Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Interior Design Show Toronto 2018

The @idstoronto 3 day-weekend is almost here. Twenty years of people, products and places influencing the designs found in Canadian homes. Built to showcase designers and design concepts the Interior Design Show will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from January 18 to 21, 2018.
International Guests of Honour George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelberg will be the special design superstars of the show and will join the Globe Style Saturday speaker series. The pair have designed such projects as the interior of the Four Seasons Toronto and New York Downtown as well as the Canada Olympic House Rio 2016 games.

"The Interior Design Show is Canada’s premier showcase of new products and furniture, superstar designers and avant-garde concepts from North America and beyond. Over 3.5 action-packed days, the show captures the latest innovations for an engaged audience of consumers and professionals. With its ambitious programming, IDS Toronto is a driving force of the city’s flourishing design scene. The fair promotes rising design talents and attracts keynote speakers of international acclaim, making it the must-see event of the year for established and emerging design."

It all begins at the opening night party on Thursday, January 18. The party has some of the industry's greatest influencers celebrating the "Future Fantastic" from 7-11pm.

Professional Trade Day is Friday, January 19 from 9am to 6pm. "IDS Professional Trade Day is reserved to professional members of the design trade. The day is designed to inspire, educate and expose professionals to products, designers and ideas from both international and national perspectives. In addition to the floor exhibits and features, programming on this day includes the AZURE Trade Talks speakers series that takes place on the Caesarstone Stage, Trade Day seminars, the IDS Booth Awards and Design Awards."

January 20 is Globe Style Saturday is open to the public from 10am to 7pm. Where consumers can take in some speaker's series and learn all about design.

House and Home Sunday finishes the show on January 21 from 10am to 6pm. Find out what is trending with design personalities along with House and Home editors.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Dead of Winter returns to Toronto

Extreme cold and winter storms have been the norm lately so it is fitting that we are in the coldest part of the year. The period runs from January 10 to February 10 and is the opposite to the Dog Days of Summer. The Great Lakes Ice Cover as of January 14 is currently at 29.8%. It's time to remember what summer is all about.
So far in the 2017/2018 winter we have had 22 days of extreme cold weather alerts: Nov 9; Dec 12, 13, 14, 16, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 and Jan 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14. And we even had a record breaking cold temperature of -23 C on Friday, January 5, 2018 breaking the record set in 1959 - the next day was even colder.

The wind and temperature website shows the cold blast of arctic air is penetrating well south of the Great Lakes.

Toronto average temperatures from 1981 to 2010 show lows for January as -7 C, February -6 C, March -2 C and April 4 C.

The recent extreme cold weather alert started on January 12 and was terminated at noon on January 15. Here is the City's news release starting the alert.

"Extreme Cold Weather Alert – seek shelter, check on loved ones

Based on information from Environment Canada, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today for Toronto that will be in effect until further notice. Extreme Cold Weather Alerts are issued when the temperature is forecast to reach -15 degrees Celsius or colder, or when the wind chill is forecast to reach -20 or colder.

Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health. Hypothermia occurs when the body's core temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius and can have severe consequences, including organ failure and death. Frostbite can also occur in cold weather when skin freezes and in severe cases can lead to amputation when deeper tissues freeze.

Those most at risk of cold-related illness are people experiencing homelessness or those under-housed, those who work outdoors, people with a pre-existing heart condition or respiratory illness, elderly people, infants and young children. People with heart problems can experience worsening of their condition up to several days after cold weather occurs.

Extreme Cold Weather Alerts activate local services that focus on getting and keeping vulnerable residents inside. These services include additional shelter beds, notification to community agencies to relax any service restrictions, availability of transit tokens in some drop-ins, and overnight street outreach. Between November 15, 2017 and April 15, 2018, winter respite services are available continuously at several drop-in locations across the city, operating 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Call 311 for locations or check the web app at

The City asks that residents help vulnerable people by calling 311 if there is a need for street outreach assistance. Call 911 if the situation is an emergency.

