Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fan Expo Canada 2012 tickets

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM

FAN EXPO CANADA™!

For the 1st time ever, we are releasing a special block of Fan Expo Canada™ 2012 tickets giving you the opportunity to gift that special someone their Ultimate Fan Expo Canada™ Experience! Take advantage of this limited Exclusive Holiday release:

With this purchase you will receive a Collectible Fan Expo Canada™ Holiday card along with your e-ticket just in time to make it into their stocking! Don’t wait, the block will not last long!Offer expires December 13th at 11:59pm.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Michael Jackson #Toronto graffiti tribute

Harlem Restaurant on Richmond St E and Church Street has a graffiti tribute to Michael Jackson on the walls of the garage/alley. Today Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray received four years for involuntary manslaughter of the troubled singer.

Sloppy Brick Graffiti

The mortar squishes out between courses of bricks (called sloppy brick) and the whole wall is covered in a Queen Street West Graffiti Alley mural of bright colours and bold writing by cherry. I think the writing is discussing the plot of Twilight but I gave up reading it when I noticed that the second verse was much like the first.

The Nutcracker in #Toronto

Holiday traditions include indoor trees, festive decorations and Christmas shows like the Nutcracker, which is apparently a ball busting good time. From December 10, 2011 to January 3, 2012 The National Ballet of Canada and TD present The Nutcracker at the Four Seasons Centre at 145 Queen Street West in Toronto. I found the advertising poster on a Bay Street TTC bus stop. I haven't seen the show, ever, and I wonder if they have dancing bears.
I also always think of those wooden soldiers when I think of this show, the original ones could actually crack a nut but I don't know if the ones they make now would function or if they are just for show now.
Their website suggest that you "Follow the quarrelling siblings Misha and Marie as they move not just through marvellous and extraordinary experiences but through surprising phases of understanding as they prepare to leave childhood behind and enter the very different world of adolescence.
The costumes and sets by Santo Loquasto themselves cast a spell, evoking an enchanted, rustic world of long-gone Imperial Russia, a place where folk rituals and the cycles of nature make way for the magical, ice-coated world of the Snow Queen and the spectacular beauty of the golden palace of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The entire production, underscored by Tchaikovsky's glorious, timeless music, is like rediscovering a beloved heirloom and seeing it as though for the first time."

Monday, November 28, 2011

kids in the hall The Head Crusher

I was watching kids in the hall where the dweeb crushes peoples head between his thumb and finger and noticed that it was filmed many years ago in the Commerce Court concrete courtyard that today features a sculpture of an elephant family (Pretty soon these will be the only elephants you can see in Toronto). The elephant sculpture titled Tembo, Mother of Elephants was placed temporarily on site in 2005 and is from the LL Odette Foundation.
The courtyard is located off of Bay Street (on the east side), just north of Wellington Street and as soon as I saw the rerun on tv I knew where it was located. They also did the bit in St James Park. I found the clip on YouTube so you can experience the head crushing humour of the kids.

The Fuel of Life at Brookfield Place

Large panel displays are being set up in the long hall of Brookfield Place hoping to bring attention to energy issues using black and white photos of stuff which may or may not be about energy things, okay, they are about energy issues. You know it's art because it is in black or white. The exhibition called The Fuel of Life continues into mid December.
From the Brookfield Place What's happening website "The Fuel of Life, A PhotoSensitive multimedia exhibition focusing on the issue of energy in the 21st century.
I like this shot, I think it is flames and not just smoke, but it is hard to tell in black and white

PhotoSensitive is a not-for-profit organization that has been highlighting social issues through black-and-white photography for over 20 years. Past projects have covered issues as diverse as homelessness, AIDS, the environment, health, First Nations literacy and the Indian Ocean tsunami, to name but a few. With The Fuel of Life, PhotoSensitive, in partnership with the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, turns its lens onto the issue of energy. As David Suzuki says, “Meeting humanity’s energy needs without dangerously interfering with the global climate system is one of the great challenges of the 21st century.” Climate change is one of the key issues of the modern day and energy in its creation and consumption, plays a huge role in this.

There could not be a better time for PhotoSensitive to be focusing on this hot topic. Over 100 hundred photos cover different aspects of energy; production, consumption, innovation, conservation, distribution and human energy. There is also a section of photos by students from schools, colleges and universities across Canada. For the first time, PhotoSensitive is including a large multimedia component with 10 videos exploring diverse aspects of energy. Monday, November 28 to Saturday, December 12, 2011."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

#Toronto Kidzfest

Yonge-Dundas Square was home to thousands of parents and children for Kidzfest which runs from Sat Nov 26 to Sun November 27, 11am to 5pm. The free event is brought to the urban park by the Downtown Yonge BIA as part of their Winter Magic promotions.

