Monday, December 18, 2017

Motorcycle SuperShow coming early in the new year

@MC_SuperShowTO 2018 starts the motorcycle year bright and early with Paul Sr and Mikey from Orange County Choppers attending the January 5-7 North American International Motorcycle SuperShow. The two famous motorcycle designers based in Newburgh, New York will meet fans and sign autographs ahead of their Discovery Channel return of OCC.
Paul Sr and Mikey from OCC. Photo supplied

The SuperShow, presented by Dalton Timmis Insurance, takes place at the International Centre during the first weekend of 2018 so while few will ride their bikes, everyone will be able to drool over the new, used, performance, motocross and many other types of machines on display. And of course the choppers competing in the Canada Cup Championship Custom Bike competition hoping to take home a piece of $50,000 in cash and prizes. This is the 'BIG ONE by the AIRPORT'.
"Master Motorcycle Builders and top designers will enter the competition in levels 1, 2, 3; Builder, Café, Bagger, or Bobber, or the level 4 Pro Builders class, competing for the Canada Cup - Only at the Motorcycle SUPERSHOW this January. The Level 4 "Best Bike in Show" winner will have their name and bike's name engraved on the Canada Cup. This Prestigious Silver Cup records all past winners and is on display in the SUPERSHOW Collection. A new team of qualified judges will be judging and making the final decisions of the competition. All motorcycles in the competition will be on display for show attendees to see. The 2018 Awards Presentation will be held at the show at 3:30pm on Sunday Jan 7th on the Hall 5 main stage."

The red carpet will be rolled out for the 'Century of Motorcycles Exhibition' with vintage collector bikes showing off the history of motorcycles through 50 unique models. If you own an antique mc then you could even put your machine into the show - and get free weekend admission, bike signage, possible entry into the showbike competition or registered for sale.
Corporate bikes will also be part of the show and Canadian Kawasaki Motors will be located in Hall 2 of the International Centre with their new model lineup.

Advanced tickets are available for purchase now.


Feel the love in one of Toronto's most festive neighbourhoods as dozens of Kris Kringles decorate the lawns along Inglewood Drive. Starting as the brainchild of one resident in 2013, the oversize, blow up Christmas figures popped at several homes and continues to grow each year. Many have lights inside and the effect is magnificent when you stare down the road and see the about 50 fourteen foot Santas.

Several homes in the area off of Inglewood have also got into the spirit of the season and have put up more of the Santa Claus blow-ups, or have put their own spin on the idea with moose and snowmen. You can see Kringlewood on Inglewood Road, east of Mt Pleasant Road. Each of these bad boys cost about $250 at Canadian Tire.

O little town of Kringlewood... and Peace to men of earth

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sam the Record Man sign back in the air

When people slowly stopped walking into record stores, video stores and book stores they started to rip the signs down, clear out the merchandise and re-purpose the stores. Along Yonge Street is Toronto's blazing corridor of light and advertisements, our Times Square, and some of the stores, buildings and signs became iconic of life in the city. Sam the Record Man's twin spinning records was one of those signs and when Ryerson University took over the block the signs were one of the first things to go. They promised the signs would be saved and put up again sometime in the future and that time has come.

Sam the Record Man sign in Yonge-Dundas Square

The sign finally went up overlooking Yonge-Dundas Square with a louvered background to let the winds flow through the sign and reduce the size of the supporting structure. Without the solid dark circle behind the neon lights which made it really look like a vinyl record, the overall impact to the sign is greatly diminished. The iconic sign has been made blah.
The original installation

Ryerson University has Sunset Neon restore and place the sign at its new home at 277 Victoria Street. "We are very pleased to announce the iconic Sam the Record Man signs, with their spinning neon discs, will once again illuminate downtown Toronto," said Ryerson President and Vice-Chancellor Mohamed Lachemi. "We're very thankful to the City of Toronto and the Sniderman family for their ongoing support and patience. We are all looking forward to the signs lighting up Toronto later this year."