During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, members of the public are encouraged to take the following precautions:
• Check the weather report before going outside.
• Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover exposed skin.
• Wear a hat, warm mittens or gloves, and warm boots.
• Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much greater if you are wet.
• Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for your clothes instead of cotton, because cotton stops keeping you warm once it gets wet.
• Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
• Drink warm fluids, other than alcohol.
• Warm up by taking regular breaks in heated buildings when enjoying winter activities outside.
• Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors, during colder temperatures, especially if it's windy.
• Heat your home to at least 21 degrees Celsius if infants or elderly people are present.
• Call or visit vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to the weather.

Find out more about winter services for homeless and under-housed individuals at

More information and tips for staying warm during cold weather are available at

Information to help residents prepare for extreme weather and weatherproof their homes is available at"

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Toronto International Boat Show 2018

Everyone is a Captain at the Largest Indoor Boat Show so be your swashbuckling best when you check out your new ride. You can get everything from tiny little Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) to luxury yachts. Actually it is hard not to trip over a boat and end up buying one and if it is really expensive you can probably talk them into launching it into the indoor lake so you can take it for a winter spin.
Ship lovers are down at the Toronto International Boat Show taking place at the Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place from January 12 to 21, 2018. There are also free shuttle buses between the Sheraton Centre, Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, Chelsea Hotel and the Enercare Centre. Parking is free at Exhibition Place on weeknights after 4pm, otherwise parking is $18 in the outdoor lots.

"In a province with more than 250,000 lakes and 98% of residents living within a short drive to the best boating in the world, there are countless options. We want more people to know what we know - getting out on the water is affordable. Boating is open to everyone and the memories made with family and friends last forever."

Show Hours:

Saturdays (13 & 20)
10am to 7pm

Sundays (14 & 21)
10am to 6pm

Weekdays (15 – 19)
11am to 8pm
I took in the Twiggy waterskiing squirrel show and I loved the little furry girl. Twiggy and her 'mom' are going to retire after this show and stay in Florida. If you want to see this fuzzy rodent you have to come down to this year's boat show and watch for yourself as Twiggy dons a life-jacket and hops aboard the skiis and zooms around the small pool. Later he goes for a swim which was less exciting than the waterskiing but still darn cute. You can find her down at the North Extension Food Court each day of the show - twice on weekdays, four times on Saturdays and three times on Sundays.
TIBS is a licensed event and there are alcohol stations spread throughout the Enercare Centre - Muskoka Brewery is the official beer of the event.

You can win great prizes at the 60th boat show including a Princecraft, an Antigua Sailing Vacation, a Boston Whaler and a 14' Lund Fishing Boat. New boaters visit the welcome centre/discover boating centre. And if you buy a boat at the show you have a chance to win $10,000 towards the purchase.
wakeboard lessons

The indoor lake is full of bone chilling Lake Ontario water the show schedule is full thrills with the Winter Wake Fest Wakeboard Show with displays of exciting tricks, the Greatest Water Ski Show on H2O, as well as free boat rides and wakeboard lessons. Tiny wooden race boats take part in the World Championship indoor Sea Flea Races. Actress Brenda Lowe of Survivor and Baywatch the Movie will make appearances at the show and perform paddleboard demonstrations at the lake. The lake is in the Ricoh Centre, home of the Marlies, and the stands are a good place to rest while exploring the show or catching the action on the water.

Enercare Centre is divided into several sections such as Cottage Country, Mariner's Marketplace, Food Truck Court while the massive main hall featured the main boat displays including the Pride Marine Group, Sea Ray Boats, Princecraft and Executive Yachts. The kids fishing zone is in the Food Truck Court area.

See more boats after the jump.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

#TOBoatShow 2018 starts this weekend

There are some boats still in the harbour but ice has them locked in place, going nowhere, so now you have time to visit the fleet that is in the Enercare Centre from January 12 to 21. North America's largest indoor boat show comes back for its 60th anniversary with 1,200 boats, over 500 exhibitors and the world's largest indoor lake! You can see the lake full of one million gallons of Lake Ontario water on the live webcam. If you are in the market for a boat, or just like to dream, this is the show for you.

