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1. National Post: Federal Infrastructure Funds for Federally Owned Historic Places
2. Toronto Star: Dunington-Grubb and University Avenue
3. Urban Toronto: TD Sign on Mies? TD Centre
4. OPPI:Jan-Feb 2015 Journal Devoted to Ontario Heritage
5. Canadian Architect: Passing of James Stewart, Architectural Patron
6. Remembering Mario Coyula
7. New York Times: At Lord & Taylor, a Peek at Bygone Ceramic Splendors
8. capitolhillseattle.com: Effort underway to win landmarks protection for two Capitol Hill buildings steeped in history of REI and auto row
9. City of Saskatoon wants more heritage properties
10. westenddumplings.blogspot.ca: Replacing Winnipeg's 102 year-old Arlington Bridge
11. Winnipeg Free Press: Study to probe reopening Dalnavert House national Historic Site
12. Winnipeg City Hall
13. Winnipeg Free Press: Endangered species: 90-year-old wooden barn one-of-a-kind in Western Canada
14. Globe and Mail: Bozikovic on the Fort York Visitor Centre
15. Todd Haiman Blog: Russell Page British Landscape Architect
16. Places: Havana, Social, Urban and Economic Analysis
17. National Post: When governments invest funds in historic places, the returns are always impressive
18. Blog TO: The top 10 contemporary homes in Toronto
19. Government of Canada: The History of the Passport
20. Building Hugger: Detroit Facebook Page
21. Globe and Mail: History of Cenotaphs
22. WAMC Northeast Public Radio: Historic Building On Former Plattsburgh Air Force Base Sold
23. toronto.ca: Boutique Hotel to Transform Jilly's Site at Queen and Broadview

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1. National Post: Federal Infrastructure Funds for Federally Owned Historic Places
Natalie Bull: Executive Director Heritage Canada The National Trust

Natalie Bull: When governments invest funds in historic places, the returns are always impressive

Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $5.8 billion in infrastructure funding for federally owned historic sites, museums, national parks and other tourist attractions across Canada. This is welcome news in the wake of an alarming 2013 report that revealed the desperate condition of many iconic historic sites that are run by Parks Canada – places such the 18th-century French fortress in Louisbourg, N.S., and the Port of Quebec’s 200-year-old immigration quarantine station in Grosse Isle.

Money for historic sites is always good news for those who care about this country’s history, but what a nice surprise it was to see this funding called “an investment in infrastructure.” Does this mean the government sees historic places as an important part of an overall economic plan designed to create jobs and strengthen the economy? I hope so.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/12/03/natalie-bull-when-governments-invest-funds-in-historic-places-the-returns-are-always-impressive/#__federated=1

2. Toronto Star: Dunington-Grubb and University Avenue
Catherine Nasmith

Who gave gardens to the grandest street in Toronto?

After 50 years the Dunington-Grubb firm's basic design remains intact — a series of formal gardens down the middle of Toronto's otherwise much-evolved hospital-and-insurance company thoroughfare. Picture shows University Ave. in 2010 when plans, later cancelled, were being made to add dedicated bike lanes, one set on each side of the gardens.

By: Angus Skene Special to the Star, Published on Sun Dec 14 2014
Lorrie sold her honey for as much as she could get. With good equipment and careful tending, she usually doubled her investment. You won’t get rich, she said, but for any girl compelled to stay at home, it was a great way to make some cash for clothes. She was 22, and you get the sense no one compelled Lorrie Dunington to do anything. She did what she wanted. And she certainly didn’t stay home.
University Ave. is Toronto’s municipal mantelpiece, the place where we put out our pictures and trophies for guests to admire. It’s also a major traffic artery — it collects a lot of dust — and so it may seem weird that it has a park running down its middle. Ever wondered whose idea that was?
Well, that would be Dunington-Grubb — the landscape design firm of Lorrie and her husband, Howard Grubb.

http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/12/14/business_history_who_gave_gardens_to_the_grandest_street_in_toronto.html

Editor’s Note: Fantastic set of historic photos on the website, including a night shot of the fountain at the base. I remember loving that fountain as a girl....its been shut off for a long time, and gives a sense of dereliction to the beginning of the ceremonial route to Queen's Park....we are a sloppy bunch here in T.O.

