How many times have any of you read five to six articles on he same subject

written over because debates still exist and confusion is helped by a new  way off looking at the same subject and with in ay a six month time frame. If you think that’s confusing the question that comes to mid is , ” WHOSE IN CHARGE AND OFF WHAT.

Looking at our city from any angle , one must be impressed with the dynamic  view of our new architectural urban landscape. Obviously it has made Toronto an envious city to live in for many new cultures as we assimilate well, opening up our arms and welcoming new immigrants to our country. They are coming from almost everywhere in the world. I am sure many of those new people feel at home revisiting the same problems they may have experienced the same problems if they had jut arrived from London, England also shares gridlock. Next our new friends realize that they can not get a job in their chosen field. Years of study down the drain, that is unless they go back to school to study the same subject. What an awful  situation to find yourself in.

 Events provide no shortage of tying up traffic as ell as sketchy infrastructure work on our streets. If we take a moment to look at Now or Grid , when have we ever seen a weekend with so much music on board as off our October 12th weekend? the truth of the music business is that, say Marcus Roberts Jazz pianist need to go out on the road and play Lee’s Palace when the last time I saw him play here was at Massey Hall. So venues might consider letting us know more in advance but truthfully who knows if they can afford to pay out money for anything more than one kick in the can at either of the aforementioned papers. Sadly most music evenings are booked for one night and not two to three nights. Because of the times we face this is also especially true for art that is shown for one night in a given gallery or event as say, Blanche Nuit. My guess is that it cannot benefit any artist. Today, Sunday, we rolled out a big waterfront bike race that snarled traffic, on a Sunday. That’s a great time and half practice for our police department who seem to own a front row seat to everything including G-20 riots. As I am still poking my way around the city I left for ten years to sharpen up a career. Today yet another charity scandal was announced and I am astounded by the charity rifts that often appear in our news papers. The thing is some do and some do not show up on the pages of the elitewho often claim to be charity heroes.

Who in the hell is running this place? Let’s start with Seniors. Are they running anything except thier bank accounts? Can’t be them. What about wealth? Maybe but not quite because they are waiting for everyone else to start doing something.

Ah: Mr. MIrvish takes front stage for a week and listen to the crowds howl that he will get tax breaks on and on. He is however the first person to put his money where his mouth is. He deserves a medal for steering the course of art and Culture with apparently Mr. Kim Pattison. Do not worry more will be popup. And maybe we can then begin to look at one way Streets as in NY. Why not copy NY,Which way will we go ? which seems to be which overall is  our cities major quest, with artists using the name in every  second sentence. NY this and NY that. Music as well as Art events get thee two day trisl if they are lucky.  N ideas with trying one way traffic flow are for a week at most..  Why not try it for a month or two.

Who drives the bus of this city, Mr. Ford? Not really, because as good a job as he does, and should collect a few kudos, no one wants to acknowledge that part. He is working with whats he ‘s got, an out of control counsel. They want to pry into his personal life which may be chaotic, but still none of anyone’s frigging business. And so what if he has become a little media personality.  If he celebrates with chicken popcorn big deal. I actually believe the Mayor to be incredibly shy.

I read a charming article in one off our local newspapers about Ms.Sarah Thompson, who had apparently run for Mayor lost, and then supported Mayor Ford for the position. Now the same Ms. Thompson hurls complaints about him almost each day. Now this incredible transit debate has seemingly no concrete direction and that is all we discuss. Maoyr Ford is called names I would not print. What we have is 30 years with no road changes and sidewalks full of cracks and uneven levels.  I know that Ms. Thompson owns an excellent working knowledge off the subject. Someone should use her to advantage and support a committee to rethink how this city runs.   How are we going to pay for all this? Is one percent going to do it all fine but I doubt it. If you all think Mr. Mcguinty will, I suggest you might realize he seems to be short at the moment.  No money andno plans. ! Lots of things have gone wrong during his watch, Orange , e-health, and yes now a United Way scandal may be on the way. I would not even hazard a guess who is in the soup onthat one. He is not a candidate to pay for the transit. Google supplies many industries who have launched one percent solutions for everything.  Now who is going to pay this one percent to fix every little thing we got goin on in this metropolis.  Will the wealth do it, and will the consumers who take the subway do it. or maybe developers?  Its hard to tell for the moment and its even more difficult to see how and for how much? It will take more than a head camp counselor to save us. We also have a group of city hall who apparently our worried for their jobs. I do not think the Mayor is there to rip off jobs from inside workers. The place functions as well as most places and we are in a tough moment which has been hard for everyone.

