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Lost View of the CNE: The Shell Oil/Bulova Tower

For better or worse, the Canadian National Exhibition has evolved with time since it was held in 1879. Early in the event’s history, the CNE provided both a venue to escape and embrace the complexities of late 19th century industrialization for the British commonwealth’s major presence in North America. Serving as a source to observe technological improvements of a quickly opening world, amusement for all ages as well as an overall Canadian showcase, the annual event was a cultural gateway. Today, the CNE has lost some of its luster due to various year-long entertainment options over the decades but continues to be a fun, unofficial standoff to summer with memorable rides and surreal culinary delights.  As the exhibition continued into the 20th century, the grounds underwent various transformations with a number of permanent structures constructed including the still-standing Horticulture Building in 1907 and the iconic Princes’ Gate in 1927. With the conclusion of the second world war
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The Long Light Rail Story of Toronto’s CLRV Streetcar

CLRV 4005 and another CLRV streetcar at King and Yonge during August 2014 (Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Toronto Time Machine) On December 29th of 2019, the final example of one of Toronto’s moving icons since the 1980s was retired from active service. Streetcars assembled under the CLRV (Canadian Light Rail Vehicle) design ended its 40-year career with six examples running on its final day. The CLRV and its longer sister the ALRV (Articulated Light Rail Vehicle) was introduced as a modernization of Toronto’s streetcar network that has not only been preserved through the vehicles but thrived entering the 21st century. When the Toronto Streetcar Almost Died and Path to Rebirth  Prior to the development of the CLRV, streetcars were starting to become less vital for the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) as subway links replaced the two very congested route. Toronto’s first subway originally running on Yonge Street was opened on 1954 while the Bloor-Danforth entered operations in 1966. At the

Toronto Eaton Centre Officially Welcomes 40 Years of Shoppers

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy Toronto's largest indoor shopping mall is surely bustling like usual this weekend. Now known officially as CF Toronto Eaton Centre (the 'CF' initials are in accordance with Cadillac Fairview's recent branding initiative across many of their retail properties), the retail complex's service that hosts more people in 2015 than any other mall in North America with pedestrian travel that exceeds that of the Toronto's Pearson International Airport as well as major tourist draws such as the Las Vegas Strip and even Disneyland parks in the United States. A complex currently consisting of 227 stores including a new Nordstrom high-end luxury department store, Canadian Tire, Best Buy, Indigo bookstore and a bridge to the nearly 1.3 million square feet Hudson's Bay location, the CF Toronto Eaton Centre serves just under 49 million pedestrians as well as provides a source of retail or service employment for thousands. Just the wee

New City Hall Celebrates 50 Years as Centre of Toronto's Expression

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy Today marks a point of a genesis for the City of Toronto we currently recognize. Built at a cost of $27,035,000 in the 1960s (other sources report 31 million), Toronto’s municipal government’s nerve centre was officially opened on September 13 th , 1965. A ceremony presided with the then-Mayor Philip Givens, the city celebrated the official opening of the building we know today as New City Hall. Shaped through 91,000 cubic yards of concrete and roughly 8,733 square meters of glass, Toronto’s New City Hall is identified for two multistory towers (a 27-floor east tower and a 20-floor west tower) as well as a 155-foot diameter Council Chamber. Now a 50-year-old structure, New City Hall continues to amaze the world as a stunning icon to what Toronto is and what it could be. New City Hall was one of many builds in Toronto that took a long time to come to fruition. During the early part of the 20 th century, the local government outgrew so-called Old C

Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant at Toronto Harbourfront April 2015

Despite using Union Station often in recent years, Frankly, the city of Toronto scared me even as I became an adult. It seemed like such an easy city to get lost in and I am a person who is most comfortable with knowing my surroundings in detail. From years ago, I remembered being in the downtown area and seeing the Sam the Record Man sign lit but I never gathered the time nor courage of seeing the flagship Yonge Street store. That opportunity of seeing the past of Toronto escaped me. Thanks to openness of digital photography and my deepened desire to explore the Canadian city, I was drawn to the Harbourfront area almost by chance last month (April 2015), another disappearing landmark did not escape my sight. On the ship known as the MS Jadran, the former dining hotspot that was Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant sat awaiting its eventual, inevitable fate. In April, I had undertaken a short photographic excursion around Toronto. At the Harbourfront area and Queen Quay, o

Scarborough RT's Quiet 30th Anniversary Amidst Loud Future Transit Planning

  Photo Credit: Robert McMann In the past several years in Toronto, one of the most contentious issues has revolved around a new transit extension into the Scarborough region of the city. With debates turning surprisingly passionate over transit planning, both teams plan to replace the Scarborough Rapid Transit system (Scarborough RT) or most recently called Line 3 by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). This weekend marks 30 years of moving commuters between the Kennedy TTC station to McCowan. For March 22nd, 2015, the Scarborough RT's 30th anniversary of public operations will not celebrated with the same appreciation as Toronto's subway. Last year's 60th anniversary of the Yonge subway line recognized the liberating sense of movement it brought to a vital piece of the city. Admiration for the challenging of the subway in Toronto has ultimately led to favouritism of the Scarborough RT's over 3-billion dollar replacement extension of the Bloor-Danforth Line

Yorkdale at 50: The Shopping Centre's Expanding Size and Prominence

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy The last weekend ahead of Christmas is typically a time when foot traffic inside Canadian shopping malls pounds the floors with rhythmic fury. The enclosed environment known as the Yorkdale Shopping Centre opens to shoppers providing more than the polarizing holiday music and crowded parking lots associated with other malls. For 2014, Yorkdale offers a host of guest services such as valet and lounges for some customers as well as rare Canadian shopping experiences such as Versace, the Microsoft store, The Lego Store and even a Tesla Motors sales centre (the first in Canada). Photo Credit: Chris Nagy In February of this year, the Yorkdale Shopping Centre celebrated 50 years of serving customers by setting new expectations for how we spend our money. I've written a tribute to the golden anniversary of the shopping centre in February but decided to largely capture what the complex was in 1964 . As a writer who deeply enjoys relating where we ha