Tuesday, May 31, 2016

LaSalle Park

Situated in Hamilton Harbour, or Burlington Bay, the Hamilton Park is located in Burlington and run by the City of Burlington, but still owned by the City of Hamilton. Obviously the park is confused and doesn't know which way is up.
The 57 acre park is located on North Shore Boulevard and besides nature and the beautiful waterfront views, is a full feature park and marina. The walking trails and shoreline is a favourite for those that like to fish. While enjoying the evening views we saw lots of geese, ducks and swans, but also a muskrat and a beaver.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Honda Indy Toronto 2016 single day tickets go on sale

Thunder Alley, Tim Hortons, Pinty's, IndyCar, NASCAR, Beer - the Toronto Motorfest will make an exciting weekend in July that will celebrate 30 years of racing in the streets of Toronto. Stock cars will be back on the track as the NASCAR Pinty's Series returns and the Road to Indy is paved with some pretty fast cars. Fan Friday returns with free admission with a donation to Make-A-Wish Canada, courtesy of the Ontario Honda Dealers Association
Photo by Joe Hamilton
Grid Girls. Photo by Joe Hamilton

“Each day of the event weekend is jam-packed with quality entertainment, on and off the track,” said Jeff Atkinson, President of Honda Indy Toronto. "The double-feature format, with the Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto on Saturday and the Verizon IndyCar Series on Sunday, is a win-win for race fans and guarantees great racing, no matter which day you plan on attending.”
"The Verizon IndyCar Series continues in its historic Sunday afternoon spot, with Canadian James Hinchcliffe (photo at top), 2016 winner Josef Newgarden and series champion Scott Dixon returning to race the challenging track in their IndyCar machines."
"Single-day tickets to the Honda Indy Toronto start at $40 for Saturday or Sunday general admission, and range from $70 to $95 for single-day reserved grandstand seats. For full pricing information or to buy tickets to the event, visit www.hondaindy.com or call 1-877-725-8849."

Stadium Super Trucks in resting mode

Filmores and their bad Yelp review

Filmores Hotel and adult entertainment lounge posts an intriguing sign on the feature board: "GO RAPS GO". Sorry not that one, it was about an experience one guy had and supposedly posted on the crowd-sourced review site, something about the worst lap dance he ever had.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

100th Indy 500

A sellout crowd of 350,000 people were at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the famous racing spectacle on Sunday, May 29, 2016. Canadian James Hinchcliffe started in the pole position and remained in contention until tire issues and the need for fuel forced him to pit late in the race, dropping him into 7th place. Photo at top: James Hinchcliffe on the pole forming the famous 11 rows of 3 to start the 100th Indianapolis 500 -- Photo by: Doug Mathews.

"We came in for a splash of fuel at the end and a couple of guys took a punt on fuel and congratulations to Alex (Rossi). It was obviously great for him, and also great to see Honda back on top. Realistically, we probably had a third or fourth place, which is nothing to turn your nose up at. It was a really strong effort from the Arrow guys all month on.”

Rookie Alexander Rossi took the checkered flag, then ran out of fuel when he crossed the finish line. The advice from his team was to coast during the final stretch. Carlos Munoz from Columbia finished second and American Josef Newgarden completed the winners podium with third place. Both Carlos and Josef brought their cars in for fuel during the final five laps. 

Canadian Alex Tagliani started the race in last place after he crashed during qualifications and came on strong, even leading the race for 11 laps.

The race at the Brickyard is a 500 mile, 200 lap circuit where the winner drinks milk - a tradition started in 1936 and continues to this day. For this, the centennial race, Indy 500 also gave out 100,000 bottle of milk to fans. This was the sixth race of the Verizon IndyCar 2016 schedule and the Honda Indy Toronto is getting closer with its mid-July schedule.

Toronto Woofstock 2016

Cause, cute dogs.
It has a big sign
And some big dogs
The annual dog-mania celebration continues out in the east end of the city at Woodbine Park and finishes Sunday, May 29 (10 am to 6 pm).

North America's largest festival for dogs even has a beer tent, but those furry canines can't drink the Steam Whistle brews, there are plenty of water bowls for man's best friends.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Anime North 2016

It was a bad day to be a fuzzy character as the sun beat down on the thousands that flock to 'Canada's Premier Fan-Run Anime Convention.'

Anime North is on from May 27-29 at the Toronto Congress Centre and the International Plaza Hotel.

