Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mischief Making

Peek Freans Lifestyle Selections and Harlequin Books hosted A Taste of Mischief at Yonge-Dundas Square. They were giving away a book like package that contained vanilla bean latte biscuits while a professional photographer was taking pictures of people posing with some professional male models. They were becoming Harlequin's Heroines and it looked like a lot of fun.

AGO - King Tut

King Tut, the famous Pharaoh familiar to many through his golden coffin (the middle of three gold coffins), is coming to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) starting November 24th, 2009 till April 18th, 2010.

Outside the AGO stands an imposing 8 metre (26') black and gold statue of the onetime Egyptian god of the underworld named Anubis.

I was checking out the free Wednesday night entry to the AGO. It starts at 6:00 pm and runs till the museums close at 8:30 pm.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nuit Blanche - inCENTive

I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish that I wish tonite. And then they (inCENTive) wrote those wishes on pennies (or cents) and posted them in panels. You can go to inCENTive creator Carly Benkendorf's website and add a wish that will be shown during Nuit Blanche on October 3, 2009.

My wish: I wish that life always gets better (and that's for everybody) - see if you can find it during Nuit Blanche showing at Ryerson University. Here are some of the more than 10,000 penny wishes. Don't forget that you can click on each picture for a larger version.

War Child - Busking for Change

War Child Canada held their 2nd annual Busking for Change fundraising event on September 29, 2009. I was unaware of this until I walked into First Canadian Place coming from Union Station in the underground PATH system. A couple people held buckets with a graphic logo of War Child while Zack Werner tuned his guitar standing in front of a microphone getting ready to start his set. War Child is a charity that helps children from war ravaged areas.

Going above ground after work I started seeing the outdoor venues quite often - including this one at Much Music's Queen Street West location where a small group (see picture above as well) played in the small cubby that used to hold Speakers Corner.

Monday, September 28, 2009

CN Tower Hide and Seek

Downtown amongst the assorted bank towers (and a few others) you tend to forget about the CN Tower until it makes a rare appearance between buildings. Here it is squeezed between the big black towers at King and Bay Streets.

What makes this ironic is that that when you are far from the City it is the CN Tower that says 'this is Toronto'.

And what helps to define Toronto is the past, whether buildings or parks or streetnames. When they save a historic facade and incorporate it into new buildings I think that is a great way to grow - in with the new, in with the old. Here is the Toronto Stock Exchange facade, with special streetlights to hightlight the art deco relief on the wall, built into the Toronto-Dominion Centre.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sunrise TO

The Toronto skyline from the Niagara Escarpment west of the city. It was a little cool this morning as the seasonal temperatures start to dip heading into fall.

The trees have started to turn yellow, orange and red but they are still the minority as most of the forest remains green. Pretty soon the leaves will be off the trees and snow will be falling so enjoy the colours while you can. You can check out the fall colour report here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Queen Street Reflection

Life on Queen Street is reflected in a large plate glass window while inside a large metal sculpture hangs over a set of escalators.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flatiron and Gaslight

One of my favourite views of the city is looking west towards the CN Tower and the Flatiron building from the St Lawrence Market area.

I also discovered some gas streetlights on the way to the St Lawrence Market. They were in front of a RBC bank at King Street East and Jarvis Street. Wow, talk about retro. The St Lawrence building and the gas lights were designated in 2004 as having cultural heritage value "Located on the southwest corner of King Street East and Jarvis Street, the site contains the ’12 Apostles Court’ facing Market Street and a series of gas lamp standards along King, Jarvis and Market Streets."

Car Free Day

I rode the GO Train into Toronto today listening to my IPod Touch so I missed the news - Today was Car Free Day, which was fortuitous to me as I was currently car free downtown. At lunch time I walked out of the Eaton Centre and saw a blow up basketball kids attraction in the middle of Yonge Street and thought that seemed a little unusual. There was also a mini golf station set up a few steps away and no cars were in sight and there was plenty of people walking in the middle of the road.

Heading up to the Square I found signs that gave the answer - it was Car Free Day. Go Transit had a booth and was giving out pencils and cardboard train and bus models, assembly required, while Toronto Hydro, The Sierra Club and others had booths set up providing information on several green initiatives and the impact to the environment due to urban sprawl.

As an extra bonus Mayor David Miller was on the way to give the Car Free Day proclamation when I asked him if I could take his picture. I was pleased that he was happy to oblige and he asked me to come into the picture (the Mayor is the tall one).

