Toronto in 10 Clicks: El Mocambo gets a $10 million facelift, Peter Munk dies, vegan protest backfires and more
El Mocambo owner Michael Wekerle
We were starting to wonder about the El Mocambo. Rich investment guru Michael Wekerle buys primo building and shuts it up tight while using the legendary name to sell shirts. Maybe it would just stay shut? Or were condos on the way? Then music journalist Alan Cross interviewed world-renowned producer and engineer Eddie Kramer, hard at work inside the El Mo, and the news caused our music-loving hearts to skip a beat. The city is getting a stunning new $10 million facility with an upstairs concert hall, 26-foot ceilings and a balcony! Swoon.
Deer in the headlights
Earlier this week, animal-rights protestors showed up outside Antler, a downtown restaurant with a focus on game and unconventional meats. The owner, Michael Hunter, retaliated by sitting in the window eating a deer leg. Soon after, the news went viral, got some international attention and now the restaurant is flooded with reservations.
I support @antlerkitchenbar as they have the right to serve meat. There is no law saying you cannot serve meat . These people worked hard to open a restaurant , rent is ridiculous in Toronto and to have people protest and cause a scene in front of your restaurant is ridiculous . If you choose not to eat meat that is your choice , I applaude you, same if you are Vegan ... Bravo. What this guy did may have pissed them the protestors off , but tough. Until there is a law saying you cant serve meat you need to back the hell up. I know people who have businesses and run shops in the city. They go out of thier way to serve customers, they work crazy hours and sacrifice so much to make it work. To have people protest in front of your establisment like this , I dont blame this guy at all. Hes in his right to do so. I get you choose not to eat meat , or use animal bi-products... Nobody is forcing you to go eat there. There are better ways of getting your point across , and if this is how you want to get your point across , maybe go after some big name shitty fast food resturants who pretty much are serving the masses factory farmed meat. You just gave @antlerkitchenbar a whole bunch of attention and created a buzz that will generate a buzz for them. This stunt worked against you ... #vegan #vegancommunity #meat #meateaters #toronto #protest #meatlover #fail #butcher #viral #viralvideos #torontochef #antlerrestaurant
No Cars Go
It may have taken 26 people driving their cars into the Queens Quay streetcar tunnel, but now the TTC has finally decided to put up a gate. We guess 26 is a charm?
Toronto will once again be taken over by down-swinging combatants as the annual Pillow Fight Day is celebrated on April 7 at 3 p.m. This city loves a good public space gathering, and there have been many such events, including light sabre battles, dance parties on streetcars, and massive games of Manhunt played by dozens.
In 1959, the city of Toronto was gifted 2,000 sakura trees by the Japanese ambassador. Most of them were planted in High Park, and inhabitants of the city can still enjoy the resulting cherry blossoms when they're in full bloom near the end of April.
Bye bye, bureaucrats
The city has lost three key people: TTC head Andy Byford is now heading up the New York City Transit, chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat returned to the private sector and city manager Peter Wallace went to work for the federal government. Anyone who has witnessed a city council meeting and caught a glimpse of how these top professionals are treated by councillors in public, let alone behind closed doors, will understand why they aren’t sticking around. But they are obviously highly skilled and are constantly being recruited by others. It has to stop.
Driving Miss Daisy
When new T.O. ride-sharing app DriveHer launched on March 16, 1,000 people downloaded it in the first 24 hours. The service, which uses female drivers and can only be used by women, hopes to make women travelling around Toronto feel safer.
Peter Munk dies at age 90
Serial entrepreneur Peter Munk died in Toronto on Wednesday, March 28. The founder of Barrick Gold Corp, the world's largest gold producer, was a significant donor to the universities, including the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, the University Health Network and the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs.
Peter Munk, a powerful man in a small frame, would claim he wasn’t afraid of death. It was frailty that terrified him; it meant that he could not play the game he had been playing all his life – building businesses, taking enormous risks, thundering like Lear when it all went wrong, then picking himself up, tilting his trademark Borsalino hat on his head and starting all over again, brimming with optimism. 🔺 Mr. Munk, the Hungarian-born entrepreneur who turned Barrick Gold into the world’s biggest gold miner, just couldn’t stop, even as his health began to fail. He was in his late 70s when he spotted a clapped-out Warsaw Pact naval base in tiny, corrupt Montenegro and turned it into Porto Montenegro, one of the Mediterranean’s biggest and most glamorous yacht marinas and resorts. It is now home to some of the yachts of the Saudi royal fleet. 🔺 At that age, he didn’t need the money or the aggravation. To him, there could be no such thing as retirement. He wanted to keep working, even if he had the wealth to spend his sunset years enjoying the yachts, the chalets and the private jets that went with his status as one of Canada’s best-known businessmen, patriots, Holocaust survivors and philanthropists. 🔺 “To the very end, he had a brain as sharp as can be,” said Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, the world’s biggest commodities trader and a long-time friend of the Canadian mogul. “We all dream of the kind of energy he had at his age. His big fear was not being on top of everything, of becoming an old man who couldn’t do what he wanted to do.” 🔺 Mr. Munk died on Wednesday in Toronto, surrounded by his family. He was 90. The cause of death was not disclosed, but he had had several heart surgeries in recent years at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at Toronto General & Western Hospital. He had worn a pacemaker since he was in his mid-70s. 🔺 To read the full obituary, follow the link in our bio. 🔺 (✒️: Eric Reguly 📸: Fred Lum and Deborah Baic)
Bombarder prepares for takeoff
Bombardier is putting 375 acres up for sale as it looks to shut down its Downsview Park operations. The company hired TD for the sale of its Toronto aircraft-assemby plant and has allegedly received multiple bids. But knowing them, it might take at least 10 extra years to complete the sale...
And the living is easy
Toronto was ranked 16 on Mercer’s annual Quality of Living Ranking of the most livable cities in the world — tied with Melbourne, Australia. Other Canadian cities to make the list included Vancouver (5) Ottawa (19) and Montreal (21).