Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Becoming Toronto Contest Results

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Becoming Toronto Contest Results

At the beginning of April, we asked you what you find most becoming about Toronto. Readers sent in a great variety of answers that include buildings, people, sports teams, transportation, neighbourhoods, food, music, radio stations, the city’s energy and the strength of community. From your entries, we’ve put together a "Becoming Toronto List" of the most-mentioned items.

Thanks to the readers who sent an answer, along with the name of a contributor to the terrific collection of essays, Toronto: A City Becoming (Key Porter Books), edited by David Macfarlane. The contest entries were placed in a draw for one of five copies of Toronto: A City Becoming, and the winners were selected on April 13. One Grand Prize winner also received a $100 gift certificate for David Mirvish Books (596 Markham Street), which was generously donated by the bookstore.

David Mirvish Books will be holding an exhibition of photographs from Toronto: A City Becoming and from the beautiful new book, The Royal Alexandra Theatre: A Celebration of 100 Years (McArthur & Company) by Robert Brockhouse, as part of the CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival.

Becoming Toronto List:

  • "The greenhouse at Allan Gardens - total strange oasis, perfect place to do anything from life drawings to escape from the city. I based a short story around this greenhosue when I was younger, it's so lovely. The fact that the greenhouse is housed in a fairly rough neighbourhood is meaningful as well, its surroundings are fairly bleak and at times, threatening, but during the day, it's filled with sunlight, gorgeous plants and the countless windows are covered in steam and condensation. Lovely!"

  • "The rush of new architecture and public space (AGO, ROM, Four Seasons Centre, that waterfront area with umbrellas, etc): whether you like the buildings or not, it is exciting to see all this new design happening."

  • "Nathalie Atkinson’s eye."

  • Sheela Basrur

  • "The Beaches at 7:30 a.m. in the summertime, pushing a baby that has been awake all night."

  • "The Beaches waterfront especially the part with the old hydro plant."

  • "All those big trees. All the neighbourhoods and parks with big trees."

  • Chris Bosh

  • Dionne Brand

  • Pinball Clemons

  • "I think it is the people and the community feel that is most becoming about Toronto. Join a group like Toronto Linkup or Freecycle and you will find a group of friendly, helpful people."

  • Claudia Dey

  • "Dim sum in Chinatown."

  • "The Drake Hotel because it is a true culture hub as well as a fun scene."

  • "The Edge's morning show."

  • "The overall energy. There is so much happening here and you can feel it."

  • "The Fairmont has a garden on its roof and soon, beehives."

  • "Jane Farrow makes me very happy while listening to the radio."

  • "What I think is most becoming about Toronto is a spot. It's the triangular flatiron building at Front and Church, with that optical illusion painting on the west wall."

  • "A very becoming feature of the city, one that is obscured by the tangle of elevated highways that surrounds it, is Fort York. In a similar vein are the William Lyon MacKenzie House, on Bond Street; the Grange, behind the AGO; and Colborne Lodge, in High Park. These few surviving morsels of old Toronto provide a restful contrast with the new."

  • "The gargoyles at U of T."

  • Sky Gilbert

  • Shinan Govani

  • "That the Harbourfront street lady had that symphony guy's instrument in her cart."

  • "The spot I love best in Toronto is the Hart House library, especially a window seat."

  • "The thing I like best about Toronto is the Islands, and the thing I like best about the Islands is the haunted lighthouse at Hanlon's Point."

  • "The Hedge Maze on Toronto Island."

  • High Park

  • Lawrence Hill

  • "The alley behind the houses on Hocken Avenue."

  • "What is most becoming about Toronto: That it becomes a home to people without roots, like myself. Not all of us have a conventional hometown to return to; Toronto is our surrogate."

  • "The work of the Hospital for Sick Children."

  • "Islands, Ravines, University College, Osgoode Hall, St. James Cemetery, The water works. The list used to be longer, but this is about all that's left."

  • "The best institution in Toronto is the Marine Museum. (Allen Gardens is second.) The best exterior space is Mount Pleasant Cemetery. (High Park is second.)"

  • "For me, the most 'becoming' thing about Toronto is wandering Kensington Market - just as Spring is becoming, and anticipating a leisurely afternoon that includes lots of talk - both meaningless and meaningful - and an aimless evening that continues in much the same way."

  • Bruce Kuwabara

  • "Lake. Lake Ontario. The lifeblood of the city. It has had the most give and take with the people and the landscape here since forever ago. And it is becoming."

  • "How people look when they’re heading to a Leafs game at the ACC. Seriously strutting, but in such an endearing way because they are so excited."

  • The Leslie Street Spit

  • "The Lillian H. Smith branch of the Toronto Public Libraries."

  • "The recent drive of our local chefs and citizens to support and focus on local foods."

  • "David Miller rocks."

  • Mount Pleasant Cemetery

  • "The Music Garden concerts.".

  • "The messiness and energy of the music scene."

  • "The many different neighbourhoods that you can escape to."

  • "The most becoming part of Toronto that I know of is Parkdale."

  • Sarah Polley

  • "What I think is most becoming about Toronto: that there are residential buildings mixed right in with businesses, offices, restaurants... we're very fortunate to live somewhere that hasn't been compartmentalised into either suburb/residential or commercial/industrial. It makes for a more vibrant, fun city to live in."

  • "Spending an afternoon at Riverdale Farm."

  • "The dinosaurs at the ROM."

  • "The 'most becoming' place in Toronto is a seasonal feature: the Royal Winter Fair".

  • The Science Centre

  • "The city seems to be in flux at the moment - with endless construction, new developments, new inhabitants. But after all moments of flux come moments of stasis. I think a static Toronto can be a good thing: its citizens will settle down, look at one another - look at their city - and work towards making it a better, more livable place."

  • "The most becoming thing about Toronto is the statue of Al Purdy that will be unveiled in Queen's Park in May. I love that Toronto is honouring poetry in this way."

  • "I know Toronto only as a visitor, but I would say that the city's most becoming feature is its streetcar system, which more than any other single thing gives the place its particular flavor."

  • Mats Sundin

  • "I love that Toronto offers a taste of the world, from food and film to festivals and architecture. I notice the city of cities that Toronto is when I travel to more homogeneous Ontario cities."

  • "The Tasting Club at Coupe Space on Queen East."

  • "The temperature tower at the top of that building at Queen and University. My guiding force."

  • Joanne Tod

  • "The immediate love for Toronto FC. See the pics with everyone waving their Toronto FC scarves? Awesome."

  • "All the new Toronto-focused sites that capture the city’s spirit: Torontoist, BlogTO, Reading Toronto, etc."

  • "Pedaling one of those crazy rental bike/cart things on the south boardwalk on the Toronto Islands."

  • R.M. Vaughan

  • Carolyn Weaver

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JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications

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