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Queen/King West : In The News

56 Queen/King West Articles | Page: | Show All

New York Times shouts out Toronto's housing market

Housing affordability is on the verge of full-out crisis in Toronto, but that's of little concern to the New York Times

The tony publication accurately pointed out this week that, for deep-pocketed investors, Toronto's real estate market is worth a trip across the border. 

The article explains that a lack of inventory in the Greater Toronto Area has driven the price of an average detached single-family home significantly over the past decade, leading to a predicted 3.6 percent increase to 870,000 Canadian dollars, or about $766,000, by 2015.

The report continues: 
The Toronto Real Estate Board reported in October that the average number of days on the market for houses this year was down to 25 from 27 in 2013, and brokers report that houses regularly sell for more than asking price.

Demand for homes in downtown Toronto has never been higher, with neighborhoods like Rosedale, Forest Hill, Trinity-Bellwoods, West Queen West and Yorkville having grown exceedingly popular, said Paul Johnston, a real estate agent with Right at Home Realty in Toronto.

Bad news for almost everyone in the city itself but, hey, at least we made the Times. 

Read the full article here.
Source: New York Times
Photo: rfzappala via Compfight cc

Does Toronto have better food than New York?

Toronto's “multicultural snacking and molecular cocktail” scene got love from influential alt weekly The Village Voice last week. It shouldn't be a huge surprise; the city's diverse and eclectic neighbourhoods have drawn plenty of international attention in the past.

King and Queen Streets West get a shoutout, as do a number of Kensington Market hotspots including Italian-Jamaican fusion joint Rasta Pasta, taqueria Seven Lives, and people-watching patio, Ronnie's. As the article states, “Ontario's capital is anything but provincial.” We couldn't agree more.

Read the full article here.
Source: The Village Voice.  

Vogue names West Queen West world's second coolest neighbourhood

Vogue has named West Queen West the second hippest neighbourhood in the world in part thanks to its street style, arts and culture scene, and prominent indie shops and designers. 

Here's what they said: 

"Toronto is currently enjoying newfound prominence—and desirability—amongst globe-trotting tastemakers. Queen Street West is a verifiable artery of indie patisseries, homegrown labels, and hidden-from-view galleries—hallmarks of hipness, if ever they existed. It’s also the home of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, well-established “art” hotels The Drake and the Gladstone, and the charming Bicyclette, a local clothing boutique and lifestyle brand whose owners love “glitter, DIY projects, treasure hunts and details.” Soho House Toronto is nearby, as is Graffiti Alley, a block where street art is both 100 percent legal and lauded."

Toronto followed only Tokyo's Shimokitazawa. The report was surprisingly refreshing. Here is the full list of the world's hippest neighbourhoods.

1. Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan
2. West Queen West, Toronto, Canada
3. Sodermalm, Stockholm, Sweden
4. Tiong Bahru, Singapore
5. Centro, Sao Paulo, Brazil
6. Canal Saint-Martin, Paris, France
7. Bushwick, New York City, U.S.
8. Brera, Milan, Italy
9. Wynwood, Miami, U.S.
10. Zona Rosa & La Condesa, Mexico City, Mexico
11. Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia
12. Silver Lake, Los Angeles, U.S.
13. Hackney, London, U.K.
14. Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
15. Dashanzi Art District, Beijing, China

Read the full story here
Original Source: Vogue 

Calgary's Big Rock Brewery expands to Toronto, set to open brew pub in Liberty Village

Liberty Village is getting a brew pub. Unlike the slew of brew pubs and breweries that have been popping up around the city in recent years, this one isn't part of Toronto's growing locavore movement. Instead, it marks an expansion for Calgary-based Big Rock Brewery as the 30-year-old beer company branches out into new markets. 

The pub and restaurant will operate out of the former Artscape heritage building at Liberty and Atlantic and is expected to open by March 2015, when renovations to the century old building (and the securing of municipal permits) is complete, the London Community News reports. 

“Over the past two years, we have produced over 40 unique and different beers, but very few have found their way into Ontario,” chief executive Bob Sartor told the publication, noting that the expansion “will provide a great opportunity to share our beers and demonstrate our beer innovation."

Liberty Village's pedestrian traffic, historical and contemporary components, and ample patio space opportunity made it an ideal location for the expansion. 

