Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lanterns in Trinity Bellwoods Park

A cool fall day keeps the hipsters out of the Toronto park which, in summer, contains more people than many small, Ontario towns. As the changing colours brighten the urban landscape along both Queen Street West and certainly along Dundas Street, the frisbees that used to zip above the picnic crowd are much reduced and the slackliners are slacking somewhere else.

Beside one brightly coloured tree I spy some lanterns hanging from branches of another tree, cut off from their supply of luminous glow and reduced to mere decorations of some more adventurous times. I check the web and it seems lanterns and Trinity Bellwoods is a familiar tale including some past Nuit Blanche magic in the night. Starting in 2012 people released 100 of the lanterns from the park's dog bowl into the night with no sleep. But these ones look like they took some work to put up and too interesting to leave for want of a recycling box, these babies are meant to be used on idylic summer nights in the Big Smoke.
Denizens of the park also like to leave messages on the chain link fences at the baseball field and tennis courts with inspired writing like 'believe' and 'sending out a major love' the 'to my baby' is missing and so is the old 'I miss you', which I do miss.

Keeping warm with some soccer practice

A bench overlooking the dog bowl

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Everything To Do With Sex Show 2016

The Fall consumer romance show is turning on Toronto with entertainment and adult shopping at the Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place. The 17th annual sex show is presented by MyFreeCams and runs from October 21-23, 2016.
"It's packed with tantalizing stage shows, educational seminars, live erotic art performances, a kinky playroom, and a whole lot of shopping! The Everything To Do With Sex Show is geared towards singles, couples, and groups looking to spice up their lives."

FAME Talent Agency

The main stage featured Carnival, Men of Steel and Cirque Erotic while the burlesque stage had Kitty KinEvil, Zyra Lee Vanity, Esther De Ville and Koston Kreme. There was also a kink stage and a seminar area where you could learn all about luvin'. Lady wrestling had a mat for some bouts by the Brawl Dolls.

See more of the show after the jump.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

#UFC206 Fan Event in Toronto

Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial artists Misha Cirkunov and Anthony "Rumble" Johnson were at Yonge-Dundas Square to meet fans of the exciting sport. The free event was open from 1 to 7 pm and included ladies from Monster Energy drinks and a DJ.

Misha Cirkunov

UFC206 will be held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2016. Cormier vs Johnson is the main title fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

The current fight card for the night is as follows.
Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson
Valerie Letourneau vs. Poliana Botelho
Zach Makovsky vs. John Moraga
John Makdessi vs. Lando Vannata
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Drew Dober
Jason Saggo vs. Rustam Khabilov
Nikita Krylov vs. Misha Cirkunov
Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi
Chad Laprise vs. Li Jingliang
Jordan Mein vs. Emil Meek

Monday, October 17, 2016

World Press Photo 2016 at Brookfield Place

@Artsbrookfield is hosting the annual journalism photo contest from October 4-25 in the Allen Lambert Galleria. While the world of news is changing drastically over the past few decades, World Press Photo Foundation seeks to develop and promote visual journalists with the traveling exhibition of award winning entries in the world's largest press photography contest. Admission is free and the show is open from 9am to 9pm. I include a small selection of some of the photos that I really enjoyed. At top is 'In the Same Boat' (Contemporary Issues, second prize stories) August 26, 2015: "People on an overcrowded dinghy wait as the Médecins Sans Frontières rescue ship Bourbon Argos approaches" by Francesco Zizola.
Sergey Ponomarev

"We were formed in 1955, when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest to expose their work to international colleagues. That annual contest has since grown into one of the most prestigious awards in photojournalism and multimedia storytelling, and the exhibition it produces is seen by four million people worldwide each year."
Christian Bobst

Christian Bobst

Over 80,000 photos were submitted by photographers from 128 countries for this 59th contest and while some of the pictures are heartbreaking, they do need to be seen. "Freedom of information, freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech are more important than ever, and quality visual journalism is essential for the accurate and independent reporting that makes these freedoms possible."

Anuar Patjane Floriuk
Chen Jie
"Tianjin Explosion (General News, third prize singles) August 15, 2015: A large pit, wrecked vehicles and damaged buildings remain in the aftermath of explosions in the container storage station of a logistics company in the Port of Tianjin, northeastern China."
Corentin Fohlen
March Against Terrorism in Paris (Spot News, second prize singles) January 11, 2015.
"People demonstrate their solidarity with victims of terrorist attacks, and voice support for freedom of speech, at the end of a rally at the Place de la Nation in Paris."
John J. Kim

Snowmobile, ATV & Powersports Show this weekend

The annual Toronto show featuring freestyle snowmobile aerobatics at the International Centre from October 21 to 23, 2016. Heath Frisby, 12 time X Game medalist, headlines the Ultimax Belts indoor freestyle shows over the weekend event (Friday: 3:00 pm, Saturday: 11:30 am and 3:30 pm and Sunday: 11:30 am and 2:30 pm). Halls 1 to 4 of the Centre are full of powersports, winter and year round, as the World Largest event of its kind gets people excited and looking forward to the white powder of Canada's coldest season. Photo provided.

