Barry Manilow has come out. I know. It’s hilarious, isn’t it? Like most gay men, I just assumed he’d always been out. He played a bathhouse with Bette Midler in the 1970s, for god’s sake. But I guess it’s not official until you tell People.
The long-feared re-development of Church Street has begun. A pivotal property between Crews and O’Grady’s has changed hands. Long a parking lot, the property at 512-516 Church St. is now surrounded by a protective fence. “Sold” signs went up over the weekend. Now it only remains to be seen how, when and how high the property will be developed. With the exception of the Alexa condo, most of the buildings on that stretch of Church Street are low-rise and historic and/or 19th century. The highest buildings in the area are no more than 30 storeys. But there’s no resistance to development at city hall and the trend is much higher. Just down the street, at Church and Carlton, the Stanley condo got two more storeys than the 20 to 35 the city’s planning guidelines suggest. The broker who sold the parking lot property described it as a “prime downtown development site within a high density neighbourhood” and noted the presence nearby of several tall towers – “Casa (43 storeys), Casa 2 (56 Storeys), Chaz (47 storeys), X (45 storeys) and X2 (44 storeys) in the immediate vicinity.”