april 2020 Connecting people, places and ideas across our city from the downtown east Berkeley House By Bruce Bell 3 Waterfront Toronto Ignores Warnings By Mariana Valverde 5 Funeral for the Truth By Ellise Ramos 7 Pulling Along Life in Suspense. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has upended lives, shuttered businesses and ushered in social norms of physical distancing and quarantine. While we faithfully accept new societal measures, life feels it’s being pulled beyond our control. (Reﬂections page 8) Photo: Tania Correa Shutting Up The Shop: COVID-19 economic assistance is here – but how long can we hang on? By Ben Bull economy. As of December mately 30% of Canada’s gross Industry department, 95,000 It is. The federal government 2017, businesses with 1 to 99 domestic product (GDP). small businesses sprung up has promised to spend up to As the coronavirus continues employees made up 98% of Most small businesses are between 2010 and 2015; howe- $107 billion to ease the crisis, to ravage our community, all employers in Canada. From mom-and-pop operations. ver, a whopping 85,000 disap- including $27 billion in direct Toronto business owners are 2013–2017, small businesses According to 2017 stats, 54% peared over the same period. support for Canadian workers wondering how much longer employed 70% of the private of small businesses employ Over half of small businesses and businesses. Measures to be they can stay afloat in the face work force and were respon- one to four people, with 86% fold within their first ten years. rolled out include: of the prolonged economic sible for 67% of employment employing up to 19 people. With COVID-19 shuttering slowdown. growth. Government statistics It’s not easy for a small busi- storefronts, bars and offices Shop continued on pg 6 Small businesses are a for 2014 show that small busi- ness to stay afloat. According all over our neighbourhood, is major engine of Canada’s nesses contributed approxi- to the federal Business and help coming? Page 2 the bridge april 2020 Connecting people, places and ideas From the Publisher across our city from Dear readers, munity with local news and the downtown east developments. I would like With the sudden advent of to thank all of our regular COVID-19 in our communi- contributors and small busi- the bridge ty, it is imperative that calm ness supporters for keeping and reason triumph over this project alive. is an independent community fear and panic. We must be Let the bridge connect newspaper published mont- resolute, in both body and your community, so your hly and distributed by a mix of mind, to shoulder the res- voice can bridge what the delivery services to a varying ponsibility of making sure neighbourhood values most. readership. Over 3000 copies our friends, families, loved Please write to us – are circulated throughout the ones and neighbours remain contribute an article, a pho- downtown east - Moss Park, safe and well. to, a thought. We accept let- Corktown, The Garden Dis- In this unprecedented ters to the editor. trict, Cabbagetown South, the time, many of our most Stay strong, Toronto! St. Lawrence Neighbourhood cherished places of busi- - and to community hubs that ness remain closed. Some, Andre Michael Bermon, extend across Toronto. however, soldier on. As a Publisher of the bridge the bridge strives to source community we must conti- community newspaper. up-to-date activity and diverse nue to support the essential interests from heritage, plan- small businesses now strug- ning, culture, development, gling under the weight of un- arts and opinions that advocate certainty. A small purchase a collaborative level playing or a donation can go a long field forum. way. Human beings are social Publisher: Andre Michael Bermon animals and the transition to a solitary life has been diffi- Copy Editor: Eric Mills cult for many. But now that Spring is upon us, a simple Designer: Patrick Lee stroll down the street has ne- ver seemed so vital. We are Photographer: Tania Correa lucky to have so much histo- ry displayed in our very own Questions, comments or queries? backyard. Heritage can be a useful tool to remind us how email@example.com far society has come, and the obstacles previous generati- 260 Adelaide Street East Toronto, ons have surmounted. On M5A 1N1 Box 12 Throughout our current situation, the bridge will continue to supply the com- Community Support in flux + form the Time of Covid-19 By: Tooba Nasir Vali, Market J E W E L L E R Y Manager, Building Roots Community organizations like wedding + custom + ready-to-wear + re-use Building Roots are rooted in bringing people together. Com- munity spaces filled with peo- ple, laughter and conversations all around, is what our ‘nor- mal’ looked like. Now, even we must adjust to this new temporary norm and create a safe and healthy space that of- fers resources for our commu- nity members. We have geared our focus and resources towards tackling food insecurity issues amongst the vulnerable most affected by Covid-19. We are continuing to operate our Moss Park Mar- ket, but it’s become a take-out model, to practice physical dis- tancing and limit contact. We have also started delivering food hampers for people in the Our Art. Your Story. community who are self-isola- Tooba Nasir Vali in front of the Moss Park Market. Photo: Lisa Kates ting and seniors who can’t and heard in a while, or ever. Give dings and spread positivity in shouldn’t leave their homes. credence to your own men- your community. 