“The level of excitement that Snowmobile Freestyle brings to the Show is incredible. This year we will have it indoors. Over the past thirteen years we have had to cancel a few shows due to high winds and unpredictable heavy rain. We won’t have that problem this year. Having Heath indoors in a very comfortable environment will make this freestyle show our largest to date. We’re thrilled to have Heath back at the 29th Annual Show!” Commented Mike Blakoe, Show Manager, Marketer Shows Inc."

Advanced Tickets are ON SALE NOW… Save $3.00, check out their website at and remember, parking is free. Included in the International Snowmobile, ATV & Powersports Show are a large number of tourism exhibits, newest winter gear, used snowmobiles, ATVs and other powersports.

"If you’re in to snowmobiles, ATVS and an all around Powersports enthusiast, this is the show for you! As soon as you step foot on the show floor, you’ll be blown away with the incredible roster of exhibitors and the feature events taking place around the show, not to mention the enormous Outdoors Event Area with Live racing and Freestyle Shows. You’ll find huge Manufacturer Displays showcasing all of the new sled and ATV line-ups. With more corporate manufacturer displays at this snowmobile and ATV Show than any other across North America, you’ll be sure to see: Arctic Cat, Can-Am, Dodge, Honda, John Deere, Kawasaki, Phantom, Polaris, Ski-Doo, ODES UTV, CFMoto and Yamaha. All of these machines under one roof, over one weekend, you can’t miss it! We guarantee it will be worth the drive to get here."

Show Hours: Friday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Deer in the Humber Arboretum

Fall colours abound in the GTA and the river valley adjacent to Humber College presents beautiful nature walks in forests that are full of yellows and splashes of red. I have often been to the conservation area and along the banks of the river where you can find signs of deer, but I have never seen any of the wild creatures myself. However, today we walked down into the valley and we came upon a deer eating some nature stuff. He froze as we came into view but my eagle eyes quickly noticed the deer and after a short period he resumed eating his dinner.
The park used to have a deer fence that ran along the side of the valley with a series of gates that let people cross between the areas while keeping the deer out of the school and off the streets. This kept the deer from higher education and stuck in low paying jobs so they go rid of the fences but for some reason kept the gates - and I noticed that the gates are locked. You can get out but you can't get back in.
"Located behind Humber College's North campus, the Humber Arboretum consists of botanical gardens and natural areas surrounding the Humber River. This unique site is home to the Carolinian bioregion, the most diverse ecosystem in Canada, and boasts over 1,700 species of plants and animals. The Humber Arboretum covers approximately 250 acres (101 ha) of the West Humber River Valley between Highway 27 and the 427 and is easily accessed from Humber College Blvd."
The areas filled with tiny maple trees are so cute - full of all colours of regular sized leaves on tiny little tree trunks. It's like looking over a massive forest from a helicopter. After seeing the cute deer I am on the lookout for bears now but will settle for chipmunks. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fall in Eastern Ontario

Taking the southern route of the Trans-Canada Highway (ON-7) between the GTA and Ottawa is a great way to see some beautiful areas away from the limited access Highway 401 located closer to Lake Ontario. In Fall the trip is magnificent as you travel along tree lined hills with lakes and rivers providing plenty of photo opportunities. Peak colours have taken over the trees, but they won't last long so take a quick trip before winter makes the driving along the steep hills and curves a little bit treacherous with frost and snow.
I left Highway 7 to take Highway 41 north through to Renfrew and the hills became bigger, the rock cuts more frequent and the population density became much smaller. You pass by some nice parks like the Bon Echo Provincial Park and tourist picnic spots. This part of Ontario is not farm country by any stretch of the imagination. Hearty rocks of the Canadian Shield and the topography of the area make for plenty of swamps and heavy forests cover the ground, while along the 401 a lot of the acreage is farm fields.

See more of Fall after the jump.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Blue Sign Adventure: Giant Toonie

Big? It's the world's largest Toonie. Canada's two dollar coin rests on a pedestal in Cambellford, Ontario and even though it is worth more than a stinking nickel - the Cambellford Toonie is smaller than the Sudbury Nickel (18 ft compared to 30 ft).
You can find the Toonie by following the blue signs along highways which show points of interest. Go past the Big Apple and bang (exit 509, north), you see a sign for the world's largest Toonie and off you go, two hours out of your life that you will never get back. Still, it is big, much bigger than the Toonies you can find in your pocket, so I can't say it isn't totally worth a visit but I wouldn't drive up to Sudbury just to see the nickel if you know what I mean.
A side view of the coin
You can visit the Toonie by boat - tie up along the Trent River 

The settled on the Toonie as the town's tourist attraction because artist Brent Townsend designed the polar bear in the bimetallic $2 coin and he left Toronto and moved to Cambellford in 1996. When I first visited the town Grand Road was under construction and the Toonie was made of wire mesh and Christmas lights. The road is in good shape now and the Toonie is made of metal and looks like a real Toonie. You can find the site in Old Mill Park along the western side of the Trent-Severn Waterway.
An Ontario Blue sign means adventure is afoot

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square