Monday, September 20, 2021

2021 Toronto Fall colours

The fall colours are starting to show north of Toronto as the Muskoka area is showing splashes of red, yellow and orange with green still being the predominate colour. Peak colours are expected in early to mid-October in southern Ontario. Right now in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) colours are still green, with occasional trees deciding that they can't wait for their friends and have started to change.

Some of the small minority of trees near Dorset have started changing on the September 19th weekend

Check out these colour reports for the latest info on Fall leaf colours.

Ontario Parks Fall Colour Report.

Muskoka Fall Colour Report.

Algonquin Provincial Park Fall Colour Report.

Check out my previous Fall colour posts here: 2020, 2019 and Dundas Peak in 2019.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Honda Indy Toronto will return in 2022

Get ready for racing on the streets of Toronto again as the NTT IndyCar Series returns in mid-July 2022 as part of their 17-race schedule. The Honda Indy Toronto will continue the excitement of the race weekend - on and off the track, in Exhibition Place and onto Lake Shore Boulevard West. Let SpeedFest and Thunder Alley be full of race fans again as vaccines kick Covid's ass.

“This is an exciting day for Toronto and our race fans! After all the disappointment experienced from missing out on the event the last two years, we are thrilled that the Honda Indy Toronto will return to Exhibition Place July 15th to 17th, 2022,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of Honda Indy Toronto. “We are grateful to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Honda Canada, the province of Ontario and the City of Toronto for working closely with us to make this happen.”

And news from IndyCar about the upcoming season: “This schedule continues to build on the growth and momentum the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has achieved, especially in 2021,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “Our terrific partnership with NBC Sports has led to a fantastic opportunity to place an unparalleled 14 events on broadcast television while completing the rest of the schedule with USA Network and Peacock.

“Our drivers and teams will give the fans a strong, earlier start with six consecutive races on NBC, building even more anticipation for the crown jewel of the Indianapolis 500 in May. Our summer schedule also is full of action, with no extended breaks in the calendar, leading into the crowning of a champion on the West Coast with our last two races also on NBC.”

The 2022 calendar is benchmarked by the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 29. This year’s “500” on NBC was the most-watched edition of the race since the 100th Running in 2016.

“This is an excellent schedule for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship,” Miles said. “This calendar provides a level of balance between temporary street circuits, road courses and ovals, and that variety and required versatility from our drivers are important, distinguishing attributes of NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing.

“The continuity among our events and the growth in the number of teams showcase our strong positioning and continued momentum.”

2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Schedule

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Light Bike Rave for anti-Nuit Blanche 2021

So Nuit Blanche is cancelled for 2021, what is a body to do on what is the usually the greatest all-night art festival in Toronto? I say we take back the night. I am planning alternate Nuit Blanche programming (anti-Nuit Blanche) - the return of the light bike ride which has been running concurrently with Nuit Blanche. Bring back the light bikes for 2021! 

On the traditional Nuit night of Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 everyone with light bicycles, or illuminated e-scooters,  join us for a couple hours riding around downtown Toronto. Just like they used to do with rave rides by Neon Riders or the monthly night rides by the Toronto Cruisers. Add massive lights, bring some music and be one of the better art installations that Nuit Blanche has ever seen.

Riders can gather between 8-9pm on Saturday, October 2nd at Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto City Hall. While riders social distance and check out the groovy lights on the bikes in the first hour, then as the hour strikes 9pm we can head out onto the streets of Toronto. I am planning a small route of about ten kilometres with a few stops at a few of Toronto's top tourist destinations.

Planned route: Leave Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall and head north on Bay Street, turning east on Dundas Street and head over to Parliament Street. Then south on Parliament to the historic Distillery District and back onto Parliament Street south bound to Queens Quay, then west on Queens Quay, north on Simcoe Street, west on Bremner Blvd past the CN Tower and Rogers Centre and onto Spadina Avenue northbound. Heading east bound on King Street to David Pecaut Square before heading north on Yonge Street to Yonge-Dundas Square.

Note this route can be changed if another bigger group joins the ride and has a preferred route through downtown Toronto. It could be just me and my friend, so don't leave us hanging - grab your bike and join us.

anti-Nuit Blanche Rave Ride 2021

Keep safe, social distance, wear masks and make sure your bike has headlights, taillights and a bell. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sasha Huber challenging racism with Rentyhorn in Toronto


Work from artist Sasha Huber is appearing at The Power Plant starting in early January 2022 but you can see her photo 'Rentyhorn' on the exterior south wall of the Harbourfront gallery now.

From Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival website; "Sasha Huber’s multidisciplinary practice investigates colonial residue in the environment, highlighting the ways in which history is imprinted in the landscape through acts of remembrance. Rentyhorn (2008) documents a reparative intervention led by the Helsinki-based artist to rename the Agassizhorn, an Alpine peak named after Swiss-American glaciologist and “scientific” racist Louis Agassiz (1807–73). The mural captures Huber looking out over the Agassizhorn while holding a plaque arguing for the mountain’s renaming—a reminder that the gallery site is also embedded with colonial histories."

You can check out Sasha Huber's solo exhibition 'YOU NAME IT' at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery January 29 till May 8, 2022.
From the artist's website describing the motivation for Rentyhorn; "As a member of the Transatlantic Committee “De-mounting Louis Agassiz”, I made the following intervention. I carried a metal plaque bearing a graphic representation of the slave Renty to the top of an Alpine peak, the Agassizhorn (3946 metres), on the borders of the Swiss cantons of Berne and Valais. In so doing, I took the first step towards renaming the mountain. This act commemorates the fact that the Swiss-born naturalist and glaciologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) was an influential racist and pioneering thinker of apartheid, and that the Agassizhorn should be renamed the “Rentyhorn” in honour of the Congolese-born enslaved Renty, and of those who met similar fates. Agassiz ordered Renty to be photographed on a South Carolina plantation, “to prove the inferiority of the black race”."

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Nuit Blanche Toronto postponed until 2022


I have been getting my lite-bike ready for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2021 all night art event when I decided to check up on the status of the upcoming festival. Bad news, Covid has hit this event as well and Nuit Blanche will not take place in 2021.

Here is the City of Toronto's announcement regarding the cancellation.

While public health restrictions continue to ease, mass gatherings of the scale of Nuit Blanche are not anticipated to be possible in time to stage this much anticipated annual program. As a result, the City has made the difficult decision to postpone the popular all-night celebration of contemporary art in 2021.

Funds allocated to produce this one-night event will be used in 2021 to support cultural and community organizations to program in public spaces throughout the late summer and fall. Nuit Blanche Toronto will return in 2022, led by Artistic Director Dr. Julie Nagam as a city-wide celebration to mark its 16th edition and help close out ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art in 2021-22.

Nuit Blanche sponsors, partners and funders are vital to its success. The City greatly appreciates the commitment by many of these partners to reinvest and support artists and creative collectives for Nuit Blanche 2022. For Nuit Blanche 2022 sponsorship opportunities, please email sponsorship@toronto.ca.

Sculpture at St Paul's Basilica

The white sculpture stopped me in my travels, a female figure crouched over an object in her lap. It sits near two historical plaques for the House of Providence at 83 Power Street, just a stones throw near Queen Street East.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Humanity Art Installation at Union Station

A round steel circle sits in Sir John A. Macdonald Plaza down at Union Station with 35 words that make you feel the love that fills Toronto. The Humanity Art Installation is an 8 foot high sculpture by Masai Ujiri who uses words to describe what humanity means to him, words that represent "peace, togetherness, youth and diversity".


A yellow light within the circle provides illumination to the words cut into the steel

From Union Stations website, "Masai Ujiri’s Humanity Movement was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s fight for equality for all people. Keeping alive his words and actions inspired us to search for and embrace the very things that make us human, and to overcome injustice and hatred. His example was an inspiration then, and continues to be an inspiration especially now. Over one year out from one of the biggest civil rights movements of this generation, the Humanity Art Installation represents hope for the day when we see each other. Really see. The way we did when we first opened our eyes. Nothing in the way. No bias. One people."


The installation is free and open to the public until October 31, 2021 in Union Station's public square on Front Street, between Bay and York Streets. PS it really comes to life at night.

See more photos of Humanity after the jump.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Roundhouse Park in Toronto - railways and beer


The rail line running through the southern portion of Toronto was the first tracks for the city built in 1851 by the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron (OS&H) railway. Roundhouse park was built in the former waters of Lake Ontario before fill changed the water to land and added to the city's boundaries. The building is the original 1939 locomotive turntable which became a city park in 1997 and has become the home of the Toronto Railway Museum, Steam Whistle Brewing and the Rec Room. It has also recently been added to with the addition of an underground hydro substation and of course across the road is the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada and Rogers Centre.

The Railway Museum features a number of train components as well as the restored locomotive turntable and a tiny steam train that you can ride on that loops around the site. The tiny train runs on a small gauge (7.25 inch) tracks which you can see on the left side of the picture that follows.

A miniature water tower and a train station

The Steam Whistle Brewing company occupies the eastern section of the roundhouse building, started by three former Upper Canada Brewing Company employees, affectional known as the "Three Fired Guys'.  Always a great place to visit for some cold brews when you are in the area.


Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs

Pride

Redball

Beaches

Graffiti

Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square

Transportation