Monday, March 28, 2016

Toronto Pillow Fight 2016

The International Day of Pillow Fighting brings close, fluffy combat to Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday, April 2nd from 3-6 p.m. Brought to the city by the group at Newmindspace, the organization does all sorts of wacky events like the light swords battle and the bubble battle.
"Pillows fly and teddies soar as you converge for a giant urban pillow fight! Swing and whack as you evade pillow-wielding assailants. Bring a soft pillow and wait for the signal. Pillow fight! Rules: Please follow these guidelines to ensure a safe and fun pillow fight for everybody!
+ Soft, feather-free pillows only!
+ Swing lightly, many people will be swinging at once.
+ Do not swing at people without pillows or with cameras.
+ Remove glasses beforehand!
+ Deposit pillows in donation boxes or take them with you.
+ Pajamas welcome."
Play fights will happen all over the world during this, the 7th annual International Pillow Fight Day as over 100 cities will erupt in joyous swinging of the pillows. These are photos from the 2015 Pillow Fight.

Friday, March 25, 2016

#WNBR 2016 coming June 11

Less Gas, More Ass on the protest against oil dependence at the upcoming Toronto World Naked Bike Ride. Riders will gather from 10am to 1pm on Saturday at Coronation Park and take to two wheels at 1pm for a jaunty ride through downtown Toronto. Bare as you dare, clothing is optional; "wear your clothes if you want, just show up and ride!"
Coronation Park is just south of the CNE Princes' Gate along Lake Shore Boulevard. Ride organizer Gene Dare, above, is usually at the War Memorial early, greeting bikers as they show up and prepare for the ride. Some of the bikers get body painted and there are usually a few volunteer artists that show up, as well as a few enthusiastic amateurs with paintbrushes.
The typical route starts by heading north on Strachan Avenue and turning east on Queen Street West, although sometimes they have gone through Trinity Bellwood's Park and continuing into such popular tourist destinations as Kensington Market, University of Toronto, Queen's Park, Yorkville, Ryerson University, past Yonge-Dundas Square on Yonge Street and the Toronto Eaton Centre before taking a long break at City Hall for some individual and group photo opportunities which sometimes includes the reflecting pond. After City Hall the WNBR heads south on Bay Street and officially end the ride at the Jack Layton Memorial Ferry Docks. While most of the riders disperse at the Toronto Island Ferry landing, some head back to Coronation Park, or some take the ferry over to the Islands and head to the clothing optional beach at Hanlan's Beach.
Passing by the Toronto Eaton Centre and Yonge-Dundas Square
Several media organizations cover the Toronto biking event and Naked News is supposed to return once again to this year's event.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Embrace This Space

EMBRACE? Love it.

Here are some other spaces that have been embraced by graffiti paint.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Back at the Brickworks

It's been some time since they cranked out 25 million bricks a day at the Don Valley Brickworks, now Evergreen is a community cultural and environmental centre.
High quality clay from the site was used to produce bricks since 1889 and the production of the rectangular building material continued for almost 100 years.

Besides saving a lot of the brick facade, they also kept some of the old equipment, the long line of kilns and some of the old graffiti. It is a nice place to visit where you can walk the trails around the three ponds, come into several of the buildings open to the public, check out the market and it looks like they have art shows quite often.

Visit the old Brickworks on the following posts:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Michael Pinball Clemons

Vice-Chair of the CFL Toronto Argonaut football team, former record setting player and Head Coach, all around great guy, Pinball was down at City Hall to film a promotion for the team and he brought some players and the lovely Argo Cheerleaders.
"In the rich 138-year history of the Toronto Argonauts, there are many football heroes who have brought pride to the city of Toronto and the Double Blue but it is difficult to find a more popular name in team history than Michael Clemons. Born and raised in Florida, the William and Mary economics graduate began his career in the CFL in 1989 after a brief stint in the National Football League. As a player, Clemons compiled a brilliant CFL career with the Toronto Argonauts, including a pro-football record for most career combined yards with 25,396. On September 15, 2000, Pinball hung up his Double Blue jersey after 12 brilliant seasons to move directly into the position of Head Coach. He retired with 12 all-time team records to his credit, including career receptions (682)."

Rob Ford loses battle with cancer

UPDATE: Councillor Rob Ford will lie in repose in the main floor rotunda at City Hall 100 Queen St W March 28-29. The hours are Monday, March 28 - 10am to 6pm and Tuesday, March 29 - 7:30am to 9pm. Access to City Hall will be restricted to the western main door on Monday, March 28.
Toronto Mounted Police Honour Guard at the entrance to City Hall

The ex Mayor of Toronto fought against a rare form of cancer and in the last few days word got out that he wasn't in a good place. Still, it was a shock when it was announced that he died today. The City lowered flags to half mast and made books of condolence available at City Hall and the Municipal Civic Centres. The flags will remain lowered until Rob Ford's funeral and you can sign an online book of condolence at the City's website:
In line to sign the book of condolence for Rob Ford at Toronto City Hall
He life publicly imploded and was broadcast over the airwaves for all to see. Discovering cancer he dropped out of the race for re-election as Mayor and switched to running for Ward 2 Councillor, which he won handily. He was Mayor from 2010 to 2014 and was originally Ward 2 Councillor for Etobicoke North starting in the year 2000 and was re-elected twice before winning the Mayor's Chain of Office.
Media vans outside City Hall
Councillor Rob Ford's signs lean against the window of his office

