Thursday, June 08, 2023

Booze to dust: the end of the old LCBO Headquarters

Toronto's changing face down along the waterfront area continues to evolve, especially with the continued work in the Cherry Beach area. The old LCBO property which held the headquarters, warehouse and retail outlet was sold to developers in 2016 for $260 million. They moved the retail operation into a new tower to the east. The view at top is from Queens Quay East.

Now the old buildings are being chipped away until only parts of the fa├žade remain which are to be incorporated into the base of the new buildings proposed for the site. New towers will takeover the site with an estimated 3,000 condos being constructed.

The original buildings were built in 1950 and are covered in buff brick and were designated as heritage buildings.

The view from Cooper Street. 

From the Province's news release "Ontario is securing $260 million, subject to closing adjustments, from the sale of the LCBO head office lands, which is composed of over 11 acres of real estate in downtown Toronto near the waterfront, to Menkes Developments Ltd., on behalf of a partnership comprised of Menkes, Greystone Managed Investments and Triovest Realty Advisors.

The government is committed to dedicating the net proceeds generated from the sale to the Trillium Trust, which helps fund transit, transportation and other key infrastructure projects across the province.

Selling the LCBO lands is a key part of the government's plan to unlock the value of its real estate assets in order to help fund the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history - about $160 billion over 12 years. The planned investments are estimated to support 110,000 jobs, on average, each year across the province."

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Primitive Designs now with more sculptures

We have been to Primitive Designs in Port Hope a few times now and they continue to add metal sculptures outside and new curiosities inside. This time was no different and you can see a pirate ship, shark and pterodactyl now.

They join the giant dinosaur sculptures

Primitive Designs is located about an hour east of Toronto along Highway 401
Three headed dragon, a regular dragon and Bumble Bee the Transformer
Roger Roger Star Wars robot
Some big spiders

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Toronto Graffiti Alley - murals aplenty

Toronto is full of art and a lot of public art is graffiti. In most locations the City of Toronto wants the graffiti removed within 72 hours, 24 hours if it involves hate. But you can always argue that the graffiti is art and deserves to remain. Toronto's most famous graffiti gazing locations is along Graffiti Alley - both north and south of Queen Street West. The graffiti changes often as others tag the art, or paint over a mural. Very little seems permanent.  The Simpson's Moe the bartender cleans a glass in the mural at top.

I think a terminator is grabbing the graffiti art phone

A metal face shines down on the alley
The green lion's head has lasted awhile

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Honda Indy Toronto 2023 coming July 14-16

With 42 days to go till Race weekend, organizers Green Savoree Toronto opened up single ticket sales on May 31, 2023. The 35th annual Honda Indy Toronto takes place Friday to Sunday, July 14 to 16, in and around Exhibition Place at a blistering pace with the top tier, open wheeled NTT IndyCar Series supported by a number of other race series including Canada's own NASCAR PINTYS Series. 

Exhibition Place and of course Lake Shore Boulevard are transformed from the home of the CNE into a temporary 11-turn street course over the course of about a month. The world-class motorsport festival begins with Honda Fan Friday on July 14 with free general admission from the Ontario Honda Dealers Association and a voluntary contribution to Make-A-Wish Canada. The fast weekend continues with more practices and qualifying events including Saturday's IndyCar qualifying along with several races from the supporting series. Race weekend ends with the headlining NTT IndyCar Series on Sunday with the top three drivers making their way to winner's circle for trophy presentation, hat rotation and the always fun champagne soaking.

In addition to the action on the almost 3km track you will be able to find a food and drink festival, vendors and entertainment along Thunder Alley and several series paddocks to visit (paddock passes required for IndyCar). You can also buy a Pit pass if you want to see the cars and race equipment up close (except for the actual IndyCar race).

"The Honda Indy is a can't-miss event on Toronto's 2023 summer festival calendar. We are excited to continue the tradition for the 35th year," said Jeff Atkinson, president of the Honda Indy Toronto. "The weekend will provide festival goers a unique experience full of sights and sounds both on and off the track. Single-day and weekend ticket options at different price points help make the event enjoyable for everyone."
The top three drivers of the 2022 Honda Indy Toronto in a confetti explosion
Colton Herta (2nd), Felix Rosenqvist (3rd) and Scott Dixon (1st)

The 2022 Honda Indy Toronto NTT IndyCar Series was won by Scott Dixon, his 4th time in Toronto! However a number of current drivers also have multiple wins on the Streets of Toronto like Will Power and Josef Newgarden that will give Scott a run for his money. IndyCar notes that "Josef Newgarden is a two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and the winningest current American driver in the series", although he is only 4th place in the standings - that is a tough series!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Flower Rings in College Park Toronto

I think that the futuristic portals installed in College Park have been moved and a covering of flowers have been put around the rings. They do look beautiful in the sun.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Have fun in Storm Crow Manor

I had a chance to check out Toronto's Storm Crow Manor which is a crazy good bar and restaurant in the heart of the Gay Village and I loved the atmosphere, drinks and food! Described as "Toronto's geekiest bar" which opened in 2018 in a mansion at 580 Church Street and featuring a sanity-shattering array of theme rooms, secret doors, catacombs, cyberpunk bars, glowing, bubbling cocktails, randomly-generated burgers and, oh yeah, tentacles."
The gorgeous mansion

The walls of the stairs leading to the bathrooms
Some drinks come with LED ice cubes and dry ice to make them glow and smoke

I loved the cocktail menu with their brilliant names like 'Beetle Juice', She-Hulk's Gamma Juice and the new 'Vader Tiki'. Once I saw the glowing drink make it's way from the bar I was sold on the LED ice cubes and ordered some for my own parties. Plus I started out with a random shot, chosen by a roll of a 20-sided die (if you roll a 20 you get to keep the shot glass), where I desperately hoped that I wouldn't get number 15 - the Xenomorph Brain Fluid "“Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility." Creme de Cacao, Blue Curacao, Grenadine, Baileys **Contains dairy", which would probably looks all brain-like.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Muddy the big catfish

The Dunnville Mudcat sits proud in a park, proud as a giant sculpture of a fish could be, waiting for that giant hook and worm that finally lands the monster. We love to drive across Ontario, and soon Canada, and look forward to discovering the unusual and beautiful sights. Sometimes the attractions are shown on blue signs along the highways, sometimes it is just an internet site that prompts curiosity.

This, the world's largest Mudcat Sculpture, just shouts "take time and come visit me!" And the fish is obliging at 50 feet long and 27 feet high it is ready to eat man-sized bait. It was completed in 2009 and located in Dunnville's Centennial Park near the Grand River and just north of the shores of Lake Erie.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square