Friday, July 29, 2011

Trinity Bellwoods Park: I miss you

I was out walking yesterday and then I thought of you. Hi, I miss you, then I remembered this sign found in Trinity Bellwoods Park tennis courts so I am not sure if someone threw a tennis ball and missed or they truly miss you. Someone had used heavy string to spell out their feelings in large block letters.

Update: The letters have seen better days and now the missing you will last 'always'. Plus there has been some art added to the fence.

Miss You Always

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nintendo 3DS truck

There was a big truck parked on the boulevard of Yonge Street just outside the Eaton Centre. The truck had big windows and people were invited in to see the Nintendo 3DS system. Available for only $250 - yeah that's right, expensive at half the price - but now in 3D.

Rickshaws and Gold Bikes in Toronto

Rickshaws continue to be pulled around the downtown core and along the waterfront of Toronto. Due to the high cost of gas I was thinking of getting me one of those eco modes of transportation and giving up GO Transit to get into work, but damn, those things don't pull themselves.
I also found that Toronto is going upscale, the pink bikes are now going gold. Well, we are moving on up - that or James Bond's Goldfinger is in town and getting healthy. You can just see the pink bike further down Yonge Street in the picture above.
I wonder if we are going to see television commercials screaming "We buy your gold bikes - working, broken, we don't care, just bring in your unused gold bikes and get top dollar cash for your unloved gold bike."

Happy Days back in Nathan Phillips Square

The construction underway in Toronto City Hall's Nathan Phillips Square kind of hindered the fun that you could have in the open space. But summer has brought back a couple of days that make the concrete square fun again - makes you think of something besides the pond, arches and the curved City Hall buildings. The recurring special days are Fresh Wednesdays (July 13-Aug 31, 2011) and Tasty Thursdays (July 14-Sept 1, 2011). For those close to Mel Lastman Square in North York you can take in Sunday Serenades (from 7:30 pm to 9 pm, July 10-Aug 21, 2011).
Fresh Wednesdays feature a Farmers' Market from 10 am to 2 pm and Fresh Concerts from noon to 2 pm. Tasty Thursdays have Tasty Food from 11 am to 2 pm (each meal is available for $7 or less) and Tasty Concerts from noon to 2 pm. When lunch hour hits the lines up grow pretty long so get there early.
A mounted Toronto Police Officer meets the tourists at City Hall.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beat the Heat: Islands in the sun

Thousands of people stream from the mainland of Toronto, across the vast expanse of water know as the inner harbour and frolic in the green parks, sandy beaches and cool waters of Lake Ontario on the Toronto Islands. You can get there by plane, water taxi, pleasure boats, tour boats and by the mighty ships known as the Toronto Ferries
I like the ferries because they are so old and full of character with red life jackets hanging from the ceilings. This year the cost for the ferry trip for an adult is only $6.50 and you can bring your bikes at no extra cost. Actually the cost is for the trip across, you can come back for free!
Family picnics and the Centreville Amusement Park probably bring the most people seeking recreation. Centreville is on the largest island called Centre Island - I think it is somewhere in the middle. Ward's Island on the east is the next largest with Hanlan's Point on the west side, which is also the home of the Island Airport. There are a few more islands and you can move between the islands by the many bridges. You can see a great map of the islands here.

It's quieter on the Hanlan's Point side away from the families going to the amusement park (I always remember the log flume ride) and being home to the clothing optional (I mean naked) beach keeps a lot of people away on general principle. 
Right outside the beach area is a snack shack that serves alcohol so if the beach gets too warm you can chill out with some cold brews. You just have to remember to put your clothes back on when you come off the beach. The homes and cottages are on the Ward's Island side and some unusual housing designs make it a nice way to spend some time checking out the sights and little cottages.
With no private cars allowed the best way to see the islands is to roller blade or take your bike across - you can even rent a bike on the  islands. They have some groovy family bikes that resemble old style cars and that can seat two and four people.
Names carved into the pier on the south side of the islands.
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If you find a needle...

Do not touch it! Tell a lifeguard or parks attendant.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Things to do in Toronto July 30-31 & Aug 1, 2011

Hey it's my birthday on the 31st so have an extra special day - there will be no party so have some fun somewhere else. As a bonus it's a long weekend (Civic Holiday) for many. Have I mentioned the beaches and patios of Toronto? Here are some more pictures of the Pride 2011 Street Festival.

