Chris Bateman

Freelance writer for the Globe and Mail, Spacing, and TVO. Formerly blogTO, Metro.
    Jun 6, 2019
    A New Era is Due for Toronto’s Treasured Space Age Amusement Park

    Coated in grime and rust, Ontario Place is a sorry shadow of its once exuberant past. It’s little wonder the provincial government under Premier Doug Ford is targeting the site for redevelopment. For almost a decade, Toronto’s Space Age amusement…

    Coated in grime and rust, Ontario Place is a sorry shadow of its once exuberant past. It’s little wonder the provincial government under Premier Doug Ford is targeting the site for redevelopment. For almost a decade, Toronto’s Space Age amusement…

    Coated in grime and rust, Ontario Place is a sorry shadow of its once exuberant past. It’s little wonder the provincial government under Premier Doug Ford is targeting the site for redevelopment. For almost a decade, Toronto’s Space Age amusement…

    Mar 13, 2019
    An Old Mies For a New Toronto

    No single development has transformed Toronto’s skyline quite like the Toronto-Dominion Centre. The arrival of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s twin office towers in the late 1960s signaled a dramatic and permanent change in the city’s prevailing…

    No single development has transformed Toronto’s skyline quite like the Toronto-Dominion Centre. The arrival of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s twin office towers in the late 1960s signaled a dramatic and permanent change in the city’s prevailing…

    No single development has transformed Toronto’s skyline quite like the Toronto-Dominion Centre. The arrival of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s twin office towers in the late 1960s signaled a dramatic and permanent change in the city’s prevailing…

    Feb 14, 2019
    The Swinging Singles Bar That Changed Toronto’s Nightlife

    There was no place quite like the Coal Bin for Toronto’s young singles in the early ‘70s. Located in the heart of the city’s booming downtown, surrounded by gleaming new office towers, the crowded 300-seat basement room was one of the first bars in…

    There was no place quite like the Coal Bin for Toronto’s young singles in the early ‘70s. Located in the heart of the city’s booming downtown, surrounded by gleaming new office towers, the crowded 300-seat basement room was one of the first bars in…

    There was no place quite like the Coal Bin for Toronto’s young singles in the early ‘70s. Located in the heart of the city’s booming downtown, surrounded by gleaming new office towers, the crowded 300-seat basement room was one of the first bars in…

    Nov 30, 2018
    What happened to the body of Stella Vanzant in Toronto?

    It was about 1814 when John Vanzant buried one of his young children in a quiet corner of his Wellington Street property in the Town of York. The grave site, six feet long and four feet wide, was set back from the unpaved street in a small grove of…

    It was about 1814 when John Vanzant buried one of his young children in a quiet corner of his Wellington Street property in the Town of York. The grave site, six feet long and four feet wide, was set back from the unpaved street in a small grove of…

    It was about 1814 when John Vanzant buried one of his young children in a quiet corner of his Wellington Street property in the Town of York. The grave site, six feet long and four feet wide, was set back from the unpaved street in a small grove of…

    Oct 24, 2018
    An Election In Toronto Brings More of the Same

    After topsy-turvy election, Toronto ultimately opted to stick with the plain old status quo. Incumbent Mayor John Tory won a near historic landslide victory over his main rival Jennifer Keesmaat Monday night, taking more than 63 percent of the vote.…

    After topsy-turvy election, Toronto ultimately opted to stick with the plain old status quo. Incumbent Mayor John Tory won a near historic landslide victory over his main rival Jennifer Keesmaat Monday night, taking more than 63 percent of the vote.…

    After topsy-turvy election, Toronto ultimately opted to stick with the plain old status quo. Incumbent Mayor John Tory won a near historic landslide victory over his main rival Jennifer Keesmaat Monday night, taking more than 63 percent of the vote.…

    Sep 17, 2018
    In Toronto, Ford Nation Strikes Back

    It didn’t take long at all for newly-elected Ontario premier Doug Ford to plunge Canada’s largest city into a political and constitutional crisis. Since winning a majority for the Progressive Conservative party just over three months ago, ousting the …

    It didn’t take long at all for newly-elected Ontario premier Doug Ford to plunge Canada’s largest city into a political and constitutional crisis. Since winning a majority for the Progressive Conservative party just over three months ago, ousting the …

    It didn’t take long at all for newly-elected Ontario premier Doug Ford to plunge Canada’s largest city into a political and constitutional crisis. Since winning a majority for the Progressive Conservative party just over three months ago, ousting the …

    Aug 17, 2018
    The Canadian National Exhibition’s history of death-defying leaps of faith

    In the seconds before his body hit the water, Barney Cipriani pictured his family. Tumbling and rolling through the air as he dropped 110 feet from the top of a scaffold, the 41-year-old from Detroit called to mind the faces of his three kids – two…