Presently, Big Rock is available at some Beer Store outlets and restaurants in Toronto, but the cost of shipping beer from Alberta has been a hindrance. The company hopes the brew pub is only the beginning, with a goal of opening a full-fledged brewery in Ontario down the line.

Read the full story here
Original Source: London Community News

Local entrepreneur weighs in on successful crowdfunding techniques

Joanna Griffiths, the Toronto-based entrepreneur and founder of innovative underwear company Knix Wear, sat down with Entrepreneur magazine recently to discuss something she knows quite well—building a successful crowdfunding campaign. 

Griffiths turned to crowdfunding in 2013 with the launch of an Indiegogo campaign to test the market for her moisture-wicking, odour-absorbent underwear. 

"It was the last test in a series of tests I conducted before launching the business," she told the magazine. 

It worked. She surpassed her goal and raised more than $50,000 from some 518 backers. But it didn't come without its challenges. Still, Griffiths persevered and learned a few lessons along the way.

For starters, she says, you need to have a plan. "You can't launch a campaign, go on autopilot and expect money to come rolling in," she says in the article. She studied successful campaigns before launching one of her own, determined to mimic their results by following their approaches. 

She makes eight recommendations from making your campaign personal ("People fund people, not just ideas") to taking things offline ("You want to build excitement, get people excited about backing the project…Don't ignore offline opportunities to build engagement.")

A worthwhile read for anyone considering launching a crowdfunding campaign of their own—or for those looking to pick up a few smart business practice tips. 

Read the full story here
Original Source: Entrepreneur.com 

Paris newspaper calls "Toronto-Mania"

"La ville a donné naissance à un nombre incroyable d’artistes," Paris-based newspaper Libération writes of Toronto, which translates to, "The city has given birth to an incredible number of artists."

It describes neighbourhoods—Kensington, Ossington, Parkdale, and Queen West—and how they are seducing young people.

"Avant que l’ouest de Queen Street West ne lui vole la vedette, Kensington Market était le quartier alternatif de Toronto," the newspaper goes on.

Yes, before Queen Street West stole the spotlight, Kensington Market was the alternative district of Toronto. The article likens Kensington and it's Carribean-style houses and Bahamas' inspired street names (Nassau) as distinct charms that beam like rays of sun. The writer is in the know of our locales, referring to Parkdale as P-dale and mentioning the area's growing number of cafes, vintage stores and restaurants, alongside wandering raccoons. The article praises the culture, the creativity of the neighbourhoods, and the sheer star power that has come out of the city. 

"C’est ce qui fait la force des Torontois, cette capacité à conjuguer les talent," the article says.

Or, roughly, "This is what makes Toronto strong, this ability to combine talents."

Read the full story here
Original Source: Libération

Toronto "the Great White North's gay mecca"

As Toronto prepares for World Pride, taking place across the city from June 20-29, international media is beginning to turn attention to the details that make the city such a valuable and appropriate host.
"What’s true of Toronto as a whole is doubly so when it comes to the city’s vibrant gay community. This nexus of queer Canadian culture and history is the place to be, not only for the hometown gays but for the millions of visitors who flock here annually," says a new article that appeared in New Now Next, a New York-based gay pop culture and entertainment blog. 
The article names nine things that contribute to the city's liveliness. Among them: the Village, an obvious choice. "The streets are lined with an assortment of gay-owned-and-operated restaurants, stores and bars like Woody’s, Sky Yard at the Drake, Pegasus and Zipperz/Cellblock," the article says.

It also celebrates West Queen West, including shopping along the strip and hanging out in the Gladstone and Drake hotels, appropriate considering the area's branding as "Queer Street West" and its plan to be a social hub during World Pride. 
But perhaps most enticing about Toronto's gay community is the support offered by services such as the 519 Church Street Community Centre, the article says. 
"The 519 Church Street Community Centre is the beating heart of the Village. With dozens of programs aimed at the complete extent of LGBT life– meet-ups for teens, seniors and everyone in between, queer parenting resources, 12-step programs, support groups, various arts and entertainment options– there’s something for everyone at the center. They even run the Fabernak, a full-scale restaurant that also serves as a training ground for employees (queer and otherwise) to gain both work experience and on-the-job training. If only every city had a 519 Center!"
Read the full story here
Original Source: New Now Next 

