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Friday 15 January 2016

Integrated Investigative Bureau

 Listening at Dundas Square.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 200 King Street West
Date: Aug 2014

  The Listener was a Canadian TV show about a paramedic named Toby (Craig Olejnik) who has telepathic powers and uses them to help solve crimes.  During its five season run it filmed at numerous locations around Toronto.  We figured out where the main locations from the show exist in real life.  During the introduction, you see Toby with people passing around him.  Toby is always bombarded by the voices and visions he picks up from those nearby.  This shot was filmed at Yonge-Dundas Square. We attempted to give our picture the blurry, cyan look it has on the show.  We will have to return one evening to get closer to the actual effect.
  The Sick Kids Hospital at the corner of University Ave. and Gerrard Street was used for exterior shots of the fictional St. Luke's Hospital from the show.  The show used the older ambulance bay which is at the western end of Gerrard Street.  You can see various shots of this location throughout the first two seasons.  At the very end of the pilot episode you can see Toby walking away from the ambulance bay and then turning and heading north on University Avenue at the intersection below.

Sick Kids Ambulance Bay.
Toby heads towards Queen's Park.

   In season 2, Toby is introduced to the IIB.  IIB stands for Integrated Investigative Bureau and is a special police division.  Sgt. McCluskey (Lauren Lee Smith) starts to realize Toby has a special gift for reading what people are thinking.  Toby starts to help the IIB fight crime while still working as a paramedic.  We always found it amusing when they would arrive at a crime scene and pull out their badges and state "We are with the IIB" as if everyone would know what that means. "You you be what?"  As time goes on Toby gets more involved with the IIB and eventually starts working with them full time leaving his paramedic career behind.

IIB at Toronto Street.

  The IIB offices are shown as two different locations.  When we first see the IIB in season 2 it is shown as this building at 36 Toronto Street which houses a Canada Post Office. Its distinctive front is the one facing Adelaide Street East.

Sun Life Twins.

  At other times the building is shown as one of these twin buildings at University Ave. and King Street West.  These buildings are the head offices of Sun Life Financial and are located at 150 King Street West and 200 King Street West.  The building on the west side of University is the one Toby is seen entering on the show.  The archways over the door make the entrance look like a big number 4 (this can be seen in the last photo of this post).

Looking up at the IIB.
 IIB Walkin' Here.

  In later episodes The Listener incorporated more aerial shots of Toronto when it started a scene.  Our guess is they started using the Sun Life buildings as they work better for this type of shot.  The Toronto Street building looks great from street level but is not very impressive from above.  The Sun Life buildings also have interesting neighbours on King Street.  The office on the eastern side of University has a bronze sculpture called Sun Life after the building's tenant. The western side has a wavy building housing Canadian Blood Services, St Andrew's Church and Roy Thompson Hall all in a row.

Sun Life sculpture.
 IIB's Neighbours.

We have incorporated all of these locations into the Map of our World. While Toby might be able to read our minds and see where we have been, you will have to search the map locations below.

Map of Our World
Yonge-Dundas Square , St. Luke's Hospital , Integrated Investigative Bureau (King Street West) , Integrated Investigative Bureau (Toronto St.)
Sun Life

Post # 90

Sunday 10 January 2016

Lake Opeongo (Algonquin Park)

Algonqun Outfitters Dock.

Location: Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada
Address: Lake Opeongo Road
Date: Oct 2005
Website: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

  On the road to Opeongo Lake is where we had one of our greatest moose encounters.  This road leads up from Highway 60 to an Algonquin Outfitters location where canoeists can launch and head even further north to the lake.  The first lake we encountered as we drove up the road is Costello Lake.

Hey Abbott!
 Costello Lake.

  A little further along the road passes through a marshy area.  Occasionally you can see beaver dams built in this area.  This is also where we encountered a rather large snapping turtle attempting to cross the road.  We stopped and he lumbered across to continue on his journey.  In Algonquin you need to always be on the lookout as you never know what is around the corner.

  As the road winds over a small bridge there is a rather large rock sitting in the water which makes for a great photo opportunity.

Great Photo Spot.

    At the end of the road are two parking lots where you can leave your vehicle when you go canoeing.  As it was the off-season nothing was open so we were just using the parking lot to turn around.  As we drove into the first lot we spotted something.  It was more than something, it was a moose and her baby headed into the bushes.   

Moose on the loose.

  We drove out and up to the second lot, we stopped the car and we waited.

Mom with shy baby behind her.

  Luck was with us and a moment later the mother moose climbed up the hill and stopped to give us a look.  Behind her was her young offspring waiting for the all clear.  The mother walked over and started eating leaves from a tree.  She had determined we were not a threat.  She continued across the parking lot and a moment later the baby came out of the bushes and went over to her.  New calves are usually born in May or June and will stay with their mother until she gives birth again the next spring.  We have determined that this calf is most likely about 5 months old.

    It was all over in just a few moments.  We were able to catch one last glimpse of the two moose as they headed into the bushes at the side of the parking lot.
Moose Caboose.

  When we visit Algonquin we always take a drive up to this parking lot in hopes of repeating our experience.  Algonquin Park has one of the highest concentrations of moose in all of Ontario.  We have had other moose encounters elsewhere in the park, but never in this same spot.  We do get to enjoy the beautiful scenery whenever we visit as you can see below. 

Algonquin Parking Lot Fall Colours.
View From Lake Opeongo Road.

    As we head back south towards Highway 60, we also keep a keen lookout for any activity.  We know that a brief moment can be the difference between having a memorable wildlife encounter and not seeing anything at all.

Lake Opeongo Road.

Map of Our World
Algonquin Park (Lake Opeongo)

Post # 89

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Farting Lane

 Carting Lane. Farting Lane.

Location: London, England
Address:  Carting Lane
Date: Sept 2015
Website: www.atgtickets.com

  Carting Lane is just a small street, but it is an area of important firsts and lasts in London's history.  On the north end it can only be accessed by pedestrians via a stairway.  On the east stands the Savoy Theatre which opened in 1881 and is also the first public building in the world to be lit throughout with electricity.  The theatre also became famous for presenting the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan.  The opera Patience was the first to appear at the Savoy, but perhaps the best known is The Pirates of Penzance.

I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

  As you head south towards the Thames you will see a single lamp standing on the west side of the lane.  A small plaque next to the lamp lets us know that this is the last remaining sewer gas destructor lamp in the City of Westminster.  The City of Westminster includes a large part of central London.  Both the Queen's residence at Buckingham Palace, along with Big Ben and parliament can be found in Westminster.  More obviously this is also where the famous Westminster Abbey can be found.

The last one of its kind.

  This cast iron lamp was installed as part of the Victoria Embankment sewer system which opened in 1870.  It is this lamp that gives Carting Lane its oh so clever nickname.  One can only imagine what London smelled like at the end of the 1800s and this lamp was doing its part to help reduce that smell.   The lantern is designed to take the biogas that emits from the sewer system and burn it off.  We visited in the mid-afternoon and as you can see the lamp burns 24 hours a day.  We were also pleased to report that this lane did not smell any different than any of the others we had walked through earlier that day.

Listen. Do you smell something?

Map of Our World
Farting Lane Lamp , Savoy Theatre

Post # 88