3. Urban Toronto: TD Sign on Mies? TD Centre
Jack Landau

New Signage Atop TD Centre Generating Controversy

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's TD Centre, the first modern high-rise office complex in Toronto, is unique among neighbouring Financial District office towers due to its lack of illuminated signage. All other major banking towers and complexes in the Financial District have large lit logos emblazoned upon their upper floors—logos which were included in the original designs of these towers—some of which have been upgraded or changed over the years to reflect changes in ownership or branding.

Back in 2011, Cadillac Fairview, the owners of the TD Centre, applied for a permit to erect illuminated wall signage on the complex's most recent addition to the complex, the Ernst & Young Tower. The City approved the application, but it was then appealed and brought before the City's Sign Variance Committee in 2012, where approval was overturned due to the signage being deemed too large. Despite this, the possibility of future more appropriately sized signage was left open, much to the chagrin of architecture and heritage enthusiasts who were lobbying against the plans to alter the centre's pristine appearance.

 

http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2014/12/new-signage-atop-td-centre-generating-controversy

Editor’s Note: There is something gloriously understated about the sign-less building, and that was what Mies was all about..but in the scheme of things to fuss about it's a long way down my list.

4. OPPI:Jan-Feb 2015 Journal Devoted to Ontario Heritage

Charting the Progress of Heritage: 40th Anniversary of the Ontario Heritage Act

Articles from the National Trust about Main Street, Robert Shipley on heritage planning being obligatory for municipalities and so much more.....Give a little of your holiday reading time to purusal.

An amazing cast for this issue, and great to have it available online. Thanks OPPI

http://ontarioplanners.ca/getattachment/0c485075-7062-49b3-a60e-3a23bfb05965/Ontario-Planning-Journal-January-February-2015-Vol.aspx

5. Canadian Architect: Passing of James Stewart, Architectural Patron

Passing of distinguished architectural patron James Stewart (1941-2014) announced 2014-12-06

Passing of distinguished architectural patron James Stewart (1941-2014) announced
2014-12-06
It is with great sadness that the family of James Drewry Stewart, Ph.D, D.Sc(H) announces his passing on December 3, 2014, after a courageous and determined battle with Multiple Myeloma. Jim exited this life with the same panache as he lived his whole life, with a Celebration of Music in his home known as Integral House, surrounded by family, friends and colleagues from near and far.

Born in Toronto, Jim was encouraged in his studies by his artistic mother, Vera and his father Kenneth, a Professional Engineer. He was a brilliant scholar, earning his B.Sc, M.S. and Ph.D in Mathematics from Stanford and the University of Toronto. He was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of London (England) for several years. Jim was a teacher revered by his students during his years at McMaster University, where he attained the status of Professor of Mathematics Emeritus and was awarded an honourary D.Sc. It was also here that he discovered he had an amazing talent for writing math textbooks. His text for first year calculus students became and still is the world's biggest seller. He went on to write a number of other books, all of which received academic acclaim and economic success. This enabled him to indulge his other three great loves; music, architecture and philanthropy.

6. Remembering Mario Coyula

Website set up to Honour the Great Cuban City Planner

Anyone who went to Cuba with an interest in urban matters or heritage inevitably had the pleasure of meeting and learning from Mario Coyula. No one forgets this gracious and accomplished man. This page has been set up to give people a place to honour his memory. 

http://mariocoyula2014.wordpress.com

7. New York Times: At Lord & Taylor, a Peek at Bygone Ceramic Splendors
EVE M. KAHN

Rookwood Pottery ceramics as they appeared in the 1910s at a flower shop in Lord & Taylors flagship Manhattan store. Credit Michael Padwee Collection

A ceramics historian has discovered traces of the work of a major terra cotta manufacturer from the 1910s at Lord & Taylor’s flagship store in Manhattan. The remnants had been part of a balconied boutique devoted to plants and cut flowers, said the historian, Michael Padwee. The space was lined in polychrome ceramic ornaments from the Rookwood Pottery factory in Cincinnati, known for decorating public spaces, including subway stations, restaurants and hotels.

“Probably under there is all Rookwood,” Mr. Padwee said during a recent tour, gesturing toward a plaster-encased ceramic railing in a stairwell leading to the boutique at the rear end of the ground floor. In a nearby corridor, some thickly painted-over Rookwood panels are molded with owls, quails, eagles, fruit, dragons and cupids. Both the corridor and former boutique space are now used for storage.

