Monday, November 12, 2018

Mystery LEGO Mural at Union Station

I always new I was artistic so I was pleased that LEGO Canada has given us a chance to assist in creating the "largest mystery mural ever created in the Western Hemisphere!" Although that is a pretty random block on the planet earth - I mean are we going to just allow the Eastern Hemisphere to kick out ass?

Can you see what it is?

The 40 feet by 20 feet mural is located outside Toronto's Union Station on Front Street in the Sir John A MacDonald Plaza and the LEGOs started going up on November 12 at 1pm and will continue until December 2 at 8pm. You can't miss the mural, it is near the yellow and red shipping containers that look like giant LEGOs. I assembled my block of LEGOs which were pounded into place in the mural so I feel like the Western Hemisphere should really thank me for my contribution to history. You can also drop by and participate in the event and also pose for photos beside the LEGO fireplace complete with Christmas stockings.
They give you a small, coloured block LEGO base which you add the appropriate coloured single LEGO pieces
The back of the block is numbered - mine is #2528
You give your block to the handlers and they tap it into the appropriate numbered spot on the mural
"For 60 years, The LEGO Group has celebrated the limitless creativity of the LEGO brick, and from November 12th to December 2nd, 2018, you can be a part of this celebration. Each day starting on November 12th, the community will build together to reveal another part of the mystery mural until the final reveal. For every person who helps build a part of the mystery mural, LEGO Canada will donate a LEGO set to Toy Mountain to help bring a smile to a child’s face."
LEGO Christmas fireplace

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Life is Food at the Royal Winter Fair

And Food is Life at Burnbrae Farms Culinary Academy which brings top Chefs to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto's annual agricultural and equine fair. On Saturday, November 10, 2018 we learn from Chef Elia Herrera, Executive Chef at Los Colibris as we cook turkey stuffed roasted poblano pepper. The cooking is usually done in pairs, but you can go it alone if need be.

Our prep areas at the Burnbrae Culinary Academy
Our culinary teacher and her helpful host
Chef Elia Herrera with Ann
Taking part in a cooking lesson from dedicated professionals is highly recommended and we really enjoyed it. It was also easy to follow along as they provided all the ingredients, ready to go. As part of the ticket price we also got to keep our apron and also took home a bag to hold our free spice and almanac. Plus we got to eat our creation! Chef Elia was born in Cordoba, Veracruz-Mexico and came to Canada in 2003 and on Saturday, November 10 she joined Eden Hagos, Craig Harding and Rob Gentile in providing the classes at the Royal.
You can tell it is a fair because there are candy apples and cotton candy

The annual Royal Fair and Royal Horse Show started November 2, 2018 and continues until November 11 in Exhibition Place at the Enercare Centre, Coca-Cola Arena and in the Horse Palace. The event is very family friendly and there is always so much going on that coming back to the show a couple times is a great option when looking for things to do in Toronto.
No go the first time
The team masters the jump on the second try

At the Horse Show Saturday's matinee included a dog and pony challenge and the U-25 Jumper Stake and Championship while Saturday night featured the Longines FEI World Cup Toronto. Sunday will have the Ontario Toyota Dealers Royal Rodeo starting at 1pm. When you see the horse jumping you see how much the jumping team and the crowd really become invested in the progress of the team. They take it hard when a horse hits a jump and knocks down a beam, or in some cases when the horse doesn't want to do the jump and almost sends the rider flying.

See more of the fair after the jump.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Bluenose II to lead the 2019 Tall Ships Challenge Ontario Tour

A fleet of large sailing ships will return to Toronto during the Ontario portion of the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lake Series. In 1937 Canada started using the original Bluenose on the Canadian dime, so if you want to see the new Bluenose, just look at a dime. The fleet is taking part in the Great Lake Series which stops in both America and Canada with five stops in Ontario (Toronto, Midland, Sarnia, Town of Kingsville and Brockville). Photo at top provided.
The tall ships will be part of the Redpath Waterfront Festival during the Canada Day Weekend - June 29 to July 1, 2019. "Toronto's waterfront will be transformed into a nautical wonderland with a fleet of tall ships docked from Harbour Square Park to HTO Park West. In Toronto, the Bluenose II will be joined by Picton Castle, a tall ship that has travelled the world and also calls Lunenburg, N.S, home. The 179-foot, three-masted vessel is currently on her way to Bali, Indonesia on her seventh voyage around the globe. Other tall ships in the tour include U.S. Brig Niagara, Pride of Baltimore II, Denis Sullivan, Fair Jeanne, Playfair and St. Lawrence II." We have seen the Tall Ships Challenge a few times in Toronto including in the years 20162013, 2010

Also appearing during the festival will be the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. All ships will be open to the public for paid deck tours and you can also check out on-shore festivities which include live entertainment, vendors and food. This is the festival that had the giant rubber ducky and the giant beach ball pendulum installation.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Carly Rae Jepsen unveils 2018 Holiday Windows

Toronto's annual Christmas tradition of coming downtown to see the Hudson's Bay holiday windows started over the past weekend with Carly Rae Jepsen and Johhny Orlando unveiling the Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue displays with Hudson's Bay President Alison Coville. This is the third display by both the Bay and Saks and featured a concert by MC'd by Lainey Lui and headlined by Carly Rae and Johnny. Photo at top: Carly Rae Jepsen on-stage outside Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue to kick off the holiday window unveiling. Photo credit: George Pimentel Photography.

