Saturday, March 17, 2018

March Break Toronto Comicon 2018

Comics, celebrity guests, artists and cosplay are great reasons to check out the spring Comicon at the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 16-18.

Hours for Saturday are from 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

See the amazing cosplay mega-gallery after the jump.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Toronto Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo 2018

It's a busy Saturday at Motorama 2018 and car fans are checking out the amazing vehicles in the International Centre. Remember there is more parking at the GO Station just beside the Centre. The car show presented by Mothers is on from March 9 to 11 with over 300,000 square feet of exhibits, sponsors, vendors and celebrity guests like Courtney Hansen from TV's Overhaulin' and PowerBlock and PowerNation.
Motorama 2018 is the fourth annual combined Canadian Motorsports Expo and Motorama custom car and hot rod show. Saturday night has the Short Track and Drag Racing Night of Champions. 

Spring Fever modified cars and culture is in Hall 4, complete with a DJ pumping out the jams, nitrous oxide tanks and big sets of speakers in plenty of trunks. About 80 vehicles were competing in several best of categories including best of show.
Hooters ladies at their booth

Here is a copy of there weekend schedule.


10:30 to 11:20 a.m. – MOTORAMA’S 2018 CELEBRITY GUESTS: This year’s celebrity guests at Motorama include: Ron Capps (2016 NHRA Funny Car World Champion), Courtney Hansen (Automotive TV Personality / Dream Car), Jeff Lutz (Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws), Lou Santiago (co-host of Discovery Velocity’s Car Fix), David Schroeder (2017 Drag Week Overall Champion) and Twiggy Tallant (Vegas Rat Rods). See and hear them on-stage as they participate in a Q&A with the fans.

11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. – APC LATE MODEL SERIES DRIVER PANEL: This exciting series enters its fourth season of action in 2018 and continues to grow. It featuring many of the province’s top Late Model racers, competing at tracks around southern and central Ontario. Series Announcer Jamie Maudsley hosts this session. Expected participants include Series Organizer Luke Ramsay and several registered series drivers, including Shae Gemmell, Josh Stade, JR Farrelly, Jamie Cox, Rick Burbridge, Treyten Lapcevich, Jake Sheridan, Mat Box and Andrew Gresel.
Drag racing panel on the Johnsonville stage. Champion Ron Capps is in the middle

12:30 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. – DRAG RACING DISCUSSION PANEL: This year’s Motorama show boasts several honoured guests from the drag racing world. Hosted by Bill Richards and Larry Satchell, expected participants in this panel include 2016 NHRA Funny Car World Champion Ron Capps, reigning Hot Rod Drag Week Overall and Unlimited Champion David Schroeder, multi-time Drag Week champ and Street Outlaws star Jeff Lutz, Ontario Street Outlaws series promoter Paul Norris, jet dragster racer Neale Armstrong, Yvonne Potter of Paton Racing, and Andrew Stirk of DSE Sportsman Promotions.

1:45 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. – SEMA STAR BUILDERS: Show announcer Rick Seeley hosts this on-stage session that features several builders who caught our attention at SEMA and have brought their vehicles to Motorama. They include Ty Hauer of Indiana’s Reisinger Custom Rebuilding, Ohio’s Anton Lanesky of Anton’s Rod Shop, Eddie Pettus from Iowa’s Eddie’s Rod and Custom, and Pennsylvania’s Mike Heim, of Quality Custom Rides. Be sure to check out their feature vehicles in Hall 2.

3:00 to 5:00 p.m. – SHOW CAR CLASS AWARDS: Hosted by Rick Seeley, Gary Challice and celebrity guests Courtney Hansen and Twiggy Tallant, with more than 200 vehicles in competition, there are dozens of different classes and categories to be judged. The class awards will be announced and presented on The Johnsonville Stage during this session.

5:15 to 6:30 p.m. – DRAG RACING NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY STONERIDGE SPECIALTY INSURANCE: Bill Richards and Larry Satchell return – with a special appearance by 2016 NHRA Funny Car Champ Ron Capps – to host this awards presentation which honours Canadian drag racers who won track or series championships during the 2017 season. More than 40 champs have registered for this special awards presentation.

6:45 to 8:15 p.m. – SHORT TRACK NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY STONERIDGE SPECIALTY INSURANCE: Hosts Greg Calnan and Adam Ross will be joined by Courtney Hansen and Twiggy Tallant to honour dirt and asphalt oval track racers who won year-end track or series championships in 2017. Each champion will receive a plaque and will be interviewed about their title-winning campaigns. Special thanks to Eibach Canada, London Recreational Racing, Image Factor Media and Inside Track Motorsport News for their support of this ceremony which will honour almost 90 short track champs.
SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2018

10:30 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. – CAR SHOW PROMOTERS PANEL: Several of North America’s top car show promoters will talk about what’s new for 2018 for their respective shows, leading into a Q&A discussion about the hobby. Expected participants include: Jim Pearsall (Syracuse Nationals), Bill Doherty (Atlantic Nationals), Bob Larivee (founder of Detroit Autorama), Kristine Hill (Summer Showdown), Chris Gooderham (Canadian Automotive Expo) and a representative of Oshawa Autofest.