The Sniderman Family issued the following statement "On behalf of every person who remembers purchasing their first record at or who ever worked in a Sam the Record Man store, Jason and Bobby Sniderman, the sons of Sam Sniderman, want to sincerely thank Ryerson university and the City of Toronto for having fulfilled their commitment to reinstall the iconic "Sam the Record Man" signs. The relocation to Yonge-Dundas square is the perfect "home" for them and it should be known that our first record store in downtown Torontoopened on the east side of Yonge Street just south of Dundas; so our signs will now be mounted above and shining down on the original location.
In the square
Honest Ed's was another sign taken down in Toronto, one of the large panels will be saved and placed in front of the Ed Mirvish Theatre

Friday, December 15, 2017

NASCAR Pinty's Series 2018 Schedule

The flag will drop for Canada's premier stockcar racing series at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on the Victoria Day holiday weekend. With thirteen races in the series, 2018 will feature the first race in the United States at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. You can check out car shows and race tracks on my post here.
Tracks include nine ovals and five road-course races including the July race at the Honda Indy Toronto in Exhibition Place and the last race at Jukasa Motor Speedway in September. This is the 12th year of the series as the cars travel between Nova Scotia to Alberta with a detour into America as part of a NASCAR triple-header.

“The NASCAR Pinty’s Series continues to grow as new talent comes into the series and challenges some of the country’s best stock car drivers,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “The 2018 schedule provides a strong platform for these competitors to showcase their driving and covers a number of high-profile events designed to further enhance the series.”
"Following the Pinty's Fall Brawl at Jukasa Motor Speedway, Alex Labbe claimed his first NASCAR Pinty's Series championship by 16 points over rival Kevin Lacroix.  The 24-year-old from Victoriaville, Quebec, finished the year with an impressive five wins, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s. Tallying up 542 points, Labbe claims the highest honour in Canadian stock car racing, the 2017 NASCAR Pinty's Series championship."
Here is the 2018 schedule (subject to change)

May 21
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Bowmanville, Ontario

June 16
Jukasa Motor Speedway
Hamilton, Ontario

June 30
Autodrome Chaudiere
Chaudiere, Quebec

July 14 Honda Indy Toronto
Exhibition Place
Toronto, Ontario

The 125-lap twin features
Jul 25
Wyant Group Raceway
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Jul 25
Wyant Group Raceway
Saskatoon, Sakatchewan

Jul 28
Edmonton International Raceway
Wetaskiwin, Alberta
Aug 12
Circuit de Trois-Rivieres
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

Aug 18
Riverside International Speedway
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Aug 26
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Bowmanville, Ontario

Sep 8
Autodrome St-Eustache
St-Eustache, Quebec

Sep 22
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
London, New Hampshire

Sep 29
Jukusa Motor Speedway (formerly Cayuga)
Hamilton, Ontario

Night skating at Toronto City Hall

Toronto's outdoor rinks started opening late in November and people have been flocking to Nathan Phillips Square ever since. Skating by the Toronto sign and under the illuminated arches at night makes for a magical evening. The city has 52 outdoor rinks including a covered rink at at Greenwood Park and also several skating trails like the one that can be found at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Skating continues into March, weather permitting.

“The opening of our City-run ice rinks is the true kick-off for the winter season in Toronto,” said Mayor Tory. “Enjoying outdoor skating across the city is part of what makes winters in Toronto great. I urge residents across Toronto to lace up their skates this weekend and join in the fun."
The rinks are cooled by compressors which allows the facilities to stay open during a range of temperatures, however unseasonably warm temperatures can temporarily cause the rink to close. You can find a list of the city rinks on the city's webpage.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Toronto Beer and Spirit Festivals 2018

