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Danica shoots and scores

danica-steam-canoe-billView from lifeguard tower inside the Steam Canoe art installation

The dimensions of Danica’s photo didn’t fit the slide show and cropping would have ruined her composition. I decided to feature it by itself, as an introduction to our Day at the Beach slide show below.

Winter Stations revisited

Some of the beach lifeguard stations were still being worked on when we saw the art installations on Opening Day. Come and see some changes … and one, Sauna, that we missed first time around.


  As you see, natural ice formations on shoreline plants are beautiful right now. The artworks don’t compare … they are something else … ingenious experiments with materials, novel methods for capturing warmth in winter, lures for locals to come together and engage in conversation, reasons to go to the beach in cold weather.

The Steam Canoe is designed to melt snow and heat water, using the sun’s warmth. The black sphere, called In the Belly of the Bear, attracts heat with its dark exterior and holds it with fake fur insulation. It works. The Sauna was warmest of all and it smelled great, too.

All of the pieces succeed. Experiments sometimes fail, as in the case of the Ryerson students’ tower of panels. That’s OK. That’s how we learn.

BHNA AGM

Beach Hill’s annual general meeting brought out 60 or more locals last night, in spite of the snow storm. More than 10 of them had events and initiatives to tell us about. This is not just an enthusiastic neighbourhood association, it’s an active one.

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  • Beach Hill tree canopy is at 40% coverage, the city’s goal
  • Volunteers watering and mulching new trees, to maintain the 40%
  • In May, volunteer weeding/planting Gerrard Street sidewalk wells
  • Coming: 22 new, turquoise, high-quality benches along Gerrard
  • The Budapest Restaurant reopens on Thursday
  • IceMasters volunteer park rink melted every time this year
  • Planned: Victoria Day Watch the Fireworks night. Hot dogs
  • Fairmount Park to be listed for new playground equipment
  • Locals help Syrian refugees by collecting household furnishings
  • More trees for Fairmount Park, watering supply system planned
  • Forward Baptist Church choir opportunities, kids’ day camps
  • Fairmount Farmers Market struggling, hiring a manager
  • 506 Streetcar Project links cultures of east side, west side
  • Woodbine Bridge mural to be extended
  • Beach Hill Residences construction: Gerrard lane reopens in May
  • Beach Hill Residence occupancy starts this summer
  • Toronto 311 service praised, fixed curb hazard quickly

naval-club-wifiThe Naval Club’s public wifi is excellent.

Another volunteer group has taken over the Beach Hill Spring Clean-Up. Dozens of us will be out with our garbage bags for that.

To raise money for flower plantings, hall rental and small expenses, the Beach Hill Neighbourhood Association sells optional annual memberships for $20. Non-members are welcome to attend all events. Volunteers also bake goods for an annual sale, the Beach Hill Bake-o-rama.

New pub on Lower Gerrard

This is a good fit in the rapidly evolving “Little India” Bazaar. On Friday night, Danica, Deborah and I had a delicious meal at Hakka Wow. The ladies felt like having a beer after dinner but the restaurant isn’t licensed. Voilà … The Two-Headed Dog.

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Raj, the proprietor is an amiable gent, rightly proud of his well-stocked, beautifully appointed pub. It was two years in the making. The time and care that went into it shows. Very well planned.

A narrow storefront opens into a surprisingly accommodating interior. Seating areas run from the front door, right to the back of the building. Bar stools, benches, tables, booths … the pub will seat a lot of customers comfortably. Screens are everywhere for sports.

A tall curtain wall of windows, big and impressive, closes the back. Fair weather will bring a patio opportunity there. The front window can open to the street, too. There is finished and furnished space for private events in the basement.

Open for less than a month, the pub is already a popular success. It was packed with patrons Friday night, a convivial crowd, watching the Raptors win.

Stefan Berg in a group show

I just happened to have a photo of the artist that I took when I went over to his Dawes Road studio. I was picking up two linocuts I purchased from his series Let That Bad Air Out: Buddy Bolden’s Last Parade

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Stefan Berg is an energetic, productive, serious artist whose work I like to follow. To be fair, it’s a group show, so let’s list the other artists, too.

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I’ll probably have to miss the opening, due to another commitment, but I am looking forward to a visit to Jet Fuel Coffee, ASAP. Stefan’s email announcement includes mention of his new Instagram account and he gives a plug to the Facebook page for the Jam Factory, where he sometimes leads drawing sessions.