Newsstand: November 27, 2013




Newsstand: November 27, 2013

It's Wednesday, so we're all halfway through this slow-motion train wreck of a week. In the news: brace yourselves for a frenetic winter, Americans are now referencing Toronto when it comes to cracked-out mayors, the Toronto Public Library flourishes, the worst mansion in history goes up for auction, and Pharrell Williams is bringing some hip art to the Design Exchange.

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With snow arriving in the GTA, winter is officially here to stay. Checking the forecast before you leave the house now becomes as necessary as breathing. According to The Weather Network, we’re in for a winter that will fluctuate between periods of intense storms and relative calm, which basically sounds like every winter ever in Toronto.

You know you’ve made it when you become a cultural reference point for Americans. Or so the story goes for our great city, which achieved this benchmark moment when Florida sheriff Gordon Smith arrested a local mayor in the city of Hampton on suspicion of possessing and selling the drug Oxycodone—and then had this to say: “This isn’t Toronto. We will not tolerate illegal drug activity, in my jurisdiction, by anyone to include our elected officials.” This would be a good place for us to talk about the “stand your ground” law of the lovely state of Florida, no? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Whatever your personal thoughts are about Mayor Rob Ford, it appears that his cost-cutting manifesto may have been the impetus for the city’s library system to find creative ways to flourish. The National Post explores the growth of the Toronto Public Library, which now includes two new library branches, each 15,000 square feet, that are slated to open in 2014. Its 2014 budget aims to complete this expansion with a cost to taxpayers of $167 million, which works out to an increase of about 1.2 per cent. It’s achieving this through a mix of operational cost-cutting and revenue streams such as selling ads on due date slips and development charges. So every cloud does indeed have a silver lining.

An insanely tacky Bridle Path home modelled after the Palace of Versailles went up for auction yesterday. The 27,000 square foot home that remains unfinished and has been vacant for over a year was initially up for sale for $23 million dollars, but since people still have some sense left in this day and age, nobody bought. It went up on the block for about $14 million, which is a steal for a gem of majestic architectural achievement. Man, it’s a sign of tough times when you loose your shirt over your palatial estate.

If faux palaces are not quite your thing, then perhaps Pharrell Williams is more your speed. He’s going to be curating a vinyl art exhibition in Toronto. “This Is Not a Toy” is billed as the world’s first significant exhibition dedicated to urban vinyl, and will feature everything from figurines and other miniatures, to free-standing pieces. The exhibit will run from February 7 to May 18 next year at the Design Exchange. We can all finally forgive him for the hot mess that was Blurred Lines. Yay, ART!