“Anything could be buried in there,” he said of the area, picking his way past empty racks and stacked cardboard boxes in the hallway.

The paint on the panels is chipped in a few places, but only more white paint, and not Rookwood’s signature bright glazes, is visible underneath. Mr. Padwee could find no sign of the space’s spectacular Rookwood fountain, which he had seen in period photos; designed by the Cincinnati sculptor Clement J. Barnhorn, it depicted a satyr and a nymph under a grape arbor. (The Cincinnati Art Museum owns a similar fountain that had turned up in a local antiques store after stints in a Rookwood showroom and at a bowling alley.)

The stone and metal staircase leading up from the ground floor to the onetime flower shop does survive. At the bottom, an original newel post in the form of a satyr wearing a leaf-and-berry crown has been lurking behind some displays of lipstick and nail polish.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/05/arts/design/at-lord-taylor-a-peek-at-bygone-ceramic-splendors.html?_r=0

8. capitolhillseattle.com: Effort underway to win landmarks protection for two Capitol Hill buildings steeped in history of REI and auto row
Justin Seattle

The building in 1937 (Image: Puget Sound Regional Archives)

Earlier this week, we told you about a project to study, illustrate, and activate inspired by and as a reaction to change on Capitol Hill. Here’s another Capitol Hill neighbor ona mission. With its neighboring auto row structure already under consideration for possible Seattle Landmarks Board protection, the White Motor Company building at 10th and Pine — more recently The Stranger/Rhino Room building or the Velo Bikes building — that is planned to be part of the same preservation incentive-powered office development will come before the board next Wednesday to see if it, too, should qualify for the next round of deeper scrutiny as a possible Capitol Hill architectural landmark.

CHS typically climbs through the reports on neighborhood proposals — you’ll find the White Motor Company report prepared on behalf of the developer at the bottom of this post — but this time, we’re turning things over to Andrew Haas.

Inspired by the early good prospects for the Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company building next door and wanting to do more to save intact the last of Pike/Pine’s auto row structures, Haas is hoping to organize a large community response prior to the December 17th meeting of the landmarks board that will feature a hearing and public comment on the White Motor building. UPDATE: Kelly-Springfield, the home today of Value Village, moves to the next round in the process in early January. Haas’s case for preservation and details on how you can weigh in on possible landmarks status is below.

http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2014/12/effort-underway-to-win-landmarks-protection-for-two-capitol-hill-buildings-steeped-in-history-of-rei-and-auto-row/comment-page-1/

9. City of Saskatoon wants more heritage properties
CBC Saskatoon

City of Saskatoon wants more heritage properties

Do you own a historically-important building?

City Hall might want to talk to you...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/city-of-saskatoon-wants-more-heritage-properties-1.2837349

10. westenddumplings.blogspot.ca: Replacing Winnipeg's 102 year-old Arlington Bridge
Christian Cassidy

Process to replace the Arlington Bridge has begun

All rights reserved by mrchristian

Back in February 2013 the city received a report, (that doesn't appear to be on the CCDMIS anywhere), which led them to downgrade the state of the 102 year-old Arlington Bridge's condition to poor and to begin the planning process to decommission it in 2020. That leaves them with just six years to come up an alternative and the CPR Yards Crossing Study is meant to find it.

On Thursday, December 4th, 2014 nearly 40 members of the public got together for the first public consultation meeting for that study. It consisted of a bus tour of three of the four crossings, (McPhillips Underpass, Arlington Street Bridge and Slaw Rebchuk Bridge, but not the Main Street Underpass), then it was back to Rossbrook House for a brief presentation and to do some community consultation activities.

At the start of the evening, it was said that everything was on the table but, that wasn't really the case.

The question of moving the CPR yards was verboten. That is being carried on by another group and was not to be considered as an alternative. (I couldn't help thinking, though, that if the city was to commit to spending, say, $50m on a new bridge plus 40 years of related maintenance costs, what would happen if they dropped a bag filled with $50 million on the CPR's doorstep - would it be an incentive to move if they added that to what other levels of government might kick in ?)

http://westenddumplings.blogspot.ca/2014/12/process-to-replace-arlington-bridge-has.html

11. Winnipeg Free Press: Study to probe reopening Dalnavert House national Historic Site
Alexandra Paul

JOHN WOODS / FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Dalnavert Museum was closed in 2013 because of low attendance

A capacity crowd turned out Saturday to support efforts to reopen Dalnavert Museum.

