Tag Archives: Sketchbook

Sunday Sidewalk Giveaways

On any Toronto neighbourhood stroll, you will encounter free curbside offerings. This city’s citizens won’t throw away anything they think might be useful to someone else. Furniture, housewares, and reading material are there for the taking. Along with some some other stuff.

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Long weekend planning

Camping, Caribana, Concert? Whatever you’re doing this long weekend, plan your route and pack sensibly. When I’m deciding what to bring, I always try to picture that bourgeois family in every World War 2 movie .

bourgeois family fleeing-s

Toronto Zoo Protest

The arrival of a couple of loaner pandas from China has caused some consternation in the Toronto Zoo‘s North American Animals enclosure.

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New Christie mascot

Mr. Christie’s Bakery doesn’t close until next year, but the wildlife is already moving in. I spotted a large coyote exploring the factory’s ornamental boulevard last Sunday. (view large)

Christie-coyote

Hammer time with the TSO

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed Mahler’s frankly-overstuffed Symphony No. 6 this week. Conducted with elan by Thomas Dausgaard,  the orchestra seemed to include every string, drum and horn player in the TSO directory.
Mahler 6 TSO hammer
Mahler’s own direction calls for three hammer blows, and is specific that they be “brief and mighty, but dull in resonance and with a non-metallic character (like the fall of an axe).” The TSO’s solution to this oft-debated problem was a hammer right out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. While wielding the ungainly mallet, the percussionist barely cleared the concrete balcony. My friend John Terauds over at Musical Toronto confirmed my suspicion that the hammer was custom made just for these performances.

Larcenous Thoughts at the AGO

On a recent visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario with my friend Trish, our conversation repeatedly landed on the subject of art heists. We’re not actually going to abscond with our favourite pieces, but the AGO’s coat check policy exists for a reason.

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A Toronto Christmas tableau

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The IKEA monkey and the Scarborough turkey, our latest holiday icons. (view large)