The End of a Toronto Institution?

I’m being slightly slow on the uptake here – last week the owner of the Bicycle Clinic on Queen Street West, Toronto was arrested for massive bicycle theft. The shop, a small hole in the wall location in the middle of trendy Queen Street, was raided last week and along with other locations, found to hold almost 3,000 bikes – all believed to be stolen. Pretty impressive work.

I’d walked past the Bicycle Clinic pretty much every time I’ve been to Toronto, the last time being a few months back. The place is a local institution, but it transpires this is more to do with every local knowing that if their bike was stolen they should head down to retrieve it (by argument or money) from the owner. Now the lengthy process of returning the stolen bikes to their rightful owners continues as a neighbourhood story ends.

Roof Collapses Near Brad Pitt’s Latest Movie in Montreal

Benjamin Button Shoot: Clearing the Roof
Originally uploaded by ultrahi.

Brad Pitt’s latest movie “Benjamin Button” is being shot in Montreal just down the road from us in Montreal. I was watching them shoot the scene when about 50 minutes ago there was an almighty crash. Part of the roof from a building alongside the shoot had just fallen down! Luckily it appears that no-one was hurt. The police and fire brigade were along quickly and cordoned off the road. Thankfully the roof was just off the road where they were shooting.

“Benjamin Button” is directed by David Fincher, he of Fight Club fame, and stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, as well as Tilda Swanton. I’ve no idea if any of them were on the set for this shoot as I’ve not seen any of them.

See more photos here.

Cutty Sark: Good News & Bad News

The devastating fire that hit the Cutty Sark last night is now out, but there’s been significant damage. The only saving grace is that since the ship was undergoing extensive resotration, it turns out that half of the timbers were stored away from the site and so are completely safe.

For some reason this event is really upsetting me. The last time I went past the Cutty Sark was about four years ago on the way to a festival in Greenwich Park, but it was such a part of my childhood from regular visits with school and family. Unfortunately last year when we were visiting London we didn’t go to see the ship as planned. Ah well. Hopefully they can restore it to near its former glory, and once there are official restoration donation pages made public I’ll post them up.