Saturday, December 31, 2011

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Graffiti and 911 Calls

The #Toronto Mayor certainly takes it on the chin from all sides. There are the NOPE posters of him around the downtown core, wearing the big Mussolini hat with the bird spreading it's wings. Well I added his New Year's Resolution to the picture: NOPE, not gonna do it, not gonna call 911 this year. Actually it should be a resolution for a few of his family members.

DEADBOY also has a large number of artworks dedicated to the Mayor of Canada's largest city.

Happy New Years Eve #Toronto

December 31, 2011 is a special time in a Year's life. Oh, he started out as a wee lad in winter, grew into a strong summer and now he has passed fall and didn't even get a chance to retire before he has to go. The old heave ho, out with the old, in with the new. I think 2012 will be a girl's year. This Year will also start off in diapers, grow into full bodied summer, take a little time to enjoy milf status, then watch out, her comes cougar Year!
Tomorrow brings Mayor Levees, Polar Swims and hangovers and bad decisions for some. But tonite we party like its still 2011! Cheers to you! I hope your year came with a happy ending - bazinga!

Thanks to all my new visitors this year, along with the great people that make a visit to the Toronto Grand Prix Tourist Blog a habit. I plan on having more caffeine and more addictive photos to rope you in. I trust that Toronto will continue to have interesting graffiti, stories, events and adventures that I can use my camera on. Thanks to my wife for letting me go out to cover Toronto with my cameras. Thanks also to Joe Hamilton (Fresh Joe) for helping me update the blog with some fantastic pictures.
Here is Reality TV Star Jessie Sulidis signing autographs for fans at the Honda Indy Toronto event at Yonge-Dundas Square in 2010. Here's to the Honda Indy Toronto, may it be a lot of fun for all those that attend.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Motorcycle Show 2012 and Port Dover Friday the 13th

Well, excuse the falling snow and freezing rain and the forecast which surely calls for more of the same because your ride is calling out for you at next weekends North American International Motorcycle Supershow 2012. Rev up your choppers for the January 6, 7 and 8 at the International Centre for the 'Big ShowOne'. Following closely on the heels of the show will be the Friday the 13th motorcycle pilgramage to Canada's holy roller of two wheeled destinations - Port Dover.
Mandy Monroe will return in 2012
The giant show will be held in 5 halls in the centre by the airport will be full of chopper and custom bikes, Motorcycle MAX Awards, racing performance, touring, cruiser, vintage and classic, new and used bikes for sale and an industry showcase. The MC Supershow will also have showbike competitions from the US and Canada with $50,000 cash and awards. See last years show photos here.

The Adult entrance is $18 and you can find a $3 off coupon for Friday or Saturday Evening (5pm-10pm) at the link. Hours are Friday from 10am to 10pm on Friday and Saturday, 10am to 6pm on Sunday.
Now at least the motorcycle show is indoors, the Port Dover run must pose some difficulties for bikers as Friday the 13 approaches quickly along with the depth of snow on the route. In 2012 there will be three Friday rally events - January 13, April 13 and July 13. I don't know how many will make the winter rally but there will probably be a few less bikes and a lot more clothes for this event as compared to a summer rally. I guess most will leave the bikes at home and come for the party. Photos on this post and also here.

If anyone has any suggestions for camp grounds close to the main events this year please post them to the comments. Happy riding and flashing everyone.

The jackalope helmet girl
Row after row of bikes line the streets
green screen bikini girl

Countdown to New Years Eve - 1 Nights plus Polar Swim

It's Friday night and tomorrow the bells will ring out the end of 2011 and the start of 2012. Parties are planned with crackers (with prizes), canapes and  hors d'oeuvres while James Bond gets his martini glasses chilled for Pussy Galore. Somewhere the fireworks are getting planned for a night of bangs and booms.
Tomorrow the celebrations start at noon at Yonge-Dundas Square with Citytv NYE in the Square. The event will run till 8pm and features free giveaways, face painting and xbox playing. Later the party moves to Nathan Phillips Square for the Citytv's New Years Eve Bash 2012 at Toronto City Hall starting at 10pm.

I think it is part of the streakin' speadsters plus the Stanley Cup is in the water

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Countdown to New Years Eve - 2 Nights plus Polar Swim

Oh man, excitement approaches as the baby New Years is almost here. Get your party hats and cocktails ready for the rockin' Saturday night - the last day of the year. It makes me cry. If I still wrote checks I would worry about signing the wrong year on the check, but I don't even remember what a check is. Santa and his sexy elves dash into the water in the Polar Swim photo above.

