Saturday, May 27, 2017

IFBB judging at the Toronto Pro SuperShow 2017

In addition to the massive multi-sport fitness consumer trade show there are quite a few competitions happening over the weekend such as the OPA, IFBB and even arm wrestling. If it is fitness related they are competing here at the GNC Live Well Presents the Toronto Pro SuperShow My 27-28. The show is an opportunity for athletes to show and promote their sport to fans and newcomers alike.

The judging begins early with the women's events starting first: Fitness, Bikini, Figure, Physique and Bodybuilding before they turn Expo Stage over to the men. Around the expo you can find areas setup for crossfit, obstacle course, weight lifting, power lifting, pole fitness, arm wrestling and strongman. Sunday has a full schedule of events at the stage and on the expo floor including the Absolute Touch/Muscle Memory Bikini and Fit Men Model Search and Superkick'd Pro Wrestling.

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre north building is booming with long lineups to meet the celebrities and to get some free swag.

See more of the show after the jump.

Friday, May 26, 2017

OPA Provincial Championships at the @TOProSupershow 2017

Canada's largest fitness expo is back and before the doors open on the May 27-28 show the judging has already started and there are lots of muscles. OPA is the Ontario Physique Association which is the province's governing body recognized by the CBBF and IFBB for bodybuilding, fitness, figure and bikini events.
The OPA holds over 20 events per year in Ontario making it and it's members the largest physique organizations in Canada. The age classes are Junior (under 21, 23 for Naturals), Masters Men (40+), Grand Masters Men (50+), Masters Women (35+), Grand Masters Women (45+) and Seniors. They also have divisions based on height and weight. Physique competitors wear black trunks, bodybuilders use the more colourful swim briefs, Mens fitness wear surf shorts and the women wear sparkly bikinis. Bodybuilding and Physique posing requires five mandatory poses; front double biceps, side chest, back double biceps, abdominals and thighs and favourite classic post.

Down in the John Bassett Theatre competitors in bodybuilding, physique, fitness and bikini categories take to the stage and strike a pose as determined by the judges. There were so many divisions and competitions that the event, which started at 3pm, lasted until around midnight.

The finals are in the theatre on Saturday starting at 9 am, just before the IFBB Pro Men's Open Bodybuilding judging and the Olympia Qualifier finals which begins at 6 pm.

At the expo main stage starting at 9:15 am on Saturday is the initial IFBB judging for Fitness, Bikini, Physique and Bodybuilding.

See more muscles after the jump.

Toronto #liftexpo

Many Canadians are waiting for the day when Marijuana becomes legal in June of 2018, until then the medical use of cannabis and the hope of a regulated market for personal use is gearing up the industry. This is largest cannabis trade show in Canada, only the second time for Toronto, and is on from May 26-28 with the business conference and industry day on Friday. PS the flyte crews were amazing, especially with their in flyte beverage carts.

Lift Expo wants to empower people to make informed decisions about the infamous herb. Friday is industry day then the weekend is open for general admission in the south building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Visitors seemed to be pretty mellow and the bartenders seem a tad under utilized. There were a lot of free rolling papers and lighters at many of the booths but if I had to guess most of the new growth will be in vaporizers as opposed to smoking the future legal product. Although I notice that TVAPE states in the Lift Expo guidebook that vaporizer ads will soon be outlawed.
You can come down for presentations, panel discussions and demonstrations of cooking, extraction and cultivation, or just look at the bongs and vapes. There are over 200 booths and 60 speakers taking part and everyone seems excited about the opening market. Dragon Brett Wilson had a session during the business conference on 'Success and the lost art of critical thinking' discussing a work/life balance and succeeding in life and business.
'How will a you access your cannibis in 2018?' Good question - the panel, above, featuring Elliot Guither, Omar Khan and Ivan Ross Vrana said that it wouldn't be at your local LCBO. The talks on the lift beleave main stage were very well attended and informative. On noon Sunday you can listen to Brent Reynolds and Tony Verzura talk about Cancer and Cannabis - the myths and the potential.

See more after the jump.

