Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nuit Blanche 2012

The 150 projects that comprise the @sbNuitBlanche all night contemporary art exhibitions kept a lot of #Toronto awake all night wandering the streets following maps and schedules for the three zones. Canadian pop star Nelly Furtado even did a pop-up performance from an apartment building balcony during the Saturday September 30th.

Quasar 2.0: Star Incubator
Postcards from the End
Green Invaders
Nelly on the balcony

Posted by Joe Hamilton. More art after the jump.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Google Maps Street View in #Toronto

I love seeing the Google Maps Street View car driving around the city. Here it is near the Air Canada Centre. When he honks his horn I wonder if it says "cheese"?
This makes several times that I have seen the Street View camera car. They really spend a bundle for the data that is needed for their maps and street view applications. One of their competitors in the mapping business is Apple who released their own mapping app which has drawn a lot of criticism for some of its bizarre funhouse satellite images.

@PawsWay in October 2012

Tired of just walking your dog on the cold sidewalks of #Toronto? It's time for a visit to the 3,500 square foot PawsWay facility at Harbourfront where you can pick up a new doggie outfit, get some photos taken of your pet, and join in or just watch the many activities that rank right up there with canine butt sniffing, which really is the top form of social media for pooches. And I am not sure but is this dog wearing a thong?
PawsWay features a free Puppy and Kitten Weekend (Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30, 11am to 5pm) followed by an event filled October. During the Puppy and Kitten weekend you can get assistance to help with the decision of whether to get a cat or dog, the various breeds of dogs and cats available and even find out about ways to train your pet. The best part is they have cute puppies and kittens that you can cuddle. Sunday also has a free Kitten Kindergarten from 2-3pm with Dr Melanie Bonder with a presentation on proper kitten care. Learn everything from Litter Box 101 to grooming and dental care.
From PawsWay event October event calendar you can take in the following.

WoofJocks Agility Team, Saturday, October 6 – 8 (11am - 5pm): The WoofJocks are a high-energy dog/handler performance team specializing in interactive games and demonstrations of canine agility and obedience. See FREE demos of today's most exciting canine sports!

St. John's Ambulance Therapy Dogs, Saturday, October 13 (11am - 5pm) and Sunday, October 14 (11am - 5pm: Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog program. Activities include a doggie talent and costume contest, a kids’ activity room, plus lots more. A St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog Evaluator will be on site to see if your dog is right for joining this dynamic volunteer group.

Puppy Kindergartenm Saturday, October 13 (4pm - 5pm) and Saturday, October 27 (11:30am – 12:30pm): New Puppy? Bring out the best in your puppy in this exciting and informative four week series of classes. Topics include come when called, sit, stand and down on command, name recognition, house training, leash pulling and much more! Cost: $60 plus HST for four one hour sessions.

Halloween Party, Saturday, October 27 (11am - 5pm): Join us for a spooky celebration at our howling Halloween party. Lots of games, prizes, fun family activities and free treats for any dogs that are in costume. Admission is FREE!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Beacon in Brookfield Place

@sbNuitBlanche Beacon, 2012 in #Toronto rising in the middle of Allen Lambert Galleria of @ArtsBrookfield Place. The bare bones lighthouse structure is by Alison Norlen and is a little underwhelming in the harsh light of day - it gets lost in the amazing arched space within Brookfield Place. At night the girders and metal pipe will probably be lit up - presumably like a lighthouse, and should be more impressive. As a bonus the work is situated in one of my favourite indoor spaces in Toronto!
"Situated within the sprawling steel and glass arcade of Brookfield Place, Beacon is a tribute to the once futuristic dream worlds of pleasure palaces and World's Fairs as well as to the memory of the nearby shoreline long lost beneath the city’s surfaces. Stripped of purpose and relevance like so many of its tarnished predecessors, the 30-foot architecture retains iconic significance, an expressive monument to past grandeur, wonder, and invention, capturing the vaporous zone between past and future."
In Yonge-Dundas Square they are preparing Reflexion by Aaron Moran which is either a video crystal or a giant origami installation. Either way you can become part of the art by interacting with it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Falling for you

The #Toronto area is seeing bright splashes of colour as peak fall conditions advance across Ontario. You can check out the weekly Ontario Ministry of Tourism fall colour reports at their website.

