Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Give the suit off your back

At Bay and Front Street just across from Union Station there was a group of men clad in shorts and a tie and not much else, I think they might have been Chippendales, promoting a charity called Moores Canadian Suit Drive where you can “Help others find their strong suit” (http://www.canadiansuitdrive.com/). Coming out of the PATH system into the sunlight at first I thought I was staring into a mirror, but no, there were more than just one reflection of me when I realized that it was a group of buff guys.

They had signs saying “Give the suit off your back” but I didn’t see anyone stripping down, which is good because they ask for the donations to be clean and on hangers. They are collecting everything from suits to shoes and ties to benefit at-risk men who are moving into jobs. Moores will even provide a 25% discount on your next purchase so drop by your closest Moores store by September 30, 2010 and help others in need.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Live Green Toronto Festival

Toronto's Live Green Street Festival is rocking the downtown as Yonge Street was closed to cars and the bands were playing at Yonge-Dundas Square. I caught part of Colin James playing a great set for the large crowd enjoying the festival which runs until 5pm on Sunday. There was even a bicycle powered stage with a lineup of performers.

Mayor David Miller says "With the Live Green Toronto Festival, we're taking another step towards living green in our city. I encourage all Torontonians to come to this event and learn practical energy-saving solutions for home and work and to find out about Toronto's programs for a greener city. Together we can make Toronto an even cleaner and more beautiful city."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday at Buskerfest

The fun continues at the Scotiabank Buskerfest and I watched some exciting shows and performers including the Russian Bar Trio (above) and their aerial show pictured below.

The fest is extremely popular and like many events in Toronto the event is always jam packed, especially if the weather cooperates which it has this year.

Sprinkled throughout the streets are large boards showing the schedule and locations of the acts. You check out what you want to see and head to the area early if you want to see the show. Usually the first row sits on the ground and the rest gather round, after three or four people deep you usually can not see the act so you have to look for another. 

There are quite a few artists, like Silver Elvis and Kate Mior, that set up at one location and stay there for quite awhile.

Some of the performers wander around and spread joy and sometimes mayhem as they make their way through the crowd. I really liked the group called Saurus from the Netherlands which is three large dinosaurs with heads that extend high above heads and large claws that could rip you to pieces if they were real. The sounds of the dinosaurs as they pass by is another great touch.

Another group that was fun to watch was the Calypso Tumblers from the US their banter and athletics was exciting, especially during the finale when they jump over a large group of young kids pulled from the audience.

Don't forget to bring some money to donate to Epilepsy Toronto and to give to the performers who work hard to earn tips.

See more photos after the jump.

Fan Expo - the costumes are the show

Kapow! The 2010 Fan Expo Canada was squeezed into the north half of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and I mean squeezed. Lineups to get into the show stretched along several streets and when we finally made it into the building there wasn't much room to spread your wings and enjoy the show.

The use of coloured contact lens is really popular at the show and they look really cool.
This massive show has a lot of comics, venders, some great celebrities and plenty of people dressed up in all sorts of costumes. I was very happy to get some shots of Summer Glau (below) from the TV series "Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles".

 The celebrities are along the east side of the convention centre and most charge for photos and autographs. Sometimes you can take their pictures from the crowd and sometimes the security was in charge of blocking  photos unless you paid money for the picture. Even when the program said the stars were there for photo opportunities you probably still needed to pay.
I also saw Worf from "Star Trek" and Dean Stockwell (above) from one of my favourite shows "Quantum Leap". Batman, Robin and the Batmobile were also at he show although I could not take pictures of the dynamic duo. There were other superheros helping to fill the large space including this group from "Heroes of the World" and this cat lady. A lot of hot girls really rock the costumes. The upcoming movie Tron Legacy also had a large presence at the show.

Some sparkling vampires were promoting the HBO TV series "True Blood" with tattoos and a glimpse of the drink Tru Blood. Their shirts said "VILF" and it took me a second to put it together so they have quite the sense of humour.

The 501st Star Wars Legion had a large presence at the show. They gathered together on the steps of the bridge leading to the Rogers Centre to get a group photo taken and it was quite a group.  Princess Leia was in the famous bikini outfit where she was brought in to Jabba the Hut as a prisoner,  it's good to see some cheek.
The Montreal Comiccon 2010 also had a booth at Toronto's Fan Expo. They are promoting their September 11-12 event at Place Bonaventure and promise visits by Data (Brent Spiner) and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and many others.

See more photos of Fan Expo after the jump.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The End of the World is nigh

I thought this only happened in the movies but I was wrong. In the middle of thousands of people walking by the Yonge and Dundas intersection stood someone with a large sign saying "The end of the world October 21, 2011". The had an even bigger banner with judgement day being May 21, 2011. It must be that the judgement will be in May and the end will come in October, but usually judgement day is also supposed to be the end of the world. Maybe she wanted some more time so she had her sign made with the later date.
It sounds like it will happen close to those fetish events planned for next year so if you planned to go you should maybe think about it this year. Additional  people from the same judgement day group were also down at Union Station.