Toronto's Lovebot invasion is growing

Have you seen the Lovebots? These child-sized concrete robots have been popping up around the city in areas where people and companies have done good deeds. You can see them at Nadège Patisserie, Atomic Toybot, and various other locations. By the time the invasion is complete, 100 Lovebots will be spread around the city and surrounding area.
“The whole idea was that we’re not just faceless robots who don’t talk to each other on the bus. We all have big hearts. I wanted to make a symbol that represented the people in this city," creator Matthew Del Degan told Samaritan Magazine
Del Degan is in his fifth and final year of industrial design studies at OCAD and originally created a toy version of the Lovebot for a class project. He loved it so much, and the response was so positive, he decided to make it something bigger.
People submit "love letters" via Lovebot.com, an interactive map-based platform that not only displays the locations of current Lovebots, but also encourages others to do good deeds in the name of kindness and love. These love letters are used to decide where to place the Lovebots, in places where people have done charitable deeds or simply been good people. 
Del Degan has big plans. In another article, he talks about wanting to take the Lovebot invasion global, but in Samaritan Magazine he discusses his desire to make the Lovebots more of a permanent fixture in Toronto.
“There’s this giant robot I want to make. I can make it a monument in Toronto,” he says. “If you had a giant robot in your city, it would be a cool thing to come and see. I want the project at the core to be from Toronto because the cement robots sprung out of the city, the ‘cement jungle."
Read the full story here
Original source: Samaritan Mag

Buzz over local artist's upcoming sewer tunnel photography exhibit

Michael Cook has been documenting Toronto's drain and sewage tunnels for almost a decade in an effort to raise "awareness about city sewage problems." His photography captures tunnels, rarely seen by the public eye, in a fascinating light, exposing their various constructions and materials. 
Though his work is beautiful from an art perspective, he tells the Atlantic Cities that the awareness facet is his biggest concern.
"In the city, people are very interested in getting involved in things like this," Cook told the publication. "But they need to be able to understand and see those systems to make substantive change on this issue. One of the reasons that it's been so difficult to get traction around the issues of water in the city is that the infrastructure is completely invisible."
In an extensive Q&A, 30-year-old Cook goes on to say, "My position on all that is to be able to have an honest and public conversation about all those issues, we really need to be able to see sewers and know them as real places. Residents need to be able to think of them as components in the places that they live. And for that they need to be able to know them visually and spatially. So putting these photographs out there has always been an important part of my practice."
His work will be featured as part of Toronto's annual Scotiabank CONTACT photography festival that runs May 1-31 at more than 175 venues throughout the GTA, including various subway stations. Cook's exhibit, Under this Ground, will feature 45 images viewable along St. Patrick Station's subway platform. 
Incidentally, Yonge Street's photography editor Tanja Tiziana will also be featuring her work as part of the CONTACT festival in the exhibit called Memory and Context, taking place at the MJG Gallery (555 Parliament St).
Read the full story here.
Original Source: The Atlantic Cities

Leaders in the 'locavore' movement

It may be cold and snowy in Toronto, but that's not stopping anyone from firing up pizzas in Dufferin Grove Park's outdoor oven, noticed the New York Times. The NYT identifies Toronto as a leader in the "locavore" movement; a sustainability initiative that involves eating locally produced food. With more than 30 markets in the city and 90 in the region, Toronto has become a bona fide hub for locally produced food all year round. 
"Toronto has embraced the trend with particular fervor," writes Sarah Wildman.
"Up until a few years ago we had hardly any markets in the city, but it has really exploded," John RichLeMonde, the director of Sorauren Park Farmers' Market, told the Times. He says markets inspire the growth of more markets, transforming neighbourhoods along the way. 
Wildman writes that Dufferin Grove Park, "was once a postage stamp of green in a rough neighborhood that has vastly improved, some say because of the market's success since its arrival a decade ago. Dufferin Grove is a tremendous draw: on Friday nights, large communal dinners are cooked on site. The park has two giant outdoor wood-fired ovens where bread is baked and sold. It is also the site of a free ice skating rink."
RichLeMonde continued: "People are interested in buying more locally, and that's starting to become mainstream... There's a sense that we are building the future economy."
The Dufferin Grove Park farmer's market runs every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. just south of Bloor and Dufferin.
Read the full story here.
Original source: The New York Times

Bay Adelaide Centre, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Vaughan City Hall among architecture award winners

As you might expect, GTA projects dominated the 2012 Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Awards.

