Volume 27 Summer 2006
Liberty Village • King West • King West Central • Entertainment District • St. Lawrence Market Area • Queen Richmond East
3 Kung Fu Chickens and Other IDT Entertainment Tales Second City’s Second Business
5 7 Master the Grill with 4 Easy Tips
Plus: Librarians Invade Wellington East, Hammam Spa gets you swimsuit ready, Totum’s beach workout, and St. Lawrence’s Stagecoach History.
RADIO DAYS SIRIUS Satellite Touches Down in Liberty Village
Lawrence Market Area St. LawrenceSt.Market Area
Leading the Information Leaders Growing Library Association Takes New Space on Wellington Street East affects the running of a democratic society in that it ensures proper access to recorded knowledge, expressions of creativity and thought, which is essentially a basic right of all members of a democratic society. It’s a role the association doesn’t take lightly, and one that requires a suitable location from which to conduct all this business. And that’s where 50 Wellington Street East comes in.
OLA president Ken Roberts interviews Cliff Lynch of Washington-based Coalition for Networked Information at the 2005 conference in Toronto. One of the largest of its kind in the world, the OLA’s annual event draws some 4,500 attendees and keynote speakers like the UN’s Stephen Lewis (inset photo).
ou can be forgiven for thinking of the Ontario Library Association at 50 Wellington Street East as a quiet place to work. After all, a group that administers to the country’s largest body of library professionals might do so in a whisper. But that’s just not the case for the offices of this 106-year-old association that represents not only library workers, but also a number of other information professionals.
Growing Membership Since the late nineties, after the impact of the Rae administration’s “Rae Days” wore off the library profession and its membership reversed a steady decline, the OLA’s headquarters have been humming with activity – membership has boomed, funding has grown and what was once a staff of two is now expected to rise to 15 by this fall. Today, the OLA, a 5,500-member organization, is the cornerstone of library-related matters in Canada, which is to say that anyone involved with selecting, procuring, organizing,
Community Chronicle • Summer 2006
preserving, and making available data, information, and works tends to hold a membership with this organization. But in an information-rich society, even those schooled in organizing data need a little help. That’s why one of the OLA’s chief functions, says Jefferson Gilbert, the association’s deputy executive director, is to act as the profession’s continuing educator.
Biggest Annual Conference To this end, the OLA conducts an annual conference (since its inception, the association has missed only one conference, due to the First World War); publishes a magazine, represents a number of specialized publishers and conducts on-going learning through seminars, workshops, videoconferencing and teleconferencing – a service it refers to as the Education Institute. “We looked at what we could do to keep people up to date and that’s where we came up with the Education Institute,” says Gilbert. Improving the skills of those working in libraries, says the OLA’s charter,
“We had been at our 100 Lombard Street location for 15 years and were looking for new space when Allied bought this place. That’s when they suggested we look at other space in their portfolio,” says Gilbert. Taking 3,800 square feet at the new address later this summer, the OLA expects to house as many as 15 employees and will host more meetings at its new space thanks to a large 24-person boardroom and a secondary smaller meeting room. “Having downtown space is important to us because members come from all over Ontario,” says Gilbert, “so when they travel to Toronto by train, GO train or take the bus in from the airport, it makes sense for us to be downtown. www.accessola.com
LIBRARY FACTS: Ontario has... More than 6,500 public funded libraries in schools, colleges, universities and our communities. More than 10,000 library workers. Budgets for libraries in excess of $800,000,000. 5,256,843 active library cardholders.
