There’s no more patently ludicrous marker of Toronto’s gentrification, and of gentrification as a whole model of civic transformation, than the mock graffiti dressing up the Loblaws on Queen St. West, near Bathurst.
It just says “LOBLAWS.” Over and over. In different ripped-off street art fonts. And it’s indoors!
It’s like a cartoon of an out-of-touch corporation pitiably trying to connect with the roots of a neighbourhood it’s papering over. It’s Homer Simpson strutting through Lollapalooza in an oversized Rastafarian hat: desperate, embarrassing, totally oblivious. It’s an easy target.
Last week, Tribute Communities announced it has sealed a deal with Loblaws to develop a 20,000 square foot supermarket in another of Toronto’s most contested neighbourhoods: Kensington Market.
Slated to take over 297 College St. — in a space formerly housing, no joke, a Zen Buddhist temple — the new Loblaws is being regarded in some quarters as both a material and existential threat to the vibrancy and uniqueness of Kensington.
It remains to be seen how exactly Loblaws and Tribute will pay phony homage to the neighbourhood they’re encroaching upon — a graffiti-scrawled Jane Jacobs quote or a 40-foot hollow Buddha filled with cheese? — but the people behind the new deal are already adopting the language of Kensington’s culture.
Speaking to Toronto Life, Tribute VP of land development Steve Deveaux stressed that the Loblaws will be “more of a community grocery store,” insisting that the Kensington we know will still be “relevant.”
Over the past year, Kensington has become a battleground, a site of contestation. As Loblawsian corporate interests further come to define Toronto, many have taken up the cause of protecting heritage communities against the corporatized steamrolling that defines, oh, pretty much everything.
Per a petition endorsed by 7,300-plus “Friends of Kensington Market” that has circulated online since Loblaws first began eyeing the Kensington-adjacent space, the clash is between Big Corporations and “the small independent stores, especially purveyors of raw food — fruit stands, dry goods, fishmongers, butcher and groceries,” those that “may not withstand the impact of a Loblaws moving into the community.”
In a way this battle has already been lost. Friends of Kensington Market are determined to preserve a spirit that’s already receded.
Kensington’s uniqueness has already been co-opted in less obvious ways. It was 2009 when Max and Son Meat Market, a tiny family-owned butcher on Baldwin St., was bought out by Peter Sanagan, laying the tracks for a much bigger, 5,000 square foot space hawking organic heirloom pheasants and artisanal pepperettes.
And if that didn’t seal Kensington’s fate as a sort of d
Stocks are sharply lower following weak earnings from several U.S. companies, more trouble in emerging markets and economic stimulus cuts from the Federal Reserve.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 18 points, or 1 percent, to close at 1,774 Wednesday. The S&P 500 has ended lower on four of the last five days.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 189 points, or 1.2 percent, to 15,738. The Nasdaq composite dropped 46 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,051.
The stock market opened lower after companies including Boeing and AT&T gave weak earnings outlooks and investors worried about plunging currencies in developing countries like Turkey and South Africa.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.69 percent from 2.75 percent late Tuesday.
Updated at 11:17 a.m.
Sabreliner Corp.’s chief executive, Holmes Lamoreaux, and another top executive will leave the company as new ownership takes over the struggling defense supplier after the company was unable to repay a bank loan.
The Clayton-based company said Tuesday morning a “new entity” has acquired the debt of Sabreliner’s primary lender and plans to take control company’s assets and continue operations. As a result, Lamoreux and Susan Aselage, Sabreliner’s president and vice chairman, will leave the company. Sabreliner said the new ownership is expected to meet with employees in the coming weeks.
“Today, Sabreliner Corp. begins its next chapter,” Lamoreaux said in a statement. “We were never able to replace the significant business lost during (government) sequestration. As a result, we haven’t been able to repay the company’s bank debt so the bank has sold it to another enterprise. Sabreliner soon will be operating under new management.”
Despite the financial problems, Sabreliner said it has won new contracts for its operations in Ste. Genevieve and Perryville, Mo., where more than a dozen military and corporate aircraft are getting maintenance.
Sabreliner has been a privately held corporation since 1983, when a group of investors led by Lamoreux purchased the Sabreliner Division of Rockwell International. The company’s initial goal was to support the existing fleet of Sabreliner aircraft with maintenance and modification services, while supporting other types of aircraft and their operators, including the U.S. and foreign militaries.
Services later expanded to include maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, as well as manufacturing support for older aircraft and new aircraft production.
Employees and union officials said Monday that the company’s new ownership is Sabreliner Services LLC. One employee said the company’s roughly 100 remaining workers would be made by the new owners to reapply for their jobs but details were unavailable.
No company named Sabreliner Services LLC is registered with the Missouri secretary of state, though it could be based elsewhere No teletrak payday loan.
Employees were first notified of the management changes late Friday, said Larry Tinker, president of the Teamsters Local 600 in Maryland Heights, which represents about 70 workers at Sabreliner’s plants in Perryville and Ste. Genevieve.
The company had “defaulted on its debt and was unable to remedy the default,” Tinker said. But there were yet few details on what that would mean for employees.
“I’m still trying to get to the bottom of it myself,” he said.
Teamsters ratified a new contract in August.
Sabreliner has had a rough few years amid Pentagon spending cuts and other struggles. Its workforce shrank by about 250 in eight months in late 2012 and early 2013, by about 250 in eight months in late 2012 and early 2013, between layoffs, retirements and attrition. It’s down to about 10 employees at its Clayton headquarters and about 100 at its two remaining plants, according to a former spokeswoman.
Late last year, Sabreliner, sold buildings in St. Mary and Ste. Genevieve, according to the Ste. Genevieve Herald. It has faced a barrage of debt-collection suits in local courts. On Friday, it agreed to a $192,000 settlement in a suit brought by a lenders in Perry County Court. The deal, according to documents in that case, allows Sabreliner to stay in its facility at the Perryville airport for another month. Tinker said he hoped to get more information this week.
“We’re still trying to figure out what’s going on.”
When Kal Bedder started designing the Metropass, things got a little crazy.
As the TTC’s newest print and electronic information supervisor in 2004, Bedder was given the weighty responsibility of designing the monthly card.
The passes of 2005 dazzled with psychedelic patterns. Abstract blotches of orange and black, aptly chosen for October, resembled ink blots used by psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach to unearth a patient’s underlying personality traits. In 2006, a slime-green cheetah-like pattern adorned November’s plastic, while December was frenzied with twirling blue and white spirals.
“The dizzying effect of December, shall we say?” Bedder suggested.
His attempt at an artistic revolution certainly made a splash. Scandalized commuters emailed the TTC at the time to ask what the heck was happening inside its design office.
“It was elation and shock and everything in between. It was shocking to a TTCer who was used to their typical pass for years,” Bedder said, pointing to a plain paper pass from the 1980s.
Now 10 years into the job, Bedder is one of a dying breed. As large cities such as New York and Los Angeles opt for reloadable passes, similar to the Presto card, the age of monthly transit passes — and their designers — is going the way of the penny.
Like it or not, the Metropass has become part of Toronto’s identity, a Torontonian’s passport of sorts. An estimated 393,000 people carried the card last October, according to the TTC, which rounds out to about one in six residents.
Bedder says the little card has matured since what he lovingly calls his “Wild West days.” The wacky fonts and occasional laser beams are today replaced by compartmentalized zones: one for the date, one for the card type (“A” for adult, “S” for student).
And there, tucked beside the silver TTC hologram, a window for art. It’s the last place that Bedder, an arts grad, can get creative. Within reason.
“It would be nice to have one nice big landscape, but you just can’t,” he says. “It needs to be functional, first and foremost.”
The job goes far beyond designing 12 months of Metropasses. Bedder also helps with the TTC’s website, designs subway maps, TTC signage and even helped redesign the TTC token. He also designs special “commemorative” weekly passes for big events such as the Toronto International Film Festival and the Caribbean Carnival, formerly called Caribana.