"On behalf of the members of Toronto City Council, I extend our deepest condolences to Rob's wife, Renata, his children Stephanie and Doug, and all members of his family," said Mayor John Tory. "His time in City Hall included moments of kindness, of generosity to his council colleagues and real efforts to do what he thought was best for Toronto. He was, above all else, a profoundly human guy whose presence in our city will be missed.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

Track changes at the Honda Indy Toronto

I was hoping that they would run the IndyCar track right through the new hotel, but apparently they do need a lobby. The modifications to the Honda Indy Toronto street course are the third since the race began in 1986 and the big change for 2016 is the re-location of pit lane; like the chicken, it crossed the road. Pit Lane will start on the north side of turn 9 and exit onto Princes' Boulevard past turn 11.
Cars come out of the old pit lane - that is so 2015

Some other changes to the Exhibition Place HIT festival grounds include hospitality suite and grandstand revisions, along with a new pedestrian and wheelchair track crossing at turn 9. As the new urban hotel rose from the parking lot and former marine museum location, it impacted the land available for both the pit and exit lane. Because the hotel was probably embarrassed by the slight takeover of the race track, they called themselves Hotel X. We may never know the real name of the hotel and it should cover itself in a giant mask, much like a Toronto raccoon. Later, someone might see the hotel sneak into a phone booth and change into SuperHotel.

An exclusive ticket sales special was also introduced by the race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions for Weekend Grandstand ticket holders from 2015: "Renewal customers will have access to a new program, the Champions Club, offering many exciting benefits, including Paddock Passes, access to the Verizon IndyCar Series pre-race grid walk and an opportunity to sign the start/finish line for the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto. Ticket sales for the general public will begin April 12." 
IndyCar drivers in the old pits (Conor Daly, above). They will probably be better drivers in the new pits
Josef Newgarden

And don't forget free Fan Friday sponsored by Ontario Honda Dealers in support of Make A Wish Foundation. "On Fan Friday, your Ontario Honda Dealers will cover the cost of admission for everyone to check out the spectacle and excitement of the Honda Indy Toronto, in exchange for a donation to Make-A-Wish® Canada. With generous support from fans, Honda Canada and the Ontario Honda Dealers have raised more than $443,000 for Make-A-Wish®, helping to make the wishes of children who are living with a life-threatening medical condition come true."

The weekend motorsports festival runs July 15-17, 2016 and includes several race series from SPEED Stadium Super Trucks, Porche GT3 Cup Challenge, the Mazda Road to Indy and the stock cars of the NASCAR Pinty's Series.

“This year marks the 30th year of racing in Toronto,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of the Honda Indy Toronto. “We are thrilled to be able to provide a double feature to help mark the occasion, with the NASCAR Pinty’s Series headlining on Saturday and the Verizon IndyCar Series on Sunday. Fans are in for an exciting weekend of racing at the Honda Indy Toronto this summer.”

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bunny at Brookfield Place

Amanda Parer's inflatable white rabbit looks into Allan Lambert Galleria from the Garden Square beside the TD Canada Trust Tower in Toronto. He looks late, late for a very important date.
The public art installation at Brookfield Place (Bay and Yonge Streets at Front Street) is called Intrude and has been seen in 19 major cities around the world. The current tour of North America includes the Toronto visit from March 14 to 23, 2016.

It is a perfect time to visit as Easter Weekend is coming up and he can help deliver chocolate eggs to all the good little girls and boys, after he checks his list once and twice. The bunny sculpture is quite large and illuminated in white light and has been a winner of several art competitions. "They represent the fairytale animals from our childhood – a furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields. Intrude deliberately evokes this cutesy image, and a strong visual humour, to lure you into the artwork only to reveal the more serious environmental messages in the work. They are huge, the size referencing “the elephant in the room”, the problem, like our environmental impact, big but easily ignored."
Australian native Amanda Parer now lives in Tasmania but she notes that rabbits have become a massive pest that causes extreme damage to the natural environment, resisting attempts at controlling the population - you know how those bunnies are?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Toronto Spring Comicon 2016

Saturday's show was sold out as the halls of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre filled with legions of fans, celebrities and costumes for the annual Comicon.
And the cosplay was fantastic!

See more photos of the March 18-20, 2016 show after the jump.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Toronto Motorcycle SPRINGSHOW coming soon

Showcasing the Best of Bikes and the chance to learn how to ride a motorcycle April 9-10, 2016 at the International Centre. As the warmer weather approaches and riders itch to be on the road, it is time to check out some new gear and accessories as well and new and used bikes. Advance tickets with a $2 off coupon can be purchased online and the parking is free. A brand new 2015 Suzuki of Newmarket motorcycle will be a door prize available to one lucky winner.

"SPRINGSHOW 2016 is an exceptional opportunity to interact with motorcycle enthusiasts from all areas of the motorcycle community. The show is designed to offer attractions and exhibits that appeal to everyone from the occasional rider to the hardcore biker."
Actor Kim Coates from Sons of Anarchy TV series will also appear at the show for a meet and greet with the star on both Saturday and Sunday. 
The show features dealer displays, custom showbikes competing for $20,000 in prizes, Bikes of the Century, Canadian Super Bike Series autograph sessions including Trevor Daley, Racing Stars of Tomorrow, a mini-bike stunt show, a Pickers Market with vintage bike parts and a used bike clearance sale.

Women in Motorcycling will be in Hall #1 with ladies that have embraced the riding life. Returning for their third year with exhibit coordinator Kimberlee Anna Taplay.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square