Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Krave-ing the good stuff

A giant chocovore roamed around promotion central (Yonge and Dundas) in #Toronto - it was a giant cereal stuffed full of chocolate escorted by a park ranger. Maybe the mutant cereal was going to eat people and the ranger was there to keep everyone safe.

I know that I was wondering why there wasn't more chocolate in my daily diet - Canadians are wasting away, you know. Now I can start the day right with chocolate cereal. This guy is the chocolate cereal, there is also a double chocolate cereal available. I will probably skip this breakfast treat and just eat a Tobelrone bar, keeping that pesky fibre out of the dietary mix.

 See more of the new cereal after the jump.

Birds of Prey at Mountsberg @RaptorCentre

Enjoying summer weekends in parks around the Greater #Toronto Area is a pleasant way to get close to nature and get some exercise. The lure of raptors from the Birds of Prey centre brought me to Mountsberg Conservation Area in Halton Region.
You can actually go into the flight enclosure where handlers work with the birds to inform and bring a personal connection to the beautiful creatures that you see up close in the centre with their cousins in the wild. In the enclosure the birds fly right over the crowd and in one case they even touched my head as they passed by. Mountsberg is home to three species at risk in Ontario - the Bald Eagle, the Barn Owl and the Peregrine Falcon.
"Tucked within Mountsberg Conservation Area, the Mountsberg Raptor Centre is currently home to 15 different species of native birds of prey. Many of the Raptor Centre's resident birds of prey have permanent injuries that have left them incapable of surviving on their own in the wild. In many cases, these injuries were caused by human activity. With the help of these feathered ambassadors, the Mountsberg Raptor Centre teaches the community about the native birds of prey that share our environment and how to reduce the negative impact we can have on them."
The conservation area is also very popular in winter with 'Christmas Town' and in the spring with the 'Mountsberg Sugar Bush' and maple syrup festival. You can see the draft horses that pull the wagons at these events munching on the grass during the summer months. These horses are very friendly and they come up to the holes in the fences so you can pet them.

The 472 hectare site includes a reservoir and dam that regulates water flow and protects against floods. Right now the lack of water has depleted the water in the reservoir and the wetlands have shrunk considerably. An Osprey nest rests high on a pole out in the reservoir - you can see one of the adults perched above the nest.
A small herd of bison join goats and bunny rabbits that can be found in the park. In the barn, which you can explore and play in, some baby chicks gobble up food under a heat lamp and wild barn swallows nest in the rafters of the barn, continuously flying in and out of the barn with food for their babies.

#Toronto Fountains

Well if we can't have waterfalls we can surely enjoy the many fountains found throughout our city. Plus we have Lake Ontario and the Islands. One of the new fountains called Sherbourne Common South is located down at the Harbourfront just east of Sugar Beach and Corus. The fountains come on around 10am and jets of water spray in the air. Across the road is the sister park named Sherbourne Common with a focus on water.

Part of the Sherbourne Common storm water treatment centre's release ponds
Berczy Park

Every time I turn a corner in Toronto I find more fountains in parks, big and small.

See more dancing water after the jump.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer @Olympics 2012: Go Canada Go!

Flag makers are churning out flags as people get into Olympic fever and the #Toronto @TOeatoncentre has a giant Canadian red and white maple leaf flag hanging high above shoppers.
The summer Olympics bring out the nationalistic pride of all countries as so many gather around TVs and watch the competitions. Watching sports you never thought you would watch as you root for your country to take the gold. There is a large TV screen near Sears where you can sit on a couch (or gather around in crowds) and watch the Olympic action free of charge.

See more after the jump.

Sharp building in #Toronto Distillery District

The building along Mill Street comes to a sharp point as it hits Parliament Street. So sharp it could cut like a knife. It makes for a scary passage through the brick lanes of the historic, bricky neighbourhood. 
If this building is sharp like a steak knife, the Flatiron Building in the St Lawrence Market area is a little more like a butter knife at its point, a little more rounded and far safer to pass by without being cut.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Occupy Gardens in #Toronto

Queen's Park had a little protest going on during the July 28 weekend as some gardeners were planting some vegetables in the dirt in the large park north of the Legislature building. There were plenty of gentle protesters with some banners and some free food as the protested for World Peas during an event called Summer Jam.
The growing collective of plot farmers are taking over small sections of land and planting crops to share with all that are hungry. They celebrated Summer Jam with an edible and musical community potluck picnic in the park.

Canada International Children's Art Festival

The 10th annual Art Festival for children from all backgrounds takes place from July 21 to August 3, 2012 in #Toronto. "The Festival hopes to encourage children to develop an interest in the arts by providing a public outlet through which they can express themselves. Art is a global language, and it is through this language that children can better engage with the world around them."
In Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday July 28 there was live painting and an awards ceremony for children as excited parents gathered around the elevated stage. The event was promotion of their green living ideals to the children. "This year’s festival theme is “Green Life, We create together”. The goal of the live painting event is to educate kids and their families on environmental issues, make them aware of available resources and opportunities, and also to promote, encourage, and reward new innovative ideas."
Teachers win some awards as well

The CICAF has been organized by the Canada-China Council since 2007 and children from ages 3 to 17 years old are the key to this Festival. See more photos after the jump.

Yoga flashmob in #Toronto

When the pedestrian all way crossing lit up at Yonge and Dundas Streets the yoga members went into the road and did some yoga stuff on Saturday July 28, 2012. The busy intersection beside the Eaton Centre is a very popular flashmob location, you have to be prepared to step around those usually funny flashmob participants.