In September 2013, the national heritage site was closed to the public. Later that fall, heritage and museum experts as well as volunteers from the museum formed a group to save it.

This weekend they held their first meeting to test public support.

Eighty-four people packed the visitors centre attached to the museum on Carlton Street for a two-hour presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

Dalnavert is the former home of Hugh John Macdonald, the son of Canada's first prime minister, John A. Macdonald. Hugh John was a Manitoba premier and judge.

It was restored for $500,000 in the 1970s, but in recent years it fell out of public favour, despite Christmas and Halloween tours that once drew hundreds through its historic doors.

The Friends of Dalnavert is undertaking a study with the goal of seeing Dalnavert reopened as a museum, interim Friends chairwoman Adèle Hempel said.

"This is the first chance we've had to meet with the community and see who's interested," Hempel said.

History buffs mingled with members of community groups, St. Vital city Coun. Brian Mayes and various members of the Manitoba Historical Society, the organization that owns the museum.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/study-to-probe-reopening-dalnavert-museum-283620051.html

12. Winnipeg City Hall
Colin Fast, Metro News

Winnipeg City Hall

Plenty of local history has been made at city hall over the past 50 years, but now the building itself is being recognized for its heritage status...

http://metronews.ca/news/winnipeg/1217027/winnipeg-city-halls-50th-birthday-present-historical-building-designation/

13. Winnipeg Free Press: Endangered species: 90-year-old wooden barn one-of-a-kind in Western Canada
Bill Redekop

It was originally a dairy barn, with cattle on one side and work horses on the other. The main floor is close to 5,000 square feet and the loft doubles that. It still has the original concrete floors.

PHOTOS BY BILL REDEKOP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Curtis Gervin and his massive barn that was built in 1924

BROOMHILL -- To rebuild Curtis Gervin's 90-year-old barn today -- believed to be the only two-siloed wooden barn still standing in Western Canada -- would cost more than $1 million, he estimates.

But in 1924, two brothers from Chicago spared no expense.

Albert and Ephraim Ivers went to southwestern Manitoba and purchased 1,600 acres of crop land. That's an extraordinary land holding, about 10 times the size of most farms back when people still cropped quarter sections (160 acres).

Then they built the most extravagant barn with top-of-line technology, including two built-in wood silos, a wooden air-duct system and a railing system for manually moving the feed bucket from stall to stall.

Then they went broke, as farms so often do when they are financed by investors from the city. But they left behind one amazing barn.

The barn near Broomhill, south of Virden and more than 300 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, is featured in Bob Hainstock's Barns of Western Canada, the definitive work on these pastoral works of architecture.

"You have to remember the 1920s were a boom time in agriculture. Adjusted for inflation, the price for a bushel of wheat was about $35," said Gervin, of the Iver brothers' attempt to capitalize on the farm economy. "Western Canada was opening up and investors had the idea to buy land and make a fortune when it appreciated."

Many old barns have collapsed since being archived in Hainstock's book from 1985, but not Gervin's. He's already spent $30,000 replacing the roof. It still had its original cedar shingles.

"This one's lucky. I don't know if it's built better. I do believe what kills a building is not using it."

His barn is still very functional, used for calving 800 cows. He has added some modern touches, such as three calving cameras to monitor for birthing problems.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/endangered-species-284958671.html

14. Globe and Mail: Bozikovic on the Fort York Visitor Centre
Alex Bozikovic

Fort York: Toronto's most historic site gets a 21st-century upgrade

Railway lines, abattoirs, a parking lot, two homely bridges, and an overhead highway that bears a sooty rush of traffic. This is a partial list of the indignities that have been inflicted on Fort York, the spot where the town of York was founded in 1793.