"There’s something for everyone from wakeboarding lessons, canoe and kayaking boat rides to fishing demos, seminars and even a live trout pond for kids to get hooked on fishing. New this year, visitors can watch the fun and competitive sport of stand up paddleboard polo, or cheer on the World Championship Indoor Sea Flea Races (single-person DIY hydroplane boats) as they zip across the Lake."

My top ten list of things I want to see at the Toronto International Boat Show.

1. Twiggy the waterskiing squirrel.
2. The transparent kayak and Stand Up Paddle Boarding with Baywatch actress Brenda Lowe.
3. Wakeboarding demonstrations.
4. The largest boat at the show - the 52' Carver.
5. Kayaks and kayak accessories.
6. Speedboats.
7. Captain Jack Sparrow.
8. Live trout pond.
9. Sea-Doos.
10. The party boats!

"Mercy Ships Canada: Mercy Ships has partnered with the Toronto Boat Show for the first time to raise awareness and donations for the world’s largest volunteer-run hospital ship. Mercy Ships Canada is part of a global charity with a mission to deliver free life-saving surgical care to impoverished children and their families, and has already impacted the lives of more than 17 million people around the world. Come meet the inspiring doctors, nurses and volunteers including Canadian Captain Mark Carew, who will be returning home soon from the ship’s current lifesaving mission in Cameroon."
The indoor lake will be a hive of activity during the boat show demonstrations of pedal boats, kayaks, canoe and boat rides, wakeboarding lessons, wakeboard and Waterskiing shows and indoor Sea Flea Races. At the Boathouse you can talk with boating experts, take in workshops and seminars.

Tickets are $20 Unlimited Weekday Evening Pass (4pm – 8pm); $25 Two-day Adult Pass (17 – 64 yrs.); $20 Two-day Senior Pass (65 yrs. & better); $45 Nine-Day Event Pass (excludes Preview Day). There is free weekday parking after 4pm.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ottawa Rideau Canal Skateway

Recent extreme cold in Canada's capital has helped open the 'world's largest rink' that ends near the Parliament buildings. Five kilometers of the naturally frozen rink were opened for free skating on Friday, January 5, 2018 at 8am - from Bronson Avenue to the Pretoria bridge.
On Saturday another two kilometers were added to the rink from Pretoria bridge to Rideau Street. There has to be a foot of ice to make the rink safe for the amount of people that enjoy this special winter attraction run by the National Capital Commission. It is estimated that appoximately a million people take to the ice each season. Warmer December temperatures hindered ice formation which was assisted by man made flooding which was started on Boxing Day.
This is the 48th season for the canal skateway and when the entire rink length is open there will be 7.8k ready for your skates. It will remain open weather permitting until mid-March. The canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site owned by Parks Canada. There are a number of huts along the route providing skate rentals, food or even for warming stations. This is a great place to skate because when you are done you can visit some of the best attractions in downtown Ottawa including the Byward Market, Fairmount Chareau Laurier, Sparks Street pedestrian mall and the home of our federal politicians on the hill.
You can also still skate on the Canada 150 rink setup on Parliament Hill until February 25, 2018.

See more of Ottawa after the jump.

Monday, January 08, 2018

A little ice in the harbour

Toronto has been locked into an extended period of extreme cold which has broken records and slowly turned the inner harbour into a big ice cube. January 5 beat out 1959 with a temp of -23 C and wind chills have made the cold feel like -35 or -40 C. The cold has been so widespread that already 28% of the Great Lakes now have a solid ice cover as compared to the almost 5% the same time last year.

The ferries to the islands have been down to passengers on will possibly return to service on Sunday, January 8, 2018. Fire boats and ferries still churn through the harbour trying to keep the pathways open so that they are ready for a return to service. Travel to islands by the residents and business is through the Toronto Airport ferry during this period. What with the cool summer, flooding and ice it has been a trifle hard to really enjoy the island. Hopefully next year will be a little warmer, a little less damp.
The WM Lyon Mackenzie fire boat/ice breaker
The sun sets on HTO park

The polar vortex which usually locks the cold weather where it belongs - at Santa's North Pole, and let it wander down south and cool the Six down. A high pressure arctic ridge brings the NW winds and cold temperatures to us. Ice cover and high wind chills even ended up cancelling the annual New Years Day Polar Bear Dips.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

The new Toronto Bentway Skate Trail

A Zamboni now cleans the ice surface that lies directly underneath the Gardiner Expressway, keeping it clean for skaters that are braving the recent streak of extreme cold. The new park, a mix of art and sports is adjacent to Old Fort York, has a skating path that winds around the elevated highways concrete pillars. It is phase one of a 1.75km pathway and park system that opened on January 6, 2018 and had a Mayor's Skate Party on the 7th.

"Get out of hibernation and reimagine winter with a full weekend of FREE fun activities and events, including musical performances from Charmie Deller, Carmen Braden, demonstrations of Ice Breaking a unique hybrid of breakdancing and freestyle ice skating by the Toronto Ice Skate Group, DJ sets from Skratch Bastid and Nino Brown, food and drink, pop-up curling, our inaugural public art exhibition “Constructions of the Everyday,” and more."
Ice houses and the CN Tower

The winter season lasts until mid-March depending on the weather to keep the outdoor rink in a non-liquid state. Activities include free skate rentals on Mondays and skate parties on Fridays.
"The initial phase, a 1.1km trail and series of public spaces, from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street, knits together seven local neighbourhoods with over 70,000 residents, becoming a gateway to the waterfront, while providing access to important attractions and destinations – from Fort York National Historic Site, Ontario Place and Exhibition Place to Harbourfront Centre and the CN Tower. The Bentway offers year-round activities and events, including gardens, a skating rink, recreational amenities, public markets, public art, special exhibitions, festivals, theatre and musical performances and more."

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Motorcycle SUPERSHOW 2018

Bikers are pouring into the International Centre for the latest installment of the 'big one by the airport.' It's one way of forgetting how cold it really is in Toronto this week. You can see the show schedule on my post here.
Five halls of the centre were divided into 1) touring and cruisers, 2) industry showcase and drag alley, 3) restaurant and the century of bikes, 4) performance and racing and the 5) choppers and custom bikes. Autographs and the main stage was in Hall 5.
The North American Motorcycle SUPERSHOW runs from Friday to Sunday, January 5-7 and it features the stars of Orange County Choppers Paul Teutul Sr and Mikey meeting fans. The chopper designers and builders brought some of their custom bikes and met fans and signed autographs on Friday and Saturday.
The history of motorcycles on the red carpet

Hall 5 also had a live Stunt Show demonstration by Team Empire all three days of the show. After the demo you could wander the centre looking at old bikes, new bikes, actually they are generally someone else's motorcycles but you could buy one at the show and make it yours. Or if you already have a bike you could join a club like the Durham Divas.
Sinful Delight Boutique out of Barrie

"Check out the new 2018 Harley Davidsons, watch some of the biggest names in bike builders compete for $50,000 in Cash and Prizes at The Canada Cup Championship Custom Bike competition. You'll see over 500 Exhibitors and meet over 100 Clubs, Rides & Rallies. You can Purchase your Bike at the Show, discover the Best Shopping Bargains, and explore how to get in to the sport of Motorcycling. Visit the Century of Motorcycles Exhibition, enjoy live bands and fashion shows, meet industry celebrities. It's the 'BIG ONE by the AIRPORT', and you won't want to miss it!"

See more photos after the jump.

Catching a good view of the stunt demo show

John Belushi at the National Service Dogs booth

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square