Wednesday, July 31, 2013

City says Goodbye Graffiti

#Toronto has acquired the services of a graffiti removal company to reduce street vandalism around the city. The $400k a year contract through the Municipal Licensing and Standards investigations will last up to five years and will remove graffiti on City buildings and infrastructure as well as on private property as a result of municipal investigations. Goodbye Graffiti has also offered a discount on graffiti removal and will remove hate and violence related graffiti free of charge. This program is part of the Clean Toronto Together campaign to keep city streets clean from litter, posters and graffiti.

"Getting rid of graffiti vandalism has been one of my main goals since I was elected," said Mayor Rob Ford. "I am very excited that we have hired Goodbye Graffiti to continue the effort to clean our city and remove this blight from buildings and other properties in our community."

See more graffiti after the jump.

Amazing Acro-Cats & Rock Cats

#Toronto @PawsWay at @HarbourfrontTO has the Canadian debut of the extraordinary circus cats and an all-feline band on August 17-18, 2013. These guys are a lot safer to deal with than the tigers and lions, all you have to worry about is fur balls and stray hair on your clothes. Photo from PawsWay.

"August 17th and August 18th (1PM & 4PM): These cats delight and astound audiences with their antics performing remarkable feats of agility, riding skateboards, rolling barrels, walking tight ropes, jumping through hoops, and much more!" Visit to buy your tickets to 1 of their 4 shows!

Budweiser thanks the Designated Driver

As a lover of the golden brew I read with interest the Ipsos Reid research that points to an ever increasing use and acceptance of designated drivers (DD) by young adult Canadians. The Budweiser sponsored research shows a large majority have traveled home with a designated driver and even volunteered to be a designated driver - a great achievement in the more than 30 years since the DD campaign began. If you are a designated driver you are a superhero - just like Supergirl pictured here.
See Budweiser thank a designated driver in the YouTube video above

Ipsos Reid says “This is the first time in our research that we’ve seen a strong congruency of feelings between designated drivers and passengers – there is a strong, shared empathy and support for the concept of designated driving.” Major findings of the survey follow.

From the Designated Drivers

· Of the 78% of respondents who have been designated drivers over the past three years, they’ve done so an average of 19.3 times
· 93% agree (59% strongly agree; 34% somewhat agree) that they want to protect their friends by being a designated driver
· 87% agree (44% strongly agree; 43% somewhat agree) that when they are a designated driver it’s because they want to protect their community
· Only 55% of respondents agree that designated drivers get enough credit for the service they perform

“Does this mean the problem of drinking and driving has been effectively solved? Unfortunately not,” said Wright. “But what it does indicate is that there has been a major shift over the past generation in the way young people view designated driving – from something they ‘should’ do to something the majority do as a matter of course and public safety.”

What young adults had to say

· 93% agree (50% strongly agree; 42% somewhat agree) that our communities need more designated drivers
· 89% agree (45% strongly agree; 44% somewhat agree) that designated drivers make a difference in their community, similar to those who volunteer to clean up a local park or help out a food bank
· 85% agree (39% strongly agree; 47% somewhat agree) that if designated drivers got more credit for what they do, more people would volunteer to be one

Monday, July 29, 2013

A flower grows in Kensington

The famous market smells of flowers and produce and is decorated with graffiti and street art. When #Toronto wants to mellow out in an interesting neighbourhood, Toronto heads to Kensington Market. People are up in arms over Walmart trying to get into Kensington, so there is a billboard posted where you can write your feelings on the matter for all to see.

A photo project takes up valuable graffiti space at several locations

See more of the unusual area after the jump.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Live Green #Toronto Festival 2013

Live Green my friend, live green. Toronto's Yonge Street was closed to vehicles as the road became full of environmental loving pedestrians for the festival between Gould Street and Queen Street and into Yonge-Dundas Square. The one day only annual event featured two stages, a beer garden, swap zone, kids' zone and free concerts throughout the day. Andria Simone performs on the main stage, later the 'Rise Up' group The Parachute Club took over the stage at 5pm on Saturday, July 27, 2013.
Booths and festival goers line the streets adjacent to the Eaton Centre

See more photos of the festival after the jump.