It's nice to see special events geared towards children, it keeps them away from the grown up stuff. They featured guests like Max & Ruby™, Dora The Explorer™ and Diego.

The lineups snaked around blow up castles, midway rides and on-stage entertainment. See more photos after the jump.

Santa in the Junction

Toronto neighbourhood The Junction brought the Holidays during Santa in the Junction with Live Performance Windows and choirs and carols in the street.
"Saturday November 26, 2011 10:00a.m - 4:00p.m. 14 Live Performance Windows featuring 100 young dancers from the Creative Children's Dance Centre; Wendall Ferguson's Country Guitar Carolls; Visits with Santa; Hot Roasted Chestnuts; Strolling Carollers; The Junction Children's Choir; The Acts of Sweetness Cookie Truck; A 30'x80' ball hockey rink; Santa's Workshop; Mrs Santa's Story Time and a whole lot more."
I didn't know a lot about the area so I tried to find out where it was on their website - it isn't very helpful though. The Junction is along Dundas near Keele Street, just north of High Park.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cavalcade of Lights 2011


"On Saturday, November 26 at 7pm (pre-show starts earlier), Cavalcade of Lights a spectacular 45-year #Toronto tradition presented by Scotiabank, returns to Nathan Phillips Square.
The night will feature the lighting of the City of Toronto's official Christmas tree, fireworks and live musical performances by award-winning artists Jarvis Church, Kellylee Evans, JRDN, rising star Justin Hines and singer Victoria Duffield. The concert will be hosted by Citytv's very own Kevin Frankish and Flow 93.5's Jeni and culminates in a spectacular fireworks display at 8pm, followed by a skating party.
Gorgeous Jamie Sale
Meet champion figure skater and sports icon Jamie SalĂ© from 5-7pm at the Burt's Bees tent for autographs and pictures."  Burt's Bees is my wifes favourite chapstick so hopefully they will have some free samples. Joe and I did the night with Viking helmets, including the horns, and we plundered all night long. We were up on the walkway near the corner of Queen and Bay Streets where the removal of the Peace Garden opened up more views of centre stage.
Check back for my coverage of this exciting event. Here are photos from the 2010 Cavalcade of Lights.

The fun features buskers (The Fire Guy, Tim Holland the Puppet Tamer and the Roaming Diva), concerts, spectacular lighting with over 100,000 LED lights and glittering stars that will be on every night during the holiday season. The skating rink is ready so you can skate under the Freedom Arches while enjoying the music by DJ M-Rock which is sponsored by Timothy's World Coffee.
Mayor Rob Ford makes a speech before the fireworks. He started speaking to a few boos.

See more photos after the jump.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Soldiers and Thimbles: Sculptures in #Toronto

Giant salt and sculpture shakers sprinkled their magic art over the City of Toronto and here and there you can find a work of art. Something to look at and enjoy, free of charge, just like mini skirts and shorts.
Down near the lakefront at Bathurst and Fleet you can find Douglas Coupland's Toy Soldiers War of 1812 installation. The golden soldier is a British guy standing over a silver, fallen American soldier. A CBC story states that "The standing soldier is painted gold and depicts a member of the 1813 Royal Newfoundland Regiment. The other is painted silver and depicts an American soldier from the 16th U.S. Infantry Regiment. The monument is meant to be a scene from April 27, 1813, when U.S. troops overran Fort York, burned it and then left."
I was fascinated to find that the 9 foot Button and Thimble sculpture, shown above, by Stephen Cruise at Richmond and Spadina was funded by the TTC and the City of Toronto Fashion Industry Liaison Committee. The work is a community marker for the Fashion District and "reflects on the contributions of its workers and on the presence of 'touch' in the making of garments. The sculpture will be flanked by two tree pit buttons, with accompanying trees, creating a new plaza space for this area as well as a focal point for traffic travelling west along Richmond or north on Spadina. The tree pit buttons also function as a seating area, encouraging short term usage of the site."

You can also find many works of public art at the City's website which includes an art map, or many private installations in this Art in Toronto's Streets website.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wizard of Oz at the Elgin Theatre Nov 25 - Jan 6

I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too! The #Toronto Elgin Theatre is running the Wizard of Oz starting tomorrow Nov 25, 2011 to January 6, 2012. Live theatre is cool. You can't visit New York without going to Broadway and off Broadway, so don't forget to check out Toronto's entertainment district and Yonge Street theatres for a show in your own home town. Besides Black Friday traffic will make it a nightmare to cross the border this weekend.
This is the theatre's introduction to the show "Celebrating 16 years of “fractured fairy tales,” Ross Petty Productions returns to the Elgin Theatre with this classic tale. This year, the tornado transports Dorothy and Toto to a wickedly wacky new world. Elicia MacKenzie and Yvan Pedneault star as Dorothy and the Tin Man respectively. Tracey Flye choreographs and directs the show. And Steve Thomas is the musical director. The production also features Steve Ross (the Cowardly Lion), Eddie Glen (the Wizard), Kyle Blair (the Scarecrow), Jessica Holmes (Good Witch Splenda), Dan Chameroy (Plumbum von Botox) and Ross Petty (Wicked Witch of the West). Let the booing begin!"

