Posted in History, Street Culture
Contributed by Christopher Jones
09/21 2016

Walk highlights history and public realm

Audio producer Angela ShackelThe audio walk, Passing Through, to be released this Saturday, is an entirely different kind of street art, a 3D sound narrative that digs into the fabric of the city while exploring its history, its physical underpinnings and its public spaces.

Produced by StreetARToronto (StART) in conjunction with the Koffler Centre of the Arts, Passing Through marries the talents of writer Mark Mann and particularly audio producer Angela Shackel (left), who is fast becoming a master of binaural sound recording.

Binaural sound is a revolutionary recording technique that mimics how the human ear hears. Explains Shackel: “The recorder has two microphones separated in approximately the way our ears are separated. It’s hard to convey that a sound is coming from behind you on the right, unless you record it that way.”


Posted in Museums
Contributed by Christopher Jones
06/15 2016

Gatsby Revellers Time Travel to 1920s

dancing to live swing at Spadina Museum's Gatsby Garden Party

Photo by Summer Leigh

Spadina Museum honchos made a wise programming decision in 2010 when they restored the house to the 1920s era. The re-restoration made Spadina a perfect venue for an exhibition of Downton Abbey costumes in 2014 and it’s made the museum’s Gatsby Garden Party a runaway success since launching in 2013.

Guests of all backgrounds show off their 1920s outfits

Photo by Summer Leigh

This year’s Gatsby event June 25 and 26 sold-out 2,000 tickets in just three weeks making it one of the museum’s most popular annual events.

According to museum Program Officer Douglas Fyfe, the chance to play dress-up – there are prizes for the best jazz-age costumes – and to be immersed in the era with period music and food has really captured the city’s imagination.

“The first year,” recalls Fyfe, “about a third of the people got dressed to some extent. The following year that number was about 90 per cent. I think the audience is creating much of the excitement through their own participation. At the event people aren’t in a rush to go from one activity to another, they’re here for the afternoon enjoying the music, the clothing, the six-acre site that’s such an oasis in the city. The modern world disappears and the audience is free to travel to a different period in time.”


Posted in Architecture, Design
Contributed by Christopher Jones
05/26 2016

Adaptive Re-use Theme at Doors Open TO

70 ft atrium at Queen Richmond Centre West

Adaptive reuse is the theme of this year’s Doors Open Toronto and while there are many great examples of creative and green building renewal, no venue better exemplifies the trend than the ground breaking structures at 362 Richmond Street West.

Developed by Allied Properties REIT, Queen Richmond Centre West utilized cutting-edge design to amalgamate two heritage properties under the umbrella of a brand new 10-storey tower-on-stilts that envelopes both. Designed by Sweeney & Co. Architects in conjunction with Stephenson Engineering, QRC West is a showcase for the developers whose 17th floor head office is included on this weekend’s tours.


Posted in Festivals, North York
Contributed by Christopher Jones
05/13 2016

North York is Hot!

Nagata Shachu taiko drummers perform at Aga Khan Museum

Toronto’s Cultural Hotspot program gave North York a taste of what’s to come when it touched down at the magnificent Aga Khan Museum Wednesday afternoon. Each year since 2014, a different part of the city has been in the cultural spotlight beginning with Scarborough, followed by Etobicoke (2015) and this year it’s North York’s turn to shine.

City Councillors and organizers cut a celebratory cake at 2016 Cultural Hot Spot kick-off

Local City Councillors John Filion (Ward 23 Willowdale, second from left), Shelley Carroll (Ward 33 Don Valley East, centre) and Jon Burnside (Ward 26 Don Valley West, far right) joined organizers to welcome the Hotspot and cut a celebratory cake.