Six of the top 15 projects are located in the GTA and represent some of the region's most high-profile projects and firms. Design Excellence winners include the Bay Adelaide Centre's west tower (WZMH Architects), Lawren Harris House (Drew Mandel Architects), SPLIT House (superkül Inc.), TIFF Bell Lightbox (Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects), Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex (Kongats Architects) and Vaughan City Hall (Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects).
The Ryerson Recreation and Athletics Centre (Lett/Smith Architects) won the Landmark Award.
Read the complete list of winners here
Original Source: Canadian Architect

A pre-condo history of Liberty Village

BlogTO's Derek Flack goes deep into the archives to unearth Liberty Village's industrial past. Flack's archival photo essay reveals the Liberty Village that existed "before the condos"—from the early 20th century prison that gave Liberty Village its name, to the growth and decline of the area's industrial activity, to the transformation of the area by a small group of artists in the 1980s. 
"For all the development that's shaped Liberty Village over the last decade or so, the area's industrial past retains something of a ghostly presence—at least if one confines himself to exploring the western half of the neighbourhood. The eastern end, leading in across the still new-feeling East Liberty Street from Strachan Avenue, on the other hand, remains a source of angst for heritage preservationists who lament this city's near-complete contempt for 19th and early 20th century industrial architecture."
"According to a report from the University of Toronto's Centre for Urban and Community Studies, "municipal deregulation of land uses in the King Street West area in 1994 contributed to the attraction of the area for developers and real estate speculators.... Many small businesses and low-income tenants were evicted to allow property owners to renovate their buildings. The deregulation of zoning bylaws had increased the pressure to redevelop industrial lands and put planners under constant pressure to allow the conversion of old industrial buildings for residential or office use."
read full story here
original source BlogTO

The Daily Mail on visiting Toronto

The Daily Mail writes on the many reasons a visit to Toronto is worth the transatlantic flight. Toronto is lauded for, among other things, its exciting attractions, its chic neighbourhoods and its vibrant film industry. 

"Much like New York, wherever I wander in Toronto I get a strange sense of familiarity thanks to its Hollywood connections. In the Distillery District—a 13-acre enclave on Toronto's shoreline full of design boutiques, artist studios, bistros and cafés—the Victorian industrial architecture provided the backdrop for X-Men, Chicago and Cinderella Man."
"Richard Fiennes-Clinton is your man if you want to find out a bit more about the history of these areas. His Muddy York Walking Tours take me on a meander through the most interesting areas of the city and there is little Richard doesn’t know about his hometown."
"Along with the Distillery District he introduces me to the eclectic vintage shops and well-stocked food stores of the bustling Kensington Market, along with the equally lively Chinatown, and treats me to the view from the staircase in the stunning Art Gallery of Ontario, which he has nicknamed 'the poor man's CN Tower.'"

read full story here
original source Daily Mail 

BlogTO on the 2011 Queen West Art Crawl

Blog TO hosts pictures of the eclectic art on display at this year's annual Queen West Art Crawl (QWAC). In addition to more than 250 artists booths, the 2011 QWAC featured food vendors, live performances and artist talks.

check out pics of the event here
original source Blog TO

LA Times: What to do in Toronto when not at a movie screening

With TIFF back for its 36th year, the LA Times writes on the best Toronto hotspots "to eat, drink and be seen." Toronto's high-end hotels, world-renowned restaurants and array of premium coffee shops are among the many Toronto highlights the Times recommends to its readers.

"Toronto tends to be blasé about its stars—Rachel McAdams' regular vintage-shopping jaunts in the city's popular Kensington Market attract about as much attention as anyone else's—but whatever see-and-be-seen attitude the city does hold surges to a fever pitch during the annual International Film Festival. This year marks the 36th edition of TIFF, and whether you're looking to rub elbows with Clooney & Co. or want to duck away from the hubbub for low-key cocktails and charcuterie, the following list offers some of the best that Toronto has to offer."

read full story here
original source LA Times
56 Queen/King West Articles | Page: | Show All
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