116 1/2 Sherbourne St. Toronto | fluxandform.com In an age of technology, tal health as well, limit your This is a time to be selfless, a we are never too far from our daily news intake, learn a new time to put the safety and well- (416) 368-9679 |@fluxandform loved ones - virtually. Kno- skill like sewing or gardening, ness of our vulnerable commu- wing this, please take time take on a new language, start a nity members as our top priori- Tuesday - Saturday 12-6pm out of your day for a phone puzzle or a DIY home impro- ty. Practice physical distancing call, to check in on your loved vement project. Focus on the and take appropriate measures ones, your neighbors, and lis- POSITIVES in your surroun- for your and everyone else’s ten to those stories you haven’t health and safety. april 2020 the bridge Page 3 Berkeley House Berkeley and King stood the fabled Berkeley House first built in 1794 as a modest home by Mr. John Small the clerk of the Executive Council. He built his house on Government owned land, which caused a minor scandal but nothing like the scandal that was to come. By Bruce Bell, Senior Columnist Honour was everything back in the day and duels were often In the early 1800’s with the fought. Town of York (now Toronto) At a government meeting the having a population of about wife of the Attorney General 600, there was once a small John White said something to bridge crossing Goodwin’s Mrs. Small that was taken as an Creek at present day Parlia- insult. It could have been so- ment and King. mething as trivial as “My dear Though the creek is long don’t tell me your husband buried, there is today a slight bought that gown for you?” dip and a bend to King St as it Taken to mean some other man crosses Parliament etching out might have purchased it for the former topography of the her. area. Well all hell broke loose and The first houses and busines- whatever was said forced the ses to spring up in that area two husbands on January 4th, were Mrs. Johnson’s boarding 1800 to defend the honour of house on the NW corner of their wives with a duel fought Ontario and King Sts, Jordan’s on what was then open ground Hotel on the south side and be- fronting the lake just south of hind that was a public baking King on the west side of Parlia- oven operated by Paul Martin. ment street. This public bakery was in Mr. S mall wo n an d M r. operation from at least 1804 White was dead. Mr. Small to well after the Rebellion of having killed a member of the dustries and have fun. ning of booze, laughter and po- The remaining addition to 1837 for it is recorded that the ruling class was tried for mur- Charles Small, son of John, litical discussion. Berkeley House with its grand bakery supplied bread to the der but was later acquitted by inherited his father’s modest Their parents, whose own parlors, sweeping staircases militia forces of Toronto in the infamous Peter Russell who home on the south west cor- young lives were dictated to and Italian Renaissance façade 1839. earlier had a Mr. Humphrey ner of Berkeley and King and by a book known as ‘Rules of stood until 1926 when it too The largest estate in the area hung for stealing a forged note built an enormous addition and Conduct in Upper Canada,’ came crashing down after years was Maryville Lodge, home to of one dollar. named the entire estate Berke- could only just shake their of disuse. D.W. Smith, whose estate took The Smalls were banned ley House. heads in disgust at the goings Today the famous site is up the block bounded by King, from society and in a town This new and much larger on. home to a 17-storey office to- Berkeley, Ontario and Adelaide that had a population of a pre- house, an Italian styled villa, In 1898 the original albeit wer and the new address of The streets and held up to 20 buil- sent day apartment building, became the center of social life modest 1794 house was torn Globe and Mail newspaper. dings including a stable with banishment was seen as a wor- in 1820’s York. down and the present struc- During the tower’s construc- 13 stalls. se punishment than hanging. Horse drawn carriages over- ture the Reid Brothers building tion, the original stone foun- Smith left York in 1804 and While York’s founding fa- flowing with young partygoers (359 King E) was built. dation of Berkeley House was soon after Maryville lodge was thers were happy to fight duels all dressed in the latest fashions The Reid Bros. also owned unearthed after almost two cen- demolished to make way for an the second generation, being would pull up nightly to the an enormous lumber factory turies of being buried. expanding town. not so heavily ruled by society candle lit house with what pro- complex at the bottom of Ber- On the southwest corner of niceties, would rather build in- mised to be yet another eve- keley Street at the Esplanade. Quinqué Tealight