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

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Fun things to do in Toronto November & December 2017

I am always surprised by how cold it is in winter - even after having survived quite a few in my lifetime, so when the wind blows and the snow falls I feel an intense burst of shock. How is it even possible to be that cold and it really isn't even that bad until we truly hit the dog days of winter. Okay you can hit the slopes or stay inside with some of these events. There is not a lot of firm dates yet, so come back as I update with schedules as the dates become available.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Fri to Sun, Nov 3-12.
National Women's Show Fri to Sun, Nov 10-12.
Canada's Walk of Fame TBD.
The Gentlemen's Expo at MTCC South Thurs to Sat, Nov TBD.
Remembrance Day Ceremony Sat, Nov 11.
Winter Magic Illuminite at Y-D Square Sat, Nov TBD.
Lowes Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District Fri Nov TBD - Sun Dec TBD.
Toronto Santa Claus Parade Sun, Nov TBD.
Seasons Christmas Show Fri to Sun, Nov TBD.

Cavalcade of Lights Sat, Dec 2. Music and the City lights up Nathan Phillips Square and sets off some fireworks.

Toronto Santa Speedo Run Sat Dec TBD? The run took time off in 2016.
Toronto Comicon Fan Days Holiday Show Sat, Dec TBD. At the MTCC.
Kensington Winter Solstice/Festival of Lights Thurs, Dec 21. A parade and a fire show.
New Years Eve Celebration Sun, Dec 31 from 8 pm to midnight with Toronto's largest dance and skating party - with some exciting fireworks and live bands.
And the next day is the Toronto Polar Bear Dip Mon, Jan 1, otherwise known as the Sunnyside swim.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Fun things to do in Toronto September & October 2017

The sweet spot of the year brings plenty of colour to the trees in the city, along with some of the traditional end of summer activities that bring dread to young students. Go to the EX, check out some waterfalls and forests and prepare for the coming winter by drinking up at your local patio. Snowbirds photo at top by Joe Hamilton.

Canadian National Exhibition CNE Fri to Mon, Aug 18-Sept 4.
Toronto Fan Expo Comicon Thurs to Sun, Aug 31-Sept 3.
Buskerfest Fri to Mon, Sept 1-4 during the Labour Day weekend at Woodbine Park in the Beaches.
Toronto International Film Festival Thurs to Sun, Sept 7-17. Something about films and stars.
Toronto Oktoberfest Fri to Sat, Sept TBD.
Toronto Beer Week Fri to Sat, Sept TBD.
Canada's Walk of Fame Festival Thurs to Sun, Sept TBD.
Just for Laughs Festival JFL42 Thurs to Sat, TBD.
Windfest Sat, Sept (date to be determined) TBD.
I Love Culture Fri to Sun, Sept 29 - Oct 1.

Nuit Blanche Sat, Sept 30 (6:51 pm to sunrise). The all night art thing with plenty of videos and light shows.
Haunted Walk of Old Toronto Oct - Nov.
Toronto Everything to do with Sex Show Fri to Sun, Oct TBD.
Zombie Walk CANCELLED. Take your brains and run for your life. UPDATE: Individual walks are springing up.
Toronto International Snowmobile, ATV and Powersports Show Fri to Sun, Oct 20-22.
Art Toronto Fri to Mon, Oct 27-30.
Night of Dread Sat, Oct 28. TBD
Zoomer Show Sat to Sun, Oct TBD.
Halloween on Church and the Church Street Zombie Walk Tue, Oct 31.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square