Thursday, September 30, 2010

Walk a Mile in her Shoes

The 2010 Toronto Walk a mile in her shoes (http://www.walkamiletoronto.org/) event had Yonge-Dundas Square filling up with individual and team participants getting ready for the walk which left the square at 12:45pm. The best part was the local home town heroes, the police and firefighters, putting on their high heels and strutting their stuff for the media and the crowd.

The walkers included students, blue and white collar workers and plenty of business people in suits. See the 2011 walk pictures on my post here.


More pictures after the jump.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Museums in Toronto

Toronto is fortunate to have several world class museums where you can see artifacts and art from times gone by - and some current stuff as well. The Art Gallery of Ontario building is also interesting with it's curved windows along Dundas Street and it's silver staircase out back facing onto a large city park.
Certainly the changes to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and it's new crystal  facade has stirred up some controversy but inside you will find exciting worlds to visit and it doesn't need a boring building to scare people away (the dinosaurs inside might scare some of the youngsters though).

There is also the Gardiner Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), the Spadina Museum and other Municipal museums, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Canadian Air & Space Museum, the Bata Shoe Museum, and the Textile Museum of Canada. For those that like museums on the sassy and spicy side there is the Toronto Sex Museum

We also have major outdoor art festivals including Luminato and Nuit Blanche. Nuit Blanche, the all night art thing is this Saturday, October 2nd starting at 6:57pm. There are so many installations for Nuit Blanche so you need to review and pick out your primary and secondary locations that you want to visit. You need secondary locations because the crowds are immense and sometimes you don't want to wait forever. Remember that art is in the eye of the beholder because a lot of the time you will say "it's cool, but is it art?" and even if you don't think it is art it still is exciting to spend the night with the crowds of Toronto exploring cool things.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer

I have heard of the Ride to Conquer Cancer but today I found out about Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer benefiting The Princess Margaret and presented by Boston Pizza. To promote the event there was a road hockey game at Yonge-Dundas Square with members of the media battling celebrities which came down to a shoot out between the two teams. The media was in black and celebrities were in red jerseys and Carlton the Bear was a goalie, oh yeah, the celebs kicked ass.
Paul Henderson launched the event while attending celebrities included Curtis Joseph, Scotty Bowman, Kurt Browning, Jake Gold, Dennis Maruk, Billy Talent and many others.
The Road Hockey fundraiser is scheduled for next year on October 1, 2011 and will be an all day tournament.  "This Dawn-to-Dusk fundraising event will feature an unprecedented number of spirited road hockey games, as well as musical acts, celebrity appearances, interactive activities, food and beverages, and so much more! If you enjoy a challenge, being part of a team and donating your time and effort to an amazing cause, this is the event for you."


See more pictures after the jump.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony

As someone who grew up watching Bugs Bunny and all those Saturday morning Looney Toons I was pleasantly surprised to see that Bugs Bunny at the Symphony will be coming to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on April 9, 2011.

Their website says "Tickets as low as $38. Don't miss this showcase of classic Warner Bros Looney Tunes projected on the big screen, with their exhilarating original Carl Stalling scores played LIVE by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

This brand new edition features beloved classics like What's Opera, Doc? and The Rabbit of Seville, new additions such as Tweety's Circus and A Scent of the Matterhorn, plus special guests Tom and Jerry in The Hollywood Bowl, The Flintstones, and Scooby-Doo! Don't miss these, plus many more favourites in this 20th Anniversary concert of Warner Bros' cartoons on the big screen with live orchestra! See more information about the show by clicking here."

I remember that Bugs ended up bringing the symphony building down in one cartoon so hopefully the rebuild of the Centre will be beefed up to avoid this type of calamity when it has a grand reopening on October 1, 2010. I would also like to see if the singing frog and Leopold will be at this show.


More suds in Berczy Park fountain

Walking by the Berczy Park fountain I noticed some bubbles along the sidewalk and in the road. I followed the trail back to the fountain and, aha, found the source. Someone, or something, had placed soap in the water and like a big washing machine the churning water had soon created a cloud of bubbles.

This also happened in 2008 and 2009. I don't believe in coincidence so I think it is just someone, probably a broke University student, doing their laundry - once a year.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NCTS Champ 2010 #17 DJ Kennington

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCTS) 2010 Championship title was awarded to D.J. Kennington of the #17 Castrol Edge car. D.J. (second from the left) shares a laugh with some of the other NCTS drivers during recent qualifying laps for a race at Barrie Speedway, he later went on to win that race. The NASCAR website says that as the Champion he "earned a starting spot in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, the prestigious post season event that has earned the title as 'the Daytona 500 of short-track racing."
from left to right: J.R. Fitzpatrick, D.J. Kennington, Ron Beauchamp Jr., Scott Steckly and Mark Dilley

Here are some pictures of D.J. during a 2008 race in Cayuga when his sweet Castrol ride was a little green.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fallorama

Saturday brought some rain and clouds but I thought I would check out the Fall colours anyways. I headed north and my first stop - the Cheltenham Badlands. The Badlands, with their rolling orange hills and white stripes, surrounded by a forest of colours is a perfect way to start the adventure.
With an early start and the possibility of rain we did not have to battle the crowds on the hills. As Fall continues it's steady progress Caledon and it's natural attractions will fill up with thousands of people.
We continued our journey north towards Collingwood, stopping along the way when we found some nice views of the red, orange and yellow leaves filling the deciduous trees.