I do not have the solution except that we had better begin to have some leadership from the community and there are great people, who if asked would come into committee. It has to happen. One thing we know, Government has too much control over our lives.  Actually I believe we will pay for it because Mayor Ford is going to surprise you with some extra money when its all said and done. The new Ombudsman can help to organize things which will serve the city well.

We need to get the transit right Ms. Stinz, and the fact you are not in the media everyday speaks to you dedication. Forget running for Mayor  and claim a gold watch.   If India can put up monorails to support their population, why have they not been a part off this discussion. Last but not least lets touch on gambling. A plebiscite could deal with that in a week. Its a straight vote and how tired can one get off being pushed around and literally threatened  by a gambling lobby who will make the best Real Estate deal for themselves known to man. A fly on the wall reported: “You guys got one week to decide or we will go to Mississauga.”  If I see a photo off Hazel throwing dice will begin my new hockey career.

Jim Allen

Multi -Media.



For the first time in many years we are seeing how wealth can translate into a future for the Art and Culture benefit off our city. Two galleries were announced over the weekend, the first is the Ryerson Photo Gallery that will house well over 300,000 photos from Black Star, generously donated by an anonymous person. The rumor is that the donor was Jim Pattison from Vancouver. The second offering is most interesting as David Mirvish will join up with Frank Geary to take up one block along King street where his Father had his first restaurant and then we will see the Prince of Wales Theater be raised.

David Mirvish gave me my first job which was to shoot a cover for The Royal Alex and then subsequently a story on Pantomime . The art Director was Inara Guilless. I had a brief association with the magazine and was honored to be in London where I photographed Ingrid Bergman. The play was The Waters of the Moon and I spent time with Ms. Bergman walking through the streets of London as she told me off her illness. Ms Bergman was to preform at the Alex and she dies before getting the opportunity to across the pond to do the play. She was an extraordinary presence whose father was a photographer. She did confide in me that she was not fond off having her photo taken as her father never stopped taking her photo.

I found a suitable place to photograph Ms. Bergman as I was given ticket for the play and as it turned out my photo was from a part in the play which the theater photographer had also snapped her in the same place. I was not experienced and nervous but it went well. I had read that Ms Berman liked bubble gum and had given her a box as a bribe sort off. When my photo arrived in Toronto, it almost was exactly as the PR material. I was asked about it and I was very surprised to see the other photo.

I never forgot the hospitality of Mr. Mirvish who had given me my first job.In my history when I was selling clothing I had sold his Father 1.98 blouses from a company called Irving Nadler. Off course the family is highly regarded.

We will  now we have local artists wondering how will these two special galleries  impact on our city. The answer is simple. It requires leaders ship and money to build edifices that house special art. So be prepared to see many famous artists like for example, Frank Stella. Blackstar/magnum has many famous photographers who I am anxious to see as they were the best of Europe and Frank Capra was a member of that elite group.

The future of Toronto  that depends on venues that are world class venues which bring forward the fact we are a world glass city. We can say look at the rich they are spending money on themselves. Partially true, but investment is what this paradigm is about. There are also some secrets which need to be reveled as in photography other archival venues and they will eventually join the community in a more public forum.

These two additions are a huge step for our city to be on the global map off photography.

Jim Allen