The trees in front of Ryerson University are turning yellow and the pond has been drained

Walk a Mile #Toronto

It's time for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to help end violence against woman and girls. The chance to understand the opposite sex by walking a mile in her shoes is an event that brings a smile to your face even as funds are raised during the Thursday September 27, 2012 charity walk. Registration begins at 11:30am, the walk leaves at 12:45pm and ends at 2:30pm with a start and finish at Yonge-Dundas Square.

You can see my photos from the 2011 event here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Celebrity Stylist Brad Goreski in #Toronto

Canadian star of It's a Brad, Brad World @mrBradGoreski (above, left) brought his fashion style to the @MarksWW live billboards at Yonge-Dundas Square. The chain is hoping to bring more women into the store and not just buying clothes for the working man in their life. I remember the fashion show they did at this time last year in the square - some of the looks were sexy. Womanly, but I like the construction boots too!
Dropping the 'Work Wearhouse' the brand is know just Mark's and was promoting their new fall and winter casual clothing fashion line with several other live billboards around town, including Queen and Peter Streets and in the St Lawrence Market. The models posed and you could join them for an interactive modeling experience. See more of the start of the promotion after the jump.

#Toronto SETI Telescope Array

The capital of Ontario has joined the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence with the installation of the Nathan Phillips Telescope Array. The array was tested by searching for intelligence in City Hall! It almost had something but then it focused on the Mayor's empty room and nothing was found. Rob might have been on the football field - trailed by all the media that has caused the Ford brothers to call them bricks or something.
The large arrary looks similar to the OMNI television studios with their mass of satellite dishes. If they do not find intelligent life they might be used for Nuit Blanche.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie

The season of the undead rises in #Toronto with #Frankenweenie and @TOzombieWalk. I fear the reaper and the concession stand at the movies - oooooooohhhhh, the horror. Officially it goes spring, summer, fall, undead and then winter. The undead equinox falls on Halloween.
Victor's attic laboratory where he brings Sparky back to life

This is the Art of Frankenweenie Exhibition which was found at the 2012 FanExpo extravaganza. The displays features props, sets and puppets from the movie.

Frankenweenie is a story of a little boy named Victor's who brings his cherished dog Sparky brought back to life in black and white, stop motion 3D wackiness. I don't think there are too many normal thoughts running around in Tim's cranium! I mean do you remember his 2011 tiff exhibition?
Some zombies probably dying for the Zombie Walk

First out of the grave in 2012 is the release of Frankenweenie on October 5, followed by the Toronto Zombie Walk (photos from 2011) on October 20 and finishing with attack of the Halloween treats on October 31. You can find movies playing in Toronto at

See more horror after the jump - if you can conquer your fear!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ashbridges Bay North: Rugby Ontario

Two @RugbyOntario teams fought a friendly game on the #Toronto field at Ashbridges Bay North during the past weekend. The Markham Irish in green and Balmy Beach in blue met in the Beach area as part of the senior men's league schedule which ends in championship games in late October.
Founded in 1949 the current roster of the Rugby Ontario Union has over 9,000 players in 71 clubs. Players wear very little in protection with a uniform consisting of a team t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes and I'm guessing a cup. There were plenty of scrums, rucks and mauls on the spectator benches while on the field balls are thrown, kicked and grabbed while players tend to jump on each other or push each other around. I was amazed when I saw players being lifted high in the air by their teammates as they try to intercept the ball - it makes for some exciting sports action.

The Men's Senior League is designated Marshall and has 16 teams in two divisions (Premier and Provincial). Premier has the top 8 clubs in Ontario and this year they include Aurora, Balmy Beach, Brantford, London, Markham, Oakville, Stoney Creek and Toronto Scottish.  

The Provincial division also has eight teams with a roster that includes Barrie, Brampton, Kingston, Niagara, Oshawa, Peterborough, Sarnia and Waterloo. They do the switcheroo at the end of the regular season and drop the bottom Premier team into the Provincial and move the top Provincial team into the Premier division.

See more bone crunching action after the jump.