Putting the H20 into HTO Park

The increased water levels in Lake Ontario aren't only affecting the Toronto Islands they have impacted harbourfront along Queens Quay. So far the water has closed off part of the urban beach HTO Park and brought the waves onto the wave decks. If it keeps going, by my terrible calculations, it should be up to the observation deck of the CN Tower soon (I will recheck my numbers later).
The Spadina Wavedeck

You can also find some Tiki Taxi's parked in the docks as most of their business has dried up with the closing of the Toronto Islands to all but residents of Ward's Island. The Canoe and Kayak club doesn't have to use a ramp anymore, the dock is level with the concrete wharf. Unfortunately the rain is still in the forecast.

See more moist pictures after the jump.

Toronto Graffiti Tour

My recent visit to see IndyCar driver Scott Dixon had me walking all over the downtown core and I had a chance to visit some of the alleyways where graffiti is very prevalent. Although not limited to alleys the long stretches of small roads full of fences and garages are the favourite locations of graffiti artists/vandals. Tags and murals abound and nothing lasts forever. The mural above says 'Anything too stupid to be spoken is sung' a quote by Voltaire.
The computer guy....
lost his computer balloons

See more graffiti after the jump.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dog Fountain in Berczy Park

Not for dogs, but covered in dog sculptures spouting water as they look up to the golden dog bone at the very top of the fountain. A cat sits at the bottom level of the fountain, disdainful of the treasure the dogs seek. The Berczy Park blog says that the fountain is not a splash pad and dogs and people shouldn't be swimming in the water.
The cat
A real dog visits with the dog sculptures

The park is ready for enjoyment as the landscaping has been finished and the fences have been taken down. The water was flowing in the fountain but the last couple of times I visited the water has been off.

You can see some of the upgrades as they were almost done as well as what the original park looked like on my early posts.

Queen Street West; out with the old, in with the new bridge

Pedestrians crossing between two of Toronto’s best known shopping centres who don’t like to use the street (or the underground PATH system) will have to wait until the fall for the pedestrian bridge to be replaced. The original structure, which sees about 2 million crossings per year, was designed in 1978 by Zeidler and with the overall upgrade of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the addition of the new Saks Fifth Avenue store they decided to construct a new pedestrian bridge to replace the almost 40 year old original. The successful designers from Cadillac Fairview’s competition were WilkinsonEyre Architects and Zeidler Partnerships Architects who proposed a design using glass and bronze panels covering a steel bridge. Of course if it was being built by the Province of Ontario it would be a toll pedestrian bridge!
During the Victoria Day 2017 holiday weekend contractors removed the existing bridge that spanned between the two buildings over Queen Street West. The street was closed between Friday, May 19 and Monday, May 22. Streetcars have been removed from Queen Street and replaced with buses as the overhead electric supply lines had to be removed for the removal and installation work.
The new pedestrian bridge is being built by PCL Construction who are assembling the structure on James Street, right beside the Toronto Eaton Centre. Cranes recently showed up to put down plywood and thick steel sheets to spread the weight of the bridge safely over the roadway and to provide support structures to assemble the bridge from April 24 to August 31, 2017. Now the metal exoskeleton is being placed on the new bridge. It is amazing that the fees to be paid to the City of Toronto by the contractor, just to use the roadway for construction staging for four months, is an estimated $425,000. Once the build is completed they will crane the bridge over to its new home across Queen Street.
From the Zeidler website: The new bridge, encased in floor-to-ceiling glass panels with multiple spiraling angles, will be a high quality example of contemporary bridge architecture. Its dynamic sculptural form will create a new civic landmark for the City and enhance the urban realm experience for both passersby and bridge users. The transformational geometry of the bridge form is further emphasized by the use of bronze panels, which extend, wave-like, from the Hudson Bay end and gradually transition to glass nearer to the Eaton Centre. The glass will wrap around and below the walkway level, making people using the bridge more visible, and increasing engagement with street life below. The internal experience will be of walking within a sculptural artwork. Feature lighting will enhance the bridge’s role as a landmark. The bridge’s supporting beam is designed to maximize clearance over Queen Street while staying within the desired accessible gradient. Zeidler is working with the City of Toronto, Toronto Transit Commission, and Fire Prevention Services to protect the integrity of the bridge’s design while responding to numerous practical requirements.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#IndyCar driver Scott Dixon in Toronto

The two time winner of the Honda Indy Toronto is in town meeting the press after taking the pole position for the upcoming Indy 500 race.

