Thursday, August 27, 2015

Toronto BuskerFest 2015

One of the World's largest, annual street performance festivals returns once again to Yonge Street outside the Eaton Centre. Toronto International BuskerFest, presented by Scotiabank, located in the Downtown Yonge neighbourhood continues until August 30 with famous local and global artists working hard to make people happy, collect some coin and vie for the best act of the festival.
Amazing Kromatik face painting
Stretching from Queen Street north to College Street, also in the McGill Granby Parkettes and with bleachers and a large stage in Yonge-Dundas Square.
Dream State Circus

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Forbidden City - Toronto Chinatown Festival 2015

Lions and Dragons danced the day away at the #tcf2015 15th annual Chinatown Festival located along the west side of Spadina Avenue. The cultural street festival is presented by TD Bank, hosted by the Chinatown BIA and continues from Saturday to Sunday, August 22-23 - centered around Dundas Street West.
"This year's theme for the Toronto Chinatown Festival is the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City, now commonly referred as part of the Palace Museum (故宮), is the largest and most well-preserved imperial palace in China. It served as the royal residences and admin offices of 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the palace there are 8,707 rooms including big and small palaces, halls, towers, etc. The Forbidden City symbolizes absolute authority: It forbids the public to enter or to get close to the palace without permission. For the same reason, trees were not even allowed in the palace until the end of Qing Dynasty. The Forbidden City is now partially opened to public as a popular tourist attraction in Beijing, China."

I caught a brief glimpse of the Lions doing the Forbidden Dance, the dance of love on the streets of old Chinatown, but I looked away because it was forbidden. Martial arts also played a big part in the performance schedule with Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwando, Jiu Jitsu being just some of the fighting styles showcased on the OLG Slots Woodbine Stage.
Global's Carolyn Mackenzie at the TD Stage

Posted by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton.

Importfest 2015

Canada's Biggest and Baddest Car Show brought DJ and B Boy Battles along with Studio Models, Beat Box performances and a whole bunch of cars to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Importfest only lasts one day - Saturday, August 22, but it manages to squeeze so much horsepower and beauty into just one building.

Major events also include a lingerie show and bikini contest along with modified car competitions - 'Each year IMPORTFEST hosts Canada’s largest one-day indoor car and lifestyle at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Hundreds of cars from across Canada and the USA attend in hopes to WIN awards in various class categories. This year’s event will have over 300 “pre-selected” modified cars."
Miss Importfest 2015 Dannie Riel

The Bikini Contest presented by Streetoutlawz started at 6pm and is "definitely one stage show you won’t want to miss! Watch live as bikini models strut their stuff down the catwalk for a chance to Win! Hosted by Billy T of StreetOutlawz" while the Perfect 10 Lingerie Model Search starts at 8pm.

Posted by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Toronto has got it going on Aug 22-23, 2015

As summer starts winding down the city starts picking up steam and today begins the 2015 edition of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) - oh, and I want to go faster. I can't hear me. I WANT TO GO FASTER! The Ex is open to September 7 and finishes off with the Canadian International Airshow (CIAS). Veterans can also ride GO Transit and the TTC going to or leaving the CNE Warriors Day Parade on August 22.

August 21-23 is a big weekend for fun in the Big Smoke, besides the annual Exhibition you can pick out from numerous events like the Sail-in Cinema where you don't need the boat, the screen floats to you at Sugar Beach, or more movies in Christie Pitts, the street festivals such as the Big on Bloor Festival and the Taste of Manila Festival. Several of our festivals require street closures and while the Pan Am HOV lanes are gone (for now) the Gardiner has been reduced to two lanes each way, so in summary; Toronto road construction will impact travel your travel plans - so plan ahead. We are also in the middle of Toronto Men's Fashion Week (TOM)
If you like dragons and/or lions (I am never sure which one is which) the Chinatown Festival on Spadina has plenty of interesting events and attractions. Plus experience other cultures with Iranian arts and cultural TIRGAN Festival and the Scarborough Afro-Carib Festival.
Food lovers can check out the Wild Blueberry Festival at Evergreen Brickworks while car lovers can find the biggest and baddest at Importfest (plus girls, girls, girls)

Also, the "GOTOPLESS BIKE RIDE ON AUGUST 23RD, 2015: On GoTopless Day, come and ride with us on Sunday, August 23rd along Toronto Lakefront starting at 1:00 PM! This year GoTopless will be celebrated in more cities than ever before and Toronto ladies will be enjoying a topless bike ride!!! We will meet in the parking lot beside the Mimico Creek Bridge at noon (12:00 PM) and prepare our helmets, bikes with posters and signs, body paintings, etc… Our bike ride will start at 1:00 pm at the Mimico Creek Bridge and we will ride the bicycle path along Lakeshore Blvd., passing by the Humber Bay Shores Bridge and all the way to Coronation Park, where we will take a short break and ride back. It is approximately a total of 15 km ride that will be memorable and filled with fun and laughter!!!"
Don't forget that Buskerfest starts next week (note: there is a Buskerfest in Port Credit this weekend) and coming up is the Toronto International Film Festival  (tiff) (for great photos check out Candid Toronto by Roger).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thunder Over Michigan Aug 29-30, 2015

