Sunday, January 31, 2016

Acton Winter Carnival 2016

This has been one of the best winters that I can remember - balmy and little snow so far. It was a little melty at today's annual Acton Winter Carnival in Prospect Park from 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, January 31. An ice hockey tournament became a game of slush.
A warming fire was fun to look at, but much less important than last year's deep freeze, but it was still enjoyable. The event happens during the last weekend in January and features fun for all ages as well as a pancake breakfast and a chili cook off at Town Hall. Eight teams cooked up their brand of chili and went head to head in a tight competition won by Mayor Rick Bonnette and Clark Somerville. The winning team usedtasty smoked meat and beat out teams like the Acton Firefighters and the Acton Sobeys ladies. The Acton 'better food for all' grocery store used turkey in their chili trying to get the healthy alternative vote.

Normally the day includes tractor and wagon rides, ice skating, outdoor curling, ice sculpting, bingo and other outdoor games. The ice skating and curling were cancelled this year but everything else was a go! The day of fun was sponsored by local businesses like Acton Optical and the Rotary Club of Acton.
Dog cart rides

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Do Not Block Drive

It's come to this - DO NOT BLOCK DRIVE. I hope winter ends soon because I am thinking of going into hibernation
And a picture of pigeons taking off as a TTC bus drives in the background

Sunday, January 24, 2016

America gets Snowzilla

The Washington Post shows a picture of Godzilla breathing out a hellfire of a storm onto the east side of the United States in the screengrab above. The weather monster has already been responsible for 19 deaths up to January 24, 2016 and will cost over $1 billion USD in damages. We have been lucky in the Toronto area as we head into above average seasonal temperatures and not much snow so far. Still I am tired of winter, it's time for SummerZilla!
It's time to start dreaming of summer and some of Toronto's best events like Carnival, Pride and the Honda Indy Toronto. Throw in some fantastic motorcycle and car shows like MegaSpeed and Importfest, some picnics and festivals and these memories can keep you warm through the February Doldrums.

See more models and bikini contestants after the jump.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Honda Indy Toronto Festivus

Motorfestivus, Tastefestivus and Beerfestivus @HondaIndy. It could be that I am still thinking of the holiday season with feats of speed and the festivus pole sitter, but I am looking forward to the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place; Friday to Sunday, July 15-17. Now that the Toronto PanAm Games are history, the race returns back to mid-summer and will celebrate 30 years of racing on the streets of Toronto during Ontario's largest annual sporting event.
A new president takes over the Green Savoree Racing Promotions' Honda Indy Toronto. Long time president Charlie Johnstone, now CEO of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, passes the promotional torch to Jeff Atkinson, formerly the vice president of GSRP. The firm owns and operates several of the most exciting race events in North America.
"Jeff is a long-time valued executive at our organization and we have the utmost confidence in him," said Kevin Savoree, owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions. "He has all of the attributes that will make him successful in this leadership role and to lead the Honda Indy Toronto. He's a great teammate who is intelligent, articulate, attentive to others and has an incredible work ethic. We look forward to his future with the Honda Indy Toronto."
Muzik Grid Girls

"Honda Indy Toronto has been a summer staple for generations of Torontonians and festivalgoers from across Ontario and beyond," said Jeff Atkinson, newly-appointed President of Honda Indy Toronto. "We're working hard on growing the festival programming to create an event that is fun, exciting for all ages, and that builds on its legacy and connects with the history of the race."
Off track action includes the Verizon IndyCar and support series paddocks, Honda World and the Honda Jr Red Riders, driver autograph sessions and Victory Circle. On the street course which takes the powerful cars throughout Exhibition Place and out onto Lake Shore Boulevard without the pesky interference of law enforcement radar and their associated ticket books. 
IndyCar headlines the weekend, joined by the Mazda Road to Indy races and stockcar racing NASCAR Pinty's Series. Three series provide a ladder system which develops young drivers hoping to make it into IndyCar cockpits - Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Hopefully the high flying Stadium Super Trucks will make also another appearance in 2016.
Fan Friday sponsored by Ontario Honda Dealers provides free admission, with donation, in support of Make-A-Wish Canada for the Friday, July 15 opening day. In 2015 over $73,000 was raised by generous racing fans, making the event accessible to potential racing fans and their families who can come check out all the action and excitement.
"Honda Fan Friday will feature a jam-packed schedule of on-track action, and off-track stunt shows, contests, autograph sessions and all kinds of entertainment in full gear from gate open to close across the event site, providing something for everyone, race fan or not!"
Slightly damaged in 2015, Canadian driving sensation James Hinchcliffe will return to battle some of the World's toughest competitors such as Scott Dixon who was the 2015 IndyCar Series Champion.
James Hinchcliffe