And for starters the Bluejays are at home playing ball this weekend from Tuesday July 26 (vs Orioles 26-28) to Sunday July 31 (vs Rangers 29-31). Sunday is Roberto Alomar Day - first 20,000 fans get a bobblehead of the new Hall of Famer at the former Skydome and current Rogers Centre.
The Toronto Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival continues this weekend with the following: Pan Alive Friday July 29, Grand Parade Saturday July 30, Carnival Lime Sunday July 31 to Monday August 1.

Saturday July 30 to Sunday July 31: TFCON Annual Transformer Collectors Convention at the Delta Meadowvale.

Saturday July 30 to Sunday July 31: Atomic Lollipop Music Festival, Anime Con and Carnival at the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Centre. And a Pillow Fight.

If you are close to the city centre you can keep on eye on events happening at Yonge-Dundas Square. Such as the Elastocitizens, TD Irie Music Festival and the Street Golf Tour.

Monday August 1 is Jambana Festival at Downsview Park.

Shiver me timbers - in the GTA there is the 4th Annual Pirate Festival in Milton from July 30 to August 1.

See more Pride pictures after the jump.

Sony Centre L Tower Construction

The cranes keep busy as the work progresses on the L Tower being built alongside the Sony Centre in Toronto. I would hate to live on this floor because I am pretty sure I would get seasick and roll out the window.

Reflection of a fancy window

They kind of threw everything at this window, it's fancy. Now you can see it's reflection in another window. Now pump it, pump it good. Yeah, they're not related, so sue me.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Detroit and Belle Isle Fountain

I passed through Detroit (see last years post on Detroit) on the way to the Thunder over Michigan Airshow and we drove onto Belle Isle which is a great treasure along Detroit's waterfront. The main part of the Belle Isle fountain (the James Scott Memorial Fountain) has been fixed since my last visit and only two parts remain without water. The pond itself is full of algae and no ducks float on it's almost solid surface.

Back in Detroit the razor wire, graffiti, empty lots and abandoned buildings still remain. I didn't see any urban farms and maybe they still remain as proposals. It is said that Detroit is the 2nd poorest City in America which is really sad considering that the American economy still seems to be reeling from the previous world wide meltdown which has not really ended. I hope that Detroit comes back and that some people can take advantage of the low home prices and bring families and business back to Motor City. Until then the abandoned buildings and damaged structures provide a scary and artistic memory of past bounty.
Welcome, Enjoy Detroit mural.

See more pictures of the Belle Isle Park, fountain and more Detroit pictures after the jump.

Thunder over Michigan Air Show 2011

The rain did not last long and helped to cool down the Ypsilanti's Willow Run Airport for the 2011 edition of the Thunder over Michigan Air Show which ran July 23 and 24 in Michigan, USA. The airport was chock full of vintage and serving military aircraft including the VTOL MV-22 Osprey with its two huge propellers that rotate and allow forward or upward flight. The Blue Angels were the star of the show this year but there were also a lot of other stars at the event.
The airshow is fantastic for what you can see on the ground and what you can see overhead as the planes scream by along the runways. You could also see the Belleville Re-enactor Parade and the European Battle Theatre engagement just before the airshow began. Some of the serving planes were painted in their World War II squadron colours.

See more planes after the jump.

Thunder over Michigan WWII Re-enactment

The Thunder over Michigan Airshow included a large camp of World War II re-enactors and their equipment and weapons. On Saturday, July 23 they staged a re-enactment of the European Theatre of Battle as the Americans fought the Germans. A number of P-51 Mustangs passed right over the battle as smoke and weapons fire filled the air. Those pesky nazis lost.
The famous fighter makes a low level pass over the ground action.

The surviving German troops surrender to the Americans.
See more photos after the jump.

Thunder over Michigan WWII Parade

The town of Belleville welcomed the military re-enactors from the Thunder over Michigan Airshow. The police honour guard led the parade as they moved from a park to the waterfront where four amphibious vehicles waited down at the docks. A number of planes flew overhead to help celebrate the parade and the coming of the airshow.
The soldiers marched from Main Street to Horizon Park and the parade was well attended.

The heavy downpour gets the Amphibious crew all wet.

See more pictures after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square