Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Birthday @HailoToronto

I drove through the city on both Saturday and Sunday and the traffic was incredibly slow as everyone came into the core to watch a baseball, hockey or soccer game, as well as everything else that happens in the Big Smoke. At one point I wanted to park and let a professional take me to my destination but I thought I couldn't take the time to stop and get a cab. Then I just found out that the Hailo, the free smartphone Taxi App, has an average pickup time of under 4 minutes which is much faster than a traditional phone dispatch system - you are just two taps away from a cab, and easier to pay over other methods of payment.
During my Sunday boat cruise on the Tall Ship Kajama we all watched a beautiful, white Lamborghini (we think) wind it up on a small service road that runs along the edge of the lake near Ontario Place. He seemed to be enjoying the speed of the car when we all heard a loud noise and the car came to a sudden stop. As crowds of onlookers experienced some schadenfreude from the accident we all wondered what had happened - could have been an engine problem, he might have crashed into something he didn't see, or maybe crashed into something when he couldn't stop in time. I betcha he wished he had taken a cab!
Started in Toronto in September 2012 the Taxi App has celebrated its one year anniversary after hundreds of thousands of trips equivalent to crossing Canada almost 11 times.

Justin Raymond, President, Hailo Canada said; “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support for Hailo shown by Toronto’s passengers and taxi drivers in our first year. As a startup that is offering something so new, we could not have asked for a better response. We’re thrilled by the feedback we receive, with so many Torontonians telling us we have revolutionized the way they use taxis in the city.” Raymond continued, “Our goal is to become Toronto’s preferred way to get and pay for licensed taxis. We’re committed to expanding and enhancing our service both here in Toronto and in other major Canadian cities.”

You can get the free app at the iTunes App Store and Google Play by searching on Hailo.

Stop and smell the flowers #Toronto

Just watch out for the bees, they're busy beeing buzzy. These bees are in the Beach neighbourhood getting some pollen before winter hits. They seem to love these bright sunflowers.

This flower looks like it has alien pods ready to burst, we need Ripley on the case

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sailing on the Tall Ship Kajama

Cruising the waters around #Toronto was a nice adventure on the @Kajama1 which just finished its 2013 season on a superb Sunday afternoon. The traffic leading into the city was jammed and those Blue Jays almost made us miss the ship's launch from their Queen's Quay slip near the Harbourfront Centre - but we parked in the underground garage at the Centre and it was a quick run to the pier.
The Toronto Harbour Cruise has been in operation since 2000 and sails from May to September and includes a 1.5 hour sailing experience and you can volunteer to help raise the sails and watch them set off a small canon at the end of the cruise. The ship features a fully licensed bar and hot meals.
Little volunteers help raise the vessel's large sails. Talking to the crew they note that they keep the engine in neutral when they run under the power of the wind.
Typical weekend boarding times are 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm with a half hour allowed for boarding followed by the cruise through the inner harbour and out into Lake Ontario. From June to Labour Day you can also catch a weekday cruise. You can check the Kajama webpage for more information on the sailing schedules.
The tiny canon

See more of the sailing fun after the jump.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cherry Beach ball drop

A crane was setup in the otherwise empty parking lot along Cherry Street in #Toronto. The crane supported two people hanging from a rope and each of the people held onto a large red ball. A long rope ran from the people to a scissor lift where several assistants on the ground tugged on the rope, bringing the people high into the air ready for gravity to move them swiftly along a circular trajectory skimming only metres above the hard asphalt. Nearing the bottom of the slope the people let go of the balls which dropped towards a circular, white target. Actually, watching the video it turns out the balls were thick water balloons. One didn't even break on the drop, someone threw it up in the air and then it exploded on contact - see the video below.

It very much seemed like an episode of Mythbusters was being filmed.