    In the seconds before his body hit the water, Barney Cipriani pictured his family. Tumbling and rolling through the air as he dropped 110 feet from the top of a scaffold, the 41-year-old from Detroit called to mind the faces of his three kids – two…

    In the seconds before his body hit the water, Barney Cipriani pictured his family. Tumbling and rolling through the air as he dropped 110 feet from the top of a scaffold, the 41-year-old from Detroit called to mind the faces of his three kids – two…

    Aug 6, 2018
    How a Political Crisis Fueled an Urban Planner’s Mayoral Campaign

    On the last Friday of July, less than six hours before the registration deadline to run for Mayor of Toronto, the city's former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, was at her office and checking Twitter. The night before, the Toronto Star had broken …

    On the last Friday of July, less than six hours before the registration deadline to run for Mayor of Toronto, the city's former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, was at her office and checking Twitter. The night before, the Toronto Star had broken …

    On the last Friday of July, less than six hours before the registration deadline to run for Mayor of Toronto, the city's former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, was at her office and checking Twitter. The night before, the Toronto Star had broken …

    May 15, 2018
    The Photographer Who Watched Toronto Become a City

    It’s not clear how Arthur Goss acquired his first camera. It was the 1890s and photography was a technical and expensive hobby for a teen recently sent into the workplace to help support his family following the death of his father. However he came …

    It’s not clear how Arthur Goss acquired his first camera. It was the 1890s and photography was a technical and expensive hobby for a teen recently sent into the workplace to help support his family following the death of his father. However he came …

    It’s not clear how Arthur Goss acquired his first camera. It was the 1890s and photography was a technical and expensive hobby for a teen recently sent into the workplace to help support his family following the death of his father. However he came …

    Apr 25, 2018
    After Van Attack, Toronto Balances Grief and Resolve

    Over a few terrifying minutes on Monday afternoon, a man in a rented cargo van committed one of the worst mass murders in Toronto’s history. Aiming the vehicle down crowded sidewalks for more than a mile, 25-year-old Alek Minassian struck and killed …

    Over a few terrifying minutes on Monday afternoon, a man in a rented cargo van committed one of the worst mass murders in Toronto’s history. Aiming the vehicle down crowded sidewalks for more than a mile, 25-year-old Alek Minassian struck and killed …

    Over a few terrifying minutes on Monday afternoon, a man in a rented cargo van committed one of the worst mass murders in Toronto’s history. Aiming the vehicle down crowded sidewalks for more than a mile, 25-year-old Alek Minassian struck and killed …

    Apr 24, 2018
    The secrets of engineering’s strange and mysterious initiation ritual

    In March 2012, more than a hundred civil-engineering students at McMaster University crowded into a gymnasium at the school's Ivor Wynne Centre. At the head of the room was an anvil, and attached to the anvil were several long chains that ran the …

    In March 2012, more than a hundred civil-engineering students at McMaster University crowded into a gymnasium at the school's Ivor Wynne Centre. At the head of the room was an anvil, and attached to the anvil were several long chains that ran the …

    In March 2012, more than a hundred civil-engineering students at McMaster University crowded into a gymnasium at the school's Ivor Wynne Centre. At the head of the room was an anvil, and attached to the anvil were several long chains that ran the …

    Apr 14, 2018
    TTC’s subway station typeface a font of intrigue

    There’s a mystery on the walls of almost every Toronto subway station. It’s in the leg of the letter R, the tail of the Q and the angle of the S. The station name, etched in big, round characters along the length of the platform, is written in a …

    There’s a mystery on the walls of almost every Toronto subway station. It’s in the leg of the letter R, the tail of the Q and the angle of the S. The station name, etched in big, round characters along the length of the platform, is written in a …

    There’s a mystery on the walls of almost every Toronto subway station. It’s in the leg of the letter R, the tail of the Q and the angle of the S. The station name, etched in big, round characters along the length of the platform, is written in a …

    A little girl in Toronto lost to history – and now found

    The girl in the photo is facing the camera. She's wearing gloves, stout shoes and a long, button-up winter coat that reaches almost to her ankles. Her dark hair is tied back neatly. She may be dressed smartly, but she is surrounded by terrible …

    The girl in the photo is facing the camera. She's wearing gloves, stout shoes and a long, button-up winter coat that reaches almost to her ankles. Her dark hair is tied back neatly. She may be dressed smartly, but she is surrounded by terrible …

    The girl in the photo is facing the camera. She's wearing gloves, stout shoes and a long, button-up winter coat that reaches almost to her ankles. Her dark hair is tied back neatly. She may be dressed smartly, but she is surrounded by terrible …

    Feb 13, 2018
    In Toronto, a Likable Space Arrives Underneath a Loathed Expressway

    In Toronto's west end, next to historic Fort York, a few hardy ice skaters glide and crunch around a figure-8 trail. A sharp wind blows off Lake Ontario making the air feel like 5°F, but that doesn't discourage them from making gentle circuits of the …

