Sunday, August 16, 2009

Margin Notes: Names, Changes, and Details

TORONTO, ONTARIO - It seems like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is even worse than other broadcasters in using events in the news as an excuse to play related popular music. Boy George in the news? Run some Culture Club. Something about celebrity theme parks? Run Dolly Parton. Since the 6-August-2009 death of iconic movie director John Hughes, I've lost count of how many times I've heard Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me", used in his movie "The Breakfast Club," after a story on Hughes. Yes, it's a great song--I've had it at #166 in my all-time list, but his other movies had soundtracks. Couldn't someone have played "Holiday Road" by Lindsey Buckingham (from the National Lampoon's Vacation) or Oingo Boingo's title track from "Weird Science"?

* * * * * *

Most of the press coverage (including the CBC) of the New Democratic Party convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia this weekend has focused on the failed motion to re-name the party the "Democratic Party." While for the sake of accuracy, I liked the idea of re-naming it the "Social Democratic Party" instead, but if the desire to keep the NDP initials was strong, a suggestion I heard from a Conservative was to re-name it the "Neo-Communist Dinosaur Party." I guess that would make the former Progressive Conservatives the "Petrified Corporatists." (I was always disappointed that when the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties reunited they didn't adopt the name "Conservative-Reform Alliance Party," or CRAP--which was actually proposed.)

* * * * * *

A new sign went up at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as viewed from Bremner Boulevard in Toronto, Ontario on 15-August-2009

There may not have been a change in party names in Halifax, but there have been changes near Toronto's waterfront this week. Lower Simcoe Street finally opened underneath the railroad tracks west of Union Station on 14-August-2009, allowing traffic a route to the waterfront between York Street and Spadina Avenues, and just to the west along Bremner Boulevard, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre finally received a clear exterior sign facing south.

* * * * * *

The new playground equipment for Toronto's Roundhouse Park had been installed by 15-August-2009, but the Grand Trunk Railroad didn't exist in 1929

Above portions of the Convention Centre, Roundhouse Park is rapidly approaching its re-opening. Amongst the recent construction milestones was the installation of new playground equipment in the park's southeast corner. Appropriately enough, some of the equipment looks like a locomotive, but the markings are interesting. "GTRR 1929" seems to pay homage to the Grand Trunk Railroad and the 1929 opening date of the John Street Roundhouse, but the Grand Trunk didn't exist in 1929. Apparently, it was simpler legally to use the name of a defunct line rather than still-existing Canadian Pacific that built the roundhouse.

* * * * * *

Ed Freeman, leader of the Heritage Toronto walk through the Deer Park neighbourhood, held up a 1920's picture of the bridges carrying St. Clair Avenue East over Yellow Creek on 16-August-2009

Exploring fine details like that are one of the joys of going on Heritage Toronto walks. Today, I had the pleasure of walking through the Deer Park neighborhood and learning details like where Glenn Gould lived (in the Park Lane Apartments on St. Clair) and where the railings on Avoca Avenue came from (the 1890-era bridge over Yellow Creek, dismantled in the 1920's). More coverage of the walk will be forthcoming in a future post.

No comments: