1942 aerial photo of Thorncliffe Racetrack

An interesting local website called Rudy.ca shows some unusual pictures including an aerial photo taken in 1942 of Thorncliffe Racetrack

Wild Wing vs Wild Wings

It had to happen . The Canadian chicken wing saloon chain (Wild Wing) is threatening to sue the American chicken wing saloon chain (Buffalo Wild Wings) for “infringing its intellectual property rights.” Wild Wing (that’s the Canadian one) opened a restaurant on South Bayview last year. It’s located in the former Country Donut (and home to various other restaurants) building at Bayview and Millwood. Read more. Or not.

First day for new TD branch

The new TD Canada Trust at Laird and Vanderhoof is doing its first day of business today. The remarkable structure, built in 1951, stood vacant for 18 years before TD and others took an interest in it. It’s first occupant was the Pease Foundry Company, which manufactured plumbing and heating equipment there. As industrial conditions changed, it went into a sad period of decline sitting vacant for 18 years. That’s the condition in which most residents under 30 remember it. The building is said to be in the Art Modern style and is associated with the work of Toronto architect Earle Morgan. Morgan was also associated with the design of the O’Keefe Centre.

Abduction reported on Mount Pleasant

A 25 year old man has told police that on Saturday he was the victim of a brazen daylight abduction by men he did not know. He says he was forced into a van at the corner of Mount Pleasant and Eglinton and driven to Yonge and Lord Seaton. All of this occurring at something like 5.40 in the afternoon. He says one man had a handgun and that they stole his iPhone before turning him loose. Police have released descriptions which are rather general. There were no injuries.

Disguised traveller part of wide plot

The young man who entered Canada from Hong Kong by disguising himself as an elderly passenger was part of an elaborate human smuggling ring based at Hong Kong airport. As many as eight people were taken into custody over the weekend after Canadian and Hong Kong police spent two months investigating.

Who will Stay-puft man threaten?

Version three of Ghostbusters is being prepared in Hollywood for release next year. It is rumoured that this time the Stay-puft marshmallow man will have two beauties opposite him, Eliza Dushku (right) and Anna Faris (left). Actually, it’s a lead-pipe cinch that the male lead will be *(guess who) Bill Murray, who is getting old enough to be a ghost himself. More on GB III.

Starbucks flooded with complaints

You have seen the new Starbucks logo, absent the Starbucks name. Now listen to the squeals of anger and indignation from Starbucks customers. Self-described Starbucks fanatics were not impressed and, among hundreds of comments on Starbucks’ website, called for the company’s name to be put back into the logo. “Who’s the bonehead in your marketing department that removed the world-famous name of Starbucks Coffee from your new logo? This gold card user isn’t impressed!” wrote one customer who identified herself as MimiKatz.
Another wrote: “I have been a big supporter of (Starbucks) since the early days, taken expensive rides in taxis to get my morning coffee, even waded through two feet of snow in my business suit … but I do not see the logic of your Business Development folks for the removal of the Starbucks name.” Executives said the logo, designed in-house, would be phased in, appearing first on paper products like cups and napkins in March. Starbucks declined to say how much it would cost to switch to the new logo.

Our strengths and vulnerabilites

Don Valley West MP Rob Oliphant has sent his regular leaflet to constituents. In it, he muses on what he calls “21st Century Multiculturalism“. He asks whether “all communities are integrating appropriately.” And whether citizenship has “intrinsic value” or is it merely an “economic commodity.” In our experience most Canadians feel terrific admiration for those who come to Canada seeking a new life. They may find Mr. Oliphant’s concerns are not quite well enough defined. There seems little lack of English instruction or services for those who seek, as most do, to integrate. For them the most important determinant of how greatly they cherish Canada is whether the economy is providing jobs. Although we may regret that our vital values are sometimes less front-of-mind than making a living, we really should acknowledge this reality. As to “integrating appropriately” our view is that it matters little if the occasional immigrant lives rather more within a community or not. The integration issue turns entirely on something else. And that is whether there are forces at work to intentionally isolate some newcomers. Late last year, a report raised concerns that some were being told to reject our values, raising the prospect of “parallel societies”. The purpose, it was said, was to ultimately demand change to our way of life simply by strength of numbers. We congratulate Mr Olphiant on thinking about the issues and hope that all MPs will reflect wisely on our strengths and vulnerabilities.

Six-storey crane startles Bayview

City supervisor takes a picture for posterity as a six storey crane lifts two very heavy air conditioning units onto the roof of 1605 South Bayview. They will be part of Shoppers Drug Mart’s new outlet. In centre. lift off of the second of the two units. Right, the weighty load swings east over the target roof. Note Second Cup sign in foreground. The east sidewalk was closed between the coffee shop and Tzatz for about three hours. Things returned to normal about 11.30 am.

Police release images of fire suspect

It’s all police have got to go on in the mysterious arson fire on Yonge Street earlier this week. Go to Police Images page at our associate blog, Yonge and Roxborough.

Sharon’s Collection is relocating

Sharon’s Collection, a long-time shop on South Bayview, is relocating. A sign was posted recently offering the premises at 1643 for rent. It says that the lease has come to an end and that the business is relocating.

Mini Paceman looks like muscle car

The Mini Paceman will make an appearance at the North American International Auto Show opening Sunday in Detroit. There’s much hype surrounding the Paceman. It is an attractive looking car but its appeal seems to rest on the virtue (?) of having two wide doors, a hatch and the look of a pint-sized muscle car. Canadian Driver.