Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ontario passed Cannabis legislation today

On December 12, 2017 the Ontario Government brought a bill to "ensure the safe transition to Federal Cannabis Legalization." This law will regulate recreational cannabis in time for the July 2018 Canadian legalization deadline. Marijuana will be sold by the LCBO online and in stand alone stores, dedicated to the previously illegal weed.

Protection to youth will be established by setting the minimum age of use to 19 and providing for strict drug-impaired driving laws. There will be zero tolerance for use while driving under the age of 21 or for commercial drivers and drug use will be treated like drunk driving.

Studies have shown that 45% of Ontario adults have used cannabis at least once and quite a bit of the world have already legalized marijuana.

Producers and stores will restrict advertising, restrict the visibility of the product, age verify and have strict training for staff. The province is working with municipalities to determine the locations of the stores. Consumption will be limited to private residences initially while they explore the possibility of other designated consumption sites.

Toronto Music Garden at night

The winter is cruel to the waterfront in winter, no one wants to freeze their asses off while watching ice in the water bob along to the waves. Only hardcore runners still make the journey along the path beside the waters edge and bikers risk their balance when snow and ice makes the day treacherous. But a couple things make the journey worth while - Winter at Ontario Place, the upcoming art installation Ice Breakers along Queens Quay and the Toronto Music Garden park.
Okay I was riding along the pathway in December, in the evening, cause I am crazy as well and I came upon the lights of the Music Garden. Illuminated musical notes hang from the gazebo as the purple and white harps follow along the curving pathways. The lights are part of the Spectacle of Lights stretching from the garden park to the spiral tree at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. The display is on from November to April.
The music garden is a great place to enjoy a summer day along the water. "This delightful garden — a reflection in landscape of Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello, BWV 1007 — was designed by internationally renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, in collaboration with landscape architects from the City of Toronto's Parks and Recreation department. Two Canadian artists created special features for the Music Garden: Tom Tollefson, architectural blacksmith, fabricated the Music Pavilion; and Anne Roberts, Feir Mill Design Inc., designed the Maypole."

Monday, December 11, 2017

Distillery District Christmas Market 2018

The popularity of the Christmas party in the historic neighbourhood has continued to build and so they added an entrance fee on the weekends and still people line up to get in. Yeah, so I also lined up but then they said that the lineup was for people that already had tickets. Then I found the ticket office, paid the six bucks and got back in the line. It took me about a half an hour to hand in my ticket and join the crowds packed into the brick block.

Besides the lines of people, the lines of cars stretch around the adjacent streets, moving slowly and hoping for parking in the area. Park somewhere else and walk to the site, it is the smart thing to do, or Uber it. The market started November 16 and finishes December 23. During the week the Distillery District Christmas Market opens at noon and closes at 9pm (10pm on Friday), on the weekends Saturday stays open from 10am to 10pm and Sunday from 10am to 9pm. There is no market on Mondays.
The big draw to the area is alcohol and beer, after all it is the distillery district, along with some vendors in cute booths. They also have a few amusement rides so there is that. Oh and lights, plenty of bulbs and the occasional phrase or word. Santa has a little home and you can meet the big, jolly guy and give him your wish list.

"This year’s schedule includes themed entertainment each day (subject to change):
TUESDAYS: Traditional Tuesdays - bluegrass, folk, roots, traditional
WEDNESDAYS: World Wednesdays - world music, dance, and cultural performances
THURSDAYS: Classical Thursdays - Seasonal opera, oratorio, and cross-over Classical performances
FRIDAYS: Friday Night Jazz – holiday jazz and swing
SATURDAYS: Pop/Variety Saturdays - Emerging artists (afternoon) and Featured artists (evening), performing pop, rock, Adult Contemporary, blues, and more
SUNDAYS: Ensemble Sundays – Instrumental Ensembles (afternoon), Vocal ensembles and Choirs (evening)"

See more photos after the jump.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Toronto Fan Holiday #Comicon 2017

Friends don't let friends cosplay alone. Toronto enjoyed another #comicon on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This is an intimate gathering of fans held within a small part of the south building's Hall D, without the gigantic lineups and high ticket prices. The cost was only $10 and you still got comics, accessories, artists and of course the amazing cosplay.