These festivals are usually the best combination of every festival you have been to, they got your concerts, they got your shopping and they got your tasty alcoholic beverages. The atmosphere is amazing, the prices are very reasonable and the ticket prices are extremely low when you consider the entertainment that usually comes with the party. If you don't like friendly crowds go early and remember to take public transportation when you are drinking.
Society of Beer Drinking Ladies various Bevies starting in Jan.
Winter Craft Beer Festival at the Roundhouse Sat, Feb 10.
Winter Brewfest Toronto Fri to Sat, Mar 2-3.
Toronto Food and Drink Market Fri to Sun, Mar 31- Apr 2?
Spirit of Toronto Sat, May 5.
Toronto Festival of Beer Spring Session Sat to Sun, May 19-20 - see photos from 2017 here.
Wine and Spirit Festival Fri to Sat, June 22-23.
Toronto Craft Beer Festival Fri to Sun, June 22-24.
Beach BBQ and Brews Festival TBD.
Toronto Festival of Beer Thurs to Sun, July 26-29 - see photos from 2017 here.
Summer Craft Beer Fest July TBD.
Toronto Cider Festival Sat, Aug TBD.
CNE Craft Beer Festival Aug TBD - Sep TBD.
Toronto Beer Week Sep TBD.
Cask Days at the Evergreen Brick Works Fri to Sun, Oct 19-21.
Toronto Oktoberfest Sep - Oct TBD.
Torontoberfest Oct TBD.
Cask Days 3rd Weekend of Every October.
Gourmet Wine and Food Expo Thurs to Sun, Nov 22-25.
The Gentlemen's Expo Nov TBD - see photos from 2017 here.
It's still a little too early to get all the events scheduled but I will update this post when more details are known.

#BEERLOVE Toronto Festival of Beer 2018 Info

Well the weather outside is awful, but the beer at #TFOB2018 is so delightful. The beer festival is still some time away but you can buy tickets now for the summer festival, after all you might need some ideas for Christmas gifts. An extra day has been added for 2018 so tickets are available from Thursday, July 26 to Sunday, July 29 and the event continues at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place.
"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Especially since tickets for the 2018 edition of Toronto's Festival of Beer are now on sale. The 22nd annual summer event is presented by the Beer Store. Beer lovers can now enjoy a 4th day of celebrating Canada's golden beverage with a new Thursday night - making the event four great days of fun in the sun! "The very best of local, national and international beer will be front and centre at TFOB 2018," said Les Murray, President of Toronto's Festival of Beer. "Tickets for the beer lover in your life make a perfect holiday gift and that's why we are on sale right now!"
The brews will be from around the world and headline acts are always part of the entertainment with past musicians like Method Man & Redman, Salt-N-Pepa and Big Sugar. Next years acts will be announced at a later date.
Early bird tickets offer great savings over tickets purchased closer to the festival and the event often sell out so this could be your chance to get tickets to the days you want to attend. TFOB2018 hours are as follows.

Thursday, July 26 from 5pm to 11pm
Friday, July 27 from 4:30pm to 11pm (early access for Club TFOB, VIP and Hoptimized ticket holders)
Saturday, July 28 from 1:30pm to 8pm (early access for Club TFOB, VIP and Hoptimized ticket holders)
Sunday, July 29 from 1:30pm to 8pm (early access for VIP and Hoptimized ticket holders)

There are many stages and DJ stations throughout the park

I love that the Beerlove team put together a list of the 8 best Star Wars related beer gifts to celebrate the December 15 release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The gifts include a Millenium Falcon Beer Opener, my favourite - the Rogue One Stormtrooper Beer Stein, the R2D2 Bottle Stopper, the Tauntaun Can Cooler, Star Wars Pint Glasses, a Darth Vader Tap Handle, a Han Solo in Carbonite Beer Fridge and of course tickets to TFOB2018!

Stormtrooper Beer Stein

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter Light Festival at Ontario Place

After sitting unused for so long, Ontario Place continues to promote its parkland as a place to visit year round. They had just started to hold events like the Heritage Ontario Festival and the Art & Music Ontario Festival along the western side of the park, joining the occasional concert at Echo Beach and the new pathway along the east side. Now a skating rink and a light festival has been added for the winter season from December 8, 2017 till the 2018 March Break.

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and Han Dong, MPP for Trinity Spadina, were at Ontario Place on December 5 to announce the free winter-themed activities. Eleanor said “What a great honour to kick-off Winter at Ontario Place and welcome people back to this great public park. The winter festivities offer something for everyone, from a stroll on the newly opened Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail, to skating, to taking in the beauty of Ontario Place illuminated by fairy lights! The waterfront is more vibrant than ever and I hope everyone will have a chance to enjoy the magic and fun of winter at the lake all season long.”
The winter light festival has 12 exhibits throughout the west island, an outdoor synthetic skating rink, bonfires on the weekends and a concession stand. The big, round ball is the Cinesphere which has also been reopened year round to screen IMAX movies from Friday to Sunday.

See more photos of the park after the jump.

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.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square