St James Park occupied by birds again

Most of the evidence of the Occupy Toronto camp at St James Park is gone, except for some mud and a bunch of tire tracks. Birds and puppy dogs have returned to the park while some people, maybe protesters, have gathered in the gazebo. A pair of pigeons drink from the top level of the fountain. The Bay Street protest was gone by the start of the afternoon rush hour and the homeless have returned to the streets and the hot grates that dot the downtown core.
November 24, 2011 - after the eviction
October 22, 2011 - before the eviction

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Occupy Toronto Eviction and St James Park Cleanup

The end of the 24/7 Occupy #Toronto campsite in St James Park was started today and many are pointing out the lack of violence, on all sides, is something that Toronto can be proud of. The police have seen the damage caused by over reactions in recent incidents, from our own G20 adventures, the pepper spraying of sitting protesters at an American University, the tear gas and flash grenades fired in Oakland, and have decided to leave the riot gear and batons in storage while the protesters wanted to maintain their non-violent defiance. A bicycle officer stands beside the crowd on Bay Street during the start of the Occupy Toronto movement on October 15, 2011, in the photo at top, looking remarkably like Julia Roberts studying for a role in an upcoming protest movie.
99% AWE-SOME by Gregory Alan Elliott

This is not the end of protests as twitter is full of plans to continue the Occupy Toronto and Occupy Bay Street movements, good for them. Maybe they can find and broadcast a message that will make the world a better place for both the 99% and the 1%. I think that a protest that relies on confrontation for support is only worthy of a protest against brutality. The protest that relies on aggressive, homeless youth or anarchists to carry the message does not represent the majority of Canadians. 

City of Toronto media release on today's occupation (November 23, 2011; 4:45 p.m. update).

"Just before 7 this morning, City staff entered St. James Park supported by the Toronto Police Service, who asked that protesters cooperate peacefully and remove all tents and structures. They were also asked to refrain from gathering in the park overnight from 12:01 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

Our goal today was to remove tents and structures so that the park could be made safe for the enjoyment of all residents. A team of over 100 City staff and 30 vehicles from Parks, Forestry & Recreation, Solid Waste, Municipal Licensing and Standards, Fire Services, Emergency Medical Services, Public Health and Shelter, Support and Housing Administration worked together to remove materials from the park. At the same time, City staff and Police worked together to bring this situation to a safe and orderly conclusion."

Mayor Rob Ford was pleased at how peaceful the eviction was proceeding "I would also like to say how proud I am of the professionalism and skill demonstrated by each member of our City of Toronto staff and Toronto Police Service who made this peaceful resolution possible. They have all been working extremely hard since this protest began over a month ago.

Before I conclude, I'd like to note that members of the Occupy Toronto movement have been largely peaceful in their protest – and remained so today. Finally, I'd like to thank the citizens of Toronto, notably the residents and businesses in the area, who have been very patient for the past month."

Christmas Ring Tree at Brookfield Place

The joyous Christmas Rings are up in Sam Pollock Square and the light strings hang from upper arch of the Allen Lambert Galleria once again. I couldn't find any presents just lying around for visitors - I hope they have them this year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Real Estate Moguls - are the Trumps in Town?

I found a bunch of real estate moguls in a tower in downtown #Toronto, probably looking at a hostile takeover. That, or they are underwear models prior to hitting the runway for Le Frederick's Secrets (and they should probably stay secrets). I think I also saw them in disguise checking out the Eaton Centre.

Armoured Soul Tattoo: Octopus Graffiti

#Toronto's Graffiti Alley. Queen Street West. Armoured Soul Tattoo's grand octopus graffiti by Suspiria. It's like a big mural postcard with a freaky female head on an octopus body.

Monday, November 21, 2011

#Toronto Nathan Phillips Square Ice Rink Ready

The rink is ready for skates just in time for the winter celebration known as the Cavalcade of Lights which means skating, music, concerts, fireworks and lights, lights, lights. Oh, and a Christmas Tree.
Decorations are on the tree and the stage has been put in place

This is all happening at Toronto's City Hall and the square construction continues (mostly to the north west side now) and the rebuild of the skating rink freezing system has been finished, the Zamboni has been working to get the rink's surface ready in time for this Saturday's (November 26, 2011) event and some have even started to enjoy skating.

Skate Rental on site with costs: $10 for a 2hr rental
See the rink refurbishment project underway after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs

Pride

Redball

Beaches

Graffiti

Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square

Transportation