11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. – MEET THE MEDIA: One of the show’s most popular on-stage features. Several members of the Canadian motorsports and automotive media discuss issues related to Canadian and International racing. Expected participants include: Erik Tomas (Raceline Radio Network), Norris McDonald (Toronto Star), James Neilson (Inside Track Motorsport News), Gary Grant (The Garage Guy /, Wally Nesbitt (Inside Track Motorsport News), Jim Kenzie (Toronto Star) and Tim Miller (Hamilton Spectator / Inside Track Motorsport News).

12:45 to 1:25 p.m. – NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES DRIVER Q&A: Into its second decade as the country’s top racing series, the NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES is entering an exciting time. A new GM body-style will be introduced at Motorama and the tour is set to make its first appearance outside of Canada, in the fall, so there will be lots to talk about. Series Announcer Adam Ross will host the session which is expected to feature Anthony Spiteri of Pinty’s Delicious Foods and several NPS series racers discussing their plans for 2018.

1:45 to 2:40 p.m. – HOT ROD PANEL: Legendary hot rod personality and Motorama Show Car organizer Gary Challice will be joined by Show Announcer Rick Seeley to host this discussion featuring several prominent members of the hot rod, custom car and classic car communities. Expected to participate on the panel are several local prominent builders with vehicles at Motorama, as well as celebrity guest Lou Santiago.

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – SHOW CAR SPECIAL AWARDS: Hosted by Rick Seeley and Gary Challice, and some of our celebrity guest presenters, dozens of awards will be handed out at the show, including the Motorama Grand Champion who will be presented with a $5,000.00 cheque!
Pinty's and the NASCAR Pinty's Series race cars were well represented at the show

See more photos after the jump.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Verizon IndyCar Series 2018 starts this weekend

Josef Newgarden will begin to defend his Championship title with the first race of the 2018 series in the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg March 9-11. The series runs from March into September with the Streets of Toronto race returning during the July 15 weekend.

Indycar 2018 Series Schedule

IndyCar will headline the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend July 13-15 in Exhibition Place along with the NASCAR Pinty's Series Grand Prix of Toronto, the Mazda Road to Indy, the Porsche Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge and the Global MX-5 Cup. Also returning is Fan Friday - free entrance covered by the Ontario Honda Dealers in support of Make-A-Wish Canada; "With generous support from fans, Honda Canada and the Ontario Honda Dealers have raised more than $518,000 for Make-A-Wish®, helping to make the wishes of children who are living with a life-threatening medical condition come true. Honda Fan Friday will feature a jam-packed schedule of on-track action, contests, and all kinds of entertainment in full gear from gate open to close across the event site, providing something for everyone, race fan or not!"

See my coverage of the 2017 Honda Indy race weekend on these posts.

In addition to the on-track action there will also be the associated RaceFest with Honda World, Thunder Alley, Honda Speedzone, Beer Gardens and Series Paddocks/Garage. There will be a photo display of Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe's show car at Honda World

See more festival information from HIT after the jump.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Winter Stations 2018

Seven art installations are lined up along Woodbine Beach, built around the lifeguard stations that dot the sand along the shores of Lake Ontario at the east side of Toronto. The waterfront exhibitions were created based on the theme of 'riot: violent disturbance; uproar; outburst of uncontrolled feelings' and will remain in place until April 1st (started on Family Day February 19).
'Make Some Noise!!'

These pieces of interactive art that will have to survive the harsh conditions found during Canada's winter next to one of the finest Great Lakes that you will ever know. Three of the designs were by the University of Guelph, Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art.
Winter Stations winners were selected in an international single-stage competition that places the temporary artwork, created by designers, artists, architects and others to promote creativity and joy without limit on the size of the installation. A jury chose the projects partly based on durability and constructablility and within a certain spending limit.
'Pussy Hut'
"The lifeguard stands are essentially identical. They are sturdy steel structures to which the installation is to be fastened. The method of fastening is up to each competitor, however it may not result in any damage to or modification of the structure. As this is the off-season for use, there are few restrictions on covering the stations; the three exceptions are: the shepherds’ hook, the lifesaving ring and any emergency signage."

See more art after the jump.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

International Polar Bear Day Live with EarthCam

February 27 is a celebration of those giant northern bears that all the world loves, especially when they are little cubs. EarthCam has set up live webcams of the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Ontario, Canada. The habitat is the only captive facility for only polar bears.

