Saturday, January 21, 2017

@TorontoBoatShow 2017

I am enjoying the Winter Wake Fest wakeboard show in the home of the Toronto Marlies. They say the ice is still on the bottom of the temporary lake which combined with the fresh lake water makes the spills that much colder. Deals on boats must be great because in 2016 they sold almost 1,000 boats.
The Crazy Canucks will put on their water ski show next so between checking all the boats and wandering the aisles in cottage country, you can always rest your feet and catch the excitement on the lake throughout the run of the show.
The Toronto International Boat Show brought the yachts into Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place from January 20-29. Well, really all manner of watercraft from stand up paddleboards to kayaks, speedboats, sailboats and more - it's not North America's largest indoor boat show for nothing! The newest trend is pedal boarding which is a SUP, or stand up paddle boat, with handlebars and a human powered pedal that moves flaps underwater. The mechanism works much like a floating step machine and looks like a lot of fun, plus the whole exercise thing.
If we are lucky we will be able to watch the waterskiing squirrel Twiggy put on a life jacket and take a run behind a radio-controlled boat. Twiggy is also a major motion picture movie star - she appeared in Dodgeball: A Underdog Story and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy as well as a music video.
"Among the highlights will be the debut of a 100 per cent electric powered boat made by The Canadian Electric Boat Company, based in Quebec. The Bruce 22 uses zero fuel, produces zero emissions or greenhouse gas, and is noiseless. The electric boat can hit speeds up to 72km/h and has up to 8 hours of battery operating range." Shown above and below in a pretty blue colour.

See more boats after the jump.

Bad Axe Throwing in Toronto

Don't worry though, with practice I am sure you will work up to mediocre axe throwing. Warmer winter temperatures and rain in the forecast means it is time for indoor sports and some excitement is in order so grab a shiny axe, close your eyes and let fly! Actually, probably not a good idea to close your eyes. You really need an axe range, a fancy target and some rudimentary training in the art of the throw to enjoy the experience. You can book your event or check the dates for walk in times.

Having enjoyed the fun of axe throwing I can definitely recommend the sport as a group or even a singles or couples activity. Speaking of couples, Valentines Day in Toronto can be a great time to check out Bad Axe Throwing near Runnymede Road and St Claire Avenue West in Toronto (346 Ryding Ave, Unit 201). The love of valentine's combined with the sport of axe throwing means a truly unique date, or go in alone and meet some new friends for a couple of hours of fun. You might like it enough to join one of their leagues.
"When we’re not planning a huge corporate event our hosts are busy celebrating Toronto’s most exciting birthday parties, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, and family outings for people of all ages. Currently our largest venue, Toronto can accommodate up to twelve 3 hour events a day, and it’s certainly not uncommon to do so. If you’re thinking you’re ready for Bad Axe Throwing Toronto, we’re definitely ready to show you the best time in a long time. We know you’ll love the thrill and insanely fun feeling of throwing an axe with us." Photos provided.

You can bring in your own food and drinks - they provide fridges on site for players to use.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Interior Design Show 2017

#IDS17 Toronto - design unfolded begins with the Opening Night Party where we "celebrate the change makers, innovators and disruptors" for all the latest inspirations. The design event is on from Jan 19-22 at the North building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and features David Adjaye as the International Guest of Honour.
Shop, create, explore and learn is the mantra as we take in all the exhibits at the 19th annual show. The booze is flowing, the vibe is happening and the show awaits. Grab some friends and experience the Interior Design Show presented by National Bank! "IDS brings together the newest and most innovative in international and Canadian design. With three full days of inspirational exhibits, influential speakers and leading products, IDS is not just a fair - it's a total design experience.
Having fun at the Caesarstone installation

'Stone Age Folk brings' award winner Jaime Hayon, one of Time Magazine's most relevant creators, and his Caesarstone quartz installations in a "whimsical universe inspired by the natural and mythical worlds, fauna and folklore". You can find the area because of the crowds that gather around the impressive set.
The party started at 7pm and continued until 11pm with the first sneak peek of the exhibitors that have setup for the show which continues on Friday, January 20 with Trade Day and into the weekend when it opens to the public. A portion of the Opening Night Party ticket sales will go to Habitat for Humanity GTA. Besides the amazing furniture, fixtures and accessories you can experience immersive designer spaces in The Lab, at the Partisans Factory and with Jaime Hayon's Caesarstone kaleidoscopic stone age folk installations.
Friday's Professional Trade Day offered the AZURE Trade Day Talks with a line of speakers that will discuss current design trends and inspire new ideas beginning with leading architect and designers Nika Zupanc, Jaime Hayon and David Adjaye. Visitors can also take in Trade Day seminars for an additional fee.

