Sunday, August 30, 2009

Toronto Skyline

The skyline view of Toronto from the Leslie Street Spit or Tommy Thompson Park.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Underwear Affair - beat cancer below the waist

Individuals and groups joined together to help fight cancers below the waist during North York General Hospital's Underwear Affair or underwear race. The 10k/5k race/walk started at Woodbine Park in the Beach and continued along the Lakeshore area.

Most participants were shy, placing frilly undies over other running wear, while some brave souls did manage to race in their underwear - including quite a few in sponsor Joe Boxer underwear. Their were some great team themes and some unusual costumes such as Leonardo the Ninja Turtle.

Buskerfest 2009

The sky cleared and the crowds came down to the St Lawrence Market area for the festival of street performance artists known as Buskerfest.

The festival is almost too successful as the crowds make it hard to walk through the streets and see any of the acts. They should really build a few elevated platforms at the intersections so more people could see the acts. The actually had one large platform this year so maybe next year there will be more. Daisy the cute dog supports the fight to cure epilepsy.

There was a strange fire breathing, smoke belching and bubble making machine rolling through the streets.

Fan Expo Canada

The crowds lined up for the 2009 Fan Expo Canada held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The slow moving lineup scared me off from trying to get a ticket and get into the show but I had a great time taking pictures of some of the mas participants dressing up as their favourite characters.

I would have liked to have seen Lou Ferrigno and Linda Hamilton while Joe was dying to see the star wars characters and troopers.

Here is a slideshow on Youtube featuring more of the fans.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Toronto Alleys

You know there are a lot of alleys in Toronto, although some people call them laneways. Designed to keep the cars and garages behind the house and away from the main street many have become home to the ever present graffiti.

Lowriders on Yonge

Walking back along Yonge Street one fine Saturday night we came upon an older car driving on three wheels with one side of the car high up in the air. Then the hydraulics brought the car down to the ground. More lowrider cars followed with hydraulics raising parts of the vehicles up and down. The cars seem like they came right out of a Hollywood movie.

Toronto Moose

Toronto created a series of large plastic mooses (plural mice or meese?), sponsored by various parties and spread throughout the City during a popular art installation and marketing campaign. After the event the moose were sold by auction in 2001 and you can find the occasional moose here and there. Here are two of them on a balcony near the Italian District (or Little Italy) painted up in Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays uniforms.

Kensington Market

I wandered through Kensington Market in awe of the area made famous by Al Waxman in the King of Kensington. Above, the Mona Lisa looks down on the street sign for Kensington Avenue.

The market is set amongst narrow one way streets, typical downtown houses converted to grocery and clothes stores, restaurants and interesting shops. An abandoned vehicle sits up on blocks full of vegetation including trees in this art installation from the Community Vehicular Reclamation Project.

Chinatown Festival

Half of Spadina was shut down for the 2009 Chinatown Festival from Noon to 8pm. There were plenty of booths and the crowds had plenty of chances to grab food and coconut drinks.

IndyCar at Sonoma - Free live streaming

Enjoy free live streaming of the IndyCar race at Sonoma on Sunday August 23 starting at 4pm ET.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Hugging Time once again

The original Hug Me Tree is back home on Queen Street West after a time spent at the Royal Ontario Museum hanging out with some superstars of the art world.

You may remember in my previous posts about the little tree that met it's demise and was almost destroyed by the City of Toronto. With quick citizen intervention the stump was saved and the tree went on to be displayed at the ROM while a replacement tree constructed of wood, chicken wire, paper mache and paint soon took over the spot and then it too disappeared.

The Hug Me Tree has new additions to it's rather simple character - tiny little homes perched at the top of the tree. So now that it's back take time to give it a hug.

Nathans Phillips Square Panorama

Nathan Phillips Square is home to many events including Fresh Wednesdays, Tasty Thursdays, Cavalcade of Lights, outdoor art exhibitions and the downtown Jazz Festival. You can even book the square for your event.

For a quick change of pace here is a picture taken under the Gardiner Expressway on ramps beside Yonge Street.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

horse COPS - huhhh, whatchagoindo

The Toronto mounted police can be seen occasionally trotting around the downtown core always ready to poop or apprehend some perps. I think this guy is about to bust some bad boys - those double decker tourist buses - they must be here in the country illegally, smuggled in luggage from Britain.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rogers Cup - Ivanovic & Wozniaki at Yonge-Dundas

With the best of ladies tennis coming to Toronto during the 2009 Rogers Cup it was exciting to see two of the top ranked players recreating the 1995 Agassi/Sampras Nike ad in the Yonge Dundas intersection.

Crowds of spectators watched Ana Ivanovic (brunette) ranked number 11 with Caroline Wozniaki (blonde) ranked 8 go toe to toe on a tennis court taped down on Yonge Street. A large contingent of media descended on the two stars after the game was over.

Ana won 7-3 in the friendly game. Later the two players had a great time hitting tennis balls towards the large screen advertisements way up in the air at the north east corner of the intersection.

The women play from August 15th to the 23rd, 2009 at the Rexall Centre in York University. You can find more information at

Update info: I originally had Ana Ivanovic against Dinara Safina. I also added the score to the post.

There have also been plenty of green tennis balls bounced around the streets as Desjardins has opportunities to win tickets to the Rogers Cup and other fine prizes. They have a large truck filled with the official balls of the Cup - Wilson, which you grab out of a hole in the truck. If you have a W on the ball you win a prize, if you don't have a W you still get to keep the tennis ball. Look out for the truck with the windows full of tennis balls.

UPDATE: Wow, people really like tennis players. One of my pictures was use on a marketing and media blog with permission.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square