Creative Space World-class 3D Animation Firm Moves to New East-side Studio
here’s a world at 230 Richmond Street East that is unlike that of the known universe. It is where talking vegetables assert family values and where Kung Fu fighting chickens thwart the nefarious plans of Dr. Wasabi. It is also where executive producer John Morch and some 300 employees spend long hours creating animation for everything from feature films, to seasonal television specials, to DVDs. In IDT Entertainment’s 45,000square-foot animation studio, worlds are conceived, created and computer generated to feed an international appetite for new and exciting animated products. With offices in Vancouver, Los Angeles and New Jersey, IDT Entertainment is one of the largest animation studios in the world, and 230 Richmond Street East is the hub of its Canadian operations. The Toronto studio works on original ideas – which tend to involve feature work – and it will also execute concepts for outside partners. Effectively, it offers a complete package of services, but the bulk of the work that goes on in the open-concept brick and beam space, remains focused on creating animation. Despite advances in technology, production times for computergenerated animation haven’t changed all that much from the days of handdrawn cells. In a good week of work, a CG animator will have produced 20 seconds of final screen time. “Animation is just really hard, slow work,” says Morch explaining that IDT Entertainment’s strength lies in
The penthouse staff lounge hosts regular after work gatherings and all-staff meetings.
its ability not only to tell a good story, but also to create compelling character animation. “We’re not about making buildings blow up or sinking the Titanic. We’re about making good character-driven stories,” says Morch, whose time with Academy-award-winning software developer Alias brought him to the production side of animation. Even before it had joined IDT Entertainment to become the multinational’s Canadian arm, this Toronto firm (formerly DKP Studios) had produced effects and animation for over 3,000 commercials, including award-winning spots for Suzuki, President’s Choice, Ford, Pepsi, GMC, Polaroid, Labatt, Molson, Michelin, Shell, Fleer Corporation, Mastercard, Bose, Sony Playstation, and Fisher Price. The studio’s cutting edge visual effects have appeared in countless feature films including X-Men (Fox), The Siege (Fox), and Joseph: King of Dreams (Dreamworks), but its current work is closer to its heart as it completes Everyone’s Hero, an animated feature that Christopher Reeve was directing before he passed away. It will be in theaters this fall.
Other current projects include Veggie Tales, an animated series that features bible stories told by vegetables (it has sold close to 50 million DVDs, making it one of the most popular kids’ series in the U.S.) Morch is also excited about Chop Socky Chooks, a project his firm is completing with Aardman Animation and Decode Entertainment, the folks behind Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run. This series follows a crack team of Kung Fu chickens as they battle their evil arch nemesis, a mutant piranha named Dr. Wasabi.
This bullpen area holds 77 workstations where animators are organized by task rather than project.
Moving from office space at 489 Queen Street East, IDT Entertainment is migrating its staff into the new space as it is completed. Though there aren’t any dramatic changes to this new space – whose previous occupants included IBM and DWL – there’s a bit of IT work to be done, explains Morch. “We’ll have 1,000 processors in the basement. We have some serious IT infrastructure needs to accommodate,” he says. But good animation requires more than terabytes. Staff members spend long hours on site, so the company likes to make things as comfortable as possible, that’s how a penthouse lounge area fits into the picture. With a great view of the cityscape and the capacity of a nightclub, it’s little surprise that this space gets good use on a regular basis. Besides, when your day involves dealing with talking vegetables and Kung Fu fighting chickens, it’s nice to have a place to get away from it all. Community Chronicle • Summer 2006
St. LawrenceSt.Market Area Lawrence Market Area
Village LibertyLiberty Village
SATELLITE OFFICE With a foothold on the Canadian satellite radio marketplace, Sirius Canada sets its sites on a new Liberty Village office. Sirius’ broadcast footprint allows Canadian listeners access to signals at the farthest points North, East, South and West. After receiving approval from the CRTC in September, the company had to move quickly in the lead-up to its December 1st launch. With everyone focused on bringing the operation on-line, in all practical terms this meant that Sirius Canada CEO and president Mark Redmond had to take temporary office suites at One Yonge Street until his firm had time to consider its real estate situation. “When we started, we had two Canadian employees and a couple of contractors, but by the end of September, we had 25 employees,” says Redmond, explaining that with the CRTC’s September approval came a big push to get its product to over 3,500 retailers in-time for the busy holiday shopping season. This past May, when the company announced it had more than 100,000 subscribers to its service, a level of comfort set in and it was time to look for space. As for its Toronto location, besides the proximity to studios, radio stations and firms like Sony BMG, Liberty Village seemed to strike the right chord for the growing company. “We felt that we needed an area and facility that would suit our company and our personality,” says Redmond. “We are a content media company and I just didn’t want to be in a typical white-collar high The Sirius satellite control room in New York City's Rockefeller Center rise building – it just tracks the company's three satellites, which travel in a high-altitude wouldn’t suit us.”