Security measures keep Bedder from revealing too much about upcoming Metropasses, which are designed about five months in advance. The TTC keeps the designs secret for fear of counterfeiting until they are ready to be sold.
Bedder’s role has become more curator than artist. He selects card art from the TTC’s photographic archives, a catalogue of station walls, old streetcars, tiled stairwells bad credit payday loans.
It may not seem like art, but Bedder sees the images as overlooked beauty in the transit system, an in-between place where busy commuters typically don’t have time to stop, reflect and observe.
“You’ll walk down the same corridor every day and not even see the tiles, with their colours and patterns,” he says, pointing to a card with a blossoming flower mosaic from Dupont station. “I’m profiling these things and putting them to the forefront.”
The TTC once considered allowing local Toronto artists to make their mark on the Metropass. An open call for original art was sent out in 2009.
“Adding original art will enhance the Metropass design, but also make counterfeiting more difficult,” the TTC wrote in a 2009 release.
The plan was later scrapped. When asked about the decision, a TTC spokesperson cited “security reasons.”
In the transit world dominated by engineers, urban planners and business analysts, Bedder is one-of-a-kind. He has an education in art and a background in television, having designed TV graphics for MuchMusic.
Like any artist, Bedder veers from portraying the obvious. He would never make the October pass orange and black again.
“We wouldn’t want to be clich
Xi Jinping, delivering his first New Year
U.S. markets were looking at a quiet start to the last week of 2013, with stock futures little changed with 45 minutes before the opening bell.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 5 points to 16,426 as of 8:45 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures rose less than a point to 1,836.70 and the Nasdaq futures were down 3.25 points to 3,567.00.
END OF THE YEAR: Both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market will be closed Wednesday for New Year’s Day. Trading is expected to be volatile as investors use the next two trading days to close out their positions for 2013.
JAPAN CLOSES OUT HISTORIC YEAR: Japan’s Nikkei stock index closed higher for a ninth straight day Monday. The index ended 2013 up 57 percent, its best year in decades.
TWITTER SELLOFF CONTINUES: Twitter was down 5 percent in premarket trading. The social media company fell 13 percent Friday after Wall Street analysts said the recent run-up in Twitter’s stock had been overdone.
CROCS JUMPS: Shoemaker Crocs was up 13 percent in premarket trading after the company announced it was getting a $200 million investment from private equity firm Blackstone and its CEO was retiring.
Staring at a sixth day without power in a house as cold as a refrigerator, a frustrated John Johnson finally was able to borrow a generator from a neighbor Friday.
He “never in a million years” thought his tree-lined city neighborhood near Michigan State University would be without electricity this long. But it could be Sunday or even the middle of next week before the power is back after a weekend ice storm that tore off tree limbs and snuffed out lights from Michigan to Maine and into Canada over the Christmas holiday.
“Hopefully, I make it through without any frozen pipes until the (utility) gets in here,” said Johnson, 63, as he tried setting up the generator to warm up the house above 40 degrees before giving it back to his neighbor.
Michigan bore the brunt of the storm as nearly 600,000 homes and businesses lost power, and as of Friday afternoon, about 60,000 customers remained in the dark. Maine reported almost 12,000 outages and in eastern Canada, nearly 62,000 still hadn’t had their power restored, including 33,000 in Toronto.
Tens of thousands of Michigan residents like Johnson are the unlucky ones still waiting. Some have abandoned their homes to stay elsewhere. Others are riding it out, either by choice _ not wanting to leave pets or unattended houses _ or because they have nowhere else to go.
Their Christmas plans were ruined or inconvenienced, and now their frustration is boiling over. They know the storm was bad and appreciate the around-the-clock efforts of line crews, but in East Lansing, for instance, residents are questioning the response by the local municipal utility.
“Where’s the money going? The money we pay in power bills, the money that they spend to cut these trees down to keep the power lines open doesn’t seem to really be working, in my mind,” said Jon Irvin, 35.
Irvin drove an hour north to Mount Pleasant on Sunday to buy a $500 generator after he couldn’t find any in the Lansing area. It powers his furnace and a few lights.