Lamp And Jacob, Mexico City Modern goods for your home. www.merchantofyork.com 181 Queen Street East Berkeley House by Owen Staples. Courtesy of the Toronto Public Library 647-343-6405 Page 4 the bridge april 2020 Another Large, Blocky ‘Data Centre’ Planned Next to Distillery District By Rosemary Frei trances on the ground level and will be connected to TR2 with A second very large data cen- a second-floor bridge. tre is in the works for the block The building’s roof has a just north of the Distillery Dis- striking design: a rectangular, trict. The site of the proposed flat top with very steep, long building also is, not coinci- and straight slopes coming dentally, a stone’s throw from down from each of its four si- ‘Quayside,’ where Google af- des. The sloped surfaces des- filiate Sidewalk Labs is poised cend about three stories to to create a ‘smart city’ invol- where the outside walls meet ving a vast amount of data col- the roof. lection. “This roof form will be es- The huge, mostly window- pecially dangerous along the less ‘TR3’ data centre is plan- Front Street sidewalk” because ned for the southeast corner of “a large snowfall ... could cre- Eastern Avenue and Parliament ate a snow slide of epic pro- Street, on the north side of the portions,” Distillery District ‘TR2’ data centre that opened resident and architect George in October 2015. Hume wrote in an emailed The new data centre will comment to the bridge. “Does dwarf Toronto Police 51 Divi- the designer live in Southern sion’s headquarters, which is California?” on the northeast corner of Ea- Hume, who’s given input on stern and Parliament. TR3 also development in the area on be- will be taller than TR2. TR2 shown behind empty lot that is earmarked for the new TR3 data centre. Photo: Tania Correa half of himself and the Gooder- TR2 is owned by Equinix ham & Worts Neighbourhood -- a U.S.-based, internation- profile: for example, a search which presented detailed plans In addition, the presentation Association for many years, ally operating, company – as for its name on the Globe and and drawings to the Waterfront states, such “top-tier data cen- also noted that TR3 won’t be will TR3. Equinix’s website Mail’s website yields just three Toronto Design Review Panel tres in the core will ensure that attractive from the outside. describes the multinational as articles, one each in 2007, on February 26. Toronto continues to attract In addition, he observed, “the world’s largest data cen- 2010 and 2015. TR3 is designed to be a ‘co- top tech companies, including the building “will not provide ter and co-location provider, The first data centre in location centre.’ Such centres those providing services to the much neighbourhood stimu- enabling fastest application Toronto, TR1, is located in “provide equipment, space, financial services industries, AI lation; there are very few em- performance, lowest latency the downtown financial dis- bandwidth, power, cooling and [artificial intelligence] and IoT ployees in the present building and a digital ecosystem for fi- trict. Toronto so far is the only physical security for the server, [the Internet of Things], and is [TR2] and I expect this will be nancial, CDM [‘Common Data Canadian city that has Equinix storage and networking equip- ready to support new opportu- the same [for TR3].” Model’], enterprise and cloud data centres. ment of digital business,” ac- nities such as Sidewalk Labs[’s networks.” TR3 is being designed for cording to the WZMH presen- Quayside smart city].” The company keeps a low Equinix by WZMH Architects, tation to Waterfront Toronto. TR3 will not have any en- ‘What to do with all this time?’ By Phil E. Roth, columnist cupations and work. Perhaps our view on managing our We have all heard people say free time should be scrutini- this: “If I had more time, I zed more thoroughly? How would do more exercise, or I do we allocate our time after would study more.” But now completing our professional that we have been advised engagements? Part of the chal- to self-isolate or practice so- lenge remains having the same cial distancing due to the CO- energy and resources to fulfill VID-19 outbreak, many of us our spare-time projects with are crawling up the walls be- enthusiasm and focus. We have cause we don’t know what to all caught ourselves saying, “I do with all the time we have. was just too tired to do this … This free time conundrum and that.” is challenging modern human- Well, except for meeting our kind to stay occupied while social network face to face on- remaining sane and balanced. line, we are now afforded new- Do modern occupations rob us ly released time in the day that of time to be and stay creative? leaves us without excuses. We Are we too used to everyday have the time. We have always hum-drumming from place to had it. But now, procrastination place and staying occupied for or lack of motivation or mental most of the day, which discon- focus can no longer be hidden nects a good majority of people behind “I just don’t have the from exercising creative prac- time.” tice and thinking? Now is the time to pursue Many of us have attended our curiosities to learn and read Perhaps our view