Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Toronto summer goes out with a bang

The Labour Day long weekend will be full of cosplay at Fan Expo, airplanes at the Canadian International Air Show and street performers at Buskerfest! While hot weather continues (hello global warming), the return to school and the end of the CNE means that emotionally, the too short Canadian summer of 2016 is over! You need to rest up after this weekend so that you are ready for next week's tiff.

Fan Expo starts this Friday, Sept 1, finishes on Sunday and takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The relocated Buskerfest moves from Yonge Street to Woodbine Park in the Beach and goes Friday to Monday, Sept 2-5.
Plane photo by Joe Hamilton

And the birdies take to the sky for the Canadian International Air Show Saturday, Sept 3 to Monday, Sept 5. Hours are Sat-Mon, noon to 3pm and with a practice day on Friday Sept 2nd from 11am to 2pm. See the CIAS press release after the jump.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Honda Indy Toronto 2017 dates announced

Racing will return to Exhibition Place next year when the Verizon IndyCar Series headlines an exciting mid-July weekend on and off the track. The open wheel series race on the temporary street course in Toronto will be the only Canadian stop for IndyCar in 2017.
"The Honda Indy Toronto spells summer in Toronto for generations of Torontonians and festivalgoers from across Ontario and beyond," said Jeff Atkinson, president of Honda Indy Toronto. "We had an incredible 2016 event to mark our 30th year of racing on the streets of Toronto and look forward to building on that momentum by continuing to grow the festival programming to bring race fans an event that is fun and exciting for all ages."

The Mazda Road to Indy race series (Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, USF2000) will be joined by the NASCAR Pinty's Series. Further racing and festival programs will be announced in the future, but hopefully we can count on the Stadium Super Trucks!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Let's go to the EX - back to the CNE

Toronto's annual exhibition returns to its Lakeshore home and I must admit I really enjoyed visiting the fair this year. A craft beer and food truck festival awaits visitors coming in the Princes' Gates and I quickly purchased tokens at $2.50 a shot and had some cold, tasty beer - welcome to the Canadian National Exhibition.
Lots of rides, lots of games and the prizes this year are heavily favoured to be some type of Poke monsters. I saw plenty of the big stuffed prizes being carried around the exhibition grounds. Speaking of Pokemon, the exhibition is promoting the 31 pokestops and the number of lures that will be used to help catch those elusive buggers.
I decided to take advantage of the Ribfest held in Bandshell Park and Ann and I compared two different award winning chicken and rib combos - mine won. Also in the bandshell was a stellar line of concerts. It was nice to relax in the park for awhile and listen to some music because that is a lot of walking as you cruise the midway a few times. Bands were playing on several stages spread throughout the grounds.
Lot 9 craft brewer
Argo Cheerleaders
Fanning the flames of the barbecue grill
The Skyride, Princes' Gates and the CN Tower

The Argos and some of their cheerleaders had a booth and were offering a deal on tickets to their home games which is now at BMO Field. We took them up on their offer and chose two tickets to the September 11 game against the Hamilton Ticats and each ticket came with an Argo tshirt.

The Canadian International Air Show (CIAS) will take to the skies on the Labour Day weekend. And don't forget the waterfront shows,

See more photos after the jump.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 program announced

The all night "Less Sleep, More Art" Festival coming this October is ready to return, sans Scotiabank title sponsorship, and set the city free with approximately 90 contemporary art projects.
Starting Saturday, October 1 at 6:58pm and running until sunrise on Sunday, October 2 the works by over 300 artists, Canadian and international, will also feature four City-produced exhibitions with "an engaging lineup of 33 contemporary art projects. The exhibitions and curators are: "OBLIVION" from Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow, "Militant Nostalgia" from Paco Barrágan, "And the Transformation Reveals" from Camille Hong Xin and "Facing the Sky" from Louise Déry."

"Nuit Blanche Toronto creates significant cultural and economic energy in our City," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. "By making a wide spectrum of contemporary art accessible and enjoyable for everyone, it is as much a celebration of our diversity as it is a showcase for the creativity of our talented artists."

A number of extended projects will be available until October 10: Oblivion, Death of the Sun, PNEUMA and Ocean. Here are a couple of projects that I look forward to seeing.

Fallen Water – Niagara Escarpment, 2016 at Brookfield Place.
Portals at the Drake.

I will have to review their lineup in more detail to check out my preferred pieces which I intend to visit. Plus I look forward the festival goers that get into the spirit of the night and become art as well. Bikes lit up is a group that I hope I to personally see riding around the streets of Toronto, I will start getting my own bike ready in September.
Hopefully we will also see the return of the anti-Nuit Blance - Les Rues Des Refuses and the Renegade Rave Parade.

New condomTO 2016 to be revealed

New City-branded condoms will be unveiled at Toronto City Hall on Friday, August 26 from 11:30am to noon. Councillor Joe Mihevc from Ward 21 and chair of the Toronto Board on Health will be at Nathan Phillips Square to help show the new condomTO wrapper design. Previous designs are shown in the photo at top.
News crews line up for the announcemnt
The new 2016 CondomTO design

The colourful circles were the result of the first-ever Canadian condom wrapper design contest. As the news crews recorded the announcement, crews of people were ready to start handing out free condoms around the downtown core. Torontonians and tourists have embraced the new Toronto sign which stands by the pond at City Hall. The luminous sign and reflections of the letters have been used for the condoms which also say "EXPLORE TO". Later promotions will see the City giving away bicycle seat covers with the message "Wrap it and ride", so I am pretty sure they just want people slapping these things on and running around town.