Weekend Buskers in Toronto

If you are near Yonge-Dundas or Harbourfront don't forget to keep an eye out for street performers. I always love seeing Toronto Batman, too bad about his parents though. The talented individuals are working hard to earn some of your cash. The best time to see them is the weekend as thousands flock downtown for shopping, entertainment or to visit their favourite restaurant or bar.

I haven't seen Silver Elvis in awhile, he might be in Silver Graceland eating a silver peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Friday, May 27, 2016

WNBR 2016 just weeks away

Warm weather means the World Naked Bike Ride is coming to Toronto on Saturday, June 11th. Update: See photos of the 2016 ride on my post here.
"WNBR is a protest against car culture and a celebration of our individuality." Meet at Coronation Park from 10 am to 1pm, socialize and get some body paint, the ride leaves for a tour of Toronto at 1pm.

I checked out the park and it is still there ready for some bike riders.

Doors Open Toronto 2016 this weekend

This year there are over 130 buildings participating in the community access event. The 17th annual celebration of architecture, history, culture and socially significant buildings is presented by Great Gulf from May 28th to the 29th.
You can take part in walking tours and talks while exploring the sites for free, although parking is usually not included, while getting into some places that are normally off limits for the public. While many of the locations are open both Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, some locations are open on only one of the days, or with different hours, so check before you go.
"Since its inception in 2000, Doors Open Toronto has attracted more than two-million visits to over 700 unique locations across the city. It is Canada's largest Doors Open event and one of the three largest Doors Open events in the world. Doors Open Toronto is dedicated to celebrating built heritage, architecture and design. It is presented by Great Gulf and produced by the City of Toronto in partnership with the community."
Places to visit include the Aga Khan Museum, Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport, City and Omni - Rogers television studios, Design Exchange, Gangway's open Toronto Harbourfront, OCAD U, Redpath Sugar Factory and the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant.
A walking lighthouse

Forever Plaid is back in Toronto

The Plaids @PlaidisBackTO figured the popularity of four part guy groups on the airwaves and in jukeboxes would help pave the way for their own four boy band to find fame in the late 50’s. They didn’t count on a car crash which took them too early from this life and finally, in 2016, they have returned to earth for a final show before they go up to harmony heaven. Fans of live music and laughter definitely need to attend Forever Plaid, my wife and I really enjoyed it.
Opening in a dark theatre, the group makes its way down the aisle, holding candles and dressed in dinner jackets with bow ties and cummerbunds, telling their tale of their return, before they make the way to stage and prove the group can really sing. They start off slowly, crooning the first two numbers before cranking up the energy and fun throughout the production, interrupting their singing to further the narrative of their short lives and their musical aspirations.

The multi-talented stars, veterans of such productions as Oliver, Jersey Boys, Oklahoma, The Book of Mormon and West Side Story are Jonathan Cullen as Frankie, Scott Beaudin as Sparky, Jeff Madden as Jinx and Matt Cassidy as Smudge.

The story and their singing lasts 90 minutes and there is no intermission in this Mirvish production, so get your beverages on the way to your seats. Songs like Catch A Falling Star, Chain Gang, Papa Loves to Mamba and Love Is A Many Splendored Thing are crooned with an infectious delight. To prove they have kept up with the changing musical tastes in America, they also do an entertaining cover of She Loves You by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It was also hilarious when they perform their own edition of the Ed Sullivan Show.

The show, written by Stuart Ross, is presented by Starvox Entertainment/Corey Ross and is on at the Panasonic Theatre at 651 Yonge Street, just south of Bloor, with a run until Sunday, June 12, 2016.
CTV television personality Richard Crouse attends the event with a beautiful lady

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Balancing in Trinity Bellwoods Park

People try their hand at walking along a tight rope in the popular park in the photo at top. Trinity Bellwoods is full of stuff, besides grass, trees and walking paths, it also has an off leash dog area, a wading pool and children's playground, tennis courts, ball diamonds, volleyball courts and the Trinity Community Recreation Centre.

I remember the first time I really paid attention to the park - it was for the annual Toronto Zombie Walk, where people gathered in the dog bowl before heading out onto the streets searching for brains. You can find a lot of things going on year round in the park such as art in the park, yard sales, and usually the park hosts Luminato and Nuit Blanche installations.

