Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Festival of Cool at Harbourfront Centre

Site Alive Winter Edition is on at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre which is a bright light in the times of Covid. The programming includes the Festival of Cool by the Harbourfront Centre and the Waterfront BIA from 10am to 10pm - January 15 to February 7, 2021 and don't forget to follow the safety protocols.

From Harbourfront's website, "Dear 2021, please be gentle. While there are still restrictions and a lockdown happening in Toronto, it's important to stay home and stay safe, but that doesn't mean enjoying life is canceled. There is still lots happening on the waterfront from amazing restaurants you can take out or delivery from, deals and discounts and even a light exhibit for when you go out for some fresh air and exercise. The illuminated public art was installed to bring light to the waterfront during a challenging time. Harbourfront Centre security staff will be on-site to ensure health and safety protocols are followed, in accordance with the advice and guidelines of Toronto Public Health."

'Iceberg' in South Exhibition Common

"Iceberg is a playful, immersive work made up of a series of illuminated metallic arches that tell the story of an iceberg. Visitors “warm up” the ice monuments to create a visual and auditory symphony.
Creation and execution: ATOMIC3 and APPAREIL
Architecture in collaboration with Jean-Sébastien Côté and Philippe Jean
A production of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, created for the 3rd edition of Luminothérapie, Montreal, 2012."

'Sonic Runway' along the Boardwalk

"The Sonic Runway is a light-art installation that converts audio signals into patterns of light, shooting down a corridor of LED-lined arches more than 100-metres long at the speed of sound.
Creators: Rob Jensen, Warren Trezevant
Tour producer: Creos
Music: Classic Roots"

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Welland Canal sprang a leak

First they shut down the Welland Canal for the season, no big ships plying the H2O Highway between Lakes Ontario and Erie, then whenever they need to do inspection and maintenance they drain the water out between lock sections. In January 2021 the water between Locks 3 and 7 has been drained, leaving a small creek running down the canal.

Up at lock 7 they have heavy duty pumps sucking the water out of the empty lock and back into the upstream channel. The locks aren't really watertight and the ducks appreciate the slower flows.
The lift bridge at Glendale Avenue
The signs say don't use your anchor around the pipelines

The view of the empty canal is pretty amazing. It is hard to believe that those giant Great Lakes steamers can make it through without dragging their hulls through the dirt.

See more photos after the jump.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Pine Sanctuary sculpture in Riverwood

A big ass, colourful sculpture sits in the entrance to Riverwood Conservancy park, just off Burnhamthorpe Road West in Mississauga. The aluminum sculpture by Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY was created to help celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary
Blue, green and black stripes come together as they reach for the sky. You can get inside the sculpture and luckily it doesn't drop the pine sap onto your head.

From Marc's Linkedin page, "The delaminated, double-layered skin provides a moiré of colors, as well as shadows and speckled light to catch on the ground. This is a place for spontaneous play as much as it is a sanctuary for one to simply lose their time. There's no trunk holding up this arboreal structure. Instead, it opens up into a shady space. Macro shingles resolve into branches that touch the ground lightly around a covered grove, like a redwood hollowed out. The stripes of Pine Sanctuary adjust in density, so that gaps between them generate areas of porosity. In petal-like forms, the stripes merge together at the base, offering spaces where dancers and explorers and tree-dwellers of all kinds can tuck in, recline, or hide for a moment. 3,161 unique stripes accumulate to host these activities."

Monday, January 04, 2021

Barrier to Scarborough Bluffs

The majestic cliffs of grey, unconsolidated sediment rising high above the shores of Lake Ontario tends to collapse and drift on the currents. In August 2020 a large chunk of the bluffs broke free and fell in a billowing cloud of dust and debris. A close call because it did not fall on anyone.

In response the City of Toronto put up a fence barrier near the high vertical slopes along the beach advising people that there is "No Public Access" and "Caution Falling Debris". Of course people being people, they ignore the signs as they think about climbing to the top of the bluffs, perched precariously where they could be rescued by emergency services.
Enjoying the danger, two people walk along the small section of beach immediately below the towering bluffs

Even in winter the public loves to visit Bluffers Park and wander the parkland, hoping for sun and watching part of the eroding, 15km long Scarborough Bluffs which were created over 12,000 years in the past. As the City says, "The Bluffs’ edge is unstable. Stay behind the fences and use your common sense. Do not approach the edge of the bluffs". The material hasn't combined into a solid rock, it remains a relatively loose collection of sand, stone, silt and clay - ready to fall with a little effort when exposed to the elements. One day it will just be a gentle hill so you better see it before it is too late.
You can see how thin the top section of the bluffs as erosion wears away the backing of a section of the cliff
A pile of debris sits at the site of the latest collapse
The path to the bluffs passes a small storm sewer outlet so bring your rubber boots if  you want to visit

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Protests in Toronto January 2nd, 2021

New year is here and so are the protests. The teachers had a Queen's Park car caravan protest and at two separate groups gathered, them marched onto city streets. The anti-lockdown protestors shouted out, waved flags and banners and handed out leaflets. The two groups are definitely on the opposite side of the impacts of covid.

