Wednesday, July 30, 2014

B-Boys at Tasty Thursdays

Breakin' for lunch brought Jon Drops and music by DJ Serious along with some B-Boys for the July 24th Tasty Thursday event at Toronto City Hall. Fresh Wednesdays and Tasty Thursdays (July 10 to Aug 28 from 11 am to 2 pm) are a staple for downtown during the hot summer months and a variety of entertainment comes to the new stage in Nathan Phillips Square during lunchtime.

See the balance of the entertainment schedule for 2014 after the jump.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

12 Monkeys in #Toronto

Amanda Schull films on Bay Street with Rick Hoffman during production of the new series 12 Monkeys. The movie stars Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, Emily Hampshire and Noah Bean.
Based on the 1995 movie of the same name, which starred Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, the television series ordered by US cable channel SyFy involves a time traveler who has been sent back in time to stop a world destroying plague.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Lovers cry

Not much remains of the signage at the former World's Biggest Bookstore in downtown #Toronto on Edward Street, just a mural and some of the paint. Book Lovers don't pay the bills when you download electronic books and stop coming into the brick and mortar stores.
The store closed on March 30, 2014, one more casualty of the internet, like newspapers and music stores. I count myself in those that helped the demise of the printed page. But now I read more than ever, interactively enjoying the written word and the photographs that fill the world wide web.
If you have to hold the book in your hand, feel the muscle between the thumb and the index finger grow as you hold the book open for hours at a time, then you can still order them from the internet, so don't be sad.

Ryerson Glass Curtainwall

Rising in the former Sam the Record Man location on Yonge Street is the new Ryerson University Student Learning Centre. The concrete structure is quickly being contained with an interesting glass wall.
"Transforming the corner of Yonge and Gould streets into one of Toronto’s most vibrant, people-friendly intersections, the Student Learning Centre (SLC) will give the Ryerson community an outstanding environment in which to study, collaborate and share ideas. The SLC was designed through a partnership between two renowned architectural firms: Snøhetta & Zeidler Partnership Architects. It has been targeted to achieve LEED Silver certification."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

#Toronto Importfest 2014

Wow, hundreds of top tuner cars filled row upon row of the north building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the 14th annual Biggest and Baddest day of cars and girls. Scheduled non-vehicular entertainment featured the bikini contest at 5pm and the lingerie contest at 7pm. Several star models were also in the great hall signing autographs and available for pictures - including Playboy Playmate Nana Akimoto.
Tire Connections
"Importfest returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Saturday July 26, 2014 to celebrate its 14th year anniversary! Come see hundreds of top tuners from across North America go head to head in a competition of style, modification and tuning."

Gran Turismo Autoclub

Come back as I post photos of the fun filled day. Published by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton.

Palestine and Israel supporters march in #Toronto

A peaceful day of screaming ended around 5 pm as the thousands of protesters waved their favourite team flags and signs that called on the end of violence by both sides. Neither side admitted the other was correct and the protest march that started on the front lawn of Queens' Park ended at the American Consulate.

A couple of guys had FREE HUGS signs - they weren't doing a lot of business
Metro Toronto police were extremely nice during the noisy Saturday, July 26, 2014 Quds Day Rally and several horse police joined with bicycle, foot police and police looking EMS services to help guide the people south on the northbound lanes of University Avenue. Behind the pooping horses followed the alleged black unmarked police SUV with their video taping turret mounted on the roof.

