Sunday, October 22, 2017

A blah Fall

It was the best of fall, it was the worst of fall. The warm temperatures are a great present to Ontario but they have held back the brilliant colours usually found in Autumn. The muted forest colours, mostly yellow, blend in with the dying, brown leaves as they float to the ground.
We had a cool, wet summer, then in September the warmth returned to the lands and rain held off for a period that is now impacting the trees. The hot dry spell means that the chlorophyll production hasn't slowed down as much as usual and the bright red colours found in trees like the sugar maple aren't required to protect the leaves against the bright light. You can still see trees full of green leaves.

A normal fall with a decent amount of precipitation will have sunny days and cold nights. So you have to ask yourself - do you want an unusually warm Autumn or bright, colourful vistas.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Trashion in Toronto

Reduce, reuse and recycle with new fashion trends which were displayed in the main lobby of First Canadian Place. The clothes were designed as part of installation for Waste Reduction Week and made from unwanted materials re-purposed into fashion statements to show the potential uses for waste. Combining Trash and Fashion into an artistic statement to promote waste reduction.

Mannequins in the lobby were placed on a pallet runway with posters providing additional information on the clothes. My favourite piece was the cardboard dress but several items were made from newspapers and plastics by designer/artist Michelle Sin who is a student at the University of Waterloo. "In nature, there is no such thing as waste. Everything that is "waste" is an input for another part of a cycle. So let's REDEFINE WASTE AS A RESOURCE and change our DISPOSABLE CULTURE into an INNOVATION CULTURE. Think twice before throwing something away because in reality, there is no "away"."

The exhibit is part of the October 16-20, 2017 Waste Reduction Week and will only be on display from October 17-19.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Coldwater Witches Walk

Something stirs in the night as the small town of Coldwater welcomes women with special powers and broomsticks during the annual Witches Walk. The "spooktacular event" sees the main street closed down to vehicular traffic so that the witches can gather together and visit the stores and businesses that stay open late on Wednesday, October 18.
During the walk most of the stores offer special bargains, tricks or treats for the ladies that take part in the social event which also includes wine tasting and a costume competition. The night starts at 6pm and the fun continues until 9pm and the organizers ask that children not take part - apparently it started as a way to get a small break from the children, plus the scary costumes could scare young kids.
There is a cauldron and a bonfire to keep the ladies warm against the chill of October's fall weather while they listen to live musical entertainment. Donations to the local food bank are a way for the witches to pay back the generosity of the town.

Posted by Ann Hamilton.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Port Dover Friday the 13th October 2017

It's a little warmer since the last Friday the 13th motorcycle rally held in January so the crowds are expected to be bigly, or hugely, or whatever the new term this time around. Parties have already started ahead of the famous Friday (#63 since 1981) and the Molson Main Stage tent is heated and ready for more entertainment. Flash Johnson will open on Friday at 11am and the free, live entertainment will continue until Back in Black the AC/DC Tribute band goes on stage at 10:20pm and finishes off the night. Find a beer tent, walk the streets looking at the bikes and have fun in the Lake Erie Port town. Don't forget to buy your Friday the 13th patch.
A beautiful biker sits on the Steampunk Ratbike
Roads into town are closed for non-residents in cars so go to the parking lots and take a shuttle into Port Dover for only $10 per person. The lots are on St John's Road when coming from Hamilton and on Highway 6 when coming from the west and their will be plenty of signage so you won't get lost. Just remember where they drop you off, you will need to get on the same shuttle route to get back to your car. Shuttles will run from 8am Friday to 4am Saturday. Police had anticipated that 80,000 people would converge in Port Dover for the famous rally known as biker day.
Bikes along the street early in the morning
By noon the streets are almost full

Port Dover Friday the 13th
A 360 degree photo at Walker and Main Streets (Highway 6)

I am in town early and at 9:30am the weather is cloudy, windy and cool. Bikes are starting to fill the roads and you can walk on the sidewalks still. Right now the leathers are being put to good use as people check out the motorcycles and wait for the many beer tents to open.
Next year will have two motorcycle rallies: number 64 on Friday, April 13 and number 65 on Friday, July 13, 2018. See more photos after the jump.

