Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Kate Mior - let them eat cupcakes

A beautiful Marie Antoinette salutes the peasants of Toronto, her head still remarkably connected to her body as if the French Revolution never really happened. Her weekday return to the busker hot spot at the corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets means that Spring is officially here.
Character and Mime artist Kate Mior smiles and curtsies to appreciative fans

Cherry Blossoms 2015

Update May 9, 2015. High Park's cherry trees are in full bloom now and thousands of visitors made the journey into the heartland of blossoms in Toronto, catching the bright white flowers before the petals all fall to the ground and only the photos and memories remain. Peak bloom is supposed to be Sunday May 10 - Mothers Day. Also in bloom are the trees in Exhibition Place, some in the scattered locations in the University of Toronto and at Ryerson University. Meanwhile the trees in Queens Park and at Robarts Library in the University of Toronto are way past their peak. Upcoming blossoms await on University Avenue, by the Old City Hall Courthouse and Osgoode Hall on Queen Street West (now blooming May 11).
Courthouse blossoms
Looking along Grenadiers Pond towards the blossoms in High Park

All roads leading into High Park were jammed with cars waiting for their chance to circle the park looking for the few spaces that occasionally come open. With little choice many parked outside the limits of the park and made the long hike to the paths beside Grenadiers Pond where the largest concentrations of cherry trees were planted. The best way to enjoy the blossoms is to take public transit or to bike into the park.
Exhibition Place blossoms can be found in Bandshell Park and Along the Liberty Entertainment building

Trees on Hoskin Avenue in the University of Toronto
Bright pink and fluffy blossoms
Osgoode Hall

University Avenue blossoms in the park like medians

See more of nature's beauty after the jump.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Doors Open Toronto in May 2015

Over 155 significant buildings are open to the public with free and rare access during the 16th annual Doors Open event in Toronto May 23-24. In honour of the upcoming Pan Am Games the theme for this year is Sports, Recreation and Leisure.

Doors Open, sponsored by Great Gulf, "offers attendees a sneak peek inside private and public recreational sites ranging from aquatic centres to athletics stadiums. The building lineup includes the University of Toronto's Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport and the Toronto Track and Field Centre, which will serve as athlete training and warmup facilities during the Games."
Amsterdam Brewery interior

Canada's largest Doors Open event was started in Toronto in the year 2000 and has allowed more than two million visits to hundreds of interesting locations throughout the city. It attracts many visitors to buildings with important heritage, architectural or designs that are sometimes not available to the public on any regular basis.

Some of the places I would like to visit include BMO Field, City and OMNI Television - Rogers Studio, Design Exchange and the Portlands Energy Centre. Don't forget to check out the information for the places you want to visit, some of them are not open on both days and some require paid parking.

Free walking tours sponsored by U of T will look into the history and architecture of several Toronto neighbourhoods.

Photos supplied. Winter Garden Theatre interior by Peter Lusztyk at top.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A look back at @HondaIndy Toronto

Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe @Hinchtown sits in 5th place overall in the Verizon IndyCar Series with his recent win at the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana. He will surely bring the fire when he comes to Exhibition Place during the June 12-14, 2015 Honda Indy Toronto street course race - even the Toronto Sun Grid Girls carry a 'GO HINCH GO' sign in the photo at top. It's also a time to look back at some previous racing excitement in anticipation of the event that is just a few short months away.
Running for Go Daddy

See more racing after the jump.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Pinecone Colonization in Brookfield Place

Canadian artist Floyd Elzinga's large metal sculptures of natural elements help celebrate Earth Day 2015. The majority of the conical sculptures hang from the galleria steel supports. The pine cones, both imposing and familiar to Canadians, are forms that are found everyday in local parks and forests, hanging from trees or already fallen to the ground. However, in the art installation, the super sized reproductive cones are made of solid steel and are unable to release any seeds.
"His technique morphs an unrelenting material into intricate natural forms. His sculptures represent the natural environment, which always seeks to thrive, regrow, and renew. His practice connects to themes of nature and the environment from a place that is deeply rooted in Canadian artistic traditions. Current themes in his work focus on broken landscapes, portraits of trees, and the aggressive nature of seeds."

The Pine Cone Colony work is in the Allen Lambert Galleria from April 13 to April 24, 2015.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Green, Green Grass of Home

420 celebrations in Toronto included a rally down Yonge Street and a comedy and music festival in Yonge-Dundas Square. The April 20, 2015 march started began on Charles Street at 11 a.m. before the mob moved south towards the Eaton Centre, where it briefly occupied the city's busiest pedestrian scramble intersection before joining the party in the square.
Crowds began accumulating in the urban park before noon as vendors were set up around the edges and the event crew made the stage ready for the day's entertainment. Smoke from the growing number of participants alerted the people walking by that this was no ordinary day. Speeches and banners called for legalization of the herb, a cry which seems to be sweeping the world.
The afternoon crowd filled the square

See more of the event after the jump.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Light Painting in the Badlands

Fresh Joe wanted to make some art in the Cheltenham Badlands so we prepared our light brushes and with the help of Annie May we moved through the barren hills in the dark of night. The results were pretty cool.

