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Neelam Silk IS moving, but not far

Investigative reporter Mr Spiffles confirms that the Bazaar retailer’s signs are for real. The store will be moving, but only a few doors west, I was told, today.

It’s good news that Gerrard East is not losing one of its Little India businesses. There are bargains to be had, probably until the end of the month. Closing date information was a bit vague.

What will go into the vacated building? Not sure, but the new owner brought the successful Two-Headed Dog sports pub to the street. Promising.

What is she doing?

All the while I was trying to figure out what the icon lady was doing and what that receptacle could be that she is bending over, a clue was staring me in the face. The grafitti! Somebody has blackened out the baby’s head.

A greater mystery is the self-cleaning toilet itself. I did a post about it when it was new, but for a long time since then, it has been out of order. No advertiser is paying for space on the big poster frame, even though it faces the Woodbine Beach parking lot. High traffic.

Research reveals that this Mayor Miller era installation was paid for by Astral Media. They were also going to maintain it, but then Bell acquired Astral so who knows who owns the “public” washroom now. I’ve written Toronto 311 to find out more.

Answers have arrived.

The automated public toilet is still owned by Astral Media. They are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of this street furniture. During the winter months the APT is shutdown; the fluctuating temperatures cause water pipe damage. The APT will be re-opened in mid-April, depending on weather. The APT will not be removed, it is simply closed for the winter months. There are currently have 3 APT’s located across Toronto. This one, another located at Rees St & Queens Quay E, and another located at Lakeshore Blvd E & Net Dr (near Argonaut Rowing Club).

A link for more about Toronto “street furniture” was also provided.

Ligurian Vegetable Soup


Your Royko Recipe for February, 2018

Ligurian Vegetable Soup
This chunky, flavourful soup comes from Liguria, which is the area around Genoa.
Serves 6 to 8.

1 large coarsely chopped onion
2 large ribs coarsely chopped celery
2 medium peeled, coarsely chopped carrots

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. shredded Savoy cabbage

1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 cup coarsely shredded romaine lettuce-or escarole 3 medium peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice potatoes
1 1/4 cup drained, coarsely chopped plum tomatoes

4 cup rich vegetable Stock-or use chicken stock
1 cup fresh, shelled peas-or use frozen peas
1/3 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves minced garlic

8 to 10 slices toasted Italian bread
freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In a large saucepan, onion, celery and carrots in the olive oil over moderate heat until they are softened, about 10 minutes.

Add cabbage, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until cabbage is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in potatoes and tomatoes, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Increase heat to moderately high, add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add peas and cook for 5 minutes, covered. Combine parsley and garlic and stir into soup. Cook for 5 minutes.

Ladle over a piece of toasted bread and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bye bye, South Pacific

Sydney, Australia

Danica is on the loooong flight home from Australia. It was 22+ hours, getting there. It could be more, getting back. Toronto is expecting two more snow storms this weekend. That could mess up the landing schedule.

Her first touchdown in Canada will be in Vancouver, for refuelling and customs clearance. That’s right, she gets off the plane with her luggage, goes through customs, then gets back on the same plane and flies on to Toronto.

[Update] Danica is home, safe and sound after minimal delays getting to the gate at snowy Pearson Airport in Toronto. She is surprisingly fresh and alert for someone who just spent 24 hours travelling.

Making the half house whole

I am surprised and pleased to see that an effort is being made to restore the shape of the old building, at least to the extent of completing the front peaked roof. The design looks pretty good, to me. The pair of semidetached homes will continue to fit the street.

Of course, the opportunity to add floor space was irresistible. The extra half-storey will add value and help pay some of the bills, which are probably major. What I don’t get is why the other side didn’t get the same treatment. It has been unoccupied for two years, so this would seem like the perfect time to do it.

Here’s a “before” shot.

If you missed earlier posts about the half house story, the removal was made necessary when a basement lowering operation went disastrously wrong.

Shen Yun politics

The promotions don’t tell you, but Shen Yun is not a PR initiative of the Chinese government (as I had assumed from the TV ads). Danica saw the show in Sydney and says it contains propaganda, alright, but not from the government, from Falun Gong, the religion.

You’ve probably been accosted on the street by Falun Gong believers, eager to let everybody know about persecution by the Chinese state. Although I don’t personally have any use for religion … heck, I don’t even like Star Wars … I don’t like religious persecution, either. So, rock and a hard place.

Danica provided this explainer link. The writer makes this point: “No matter how good the cause is, sneaking propaganda into a performance is a sure-fire way to leave the audience feeling tricked rather than moved.”