Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Friday

"Trick yourself into thinking it's Friday." No, it's really not working. But I felt happier when they gave me the cute little cupcakes.
Virgin America was outside several locations around Toronto, including Yonge and Dundas just beside the Eaton Centre, with yummy red velvet cupcakes. Casie Stewart says "Keep your eyes peeled for the team cause they’ve got 2,500 cupcakes AND 20% discount coupons. Plus, to upgrade your Monday a little more, listen to Z103.5 and call-in-to-win 100% off tickets! Amazing, I know. Maybe, just maybe we can trick you into thinking it’s Friday!"

Blood and Thunder Roller Derby

Cripes, that scares the crap out of me. Blood and Thunder All-Stars, this Saturday, December 4th at Downsview Park: The Hanger. The Toronto Roller Derby ladies will be joined by top talent from over North America in the last game of the season - a post season battle on wheels. Break out the new hosiery and grease those bearings.

"Taking advantage of visiting talent for the Blood and Thunder Magazine training camp, happening that weekend, players for this bout will be chosen from the top skaters attending the camp.  This bout will showcase all-star skaters from various derby leagues, including Montreal, Michigan, San Francisco, and of course Toronto.  This will be a gruelling challenge for the skaters, as competition will be high for a spot on one of the rosters.  Rumour has it that top derby coaches will be present, scouting for potential players for the first ever Roller Derby World Cup – tentatively scheduled for 2011, and to be hosted in Toronto by ToRD.
Bring your lawn chairs if you’ve got them, grab some friends, and head out to the Hangar for one last dose of hits and whips before the year ends! 
Doors open at 6:30 pm with the bout commencing at 7:30 pm.  Tickets can be purchased in advance from our ticket outlets for $12, online for $14, or at the door for $18."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Posters and Graffiti

The Toronto Dominion Centre construction site is protected by large sheets of plywood advertising the Cadillac Fairview 77 King Street revitalization project. Someone has added a stencilled image of a man drinking, his shirt says "section 8", as the advertising caricatures stare in his direction. That's just crazy.
Down the road I come upon some posters plastered to newspaper boxes. Rather ironically someone has covered over the poster which states "we got balls". 
This was of course related to the cross, slash and turkey posters which were plastered over the downtown core earlier this year. There was no writing on the old posters to say what they were about, besides the bowling references. Now the trashy advertising has been covered up and you can't tell what it is promoting. Because the advertisements are annoying I won't mention the name either.

Another poster was for a local superhero: Captain Euchre, from Tights and Fights dotcom. You can also check out Fantabulous Gal on the entertainment website.

Freedom Arches and the skating rink

I was so impressed that the City got the skating rink in Nathan Phillips Square ready in time for the Cavalcade of Lights that I went back to take a picture of it during the day. It was definitely less busy in the square than the previous night. The Freedom Arches hold the holiday lights and stars above the ice.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2010 Cavalcade of Lights

The annual celebration of cold stuff and the interesting building that is the "new" City Hall provides plenty of sparkling lights and fireworks, although due to the proximity of all those windows and buildings the fireworks aren't like the big, exploding starbursts - more like giant streamers of fire.
Fireworks signal the lighting of the Christmas Tree.
Starting way back in 1967 this, the 44th annual event, is squeezed into the areas that are still in one piece around all the construction in Nathan Phillips Square. The stage is set up right in front of the entrance to City Hall.
They got the skating rink ready for the nights party.
Jam packed Nathan Phillips Square.
Debbie Travis poses for pictures with fans.