Yankee Air Museum wished everyone a Happy Aviation Day (Aug 19) today, ahead of the US Navy Blue Angels and the rest of the Thunder performers coming to Ypsilanti, Michigan next weekend. Aviation Day honours the anniversary of Orville Wright's birthday and was proclaimed in 1939 by American President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
"See rare classic military aircraft. With just over a week until showtime, our birds are getting geared up to put on a phenomenal show!

This year's show features some of the most well-known warbirds to ever take to the sky, such as the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito and Focke-Wulf FW-190. The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito is a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that served during and after WWII. The Focke-Wulf FW-190 is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s."
Thunder Over Michigan Show Schedule and aircraft list: Saturday Aug. 29th & Sunday Aug 30th, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hamilton Airshow

Ex military planes take to the skies over Hamilton International Airport for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum annual airshow on Saturday to Sunday, August 15-16, 2015. Close combat over the hot skies of steel town had some extra zing as the DC-3 transport plane developed engine troubles and airport fire crews rolled - just in case.
Tickets to the show went for big bucks and included parking, a barbecue and the three hour aerial show which started at 5:30pm. Parking limitations keep the crowds small with only a maximum of 1200 tickets available for the weekend event. Even the jet truck almost caught air!

Posted by Joe Hamilton.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kentucky Fried Chic

This recently closed fried chicken restaurant is missing part of its sign, so the location is now a place that would fit in with the fashionable crowds at the Mink Mile along Bloor Street. Tres chic, mon ami. The old, weathered Colonel still grins out to the world from his perch high above the street on his big bucket sign. I always hoped that the bucket was full of big, plastic fried chicken parts and if you ever complained to the staff, they would take off their white gloves, slap your face and challenge you to a duel! Working at the restaurant you would also have to say 'I do declare' and 'well I never' quite often.
Located at the crossroads of the Danforth, the Toronto location is 3359 Danforth Avenue at Byng Avenue. Hmmmm, finger lickin' good.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

York-Eglinton International Street Festival

When Toronto wants to celebrate, the Big Smoke throws a few street parties which totally does two things - brings the neighbourhood together and screws up traffic. You can't win them all, so get out of the car and have some fun. Tomorrow will really be fun as there will be several more festivals, including Open Streets TO, a baseball game featuring the on fire Blue Jays (just finishing their streak), and hydro upgrades will shut down part of the TTC subway system. The only traffic positive will be that the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games are done like dinner.

Today Fresh Joe and I caught the Wheels on Danforth Festival and the York-Eglinton International Street Festival. The rest of the August 15-16, 2015 Toronto festivals are Abari Africa Festival, Festival of South Asia, Fusion of Taste Festival,
Samba Heat added to Saturday's high temperatures with great costumes and energetic dancing.

York-Eglinton International Street Festival Schedule after the jump.

End of the Road - Pan Am / Parapan Am Toronto 2015

Merchandise is at 50% off and the closing ceremonies are Saturday, August 15 in Nathan Phillips Square, nothing is left but the tolls to come on the HOV lanes. Starting at 8pm Toronto City Hall will be filled with the sound of Grammy award-winner Wyclef Jean and singer-songwriter Meghan Patrick, the parade of nations and the extinguishing of the Parapan Am flame, finishing with fireworks - or thundershowers. It really is the end of the road because there are a ton of road closures this weekend, so start walking now. A list of the City's road restrictions and press release can be found at the bottom of this post.
The handover of the Americas Paralympic Committee flag will go to the new host city of Lima, Peru.

“We're thrilled to see the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games end on a high note with incredible Canadian and international talent on stage in the heart of downtown Toronto,” said John May, Live Nation Entertainment’s president – Ontario Region, EVP National Alliances. “Live Nation prides itself in working with the most diverse roster of talent in the world, and we’re proud to showcase Meghan Patrick, a Canadian star on the rise, alongside international superstar Wyclef for the can’t-be-missed Games finale.”
"Australian company FCT Flames designed and built the flame cauldron used for the 2015 Pan American/Parapan Games. The ceremonial extinguishing of the flame, which will be beamed around the world, will be one of the highlights of the closing ceremony on Saturday."

Road closures for events in Toronto this weekend...

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square