Singer notes Black history content in songs of the 1960s and ’70s

Rich Pearson learns more and more about the music he performs, especially this time of year.

When he recently sang Paul McCartney’s lyrics, “Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these sunken eyes and learn to see; all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free,” he realized the song wasn’t about birds at all.

“(McCartney) was thinking about the civil rights movement at that time he wrote it; he wrote it at the 68,” Pearson said.

Toronto firm puts books in the hands of children with greatest need

The head of an agency promoting youth literacy says books in the hands of children can change the future.

On Feb. 10, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in partnership with First Book Canada, hosted a reading event at the First Nations School of Toronto. The event acknowledged Tata’s donation of 1,000 new books to the First Nations School of Toronto, just south of the Danforth. Wayne Cochrane, the director of operations for First Book Canada, explained the value of the gift.

“I think the biggest barrier to literacy is lack of access to books,” he said.

Six-alarm fire in midtown Toronto

A six-alarm fire devoured The Badminton and Racquet Club of Toronto at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue on Tuesday, closing one of the city’s busiest intersections, and forcing the evacuation of many residents from adjacent buildings.

Interim Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg declared the blaze a five-alarm fire around 10:30 a.m., but then upgraded it to a six-alarm fire at 11:30 a.m.

5-alarm fire now at St. Clair and Yonge

A thick cloud of grey smoke is wafting above the intersection of St. Clair Avenue at Yonge Street due to what Toronto Fire Services calls a 5 Alarm fire at 25 St. Clair Ave. W. That is the second highest level of emergency the department can possibly face. Fire officials have evacuated nearby buildings as a precaution. The fear is the building may collapse.