Street Outlawz Bikini Contest at ImportFest

#Toronto always loves competitions and the ladies came out forthe Saturday, July 27, 2013 tuning and lifestyle car show event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
The judges

See more of the bikini contest after the jump.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tuner Girls at ImportFest 2013

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Yonge Street Art Bikes

During the 2012 Celebrate Yonge featured on street patios and public spaces flourished in 11 themed event areas on @DowntownYonge Street between Queen and Gerrard. The month long experiment closed down one lane in both the northbound and southbound lanes and ran from August 17 to September 16, 2012 and I am unsure if they will repeat the fun in 2013. Colourful bikes were placed up and down the sidewalks, much like the Pink Bike art campaign.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Justin Bieber fans wait at the #Toronto ACC

A lot of young ladies waited for their famous boyfriend to show up for his Thursday, July 25, 2013 performance at the Air Canada Centre. Tonight was one of two back-to-back concerts for the Canadian singer who is currently on his Believe World Tour, which has just recently added an additional 30 shows.
The fans started to gather in the centre and around the roadway holding signs and hoping to get a close up view of the singing sensation who has been getting some negative publicity lately. I was happy to see the mini-guy with his Marge Simpson car identified as the Official Bieber Fan-Mobile and "Number one Bieber fan on board."

It was nice to get some more pictures of this cute little car - I had only a small glimpse of him when he was at a red light on Queen Street West.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Alto Cumulus at @BrookfieldArts Place

Weather is crazy in #Toronto, now there are clouds inside the Allen Lambert Galleria! The inflatable installation by Max Streicher hangs high above the floor and only misses some rain and the drama of thunder and lightning. See it from July 24 to August 9, 2013.

"These high-flying forms have been the source of an ongoing exploration for Streicher inspiring a number of installations. Their lack of a clear-cut definition lends itself to the artist’s signature work with inflatables. However, unlike mother nature’s clouds, the clouds created for Alto Cumulus have an architectural outer structure. This aesthetic twist is informed by Streicher’s fascination with the depiction of clouds throughout the history of art — featured prominently in Renaissance and Baroque religious painting. The installation in the Allen Lambert Galleria exposes Streicher’s surrealist impulse – in particular the influence of the work of Henri Magritte. As imprecise a form as clouds may be, ironically Streicher uses a sewing machine to assert some control over these indeterminate shapes. Constructed from Tyvek – which is technically a paper – Streicher was initially drawn to the material because of its paper quality and feeling of weightlessness. The lightness of the material responds readily to the electric fans Streicher uses to inflate his sculptures. The transient moody nature of the cloud is illuminated in Alto Cumulus as the Allen Lambert Galleria’s ever changing light conceals and reveals."

We have seen more of Max's pneumatic work around Toronto including the Sextet and Floating Forest installations.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Miniature #Toronto

So tiny, like a toy model city.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Watching some Zombie movies

So it is time for a scary #Toronto Zombie. Ohhh, brains. The movie I have on right now is Land of the Dead and I just noticed that they come into Fiddler's Green and they filmed some scenes in Brookfield Place!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Big Beachball and Haiti at @HarbourfrontTO

A giant beachball was being pushed by small children in the new Exhibition Common area at Harbourfront Centre at #Toronto's lakefront. The Centre has completed the underground parking and has now added the Common with its green grounds as well as Ontario Square and Canada Square.
Harbourfront and Queen's Quay is always a perfect year round destination with arts and culture taking centre stage with may exhibitions, performances and other interesting events. During August 2-5, 2013 a visual art exhibit called 'Testimonials about Haiti - Temoignages autour d'Haiti' will showcase the island nation after the earthquake. Partnered with FKZO the gallery of photos and paintings are by artists Gabriel Osson, Annik Chalifour, Marie-Cecele Pierre-Jerome and others.

Smoky Thai

#Toronto firefighters respond to a call at The friendly Thai restaurant on Queen Street West. Smoke comes out of the overhanging sign area and they rip down a section of the ceiling. It's always hot on Queen Street West!

Big on Bloor Festival 2013

Bloordale village closed Bloor Street to vehicles and held a massive street party in #Toronto between Dufferin and Landsdowne. The July 20-21, 2013 weekend event saw 70,000 people walking the street and enjoying the entertainment, activities, vendors and culinary treats lining the route.

Artwork by Sessions, seen also in the photo at top
I could have used the Bike Pirates yesterday - my bicycle chain broke!
Some people carrying bike tires during their stroll along Bloor Street

The children's play area was back again this year and I really think the floating, see through balls the kids climb into are really cool. I didn't see a dunk tank this year so that was a bit disappointing.
Playing in the pool

I like how the street dips and you can look far down the street to see the vast amount of people taking in these local, city-building festivals that celebrate the arts, culture, community and small business. Nestle sponsored the main stage and was giving out little chocolate bars, hmmm, chocolate.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square