Thursday, February 28, 2013

Looking forward to the first weekend in March

Ladies and gentlemen of #Toronto, forget the snow, forget the cold because the city that sometimes sleeps is starting to wake up. During the March 1st to the 3rd weekend in 2013 there is plenty of fun activities to keep you busy - ahead of the March Break.

My plan includes hitting the big smoke on Saturday and taking in the following:
Toronto International Bike Show.
Habourfront World Stage Daschund UN at PawsWay Pet Centre.
Lay's Do Us A Flavour at Yonge-Dundas Square.
Sexapalooza 2013.
For more action and excitement the battlin' brawlers of the Toronto Roller Derby begin the 2013 season with a double header home opener. "First up, the Death Track Dolls will challenge the 2012 Boot holders the Chicks Ahoy at 6pm on the track. This show stopper is followed by a clash of leopard and blue as the Gore Gore Rollergirls take on the Smoke City Betties."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#Toronto International Motorcycle SPRINGSHOW coming

The open road is slightly clogged with snow right now but it will soon be ready for two wheeled fun and in anticipation of the spring riding season we can visit the March 16-17 show at the International Centre. The event, sponsored by Dalton Timmis Insurance, has some of my favourite works of art - custom choppers and show bikes, competing for $20,000 in cash and awards!
Riders, would be riders and peeps that just want to look at the cool bikes will find four halls of motorcycles that will feature gear, new and used bikes, scooters, offroad and vintage bikes and many vendors ready to help you get just the right accessories. Terez Leathers returns for leather fashion shows and racers will be on hand for autograph sessions.
"The Vintage ‘Bikes of the Century’ Display will feature significant bikes from invited clubs & private owners as well as Vincent Motorcycles from the Bar Hodgson Collection including the debut of the rare and legendary Egli-Vincent 'Black Panther'."
The Toronto Motorcycle SPRINGSHOW runs Saturday, March 16th from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday, March 17th from 10am to 5pm. The International Centre is located at 6900 Airport Road. Admission is $18 for adults; $5 for youths under 12, free for children under 6, and parking is free. Visit for more information and to download a $3 off discount coupon.

Feb 27 Winter Storm

Downtown #Toronto escaped the worst of the latest blast of snow but the surrounding GTA got hammered overnight with approximately six inches to a foot of the heavy, wet stuff. Lake Ontario and all the steam grates helped keep the financial district in rain and wet snow that left a smidgen of slush on the ground. Getting out of your GTA home in the early morning required pushing the door against the blanket of snow, then walking through snowbanks to public transit, or you could take a chance on slippery roads and highways.
York Street, south of Queen Street West
A GO Transit train plows through the new layer of snow over the rails while only the main road throughActon is plowed so early in the day.

Highway 7 Mill Street in Acton (Halton Hills)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taste of Iceland Festival

#Toronto shares a lot with our Icelandic brothers - snow, ice and probably a few inactive volcanoes, so it will be nice to see more of their culture when the festival comes to town March 21 to 24, 2013. They will leave their active volcanoes at home but Iceland Naturally will instead bring some of the traditional food, film and music of the island nation.
"Curious about the land of hot springs, volcanoes, Vikings and folklore? Perfectly juxtaposing old and new, Iceland’s sophisticated European culture based on age-old traditions, and its knack for mixing of ancient ways with new trends, makes it a must-see destination for any traveller. This spring, Toronto is ready for A Taste of Iceland in Toronto, as the festival returns to the city from Thursday, March 21 to Sunday, March 24. In addition, Icelandair recently announced year-round service from Toronto to Reykjavik, just a five-hour flight."

REYKJAVIK CALLING is a free concert presented by Canadian Music Week that takes place Saturday, March 23 at The Hoxton on Bathurst Street (doors open at 6:30pm) with Apparat Organ Quartet, Asgeir Trausti (joined by of Canada), and Soley (with Revelstoke of Canada).

The Icelandic Film Festival is another free event which will be held at the Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinema on Bloor Street West on March 21.

Drake Hotel's Head Chef Darren Glew will host award winning Iceland Chef Hakon Mar Ovarsson for four days (beginning March 21) of authentic Icelandic delicacies and inspired cocktails. You can check out the tasty menu below. Drake Hotel will also showcase Icelandic Art from March 20 through March 25 as well as the Iceland Airwaves Showcase on March 22.

Detailed information provided by the festival can be found after the jump. You can also find the link to enter a contest to win a trip to Iceland.


Wrestler Bill Goldberg will be the Grand Marshall at the #Toronto MEGASPEED Custom Car and Truck Show. Highlights include the Miss MEGASPEED contest, live bands and over 300 exhibitors at the International Centre during the March 22 to March 24, 2013 weekend. Bill's photo at top supplied by MEGASPEED.
A half million square feet of performance cars, custom hot rods and tuner cars will get fans of  vehicular horsepower in the mood for buffing their cars and watching bikinis. This year will also feature tributes to the 40th anniversary of the Corvette and Camaro muscle cars and the movie American Graffiti with stars Candy Clark, Bo and Paul.
See Kreator Custom Motorcycles, Bryne Byrne of I Mother Earth, the Worlds biggest all wheel drive production vehicle, reps from the Ontario Truck and Tractor Pulling Association, car designer Chip Foose, Rally driver Ken Block and Rad Rides by Troy.
Hours: Friday & Saturday – 10am - 9pm, Sunday – 10am - 6pm
Parking: Free parking for more than 7,000 vehicles