magine driving across the country this summer listening to the same crystal-clear radio station from Toronto to Vancouver. Choosing from 65 commercial-free music channels representing every genre if you’re looking for road tunes, or maybe listening to an exciting CFL game right through to the gritty end. Getting a strong signal everywhere you go and having access to a wide variety of programming not available on regular radio are two of the mainstays of satellite radio. Currently, Canada is serviced by two satellite services, XM Satellite and Sirius Canada. But if you’re looking for CBC content, you’ll be subscribing to Sirius Canada, a firm whose rapid growth has prompted a very necessary move to 12,500 square feet of office space at 135 Liberty Street this summer. With 110 full-time channels offering a wide variety of commercial-free music, exclusive sports, news, talk and entertainment programming available,
elliptical figure-eight orbit.
Community Chronicle • Summer 2006
CANADIAN CHANNELS Broadcasting since December of last year, Sirius Canada has 110 full-time channels on tap with 11 specifically Canadian stations, including English and French selections as well as one multilingual service. • CBC Radio One • CBC Radio 3 • Iceberg Radio • Hardcore Sports Radio • Première Plus • InfoPlus • Bandeapart • Rock Velours • Energie2 • RCI Plus • The Weather Network Satellite Radio Service
HOW DOES SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO WORK? Satellite radio is a digital audio service originating from studios in Canada and the United States. It is then broadcast throughout North America by three satellites travelling in an elliptical orbit above the western hemisphere. Using satellite radio receivers in the home, car or boat, subscribers can access 110 channels of music, news, talk, sports and entertainment programming. By beaming the signals via satellite, Sirius is able to provide crystal clear broadcasts nationwide. A satellite radio receiver is required but many car manufacturers now offer satellite receivers as standard equipment. These can run anywhere from $200 to $500 and then there’s a one-time activation fee of $20 and a monthly subscription fee of $15.
Funny Business King West’s Second City Training Centre teaches comedy and communication to the corporate set.
Working with virtually every school board in Ontario, and even some in the U.S., the Second City Training Centre uses improv techniques to teach students listening, vocabulary and team building skills.
n a downtown banquet hall, some 600 telecom engineers have gathered into small teams to market waterproof toilet paper. They have to name it, come up with a slogan, hire a celebrity spokesperson as well as write and perform a commercial for it. Oh, and they have 15 minutes. “Anything other than ‘Yes’ will shut down the process,” says Klaus Schuller, the executive director of the Second City Training Centre of the Ad Game. It’s one of a long list of exercises trainers use to teach cooperation and, in this case, to highlight the detrimental effect a simple ‘No’ can have to the creative process.
Fortune 500 Clients Perhaps a far cry from its well-known downtown Toronto theatre business, but for the organization best known for bringing the world Johnny LaRue, Count Floyd and the MacKenzie brothers, corporate training and education has long been a source of revenue. Since the Second City began offering a form of this service some 15 years ago, business has been steadily on the rise, and today it does training with half the companies on the Fortune 500 list. “I don’t think it’s so much a change in direction as it is about growth,” says Lanrick Bennett Jr., a communications
and education producer with the organization. “The theatre is still around, it’s still the essence of the Second City. We’re just moving into a corporate setting and into education.”