Posted by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#Toronto Importfest 2014 this weekend

Canada's top tuners come to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Saturday, July 26 for the 14th annual Importfest. "Combine one part glitz and glamour with sleek design engineering; add in some lovely ladies and you have a recipe for the hottest shown in town."
The convention centre becomes a giant indoor garage stocked with some incredible vehicles, performance parts and accessories and a shocking amount of beautiful models in bikinis and lingerie. "Importfest is more than a car show - it's a lifestyle."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday at the races - @HondaIndy 2014

Saturday's loss is Sunday's gain as the weekend 2inTO has become 2in1day! Starting early in the morning the typical race of 85 laps or two hours will be reduced to help the drivers and teams survive the grueling Sunday, one-two race combination on the streets of Toronto. Verizon IndyCar series mascot Firehawk gives his two thumbs up (photo at top).  Overall it was an impressive display of racing during the whole weekend and the crowds, from FAN Friday to the last day on Sunday were quite large.
Minor precipitation starting around noon Saturday became a downpour that forced the the series to move the dates of the scheduled race around the 11-turn, 1.75 mile circuit. Sunday weather forecasts unfortunately contain some precipitation described as light rain and isolated which will hopefully hold off until the motorfest and other festivals have finished.
Driver James Hinchcliffe #27 is interviewed by Sportsnet reporter Todd Lewis. James finished 8th in the first race.

"Due to inclement weather, the Verizon IndyCar Series postponed its Saturday race one. The Honda Indy Toronto will now hold two Verizon IndyCar Series races on Sunday. The races will both be 65 laps or 80 minutes each, whichever comes first. Race one will take place at 10:30 a.m. and will be a rolling start. Race two will take place at 4:15 p.m. and will be a standing start. This is the first time in the history of the event and in Canada that two INDYCAR races will be held in one day. We will honour all Saturday tickets with a Sunday general admission ticket, and will provide kiosks for these fans at the entry gates. An email will be sent directly to our customer database with further details. Information will also be posted on our social media sites. Gates for the Honda Indy Toronto will open at 8 a.m. We are doing this for our fans. It’s a lot of racing and it’s good racing. Thank you for your patience and continued support."
Indy Lights coming out of turn 3

The day started off really nice even though rain was falling to the west of Toronto, eventually light rain started falling during the second IndyCar race in the late afternoon, however it didn't last too long and the track quickly dried up. Sunday's original schedule was thrown out the window and the entire day was rearranged to accommodate the new one day IndyCar and USF2000 double headers. The IndyCar pre-race ceremony was reduced for race one and the winners at victory circle did not spray any champagne.

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GIF animations generator

Sunday was full slate of events with an Indy Lights race, two Pirelli World Challenge (WC) races pictured above, two USF2000 races, two IndyCar races, the final Stadium Super Trucks (SST) race and the final F1600 race. Off track, the highly anticipated Toronto Sun Grid Girl contest was to take place after the post race #1 IndyCar Victory Circle celebration. There was also a couple of rounds of driver autograph sessions which were held in their team areas in the IndyCar paddock.
IndyCars waiting to enter Pit Lane from Gasoline Alley, looking towards Princes' Gates.
Retired IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti remains with CGRT and provided advice to the team.
Paul Tracy, or the Thrill from West Hill moves from his sports commentator roles and climbs back into a TRAXXAS-sponsored Formula Off-Road Stadium Super Truck. After crashing during his 2013 foray into the high-flying truck series, he joins eight competitors in the race. The four 36 inch jumps provide a surface where trucks blast 20 feet into the air and don't hit ground for a considerable distance. The new time for the trucks jumping is 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm.

"Sheldon Creed, 16, who won one of last year’s two races at Toronto, will drive another TRAXXAS-sponsored SST and will be joined in the field by 2014 series’ winners Apdaly Lopez and Robby Gordon. Series regular Scotty Steele, 16, as well as Nick Vanis and Aaron Baumbach return to the TRAXXAS series along with Bill Hynes who is making his series debut."
Off the track make sure to catch the Toronto Sun Grid Girls who will compete for the title Miss Honda Indy on Sunday, July 20 from noon to 2 pm at Victory Circle. You can also find ladies of the Honda Indy Toronto 2014 on my post here.
Contest judges from UFD

Saturday, July 19, 2014

@HondaIndy #Toronto Sun Grid Girls 2014

Dangerous curves can also be found off the race track at the final day of the 2in1day Verizon IndyCar race. Competing for the title of Miss Honda Indy will be a group of Toronto Sun Grid Girls on Sunday, July 20, 2014. These ladies who will not only help those IndyCar drivers find their cars in the crowded pit lane but they attend official events and parties during the buildup to the contest.