“We couldn’t really afford it but we did it anyway,” he said. “Every day, it’s been a better and better purchase.”
Anger also was building in Surry, Maine, where one Bangor Hydro customer approached a line crew and then made a threatening phone call Thursday after learning the crew wasn’t working on the circuit necessary to restore his power. The utility temporarily had the crew leave the area until police investigated. No charges will be filed against the man, state police said.
In Lansing, Mich., police were investigating at least two burglaries at homes where the occupants left after their power went out, according to news reports.
But those incidents appear to be isolated. Police in other parts of Michigan and in Maine said Friday they had no reports of storm-related break-ins.
Major Joel Maatman, with the Ingham County sheriff’s office in Michigan, said residents in rural areas _ like many hit by the storm _ have past experience with bad weather and had generators that allowed them to stay in their homes.
“I’ve been here since 1975 and I don’t remember an ice storm like this,” said Maatman, who used a portable generator and wood-burning stove for power and heat. “I live out in the sticks, and you got to have a generator.”
But “out-county where there is a lot of farming and open land, I think it’s always on every police officer’s mind that crime can occur,” he added.
The Ace Hardware store in Ortonville, Mich., was flooded with people looking for items that would help get them through the power outages, according to manager Tim Tyler.
“Five gallon gas cans went out extremely fast,” he said. “Little propane tanks went fasts. Plug-ins for generators, extension cords, batteries, lanterns.”
The one item Tyler didn’t have in stock: portable, gas-powered generators.
“If I had a boatload or truckload I would have sold all of them,” he said Friday afternoon, nearly a week after the massive ice storm began sliding through. “People were calling and asking if we had any, and we didn’t. This whole town was out of power for over 24 hours. Some are starting to come back now.”
Until the storm, generators “just weren’t in demand,” Tyler added.
“If you bring in a whole bunch, they sit a lot,” he said. “You have to think about, `Should I bring a boatload of them in? No I should not.’ But I’ll bring a few in now.”
Besides the ice, falling branches and vicious cold, just keeping warm for some became dangers. Five people apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning tied to using gas-powered generators heat and light.
Carbon monoxide is called an “invisible killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the Unites States die every year from accidental nonfire-related carbon monoxide poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Other products include faulty, improperly used or incorrectly vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.
Remember the Facebook couple with the same names? What about the bridezilla who let loose on a wedding guest for giving a gift instead of an envelope?
Read on to peruse some of the best read stories on thestar.com in 2013:
University of Toronto students attempted to bring some warmth to a frigid January by hosting an
On the heels of a groundbreaking apology and settlement over Huronia Regional Centre, the province has once again settled with two groups of survivors who filed class action lawsuits.
The province has reached settlements with the survivors of two other provincial institutions for people with intellectual disabilities that were the subject of class-action lawsuits by residents who say they suffered physical, emotional and psychological trauma during their time there.
“It’s the end of a long road for the survivors and their families. They put up with a lot,” said Kirk Baert, a lawyer with Koskie Minsky LLP, who represented survivors in both cases. “It is nice to get them a settlement just before Christmas.”
The two settlements, which are collectively worth $32.7-million, come on the heels of a landmark settlement and apology for survivors of Huronia Regional Centre, the most notorious asylum in a system that has widely been criticized as abusive.
Survivors of Rideau Regional Centre, which was open from 1951 to 2009, will be eligible to receive a portion of roughly $21-million in damages fast cash advance. Rideau was located in Smith Falls, Ontario and housed 2,650 people at its peak.
Southwestern Regional Centre, which was located in Chatham-Kent, operated from 1961 to 2008 and housed under 1,000 people in 1971. Survivors of that institution will qualify for a portion of $11-million.
The settlement still must be approved in court.
Premier Kathleen Wynne issued an apology on the floor of the Queen’s Park legislature in early December. For many survivors, the move was far more important than any financial restitution. In her apology, Wynne included Southwestern and Rideau.
The settlement calls for an additional apology to be made in the form of a published letter, according to Baert.
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