"This obviously is such a special weekend for me, I remember coming to this race as a kid and really falling in love with INDYCAR while I stood at the fence watching the cars," said James Hinchcliffe, Verizon IndyCar Series driver of the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. "Now, to be able to come back on the other side of that fence and race in my hometown is awesome. The track, the city, the fans, everything about this weekend makes it the best stop on the calendar. I'm glad we got the old date back because now it really is like Christmas in July again."

Usually a couple of the IndyCar drivers make the journey to Toronto during a break in the famous Indy 500 - usually the day after bump day and before Sunday's weekend race schedule. (so maybe Tuesday, May 24?) and if we are lucky James Hinchcliffe will be here.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fun things to do in Toronto November & December 2016

Roses are red, violets are blue, Santa's coming and he's coming for you. I remember the winter of 2015 because it started out so gentle. Temperatures were moderate and snow was unheard of, my goodness, it comes to me so plainly like it was just yesterday, Wow, usually my memory is not that good, and in fact, the rest of the winter of 2015 is still a fog to me, hopefully the upcoming winter season is perfect and here are some some events that can keep you out of the malls during Christmas shopping season.
Winter, what's it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Fri to Sun, Nov 4-13.
National Women's Show Fri to Sun, Nov 4-6.
Canada's Walk of Fame happened in Oct.
The Gentlemen's Expo at MTCC South Thurs to Sat, Nov 10-12.
Remembrance Day Ceremony Fri, Nov 11.
Winter Magic Illuminite at Y-D Square Sat, Nov 19.
Toronto Santa Claus Parade Sun, Nov 20.
Seasons Christmas Show Fri to Sun, Nov 18-20.
Winter Woofstock Sat to Sun, Nov TBD? Still cute, now indoors - cancelled for 2013, returning in 2014.
Cavalcade of Lights Sat Nov 26. Music and the City lights up Nathan Phillips Square and sets off some fireworks.
CFL Grey Cup at the BMO Field Sun, Nov 27.
Toronto Santa Speedo Run Sat Dec 10? The run will take 2016 off unless someone else gets the run organized.
Toronto Comicon Fan Days Holiday Show Sat, Dec 10. At the MTCC.
Lowes Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District Fri Nov 28 - Sun Dec 18.
Kensington Winter Solstice/Festival of Lights Wed, Dec 21. A parade and a fire show.

New Years Eve Celebration Thurs Dec 31 from 8 pm to midnight with Toronto's largest dance and skating party - with some exciting fireworks and live bands.
And the next day is the Toronto Polar Bear Dip Sun, 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 TBD at the Toronto International Centre.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fun things to do in Toronto September & October 2016