The weekend brings Globe Style Saturday (Jan 21) - "Where do we find inspiration?" and House and Home Sunday (Jan 22) - "What's trending?". Globe Style will give visitors insider knowledge of design with experts, critics and editors including designer Amanda Nisbet in conversation with the much celebrated Jeanne Beker, columnist for Globe Style. House and Home is your chance to meet international design celebrities along with House & Home editors for shows The Hot List, Top Design Tips and Tricks and Decorating 101.

See more of the party and the IDS after the jump.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Interior Design Show this week in Toronto

@idstoronto showcases the creative design trends that will turn your interior spaces into dream spaces. The 19th annual IDS starts January 19, 2017 with an opening night party and continues thru the weekend (19th-22nd) with exhibitions, collaborations, products, seminars, panel discussions and the creative talent all within the north building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

IDS "curators have forecasted some of the top trends for 2017 inspiring the direction of design for the year to come. “This year, we’ll see designers and trends that will encompass the expansion of the outdoor living realm to the fusion of tech and design accumulating into an awe inspiring and ultimately exciting year for design,” Karen Kang, National Director, IDS Canada.

It all starts with the "biggest design party of the year brings together over 5,700 of the industry’s greatest influencers for one amazing night to kick off IDS17. The Party is where Canadian and international design talent gather to check out what’s in store from the brightest in the industry, while sampling the best food and drink that Toronto has to offer. The Party has been called “one of the hottest tickets in the city” by Toronto Life and is a night that you won’t want to miss."

Creators Jaime Hayon, Nika Zupanc and PARTISANS will unveil projects like the Caesarstone 'Stone Age Folk' fantasy universe inspired by fauna – the natural world – and folklore – the mythical world. Blending fantasy with functionality, playfulness with craft, and interactivity with cultural references, Hayon will create a kaleidoscopic and harmonic installation.

With million dollar plus homes in Toronto many people are buying fixer-uppers or renovating the homes they already have to reduce costs. Experts at the show will tell us how to avoid the biggest design problems in kitchen and bath so you can learn how to deal with cabinetry, plumbing and appliances.

The makeover of Berczy Park

The quiet oasis located in the St Lawrence Market area of Toronto has been fenced off for some time as the park has been re-imagined and reconstructed by the City's contractor. Best known for peaceful contemplation centered around the large fountain with an amazing view of the giant mural on the triangular Flatiron building. At one time lovely metal chairs and tables provided by the Friends of Berczy Park ranged around the fountain, perfect for reading a book and enjoying a coffee or tea from the nearby Tim Hortons while the city buzzes on without you.
Now the only fencing that remains is the temporary orange construction fence that protects the new grass and trees on the small rolling hills along with the fence around the still in progress fountain. The dull grey concrete sidewalks and walls have been removed and replaced with coloured tiles that line the central area and on the walkways that run into the site.
The old fountain is gone and in its place rises a much larger multi-storied circular fountain that, at its peak, holds a giant golden bone. A bone so appetizing that dog statues on each level surround the bone, drawn to the golden treasure so tantalizing that they will never leave its sight - not even for a tinkle at the closest fire hydrant. More dogs remain to be installed and I understand that a single cat will be added to the gang of doggies. A play area for children is also coming.
Panorama of the park with the Flatiron building and mural on the left
The front of the Gooderham Flatiron Building at Church and Front Streets
Toronto Historical Board plaque showing the architect and the date of construction 1892

A quiet winter's day in the Distillery District

The marketing people at the historic brick neighbourhood in downtown Toronto were geniuses when they came up with the Christmas Market. Over the course of the annual event tens of thousands (perhaps trillions) made the trek into the unique section of Toronto, met Santa Claus and had some hot chocolate. On weekends there were lineups to pay to get into the area and parking was hard to find. Now Christmas has come and gone and the busy weekends have given way to almost empty streets full of photographers and tourist groups.

That is about to change as they have come up with another event to bring people back to the Distillery District during the dog days of winter - the Toronto Light Fest. Running from January 27 to March 12, 2017 the "brand-new event which will transform the Distillery District into a huge open-air gallery, lighting up the long Winter nights with works from Canadian and International light artists. This Winter, come out of the dark and into the light!"
And why? Because "winter sucks, and we simply just want to make winter not suck so much. We want to create something special and something that will lift the collective spirit of the City. We aspire to make ourselves proud and organize an event that is inspirational. In a world with so many dark and ominous messages, we want to create a positive, magical urban world that people of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy and look forward to."
I certainly like festivals and lights are at the top of my list of things I also like, so hopefully we will see some brilliant art pieces, canopies of lights, laser shows and more. You will know when it successful when you can't find parking, crowds make it hard to walk around and you might have to pay to get in on the weekend.
Locks of all shapes and sizes continue to fill the Love Lock installation on Tank House Lane near Trinity Street. Some of the locks are pretty unique and a good way to show your love, at least until they remove them to make way for more locks. Maybe they are just using this as a way to raise money through scrap metal recycling. If you wait you can bring your next girlfriend and a new lock and she will never suspect that you had other locks.
From the Big Apple - New York
Squire Old English lock