The 17-hectare site lies near the centre of downtown, and for 200 years has stood in the way of the city’s smoke-belching, pork-slaughtering growth. Now it is at the heart of a newly emerging city – the western downtown, populated by carless young office workers and their pugs. And the fort finally has the public face it deserves, in the form of a 24,000-square-foot Visitor Centre. It’s designed to educate tourists and Torontonians about the 1813 Battle of York, when British, local and First Nations combatants fought to repel a U.S. invasion, helping create a sense of Canada as a nation.

Unfortunately, it isn’t quite finished. Like so much of Toronto’s public realm in the post-Rob Ford era, the centre is well-conceived but underfunded. Its design, by Vancouver’s Patkau Architects and Toronto’s Kearns Mancini, has only been partially executed.

Still, this is a sensitive and powerful work of architecture. It speaks to the layers of history embedded here, and adding an artful new layer of 21st-century city building.

The centre is part building, part landscape. It is a long bar that runs east-west along the site’s southern boundary, roughly where the shoreline of Lake Ontario lay when the fort was established in 1793. You approach from the old lake bed, now a neighbourhood of new condo towers, and walk between very tall columns that hold up the Gardiner Expressway.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/fort-york-torontos-most-historic-site-gets-a-21st-century-upgrade/article21692153/#dashboard/follows/

15. Todd Haiman Blog: Russell Page British Landscape Architect
Todd Haiman

RUSSELL PAGE on GARDEN DESIGN

The art of composing a garden is a question first of selection and then of emphasis.’ - wrote Russell Page, one of the legendary garden designers of the 20th century and perhaps any era. Born in the U.K., his taste for formality and austerity was fostered by his many years in France.

Page designed flower boxes to corporate sculpture gardens and everything in-between. His garden design aesthetic was self-disciplined and though typically large were understated, unfussy and invariably inspiring. Grand but simple, they appeal to the philosopher in each of us. He was brilliant at handling large landscapes.

Russell Page (1906–1985) became known for his excellence in the development of an over-all or master design plan for a site, establishing his reputation by applying the principles of the classical style to the gardens he designed predominantly for the wealthy in Europe and the Americas.

http://www.toddhaimanlandscapedesign.com/blog/

16. Places: Havana, Social, Urban and Economic Analysis
Belmont Freeman-forwarded by Tamara Anson Cartwright

History of the Present: Havana

 

On a warm late summer afternoon a year ago, I sat with Mario Coyula Cowley on the jalousied terrace of the residence in Havana where he had lived for decades with his family. Mario had long been one of Cuba’s leading architects and urban planners, and he and I had had met professionally years earlier; family connections and shared interests led to a valued friendship. The elegant apartment, spacious and filled with art — much of it created by friends — occupies the top floor of a 1950s apartment building in the leafy, formerly old-money neighborhood of El Vedado. This domestic setting, inherited from an aunt, was a reminder that Mario Coyula was an exceptional member of the upper-middle-class intelligentsia who chose to remain in Cuba after the revolution and apply his talents to the grand socialist experiment.

From the years of turmoil that led up to the Cuban Revolution, Coyula emerged as a charter member of the idealistic generation of the 1960s. He was a student activist at the University of Havana and later served in the engineering corps of the rebel army; after the triumph of Fidel Castro and his comrades, in 1959, he devoted himself to the design of the new socialist Cuba. His long career led him to multiple positions at the top of the profession, including dean of the school of architecture, director of the Office of Architecture and Urbanism of Havana, and founding president of the city’s Monuments Commission. In 2013 Coyula was awarded the Premio Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural, the country’s highest honor for cultural contribution. I doubt there is any individual who knew — or loved — Havana more than Mario Coyula. Shortly before my visit Coyula had served on a government commission to map the future of Havana — a topic that is of vital importance as Cuba faces unknowable social and economic changes as it moves toward a government that will, for the first time in more than half a century, not be headed by a Castro brother or, for that matter, anyone of the founding revolutionary cohort.

 

https://placesjournal.org/article/history-of-the-present-havana/

Editor’s Note: Perhaps its time to organize a second ICOMOS Canada visit to Cuba?

17. National Post: When governments invest funds in historic places, the returns are always impressive
Natalie Bull

Canada is full of examples of where investments in heritage infrastructure have successfully generated economic vibrancy, as well as cultural and social benefits.