    In Toronto's west end, next to historic Fort York, a few hardy ice skaters glide and crunch around a figure-8 trail. A sharp wind blows off Lake Ontario making the air feel like 5°F, but that doesn't discourage them from making gentle circuits of the …

    In Toronto's west end, next to historic Fort York, a few hardy ice skaters glide and crunch around a figure-8 trail. A sharp wind blows off Lake Ontario making the air feel like 5°F, but that doesn't discourage them from making gentle circuits of the …

    Jan 19, 2018
    How Toronto Turned an Airport Rail Failure Into a Commuter Asset

    For years, arrivals to Toronto via its Pearson International Airport emerged into a sunless area beneath an overpass 14 miles from downtown. Until recently, anyone without a ride waiting for them outside the terminal would have to settle for a taxi, …

    For years, arrivals to Toronto via its Pearson International Airport emerged into a sunless area beneath an overpass 14 miles from downtown. Until recently, anyone without a ride waiting for them outside the terminal would have to settle for a taxi, …

    For years, arrivals to Toronto via its Pearson International Airport emerged into a sunless area beneath an overpass 14 miles from downtown. Until recently, anyone without a ride waiting for them outside the terminal would have to settle for a taxi, …

    Dec 18, 2017
    The Ambitious Design and Low Density of Toronto's Newest Subway Stations

    The Toronto subway system left the city on Sunday. After almost a decade of construction, a 6-stop extension of Line 1 breached the northern municipal boundary and traveled 1.5 miles into York Region, the area that adjoins Toronto’s northern …

    The Toronto subway system left the city on Sunday. After almost a decade of construction, a 6-stop extension of Line 1 breached the northern municipal boundary and traveled 1.5 miles into York Region, the area that adjoins Toronto’s northern …

    The Toronto subway system left the city on Sunday. After almost a decade of construction, a 6-stop extension of Line 1 breached the northern municipal boundary and traveled 1.5 miles into York Region, the area that adjoins Toronto’s northern …

    Dec 2, 2017
    Computer love: Toronto’s first electronic dates

    Bill McNeil and Judy Perry were among the first people ever fixed up by a computer. In 1957, three decades before the first dating websites and 55 years before Tinder, the 33-year-old CBC radio reporter and the 29-year-old former president of the …

    Bill McNeil and Judy Perry were among the first people ever fixed up by a computer. In 1957, three decades before the first dating websites and 55 years before Tinder, the 33-year-old CBC radio reporter and the 29-year-old former president of the …

    Bill McNeil and Judy Perry were among the first people ever fixed up by a computer. In 1957, three decades before the first dating websites and 55 years before Tinder, the 33-year-old CBC radio reporter and the 29-year-old former president of the …

    Nov 16, 2017
    How Canadians learned to start worrying and fear the bomb

    ​On November 13, 1961, Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, North Bay, and cities across Canada were destroyed by nuclear bombs. More than 2 million people were incinerated and another 1.5 million were burned or exposed to fatal levels of radiation in the …

    ​On November 13, 1961, Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, North Bay, and cities across Canada were destroyed by nuclear bombs. More than 2 million people were incinerated and another 1.5 million were burned or exposed to fatal levels of radiation in the …

    ​On November 13, 1961, Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, North Bay, and cities across Canada were destroyed by nuclear bombs. More than 2 million people were incinerated and another 1.5 million were burned or exposed to fatal levels of radiation in the …

    Oct 21, 2017
    A million Canadian post-war homes

    The Camisso family never expected a parade when they bought their first house, a little suburban bungalow in the new Wishing Well Acres subdivision near Sheppard and Victoria Park Avenues, but that’s what they got. Metropolitan Toronto chairman Fred …

    The Camisso family never expected a parade when they bought their first house, a little suburban bungalow in the new Wishing Well Acres subdivision near Sheppard and Victoria Park Avenues, but that’s what they got. Metropolitan Toronto chairman Fred …

    The Camisso family never expected a parade when they bought their first house, a little suburban bungalow in the new Wishing Well Acres subdivision near Sheppard and Victoria Park Avenues, but that’s what they got. Metropolitan Toronto chairman Fred …

    Oct 16, 2017
    Exile in Ontario: How the Russian royal family came to an end in Toronto

    At the age of 79, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna died at her friends’ apartment on Gerrard Street East, in Toronto. (Paul Gilbert/angelfire.com) ​On November 24, 1960, after three centuries in power, the Romanov line came to an end above a barber …

    At the age of 79, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna died at her friends’ apartment on Gerrard Street East, in Toronto. (Paul Gilbert/angelfire.com) ​On November 24, 1960, after three centuries in power, the Romanov line came to an end above a barber …

    At the age of 79, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna died at her friends’ apartment on Gerrard Street East, in Toronto. (Paul Gilbert/angelfire.com) ​On November 24, 1960, after three centuries in power, the Romanov line came to an end above a barber …