Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay starts in Toronto

Many in the city look forward to the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games like an oncoming freight train heading straight for the Eaton Centre. Speaking of which, I see their pop up store in the downtown mall rarely has any customers looking for Pan Am shirts or stuffed mascots. One thing I can get into is the 41-day Torch Relay, presented by President's Choice, which starts Saturday, May 30 when the flame makes it to Canadian soil at Toronto's Harbourfront, journeys along the streets to a community celebration in the Historic Distillery District. The Fire Guy, pictured at top, makes a stand in for what I think the torch relay will look like.
Canadian Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield will complete the final leg of day at 5 pm when he lights the community cauldron in the Distillery District. Musical performances in the bricky neighbourhood will be by the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, The Chimera Project, Dance Migration, Jasmine Denham among others will also feature the first live performance of the Game's official song.

I think this was Chris Hadfield's rocket ship

"Saturday, May 30, 2015 (Relay Day 1: Toronto, ON)
Canada Square, Harbourfront Centre – 2:30 p.m. (ET) (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto)
Flame arrival ceremony:
The Pan Am flame will arrive in a lantern carried by Chris Rudge, TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) Board of Directors.
The flame will then be carried by Elder Garry Sault, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, who will travel in a flotilla of canoes.
Chief Bryan LaForme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, will receive the flame from Elder Sault, alongside Chief Ava Hill of Six Nations, Grand Chief Konrad Sioui of the Huron-Wendat Nation and President Gary Lipinski of the M├ętis Nation of Ontario.
The ceremony will feature an exclusive soundscape produced by local musical director Andrew Craig and will include unique performances from Obeah Opera and other special guests.
The first torchbearer of the relay will depart from the ceremony carrying the Pan Am flame."
The actual sports events start in the summer with the Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony on July 10 and the games continuing July 10-26 and the Parapan Am Games from August 7-15.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Toronto Fire responds to fire in public garden

Several trucks rolled out of their stations as the Fire Department responded to a small fire in the mulch in a parkette along King Street. I think four or five emergency vehicles responded to this garden fire.
Smoke fills the air around the intersection as the fire is put out 
Making sure no embers remain buried, ready to smolder and catch fire again. As so many smokers fling their buts without regard to littering, or combustion, it is a wonder that the parks department would use a flammable ground cover like this.

Monday, May 25, 2015

@HondaIndy Toronto - now with Molson Coors

The track and grandstand seating construction in Exhibition Place continues in advance of the upcoming June 12-14, 2015 IndyCar race on the Streets of Toronto course. Honda Indy Toronto has just announced that my favourite brewer is once again partnering with the Roar by the Lakeshore.
The Start/Finish line awaits a fresh coat of paint
Pit Lane looking towards Turn 1, the Pit Lane Grandstand and the new hotel
Princes' Gates in Turn 1 still has some blossoms
It looks like they are giving more room in the turn as the blocks have been moved back a couple of metres

Molson Coors will be the official beer and cider of Canada's largest annual sporting event and will provide a central beer garden in addition to roving beverage vendors. Returning since their title sponsorship which ran from 1986 to 2006, they plan to have a few suds ready for the thirsty crowd with brands like Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Creemore Lote 9 Pilsner, Molson Canadian Cider and Heineken. I hope they have draft Canadian!
I enjoyed a frosty glass of Molson Canadian on the Flatiron patio recently

“Toronto has an important place in the history of auto racing in Canada and Molson Coors has been a big part of that,” said Charlie Johnstone, President of the Honda Indy Toronto. “We are thrilled to welcome them back as a major partner of the event."

“We are so excited to be back once again with this awesome motorsport event. Molson Coors has a long history of supporting community events across Canada and we are very proud to be part of the Honda Indy Toronto excitement again!” said Greg Barbour, Senior Director of Sponsorship and Events, Molson Coors Canada. “Our brands have grown hand in glove with the most important sports events in this country and we look forward to joining Honda Indy Toronto fans to celebrate.”

