Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vietnam: The journey continues

#Toronto Nathan Phillips Square welcomed the Vietnamese as they continued to protest for freedom in their home country. The flags and umbrellas and costumes brought a bright splash of colour into the concrete square on Saturday, April 27, 2013.

The people hope that democracy comes to the communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam. You can see some of the 2012 event on my post here.

Willard the missing pigeon in #Toronto

@_StevenTwigg has lost his pigeon which strangely responds to the name Willard. The illustrator has included a fantastic drawing of Willard and posted it on a traffic control box on Queen Street West, near city hall. 
The picture of Willard shows two complete feet so that rules out about a third of the pigeons I have seen around the city. I ordered some french fries from the trucks in front of City Hall and began to search for Willard. Unfortunately they all respond to french fries and couldn't care less what I was calling them. I don't know how old Willard is, maybe he could get his picture on a milk carton if he is a young bird.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Military Parade down University Avenue

Bear skin hats, kilts and pipers were major parts of the War of 1812 Battle of York Bicentennial celebrations in #Toronto on Saturday, April 27, 2013. After His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh presented new Regimental Colours to the Royal Canadian Regiment, 3rd Battallion, the Canadian military marched away from the Queen's Park legislature building and southwards towards the Historic Old Fort York. You can see photos of Philip on my post here.
A few mounted soldiers were in the parade
Leaving just before lunch the parade included over 1,500 armed forces personnel in a parade that was billed as one of the largest Canadian parades since the second world war. Once at the fort a commemorative ceremony took place at 1:30pm  with participants wearing War of 1812 uniforms. Re-enactors will also include First Nations participants.
Soldiers on patrol before the parade starts
HMCS York band

Army dog in the parade - he is a sergeant

Battle of York Bicentennial 2013

The army will march again on the 200th anniversary of the battle between Canada and the United States during the War of 1812. Two centuries of peace followed the war when Toronto, then known as the Upper Canada Town of York only held approximately 700 citizens. The Americans captured the town in a six-hour battle and burned the parliament buildings and several other buildings.

Prince Phillip sits in a chair and watches the ceremony

Saturday, April 27, 2013 will have a Commemorative Ceremony to mark the sacrifice of combatants on both sides who were injured or lost their lives in the invasion. There is lots planned for the Provincial Legislature grounds including a visit by His royal Highness Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh (pictured at top), and a parachute demonstration. Later a parade with over 1,500 armed force personnel will march from Queen's Park to Old Fort York.
Inside the fort will be a living history portrayed with re-enactors among the buildings and grounds of the National Historic Site. Many roads will be closed for the days events and parking will be non-existent at the fort, so park somewhere and walk or take public transit.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Morgan Freeman tribute in #Toronto

Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman will we awarded The Key of Knowledge at a @CdnFriendsHU Celebration of Excellence event on Monday, May 6, 2013. Morgan will be honoured for his work on fighting racism and promoting knowledge and education around the world. Photos of the nights excitement by George Pimentel.

Update: The Celebration of Excellence raised over $2 million for Medical Research and the Morgan Freeman Scholarship Fund. “Last night was a tribute to an extraordinary actor and humanitarian, Morgan Freeman. But it was also a tribute to all the educators, teachers, and change makers of this world; people who get up every morning and believe they can make a difference,” said Elan Divon, executive director of CHFU Toronto. “Not only did we raise money, we were able to demonstrate the universality of education, and what we can achieve when we invest in human capital and young minds.”

The inaugural ceremony hosted by Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will be held at the Toronto Centre for the Arts and will have a number of Canadian celebrities paying tribute this year's guest of honour. CBC host and Master of Ceremonies Jian Ghomeshi will be joined by several featured guests during the night where most will just have fun listening to the hypnotic and distinctive voice of the famous actor.

"Proceeds from the event will go towards the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Canada’s premier institute in Israel, and to establishing The Morgan Freeman Scholarship Fund for international students participating in the Public Health and Community Medicine Program at Hebrew University. The evening will feature a question-and-answer period with Freeman, moderated by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Saltzman. Tickets to the award ceremony and main event include a dessert reception at intermission and are $180. Young professional tickets (40 years and under) are $100.
For tickets, please visit"

Notable guests included: Paul Saltzman, Dr. Amir Amedi, renowned IMRIC brain scientist, Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Nations and Hebrew University Alumni, Shirley Douglas, Barry and Honey Sherman, Ronnie Appleby, Ralph and Gerry Halbert, Leslie and Ana Dan, Ellis Jacob, Helga Stephenson, Martin Katz and Bob and Sheila Masters.

#Toronto Flower Market

Natasa Kagianic is starting an open air market and cafe which will help support Flowers Canada and pickOntario by selling fresh, locally grown flowers. The market will be opening for the first time on Saturday, May 11 from 10am to 3pm at 99 Sudbury Street. Beautiful bedding, potted flowers and fresh cut flowers direct from Ontario greenhouses will fill the market space every other Saturday from May to September. It's time to enjoy some of the products from some of the over 200 Ontario greenhouses growing over 200 varieties of flowers and plants.
“I am thrilled to introduce a dedicated flower market in Toronto that will both serve consumers and support our local flower farmers,” said Natasa Kajganic, founder of the  “We wanted to create a beautiful and plentiful market where guests can purchase fresh, affordable flowers and learn about the variety of locally grown options. In our urban core, it’s so rare to be able to speak with the men and women cultivating the flowers and plants we purchase, so this market will help facilitate these relationships in a really special environment.”
The market is open on  May 11, June 9, July 13, August 10 and September 14, 2013 and feature local vendors like Dodd's Greenhouses and Dutch Mill Gardens. Until it opens you can see some flowers at Allan Gardens Park.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CN Tower: Back on the edge

Early spring must make for a cool walk on the top of the #Toronto @TourCNTower EdgeWalk! The tall concrete tower is a nice landmark in the city's skyline.

2013 Hooters Bikini Contest Winners

The 2013 winners
The annual Downtown #Toronto Hooters bikini contest, which featured a bevy of beautiful ladies, was held on Tuesday, April 23 in the newly renovated restaurant. Beginning with the traditional Hooters tank top and orange shorts the ladies then changed into club clothes and finished with bikinis before the winners were chosen. Staples of the evening entertainment included members of the audience trying out for the wing eating contest and attempting to put on a frozen hooters shirt.
The 2012 winner
Contestants in the Airport Hooters restaurant have their competition on Wednesday, April 24 and the Miss Hooters Eastern Canada contest will follow.

See more of the contest after the jump.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

VIA Rail Terror Suspect at Old City Hall Court

One of the two suspects in the VIA Rail terror plot appeared in the old #Toronto City Hall on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. He was remanded into custody until late May, with a publication ban on the evidence. The second suspect was sent to Montreal. The area around the courthouse was peaceful and full of media reporting live on site.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Air Pressure back in town

The Blue Birds of Happiness are back in the air at the RBC Plaza lobby across from the #Toronto Union Station. The public art installation is by Studio F Minus and was designed to show Oxford Properties commitment to sustainability.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Colourful signs of #Toronto

Buildings maybe boring grey concrete and glass but sometimes the signs make up for the lack of colour in the city and nothing says colour like the signs at Honest Eds.

The old Sam the Record Man Neon Signs on Yonge Street
CHUM Radio Station Building

See more signs after the jump.

William Lyon Mackenzie Fire Rescue Boat

The fire boat takes centre stage at a #Toronto International Air Show event. It has six jets of water blasting into the sky to show the planes flying fast overhead the middle of the aerial performance.

And here is a little fire boat

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square