See more light paintings and the Badlands before the light faded away into darkness after the jump.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Clean Toronto Together 2015

Dust clouds raised high above North America's fourth largest city as the annual 20-minute makeover kicked off on Friday, April 17 at City Hall. Celebrity Michael "Pinball" Clemons came down to Nathan Phillips Square to help promote the litter cleanup campaign. Community clean-up days continue over the weekend.
Pinball poses with his wife and some school children at the clean-up

The Toronto Argonauts came out with several Argo cheerleaders and team mascot Jason to help ramp up the excitement and cheer on participants in several of the pre-clean games. 

"Hey Toronto. It's time for some spring cleaning! The city's annual spring clean-up is back! Led by the City of Toronto's Live Green Toronto team, the Clean Toronto Together campaign is a weekend celebration that brings together thousands of Toronto residents, students, businesses, organizations and community groups to remove litter and keep our city clean and green.You can do your part by getting together with friends, family, co-workers and classmates to clean a park, or any other space that needs your help."

New York City back on Bay Street

Toronto's on-location filming continues with movie expenditures exceeding $1 billion dollars spent in the past four years. The domestic and international screen industry shoots film, television, commercials and animation in the city and investments increased 4.3 percent over 2013. The biggest chunk of dollars was spent on filming television series. You can find productions currently underway in Toronto on the city's website.
"The scale and scope of the success in film speaks to the quality of talent and service that this city provides," said Mayor John Tory. "Toronto continues to be a very desirable filming location. This continued growth is also a clear sign that our Film and Entertainment Industries Office at City Hall is having a positive impact on the film industry in Toronto.”
In 2014:
• Domestic and international screen-based production companies invested a record $1.23 billion in on-location filming in Toronto.
• Commercial production investment in 2014 ($195 million) showed a 48 per cent increase from 2013, which is an unprecedented level of growth for the city in this area.
• Investment in major domestic productions reached $652.25 million, exceeding $500 million for the second consecutive year, with an unprecedented 21 per cent increase over 2013. This increase can be attributed to the growth in domestic TV series spending.
• Television series continued to dominate investment in Toronto, with more than two-thirds (79.4 per cent or $757.4 million) of total production investment being for television series.
• The number of location filming shoot days jumped by 19 per cent in 2014 over 2013.

"The expansion and diversification of the industry are positive signs for Toronto’s future as a prime production location," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. "While television series continue to be our largest investor, the commercial production industry has nearly doubled its investment since 2012."

Their was a large film crew shooting NBC's series Suits legal drama on Bay and Adelaide Streets today. Large quantities of dapper extras and large cameras lined the sidewalks outside the Bay Adelaide Centre.

Monday, April 13, 2015

@TOProSuperShow coming in June 2015

Canada's largest fitness expo brings top Canadian and International athletes competing in championship events in several sports. The 5th annual Toronto Pro SuperShow venue is the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the John Bassett Theatre during the Saturday - Sunday, June 6-7 weekend. Also featuring a health and fitness expo with seminars and sessions by industry leaders.
The only qualifying Canadian event for the International Federation of Bodybuilders and Fitness (IFBB) Olympia competitions. Pro competitions include Men's bodybuilding, wheelchair bodybuilding and physique as well as Women's bodybuilding, fitness, figure, bikini and physique.
"Over 170 booths with the latest in sports equipment, apparel, supplements and nutrition. The EXPO stage and floor will play host to numerous sporting competitions, special events, guest speakers and industry celebrities. The best competitors from Ontario and Internationally will be competing for dominance in their select sports. This will surely be another crowd pleasing weekend for all - you won't want to miss it. Also, you never know who just may show up unannounced. The 2015 Toronto Pro SuperShow EXPO schedule is as follows: Saturday June 6, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday June 7, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m."
Other events include Inside Fitness Model Searches, Amateur MMA, Sweat RX Crossfit Challenge, Sweat for Kids, Ironman Open Armwrestling Tournament, Strongman Challenge, OWA Toronto Weightlifting Championships, OPA Toronto Powerlifting Championships, Boxing Tournament sanctioned by Boxing Ontario, CASK Kickboxing Tournament, OPA Provincial Bodybuilidng, Fitness, Figure, Bikini and Physique Championships and CPW Professional Wrestling.

See more bodybuilders after the jump.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Toronto Photo Medley

The Big Smoke is full of interesting sights, some of them you see day in and day out, some of them are like items in Costco - you see them for a short time, then they are gone. The geese in the Eaton Centre are always there, the deer only come out for the Christmas Season.
OCAD University is a big, colourful matchbox on giant pencil crayons
Go Leafs Go at the ACC
The AGO reminds me of a lighter than air dirigible
I wished my house looked like this old bank on Yonge Street
Enjoying a cool fountain on University Avenue
An art installation at the Humber River pedestrian bridge
PeTA protests at the city's busiest scramble intersection
Redball from several years ago
Sailboats along the lake front

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square