This one was part of the lead up to Yogathon Toronto 2012: You already do Yoga. Now do it for a cause. The event will be held in the nearby square at 1 Dundas Street East on Sunday August 19, 2012 from 10am to noon and will join Yogathons in 5 other cities across Canada.

"The target is to do 108 Sun Salutations in 2 hours, but you can do as many as you like 25, 50,.. whatever your body is ready for. Believed to have originated 2,500 years ago, Sun salutations are a series of 12 fluid Yoga postures that create a full body workout.

100% of the collections from this event will go towards Care for Children, a charity program that helps underdeveloped countries establish schools and educational infrastructure for children. Take this opportunity to make a difference in children's lives!"

See more photos after the jump.

Mad Decent Block Party 2012

It wasn't explosive - it was just a Mad Decent Block Party at #Toronto Yonge-Dundas Square during the PUMA sponsored event. The music started at 1pm and the event lasted until 11pm. I got there just as they were setting up and the crowds slowly started to gather as the mixes blasted out over the square and the beer tent set up for a liquid business.
There was a dunk tank set up along with a Foosball table and a photo booth. Food vendors were also there to provide some nourishment for the party goers. See more photos after the jump.

The Cry Canada

Lineups stretched around the corner of Massey Hall for The Cry #Toronto show on Saturday July 28, 2012 as fans waited to enter the historic concert hall for something that I have never heard of before.
The show is part of TheCRY Movement which is billed as: It's not a concert. It's not a conference. It's a CRY. 
"TheCRY is a prayer movement of believers from every generation, region, cultural background and denomination. We believe in the power of prayer and fasting.

TheCRYs are not political gatherings. They are prayer meetings. They range anywhere from 8 – 12 hours. Throughout the gathering national leaders, regional leaders, and passionate believers lead in prayer on a variety of issues. What is prayed for specifically depends on the needs of the nation at that time."

Bumblebee Autobot Transformer

Bumblebee was just chillin' in #Toronto beside the SEAS Centre on Dundas Street East. He was leaning against the building, alone, in his autobot form, not in the form of a Chevrolet Camaro. Like a lot of movie stars he is a little shorter than I thought he would be and he didn't mind joining me in a photo.
Photo by Joe Hamilton

The Transformers are having a show right now - the Transformer Convention or TFcon. Canada's Annual Transformers Collectors Convention – July 27th to 29th, 2012 – Delta Meadowvale Resort and Conference Centre – 6750 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario

This is TFcon's 10th anniversary and the are "happy to announce they will be holding their first ever charity auction July 28th for Make-A-Wish Canada. The charity auction will feature many great unique items and we hope our community will help raise as much as possible for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

TFcon is Canada’s annual Transformers collectors convention, and the second greatest attended Transformers convention in the world. This year’s attractions include Transformers Creator Bob Budiansky, Transformers voice actors Scott McNeil and Neil Ross, along with Hasbro Canada. We are pleased to have them as part of our 2012 events. Please see http://www.tfcon.ca for more details."

Cat on the beach

I saw a young lady in #Toronto carrying a black cat at Ashbridges Bay boardwalk and I must say I was very surprised. Most cats in this situation would be scratching and hissing as they escaped into the wild. This guy looked pretty content and maybe he wanted to swim and get some sun on the beach.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

OVA Beach Tour Provincial Volleyball Championships

The Ontario Volleyball Association event brought some amazing athletes together in #Toronto for the 2012 Provincial Championships Beach Volleyball Tournament. Ashbridges Bay park had the volleyball nets strung tight while teams of two battled for supremacy on the sands at the edge of Lake Ontario. The tournament during the July 28-29 weekend was for the Adult A-AA, Adult Elite, 18 & under and 15 & under players.

See more of the games after the jump.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Early morning by the lake

The sparkling day was framed by some cool clouds today in #Toronto as I made my way by bike along the boardwalks and bike paths along the edge of Lake Ontario. A group of cute little ducklings followed their mother on a tour of the harbour. Earlier in the day the sunrise provided a nice glow to the city and the waterfront.
Besides the abundance of all types of birds, including the poop champions - Canada Geese, they were outnumbered by the amount of people who boat in the harbour: sculls and dragon boats especially.

Single, double and quad sculls

See more of the lake shore after the jump.

#Toronto Festival of Beer

@TOBeerFestival chugs into Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place with over 200 beer brands on site for the July 27-29, 2012 event. Mmmm, cold and golden beverages!
There was a scheduling conflict with the Canadian National Exhibition so they had to change the dates and times. Starting Friday July 27 the festival hours are 4:30-11pm, Saturday July 28 1:30-8pm and Sunday July 29 from 1:30-8pm. Tickets are already sold out for Friday and Saturday. The entrance signs have some excellent pointers including drink lots of water and apply sunscreen and public urination will not be tolerated!

"New sampling cups - 2012 ushers in a new style of sampling glass for the Festival. This year everyone attending will receive a new commemorative Toronto's Festival of Beer glass stein!" Tickets are $38.50 and come with 5 sample tokens, the sampling cup and a pocket guide. For $10 more you can 'Hoptimize' the general admission ticket which allows for express entry, extra time in the festival and 5 extra sample tokens. Don't lose your sampling glass because replacements will cost you $20.

Main stage entertainment has a exciting range of performers including female rappers Salt-N-Pepa, Kreesha Turner and many more.
Thursday July 26 featured the Queer Beer Festival 

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square