Wikipedia - Grand-Pré National Historic Site

Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $5.8 billion in infrastructure funding for federally owned historic sites, museums, national parks and other tourist attractions across Canada. This is welcome news in the wake of an alarming 2013 report that revealed the desperate condition of many iconic historic sites that are run by Parks Canada – places such the 18th-century French fortress in Louisbourg, N.S., and the Port of Quebec’s 200-year-old immigration quarantine station in Grosse Isle.

Money for historic sites is always good news for those who care about this country’s history, but what a nice surprise it was to see this funding called “an investment in infrastructure.” Does this mean the government sees historic places as an important part of an overall economic plan designed to create jobs and strengthen the economy? I hope so.

Canada’s towns and cities are full of examples of where investments in “heritage infrastructure” have successfully generated economic vibrancy, as well as cultural and social benefits. And when federal and provincial governments invest funds in historic places, the returns are always impressive.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/12/03/natalie-bull-when-governments-invest-funds-in-historic-places-the-returns-are-always-impressive/

Editor’s Note: grand-pre-national-historic

18. Blog TO: The top 10 contemporary homes in Toronto
Chris Bateman

Integral House, Shim Suttcliffe Architects

The top contemporary homes in Toronto serve as a reminder that fans of modern architecture are spoiled for choice in this city. Take a stroll around neighbourhoods like Rosedale and Cedarvale (two areas with residents rich enough to hire a designer and build their own homes) will reveal a dramatic modular home that overlooks a steep ravine, a Mad Men-era mansion, a $30 million palace with a 150 seat concert venue, even a home that looks suspiciously like an iPhone.

Here are my picks for the top contemporary homes in Toronto.

194 Roxborough Drive - Integral House
No list of modern Toronto homes would be complete without a mention of the Integral House, concert violinist and mathematics whizz James Stewart's massive Rosedale mansion. It has five floors, a 150-person indoor music hall, numerous gadgets, and reportedly cost in the region of $30 million. The best features, however, are on the outside. The curving glass and wood exterior blends nicely with its bucolic surroundings.

http://www.blogto.com/city/2014/12/the_top_10_contemporary_homes_in_toronto/

Editor’s Note: Nice piece by Chris Bateman, marred by his exclusion of the architects involved. I was interested to see the R. Mauran house, he gave me my first summer job, junior office assistant for Harvey's Food. The office was located upstairs at Bloor and Bedford.

19. Government of Canada: The History of the Passport

Early passports

Old passport sealer device

One of the earliest references to passports was made in about 450 B.C. Nehemiah, an official serving King Artaxerxes of ancient Persia, asked permission to travel to Judah. The King agreed and gave Nehemiah a letter "to the governors of the province beyond the river" requesting safe passage for him as he travelled through their lands. 

Today's Canadian passports still carry such a letter of request. Inside the front cover is a letter issued in the name of Her Majesty the Queen. Like Nehemiah's letter, it also asks for safe passage and protection for the holder of the passport. 

Not until the reign of King Louis XIV of France did these "letters of request" become popular. The King granted personally signed documents to his court favourites. The letter was dubbed "passe port," literally meaning "to pass through a port," because most international travel was by sailing ships. Hence the term "passport". 

Within 100 years of Louis XIV's reign, almost every country in Europe had set up a system to issue passports. Besides needing passports from their own countries, travellers also had to have visas issued by the countries they wanted to visit, much as we have travel visas today. 

The rising popularity of rail travel in the mid-19th century led to an explosion of tourism throughout Europe and caused a complete breakdown in the European passport and visa system. In answer to the crisis, France abolished passports and visas in 1861. Other European countries followed suit, and by 1914, passport requirements had been eliminated practically everywhere in Europe. However, World War I brought renewed concerns for international security, and passports and visas were again required, as a "temporary" measure.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/games/teachers-corner/history-passports.asp

Editor’s Note: Having just returned from a trip that involved stops in two countries, I wondered about the history of the passport, and whether they had been necessary for early immigration to Canada.

20. Building Hugger: Detroit Facebook Page

For all Detroit lovers, a page for the city's building enthusiasts.

https://www.facebook.com/BuildingHugger

21. Globe and Mail: History of Cenotaphs
Angus Skene

Working to honour the dead

It was the end. John’s skull had been fractured in the war and now the complications were killing him.