of managing time should be scrutinized more thoroughly? Photo: Phil E. Roth gatherings and parties where about new things, releasing and the biggest lamentations voiced creating new energies and po- he made the following state- If we decide to turn into decisive action. are about the lack of time in a wer to discover what is availa- ment, which is the raison d’être couch potatoes, please let us At present, we do not need day. Life/work balance being ble to all of us: life-long lear- of this commentary. With not complain about how diffi- to commute or run to the gym juggled – and work getting ning. We are wired to acquire health officials appealing for cult that is while embracing it – and we cannot use this for the better of us – is often the new knowledge, as it helps us social distancing, “It’s not as if with a bored stare into nothing- a reason to not read or study common denominator of these navigate through daily challen- we are asked to make a sacri- ness. As a PBS slogan years and learn more. Time disci- conversations. So how do we ges. It expands our minds and fice like storming the beaches back stated, “Learn more. pline and time hygiene remain prioritize time and how does it allows objective critical thin- of Normandy and fighting the Know more. Be more.” We just as important as the daily affect our time management? king and decision-making. Nazi war machine. Watching cannot expect empty calories face splash in the morning and This is not to diminish the A good friend recently made Netflix for a good part of the to give us important nutrients. brushing our teeth. importance of professional oc- me laugh uncontrollably when day does not even come close.” We must select those foods by april 2020 the bridge Page 5 Waterfront Toronto Ignoring Major Concerns Surrounding Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside Plan By Mariana Valverde Adapted from a March 18 ar- ticle by University of Toronto professor Mariana Valverde for the Ryerson Centre for Free Expression’s blog On a sunny day in Octo- ber 2017 Waterfront Toronto (WT), the tri-governmental agency responsible for admi- nistering revitalization projects along the city’s waterfront, sig- ned an agreement with Goog- le’s urban design division, Sidewalk Labs (SWL), to de- velop a smart city on a 12 acre lot known as Quayside. But ever since then, the leaders of WT have most often behaved like lobbyists-in-chief for the Google/Alphabet sister com- pany rather than guardians of the public interest. And while there have been several recent resignations from WT, no whistleblowers have stepped forward. A striking example of the lopsided dynamics is the Feb. Quayside, image via Sidewalk Labs’ Master Innovation and Development Plan. 2020 approval by WT’s evalu- ation committee of all but 16 who is defending the public vance of considering doing any DSAP, along with WT’s De- ment or instead directly with of SWL’s 160 proposals out- interest -- is right now the such collection via a gaggle of sign Review Panel, as the two Alphabet? What role if any are lined in its Quayside Digital most worrying thing. On Fe- new gadgets. advisory panels WT was “con- City of Toronto staff playing Innovation Appendix (DIA). bruary 26, WT’s own group At the Feb. 29 morning con- sidering feedback from” in in the negotiations? Is board Many of the untested techno- of hand-picked data experts sult, which I attended, the very evaluating the 160 “solutions.” chair Steve Diamond leading logies are tied to a data extrac- from across Canada, the Di- existence of the expert DSAP The second and last mention the talks or is it WT staff and, tion and motion tracking with gital Strategy Advisory Panel wasn’t mentioned in any of the is: “Waterfront Toronto’s Digi- if the latter, which staff? little built in oversight. (DSAP), issued a report that lengthy presentations by WT tal Strategy Advisory Panel has On February 6 I wrote The evaluation committee roundly criticized gadgets leaders, never mind the panel’s reviewed the DIA in detail, and Mayor John Tory, Councillor was headed by former Ryerson praised by WT as promising brand-new seminal report. Ap- their report will also inform Joe Cressy (the only politician University president Sheldon ‘innovations.’ It also questi- parently, that scenario also un- Waterfront Toronto’s decision- on WT’s board), and the head Levy. Levy is a Special Advi- oned the corporate-driven and folded in the afternoon consult. making.” That’s all. of the city’s Waterfront Se- sor to the Ontario government data-centric assumptions of Furthermore, the DSAP was That leaves acres of questi- cretariat, David Stonehouse. I on small and medium-sized the ‘smart city’ project. DSAP mentioned only twice, both ons unanswered. For instance, suggested a town-hall meeting enterprise, and a strategic con- members instead called for a times in passing, in the glossy, are WT senior staff negotiating to inform local citizens about sultant to real-estate developer cautious “digital-restraint” ap- full-colour, 46-page ‘Discus- with SWL (either in Toronto or what the city is doing to ensure Knightstone Capital Manage- proach involving determining sion Guide’ given to Feb. 