Pirate Life in Toronto

A galleon armed to the teeth and flying the skull and crossbones flag cruised the inner harbour blasting streams of water from canons mounted along the edge of the ship. The brigantine was decked out with swivel guns that could be brought to bear on multiple targets and the crew manning the galley put the weapons to good use. I saw them as the slipped into the pier along Sugar Beach.
The crew were apparently searching for sunken treasure on the adventure cruise with a short timeline in September and October. Like dinner theatre without the dinner the pirates dressed in costume, had tattoos and pirate names and fired away while shouting arrrgh.
It was the first time I saw the ship and its scurvy crew in Lake Ontario and I was happy that they didn't try to attack me. Our waterfront has some other great attractions and ships to sail in so I always like to bike along Queen's Quay.

See more of lakefront after the jump.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Edgy Veg cookbook launch

Author Candice Hutchings brings here talent in the kitchen to the public with the release of 'The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes'. Candice and her husband James Aita, photo at top, host the Youtube edgyveg channel where they suggest that you make it vegan and with over 11 million views and 250,000 subscribers many people heartily agree with their recipes choices.
"The Edgy Veg is a delicious vegan and vegetarian movement catering to the forward-thinking meal-creators of the often-boring veg community. It is a channel on a journey to revolutionize the food we define as “vegan”. Instead of salads and smoothies, Candice & James choose to re-purpose familiar favorites, by recreating childhood cravings for an audience with sophisticated palettes and food-nerd obsessions. Decadent desserts, trendy dishes, and fast food favourites-- nothing is off-limits and everything is vegan. Every recipe can be enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike–they’re Carnivore Approved!" You can find a link to buy the cookbook on their YouTube channel.
Vegan desert samples
Having fun in the YouTube Space Toronto

On October 11, 2017 in the YouTube Space Toronto, Candice and James launched her cookbook with incredible samples from her book like Veggs Benny, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and the Thank You Very Matcha Ice Cream. They were delicious!
Guests pose in front of the YouTube Space background

See more photos after the jump.

Kim's Convenience

Biking around Toronto during Nuit Blanche I came across the storefront for Kim's Convenience which is a CBC comedy show currently in its second season. Starring Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Appa, Jean Yoon as Umma, Simu Liu as Jung, Andrea Bang as Janet and Andrew Phung as Kimchee, the show has Appa and Umma running a convenience store in the Moss Park Area.
"KIM'S CONVENIENCE is the funny, heartfelt story of the Kims, a Korean-Canadian family, running a convenience store in downtown Toronto. Mr. and Mrs. Kim ('Appa' and 'Umma') immigrated to Toronto in the 80's to set up shop near Regent Park and had two kids, Jung and Janet who are now young adults. However, when Jung was 16, he and Appa had a major falling out involving a physical fight, stolen money and Jung leaving home. Father and son have been estranged since. Now, Appa and Umma run the store along with Janet who is studying photography at art school. Meanwhile Jung, who secretly stays in contact with Umma and Janet, is trying to turn his life around and recently landed a job at a car rental agency. The world of KIM'S CONVENIENCE is real, colourful and urban - a diverse landscape of people and places and at the heart is the Kim family and their store. While the family continues to work and live, finding humour in the everyday tasks of running the store, they long for the day when the rift between Appa and Jung is mended and the family is whole once again."

The Kim's signs are up at 252 Queen Street East, home of Mimi Variety which is an actual convenience store. The show changed the signage for the TV show and the owners have not put back the original signs, probably because a lot of fans stop by for photos and shopping. I looked inside and the interior doesn't look like the store in the show.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Climbing Blue Mountain

The Blue Mountains look down on Collingwood and Georgian Bay and the skiers and visitors look up to the vast summits, surely some of the highest in the world, and can't wait to see the view from the top. Blue Mountain resort has worked hard to become a year round tourist destination and the village at the bottom of the hill has lots to keep you busy as you watch skiers, mountain bikers or people ascending or descending the slopes.
Gondola or the 'Straight Up Hiking Trail'
Once upon a time you could park at the top of the hills and make the journey down on a gondola - only paying for the trip up. Starting in June of 2017 the trip up and down requires some dineros with a cost of $8 per head, either way. So that means that it was the perfect time to try something we always wanted to do, climb that mountain. Going down was definitely easier than climbing back up, but it still was tough on the thighs. Upwards required plenty of rest stops but it was worth it to make the round trip.
The only gentle part of the slope

A comforting sign half way down

We visited the area to kayak on Georgian Bay, experience the fall colours, see the caves of Collingwood and enjoy Blue Mountain. The colours are slow to come this year and much of the leave colours are in a shade of crunchy brown. Peak colours, if they come at all, will happen in a week or two (say the week of the 21st of October). The caves of Collingwood were pretty much closed down due to a rock fall. The kayaking was excellent though and the resort is always a pleasure to visit.