Afterwards the winner will receive money and a crown along with a feature layout in the 2015 Sunshine Girl Calendar.
The UFD team are the Grid Girl judges

Saturday at the races - @HondaIndy 2014

The excitement continues on day two of the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend. The 2inTO has an IndyCar race today and tomorrow so stayed tuned for more photos and coverage of the racing. The weather did not cooperate and the Saturday race was deferred until Sunday where two races are now scheduled. This makes history as the first time the double header will happen on the same day. Saturday's IndyCar practice also allows the drivers to get used to a standing start which will be used in the first race. During Race #1 will happen after two formation laps.
Will Power of the #12 verizon Team Penske car, above, is a former two-time winner on the Streets of Toronto. He is noted as the best IndyCar driver on road courses. As he has noted, you have to finish a race to win and has a series leading streak of running at the finish of each race.
Two qualifying groups for IndyCar are decided by the combined times of the two practice sessions on Saturday. Group one will take to the track first with the pole position awarded to driver with the best overall lap time. The Saturday IndyCar pre-race was scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm with the race to follow at about 3:45 pm. When a pace car spun off due to heavy rain in the initial formation laps before the wave of the green flag, the race was eventually called off. The initial light rain resulted in a race which was to be a timed 85 lap or two hours, whichever came first, before it was shortened to 65 laps and eventually all remaining Saturday events, including the first IndyCar race was cancelled at 6:15 pm.
Drivers were faced with reduced visibility and slick conditions agreed with the postponement but felt disappointment for the fans. Helio Castroneves #3 said "Obviously we all wanted to get the race in today, but this was the correct call. We really tried to start the race but it was clear that we were going to wreck a lot of cars."  Juan Pablo Montoya #2 stated that "I really hate it for the fans. You never want to feel like you cheated them, but you can't control the weather." Race #1 is now scheduled for Sunday, July 20 at 10:30 am with a rolling start. And the second race is now scheduled to follow at 4:15 pm.
The Toronto Sun Grid Girls made appearances throughout the day as they promoted the upcoming contest which is scheduled for Sunday - see my photos of the girls here. For ladies of the Honda Indy Toronto 2014 see my photos here.
Going into race 1 Sebastien Bourdais claimed the first Verizon award of 2014 as he took the pole position, his career 32nd, with Will Power qualifying second and Helio Castronevers qualifying third. Sebastien said that "The track was getting better. It's a bit of a casino race here. Anything can happen." Qualifying for the Verizon P1 award consists of three parts; segment one qualifying with the fastest six cars advancing to segment two.  The fastest six in segment two move into the Firestone Fast Six Shootout with pole position based on their fastest laps. James Hinchliffe #27 had a 9th pole position and last was Marco Andretti #25 at the 23rd pole position.
Lake Shore Blvd - Thunder Alley

All the cars have a Dallara IR-12 chasis and use Firestone tires while the engines are either Chevy or Honda. The Chip Ganassi Racing team (CGRT) of Scott Dixon #9 and Tony Kanaan #10 use Chevrolet 2.2 litre twin turbocharged V6 engines in the 2014 season. The engines produce 600 horsepower and almost 300 lb ft of torque.

The major changes at this year's motorsports event was the impact of the new hotel just south of Pit Lane. Not only was construction of the large building impacting the available land but they also excavated a historic foundation which they have to preserve. To accommodate the construction area they had to reduce the exit to pit lane and move the start of pit lane back up into turn 11 near the pedestrian bridge.
Formula 1600 cars coming out of turn 6

Mazda Road to the Indy includes three series, two of them are competing in Toronto - the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires.
Starting grid for the Pirelli World Challenge line up at the Direct Energy exit leading to turn 10. Five series races were to take place on Saturday - the Formula 1600, the Pirelli World Challenge, Stadium Super Trucks, IndyCar and USF2000.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square