29 at SWL’s New York City head- transparency and to protect the ment Inc. whether collecting data is use- meeting attendees. quarters) toward the new June public interest. I’m still wai- The lack of clarity about ful or necessary -- well in ad- The first simply names 25 deadline for a final agree- ting to hear back. In the face of upheaval, our community smiles back! Photos: Tania Correa Page 6 the bridge april 2020 Shop from pg 1 - Sickness benefits. For wor- kers in isolation because of COVID-19 who do not have paid sick leave or access to em- ployment insurance (EI), the government is introducing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to provide up to $2000 a month for up to 4 months. - Unemployment benefits. Benefits will be paid to wor- kers who lose all or part of their income because of CO- VID-19. This includes workers without access to EI. -Wage subsidies. To encourage employers to keep their staff, the gover- nment will subsidize affec- ted workers by paying up to 75% of their wages for three It’s not easy for small businesses to stay aﬂoat. Picture depicting vacant storefronts along Queen Street East. Photo: Andre Bermon months. - Deferred taxes. Businesses (CFIB) member survey noted most affected by COVID-19 for late remittances of the Em- EI payment assistance. can delay paying income tax that 42% of small businesses are hospitality, arts and recre- ployer Health Tax, sales taxes, Like the virus itself, econo- until August 31 with no penal- depend on face-to-face contact ation, retail, and personal ser- and Workplace Safety and mic assistance measures are ties. Tax credits will also be in- for all their sales. vices. In an interview with the Insurance Board premium pay- evolving. Nobody knows how creased for small and medium- CFIB small business owners Toronto Sun newspaper, she ments,” she said. long the outbreak will last. sized businesses. reported an average revenue cited the government of Den- At the municipal level, Health experts have specula- - Access to credit. The Busi- loss of $66,000 as of March mark’s decision to cover 75% Toronto Mayor John Tory has ted that the current shutdown ness Credit Availability Pro- 17. A quarter of those surveyed of affected worker’s salaries, launched an Economic Sup- in Toronto could last up to two gram will provide more than said they would not be able to a measure the government of port and Recovery Task Force, months at least. In the mean- $10 billion in additional sup- survive more than a month if Canada has just recently adop- which is extending grace peri- time, all we can do as a com- port to businesses. their income dropped by half. ted. ods for property tax and utility munity is pull together, ask for Is this enough? CFIB’s director of Ontario “We’ve also asked the Onta- bill payments, committing to help when we need it, and try A recent Canadian Federa- provincial affairs, Julie Kwie- rio government to provide re- paying city staff for shifts al- our best to hang on. tion of Independent Business cinski, noted that the sectors lief from penalties and interest ready scheduled and providing Pandemics of the Past: Cholera in the Town of York By Zoé Delguste-Cincotta, rating with limited resources them powerless to its spread. a repository for animal and hu- ground for the disease. Curator at The Town of York and under enormous pressure, Various miraculous cures were man waste. Every night bodies were col- Historical Society. local officials separated visibly urged upon the public by quack According to a June 12, lected by cart to be buried in ill passengers from the rest and doctors and the press. Funds 1828 article in the Colonial mass in a swampy corner of The disease arrived by ship in allowed those who appeared were needed to provide hos- Advocate, “In front or in rear St. James cemetery. Over the the summer of 1832, and soon healthy to move on. Many pitalization and medical aid to of houses of many inhabitants course of the summer, the peo- the death toll rose. Cholera had made their way to the shores those in need, but public health of this town, and even on the ple of York suffered at least landed in the Town of York. of Lake Ontario, and settled in legislation in York was in its public streets, individuals are 200 deaths in a population of For months the town had York. infant stage. permitted to collect, or throw approximately 6000 residents. been preparing for the arrival Cholera was a disease Unsanitary sewage conditi- out and exhibit all sorts of filth The cholera epidemic of 1832 of the disease, having heard of without a known cure. An ons and cholera infected wa- and nastiness – puddles of stin- led to the formulation of the its spread across Europe and extremely aggressive and ter expedited the spread of the king water and offals, noisome first public health legislations the devastation that it left in its fast-acting malady, it was disease. The Town of York and pestiferous, are allowed in Upper Canada and gave rise wake. In anticipation of a new characterized by violent nau- had but one public water well to exist without complaint.” to social welfare organizations wave of settlers arriving in the sea, vomiting and