Nuit Blanche - Sat October 3, 2009

Don't put on your pajamas on October 3rd, instead get out into the night and take in the art of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. The "free-all night contemporary art thing" which begins at 6:55 pm and lasts until sunrise.

Sometimes thought provoking, sometimes stunning and sometimes just downright strange, contemporary art is in the eye of the beholder as Toronto becomes an art gallery. You can see my Nuit Blanche experience and photos here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Save our Planet - Climate Day

A flash eco mob gathered quickly in downtown Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square to raise individual letters spelling out " - fill the hill". They were raising awareness of the upcoming Climate Day on October 24, 2009 where they hope to fill Ottawa's Parliament Hill with people and raise a large voice to call for reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

I remember a long time ago driving through the Sudbury area with it's big Nickel and it's rolling hills of rock were bare - a desolate area that resembled a dead planet and where the astronauts trained for their mission to the moon. Pollution and greenhouse gases were expelled from their factories and choked the life from the sensitive ecosystem. This disaster forced people to act! So they raised the smokestacks, now called superstacks, and sent the pollution further away from Sudbury. Slowly and with great effort and expense a small portion of the area around Sudbury has started to return to life. Not so good further away though!

We certainly have the ability to kill ourselves and our planet, usually faster than we think it will take, and I hope that we can continue to increase awareness and action that make this planet a better place. Save our planet.

UPDATE: My pictures were used in the Climate Day site with permission.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The lights and colour of a Fall Fair

The bright lights found by the hundreds on midway rides beckon the fans into the parks at night time. Grab your coupons and grab your friend and go up into the black of the night while the ride splashes colour into the sky.

You can also find a lot of colour during the day.

Toronto International Airport - Pearson Doors Open

Toronto International Airport joined the Doors Open event and showed off some of their emergency services staff and equipment at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI)area within the Airport.

There are a number of plane mockups and one actual plane that they use to practice emergency response and firefighting. The planes are torched and the fires put out by there large pumper trucks. You can see the powerful spray starting to spray the airplane in the photo below.

To add to the realism and as a reminder of the importance of their training there are several objects made of metal or fire hose that stand in for human casualties, including this hose construction that looks like a baby.

Several demonstrations were put on for the public including allowing the children to use a hose to aim water at a target, a rescue high abouve the ground using rescue ropes and a tactical police unit and their amoured car. Some raptors from Falcon Environmental Services were also shown with their hoods on and off. They help to keep the other large birds off the runways and away from planes taking off and landing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

U2 at 102.1 The Edge

Members of the band U2 wheeled up to Toronto's 102.1 The Edge studio in the Eaton Centre. Protected by lines of bicycle police the large, black SUVs waited outside while the band did interviews inside the studio.

Crowds of curious glanced into the windows, hearing that U2 was inside, trying to get photos of the famous band and the famous Bono.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Fair Season

While the massive exhibition that is Toronto's CNE has come and gone the rest of southern Ontario is now heading into the season of Fall Fairs.

A long line of tractor trailers and motor homes ride into Town taking over the local park as the carnies set up the old favourites, probably rides that you went on as a kid. The midway starts to take shape, full of trailers that open up and are chock full of stuffed animals.

Pretty soon families and teens will fill the fairs, walk the alleys along the games as shouts ring out - play my game, throw the dart, sink the basketball, win the lovely lady a prize. Then the rowdies will fill the beer tent late into the night and you will know the fair is in town. Here is a lonely Fair set up and waiting for customers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TIFF - Waiting for the stars

A crowd gathers around the enclosed TIFF red carpet at Roy Thomson Hall, waiting for stars to walk the red carpet, pose for pictures and sign autographs. The premier of the Private Lives of Pippa Lee is scheduled for 6:30pm while the crowds begin waiting hours before the premier starts.

The stars of this movie include Robin Wright Penn (soon to be ex Penn), Alan Arkin, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves. The wait would be worth it to get a chance to meet these stars. Meanwhile CP24's George Lagogianes prepares to interview some of the fans.

Bad Ass Ecobikers

I jumped to the curb, hoping to get away from the gang of ecobikers roaring down the road looking for trouble. And trouble was my middle name, bub. I think they are hanging around the downtown core looking at giving movie stars free rides and eyeballin' the tourists. The gang has obviously scared some of the locals as the protection for their cars seems a little excessive.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square