Magic, Luck and Friendship in #Toronto

@ArtsBrookfield has brought a humourous inflatable art installation to the long hall of the Allen Lambert Galleria with Starburst by @FriendswithYou. The big round, white ball has a cute face and is punctuated with a collection of colourful beach balls and tubes, reminding me of a startled blowfish that had picked up a few pieces of jewelry while looking for a mate. It made me smile on a winter February day, full of sun and hope that Spring is around the corner.
The exhibition is by the Friends With You Los Angeles based art collective artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III who like to promote the message of 'Magic, Luck and Friendship'. The hanging ball of fun will be at Brookfield Place from February 26 to March 15, 2013 (9am to 9pm).
"For its winter 2013 exhibition, Brookfield Place is pleased to present Starburst by FriendsWithYou, a visual arts collective based in Los Angeles. This smiling, dynamic sculpture will fill Allen Lambert Galleria with Magic, Luck and Friendship through its playful presence. Starburst will shower unbridled joy on all who pass beneath it and lift the spirits of all who engage with it. Commissioned by Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, Starburst premiered in Brookfield's Bay Adelaide Centre in June 2010."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Commerce Court Winter Festival

Ice, Ice Baby. There is more frozen stuff in the #Toronto Financial district at Bay and King Street with the Commerce Court Winter Festival. You can find indoor sidewalk sale, winter market, skating demonstrations, ice sculptures and apparently much, much more from February 25 to March 1, 2013. I was surprised that the ice sculptures weren't sitting in large glasses of premium scotch! See more sculptures after the jump.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Copper Businessman and Bumblebee

A copper, or maybe gold, covered living statue busker was joined by autobot transformer Bumblebee on the streets of #Toronto. It has been awhile since we saw the Copper Cowboy but I don't think it is the same guy. I think it is hard enough to busk in the heat of the summer so it must be brutal to do the job during the cold of winter. Kudos to the street entertainers.

Waiting for Megan Fox to make an appearance
A little fan gets up close to the autobot

Posted by Joe Hamilton.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

IceFest 2013

The #Toronto Bloor-Yorkville shopping district celebrated winter with an ice sculpture and entertainment Ice Festival from February 23 to 24. This was the 8th annual street party that used over 35,000 pounds of ice carved up into amazing displays of frozen art. An enchanted garden, an ice sculpture competition and some ice dancing by 'Glisse on Ice" also helped to keep everyone warm.

Posted by Joe Hamilton. See more photos after the jump.

Ice Pilots NWT in #Toronto

Crew from Buffalo Airways appearing in the docu-series on History Channel meet fans at the Outdoor Adventure Show. Mikey McBryan and Corey Dodd pictured above. "Sky-high dreams, an appetite for adventure, and nerves of steel are virtually prerequisites for a job at Buffalo Airways – as is living in the North. Discover what makes each member of this motley crew tick as they battle harsh conditions, the limits of WWII-era aircraft, and sometimes one another in order to keep Buffalo airlines and their flying dreams alive." Also at the show were the following.
Cheerleaders from the Toronto Rock
Dominican beauties from the Caribbean exhibition
At the aboriginal displays

Posted by Joe Hamilton.

It's a mixed up #Toronto

Just a variety of photos from the big city, like the street artist at work.

Brazil dancer with a full peacock circle costume
A Toronto fireboat sprays in full spray mode
A full alley
Streetcars on Queen Street West

Waiting for spring flowers

I don't want winter to go away - just warm up a whole bunch and stop with the white flakes that are all slippery like on the ground. Yeah, if you could just make winter so that it is more like spring, yeah that would be good. Spring flowers can soon be found in the 17th Annual Canada Blooms coming up March 15 to 24, 2013, considerably ahead of the April showers which will bring the real May flowers.
"Ah, Spring! The most awaited for season. After our long Canadian winters, we look forward to the warmth of the sun, and clear days. We shed our layers, feel active, and light hearted. With Spring comes revival, rejuvenation, romanticism, growth, hope, beauty, colour, and gardening, at last! Come explore and celebrate The Magic of Spring at Canada Blooms in March!" — Colomba Fuller, Canada Blooms Artistic Director.
You can find the show at the Direct Energy Centre in Exhibition Place with features like the following.

Acres of gardens.
Lectures and gardening demonstrations.
A floral and horticulture competition.
New plants and products showcase.
Special Children's Areas.
Wine and Cheese testing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Union Station Revitilization

#Toronto Union Station revitalization is happening at both the major multimodal commuter rail hub and the adjacent TTC station. The train tracks will have an award winning glass atrium that will let in natural light. The train yard currently looks like an old, dark barn that is falling apart while the higher glass building has started to take shape. Now more of the old roof has been ripped away, leaving parts of the old steel truss and some concrete roof joints exposed to the sky. They are taking care to preserve some of the century-old building's historical elements.
The TTC stop will be getting a second platform and to do the work Front Street has been slowly ripped apart to expose the underground layers and to relocate existing underground utilities and the entrance between the stations has slowly been reduced. Many thousands of passengers have been crammed together  to do the shuffle slow step, squeezed together to go through the doors and into the underground PATH system (especially in winter when so many keep underground). You can tell you are in a train station because  even the graffiti is themed to fit in with the rail motif.
The train station work will cost over $600 million and will take until 2015 to fully complete.
The no smoking sign in elevator No 1 which leads to track 3 has been modified to include a train

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square