiggins of Thornhill, Ontario
- Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ontario
- Tyler Ennis of Brampton, Ontario
- Melvin Ejim of Toronto, Ontario
- Jordan Bachynski of Toronto, Ontario
- Dwight Powell of Toronto, Ontario
- Sim Bhullar of Toronto, Ontario
- Khem Birch of Montreal, Quebec
Toronto has become a basketball factory. Go figure...
The Guvernment / Kool Haus Closing
Published by Toronto Mike on May 1, 2014 @ 16:12 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
The Guvernment / Kool Haus Entertainment Complex at 132 Queens Quay East is closing its doors for good on January 31, 2015.
The last gig I saw at the Kool Haus was the CASBY Awards 2008. You can read my recap of that event here. Looking back, that was a pretty awesome show with USS, Tokyo Police Club, Sloan, City and Colour and more.
What's going to replace The Guvernment / Kool Haus? Why, condos, of course!