Too hot for you, then the sweet spot in the calendar year is coming, go ahead, put on that sweater! Do you want to go faster? Step right up to the beginning of the school year and the ending of the Canadian National Exhibition.
Canadian National Exhibition CNE Fri to Mon, Aug 19-Sept 5.
Toronto Fan Expo Comicon Thurs to Sun, Sept 1-4.
Buskerfest New Time: Fri to Mon, Sept 2-5 during the Labour Day weekend at Woodbine Park in the Beaches.
Toronto International Film Festival Thurs to Sun, Sept 8-18. Something about films and stars.
Toronto Oktoberfest Fri to Sat, Sept TBD.
Toronto Beer Week Fri to Sat, Sept 16-24.
Canada's Walk of Fame Festival Thurs to Sun, Sept (dates to be determined).
Just for Laughs Festival JFL42 Thurs to Sat, TBD.
Windfest Sat, Sept (date to be determined).
I Love Culture Fri to Sun, Sept 30 - Oct 2.
Woofstock Sat to Sun, Sept TBD. Sorry, moved to May 2016 in Woodbine Park. North America's largest festival for dogs.
Nuit Blanche Sat, Oct 1 (6:51 pm to sunrise). The all night art thing with plenty of videos and light shows.
Haunted Walk of Old Toronto Oct - Nov.
Toronto Everything to do with Sex Show Fri to Sun, Oct 21-23.
Zombie Walk CANCELLED. Take your brains and run for your life. UPDATE:
"Deadlings, It is with great sadness that we must announce that the 2015 Toronto Zombie Walk is cancelled. We want to thank you all for making this event the special event that it has grown to be. And we are sorry to say that we have failed to secure any of our grants or sponsorships for this year, so we must bow out." However, separate walks are springing up around the end of October, including this one: Date: Pedestrian Sunday, October 30th Time: 2pm-5pm at Kensington Market (all ages welcome). "Join us for this pre-Halloween stroll. Meet up: Bellevue Square Park, Route: West on Wales Ave, North on Leonard Ave, East on Nassau St., South on Augusta, East on Baldwin, South on Kensington, West on Dundas, North on Augusta. End: Bellevue Square Park"Toronto International Snowmobile, ATV and Powersports Show Fri to Sun, Oct 21-23.
Art Toronto Fri to Mon, Oct 28-31.
Night of Dread Sat, Oct 29.
Zoomer Show Sat to Sun, Oct 29-30.
Halloween on Church and the Church Street Zombie Walk Mon, Oct 31.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fun things to do in Toronto July & August 2016

Let the good times roll! Is that sweat I see, rolling along the curve of my neck, soaking into the soft grass? Probably not, I am writing this in winter - my new Canada Post Community mailbox laughing at me as I am frozen out of the contents locked inside. Who makes an outdoor lock for Canada that you can't get into during winter, oops that's right - Canada Post. Anywho, longer days and blooming trees will bring the summer sub back into the gorgeous lands of Ontario - I can hardly wait.
But if you are reading this in July then keep your eye open for these fun events that bring Toronto together, hopefully Buskerfest has gotten a few sponsors that keep it going, now that Scotiabank has dropped them, and several other longtime events including the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, from their charity and non-profit rosters and will instead fund arts, marathons and hockey sponsorships.
Will the primo-multicultural Canada Day long weekend festival known as the CHIN picnic also make it past the loss of Scotiabank money? Will it return to Exhibition Place, or remain in Little Italy? Will the bikini contestants compete at the bandshell, or out of the way in a bar? UPDATE: The Chin Bikini Contest has been cancelled! Well we can only hope that everything works out. More updates: The CHIN Picnic 2016 has been merged with the Taste of Little Italy Festival in June.
Pride Toronto Festival June 24 - July 3. The parades start July 1st and culminate with the Pride Parade on Sunday, July 3 - start time 2 pm.
Toronto Fringe Festival Wed to Sun, June 29 - July 10.
Redpath Waterfront Festival Fri to Sun, July 1-3.
Digital Dreams Festival Sat to Sun, July 2-3.
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition Fri to Sun, July 8-10
Salsa on St Clair Sat to Sun, July 9-10. Festival Parades both days at 2pm.
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition Fri to Sun, July 8-10.
Beaches Jazz Festival Fri to Sun, July 8-24.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival Sun to Sun, July 10 - July 31. The official launch is Tuesday, July 5. King and Queen Show Thur, July 28. and the famous parade down by the lake on Sat, July 30.
photo by Joe Hamilton

Honda Indy Toronto Fri to Sun, July 15-17. Exhibition Place will sound like a jacked up hornet's nest as the IndyCar series and the NASCAR Pinty's series light up the streets of Toronto.
photo by Joe Hamilton

Tim and Brenda's Cruise for the Cure Show and Shine in nearby Vaughan, Sunday, July TBD.
Toronto Festival of Beer Fri to Sun, July 22-24. Hmmm, beer.
Rogers Cup Tennis Sat to Sun, July 23-31.
Toronto International BrazilFest Sun July 24. In Earlscourt Park.
Live Green Toronto Sat, July TBD. With free concerts in Yonge-Dundas Square.