Resting for Nuit Blanche

Sleepless in #Toronto is the way to go when you are hitting the @sbNuitBlancheTO all-night trail of contemporary art this Saturday. However, on the days leading up to the September 29, 2012 sunset to sunrise event is the time to get some extra rest so your energy levels are high for the long night of art appreciation. You can also use the time to go through the guide picking some of the 150 projects that you want to visit.
You will really need to be sharp to make it through the massive crowds, the art installations that are liberally sprinkled throughout the city and the transportation issues that come with discovering the works.
In the Eaton Centre you can get a sneak peek of one of the Nuit Blanche installations as Vertical Constructions: Dancer #1 and #2, 2012 is going up right now. The work is by Max Steicher from Toronto and is pictured in this post, please note that one of the Dancers is in mid-inflation so you cannot experience the true rush of the hanging installation. The individual three dimensional forms that fit together to make the piece were made from the giant advertisements that hang on the Eaton Centre Walls.  The work really speaks to me and it reminds me of two multi-coloured Christmas trees hanging over the shopping mall's centre court fountain. Then it speaks to me of the coming winter and I notice the cold weather has already started as we enter fall officially. Then I remember that I hate the cold and then I start to dislike the art. Then I remember the Christmas tree and I feel warm thinking of presents and I like the art again. You might have different thoughts on the contemporary art because, as you can see, my tastes are very sophisticated. In fact I wish they had a beer installation that I could drink.
Sadly Les Rues Des Refuses will not have a renegade art program on for Nuit Blanche 2012 but the Rothko Institute will hold their Renegade Parade as part of the sanctioned Nuit Blanche events this year. "The Parade will conquer the city, spreading music, chaos, and colour to the unsuspecting masses! It's an annual fantastical mission of mayhem that roams through the streets and spreads deep hard beats!!" They say that the parade will gather at the ROM Crystal and head out into the streets around 7pm. I hope that some of the underground events happen anyway - and that I run into them during the night.

Update: Both of the hanging pieces have been inflated, ready for Saturday's event.

Here are my favourites picks from all the projects:

At City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square

Quasar 2.0: Star Incubator, Jean Michel Crettaz, Mark-David Hosale

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Jill Hennessy at Canada's Walk of Fame Festival

@CWOfame Festival 2012 last day of free concerts featured television actress and musician Jill Hennessy at #Toronto City Hall. She sang and played guitar on the Nathan Phillips stage which is one of five venues for the festival, the other four being Massey Hall, Monarchs Pub at the Delta Chelsea Hotel, Toronto Eaton Centre - Urban Mic and the Winter Garden Theatre.
The four day festival presented music with some of Canada's popular and iconic performers and new artists who are just emerging onto the music scene. Jill Hennessy started at 3pm on Sunday September 23. She is best know for her work on Law and Order and Crossing Jordan.

Dia Wiphala Day

The City of #Toronto raised the Wiphala Flag to mark the autumn equinox and the anniversary of the Andean Council of Indigenous Peoples on Sunday September 23, 2012. The celebration included traditional dancers and singers performing on the podium roof of City Hall.
"There will be performances by traditional singers and dancers, including "Los Danzaq" from Peru, "Wayna Thakis" from Bolivia, "Spirit Wind" from Canada,  "Aztec Dancers" from Mexico, "Melody" from Bolivia and the legendary "Ayni" Group."
The flag and the outfits of some of the dancers was certainly bright and colourful - the flag was made of 49 squares in the 7 colours of the rainbow. The area of the indigenous Andean population spreads through Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, northern Chile, northen Argentina and southern Columbia.

Dodge Dart Street Style Tour

A Graffiti artist in #Toronto works his magic on the 2013 @Dodge_Canada Dart during the Yonge-Dundas Square leg of the Street Style Tour.
"Dodge fans in Toronto- come join us today through Sunday at our Dart Street Style Tour! Today and tomorrow, we're at King St. West & Brant in the Entertainment District Parking Lot. Both nights till 11pm! Sunday we'll be at Manifesto in Dundas Square from noon till 11pm. Come take a test drive in our all-new 2013 Dodge Dart. There will also be music and cool Dart vehicle painting. So, if you're going to be in the Toronto area, hit the mark and come take the Dart for a spin!"

Giant Red Capet on Worlds Longest Street*

#Toronto is in the spotlight again as the Canadian Walk of Fame Festival honoured celebrities with the installation of an enormous red carpet along Yonge Street across from the Eaton Centre (* note: not the World's largest Street anymore, damn, how did that happen?) and an awards gala at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. The gala will be hosted by David Letterman's musical director Paul Shaffer.
Randy Bachman, Phil Hartman, Russ Jackson, Sarah McLachlan, Sonia Rodrigues, Team Canada 1972 hockey team and Melanie Fiona were all the 2012 Walk of Fame inductees.
"In music, television, sports, the literary, visual and performing arts, as well as science and innovation, Canadians are at the forefront. Since 1998, Canada’s Walk of Fame has recognized and honoured 137 internationally celebrated individuals in these fields, who also happen to be Canadian." The show was on Saturday September 22 while the festival ends Sunday.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square