At the north end of the park, near Dundas Street you can see markers showing the long buried Garrison Creek and the gates at 790 Queen Street West were probably the entrance to the former University of Trinity College.
Over the last couple of years the use of the park has exploded in the summer, even without specific events people come to enjoy a lazy day, socialize with their friends and actually play some recreational sports. Someone also tends to put messages up on the tennis court fence and there is one on the north fence now.
'Sending out major love to my baby'
Sticking the tongue out for balance

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Harlem Globetrotters in Toronto

Just the name puts their theme song in my head but seeing members of the famous basketball team down at Toronto City Hall was pretty cool. Scooter Christensen #16, Bull Bullard #33 and Slick Willie Shaw #40 were filming in Nathan Phillips Square.

Standing on the elevated walkway the players took shots at a basketball net down by the reflecting pool. They were really friendly and took time to pose for photos with their fans.
"The Harlem Globetrotters began in 1926 as the Savoy Big Five. Now more than 85 years and 20,000 games later, the team has become one of the most recognizable franchises in sports." This year marks the 90th anniversary of the amazing and entertaining sports franchises in history.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Indy 500 drivers come to Toronto 2016

The easy part is over - qualifying for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing", now the Verizon IndyCar drivers have come to town to meet the media and Jeff Atkinson, President of Honda Indy Toronto. AJ Foyt Enterprises' drivers Alex Tagliani and Takuma Sato flew in from Indianapolis, Indiana to discuss the sport at Hunters Landing located at 82 Fort York Blvd. They return for the final week of preparations before taking part in the Indy 500 race on Sunday, May 29. Photo at top: l-r, Alex Tagliani, Takuma Sato and Jeff Atkinson
Alex Tagliani  was inducted into the 2015 Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame and drives in the Verizon IndyCar and the NASCAR Pinty's Series. AJ Foyt brought the Canadian driver on board for two races in May 2016, including the coveted Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indy 500.

“I feel very privileged and honored to be driving the Alfe Heat Treating Honda,” said Tagliani, who won the pole for the 2011 Indy 500. "Alfe is a great company and I met a lot of good people last year with their headquarters being so close to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’m very excited to be driving for the AJ Foyt Racing organization again. To be driving for them at the Speedway during the month of May is very special. The 100th Running of the Indy 500 will make it even more unique."
His 2016 Indy 500 qualifications did not go well, as he crashed, luckily he was not injured, and ended up qualifying in last place - the 33rd position. He has previously started in last place as well as taking the number 1 pole position. He could also qualify to race in both the IndyCar and NASCAR races that will take place at Honda Indy Toronto 2016!
Time for one on one interviews

Takuma Sato is from Tokyo, Japan and drives full time for the AJ Foyt team. He is the first Japanese winner of an IndyCar race and has held the pole position 5 times in the series.

"Sato considers himself a risk-taker when it comes to his driving style. “I’m an attacker. A risk-taker too. So basically, my driving style is ‘Never give up.’ I’m strongly passionate about the racing but I love the scientific approach of analyzing the driving and the car data too. I believe I’m strong at late braking, and also in high-speed cornering and wet conditions!"

The complete starting lineup of the 2016 Indy 500 spread out to cities in North America to put out word about the upcoming race. Canadian James Hinchcliffe who will start off in the Pole Position for Sunday's race was in New York along with Will Power, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Townsend Bell.

For the first time in Hoosier history the Indy 500 has been sold out and the usual Indianapolis television broadcast delay won't be required. "There's no event in the world like the Indy 500," said Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles. "This sellout is a testament to the enduring legacy of 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,' the thrilling racing of the Verizon IndyCar Series and the bright future for both."

The Honda Indy Toronto comes to Toronto July 15-17, 2016 where the Verizon IndyCar race will be Sunday's feature race while the NASCAR Pinty's Series race will headline Saturday. Here are the current IndyCar Series championship standings.

1Simon Pagenaud 24222Team PenskeChevrolet
2Scott Dixon1669Chip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
3Juan Pablo Montoya1602Team PenskeChevrolet
4Helio Castroneves1593Team PenskeChevrolet
5Graham Rahal13315Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
6Tony Kanaan11110Chip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
7Charlie Kimball11142Chip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
8James Hinchcliffe1105Schmidt Peterson MotorsportsHonda
9Ryan Hunter-Reay10928Andretti AutosportHonda
10Will Power10512Team PenskeChevrolet

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square