The one day event started at 11am and continued until 5pm, enough time for thousands to wander the aisles and enjoy the day with friends and fellow fans. You could even pose with the Star Wars contingent from the 501st Legion as they joined Santa Claus for a holiday photo op - HO HO HO and may the force be with you.

See more cosplay after the jump.

Santa Speedo Run 2017

Winter weather and speedos don't usually mix, but for one day in December a group of brave runners takes to the streets of Yorkville to raise money for the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children Toys and Games fund.

Registration begins at noon on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at Hemingway's Restaurant (142 Cumberland Street) in the upper patio. People gather together, change into their red speedo bathing suits and around 1pm some of the participants come out for media photo ops, then the run begins at 1:30pm. The route is less than 3km and after the run they make victory arches for everyone to run through, then the party returns to Hemingway's. Photos from previous runs are shown above.

The Santa Speedo Run started in 2005 and runs no matter the weather or temperature. This Saturday is supposed to be around freezing, with a little snow expected, but not too bad compared to some years. And here are photos from the 2017 Santa Speedo Run.
Runners gather on December 9, 2017 at Hemingway's
Volunteers hand out free speedos

Warming up before the run

See more photos of the run after the jump.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Toronto Star Wars The Last Jedi Pop-up

The Force is strong again in the city with the return of the Star Wars pop-up in advance of the next installment of the the sci-fi movie series. Life size replicas of several of the characters are located at 277 Queen Street West along with some photo ops and Toronto edition shirts for sale. You can see replicas of Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, an Executioner First Order Stormtrooper and a Praetorian Guard.

The pop-up is on from December 8-17, 2017; 11am to 7pm daily.
A stormtrooper is interviewed by the media

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Toronto Car Shows and Races 2018

Sleek cars and powerful engines are almost irresistible to many and even if you don't get a chance to drive some of the beasts, you can always head to a car show or take in a race. And as more and more cars become battery powered, maybe the race cars will also be electrified in the near future.
The 4th annual Toronto Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo Fri to Sun, March 9-11 returns to the International Centre. "Canada's biggest indoor Custom Car, Hot Rod & Motorsports Show. Over 300,000 square feet featuring mostly first-time-shown vehicles, automotive & racing celebrities, race tracks & series, car clubs, equipment & collectibles vendors, and more."
There is no separate MegaSpeed Car Custom Car and Truck Show anymore. I do miss the abundance of entertainment that they used to have such as a bikini contest and a best bottom contest.

Honda Indy Toronto 2018 roars into town July 13-15 and includes off-track entertainment along with some of the top racing series in the world. Thunder Alley, Pinty's Beer Garden, several paddocks and Honda Town are just some of the attractions that will keep you occupied during race weekend. In addition to the IndyCar race series the Mazda Road to Indy, NASCAR Pinty's Series, Porche GT3 Cup

Importfest, Canada's largest modified car show, is happening July 28, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Cars and competitions take place with the help of some gorgeous models at "Canada's Biggest and Baddest."

Wheels on the Danforth takes place on the streets of Toronto in August with a date to be determined. The street festival features a large collection of antique, classic and tuner automobiles at the crossroads of the Danforth.
NASCAR Pinty's Series stock car races are Canada's only national racing series with about a dozen races starting from the Victoria Day Speedfest to the last race at Jukasa Motor Speedway in September. Canada's premier racing series also headlines Saturday's card at the Honda Indy Toronto. Alex Labbe will be the the defending series champion. See the 2018 race schedule on my post here.

If you want to watch some more racing you can travel to a number of tracks around Ontario, some just hundreds of minutes away from Toronto. For bang for your buck value, the journey to the tracks provide a day or weekend of excitement and entertainment that is hard to beat. Here are the tracks with the approximate distance and direction from Toronto City Hall.


