It was exactly 100 years ago yesterday that Toronto’s big theatre baron, Ambrose Small, disappeared without a trace... right after selling off his business & depositing a cheque for a million dollars at the Dominion Bank on King Street. So I spent the evening inside the old bank vault — still there today in the basement of One King West — celebrating one of the two brand new books about the mystery: Geordie Telfer’s Hogtown Empire.
Osgoode Hall hunkers down for its 188th winter.
The Bay’s Christmas windows in 2019 and 1957, back when it was still Simpson’s. This spot at Queen & Yonge has been a department store holiday battleground for more than century: ever since Eaton’s and Simpson’s first opened up across the street from each other in the late 1800s.
Fort York... West Germany. There were thousands of Canadian troops stationed in Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. And some of them lived here, in a base named after Toronto's own @fortyork. This photo shows a soldier casting a vote in the federal election of 1963 — which would see Lester B. Pearson come to power for the very first time. Coincidentally, Pearson had been one of the architects of NATO — which is how Canadian troops ended up spending the Cold War in Germany in the first place. . (pic: NATO)
Hamilton, from the Junction today.
Sooo excited for TFC’s championship game this aft. Three finals in four years! Hasn’t happened for any of Toronto’s big five teams since the Leafs won three in a row back in the early 1960s.
It’s 30 years ago today that the Berlin Wall came down and East Germany began to become the thing of museums and memories. And the DDR Museum in Berlin — exploring life in East Germany — is almost certainly best-executed museum either @night_danger or I has ever been to. Unbelievably interactive and evocative, with endless nooks and drawers and cabinets to explore, an entire East Berlin apartment (so much like the one we stayed in!), dioramas of death strips and nudists, sex stats projected onto a bed, cleverly sarcastic text, even one of the tiny, iconic East German Trabant cars hooked up to a video simulation so you could drive it. A museum experience that will stay with me for a long, long time.
During the Spanish Civil War, Norman Bethune came to Marseille, bought a truck, drove it back across the border into Spain, rigged it up with refrigeration, painted “Servicio canadiense de transfusión de sangre” on the side and then headed to the frontlines with it so he could save lives by giving blood transfusions to people right where they fell. So I left a dream for him here at a car dealership in Marseille that just happened to be next to our hotel.
The Toronto Zoo has raccoons on display just in case you’ve never seen one in the wild... (which I imagine a good number of the tourists actually haven’t).