You can "visit to Henry, Ganuk and Inukshuk at The Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Ontario, Canada with EarthCam’s HD live streaming webcams. Virtually travel into their enclosures and watch live as “the boys” explore their habitat, play around in the snow and do anything and everything to make you say “aww”!" Courtesy of EarthCam.

Niagara Falls to beat the February Blahs

Winter doldrums means it is time for a break, so time for one of our favourite getaways to Niagara Falls. We grabbed a hotel package from Embassy Suites located just above the falls which came with two tickets to the Greg Frewin Magic Show, a $30 meal coupon, two breakfast buffets and two 48 hour WeGo transit passes. If the weather was warmer I would have looked for a bus tour of some of the famous Niagara Falls wineries, but we stopped at a couple on the way home anyways.
Reading the hotel reviews the lack of parking at the hotel was a major negative from a boatload of people. You show up and pay $60 a day for valet parking and if you don't want to pay that small fortune apparently there is a parking lot somewhere in the next area code that has a shuttle running to the hotel - for only half the price of the valet parking. Screw that, we parked close by for a heck of a lot less than that.

The hotel room was nice suite and had a side view of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, although you had to look through pretty dirty windows. The hotel is just beside the Niagara Incline Railway which is just $5.50 for a round trip ride and takes you right down to the falls.

We ended up going to the Keg Restaurant on the 9th floor of the hotel for an early dinner (great view of the falls) and headed over to Greg's Magic Show. This was our second trip to see his show and his show is very professional and includes a few tigers and exotic birds.

I definitely liked the WeGo public transit bus system that runs downtown and to many of the area.  tourist attractions. This is the first time that we have used the buses but I am down for using them on future trips as well. The three lines are red, blue and green and they are constantly looping through the routes every twenty or forty minutes for just $8 a day (unlimited rides).
We kept away from the wax museums on Clifton Hill but did find time to gamble at both the Niagara Falls casinos. We gambled and gambled and took home tens of dollars. To round out our visit we went to see the Bird Kingdom. See you next time Niagara Falls.

See more of the misty city after the jump.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo 2018 coming in March

It's time for cars, cars, cars! The fourth annual celebration of cars and motorsports returns to the International Centre from March 9 to 11 with over 300,000 square feet of displays, vendors, celebrity autographs and much more. Special guest include Funny Car World Champion drag racer Ron Capps, the "Leading Lady of Automotive TV" Courtney Hansen, Drag Week Champion Jeff Lutz and Lou Santiago of Car Fix on Discovery Velocity. Motorama will also feature Modified Cars and Culture in Hall 4 which will also highlight tuners, imports, modified and luxury performance cars.
"The show features custom cars, hot rods, racing vehicles of all kinds, tuners, displays and exhibitors. Hall 1A is The Grand Hall and will feature 28 amazing mostly ‘first time shown’ custom cars, hot rods, classics and more, many of which were built with the intention of unveiling them at Motorama. Hall 1B is the Motorsports Expo room and represents the entire spectrum of Canadian racing with tracks, series, sanctioning bodies and stunning race-ready vehicles of all kinds, including stock cars and road racing, drag racing and karting vehicles. Hall 2 is a massive space that plays host to the busy Johnsonville Stage as well as the majority of the car club displays and corporate booths, including Mothers, NASCAR, MOPAR, Pinty’s, Lincoln Electric, Mobil 1, Eibach Canada, Meguiar’s and many others."
The Johnsonville Stage brings a stellar list of celebrity guests, racing stars, car builders and media for award presentations and discussion panels. Saturday is the Short Track and Drag Racing Night of Champions.

Friday, March 9: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 10: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, March 11: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Webster Falls in winter

It felt more like spring as temperatures of plus 3C under partly cloudy skies brought many people out on the Family Day long weekend to Spencer Gorge Conservation Area. Two Niagara Escarpment waterfalls are within easy walking distance in Hamilton - Tew Falls and Webster Falls. Be careful on the paths
because they don't clear them in winter time. Temporarily suffering with bum knees I couldn't go down to the park at the top of the falls but I could check out the view from across the falls. There was a couple of brave souls that made their way down the frozen valley to the base of the falls.

"From the escarpment brow, noted for its panoramas, to the forested depths of the gorge below, the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area exhibits the physical features which have made the Niagara Escarpment one of Ontario's most spectacular geological formations. This significant natural area contains two beautiful waterfalls: Webster and Tew Falls. Webster is a magnificent tiered waterfall and Tew, which towers at 41 metres, is only a few metres shorter than Niagara Falls. Both offer spectacular vistas of the gorge."
Parking in the winter is $10 per car and from May until October 31 the cost increases with an additional fee of $5 per person.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square