Sunset Speedway (1.25 hours north)
Full Throttle Varney Speedway (2 hours northwest)
Sauble Speedway (2.75 hours northwest)


Oshweken Speedway (1.25 hours southwest)
Jukasa Motor Speedway (formerly Cayuga Speedway) (1.5 hours southwest)
Merrittville Speedway (1.5 hours southwest)
The New Humberstone Speedway (1.75 hours southwest)
Canadian Motor Speedway (under construction, 2.75 hours southwest)


Flamboro Speedway (1 hour west)
Delaware Speedway (2.25 hours west)
Grand Bend Motorplex (2.5 hours west)


Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (1.25 hours east)
Kawartha Downs and Speedway (1.5 hours east)
Peterborough Speedway (1.5 hours east)
Brighton Speedway Park (1.75 hours east)
Shannonville Motorsport Park (2 hours east)
Brockville Ontario Speedway (3.25 hours east)
Cornwall Motor Speedway (4 hours east)
Calabogie Motorsports Park (4 hours east)
For those that like racing but enjoy the two wheeled variety more, you can check out my motorcycle show post here or hit Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for the Canadian Superbike Doubleheader Weekend August 10-12, 2017. "Canada’s top motorcycle riders compete in a doubleheader points race for the national Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship. This is the premier stop of the season for the Superbikes, along with other national classes including Pro Sport Bike, Amateur Superbike, Amateur Sport Bike and the Ninja 300 Racing Series."

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Tickets for Honda Indy Toronto 2018 on sale now

Two-day tickets are now available for the annual MotorFest which takes place on the streets of Toronto. Tickets for the reserved grandstands, general admission along with pit and IndyCar Paddock passes are open to the public starting today. Several race series, including the open wheel Verizon IndyCars, speed through Exhibition Place and onto Lake Shore Boulevard blowing past all those useless traffic lights.
2018 will see the 32nd edition of the Honda Indy Toronto from July 13-15 and you can take advantage of the limited time offer to purchase the Meridian Champions Club experience. "The exclusive benefits include a souvenir credential with lanyard, complimentary Verizon IndyCar Series paddock pass (a $65 value), access to the pre-race grid walk, opportunity to sign the start/finish line, savings offers on official event merchandise, the chance to win a two-seater Indy car ride on track, and additional surprises, discounts and benefits which will be revealed leading up to the 2018 event."

"Now is a great time to secure tickets for the best seats and ultimate access to the Honda IndyToronto. This is an ideal holiday gift for festival-goers, or claim a win for yourself with our holiday specials," said Jeff Atkinson, president of Honda Indy Toronto. "We'll be celebrating HondaCanada's 10th year of involvement as title sponsor during this annual summer tradition. The action will be non-stop, with the NASCAR Pinty's Series in the Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto as Saturday's on track feature, followed by the Verizon IndyCar Series race on Sunday afternoon."

Monday, December 04, 2017

Motorcycle Shows in Toronto 2018

The shows have hundreds of motorcycles gleaming in giant halls, tempting those that want to get out on the open road with a new model or a new jacket. And they start in early in the year with the North American International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW.

"World famous motorcycle designer and builder, Founder of the hit show Orange County Choppers, Paul Sr. along with his son and cast member Mikey will be showcasing their amazing custom motorcycles and signing autographs at the biggest Motorcycle show in Canada, January 5-7, 2018 at the 42nd Annual North American International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW."

Next up is the Motorcycle Show Toronto Feb 16-18 at the Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place with "the ultimate get-together for riders and future riders. See all the NEW 2018 motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides, all under one roof. Meet tons of experts, check out the latest gear and apparel, and get all-revved up for your next adventure! Whether you’re a hardcore rider or a recreational enthusiats, a curious fan or just tired of the cold winter weather, The Motorcycle Show has got you covered! Because PASSION DOESN'T STOP. Not for winter, not for anything!" Also on the schedule is the motorcycle stunt show featuring Latimer Stunts.

"THREE KAWASAKI MOTORCYCLES TO BE WON AT THE 2018 MOTORCYCLE SHOW-TORONTO. Enthusiasts attending the Motorcycle Show-Toronto presented by Dalton Timmis Insurance in February will see the largest collection of new 2018 motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides in Ontario, all under one roof at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place. And now, thanks to Canadian Kawasaki Motors, they will also have the chance to enter to win one of three motorcycles at the show."
The Toronto Motorcycle Spring Show is on at the International Centre from April 7-8. Presented by Riders Plus Insurance the show delivers an incredible weekend of new and used bikes, motorcycle gear and accessories with attractions and exhibits that appeal to everyone from beginners to hardcore bikers.
There are two upcoming Port Dover motorcycle rallies in 2018 - one on April 13 (#64) and one on July 13 (#65). The early spring run will be cool but the July run will be massive - right in the heat of summer.
Toronto International Snowmobile, ATV and Powersports Show October TBD at the International Centre. "Now before you go running to look for a comfortable couch to hibernate those winter months away, why not come to the Toronto International Snowmobile ATV & Powersports Show. We will make you fall in love with WINTER! Never been snowmobiling, dirt biking or ATVing, not to worry, we have loads of great tourism exhibitors happy to assist with where to go, what to do and how to have fun during these upcoming months. Heck, even if you only want to sit inside a beautiful chalet and watch the snowflakes gently fall (notice I did not say anything about blizzards)… back to the gently falling flakes, we can assist with that too. We have everything under one large 375,000 square foot roof of fabulous fall & winter fun."

