Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There's a lot of iHoop la going on here

I continue to lament the lack of summer as spring extends it’s season into fall. The City seems always cool and wet and expectant – waiting for summer to show itself. The municipal strike that has hindered events (on par with the weather) looks like it is over so maybe we will see more action on the streets – it’s been quiet, too quiet.


During the bustle of lunchtime a small squad of hula hoopers takes to Yonge-Dundas Square. Was it a hula hoop battle to the death, dancing and twirling, hacking and stomping? No, I watch and nobody falls, screaming into the fountains running through the square. No ambulance responds to the imminent, expected violence.


Their shirts say iHoop and I look up the site on that big ol’ internets. There is an iHoop.ca (website coming soon) “where players, find game.” Yeah. Or whatever, I am not sure yet. I also find something about basketball and iPod music – maybe the hoop, you know that thing that holds the net, is represented by the hula hoops and the people are iPods or maybe balls. Go figure.



Strikers still picketing

While the City’s union negotiations await member ratification the strikers continue their pickets at various locations including City Hall.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tractor pullin' at the Fergus Truck Show

The Fergus Truck Show is back for 2009 (July 23 to 26, 2009) and the tractors were spitting out thick, black smoke and wrecking unprotected eardrums as they pulled the weight trailer along the 300 plus foot dirt track. Here is a Youtube video of some of the tractor pulls.

The site has lost the eastern farmland used for parking and for the original pulling track. The new track has been moved west and the truck show itself has been hit by the affects of the economy. While there are still plenty of trucks in the show and shine there are far fewer vendors and give aways - I didn't even come back with a free pen this year!

They have added a large midway amusement park in the western edge of the property to keep the kids busy during the tractor pulls.

Parking is now quite some distance away but they do use a school bus to shuttle people back and forth to the show. We parked across the road in a church parking lot which for $10 which wasn't a bad deal. The $25 per day adult ticket cost does include access to the performers in the "Music in the Park" area so a full day's fun is pretty reasonable. Castrol Motor Oil had a contest and some pretty models offering a Castrol tattoo.

Edmonton Indy - live streaming video

Register at Indycar.com and watch the Edmonton Indy via live streaming video on Sunday, July 26, 2009 - for free.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Great Lakes

Some very wet natural resources surround us in Southern Ontario and Toronto itself is perched on the edge of Lake Ontario - one of the five Great Lakes. Within a couple of hours you can also reach Lake Erie, Lake Huron and it's large appendage called Georgian Bay (home to Collingwood and Wasaga Beach).

These waters are used by millions for drinking, industry and recreation and the animals like it too.

It's time to enjoy the water and don't forget the upcoming Wakestock to be held in Collingwood August 7th to the 9th, 2009 (it has been moved from the Toronto Islands).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fort George

We had so much fun at Fort York that we thought we would head over to Niagara-on-the-Lake for some more historic military reenactments during the "Echoes of Niagara's Past" at Fort George.

They fired off some old cannons, had a rate of fire exhibition using muskets and more modern weapons and various soldiers demonstrated military vehicles.

It was also stressed how important was the contribution of the Indians during the war of 1812. What a great way to explore the past.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just for Laughs

The 2009 Toronto Just for Laughs Festival is in full swing from July 15th to the 19th and free concerts and entertainment are also happening in Yonge-Dundas Square. Toronto closes Yonge Street from Queen St to Dundas for the street festival from 6:30 pm to 1:00 am on both the Friday and Saturday nights.

I would like to see Russell Peters and Sarah Silverman - look up your favourite comics and go out for a great night of entertainment. Toronto comedian Russell Peters (take it and go) will be in the Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 8:30 pm where he and his friends will put on a free concert!!!

On Friday night I caught a bit of the Break Dance Trio, the Trampoline act Spring Action, Bollywood Shiamak Davar International and Dan Finnerty & the Dan Band.

Out and about

The City's views change during the time of day. In the early morning while people are getting ready to come downtown the streets are sometimes clear of people and the bright morning sunrise creates some nice reflections off the windows of the office towers.

The wildlife in downtown Toronto is limited to seagulls and pigeons and furry little rodents like squirrels.

Along Queen Street West the urban landscape remains full of advertising - the new Harry Potter movie is apparently playing while a man takes his favourite ladder out for a bike ride through the University intersection.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Caribana Toronto 2009 - official launch ceremony

The 42nd annual Toronto Caribana  Festival will soon heat up the streets of TO with planned events such as the King and Queen Ball on July 30th and the Parade on Lakeshore scheduled for Saturday, August 1st.

The official launch ceremony was moved from strike bound Nathan Phillips Square to Yonge-Dundas Square which was jam packed with people eager to see the beautiful costumes that the dancers were wearing and to hear the music from tropical paradise. When the politicians kept talking and talking the crowd tried to hurry on the speakers. They promised that all the events will proceed despite the municipal strike so everyone was happy to hear that part at least.

You can find more information on the festival at their website: www.caribanatoronto.com.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Honda Indy Toronto race pictures

I will be posting some more pictures of the actual race here - so keep coming back for more race photos.

Here is a Youtube video slideshow of the race in pictures.

This is me in the pits during a break in the action with my media credential and photographer's bib covering the race - thanks Tip Nunn and IndyCar!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Gene Simmons Grand Marshall

Rock star, marketing genius, Grand Marshall - Gene Simmons was a hit with the Toronto crowd as many in the crowd called for him to show his famous tongue and he did not disappoint. Coming in behind a military marching band Gene hoped off a Honda pickup and came to centre stage located at the start finish line between the pits and the Direct Energy Centre.

The drivers were welcomed to the stage and introduced to the fans. Then the National Anthems were sung, fireworks were set off, there was a fighter jet flyover and Gene announced "Lady and gentlemen start your Honda engines."

The drivers seemed in a good mood right before the running of the Honda Indy. I noticed Danica smiling and Alex Tagliani was wearing King Tut headgear.

Dario Franchitti wins Honda Indy Toronto

Dario Franchitti carried his pole position into a victorious first Honda Indy Toronto win and picked up 53 points to take over top position in the IndyCar standings. Dario is surrounded by the media in Victory Lane while remaining in his #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. In the photo below Dario answers some questions in the media centre immediately after the race.

The top five finishers were 1st: Dario, 2nd: Ryan Briscoe (#6), 3rd: Will Power (#12), 4th: Scott Dixon (#9) and 5th: Justin Wilson (#18). Here are the top three in Victory Lane - Ryan Briscoe right, Dario Franchitti centre and Will Power right while IndyCar mascot Firehawk also joins the group.

I was impressed by the size of the crowd at Sunday's main event. While some seats were empty the beer tents (especially the beer gardens with the Bud girls and the Hooters girls) were full.

PS Danica Patrick finished 6th, Alex Tagliani was 9th and Paul Tracy came in at 19th.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square