Sunday, June 28, 2015

Arriving in Toronto on a jet plane

Squeezed in between a few moments between downpours (during the weekend of rain) we manage to watch a few airplanes come in for landings at Pearson International Airport. We chose the Dixie Road viewpoint as planes came in from the west and also flew out towards the east.

Parking on Director Gate just south of Derry Road we get a nice view of the planes as they come so close to us before touching down. Last time we watched from Airport Road. With the right weather you could see wing tip vortices as the plane passed through the approach to the airport.

See more planes after the jump.

Rainy weekend smorgasbord in Toronto

Spring like weather decided to come back for an early summer drenching of the Pride Parade weekend. The parades go on - rain or shine, just a little more moist than when everyone is shooting squirt guns. Toronto's Digital Dreams Festival was cancelled on Saturday as they monitor the weather for Sunday's show still scheduled to proceed. The rain would also put a little damper on neighbourhood parties like the Brazilian Block Party, the Taste of Asia, Ribfest and Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market. Hopefully the weather will be perfect for some of the upcoming outdoor festivals like the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival.
If it wasn't the weather, it was the upcoming Pan Am Games that are complicating fun in the City. The annual Chin Picnic was moved from the Canada Day weekend in Exhibition Place to mid June in Little Italy. The Chin Bikini contest went from the Bandshell Stage to a private club. Honda Indy Toronto also moved from July to mid-June and suffered through a bit of rain as well.

Buskerfest is coming in August
Toronto Argos are on the field as the CFL season is underway
Fan Expo will soon come to town
The Toronto Pro SuperShow was jam packed
Historic Fort York is always a fun place to visit, but the rain plays havoc with gun powder
Graffiti is always available for viewing
Toronto police horses keep on station
Keep an eye out for Motorcycle Shows
Bikini contests - I think the next one is at the 2015 Importfest

Airshows are a great chance to see flying history
The Toronto Zombie Walk is still a few months away

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fun things to do in Toronto November & December 2015

Winter comes a calling once again and we head into the cold weather by hibernating in the tunnels of the PATH system. Enjoy the two hours of sunshine we get each week! The Winter Solstice should add a little bit of heat to un-patio season.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Fri to Sun, Nov 6-15.
Canada's Walk of Fame Sat, Nov 7.
Remembrance Day Ceremony Wed, Nov 11.
Winter Magic Illuminite at Y-D Square Sat, Nov 14.
Toronto Santa Claus Parade Sun, Nov 15.
Seasons Christmas Show Fri to Sun, Nov 20-22.
Winter Woofstock Sat to Sun, Nov ? Still cute, now indoors - cancelled for 2013, returning in 2014.
Cavalcade of Lights Sat Nov 28. Music and the City lights up Nathan Phillips Square and sets off some fireworks, photo at top.
Toronto Santa Speedo Run Sat Dec 12? TBD
Toronto Comicon Sun, Dec ? TBD
Lowes Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District Fri Nov 27 - Sun Dec 20.
Kensington Winter Solstice/Festival of Lights Mon, Dec 21. A parade and a fire show.
New Years Eve Celebration Thurs Dec 31 from 8 pm to midnight.
And the next day is the Toronto Polar Bear Dip Fri, Jan 1, otherwise known as the Sunnyside swim.
Remember, after a cold Canadian winter the beauty of spring blossoms and the coming heat of summer.

When is the next motorcycle and car show anyway? This time I know it's the North American International SuperShow January 8-10 at the Toronto International Centre.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And the Pan Am flame goes on

Continuing the 41-day torch relay through Oakville and Brampton, the warm up to the massive sports competition known as the 2015 Pan American and Parapan Am Games makes its way slowly around Ontario, almost as slow as traffic will be when the games come to town, unless you are travelling in one of the special games HOV lanes. Check out my post for the start of the 2015 torch relay. Lynn Petruskavich carries the smallish flame sandwiched between the security detail in the photo at top. Toronto celebrations are detailed at the bottom of this post - past the jump.
There was a massive flotilla of naval vessels using the creek's HOB lane (the Pan Am High Occupancy Boat lanes) with Camille Looper of the Burloak Canoe Club traveling from Shipyard Park to the docks of the club. Torchbearers are given the opportunity to buy the 65 cm, 1.2 kg, $550 aluminum torch, however they will be available in the future, they don't get to keep the one they are running with.
In Oakville the torch will have a canoe ride up 16 mile creek, then volunteer fitness Instructor Lynn Petruskavich will bring the torch into Centennial Square. Canadian Aboriginal singer Susan Aglukark will perform along with Abbey McCay (Oakville Youth Week Tune Up winner).