Debbie Travis will start off the night from 5:30 to 7:00pm, then the lighting the Christmas Tree, followed by concerts, fireworks and finally the skating party. Debbie Travis was sponsored by Canadian Tire who gave out free hats and scarves while Debbie posed for photos with fans (the pictures were printed and given to the fans). Musical guests are Shawn Desman, Divine Brown and Sarah Slean. There was also a really cool trampoline performance by Haut-Vol see my YouTube video here.
You can see more pictures of the night's fun after the jump.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I want summer back

Wind, ice, snow, it can't possibly get colder than this! Damn, even today my windows were frozen and I had to get out of my car and actually go into Tim Hortons. It's already time to think back over the gorgeous weather that we had this summer. A seagull flies over a large puddle in the beach, above while below is  a game of volleyball goes on at beach volleyball central - Ashbridges Bay.
Ahhhhh, summer. See more summer pictures after the jump.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tis the Season to be Jolly

With December just around the corner, Thanksgiving just a brief memory, the Santa Claus Parade a Shrek  photo op from last weekend and the Cavalcade of Lights this weekend it's now time to embrace Christmas. You can't get away from it so you might as well tune your car radio to all Christmas Song stations and start to stock up on some booze. Just try to forget about all that white stuff that is coming our way.
The 2010 Cavalcade of Lights is scheduled for Saturday, November 27 from 7 to 10pm and a big part of the night, besides the concerts and fireworks, is supposed to be a skate party but I don't know if they will be ready with the ice. Ongoing construction has seen the replacement of a big chunk of their freezing system. Yesterday the rink was still concrete and they looked like they were testing the system to see if it works before they can even get started on the ice making. You may have to bring your roller blades if you want to do some skating.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Bizarre

It doesn't have to be out of the park to be bizarre. Sometimes it is a fine line between funny and just a little odd or peculiar. Toronto has a few strange things going on out there. You can help me find them - post your comments or send me an email about interesting or bizarre stuff.

Some wacked out pics after the jump.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flash Mob at Eatons Centre

A group of young dancers got together to form a flash mob just outside the Eaton Centre on November 23, 2010. They numbered around twenty and danced to celebrate the launch of a perfume from Nada. The mob quickly gathers from bystanders who are part of the existing crowd, does some type of action or dance and then moves on once the small performance is over. Mobs are done to protest, promote or just have fun.
Across the street a group of Toronto bicycle police gather in Yonge-Dundas Square. At first I thought they were the flash mob, then I thought that they were on the lookout for flashers, but nothing made sense.
I also found a Flash Mob website where you can publicize your mob event.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Graffiti on the walls

Artists and gangs tag the walls wherever they have even the slightest access. Cans of spray paint litter the alley, leftover from a day of painting. The artists get mad when taggers wreck their work.

Someone adds a graphic symbol to the graffiti mural.

Most of the graffiti is stylized words and letters, a vomit of colours and easily forgettable. Along railway tracks and in long alleyways the words tell a story that is hard to decipher.

Sometimes graffiti is simple and shares a message.
And sometimes it is cute.

Posters in the street

Posters fill many of the building surfaces along the downtown core of Toronto, some in places where they should be - such as the special light poles, and some on anything that doesn't move. The posters go up in such numbers that they soon are inches thick. Weathered posters become torn in patchwork quilts and take on a life of their own.
Most of the posters are advertisements, some even advertisements for poster companies.

Winter Carnival - Bonhomme

Big, bad Bonhomme, spokes rep for the Quebec Winter Carnival, was hanging in the heart of Toronto. He was giving hugs and chatting up Torontonians as he talked about his upcoming festival January 28 to February 13, 2011.

Even more Santa

Yes, that's right, even more 2010 Toronto Santa Claus Parade pictures. You can see my previous post here. See lots more pictures after the jump.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

MLS Champ Show - Matthew Good

Matthew Good was a major part of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Championship free pre-game show held down at BMO Field.

We were also glad to see that the Toronto Sun had a number of Sunshine Girls - especially the beautiful Bud Girl.

Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2010

Update: See more photos of the parade on my blog post here.

The 2010 Toronto Santa Claus Parade is huge, taking several hours to make the journey from Christie Pits down to the St Lawrence Market area. Floats and bands, horses and a lot of clowns moved down the route while onlookers several layers deep watched on both sides of the road.
Mayor elect Rob Ford walked in the parade as did Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.

Santa came last, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas riding a float with reindeer flying high above the streets.

HO HO HO. See tons more parade pictures after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square