Jeez, it's getting a little warm in here and it seems like 2011 might be a bad year!

Fetish Time

Toronto's sexual urges are hungering for some good old fetish fun and as Halloween approaches October has some fun planned, so grab some latex, maybe a few chains and check out Vanilla or the Halloween Fetish Ball. And who could forget the Toronto Torture Garden? These guys make the best street posters.

Buskerfest 2010

The buskers are in full buskering mode at the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood so grab some money and head on down and let them busk you at the 2010 Scotia Buskerfest in support of Epilepsy Toronto. The fun lasts until this Sunday and the streets are also full of venders and there is even a beer garden on one of the side streets. Here is my post with photos taken during Saturday's performances.

Tasty Thursdays

The City of Toronto has many activities in Nathan Phillips Square and while the recent construction has reduced the events they continued with Tasty Thursdays. Mmmm, Tasty Thursdays. I love it when a day is special – like Wednesday’s Hump Day, everything is better on those special days. Sadly, this is the last day for Tasty Thursdays in 2010. You can still go up to the nature garden overlooking the square and enjoy your lunch in peace and quiet.

The setup for the event starts in the early morning and stations are setup for the participating restaurants to setup their stoves and barbecues. In August there were quite a few restaurants on board including:

La Fiesta Catering
Sunshine Natural Foods

The hot and delicious food can be had for $5 and if you want some be prepared to stand in line for the cheap eats. I have enjoyed the Blackened Catfish Sandwich from Big Daddy’s and it was very tasty. It makes for a change from the street hot dogs so keep an eye out for Tasty Thursdays in 2011 running from 11:00am till 2:00pm.

Another kind of Tasty Thursdays was happening at Yonge-Dundas Square where Virgin Mobile was giving away free poutine – you just had to show your cell phone to them.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Do Not Enter

Okay, we have a busy weekend coming up. There is so many things going on in Toronto this weekend and I will try to go to Fan Expo, the Underwear Affair Run, Buskerfest and the Chinatown Festival. The CNE is also on as we speak and the long weekend in September will bring the Air Show.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bud Girls - a look back at WOW

The Bud Girls entered in the Honda Indy Toronto Pit Crew Pageant were a beautiful break in the on track action  and in honour of the girls and their beer sponsor I think it is time we looked back on their contribution to the weekend fun.

See more photos after the jump.

MMVA - the cleanup

The Much Music Video Award (MMVA) Show brings some pretty big stars into Toronto to hand out and to receive shiny trophies and like any party there is always the hungover cleanup after the event. The set was very elaborate Meccano kit that was probably very difficult to put back in it's original box. You can see how they had to build their scaffolding around the old CityPulse, now CP24, SUV breaking out of the building.
The show takes place in the parking lot of the Much Music Building at 299 Queen Street West and in the surrounding streets and was held June 25, 2010. Pop singer and actress Miley Cyrus was the host and entertainers Drake, Katy Perry, the band Hedley and Justin Bieber were among many stars that took part.

I filmed the crew making the commercial for the 2010 awards in Yonge-Dundas Square and my YouTube clip has over 2,200 views. People were asking about the song used in the actual commercial and someone wrote in and identified BlakRock singing Ain't Nothing Like You.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Graffiti and Reflection

The alleys off of Queen Street West are full of vibrant graffiti, some artful and some just mean tags. It seems like a pretty tough place with so many gates and fences and the ever present spray painted surfaces. I think most of the spray paint used in Toronto is along the alleys adjacent to Queen Street West. They say that "Graffiti Alley" runs south of Queen Street from Spadina to Portland. You can also visit the torontograffiti.com site to view some more graffiti and even hire a graffiti artist.
The city also has a lot of windows so you can find some interesting reflections of the streetscape, especially the popular CN Tower, staring right at you. Although sometimes you need to catch the tower at night when it is lit up in a changing kaleidoscope of colours.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The District

The historic District of Distillery, sort of the like the District of Columbia, sits in the east side of downtown Toronto and keeps getting better with age (some call it the Distillery District). The condos bring more people into the area filling the many cafes and shops in the bricky neighbourhood. Here are some people (pictured above) with long poles cleaning windows. They are doing a lot of construction work on the east side of the District near Cherry Street for the Clear Spirit Condominium.

The large sculpture which I call the egg beaters near the centre of the District is up and you can see the installation being assembled beside the Pump House on my earlier post here. The sculpture is called "Still Dancing" by artist Dennis Oppenheim. You can also see more of the sculptures, some of them pretty wild and crazy, on this post. And who could forget the lovable plastic penguin with his little red hat that could be found outside on the streets, I haven't seen him for awhile, I hope he is not lost.

This great little area will play host to some of the Nuite Blanche works on October 2, 2010. Next time you are close stop by the Brick Street Bakery and enjoy some refreshments and the relaxing atmosphere or consider the Mill Street Brewpub or the Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill (seen below).

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square