This was the autumn of 1921. John and his brother Alfred had tried again to share the old house at 17 Macdonell Ave., but Alfred was too young to give John what he needed. Their parents moved back to the city and set up a sheltered living arrangement. They went back into the grocery business and all of them — Alfred included — lived above the store. John, who was only 32, worked as a clerk when he could. His life was closing down just as Alfred’s was taking off.

Today, 820 Bloor St. W. is one of those empty looking plastic-chaired clubs, but 90-plus years ago it was where Dr. Russel came on the Monday and the undertaker came a few days later. The cause of John’s death was meningitis due to his war wound. Long before the Group of Seven, A.J. Casson buried his big brother in Prospect Cemetery.

There’s not much of a prospect at Prospect these days. The St. Clair West bric-a-brac of hydro lines, houses and little commercial buildings occupies the horizon. But back in 1921, there were fine views to the south and west toward Weston Rd.
Smith Monuments has been on Weston a long time and manager Al Lord lights up when I tell him I want to know about John’s gravestone. He tells me it’s not a gravestone, but a flat granite marker — he repeats it slowly with the air of a man who has spent too much time listening to people misuse the words of his trade.
It’s grey granite, so back in the ’20s it likely came from Stanstead, Que. It’s also unpolished, which was normal back then and the lettering is an old technique — lead sitting on top of the rock. Very Victorian — it died out in the ’30s. No one can do it anymore. Lead weathers anything. Lead lasts. Scratch those dull old letters with your fingernail and they’ll shine like the day they were made.

http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/11/30/working_to_honour_the_dead.html

22. WAMC Northeast Public Radio: Historic Building On Former Plattsburgh Air Force Base Sold
By Pat Bradley

Old Stone Barracks November 2014. Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley

The oldest building on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base has new owners and a new plan for its future. On Monday the new proprietors and plans for the Old Stone Barracks were announced.

Built in 1838 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the Old Stone Barracks features massive stone walls and a columned porch running along its entire front length.

The building was sold in 2010 to Montreal developer Bernard Schneider, whose plans for it never came to fruition. So the building was put back on the market. In August 2014 the Preservation League of New York State placed the Old Stone Barracks on its Seven to Save list of threatened historic sites. At the same time a group called Friends of the Old Stone Barracks crafted an agreement with the Montreal owner. On Monday, Friends of the Old Stone Barracks Board President Jerry Bates announced the sale of the building and surrounding 7 and 3/4 acres. “We’re pleased to announce that the Friends have come to an agreement with the Valcour Brewing Company. We have assigned our contract to purchase the Old Stone Barracks property to them. Coming to this agreement achieves the most important goal of the Friends of the Old Stone Barracks which was to insure the appropriate adaptive reuse and preservation of the barracks.”

Preservation League of NYS Regional Director Erin Tobin says the building was placed on the statewide list due to its historical significance. “This whole effort will be a model that we can use around the state of how the advocates came together to work with the past developer who had a project that was not conducive to the historic property and then found a developer who was willing to come in and properly rehabilitate the building.”

http://wamc.org/post/historic-building-former-plattsburgh-air-force-base-sold

23. toronto.ca: Boutique Hotel to Transform Jilly's Site at Queen and Broadview
Marcus Mitanis

704 Queen Street East, formerly the home of Jilly's, image by Marcus Mitanis

Another heritage building in Toronto is set for a major makeover. The former Broadview Hotel, a local Riverside landmark that once housed the infamous strip club Jilly's which closed earlier this year, will be transformed into a 57-room boutique hotel by Streetcar Developments after approval was granted yesterday by the Committee of Adjustment for some variances required to the zoning by-law.

The plans call for several changes to the property, including a new rooftop bar and an executive suite within the peaked corner tower. The listed heritage building, now being considered for designation, will also host a ground floor restaurant, adding to the ambiance of the Riverdale neighbourhood.

Preservationists will be happy to know the iconic red brick facade of the Romanesque building will be maintained by heritage specialists ERA Architects, with the northern three-storey section of the building undergoing retrofitting to accommodate a new guest entrance. In addition to the exterior restorations, the interiors of the building will need a significant amount of work, including structural repairs. The extent of the renovations and expansion, also to be overseen by ERA Architects, are shown in the east elevation drawing provided by Streetcar Developments below.

http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2014/11/boutique-hotel-transform-jillys-site-queen-and-broadview