diarrhea. (which can still be found on The overcrowded conditions to tackle overcrowding and po- country, a quarantine station The cause of the disease was the North end of Market Lane), of the town further hastened verty. The first outbreak lasted had been established in Febru- water-born bacteria, but that and it was described as being the spread of cholera. The area about three months, but it left ary 1832 on Grosse-Îsle in the would not be discovered until foul-smelling and the colour known as Stuart’s Block, lo- the citizens of the town fear- St. Lawrence in Lower Cana- the 1880s. In 1832, those in of leeks. To avoid this water, cated on the east side of what ful of when it would inevitably da. But the island was not rea- the medical profession thought many preferred to source their is now St. James’ Park, was a return. When it did, hopefully dy for the arrival of 400 ships cholera was transmitted by water directly from the lake, ramshackle shanty neighbour- they would be better prepared. with 25,000 passengers. Ope- wind or by fumes. This left which was little better as it was hood which became a breeding april 2020 the bridge Page 7 Funeral for the Truth people think I am for sale? As each winter passes,and --it is not my first and will never be my own. Ellise Ramos lives with a cat in a box in Toronto where she By Ellise Ramos owner, “Can I pet him? Is he more snow gathers around me, Toronto is a multicultural city, drowns in countless books and friendly?”And he said, “Maybe winter jackets accumulating -- and we can be so accepting and pots of coffee. In her spare “Growth is painful. Change not with the Chinese.” it’s so easy to forget that I used open. But denying the exis- time, she volunteers for the is painful. But nothing is as to belong to an island, tence of the abyss we have to Toronto Writers Collective and painful as staying stuck some- I was 23 when I noticed, whose history is marked by cross to reach each other, writes poetry and short ﬁction. where you don’t belong.” sitting in a restaurant with my 300 years of subjugation -- is a funeral for the truth. You can ﬁnd her work at el- N.R. Narayana Murthy friend, an old man, his white liseramos.com. Funeral For son and his son’s Filipino wife that the colour of my skin We are all blinded by the lens The Truth was ﬁrst published I came from the Philippines at staring at us. is different from yours, that owns us, and bound to as part of the TWC’s Prompt of 14, and immediately recogni- pasts we cannot destroy. the Month. zed the abyss that separates my I could see from the look of the the language I speak narrative from everyone else’s Filipina’s eyes that something is borrowed *Translates to: “Please have history. was about to happen -- patience for he is old.” something she was already VOICE TOGETHER My history is of salt water and desperately trying to apologize dried fish. Sunny, humid days and afternoons spent with for. Do you have a my back on the grass, toes cur- led, watching the clouds go by. The old man wheeled his chair over to my table, put story to tell? both hands on my shoulder We want to hear you Yours is of winter, hugging and asked: “You from the cups of coffee, the initial sweet Philippines?”I nodded, my fork taste reinvigorating your body for the rest of the day. Coffee, and spoon in mid-air.“Good. Come with me. I can give you w w w.torontow riters c ol l e c tive.c a the quencher of all thirsts, the everything. I can even send firstname.lastname@example.org muse of your mornings, you back home. I have mo- Explore your creative genius the tradition that keeps a fa- ney.” We have begun offering Free brave expressive mily close, one mug at a time. Virtual Workshops! His son kept apologizing, For more information, writing workshops I was 20 when I walked down but to my friend, not to me. please check our website or contact: the streets of Port Credit, His Filipino wife went down Supportive feedback forgetting the place I had in on her knees, put her forehead email@example.com All are welcome your world. A fuzzy, brown on mine, and said, “Pasensya dog came bounding down the steps and pushed his head ka na. Matanda na eh.”* Encouraging Voice, Empowering the Unheard under my palm. I asked the What is it about me that makes @ torontowritersc Amazing Moss Park Art Fair at the Toronto School of Art and Illustration and Design at George Brown College. He went on to work in the pho- tography industry, designing point of sale marketing sig- nage and developing full win- dow displays for major photo- graphic retailers including the Blacks Photography and Japan Camera chains. In recent years Sillers’ inte- rest in computer technology led him to explore the combi- nation of traditional visual art techniques with digital photo- graphy. The results have been described as “having infused the industrial, urban and rural landscape with an ethereal ro- manticism”. His work has also been referred to as “having achieved a fusion of histori- cal and traditional sensitivities By Carol Mark Greenwashing by Melanie Billark with contemporary insight and a classical visualization of the When art mirrors your life, it Michael Sillers, with his eye ture and