Saturday in the City

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today in #Toronto and I enjoyed biking around the city, watching the city slow down as Fall settles in. Here are just a few of the things I saw today like the street performer doing a series of moves while balanced upside down on one hand.
The CN Tower rendered in ice, casts a long shadow on the funnel art installation in Maple Leaf Square at Air Canada Centre. Three of the major professional sports teams had games on Saturday, September 28, 2013 - and they made the traffic horrendous for the drive home.
The cycle of cold nights and warm days brings changes to the canoes and kayaks - their hues take on more of the orange, yellows and reds of Fall. They all used to be green.
Tall ships are still docked along Queen's Quay - tomorrow I ride Kajama
In addition to the boats changing colours - so are some of the trees. I can never spell fall foliage without spell check (see, did it again)
HTO urban beach is a welcome place for late season sun worshipers
I watched as Rogers Centre opened their roof for the Blue Jays game
DIS OBEY says the sticker with a certain Ford face
Haunted fun with the Spirit of Halloween. Time to start thinking about your costumes for trick or treat or Halloween parties

Long shadows show the progress of a lady and her dog as she crosses the road

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sleeping with the fishes in #Toronto

Shopping in Kensington Market and Chinatown provides a smorgasbord of fresh and dried foods to fill all your senses. Tiny fruit and vegetable stores line the streets with colourful varieties of produce and the Chinese dried products are sometimes unrecognizable, but I did make out the tiny, little fishes. The neighbourhoods are also a nice place to see some cool graffiti and other unusual sights.

Bright umbrellas shade pedestrians and the fruit from sun and rain
Incense sticks
On a wing and a board
And a cute little mouse hangs out in a banged up mailbox

A graffiti painting of a little child paints 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Walking another mile in her shoes

#Toronto men were busy squishing their hairy feet into ladies footwear in the 2013 rally Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, and I bet that after the walk their dogs were barking. The key to a great shoe is a bright, shiny high heal, paired with colourful socks. The international march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence was hosted by Steve Anthony of CP24 and Toronto's is one of the largest in the world.
"Walk A Mile In Her Shoes® Events consistently receive enthusiastic participation and news coverage. They are an excellent opportunity to rally support in your community to raise awareness about the causes, effects and remedies for sexual assault and domestic violence."

Order of events, starting at 12:00 p.m.:
12:00: CP24 Breakfast's Steve Anthony takes the stage to emcee
12:10: Speak with participants and/or Todd Minerson, Executive Director of White Ribbon
12:20: GoodLife Fitness shows men how to warm up for the walk
12:30: Todd Minerson and the Hon.Teresa Piruzza; Ontario Minister Responsible for Women's Issues speak
12:45: Participants line up at starting line
12:50: Walk officially starts and travels south on Yonge, west on King, North on Bay and east on Queen, North on Yonge and back to Yonge-Dundas Square
Steve Anthony

The money raised in the walk fund White Ribbon which is the world's largest male movement to end violence against females, with education of men and boys being the focus to reduce the violence. You can wear a white ribbon to support the cause of gender equity and healthy relationships.
Miss Canada Tourism 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Freedom Day 2013

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield helped to celebrate the Simon Wiesenthal Center Freedom Day event in #Toronto and several thousand students sat down in Yonge-Dundas Square to enjoy the entertainment. Starting at noon on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 the annual Freedom Day encourages youth to embrace Canadian rights and freedoms, raise awareness about human rights and empower the young to take action to improve the world.
Started by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) the day also included the launch of the Tour for Humanity project. The tour is an accessible Mobile Tolerance Education Center which will tour Ontario.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gliding with the York Soaring Association

Joe Fresh and Ann decided to have an adventure in the sky so they climbed into gliders and flew high above Arthur, Ontario with the York Soaring Association. Strapping into the front seat of a small, unpowered, two seat aircraft gives you a great view as the tow plane trails a long rope and quickly gets you airborne.
The soaring association is a popular destination for those seeking the thrill of flight - just over an hour north west of Toronto.
The takeoff

"Our "Intro Ride" includes a 3000' aerotow, up to 30 minutes of soaring 'free flight' and a smooth landing. Feel the Earth's energy lift the glider and sustain powerless flight, try your hand at flying the 60' wide aircraft with the guidence of one of our Transport Canada licensed instructors, maybe even some light aerobatics or just enjoy the serenity of soaring like a bird - it's up to you!"

You can get a chance to pilot the glider under the direct supervision of the experienced pilot, or you can just enjoy the flight. These young kids were very happy after their flight.

Posted by Joe Hamilton and Ann Hamilton

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square