The snow is falling and it is cold out so there might even be some ice on Lake Ontario. Maybe not enough to slow down the Polar Bear swimmers that will brave the New Years Day dip. Many places have costume contests for those that join in the charity dunks so get yours ready. My brother and I will try to photograph the Ashbridges Bay (at The Beach) swim and we will be wearing our viking helmets.
Sunnyside had some polar bears protesting

We used to go to both the Sunnyside and the Ashbridges Bay New Years Day (January 1) swims as the start times were staggered. Now they both go at noon. The Ashbridges Bay swim has the advantage of a heated tent for opening ceremonies, plenty of coffee and hot chocolate for the participants, a costume contest and the swimmers go out in waves and not all at once - so it lasts longer. My plan is to bring shorts and sandals and take pictures from the water, the only problem is staying on your feet in the slippery rocks as I don't want my cameras to take a polar swim of their own.

Raptors' Tailgate Party at the ACC

The Raptors Dance Pak were hiding inside but there was a party outside the #Toronto Air Canada Centre for the pregame excitement. I think only the Raptors red velociraptor mascot was warm while everyone else tried to beat the cold by dancing to the DJ's music. The mascot was trying to eat another girl whole, but he only got a little chomp in. The Raptors lost to the Indiana Pacers in their first home game of the season 90-85.
Ice sculpture with basketballs

Organizers provided free food with tiny hot dogs with mac cheese on top, hot poutine and chili (I think that's why the Toronto Fire Department were on hand - to put out the chili fires).

Posted by Joe Hamilton. See more of the Tailgate Party after the jump.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Countdown to New Years Eve - 3 Nights plus Polar Swim

New Years Eve falls on a Saturday this year, which is a great night for a party. In three more nights the sky will light up with fireworks while the sound of noisemakers will annoy anyone close enough to have to endure the shrill sounds. The next day you can take your hangover and give it a splash of cold Lake Ontario water in the annual Polar Bear swims taking place on at a beach near you on New Years Day at noon.

Maple Leafs doing ok

Falling almost in the middle of the National Hockey League (NHL) standings our very own #Toronto Maple Leafs are doing ok and have won 18 of their 36 games. Unfortunately there are 11 other teams within one point either side of the Leafs' point total so it is a precarious time for the team. It's a good thing that they play into summer with the regular season games ending in April 2012. These pictures are from the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Brookfield Place lobby entrance.
The old face mask of Mike Palmateer
Stanley Cup replica

You can see my pictures of old Maple Leaf Gardens which now is a Loblaws grocery store and Ryerson University sports centre. They now take their skates to the Air Canada Centre.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Stonehenge in #Toronto

The excavation of an almost completed Stonehenge in Toronto rises above Bay Street adjacent to the Royal Bank Plaza. It consists of multiple black, monolithic structures that seem to be missing it's top members and the balance of the circle of stones. The monoliths would also be perfect for monkeys to touch, which they probably did back in 2001 during a previous odyssey.
The site must have been brimming with Druids during our recent Winter Solstice on December 21st, practicing their nudist rituals (I hope) as they flung flowers into the air. Early in it's history the site fell into disrepair during the OS (Occupy Stonehenge) period. The site was only discovered in modern times when rich Bay Street financial types needed to add to their underground wine cellars.
Both the sunrise and the sunset of the solstice are magnified by the gold windows of the building that is situated across the street from Brookfield Place on Bay Street and Union Station on Front Street.

See more photos of gold and monoliths after the jump.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day; We who are about to buy salute you

The bastion of consumer sales beckons the customers into the malls of #Toronto. #BoxingDay salutes you! Actually I like sales too and the day after Christmas sale is always on your mind when you are buying presents before Santa comes to visit. Arrgghh, will the present be half off after you have bought it?
I would buy more but I find it hard to shop with all the rest of the the giant, pulsating crowds that hope to get wicked good deals. Wicked good, ugh! Here is some CEMO graffiti found in Toronto's alleys around Queen Street West. The one above features a zombie like skull with boxing gloves, it's graffiti boxing day. The blue eyed skull creature has a boxing helmet and big blue gloves and he stands ready to take on high prices!
This CEMO skull guy just looks angry - he realizes his present is now on sale.

Online sales are a good alternative, avoid the crowds and get a good deal. Shipping is included with a lot of deals and you can get it so fast after you order.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Toronto

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year #Toronto. This Star Wars Santatrooper looked friendly just before he tried to shoot me with his blaster. Luckily he was a crappy shot and missed me every time. Try not to miss your favourite gift, that you missed getting, so get out there with some Boxing Day and Boxing Week sales.