Six Studios on Peter Street Just below street level at 70 Peter Street, you’ll find a crowded little office and a warren of six large studios where much of Second City’s teaching goes on. Beyond the stage show down the street at 51 Mercer lies a host of other services – most of which are involved in organizational communication. If you consider that improvisational comedy relies entirely on cooperation for success, it’s not such a stretch to understand how the Second City has become not only a training center for comedy writers and performers, but also a corporate communications consultancy and a provider of curriculum-based workshops for most of the school boards in Ontario.
Workshop History The education end of things began a dozen years ago, says the training centre’s Janice Rae, explaining that when the Second City actors at the Old Firehall on Lombard Street were looking to expand their skills, they sought directors
from other cities to lead workshops. When a workshop’s attendance was lean, non-acting friends were brought in to fill the seats and a demand outside the acting community for more such workshops grew into the Second City’s Training Centre. Around the same time, corporate workshops were starting to form a significant amount of the Second City’s business. Schuller says the education-based training it offers is in fact a return to the troupe’s beginnings. “The methodology we use to teach is the same methods we use to create the shows on stage and it was originally educationally based,” he explains.
Communications Consulting “About three years ago,” says Schuller, “we went from being just an off-the-shelf provider of workshops to a real communication consultancy, to the point where today, we work with one of the biggest communications consultancies.” As for school programs, the Second City uses improvisation techniques to help students develop skills such as
listening, team building, communication, idea generation, vocabulary, social integration, and empathy. The team continues to conduct workshops and performances around the world, using its brand to offer services to clients in Switzerland, India, China, Germany, England, Singapore, Kuwait, and as two harrowing helicopter rides will attest to, it’s not above spreading the comedy gospel to Baghdad’s Green Zone. secondcity.com Community Chronicle • Summer 2006
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3 Ways to Get your Body Bikini Ready
or many guys, getting beach ready can mean digging out your flip-flops and doing a few sit ups, but there are a number of women who don’t see the ritual as something quite so simple. To this group, the director at King Street West’s Hamman Spa, Mariella Comparelli offers a little advice about looking your best while wearing your least.
Tackle Cellulite The latest research shows that some 90 percent of women have cellulite (where the thin layer of tissue between the fat cells becomes more fibrous, causing tiny dimples). And when it comes to wearing swimsuits, cellulite is the number one concern, says Comparelli. “But it’s not a weight issue, it’s about toxins under the skin,” she explains. Hammam Spa staff tackle cellulite with a treatment that starts with a body scrub. Then they do an algae mud wrap that helps stimulate the drainage of toxins. “People love the results,” says Comparelli. “Your skin gets hydrated so it looks firm and it’s softer.”
Community Chronicle • Summer 2006
Wax On “Women who use a Loofa sponge on a daily basis will get they best results from a waxing,” says Comparelli. “That’s why we suggest combining a waxing with a body scrub.” She says that by exfoliating the superficial layer of the skin, you keep the hair from getting trapped underneath. Clients are often told to make sure they exfoliate with a Loofa sponge or a body scrub before their waxing appointment.
Protect your Skin Exfoliating is also one of the two main ingredients for maintaining sexy summer skin, says Comparelli. The other ingredient is sunscreen. “Sunscreen helps prevent sun damage which will keep your skin looking young,” she explains. You can’t run from the UVA rays, so you should use sunscreen throughout the year.
For complete protection, you’re pretty well covered with SPF 15. You can go with something higher, but remember that the key to successful sun protection is reapplying. If you’re outdoors all day, you should reapply every 20 minutes. www.hammanspa.ca
Summer Grilling Tips Don’t Burn When You Turn
TOTUM’S 30-MINUTE BEACH WORKOUT Long walks on the beach might be nice, but long runs along the waterline should be avoided says Josh Boardman of King Street West’s Totum Life Science. “Running on an uneven surface for an extended period of time can cause uneven stress and wear on your joints,” he says. Boardman suggests running perpendicular to the beach (provided it’s wide enough), using the resistance the deeper sand offers, as well as the beach’s incline, to increase your body’s workload.