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Birds of the GTA

Bird watching is a popular pastime for many and with the wealth of birds in and around Toronto you can always find some type of feathered subject for your photos. Fresh Joe spent some time looking for elusive owls which, in many cases, people keep secret to protect the location of rare species. One of my favourites is the cute little Chickadee which is prone to fly into your hand if you have some peanuts handy. There is very few things in nature as satisfying as the Chickadee fluttering about and then coming to light on your fingers, grab a quick nut and in a flash fly away again. All these pictures are by Joe Hamilton, including the Blue Jay pictured above.
Northern Cardinal
Red Shouldered Hawk

A Mute Swan and her babies (cygnets)

More birds after the jump.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Toronto Monster Energy Supercross coming in March

The exciting AMA @Supercrosslive off-road motorcycles will be hitting the dirt jumps at Rogers Centre on Saturday, March 4, 2017. The event is part of the FIM World Championship with the season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on January 7th and with races continuing across America. All photos provided.
"This is the only Canadian stop in the Monster Energy Supercross series, which takes place in premier stadiums across North America. The 17-race championship features the reigning Supercross Champion, Ryan Dungey and Pro Motocross Champion (and defending Toronto winner) Ken Roczen, in addition to marquee names like James Stewart, Chad Reed, Justin Barcia, and Eli Tomac."
Rogers Centre track map

International elite riders will compete on the man-made track in Rogers Centre that features triple jumps and whoops sections along with high decibel levels as the motorcycles power through the tight corners and fast straight-aways - so bring ear protection. The show will also include pyro and special effects.

Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster by phone 1-855-985-5000 and the Rogers Centre Box Office at Gate 9 with tickets starting at $15 (plus applicable fees and taxes). Qualifying and doors open at noon and opening ceremonies starting at 6:30pm, races follow at 7pm.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

No Pants Subway Ride 2017

Put on your fancy, Sunday go to town underwear and join the Toronto No Pants Subway Ride on Sunday, January 8. The 15th annual ride notes that "pants are just a fancy word for leg jail" and says "we're breaking free and hitting the rails". Improve Everywhere started the global event in New York in 2002 and in Toronto the event is hosted by the No Pants Society.

The ride begins at the Finch Subway Station where participants will brave the chilly underground and head out to bring a sense of wonderment to city commuters. Some will smile and some will say wtf and a rare few will join the crowd and remove their pants because "ain't no subway ride like a pantsless subway ride." Backpacks are recommended to hold your pants, while boxers our briefs are your choice.

Finally the riders can join together for an after party which will bring the underground subway travelers to the city's frozen streets from Dufferin Station to Penny's. For this above ground journey it would probably be better to wear long underwear! Here is the proposed schedule.

"3:00PM Meet at the DWA (Designated Waiting Area) at Finch Station
3:20ish We lose our pants and depart!
4:00ish* Pantsless Parade from Dufferin Station to Penny's
4:00PM No Pants Dance AfterParty at Penny's begins (1306 Bloor st W, just E of Lansdowne station).
*All times are guesstimates, 'cause Y'KNOW HOW THE TTC IS"

Friday, January 06, 2017

Motorcycle Supershow 2017 in Toronto

The new year starts out with some choppers, live music and celebrities Dog and Beth the Bounty Hunters at the North American International Motorcycle Supershow. The annual start of the year show is presented by Dalton Timmis Insurance and happens at the International Centre. Parking is free and overflow parking is the GO Station across the railway tracks.
"Making their first Toronto appearance, show attendees will come from around North America to meet and get an autograph from the hugely popular Reality Show stars and active Bounty Hunters, Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth Chapman from the hit reality shows; Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Dog and Beth on the Hunt. It’s sparking excitement as a flood of calls and emails have been rolling in to the shows head office regarding their scheduled appearances on Friday January 6, and Saturday January 7." Their autograph schedule on Friday is at 12:30 – 2:00, 2:30 – 4:00, 4:30 – 6:00, 6:30 – 7:30 and Saturday at 11:00 – 12:30, 1:00 - 2:30, 3:00 – 4:30 and 5:00 – 6:30pm.
Motorcycles will be in Halls one through five in the Toronto International Centre from January 6-8, 2017. The chopper and custom bike showcase is in Hall five along with the main stage and the bar and food sales area, bikes are competing for $50,000 in prizes. Celebrities autographs are in Hall five at the main stage.
Show hours are Friday noon - 10pm, Saturday 10am - 9pm and Sunday 10am - 5pm. Live music from the band Three Days Grace will be on at 2pm Saturday on the Hall 5 main stage. Live Stunt shows by Team Empire will be on all weekend in Hall 3. Canadian Tire Motorsports Park was also on site promoting their August 18-20 Canadian Superbike Doubleheader Weekend.
The ladies from Gator Automotive and Cycle Service

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square