Sunday, July 03, 2022

Bastedo Avenue mass floaty celebration

This was a fun idea - putting hundreds of giant pool floaties on the front yards of homes along Bastedo Avenue in Toronto. Residents teamed up with Canadian Tire to celebrate Canada's auto retailers 100th birthday by creating the street wide art installation.

Lawns were used on Bastedo from Danforth to Hanson from June 30th to July 3rd - today is your last day to take in the free temporary art installation on display! Plus they were also giving out free ice cream.

Floaties included some giant flamingos, clams and unicorns, joined by a large number of regular sized flamingos and a bunch of assorted lawn decorations. The decorations will be donated to the residents or repurposed after the Canada Day weekend.

See more floaties and lawn decorations after the jump.

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Honda Indy Toronto 2022 Race Build

HIT map for 2022

It's interesting that the sport that has race cars traveling around Exhibition Place in speeds measured in hundreds of kilometres per hour has a course and associated infrastructure that takes about a month to construct. The work crews have been hard at work putting out the concrete block barriers and fencing along with the grandstands to make ready the Honda Indy Toronto for the 2022 street course race July 15 to 17, 2022.
Princes' Blvd looking toward Princes' Gates and Turn 1
The Start/Finish line has not been painted yet
Princes' Gates

From HIT's media release: "Nu-Era Logistics, a leader in the transportation industry, will provide equipment and help transport materials to the track construction site. In total over 2,050 steel-reinforced barriers made using more than 10 million pounds (4.5 million kilograms) of concrete will be positioned. Fencing spanning four kilometres made from approximately 410,000 pounds (185,000 kilograms) of steel will be erected, and nearly half a kilometre of tire wall barriers will line the course. Concrete barrier block placement has begun along Manitoba and Ontario Drives."
Lake Shore Blvd work remains for road closures starting July 8 
Looking towards Turn 3 grandstands from the Pedestrian Bridge to Ontario Place
It takes a bit of fencing to make this temporary course

Here is the posted schedule for the Race Festival weekend.

Friday, July 15 - Free entrance on Fan Friday sponsored by Ontario Honda Dealers Association
GATE HOURS 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM USF2000 Practice 1
8:45 AM - 9:10 AM Indy Pro 2000 Practice 1
9:25 AM - 10:00 AM Porsche Carrera Cup Practice 1
10:15 AM - 11:35 AM NASCAR Pinty's Series Practice 1 & Qualifying
11:50 AM - 12:20 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Practice 1
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Autograph Session
12:35 PM - 12:55 PM USF2000 Qualifying 1
1:10 PM - 1:40 PM Porsche Carrera Cup Practice 2
1:55 PM - 2:15 PM Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying 1
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 1
4:00 PM - 5:20 PM NASCAR Pinty's Series Race

Saturday, July 16
GATE HOURS 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:20 AM USF2000 Qualifying 2
8:35 AM - 8:55 AM Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying 2
9:10 AM - 9:40 AM Porsche Carrera Cup Qualifying 1
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2
11:15 AM - 11:45 AM Sports Car Championship Canada Practice 2
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM USF2000 Race 1
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM Indy Pro 2000 Race 1
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying
3:30 PM - 4:15 PM Porsche Carrera Cup Race 1
4:30 PM - 5:10 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Race 1

Sunday, July 17
GATE HOURS 8:45 AM - 5:00 PM
9:45 AM - 10:25 AM USF2000 Race 2
11:05 AM - 11:35 AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Warm-Up
11:40 AM - 12:20 PM Indy Pro 2000 Race 2
12:35 PM - 1:15 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Race 2
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM Porsche Carrera Cup Race 2

2:40 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Driver Introductions
3:30 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Honda Indy Toronto
Ontario Drive between Turns 4-5
Turn 5

See more of the track build after the jump

Friday, July 01, 2022

Canada Day Fireworks 2022

Another birthday rolls around as Canada Day brings fireworks and plenty of Canadian flags. In small town Acton the fireworks take place in Prospect Park by the Acton Fire Fighter Association. People donate to the show by placing money in the firefighter hats and make their way into the large park which is bordered by Fairy Lake. The fireworks were spectacular this year - starting at 10pm and finishing around 10:30pm.

See more of the show after the jump.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

TD Union Summer 2022 now with colourful art

Sitting in front of Toronto's major transportation hub at Union Station is a large outdoor covered patio with food and drink vendors, a stage for musical performances and films and a colourful art installation. The returning mini-festival runs until Sunday, August 28, 2022 and is free to enter.

From the City's media release: "Union Summer reflects Union Station’s commitment to celebrate the diversity of the city by highlighting local, international and emerging artists. Daily themed programming will include:Big Easy Sunday afternoons, Global music featuring Small World Music artists on Sunday evenings, Blue Mondays in conjunction with Toronto Blue’s Society, Game night Tuesdays featuring musical bingo, live karaoke and trivia, Weekly Wednesday evening movie screenings, Showcase Thursdays featuring Canada’s Music Incubator artists, Lula Nights with Lula Lounge on Thursdays, The best of Union Beats DJs on Friday afternoons, Soul Sessions every Friday evening, Night Market on Saturdays with City Hall Live and Symphony Saturday afternoons with Big Lake Festival"

Vendors include TrulyTO which is a pop-up licensed bar sponsored by Moosehead Breweries along with food by Gus Tacos, Mikey’s Smashburgers, NaanSense by Butter Chicken Roti, and Souvla by Mamakas. The market hours are Sundays to Tuesdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays to Fridays: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Mayor John Tory says “Welcome back Union Summer! Union Station is a culinary, cultural and shopping destination. I am excited to see Toronto’s downtown bustling with activity as our strong reopening continues and I look forward to seeing people flock to Union Summer to experience the best of the city’s music, entertainment and food.”