"The talented songstress delighted the crowd with four songs, including the classic holiday tunes Last Christmas and Let It Snow, along with her pop anthem, Call Me Maybe and Cut to the Feeling to an excited crowd that spilled onto the streets on Queen between Yonge and Bay streets outside of the Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue flagship stores. Canada’s next big music export, Johnny Orlando, charmed the crowd with three songs, including his smash hits,What If and Last Summer and holiday favourite, Mistletoe."

The event is always attracts thousands of visitors and Queen Street West was closed from Bay to Yonge Street from 10am to 10pm to allow for the event. FAO Schwarz also brought their famous Dance-On Piano for the post concert attractions along with a milk and cookie bar within Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue. Santa Claus also found time to attend the celebration. Hudson's Bay is North America's oldest company and they continue to serve the community and their shopping needs, joined by Saks Fifth Avenue "one of the world’s pre-eminent specialty retailers, is renowned for its superlative American and international designer collections."
Johnny Orlando opened the Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue third annual holiday window unveiling event in front of the flagship stores. Photo credit: George Pimentel Photography
Carly Rae Jepsen in front of Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue's iconic holiday windows. Photo credit: George Pimentel Photography

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Toronto Everything to do with Sex Show 2018

Enhancing relationships is the goal of the Everything to do with Sex Show, together with the Taboo Naughty but nice show happening at the International Centre November 2-4. Saturday's show includes the Toronto finals of the Miss BumBum North America Contest at 11pm.

"The Everything To Do With Sex Show provides an upscale adult playground dedicated to enhancing lifestyles, encouraging romance, personal betterment and all things Taboo. Enjoy entertainment, provocative and educational seminars, unique shopping, fashion shows and LIVE demonstrations."

Sunday's schedule and more photos follow the jump.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2018 is here

Both the Royal Fair and the Royal Horse Show started Friday, November 2nd and continue until Sunday, November 11th. The 96th annual agricultural, food and equestrian exhibition happens every November in Toronto and is the largest combined indoor event of its type. Nicole Walker opened the Royal Horse Show winning the first phase of the Canadian Show Jumping Championship.

“It was nice to be able to watch a couple go since I went last,” said Walker, 24, of being the final competitor on course. “I knew just how fast I needed to go without risking too much. Hopefully we will have the same luck tomorrow.”
Feature Performer – Guy McLean walks his horses over another horse - sideways
Feature Entertainment – Pogo Puissance

Chef Jaimie Kennedy at the Royal: Culinary Academy. If you get a chance you have to try out the cooking lessons at the Royal Fair.
The show is a fantastic, family friendly event to attend - full of entertainment, horse jumping, cows and some giant pumpkins. Check out the cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Academy where food is life.
Canadian Show Jumping Championship

Jumping competitors are already hard at work at the Royal Horse Fair where you have to push yourself and your mount in front of the appreciative crowd. Riders and their family's make clicking noises to calm the horses. Several of the horses could not make a jump and were eliminated from competition, sad for the young jumpers.

See more of the Royal Fair and the Royal Horse Show after the jump.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Greenpeace Toronto protest against plastic

There is a growing groundswell of support to get rid of the lowly plastic straw in Canada and around the world. The United Nations has started a global campaign called CleanSeas to end marine litter and they estimate that 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans - and the straw is a good place to start. The UN hopes to eliminate micro-plastics and wasteful single-use plastic by the year 2022. Vancouver, British Columbia will ban straws in 2019 and Canada might follow suit. I know some of my family have switched over to reusable straws as they spearhead our household environmental drive and probably single-handedly saving the world.
A lot of people have heard of the floating garbage island, known as the Great Pacific Garden Patch, but I was surprised that it is the largest of the world's ocean plastic accumulation zones. The GPCP alone has a surface area of approximately 1.6 million square kilometres.

Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, said, "It is past time that we tackle the plastic problem that blights our oceans. Plastic pollution is surfing onto Indonesian beaches, settling onto the ocean floor at the North Pole, and rising through the food chain onto our dinner tables. We’ve stood by too long as the problem has gotten worse. It must stop."
Break Free From Plastic
The non-governmental organization Greenpeace Canada came to Yonge-Dundas Square on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 with a plastic trash installation which has an 8-foot mother albatross bird feeding her baby - and that food was branded single-use plastic! Instead of picking something like people using plastic straws, Greenpeace has identified 5 of the top corporate plastic polluters identified through brand audits: "These top polluters were found to be NestlĂ©, Tim Hortons, PepsiCo., The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s."

“The art installation serves as a visceral reminder of who is fueling plastic pollution and what that means for marine life,” said Wanjiro Ndungu, spokesperson for the Oceans and Plastics campaign. “The sculpture specifically reflects the reality that 9 out of 10 seabirds have ingested plastic. Since the branded trash used in this sculpture was collected during cleanups, we hope the top polluters we have identified through our brand audits will start focusing on cutting their plastic footprint and realize that we’re well beyond recycling as a solution.”
"Stop trashing our future with throwaway plastic"

Greenpeace hopes that plastic-producing corporations begin to reduce and phase out single-use plastics and governments to eventually ban single-use plastics.

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Nathan Phillips Square