Installation program Realizing that she no longer world made possible through can be described as heaven on on the urban landscape, rede- in 2016. Her body of work in- wanted to contribute more ob- the versatility of digital and earth. So often, we are out of fines what is “Canadian” in an cludes themes of social and jects to this over-filled world, electronic tools”. sync with our beliefs and our urban sense. Not the fir trees of political issues that affect and Melanie’s priorities as an artist His work has been exhibited life, but Melanie Billark and the far north that have echoed surround principles of ecology. drastically shifted. Greenwa- internationally in Argentina, Michael Sillers truly live theirs by the traditional Group of [Her work strives to create an shing by Melanie Billark found the United States (California through their art. Seven. Michael uses familiar awareness to certain environ- a way to consider what she and Texas) and in Canada, Melanie’s organic based na- images and transforms them mental issues within the public could do for the environment, most notably in Toronto and ture work stops you in your into iconic symbols of urban sphere]. Melanie has received a allowing her practice to beco- across Ontario, as well as in tracks and makes you ponder life in the 21st century. number of awards for her work me a form of restoration and a Montreal, Quebec. questions on waste, climate Melanie Billark is an emer- including The Climate Arts process of healing Mother Ea- Sillers continues to produ- change and, more important, ging, Toronto based, multi-dis- Award in 2019, and the OALA rth. www.melaniebillark.com ce artwork that combines the our impact as human beings on ciplinary artist. She obtained Ground Award in 2017. Mela- @melanie.billark painterly with the digital. the planet. We feel compelled an advanced diploma in 2011 nie’s work has been shown in Michael Sillers studied dra- Join the Amazing Moss to make changes in our lives to from Sheridan College Crafts numerous galleries, shows, and wing, painting and experi- Park Art Exhibit www.ama- positively impact our experien- and Design program, as well as festivals across the GTA and mental media at the Ontario zingmosspark.ca Art can ces on earth. a BFA from OCADU’s Sculp- United States. College of Art, Visual Arts change the World Page 8 the bridge april 2020 The Berkeley Church in Methodist Rome Stories from the bridge Elijah Woolsey in 1795. When Toronto incorpora- We have all heard Toronto’s ted as a city in 1834, Metho- many nicknames. Hogtown, dism was on the rise. The first T-Dot, Queen City, The Big church was built in 1818 near Smoke, Toronto the Good and present day Jordan Street and recently, thanks to the flam- later the ancestor to the Me- boyant efforts of Canadian rap tropolitan Church on Adelaide star Drake, The Six. But what and Toronto Streets in 1832. about the city as the “Metho- To convert and train successive dist Rome?” generations, Sunday Schools To most Torontonians the were the means of extending Methodist influence remains religious authority to the mas- an obscurity. Once a dominant ses. The Berkeley Church be- cultural institution, instilling gan as a small brick structure strict moral and religious doc- just two blocks south with an trines of a puritan society, what entrance on Duke Street (now remain are the signature basti- Adelaide). Built in 1837 and ons of Methodist worship; the named the Duke Street Sunday church buildings themselves. School. Gracing the corner of Queen The 1850s would prove to East and Berkeley Streets is be the start of a decades long the Berkeley Church, con- boom for Toronto. Seeing the The Berkeley Church, sketch 1904. Landnarks of Toronto by J. Ross Robertson. structed in 1871. Known his- need to incorporate new con- torically as the Berkeley Street gregations from the popula- for worship, assemblies and Only a concentration of urban played a major cultural, reli- Wesleyan Methodist Church, it ted eastern suburbs, the Duke Sunday School studies. Consi- poor remained. gious and political role during was once an important pilgri- Street Sunday School was sold dered a substantial project for The effects of a stagnant po- the 19th and early 20th centu- mage of the eastern religious to make way for the Berkeley the time, the Berkeley Church pulation pushed the idea to re- ries. Many of our most cheris- circuit. Now an event space, firehall (a later iteration was set the precedent for change on purpose the church. In 1956, hed institutions have Methodist the church remains a relic of retrofitted to form the Alumnae Queen East as commercial and the interior was altered to form beginnings. the enormous Methodist im- Theatre Company). A wooden industrial development would a radio, television and film stu- While Queen East patient- pression and a significant foot- framed chapel was erected on soon follow. dio for the newly amalgama- ly waits for its long overdue note in the development of his- the church’s present-day site in Writing in in 1904, J. Ross ted United Church of Canada. renaissance, the Berkeley toric Queen East. 1857 and sat 500 people. Robertson, the author of the It functioned