Scott won the open wheel Verizon IndyCar Championship in 2013 which was the year he captured both races in the doubleheader at Toronto's Exhibition Place.
His P1 pole position for the 500 saw his average time for four laps the fastest since 1996 so his ride is primed for the win. Driving the number 9 Chip Ganassi Racing car the New Zealander is currently in second place in the 2017 Championship standings, just behind Simon Pagenaud.

Scott and teammate Dario were recently robbed at a Taco Bell in the United States and they have issued this statement. "Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti are completely fine after being held up last night by two men at a fast food restaurant in Speedway, Ind. Thank you to everyone for all of your concerns about their well-being. However, we will allow the Speedway/Indianapolis police departments to handle the situation and while they conduct their investigation we will refrain from making any further comments to allow Scott to focus on the upcoming Indianapolis 500.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cabana Grand Opening in June

The @CabanaPoolBar Street Team was traveling all over Toronto to promote their Grand Opening Party on Saturday June 3, 2017. They looked great in white and their mode of transportation was white bicycles. Cabana is on 11 Polson Street just off Cherry Street down by the harbour.

They were giving out blue wristbands for free entrance to the party before 3pm. The hours of the bar appear to be "noon until late", which I think is a perfect time span. Music for the opening will be by Jed Harper, Chris Laroque, Manzone & Strong.

"Cabana Pool Bar at Polson Pier transforms Toronto’s waterfront into a “Day-to-Night” party spot with private cabanas, day beds and room for 2500 Sun Worshippers."

Toronto Islands are sinking man and I don't wanna swim

Forget global warming, this is municipal warming. I can't find evidence of Toronto's glacier field, it must have melted and the waters have risen and flooded into the Islands. Enough water covers the island park that the City has stopped most ferry services and now only runs to Ward's Island on a Spring Schedule. Over 20,000 sandbags are in place along low lying areas to help keep the water out and pumps are working to remove the water that make it past the bags.

Wildlife, like this Goose family, are having a field day

From the Ferry schedule website "The City continues to work closely with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Environment Canada to monitor Lake Ontario water levels which, even without further rainfall, are expected to rise for several more weeks. Once Lake Ontario reaches its peak level, experts anticipate that it will take weeks for water levels to return to normal. In order to ensure the safety of the public and the security of our facilities, Toronto Island Park will remain closed to the general public, regular ferry service will remain suspended, and all permits have been cancelled until June 30. Staff will continue to monitor conditions closely. We will continue to keep you updated and apprised of any changes to operations."

Toronto Islands were started by the sand carried by the currents from the Scarborough Bluffs, now the sand is thinking of finding a new home, probably around Humber Bay. They say that Centreville will be closed until June 30 at the earliest and the rest of the Islands will be closed until it is completely safe.
Here is the City of Toronto's news release: Toronto Island Park remains closed as water levels continue to rise

Water levels in Lake Ontario continue to rise and experts advise this situation is not expected to see any improvement for several weeks. As the long weekend approaches, the City of Toronto reminds residents and visitors that Toronto Island Park remains closed. There is no ferry service for members of the general public and they are advised to refrain from visiting Toronto Island Park until further notice, due to significant flooding.

The City of Toronto's Office of Emergency Management continues to monitor and assess the situation closely. City crews are focused on ensuring public safety, protecting assets and employing flood mitigation measures where it is helpful to do so. Staff continue to evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis.

Updates on the City's response to flooding at Toronto Island Park are as follows:

Road access/school
Due to rising water levels throughout Toronto Island Park, parts of the main road are underwater and the road is closed. As a result, the Toronto District School Board is relocating students from the Toronto Island Public School to Nelson Mandela Public School for the remainder of the school year, as per their usual processes.

All permits at Toronto Island Park up to and including June 30 are cancelled due to flooding. City staff are working with permit holders to provide any available options for rescheduling or relocation of their events.

Ferry service
Ferry access to Toronto Island Park is restricted to residents and authorized personnel only. More information is available at

Toronto Island beaches
Hanlan's Point, Gibraltar Point and Centre Island beaches are under water and closed until further notice. Residents are advised that beaches on the mainland will open for the season, with lifeguards in place, on June 1. Residents should visit for daily updates on beach water quality.

