Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Getting around Nuit Blanche

From can't see to can see, the all night contemporary art festival starts this Saturday and the installations are spread throughout the city. Getting around late at night can be a hassle so the City of Toronto has prepared this information to help visitors navigate the night.
Just like Redball and the Supermoon

Fresh Joe's battle with cancer means that he won't be able to make it this year, so I plan to bike for him and have planned a special bicycle art display for the night's. I plan to be the best piece of art for Nuit Blanche 2015.
Pedestrian bridge lighting at Nuit Blanche

It officially starts 6:55 pm Saturday, October 3 and runs until sunrise on Sunday, October 4. See the press release after the jump with event map information, public transportation tips and road closure information links.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Some promotional models for the end of summer in Toronto

And some assorted bikini contestants. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fall is apple picking season

And thousands of city dwellers head out of the city in v formations, migrating to outlet malls and fields full of fruit trees. For most of Toronto that means a trip to Chudleighs, which is great if you like traffic, seas of humanity, expensive entry fees and apple pies, or you could go to one of the less well known orchards like those found in Brampton along Heritage Road.
The best time to go is on a weekday, but if you want to do a family outing you are usually stuck to going on a weekend. On weekends in Milton the traffic going north on Highway 25, coming off Highway 401 is stop and go as you head towards Chudleighs. Police at the entrance help guide people in and out of the popular orchard and while parking is free, the entrance is $12 each. We decide to go instead to Carl Laidlaw on Heritage Road where the entrance is only $4, their was no lineup getting in and the police didn't have to control traffic.
Fall is also bee and wasp season and the farm leaves some sweet things, like candy apples out in the open to draw the wasps away from people and other sweet treats
A lot of the farm orchards have many varieties of fruits, flowers and squash type things like pumpkins which are especially popular in fall as Halloween approaches. Laidlaw's has an extensive line of apples and pears and lots of sunflowers growing tall in the fields. Succulent apples with names like ambrosia, flemish beauty, empire, russet and tolman sweet make the mouth water and have bakers getting the pie pans ready to go into the oven.
At Carl Laidlaw Orchards you can "sample the varieties that are perfect for picking at our tasting wagon, pick fresh apples and pears, enjoy a wagon ride into the orchards, jump in a hay barn, make an apple pie with us, delight in the grainary, try the barn beam walk, stroll the farm, play with toy tractors , shop in our quaint barn market, peruse the pumpkin patch, roast a hot dog and indulge in a buttered cob of fresh corn (barbeque is available on weekends only)."

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Zombies promote Halloween Haunt

Canada's Wonderland brings the scare to the entertainment park in October. Boo, I mean brains, wooh, wooh, brains - cause Zombies (over 700 undead). Fridays to Sundays from 7pm to midnight (except October 4) the event is so frightening that it is not recommended for children under 13.
Zombies join a new bride and groom at City Hall, then they ate them

"Canada's Wonderland is transformed for 13 terrifying nights in October to Halloween Haunt. This year will be bigger, better, and more terrifying than ever with a brand new maze, Spirit Manor, and the return of a fan favourite, ZOMBIES 4D Interactive Dark Ride. Brave your way through 10 horrifying mazes, 2 scare zones, and 4 live shows, in addition to the 700 monsters prowling the Park."

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sukkahville 2015

Who you calling sukkah? Designs by eight finalists, plus a few extras, sit in Nathan Phillips Square confusing visitors, are they art or is it a homeless camp? The international design festival competition features re-imagined concepts for temporary structures used during the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Over 80 designs were submitted by architects, builders and others in related disciplines with some of the plans constructed for display and to determine the winners of Sukkahville.
"While building a Sukkah is a particular Jewish ritual observance, it represents many conceptual themes surrounding the essential nature of dwelling that is universal. Proposing an innovative Sukkah design that balances the dichotomies of new/old, open/closed, temporary/permanent is the challenge inherent in this competition. The winning designs are announced on September 25, 2015, and the festivities continue throughout the weekend including live music, food trucks, a historical tour of The Ward with Editor, John Lorinc, and a featured Sukkah created by Visual Artist, Dan Bergeron at Fauxreel Studios."

You can go into the buildings from September 25-27. See more of the structures after the jump.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Woofstock this weekend

Woof, woof, bark, drool. Four legged friends of man have their own festival in the Beaches area of Toronto this weekend. Woofstock is on from September 26-27, 2015 in Woodbine Park, 10am to 6pm.

It's not just smelling butts and peeing on trees, there are plenty of activities and contests for doggies. The weekend schedule is after the jump.

Octoberfestivus for the restofus

Eat, drink and be merry. Octoberfest, Canada's greatest Bavarian Festival, will fill a few tankards from October 9 to 17, 2015 in Kitchener-Waterloo. Here are ten things they say you should do for the fest.