A cute puppy in the village

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Toronto Snowmobile and ATV Show coming Oct 20-22, 2017

As certain as snow is coming to Toronto, so to will sleds dot the trails in Ontario as one of Canada's favourite winter sports brings people out to play. The 30th annual Toronto International Snowmobile, ATV and Powersports Show is on Friday to Sunday, October 20-22 at the Toronto International Centre and includes free parking.
The centre will up with snowmobiles, motocross bikes and All Terain Vehicles (ATV), vendors, displays and of course the snowmobile races and the freestyle shows which will be indoors and bigger than ever.

"This thrilling snowmobile & ATV event leaves spectators tingling with anticipation of what these riders will come up with next! New this year will be Freestyle ATVing! Crazy tricks, the most daring jumps, and the one that always has the crowd gasping for air…Join Heath Frisby, X Game Gold medalist as he performs snowmobile back flips! Keith Sayers and Cody Elkins as they perform their flips on ATVs and dirt bikes. The Extreme Freestyle Event is sponsored by Ultimax Belts. Show times will be posted at the Front Entrance to the show and also in the official show program, distributed at the entrance of the show. " Show times in Hall 4 are Friday, Oct 20 at 3pm, Saturday, Oct 21 at 11:30am and 3:30pm and Sunday, Oct 22 at 11:30pm and 2:30pm.

It will be a good time to look at get a feel of the machines at the manufacturer displays for Yamaha, Arctic Cat, Ski-Doo/Can-am and Polaris and Honda. Also at the show will be antique and classic snowmobiles.
You can pick up discount tickets online or buy tickets at the door. Adults - $18, Youth/Seniors $15, kids under 10 are free. Photos provided.

Toronto Boobyball coming October 13

Celebrating the 16th annual soiree in support of Rethink Breast Cancer, the fundraiser is on Friday, October 13 starting at 8pm at REBEL on Polson Street. This year's theme is 'get physical' with a trip back to the 80s and 90s enjoying pink cocktails and taking part in an aerobic dance-off. So get out those legwarmers and get your tickets on their website:

They say that regular physical activity helps to reduce a woman's lifetime risk of breast cancer and during the party TOPSHOP, the title sponsor, will donate $1 to Rethink every time you sweat it out. Since 2002 the event has raised over $4.2 million dollars and hopes to raise over half a million dollars in 2017 with events in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Halifax throughout October.

"Toronto’s Sizzling Activations: TOPSHOP Get Physical Lounge with pink retro bikes – for every guest who sweats it out, TOPSHOP will donate another $1 to the cause. Yummy cocktails by teapigs and Tito’s Handmade vodka. Oxygen Bar, courtesy of Medreleaf. Tasty treats from Sweet Jesus. Retro-hair touch-ups and mini manis by Her Majesty’s Pleasure. VIP eats by STK and Hickory Farms. Shwinging Suds by Beau’s. A sweet ride home courtesy of Beck Taxi. Retro Photos by The Kit. Old School beats by DJ. Brains4brkfst. Like, totally major gift bags. Check out the divine wines from Meiomi and Kim Crawford, cocktails created by teapigs and Tito’s Handmade Vodka and pints courtesy of Beau’s. Fuel up for the dance floor with Sweet Jesus and dive into delish creations from The Food Dudes. Glam up your look with retro-hair style touch-ups by Her Majesty’s Pleasure, all while jamming to memorable beats played by DJ Brains4brkfst, and much more!"

Women in Music Canada 2017

The Drake Underground hosts the three-day Women in Music Canada Conference and Music Festival from October 11-13, 2017. Musical performances and talks by and with industry leaders will start on the International Day of the Girl and will include free and paid programming with tickets ranging from $8-$12. The conference will feature talks on how to start a record label, global touring and logistics and the art of music video. The conference will help to empower, educate and educate women.

“The Women in Music Canada Conference and Music Festival offers a chance for females in the music industry to learn, network and celebrate the talent of fellow musicians – all important passions of our organization. We are thrilled to welcome some of the biggest names in the Canadian music industry to act as both educators and mentors for attendees.” said Samantha Slattery, chair and founder, Women in Music Canada. “It also provides a unique opportunity to showcase an assortment of talented Canadian musicians to a broad audience.”