In Collingwood, which is located on Georgian Bay, the adjacent Niagara Escarpment is made for hiking (and for marriage ceremonies). So we journey upwards and explore the Bruce Trail and the top of the Blue Mountain Resort and Ski Hill. Blue Mountain has a lot of bike trails and they have a ski lift running. For $7 you can ride the ski lift which has been converted to a pedestrian lift with special bike racks and so down the hill we went. You can ride down for free and then buy the ticket to get back to the top.
It is incredible what they have done to Blue Mountain. The resort is full of condos, stores, restaurants and bars. There is a pond where you can rent pedal boats and relax on Muskoka chairs. The place was humming with action and a wedding party played a giant chess set in a friendly battle of the sexes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Filming at City Hall

Movie crews spent all day setting up at City Hall to shoot in Nathan Phillips Square on September 24. It is always surprising how much stuff is necessary to make movies. From snacks to makeup, film dollies and rails, lights and reflectors and all the people needed to staff and act - it's like a small army. I think the director was using a small lens to frame the upcoming scene while the camera gear was being readied for the new location.

The movie business is a lot like the army, hurry up and wait, and I think the boredom must get to the actors sometimes. Though the interest of the people who pass by is intense, people stop, look and continue on their way. Speaking of films my Youtube Channel is almost at 1 million views!

I think they must have pulled miles of cables under the raised floor of the square. This worker was dressed for getting in the crowded and messy underground space.

Skipping in TO

Swiss Natural had a double dutch skipping team out on Queen Street West - if you skipped they would donate $1 to Breakfast for Learning. It was fun to see people stop along their busy day and start jumping and some, like this lady, were very good and I think it brought back some happy memories of younger times.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

CBC News

The CBC Live! in Yonge-Dundas Square continued with more celebrities as the newscasters had a meet and greet. Jacquie Perrin shares a laugh with Heather Hiscox, above, while Dianne Buckner talks to a fan below. News Anchor Dianne is also the host of the fabulous show Dragons' Den which is a tv program where people try to get the stars of the show to invest in their companies. The stars were going to show up later in the day, along with the casts of Being Erica, The Tudors, 22 Minutes and many others.
Speaking of news, CBC radio did a live broadcast from the square and they did interviews and even had entertainment. Singer Aline Morales of Brazil and her group performed several tunes for the square full of people - she has such a beautiful voice.

Steven and Chris

The CBC show Steven and Chris taped in Yonge-Dundas Square during the kick off to the Culture Days celebrations which run from September 24th  to the 26th. They definitely have a lot of fun taping the show and it was great to see Debbie Travis as their fist guest of the day. (Steven is on the left and Chris is on the right in the above photo).


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Birds in the water, ball under the walkway

When seagulls aren't dive bombing you and trying to steal your food they often chill in the water, thinking of ways to steal more food off you. These birds are in the pond at Nathan Phillips Square.

The Square is in a little bit of a mess as construction continues on the makeover. Even the Peace Garden is being stripped down.

The approach of Fall means that soon the pond will be emptied and made ready for ice skating.
I remember when Redball visited Toronto in 2009 and was squeezed under the elevated walkway. The big red ball was here during Luminato and you can see more of it around Toronto on my posts here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Toronto Roller Derby Semi Finals Coming

Sadly the end of the Toronto Roller Derby 2010 season is fast approaching - semi final #1 is on October 2nd, #2 is on the 23rd and the championship game is November 13th. You know what's better than watching a regular roller derby match? Watching the hot skaters in the finals!
The games take place in the Downsview Park Hanger which is a perfect place for flat track roller derby. You can get something to drink, soak up the warm ups, rock to the music and watch the girls huddle together in a hot, sweaty mass then explode into action at the sound of a whistle. You can view more of my pictures of the game featured on this post at this link.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Top 20 in 2010

These are the top twenty posts or labels as viewed by visitors to the Toronto Grand Prix Tourist Blog so far in 2010. I would have a lot more traffic if those beautiful Bud Girls did more stuff around Toronto!

1.  World Naked Bike Ride Toronto 2010 (see picture after the jump)
2.  pretty girls
3.  The girls of Honda Indy Toronto
4.  Hamilton Fireworks
5.  Cynthia Mulligan reporting for CityTV
6.  Ms CHIN Bikini 2010
7.  Honda Indy Toronto 2010 coming in July
8.  Bud Pit Girl Pageant
9.  The girls of Honda Indy Toronto - part two
10. Honda Indy Toronto location
11. Anne Mroczkowski - Update: Laid off from CityTV
12. Larysa Harapyn
13. Where oh where is Larysa Harapyn oh where oh where can she be?
14. Friday the 13th - Port Dover Motorcycle Rally
15. Jacked Photo - Anne Mroczkowski
16. Toronto Roller Derby: Real Women, Real Hits
17. Upcoming Cavalcade of Lights
18. Toronto Roller Derby 2010 Season Opener
19. Performance World Custom Car & Truck Show
20. Spring Motorcycle Show

Niagara Falls: Trip to the States

It is always fun to make the trip into the United States (don't forget your passport) and I have made the trip a few times this year. During the last holiday long weekend I had the chance to go into Niagara Falls, New York. The border was jammed as a few other people had the same idea and we waited and and a half hours to cross. We headed for the famous Fashion Outlet centre and found the large complex so busy we had to park next door and make the journey to the mall over hill and dale. It was so busy that we didn't end up buying very much - did you see the lineup for purses at the Coach store?
What I always find funny, in both the U.S. and in Quebec, is the alcohol that is sold almost everywhere. I think if you go into a Toys R Us you would probably find toy beer in the aisles.
Coming back we made like tourists and visited the American side of Niagara Falls. You can get great views of the mist of the falling water, walk on the partial sight seeing bridge and wander the edge of the river. The Maid of the Mist Fleet are always packed with tourists in blue rain suits shuttling back from the docks to the base of Horseshoe Falls.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs

Pride

Redball

Beaches

Graffiti

Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square

Transportation