You can check out Toronto Car Shows and Races 2018 on my post here.

Fun things to do in #Toronto in Jan and Feb 2018

Unlike hibernating bears, Canadians still like to get out and enjoy some of the white, fluffy stuff that seems to fall everywhere. Luckily there is plenty of stuff to do in winter like motorcycle shows, the No Pants Subway Ride and Groundhog Day to see if Spring will come early. For those that like things on wheels here are 2018 Motorcycle events on my post here and Toronto Car Shows and Races 2018 on my post here.
Polar Bear Dip Sun, Jan 1. Noon at Sunnyside Beach. 'Do the Dip'
Toronto Rock Lacrosse starts in January.
North American International Motorcycle Supershow Fri to Sun, Jan 5-7.
Canada's Bridal Show Winter 2018 Fri to Sun, Jan 5-7.
Toronto International Boat Show Fri to Sun, Jan 12-21.
Monster Jam Sat to Sun, Jan 13-14.
The Franchise Expo Sat to Sun, Jan 13-14.
No Pants Subway Ride Sun, Jan TBD.
Blue Jays Winter Fest Sat, Jan 18.
Interior Design Show IDS 17 Thurs to Sun, Jan 18-21.
Toronto Roller Derby League Sat Jan TBD Season Opener.
Winterlicious Jan to Feb.
Toronto Light Festival Fri to Sun, Jan 19 - Mar 11.
Ice Breakers at Queens Quay Fri-Sun, Jan 19-Feb 25

Harbourfront Centre Kuumba Feb TBD.
Hey, it's Groundhog Day on Fri, Feb 2.
Glare Festival Thurs to Sun, Feb TBD.
Happy Valentine's Day Wed, Feb 14. Hugs and kisses everyone.
Black Film Festival Wed to Sun, Feb 14-19.
Winterfolk Festival Fri to Sun, Feb 16-18.
Spring Fish and Boat Show Fri to Mon, Feb 16-19.
Canadian International AutoShow Fri to Sun, Feb 16-25.
Chinatown BIA Chinese New Year Celebration (Spadina and Dundas) Sat to Sun, Feb TBD.
Sears Great Canadian Chill Family Day Mon, Feb 20. On HOLD for 2017! Probably cancelled for 2018!
Motorcycle Show Toronto Fri to Sun, Feb 16-18.
Beaches Winter Stations Design Competition Mon to Sun, Feb 19 to Apr 1.
Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show Fri to Sun, Feb 23-25.
Toronto Coldest Day of the Year Ride Sat, Feb TBD.
Annual Bike Couriers Ice Race at Dufferin Grove Park Sat, Feb TBD, from 7-10 pm.
Bloor-Yorkville Icefest Festival Sat to Sun, Feb 24-25.

Moved into March....
CIBC Lunar Fest at Harbourfront Sat to Sun, Feb -Mar TBD.
Sexapalooza Fri to Sun, Mar TBD.
Toronto International Bicycle Show Fri to Sun, Mar 2-4.
Canadian Motorsports Expo (CME) / Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo) Fri to Sun, Mar 9-11. Great winter show for race fans. "The Canadian Motorsports Expo Powered by Inside Track Motorsport News is a three-day celebration of Canadian racing that runs February at the International Centre (6900 Airport Road in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada)). In addition to booths and racing vehicles representing the entire spectrum of Canadian motorsports, the show is loaded with seminars and forums to entertain and inform racers and fans alike. Celebrity drivers will be at the CME to sign autographs and meet the fans. See photos from the show here.
Toronto Sportsmen's Show Wed to Sun, March 14-18.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square