Torontoist Week In Review: September 8–11, 2015
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Torontoist Week In Review: September 8–11, 2015

A lot happens in the course of a workweek. Here’s a look back at the top stories from the past five days that you might have missed or might care to revisit.

Left to right: Jerry Rappaport, David Crombie, Bill Marshall, Henk Van der Kolk, and Yenka Van der Kolk at the Cannes Film Festival   Maclean's, June 26, 1977

Left to right: Jerry Rappaport, David Crombie, Bill Marshall, Henk Van der Kolk, and Yenka Van der Kolk at the Cannes Film Festival. Maclean’s, June 26, 1977.

An Oral History of TIFF

Now in it’s 40th year, TIFF is arguably the most important cultural institution in the city. In an exhaustive 11,000 word oral history, we spoke to everyone from TIFF co-founders to Chaz Ebert about how the festival has evolved, and what it means to the city.

From the article:

From The Big Chill and Slumdog Millionaire all the way to Score: A Hockey Musical, the Toronto International Film Festival has become the sort of event that can change a movie’s destiny. With the opening of the TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2010, it became the sort of arts institution that impacts Toronto’s arts and culture scene year-round. And year after year, the festival has consistently ranked as Toronto’s biggest source of international media coverage. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

omega chess board 1

With “Omega Chess,” Toronto Man Reinvents Age-Old Game

Sometimes a game calls for re-invention, and the right idea comes along to re-invigorate it. Toronto’s Dan Macdonald hopes that’s the case with “Omega Chess,” the game variant that he’s championed since 1992.

From the article:

When Dan Macdonald designed a new form of chess, he used whatever material was at hand. At the time, that happened to be a pizza box.

“I said, ‘Well, I’m going to expand the board. I’m just gonna put an extra row on it. So I drew this thing out on a pizza box,” he says, recalling the first draft of Omega Chess. Since he dreamed up the game in 1992, it’s earned a devoted following, and Macdonald wants to take it further.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra performing in Nathan Phillips Square. November 14, 1965. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 329, Series 1569, File 2531.

Opening New City Hall

Fifty years ago, Toronto’s iconic new city hall opened to the public. The modernist landmark became a hopeful symbol of the city looking to the future, but it also featured some trademark grouches who complained about the cost.

From the article:

Not everyone was pleased. Roofer John Fridz felt it lacked dignity, charm, and a clock tower. “This new thing is cold, grey, and not worth the cost,” he observed. “If it impressed any one—it won’t be from beauty.” At least one letter writer to the Star preferring that the hoopla be directed to building the Bloor-Danforth line into Etobicoke and Scarborough, proving you can work complaints about subway service in the east into any Toronto political development of the past half-century.

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A Carefully Curated Queen West Bookshop Takes Flight

By now, we’re used to seeing small bookshops shutter their doors, so it’s a delight to see one open. Flying Books is the latest (very small) bookstore on Queen West, and we spoke to owner Martha Sharpe about her bookstore’s philosophy, and how making it work is her personal mountain.

From the article:

Sitting at the shop’s counter during the interview is Damian Rogers, the poetry editor for the Walrus, and the two frequently diverge into updates about their shared creative community: who’s living in Sheila Heti’s old apartment, who got published in the Paris Review, who used to date Brendan Canning. “Everybody working together, all on top of each at the same time,” is how Sharpe explains her circle.

Bums! A Bum Study Art Project

Butts! We all got ’em. We got out butt photographed as part of an art project by local photographer Katie Budd, and asked her all about butts.

From the article:

TBudd introduced herself and, just like in our three or so text message exchanges prior to meeting, she was extraordinarily friendly and upbeat. Budd took me upstairs where I signed a consent form and told me to bare mid-thigh to waist. I pulled my pants down and lifted my shirt. The shoot took approximately five seconds.

All I could think about were my stretch marks.