The teachers were protesting lack of COVID precautions and support during their event, while two groups protested about the lockdown and assorted restrictions to freedom - one at Yonge and Dundas and the other starting at Nathan Phillips Square. They later joined together and apparently they are 
gathering every Saturday in Toronto.

Police were out in force, mostly bicycle officers, to control traffic as the protestors walked down the busy city streets, taking up one-half of the roadway. The freedom side seems to think that COVID is a fake problem, then they get into a crapload of conspiracies including the good old microchipping and vaccine issues and add in a dash of 5G concerns. Let's hope that everyone remains peaceful.

See more photos after the jump.

'See' tv series set in Ontario Place

Season 2 of the series 'See' with stars Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard is currently filming in Toronto and production locations include the West Island of Ontario Place. The site of the abandoned log flume and Ontario North Now silos have been encircled with movie sets that resemble a small village with an imposing entrance gate.

The Apple TV+ streaming movie by Eye on the Ball 2 Productions Inc. shows a very challenged earth, set 600 years in the future where everyone is blind as the result of a virus. Everyone, that is, until a set of twins were born with sight. Jason is a chieftain who must protect the children from a nasty queen.

See more photos after the jump.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Years Eve Toronto 2021

Happy New Year's Eve to Toronto as the city continues to be locked down to fight the spread of Covid-19! The days of going out to party or taking in a comedy show for the festive night ahead of the change in years is not going to happen in Ontario this year - here's to hopefully getting back to normal by mid 2021!
On New Year's Eve the CN Tower will put on a special light show with a countdown to the new year. And the tower has partnered with the City of Toronto and CHUM1045 for the countdown by taking the show online for a safe celebration. “We’re looking forward to lighting the way for 2021 with a special light show set to music. The CN Tower is proud to be part of Toronto’s and Canada’s New Year’s Eve celebration as we look forward to a brighter year ahead.” - Peter George, Chief Operating Officer of the CN Tower
New Year's Eve 2021 light show
The City says, "Based on the recommendations of Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the City, like other municipalities across Canada, is celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually. All in-person New Year’s Eve events, including celebrations in Nathan Phillips Square, have been cancelled. The CN Tower light show will be live-streamed on the City’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/thecityoftoronto and simulcast on Jamar's House Party live on CHUM1045 on December 31 starting at 11:58 p.m. Mayor John Tory will provide welcoming remarks as Toronto residents come together in collective celebration from the comfort of their homes, while doing their part to stay apart."

"The CN Tower is an awe-inspiring architectural and engineering wonder of the world that is a symbol of pride for Canadians. Microprocessor-controlled, each of the CN Tower’s more than 1,300 LED lights can produce 16.7 million colours and an infinite variety of lighting effects. Synched to music, the show will ring in a brighter year ahead."

At 10:30pm you can tune into TVO, or their YouTube Channel for a 90-minute broadcast of From Ontario with Love: A Celebration of Hope. The show will have performances and fireworks.

"We are all looking forward to bidding the year 2020 goodbye. Let's do so safely at home, with only members of our household, and enjoy these spectacular shows together while staying apart. I want to thank Toronto residents for their resilience, perseverance, creativity and acts of kindness toward each other during this difficult year and wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy New Year."
- Mayor John Tory
You can stay up late and drink away the night when you stay at home, plus you won't have to worry about getting up early to take part in the annual Toronto Polar Bear Dip because it too has been cancelled for 2021. If you would still like to participate you could go still go to a beach, take a video and post it with the #Dip4Boost @torontopolarbear tags. Good luck with that. Here are some photos from the 2020 Dip.

Happy New Year's Eve to Toronto as the city continues to be locked down to fight the spread of Covid-19! The days of going out to party or taking in a comedy show for the festive night ahead of the change in years is not going to happen in Ontario this year - here's to hopefully getting back to normal by mid 2021!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Journey into Enchantment holiday lights in Markham

This Christmas light exhibition is northeast of Toronto and costs from $30 to $40 per vehicle, with up to 8 passengers allowed. Located in the Angus Glen Golf Club on Kennedy Road, north of Major Mackenzie Drive East, the light festival features a lot of lights along the 1.6km route. You must enter the club from the southbound shoulder of Kennedy Road and we had to go up to Elgin Mills Road to join the long, long lineup with a waiting time of over an hour.

Drive through light festivals are excellent in the times of Covid-19 as it is easy to maintain social distance in your vehicle and it gives you something interesting to do outside the house. The Journey into Enchantment is on from November 20, 2020 to January 7, 2021 with costs based on Monday to Thursday, Friday and Sunday, or Saturday (moving from cheaper to more expensive options). There are no time period reservations, if you buy a Monday to Thursday ticket you can show up any of those days for a single visit.
Highlights of the festival include the simulated starburst fireworks and the red roses that open and close. You can also find a light tunnel and many static and animated displays. There is a FM station that you can tune into to listen to Christmas music while many of the animated displays lip sync to the music.
Hours for the festival start all week at 5:30pm and finish at 10:30pm Monday to Thursday plus Sundays, Fridays and Saturdays finish at 11:30pm. We brought Ann's parents and we all loved the show and were glad we made the trip (over an hour for us). The price was reasonable per car especially compared to the Polar multi-level light exhibition at Pearson Airport runs from $55 to $65 per car.

See more lights after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square