Thursday, June 23, 2022

OFFA 2022 The Oakville Festivals of Film and Art

Fans of movies can visit the 9th annual Oakville Festivals of Film & Art (OFFA) from June 22 to 28, 2022 which also includes a number of Gala events. This year the independent film festival is supporting Ukraine with a Gala evening featuring Chantal Kreviazuk and ticket sales are now live.

Created in 2014, OFFA is an annual community-oriented festival occurring in June showing feature films, shorts and documentaries while providing amazing access to the producers, directors and actors - every screening introduces an interactive component to the experience. There will be Q&A sessions after each screening. 

The organizers highlight serious social issues and will present programming to raise awareness of the issue such as the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe. From OFFA: "An Evening to Celebrate Ukrainian Arts and Culture featuring: Chantal Kreviazuk in support of the Ukrainian World Foundation. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, Oakville Festivals of Film and Art, the Ukrainian World Foundation, Zirkova Vodka, and Chantal Kreviazuk, are doing their part to support relief efforts for our friends in Ukraine." This Gala will take place at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday, June 25.

This year is special since the return to live events after COVID-19 precautions will see the festival being a hybrid event with live events and screenings, hybrid screenings and some virtual only events. 2022 will have over 100 films presented over 7 days made up of regional premieres, independent films along with short films and documentaries. In addition to the Ukrainian Gala there will be two other galas; the Opening Night Gala on Thursday, June 23 and the Friday evening Gala Canadian Premier on the 24th.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Toronto Festival of Beer is brewing up summer fun for 2022

Beer, food, music. How much better could it be! The premier brewski festival comes back after the Covid-19 break ready to party Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24. The Toronto Festival of Beer presented by the Beer Store has a lineup of musical guests along with fun activities at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place.

Musical headliners are Nas on Friday, Sam Roberts Band on Saturday and Sunday's entertainment is still to be announced. Both the General Admission, HOPtimized and extra special Club TFOB tickets are on sale now - with some categories already sold out! GA comes with the commemorative festival sampling mug and 5 sampling tokens, HOPtimized adds 5 sampling tokens along with early entry and Club TFOB has a ton of extra features which includes a pool and patio.

From the Festival's website: "From lagers to stouts, fruit beer to ales, we have something for everyone. #TOBeerFest features more than just beer; there are several non-malt based beverages available including cider, spirits, wine, and packaged mixed beverages. There is something for every beer lover to enjoy!"

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Honda Indy Toronto 2022 track construction is underway

It takes about a month to build the temporary street track and associated infrastructure for the massive racing festival that will take place in Toronto this July 15-17, 2022. To help with the build Nu-Era Logistics has partnered with the Honda Indy Toronto both as a sponsor and key contributor to the track build. The race is returning to Exhibition Place and Lake Shore Boulevard since 2019 due to the COVID-19 restrictions that shut down Ontario and much of the world throughout 2021 and into early 2022.

This will be the 34th edition of the annual race, owned and operated by Green Savoree Toronto, which is the second longest IndyCar event in years run, and is also the only international race of the NTT IndyCar Series calendar. Warm ups and qualifying over the race weekend will lead to the headline race on Sunday, July 17. The weekend will be a family friendly event and will include the Rookie Racers program, Thunder Alley and food festival options. The whole thing will start with a free with donation opening on Honda Fan Friday. Donations will be matched by Ontario Honda Dealers Association and will go to Make-A-Wish Canada.
Honda Indy Toronto Festival map

The race site will feature racecar paddocks, grandstands, vendors, activities, entertainment and beer gardens in addition to the reason for the season - the 11-turn, 2.874 km street course, with one pedestrian bridge and one underground tunnel. To put the track together the builders will use four kilometres of fencing, over 2,000 concrete barriers and 500 metres of tire wall barriers. Construction started Monday, June 13 with block placement along Manitoba and Ontario Drives.

“Nu-Era Logistics is honoured to partner with Honda Indy Toronto and contribute toward the construction of this racing event site. Once the extensive work is complete, racing’s return to downtown Toronto will be the most anticipated event of the summer in Ontario,” said Jeff De Sousa, president of Nu-Era Logistics. “The partnership is a great fit for our company as it allows us to support a major community event while lending our expertise to the construction process.”

“We are excited to partner with Nu-Era Logistics and grateful to have the company supporting the efforts of our track build team as we bring racing back to Toronto,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of Honda Indy Toronto. “For the first time since 2019, we look forward to turning the streets surrounding Exhibition Place into a world-class race track, and Nu-Era Logistics will be an integral part of that transformation.”

There will be plenty of action on the track as the NTT IndyCar Series, the Porsche Carrera Cup, The NASCAR Pinty's Series, the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, the Sports Car Championship Canada presented by Michelin and the high jumping Stadium SUPER Trucks will be competing in 2022.

Ticket pricing from HIT: "2-Day Grandstand and General Admission are available offering the best weekend value. Pricing starts at $95 for 2-Day Grandstand seating, and 2-Day Weekend General Admission is $75. Single Day General Admission is $50 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday while Single Day Grandstand tickets start at $75 and $85 for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Children 12 and under are admitted free (general admission) with a ticketed adult providing an exceptional family value. Other items on sale to upgrade the Honda Indy Toronto experience include Pit and INDYCAR Paddock Passes. A Pit Pass includes the Paddock Pass and provides access to pitlane during practice, qualifying and pre-race for INDYCAR plus all of the on track sessions for the support race series. A Paddock Pass provides entrance into “the locker room of motorsports” to see the cars and drivers up close." You can also score a GO Transit/ticket combo deal through Metrolinx and avoid some of the traffic and parking issues trying to get to the popular attraction. The GO Lakeshore West Train makes a stop right at Exhibition Stadium.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square