as the Berkeley Church stands out as a shining Methodism traces its roots as Growth again necessitated series, Landmarks of Toronto, Street Studios until the early example of purposeful reuse. a revival movement within the the enlargements of churches foretold the future of the Ber- 1990s. Decades of willful neglect Church of England in Britain, and this time under the trus- keley Church, “It is doomed, The Berkeley Church has a have left dozens of old buil- led by cleric and theologian teeship of prominent citizens as all downtown churches are way of reciting Toronto’s his- dings scattered throughout the John Wesley (1703-91). Wor- such as James Gooderham, -sooner or later to be forsa- tory. As a Methodist organi- downtown east. As develop- shipers travelling to British the architectural firm Smith & ken as the residential portion zation in a time of robust ur- ment permeates, efforts need to North America established a Gemmell was commissioned of the city moves towards the ban growth there are parallels be made to preserve our heri- presence in the Atlantic pro- to design the current red brick northern ravine.” In plainness between the need for spiritual tage stock and allow antiquity vinces, but later exerted stron- oblong shaped building. Fea- Robertson describes the phe- fulfillment and the formation to coexist with future projects. ger influence in Upper Canada. turing elements of the Gothic- nomena linked to industrial ex- of a maturing metropolis. The Lest our next nickname be The first recorded preacher Revival style, the church con- pansion. As wealth fled, homes Methodist impression is stam- the Generic City. in the Town of York was Rev. tained modern arrangements were converted or demolished. ped throughout the city as it Reflections on our Changing World By Andre Bermon, Publisher what the experts know now. remolded to suit a more vir- If the solution to stopping tual world. Consumerism I was eleven years old when this virus is quarantine, social through online portals and the principal of my school distancing, reimagining how entertainment brought to you wheeled in a television to we work, live and play; then as by streaming services are show the class the horrifying citizens we are complying. laying the permanent founda- imagery that took place in But where will this lead us? tion of a “shut-in” lifestyle. New York City on September Are we able to go back? Keeping in fashion with 11th. The answer to the latter is an already consolidated Too little to understand that likely no. market, Walmart, Shoppers a major paradigm was in the Human beings are creatures Drug Mart, Home Depot, making. The War on Terror of habit and the conditioning Loblaws, and Metro have all had begun. effects of physical distancing become beneficiaries of “es- The collapse of the World brought on by fear of infection sential businesses” across the Trade Centres marked an up- will be long lasting. country. Medium and small ending of life not only in the Already there are signs of businesses who don’t qualify United States, but around the suspicion and mistrust among remain closed with hopes of world. neighbours. From mid- to late reopening all but unassured. Populations were subjected March the city’s 311 hotline Living in a state of pande- to interrogation, imprison- received over 1,400 complaints mic is a life in suspense. Ne- A sign of the changing times. ment, mass surveillance, des- about illegal and or irrespon- ver knowing when it will all truction and displacement sible behavior in public parks, be over has become the de from war. punishment of the law. look around. now outlawed from recreati- facto state of mind. All in name of fighting an To witness how quickly soci- In the fight against a com- onal use; as reported by the When such conditions pre- enemy we couldn’t see; rights ety can be dismantled and put mon threat, collective action is Toronto Star. vail power can be amassed. and freedoms were easily ta- together again with restrictions needed which takes coordinati- Plexiglass “sneeze guards” Decisions from leaders can ken away. on commerce, movement and on and willpower to overcome. have become ubiquitous in resemble dystopian novels and With the sudden spread of public gatherings, shows how The corona pandemic is a front of cashiers and places of science fiction films. COVID-19, echoes of the little we are in control of our real battle and people have suf- exchange. A physical barrier If this experience teaches “invisible enemy” are heard own lives. fered and died. According to but also a psychological one us anything, is that we must once more. A collaborated Like the child who pulls the provincial health officials, the that weaponizes a fundamental be ever vigilant. For the hea- effort around the world has string of a toy, we are subject projection of deaths in April human trait; social interaction. vy curtain of uncertainty can seen billions of people un- to sudden jerks and tugs, never are set to rise between 3,000 The economy, the greatest shroud us from the liberties we der lockdown. Some under able to move freely or stop to and 15,000. Data quantified on influencer of our lives, is being once enjoyed.