The race course and ancillary land uses has been squeezed a bit by the new hotel construction near the start/finish line and the expansion of BMO Field. Locations of some of the grandstands have been adjusted to fit the new boundaries. Much of the concrete blocks and fencing have been placed around the track and the infield pedestrian bridge is up, although the west exit looks pretty tight to the BMO construction trailer yard. The track comes pretty close to the new corner of BMO field as well.

See more of the track construction after the jump.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

@Doors_OpenTO 2015 Black Creek Pioneer Village

Going back in time to the early Ontario farming settlements in the late 1700's and early 1800's we get a chance to wander the open-air heritage museum that provides some of the oldest doors in the Doors Open Toronto experience.
The horses are just some of the animals that you can find in the pens, corrals and also on the fields. A large stone mill sits on the edge of hill, cut off from the waters of Black Creek that drove the big water wheel, but full of the machinery that ground some of their crops into powder.

Black Creek Pioneer Village was founded on Daniel Stong's 1816 farmland where he built his hom and later opened as a historical park in 1960 by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Some of the buildings were from the area but many came from around Ontario, moved to the village to preserve the many varieties of commercial and domestic buildings.
You can also find special events on throughout the year, just check out their calendar. June 20-21 will see a revolutionary war re-enactment during the Battle of Black Creek.

See more of the park after the jump.

@Doors_OpenTO 2015 at Queens Quay

Waterfront BIA: Gangways Open on Toronto's Waterfront brings the pirate out in everyone along the inner harbour of Lake Ontario. Open both Saturday and Sunday, May 23-24, 2015, several tall ships and cruise liners extended the gangplanks so visitors could board the vessels for free tours.
Participating ships included the Great Lakes Schooner Company, Empress of Canada, Mariposa Cruises, Nautical Adventures, Toronto Brigantine and Harbourfront Centre Sailing & Powerboating (HCSP).
The Empire Sandy

"Visitors can walk the gangway to search the nooks and crannies of the port, bow, starboard and stern. Visitors can learn the history and secrets of each ship, meet the Captain, and discover everything there is to know about the world on the water, all on a guided tour - offered subject to availability. Visitors can participate in a free boat ride with HCSP or slide and bounce the day away in HTO Park East on an inflatable Pirate ship! The Toronto Fire and Marine Station 334 or Police Marine Unit will be open to help visitors gain a better understanding of water safety related to leisure activites. Visitors can also have their picture taken with the roaming pirates who might just have a sword duel, and if brave enough, a piece of treasure could be theirs!"
HTO Beach also had a giant blow up pirate ship that the kids could play on.
The view from the Natrel Pond/Rink

Construction of the Queens Quay roadway continues to mess up the area and construction is not supposed to finish in time for the Pan Am games, but it is getting close and the streetcars are back on the tracks.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Toronto @Anime_North 2015

Hands down better than the Toronto ComiCon for the sheer amount of cosplay participation. The May 22-24, 2015 fan run anime convention is at the Toronto Congress Centre and the International Plaza Hotel near the airport and it 'celebrates anime, manga, music, games and all other forms of Japanese Culture!'









Posted by James Hamilton and Joe Hamilton. See more cosplay after the jump.

@Doors_OpenTO 2015 Fort York National Historic Site

Over 155 incredible buildings in Toronto are open to the public over the May 24 weekend and Fresh Joe and I took the opportunity to see the historic military garrison at Old York on Artillery Day. 'Two centuries of firepower' featuring the Fort York Guard, the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, the 7the Toronto Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery and the Limber Gunners' Association brought out their big guns and fired them at 12:30 and 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 23.

Located at 250 Fort York Boulevard the site is open from 10am to 5pm, Saturday to Sunday, with the last admittance at 4:30 for the Doors Open event at the Fort. No cannons or artillery will be fired on Sunday. The Toronto Doors Open, Canada's largest, is sponsored by Great Gulf and was started in the year 2000.
"Fearful of war with the United States, Simcoe planned to establish a naval base at Toronto so he could control Lake Ontario. Simcoe also moved the capital to Toronto from the exposed border town of Niagara. Civilian settlement followed and a community, named York, began to grow two kilometres east of the Fort. In 1834 York was renamed Toronto. Fort York National Historic Site is the birthplace of modern, urban Toronto, a battlefield, an archaeological resource, and is home to Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Through a wide range of exhibits, programs, special events, and other public services, it explores Toronto's rich and diverse history in Canada's military past."