Taste of the Danforth Fri to Sun, Aug 5-7.
Importfest Saturday, Aug 6 - cars and girls at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Canfitpro Consumer Fitness and Wellness Show Wed to Sun, Aug 10-14.
Wheels on the Danforth Fri to Sat, Aug 12-13.
York-Eglinton International Street Festival Sat to Sun, Aug 13-14.
Canadian National Exhibition CNE Fri to Mon, Aug 19-Sept 5. Do you want to go faster? And don't forget the fantastic Canadian International Airshow.
Chinatown Festival Sat to Sun, Aug 20-21.
Aloha Toronto Festival Sun, Aug 21.
Big on Bloor Festival Sat to Sun, Aug 22-23. Car free from Dufferin to Lansdowne.
2 Day Best of the Beach Coed Volleyball Sat to Sun, Aug TBD.
Miss Sexy Car Wash Show and Shine Sun, Aug 21 in Scarborough from 11 am to 7 pm.
Toronto Tamil Festival Fri to Sun, Aug 26-28.
Bloorcourt Arts and Crafts Fair Sat, Aug 27
Leslieville Beerfest Sat, Aug 27
Taiwan Fest Fri to Sun, Aug 26-28.

Go Topless Day protest in Toronto Sun, Aug 28. 12 pm to 4 pm at Hubbard Blvd and Hammersmith Ave - to be confirmed? Always Sometimes the Sunday before Women't Equality Day which is August 26?
Buskerfest Thurs to Sun, Aug 25-28. Street performers at their best on Yonge Street.  Buskerfest has now been moved to the September Labour Day weekend and will be located in the Beaches at Woodbine Park. Fri to Mon, Sept 2-5.
Toronto Zombie Walk - will it come back from the dead and walk the streets once again? There was a wake held in 2015 that started at Trinity Bellwoods and ended at the CNE. Will there be another one?
For USA and Airshow Fans: Thunder Over Michigan Sat to Sun, Aug 20-21.
Fan Expo Canada New Date Thurs to Sun, Sept 1-4. More costumes because that is the best part.

Also coming up is the world famous Toronto International Film Festival, or tiff.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

@batlgroundsaxe BATL Axe Throwing

This is a games of darts played by the gods, darts on steroids, with hair-splitting steel flying through the air in a competition so intense it makes a game of chess a relative snoozefest. BATL, home of axe throwing since 2006, has several locations in Toronto (Toronto East, Toronto West and Toronto Yorkdale) and around Ontario, including Pickering and Kitchener-Waterloo.
We were invited to a friendly match-up with the Bands from the Beach (a nice group of fourteen), so we hit the Toronto East location near Cherry Beach (33 Villiers Street), which includes free on-site parking. I was intrigued that the facility provides group throwing areas complete with fridges. You can bring your own beverages and keep them cold during the matches!

"Booking for private events such as birthdays, bachelor/ bachelorette parties, corporate team building etc. are available daily, with start times ranging from 12 noon to 8pm. BATL is open for League play on Sundays from 5-8pm and Monday through Wednesday from 7-10pm."

We were provided with two instructors who looked after our group, split out along four adjacent throwing lanes, and provided with personal instruction in axe throwing and safety. After some practice throws we got down to a cutthroat competition, which I quickly lost. Some people take to the sport like a duck to pudding, I was one of them. 
One of Ann's several bullseyes
My rare bullseye just made it in

The cost was $45 plus tip, and you might not join a league after playing, but darn it is a fun way to spend a day and it is not something that a lot of people do so it is good water cooler talk at the office.
The wall of champions. If you look close you can't see my name

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square