You can also look forward to the New Years Party and the next day ice cold swims in Lake Ontario with the Polar Bear Dips at Sunnyside Beach and Ashbridges Bay (Great Canadian Chill) at noon on January 1st, 2012.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Island of Unwanted Christmas Toys

On the beginning of Christmas Eve I think about all the movies and shows that come out every year - like The Little Drummer Boy and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was always sad to see the Island of Unwanted Christmas Toys full of sad toys which the gang rescued and later Santa gave parachuted them out to children around the world.
I found an 'UNWANTED' graffiti in downtown Toronto and underneath was a painting of a face and it made me sad. I hope your Christmas and Holidays are truly happy! Have fun Toronto and also think of those who may be unwanted and unloved and help make them happy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Salvation Army Brass Band plays Christmas music

A group of Salvation Army musicians play brass instruments as shoppers and commuters pass by on a busy street in Toronto. Their Christmas Kettle fills with money as people donate to the charity fundraising campaign.

Bay Street sunshine

Looking south on Bay Street towards Queen Street West as beautiful sunshine tries to beat the cold into submission on the last day of the week before the Christmas weekend. At lunchtime there were sun snowers (like sun showers but with snow) even as the sky was clear blue and the light was brilliant. Old City Hall Court House is on the left and City Hall is to the right. The towers of Bay street rise like a mountain made of money in the background.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

@CityNYE 2012 stage rising

With the number of events going on in #Toronto City Hall's Nathan Phillips Square the metal scaffolding goes up and down so often that they should just leave it there. The construction crews fit the metal tubes and plywood sheets up directly in front of City Halls flying ship and round bookmark buildings in preparation for NYE 2012.
Wow NYE 2012. LOL, I had to check because I thought it was about New York. My in depth online research allowed me to deduce, much like Sherlock Holmes (yes I love the movies), that the tall tubing structure resembling a giant Meccano set will probably be used for the Citytv New Years Eve Bash 2012.

Kevin Frankish and Dina Pugliese are joined by Gord Martineau and Tracy Moore as hosts of the free concert that takes place on New Years Eve, which I thinks is December 31, 2011 this year (which is good because I remember one year it was late and they held it in February), and the fun starts at 10pm. Man, that's awful late, they should start earlier so that we can get to bed before midnite.

There will be live performances by Howie D, JDRN, Karl Wolf, Anjulie, Aleesia, Neverest and others during the night which will also feature fireworks.
As I recall there were a lot of glow sticks, a skating dance party, thousands of people and cold, yes cold.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice Dec 21

The day certainly looked dark as I gazed upon #Toronto’s Yonge Street on December 21 at noon and the Menorah at City Hall was a beacon of light in the early morning commute. Today is the Winter Solstice which is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you can’t bear to let this day pass without celebration then you have to go to Kensington Market and join in with many others to enjoy an evening with some unusual fun. The upside of the solstice is that the days get longer as we head further into winter.
Kensington Market once again becomes home to hundreds of people participating in the 22nd annual Winter Solstice Parade where you can “unite to ignite the longest, darkest night…celebrate the solstice community-style in a luminescent lantern-lit procession through Toronto’s Kensington Market. Wednesday, December 21, 2011 – 6:30 to 8:00pm.” Everyone fills the street as they start to gather at the Oxford and Augusta area, then the parade heads out towards Alexandra Park at Dundas St West and Bathurst St for the finale.

It’s fun to get to the market early and watch many of the participants get into elaborate and really cool costumes. Lanterns, flashlights and flames fill the night as the parade starts out and music from large and small bands follow in with the crowd. Young and old participate in the musical and well lit march through the narrow streets towards the ultimate destination deep within the park. The finale usually happens at the baseball field where the inner bases are roped off to keep people safe and allow room for the performers to work their magic.

Members in costumes and the bands enter the field to show off their outfits. Later the flames come out to play as performers start juggling, throwing and blowing fire and the rhythmic musical continues to accent the performance in front of the jammed crowd (this is another event where they could use a raised area so that more people can watch the exciting show – at least the crowds can help to keep you warm). At the end of the celebration a tall, cardboard structure is lit on fire and allowed to burn to the ground. It goes up pretty fast. I haven’t seen a sacrifice yet so don’t feel threatened about attending the event.

You can see my pictures of the 2010 Kensington Market Winter Solstice Parade here and the 2012 Solstice Parade here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#Toronto Holt Renfrew Christmas Windows and Soldiers

The Bloor Yorkville Holt Renfrew store celebrates the holiday season with Christmas windows and soldiers in toy soldier uniforms at the doors welcoming you to ritzy shopping. This years theme is 12 days of Christmas.
Soldiers bang their drums while the window says 'Happy Christmas' along Toronto's Mink Mile
Flags fly above the Holt Renfrew sign
A shopping salute welcomes you to the store

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square