Centreville will remain closed. Staff will monitor the situation and will work with the operator to open once water levels have receded to safe levels. Updates are available at

Billy Bishop Airport
Billy Bishop Airport is operating as usual with no disruption to service, however passengers are always encouraged to check flight status before heading to the airport to ensure their flight is on schedule. Up-to-date information can be found at

Toronto has experienced high levels of rainfall this spring and as a result, Lake Ontario and watershed levels throughout the city continue to rise. The City continues to work closely with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to monitor Lake Ontario water levels.

At the current levels, experts advise it will take several weeks for water levels to return to normal. The City's Office of Emergency Management will make decisions about access to Toronto Island Park and park operations according to conditions. Cleanup and restoration efforts will begin once the lake levels subside.

See more of the flooding after the jump.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Racing at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Victoria Day SpeedFest 2017 finished with Sunday's slate of seven races including the NASCAR Pinty's Series Can-AM 200 Season Opener. Canada's premier national (Alberta to Nova Scotia) stockcar race series started in the afternoon of May 21 under light precipitation and ended with a a rainy victory by the day's fastest qualifier Kevin Lacroix in the #74 Bumper to Bumper, Total, Gates Dodge car. Coming in second was Andrew Ranger of the #27 car and Gary Klutt of the #59 car rounding out the top 3.
You can see photos from Friday's testing and qualification laps on my post here.
The Pirelli World Challenge had a number of classes competing over the weekend (TC, TCA, TCB, GTS, Sprint X GT and GTS Cup) and included the world's best sports cars and some fine cars from Cadillac, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Aston Martin, BMW, Mini Cooper and many more.

Built in 1961, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was named in 2012 when Mosport International Raceway entered a long-term partnership with Canadian Tire. The large park brings out courtesy golf carts during this major weekend event, sponsored by Jumpstart, which shuttle people between the action centre in the infield to the farthest end of the track in turn five and also into the family camping area. There are ten turns and four pedestrian bridges over the main road course and in the infield are the paddocks, the CTMP Marketplace and the Canadian Tire Action Centre. In addition to Saturday's fireworks there was also live music on the Marketplace Stage on Saturday and Sunday. You can also catch the action by tuning into FM 90.7 for live broadcasts of the races.
On the podium (l-r): Andrew Ranger, Kevin Lacroix and Gary Klutt
The champagne spray fest in Victory Circle

Moist track conditions probably contributed to the five caution flags that started in the 2nd lap and
overall included 17 of the total 55 laps run. NASCAR hometrack race recap noted that  "Kevin Lacroix finally figured out Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last fall, and the off-season did nothing to slow him down. Nor did the rain that arrived in force in the final laps of Sunday's Can-Am 200. The Saint-Eustache, Quebec, driver scored his second win in a row at the fame 2.459-mile road course. He won the E3 Spark Plug Pole Award Saturday, and then drove by Andrew Ranger on the final lap of Sunday's race for his fifth career win. A Lap 49 caution forced the race into overtime, with Lacroix and Ranger swapping the lead multiple times over the final turns before Lacroix pulled away for the win by 1.916 seconds." Driver DJ Kennington who competed in the famous 2017 Daytona 500 as the first Canadian in 29 years, took part in a 19 car pileup in Daytona and now returns to the Canadian Pinty's Series and finished in 17th place on Sunday's race.
Alex Tagliani's #18 car ended up on a flatbed trailer, slightly worse for wear and placed 18th.

Rounding out the race card was three Canadian Series; the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC), the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokahama and the Nissan Micra Cup Series along with all classes of the Pirelli World Challenge Series.

Autograph sessions were held both Saturday and Sunday with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Canadian Touring Car Championship, Pirelli World Challenge taking place Saturday and the NASCAR Pinty's Series and the Nissan Micra Cup held on Sunday.

Castrol Presents the Victoria Day SpeedFest took place May 19-21 at the Bowmanville track, formerly known as Mosport and located approximately an hour east of Toronto. Practice and qualifications covered most of the schedule on Thursday and Friday until the first races began on Saturday. Upcoming major events at the track are the July 6-9 Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix, the August 18-20 Superbike Double Header and the September 1-3 Chevrolet Silverado 250.
Pushing up the dirt as the tires dip into the outside edge of the track

Written and photographed by Ann and James Hamilton. Come back as I add more photos from the races. See more photos after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square