Musical guests include Maybe Baby, PONY, Mackenta,Witch Prophet, Lemin, Bambii, Nino Brown, Little Coyote, BEYRIES and Falcon Janetake the stage. With tickets available at the door or for sale online (link below).

"Confirmed conference speakers and educators include Universal Music A&R Director, Joelle Bertrand; CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts Chief Operating Officer, Jackie Dean; Indica Records co-founder, A&R Manager and Montreal Women in Music Founder, Kyria Kilakos; Feldman Agency Director of Operations and agent, Olivia Ootes; Part and Parcel video production agency owners, Katy Maravala and Nicole Powell; musician Peter Dreimanis (July Talk); 2017 Prism Prize Juror and Journalist, Tabassum Siddiqu; manager Tao-Ming Lau; musician SATE and Folk Music Ontario’s Executive Director, Alka Sharma. Well-known artist and musician Maylee Todd will present a performance broken down in Ableton Software for laptop-using participants."

For more details and to buy tickets, click here.

Schedule of events:

Oct 11, 2017 (Music Festival Day 1) International Day of the Girl

Evening Concert
Co-presented with Night Owl Festival

$8 at the door

8:30 p.m. – Doors open
9:00 – 9:30 p.m. – Maybe Baby
9:45 – 10:45 p.m. – PONY

Oct 12, 2017 (Conference Day 1)

12 – 1 p.m.: Management and A&R presented by the Music Managers Forum

Description: Universal Music A&R Director Joelle Bertrand discusses A&R as well as insight on being a music manager for the band Heartstreets.

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.: Board Training presented by CARAS and the Ryerson Chang School of Continuing Education

Description: DiverseCity onBoard discuss the importance of diverse leadership as well as governance with CARAS, JUNO Awards and MusiCounts Chief Operating Officer, Jackie Dean

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.: How to Start a Record Label presented by Indica Records

Description: Indica Records co-founder, A&R Manager and Montreal Women in Music Founder, Kyria Kilakos, discuses how to start a record label.

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.: Ableton

Description: Artist and musician, Maylee Todd, will present a performance broken down in Ableton Software. This is an intermediate course for Ableton users. PLEASE BRING YOUR LAPTOP.

Oct. 12, 2017 (Music Festival Day 2)

$12 at the door

8 p.m. – Doors open
8:30 – 9 p.m. – Mackenta
9:15 – 9:45 p.m. – Witch Prophet
10 – 10:30 p.m. – Lemin
10:45 – 12:15 a.m. – Bambii vs. Nino Brown

Oct. 13, 2017 (Conference Day 2)

Education Workshops

12 – 1 p.m : Global Touring and Visas

Description: Feldman Agency Director of Operations and Agent, Olivia Ootes, will discuss the types of visas needed for work travel and touring globally.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.: The Art of Music Video by Prism Prize and Part and Parcel

Description: Part and Parcel video production agency owners Katy Maravala and Nicole Powell will discuss music video as an art form along with a panel of esteemed creatives such as musician Peter Dreimanis from July Talk and 2017 Prism Prize Juror and Journalist Tabassum Siddiqui . This is presented in partnership with Prism Prize.

3:34 – 4:45 p.m.: Diversity Town Hall

Description: A panel and town hall- style conversation regarding the importance of diversity in the music industry with Universal Music Director of A&R Joelle Bertrand, Manager Tao-Ming Lau, musician SATE, moderated by Folk Music Ontario’s Executive Director Alka Sharma.

Oct. 13, 2017 (Music Festival Day 3)

Co-presented by MRG Concerts

$12 at the door

7 p.m. – Doors open
8 p.m. – Little Coyote
8:45 p.m. – BEYRIES
9:30 p.m. – Falcon Jane

Toronto Graffiti Alley in the Fall

Autumn in the city really brings out the fall graffiti colours throughout the alleys along Queen Street West. This is especially important as the trees are really not cooperating with fall at this time.

The continuous string of graffiti along Queen St shrinks over the years as new condos block off some of the alleyways. And as much as things change, much remains the same. Graffiti comes and goes and over the years you can see the same art, like the photo at top, and sometimes the murals only last days before they are covered over with new works.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square