Later in Brampton Commonwealth Games medallist Kate Van Buskirk will finish the day's torch relay by lighting the community cauldron at 7pm.
The games, officially started in 1951, will have athletes from the countries within the Americas - North, South and Central, competing every four years, one year before the Summer Olympic Games. There are over 5,000 athletes take part in 36 sports in a ton of locations around the Province. The torch relay hits 130 communities with 3,000 torchbearers after starting with a traditional ceremony in Teotihuacan, Mexico and coming to Canada on May 30 and will finish on July 10 to open the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. Actually more people probably see, enjoy and participate in the torch relay than the actual games - they should probably just cancel the actual games and only have the torch relay. There, saved a few billion dollars!

Posted by Joe Hamilton.

Pachi goes all Gremlin

Pachi, the official Pan Am mascot, the weird looking porcupine with 41 coloured quills signifying each of the participating countries, must have touched water and been fed after midnight - now they have multiplied and turned bad. Crouching from heights in Toronto, the spiky little critters have gone from cute Mogwais to full on Gremlins looking to rip apart human flesh. Oh, and they obviously have gotten used to sunlight.

"His quills are five brilliant colours and represent qualities that he holds – green is youth, fuchsia is passion, blue is collaboration, orange is determination and purple is creativity. PACHI, like other porcupines, has a visual impairment and difficultly seeing people and objects that are far away."
FUFU. Rocks. Another mascot comes to the rescue and takes on the pachigremlins.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Upcoming Canada Day 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 is Canada's 148th birthday and the midweek celebrations are happening all around Toronto and include parades and fireworks! Mel Lastman Square has the Zero Gravity Circus starting at 5:00pm, followed by reggae artist Jay Douglas and the Allstars, a salsa group and fireworks at 10:15pm.

Broadlands Community Centre and Park has a low key event from 1:30 to 4:00pm. Scarborough will party in Thomson Park from 10:00am to 4:00pm starting with a free pancake breakfast and also host an annual Canada Day parade from the Civic Centre on Brimley Road to Lawrence Avenue East from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.

Fireworks displays will also be held at Milliken Park, Stan Wadlow Park, Centennial Park, Amesbury Park and Ashbridges Bay at dusk.

More of the City's celebrations and associated road closures are detailed in the following press release after the jump.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Racing at Sunset Speedway

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series added the Innisfil track to the 2015 schedule after the Barrie Speedway was sold and closed down. The tiny asphalt oval of only 0.333 miles featured the Leland Industries 300 race presented by Johnsonville on Saturday, June 20, 2015 with 300 laps and an elapsed time of 1 hour, 27 minutes.
Driver autograph session

This was the inaugural NCTS event at Sunset and Quebec driver Alex Tagliani (top photo, centre) of the #18 EpiPen/CGI/CanTorque Chrevrolet car won the event, followed by Jason Hathaway (top photo, left) of the #3 Brakework/Fast Eddie/HGC Chevrolet one lap down and Cayden Lapcevich (top photo, right) of the #76 Tim Hortons Dodge who also took home the Pinty's Wingman of the Race Award. Cayden is so young they took away his champagne after he popped the bottle and joined in the spraying of the winners at Victory Circle.Much was made about the fact that Alex lapped the entire field and he also won the Mobil 1 driver of the race award as he clinched his second win in NCTS.
"The race was green flag Lap 21 to Lap 287, which led to the field easily getting strung out on the .333-mile oval. Even though Hathaway received the free pass under the last caution, he had no shot to challenge Tagliani with just a few laps left in the race as he would have had to restart at the tail end, so he elected to pit for fuel along with everyone else and protect his position. Thus, even with the late-race caution, Tagliani’s victory was essentially a foregone conclusion."

#22 Scott Steckly and #59 Gary Klutt race side by side

Gary Klutt was the polesitter with a 14.758 second qualifying time, finished 6th in the #59 CTL Corp/Thermal Technology Services car.

Sunset Speedway General Manager Mark Dilley joined the on-track race in the #2 Johnsonville/Leland/Dickies Ford. The track has joined the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and is only the third track in Canada with weekly NASCAR sanctioned racing.

Also up on the bill was a Pro Challenge race - Canada's full size racing action in 3/4 scale stock cars. "The Ontario Pro Challenge Series is a traveling division visiting five to six tracks across Ontario giving drivers a variety of venues to hone skills and service sponsors. A season consists of twelve point races typically mid-May through mid-September. The schedule is built to provide a balance of enough racing to satisfy while offering free time to enjoy other summer activities."
Dennis Thomson of the #2 car won the race followed by Patrick Freel of the #18 car and Michael Westwood of the #91 car finished 3rd.

The race day starts early on Saturday with officials meeting at 7:00am, then registration opens and the haulers bring in the cars. NCTS technical inspection runs from 9:30 to 11:30am. The first practice was the Pro cars at 11:00am followed by the first NCTS practice. The Pro Challenge Feature started at 4:20pm followed by the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series autograph session at 5:00pm. Finally the green flag dropped for the Leland Industries 300 presented by Johnsonville at 6:30pm.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Raptor Eyeball

It looks like a dinosaur eyeball right out of Jurassic World and it wants to chew you up. Walking the Queen West graffiti alleys is always fun.

A little penguin

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square