Before you Start: Warm up by running on the spot or taking a swim to limber up before stretching. Stretches can include a standing toe touch, standing quad stretch, overhead reach and a few side bends. Hold each of these for 30 seconds.
Running a Pyramid:
as BBQs have vastly simplified the outdoor cookout, but they’ve also created legions of mediocre chefs who err on the side of dryness with chicken and frequently defend their overdone veggies as “blackened Cajun-style.” Calphalon’s executive chef Susie Reading offers a few tips to improve your meat grilling this summer.
1 X marks the spot First, preheat the grill and wipe some oil on it. Then, take your meat and place it presentation side down on the grill, says Reading. This is when you will get the hottest heat and the best grill marks. Before you flip it, give it a quarter turn. (You’ll know it’s ready to turn if the meat comes off the grill nicely, says Reading.) It’ll add some nice X-shaped grill marks but more importantly, it’ll improve cooking, says Reading, explaining that you always have to move the meat to another spot on the grill because the spot it has been grilling on has now been cooled by the moisture escaping the meat.
2 Desiring Doneness Rather than suggesting a specific time per side (variables including the type of BBQ and the type of meat can affect the outcome), Reading suggests the touch test. “As things cook and lose moisture, they become tougher, whereas when they are raw, they’re like jelly,” she says. With experience on your own grill, you come to know what firmness goes with what doneness.
3 A Juicier Chicken Keep your chicken from drying out by keeping the fat on, suggests Reading. In other words, don’t go for boneless, skinless breasts. Instead, try breasts with skin on or thighs. To check for doneness on chicken, set the skin side down and check the meat by pressing on it with tongs. The juices should run clear.
A pyramid run involves running in intervals that build to a higher frequency, peak and then decline. Boardman recommends a 1-3 pyramid run for someone with an average level of fitness. The first interval takes you from your starting point up to the top of the beach and back at 80% effort (which should take 30-45 seconds for your heart rate to resume normal). Your next interval will require you do this twice, and the third time, do it three times. Then you decrease to two again and finally to one interval. (People with a higher level of fitness may want to peak the pyramid at five rather than three.)
Strength Training: In between your intervals, do 10 pushups and 25 stomach crunches (make sure you lift your shoulder blades up off the ground).
4 The Moment of Rest Whatever the meat, make sure you give it time to settle before cutting it. Reading recommends five minutes to allow the juices to redistribute themselves evenly through the meat (rather than have the juices run all over your cutting board). www.calphalon.com Community Chronicle • Summer 2006
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Picturing the Past and Present Wellington Street East was once the city’s business center and the site of Toronto’s most popular hotel.
City of Toronto Archives
The Wellington Hotel at Wellington Street East and Church in 1856.
Wellington Street East, July 2006
L Published four times a year by: Allied Properties REIT 602 King Street West, Main floor Toronto, ON M5V 1M6
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Community Chronicle • Summer 2006
ong before Pizza Pizza graced the corner of Church and Wellington Street East, a hotel occupied much of this block. Pictured above in 1856 is the Wellington Hotel, a landmark for commercial Toronto (by the 1870s Wellington Street East was the city’s banking and commercial center) that hosted many political and professional meetings. The site was first occupied by the Ontario House Hotel, which was built in the 1920s by Peter McDoughall. In 1845, John Inglis renovated and re-opened the space as the Wellington Hotel and for many years its proximity to Weller’s Stage Office in the Coffin Block (the building that predates the Flatiron building) made it an important stage hostelry. Stages from all directions brought as many as 100 visitors daily to the establishment. Transient guests paid $1 for three meals, tea and an overnight stay, whereas more permanent lodgers paid $5 for the week. In its day, it was the most popular hotel in Toronto, but by 1861, the place had reached the status of tenement house and was demolished to make way for the Bank of Toronto building built in 1863. A hundred years later, the building, by then a branch of the Toronto-Dominion Bank following a 1955 merger, was demolished and replaced with the current pavilion-like steel and glass structure built in the International Style.