"1. Join President Alfred Lowrick as he taps the keg at the festival’s Official Opening Ceremonies!
2. Visit one of our 19 exciting festhallen to experience some Gemuetlichkeit!
3. Enjoy floats, performers and bands in Canada’s largest Thanksgiving Day Parade!
4. Check out at least one of our 40 Family & Cultural Events - there’s something for everyone in the family!
5. Stop by Willkommen Platz for tasty treats and live entertainment!
6. Look for our festival ambassadors at events. Onkel Hans, Ziggy unt Zaggy Steiner and Miss Oktoberfestwould love to meet you!
7. Participate in one of our great sporting events - the Oktoberfest Golf Experience, the 5K Fun Run or the Tour de Hans 100K or 50K Cycle Race!
8. Visit the Official Retail Store for an authentic German stein, traditional Bavarian clothing, souvenirs, tickets and much more!
9. Explore the sights of Waterloo Region. Don’t miss the amazing Farmers’ Markets!
10. Mark your calendar for Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest 2016!"

Without traveling too far, there are a few home town Octoberfests still remaining - such as one at the Amsterdam Brewhaus, and if you can't find anything else, put on the beer server costume and fill up a big mug with some cold beverages.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Harlem puts up Nelson Mandela

The Richmond Street East restaurant has replaced the Michael Jackson graffiti mural with a bold portrait of the former South African President. His fight against apartheid made him famous around the world and he passed away in 2013.

The mural is on the garage door leading to the patio

Monday, September 21, 2015

Berczy Park gets a makeover

Construction fence lines the edges of the triangular park that sits behind the triangular building in Toronto. Berczy Park is currently undergoing renovations that will see a fancy new fountain, an enlarged courtyard with some groovy patterns and more dirt for trees.
The plain old fountain, above, will soon be replaced and from the architects view it looks like it will be replaced with bronze doggies on a multi-level fountain
The Gooderham Flat Iron Building
The fountain is dry - keep out
The park is fenced off better than a celebrity party at tiff

The estimated budget for the park reconstruction is $3.7 million bucks and work was held off until after the PanAm Games. Streetscape improvements adjacent to the park will run up the tab to about $8 mill.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Truck pulls at the Acton Fall Fair

The last day of the fair is always bittersweet: Antique stock tractors and diesel trucks finally come to the track in eagerly awaited pulling competitions and later, even as the rides are put away, happy award winners are showing up to claim their ribbons and massive cash prizes. Three classes of trucks were competing in the 4x4 heats sponsored by NAPA - Acton/Georgetown: 6,500 lbs and under local stock - gas, 8,500 lbs and under local stock - diesel and the Pro Stock vehicles.
Weather was perfect for the final day, sunny and warm, and the crowds filled the midway, played the games of chance and watched the pet and horse events. Homecrafts were in the Dufferin Community Centre where I could have sworn I saw Elvis performing a few of his hits with a swing of his hips and a swish of his black and gold cape.
Whackin' some moles
Prize everytime

The September 18-20, 2015 Acton Agricultural Society Fall Fair in Prospect Park had the theme of 'Pigs Go Hog Wild' and the petting zoo even had a massive mamma pig with a clutch of suckling piglets. Everyone waited for the baby pigs to go wild, but their idea of wild and ours seem to differ. The daily entrance fee to the 102nd annual fair was $9 but you could buy a three day weekend pass for $20 and the beer in the Spot in the Park was a reasonable $5. The fairgrounds are located at the corners of Knox and Park Avenues, just a stones throw from the intersections of Highways #25 and #7.
During the 4x4 Truck Pull disaster struck when a sudden vehicle stop caused the sled operator to strike his head. Emergency personnel quickly provided first aid and he was soon put into a Halton Region Ambulance and sent on his way to the hospital. Safety concerns prompted the cancellation of the balance of truck pulls. Turns out the operator only had major bruising - no broken bones.
See more of the fair after the jump and for some photos of the midway on a Saturday night check out my post here.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Acton Fall Fair 2015

It takes about a week to set up a small town fair, but once the lights come on and the sun drops below the horizon, the fair comes alive and you would think you were at a medium town fair. And if you hit the beer tent hard you could almost swear you were at the CNE. See Sunday's truck pulls on my post here.

The excitement runs from September 18 to 20 and Friday night opens the Acton Agricultural Fall Fair, better known as the 'best little fair in Ontario' by everyone from Acton, or those that think it is worth the drive to Acton. The special events of the evening were the Heavy Horse Pull and the Miss Acton Fall Fair Pageant.
The Miss Acton Fall Fair winners
We took a chance on some gambling, played some midway games and watched the pulls. More horse shows take place Saturday along with the lawn and tractor pulls, while Sunday has the truck pulls.

The rest of the fair schedule follows after the jump.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition @TOAEART

Rows of tents line Nathan Phillips Square full of a wide variety of 'fresh art in the fresh air'.  The 2015 event runs from September 18-20 in the shadows of City Hall and everything from photography, painting, sculpture, pottery and jewelry can be found by the over 300 participating artists.
Several public installations are also located throughout the square and art fans can take in art discussions by leading Toronto artists. Visitors can enter their three favourite artists for the People's Choice Award with about $20,000 in prizes available.

"The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is Toronto’s first, largest, and longest running outdoor art fair – providing fresh art, fresh faces, in the fresh air since 1961. Attracting an audience of over 100,000 people annually, and showcasing the work of over 350 artists, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition prides itself on creating an environment which gives artists the chance to interact directly with the public in an informal setting – removing the barriers to access, and dispelling the formality of a traditional gallery or art fair experience."

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square