Posted by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton. See more after the jump.

Friday, May 22, 2015

GREY GOOSE at Cannes 2015

The French luxury premium vodka brought Le Grand Fizz cocktail to the celebrated Cannes Film Festival where they partied with the stars. Hosting after parties for 'A Perfect Day', 'A Sea of Trees', 'Carol' and ’SICARIO', GREY GOOSE continues to support the film industry and international film festivals.
Back in the French Riviera for the May 13th to the 24th, 2015 of the invitation only festival which started in 1946 and which has assumed major prominence in the world of film awards.

At the 'Carol' After Party at Baoli Beach Cate Blanchett (photo at top), Rachel Weisz (above) Rooney Mara joined Harvey Weinstein, Emma Miller, June Blanchett, killer films Christine Vachon, Eva Doll, costume designer Sandy Powell, actress Elsa Zylberstein, Emma Miller, actor Gary Michael Walters, Todd Haynes, Stephen Wooley, Elon Musk, Sundance Festival Director John Cooper, Editor-in-Chief of W Magazine Stefano Tonchi and director Francesca Gregorini. The film is a love story of two New York women who fall in love, when such love was illegal.

Later, Naomi Watts and Matthew McConaughey (above), Sienna Miller, Camila McConaughey, Megan Ellison, Ken Kao, Michael Damian, Chris Sparling, Alex Walton, Andrew Saffir, and Gus Van Sant. of "The Sea of Trees' and 'A Perfect Day' stars Benicio del Toro, Melanie Thierry, Fedja Stukan, Fernando Leon de Aranoa and Tom Bernard enjoyed the atmosphere at Nikki Beach for their After Parties.
Benicio del Toro celebrates for two films at the festival

Baoli Beach provided the location for the 'SICARIO' After Party with Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro, Kathryn Boyd, Trent and Thad Luckenbill, Patrick and Maggie Wachsberger, Sammy Hadida, Isaac and Otis Ferry, and Denis Villenveuve.
Emily Blunt
Josh Brolin and Kathryn Boyd

"Both the film industry and GREY GOOSE share the same daring spirit to defy expectations to achieve the extraordinary. The GREY GOOSE Le Grand Fizz cocktail is a summer twist on the signature celebratory GREY GOOSE Le Fizz, made with GREY GOOSE vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lime and chilled soda built over ice." Photos by GREY GOOSE.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fortinos Fuel for Kids

Dave Connelly, driver of the #82 FORTINOS Sportsman Cup stockcar, hosts the supermarket's school fundraising efforts that brings him and his race car to a school for a fabulous show and tell. After the show he brings the school out to the parking lot to see him burn a circle around the asphalt in his car. The donut is an impressive way to end the show.
Later the race team make their way to the local Fortinos to promote the charity barbeque portion of the Fuel for Kids program. Fortinos and it's partners donate the food and the money raised all goes to the school.

This time Dave visited the Robert J Lee Public School and the Fortinos on Mountainash in Brampton.

Posted by Joe Hamilton.

Walk a mile in her shoes Toronto 2015

Toronto showed support for ending violence against women by wearing high-heels and helping to raise money for charity. The annual HEELS HEAL walk included individuals and teams that met at Yonge-Dundas Square around noon on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

GoodLife Fitness

"Although we encourage men to wear high-heels at Walk A Mile, heels are not mandatory. We welcome men and women to participate in whatever shoes they choose. Gender based violence does not just affect women. It affects the men who care about them, their families, their friends, their coworkers, and their communities."
CP24 Breakfast host Steve Anthony returned to lead the event.

See more heels after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs

Pride

Redball

Beaches

Graffiti

Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square

Transportation