"To date, we have launched two successful city-branded condoms that were developed in response to major events being held in Toronto – World Pride in 2014 and the Pan/Parapan Am Games in 2015," said Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21 St. Paul's), Chair of the Board of Health. "Since 1983, as part of its mandate, Toronto Public Health has been promoting and distributing condoms to community agencies and health organizations across the city. I look forward to the success of this year's initiative."

Monday, August 22, 2016

CBC Rio 2016 Olympics Closing Montage

The Canadian Broadcasting Corpoartion did an amazing job of covering the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and the wrapped up the event with a video that features The Tragically Hip's Ahead by a Century. A pleasure to watch.

The job CBC apparently put the American's NBC coverage to shame. The big joke I kept seeing on Reddit was that NBC was interrupting their commercials to show snippets of some sports event. What they showed and how much they showed seemed to have no rhyme or reason.

Lake Erie Ports

The Lake Erie shoreline is full of farms, small sand cliffs and beaches and the many ports that launch hundreds of pleasure craft and fishing boats into the waters of the shallowest and second smallest of the five Great Lakes. If you dislike the crowded three hour drive north of Toronto to get to Muskoka and Haliburton Highlands, this is the place for you.
Setting a path through Hamilton and down to Port Dover and following the lake's edge westward to Port Stanley, we briefly visit Turkey Point, Port Rowan and Port Burwell. Saturday's traffic is light along the Waterfront Trail and full of beautiful scenery and large wind turbines. Warmer temperatures and farm runoff of fertilizers help promote algae blooms in the lake but along the shore we only saw cloudy water churned up by light waves hitting the inviting sand beaches.
The rows of tobacco which thrived in the sandy soil have been largely replaced by crops of corn and other edible produce and the tobacco kilns have, in a lot of cases, been allowed to fall down.
Lake Erie's commercial fishing boats and fish processing industry catch and prepare tens of millions of dollars worth of Walleye, yellow perch and lake whitefish, which also provide tasty menu options at the local restaurants. The distinctive steel fishing boats, or tugs, look like a combination of tug boat, cabin cruiser and submarine. The boat is almost all covered over to protect the crew from the sometimes harsh environment of the lake where small winds can generate big waves.
Fishing boats docked in Port Stanley
There are some provincial parks along Lake Erie, with great swimming beaches and campgrounds like Rock Point, Selkirk, Turkey Point and Long Point. The blow up birds in the photo at top can be found in the stores at Turkey Point. Long sandy beaches perfect for swimming in shallow, warm waters can also be found in the port towns like Dover, Stanley and Burwell (home of the submarine). On the way to Lake Erie you can also find fun at Winter Wheat in Sparta and the bee place in Aylmer (Clovermead Adventure).
Port Rowan has some cool boat sheds that line the harbour marina, situated in the shallow, marshy waters along the east side of Long Point's 35km long sand spit. The water is full of algae and seeweed which two young harbour workers are trying to remove with small, hand thrown rakes. It looks like they have a big job ahead of them.

See more of the area after the jump,

Friday, August 19, 2016

The freaky guy says Stop

Stop the hidden quarry! The tall plastic figure stands along the rural Highway 7 that winds through the Rockwood area, keeping guard against a potential hole in the ground. He doesn't talk much, his signs do the talking, and the light streams through the holes where his eyes should be, so this could be Creepyville.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tony Hawk in Toronto

The famous skateboarder and his friends will be at Yonge-Dundas Square on Thursday, August 18, 2016. The giant ramp with a 14 foot vertical drop has been setup and awaits the live demonstrations at 8am and 12pm.
Tony Hawk in green
The event is to "celebrating the Canadian launch of his signature apparel, accessories and footwear brand at Walmart Canada. The Tony Hawk Lands in Canada event will feature Hawk and the talents of five renowned skateboarding heavyweights, Kevin Staab, Andy Macdonald, Amelia Brodka, Lincoln Ueda, and Evan Doherty. The day will kick off at 8:00-9:00 am with the five world class skateboarders warming up on the ramp and surprise appearances by Hawk himself at 8:15 am and 8:40 am. Then, at 12:00pm, Hawk and all five skaters will return to perform a bonus 45-minute demo. Both shows will include product giveaways and more."
"As a skateboard innovator for over 30 years, Hawk is famously known for being the first to land a ‘900’ – a trick that involves performing two-and-a-half 360 degree spins in mid-air. Still a force to be reckoned with, 48 year-old Hawk wowed audiences this past June when he nailed the ‘900’ move that he first performed at the 1999 X Games."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Acton Leathertown Festival 2016

It's worth the drive as the annual small town street festival returns with plenty of entertainment and contests. Two stages are setup at either end of Mill Street with several bands playing for the crowds in between. A Pizza eating contest starts at noon and the pet contests start at 1pm. Making cotton candy in the photo at top.
Two gorgeous ladies from the Miss Acton contest
Food truck LUCHADOR high-flying traveling TAQUERO
Eric, Helen and Steve return to rock out the festival for Ditto's Boutique

Don't forget the classic car show!
You can see a copy of the Acton Leathertown Festival schedule and lots more photos after the jump.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Thunder Returns

Americans know how to put on a great airshow and Thunder Over Michigan is one of the best. The Wayne County Airport Authority brings the Breitling Jet Team, the US Navy F/A Super Hornet, the US Air Force F-22 Raptor and many more aircraft to the Willow Run Airport on August 20-21, 2016 in Ypsilanti, Michigan USA. The combination of air and ground entertainment is hard to beat and worth the drive.
Breitling Jet Team photos provided

"This is Breitling's first-ever performance and one of a limited number in North America this summer. Based in Dijon, France, the Breitling Jet Team is known worldwide for its tight formation flying in seven distinct black and gold Aero L-39 Albatross jets. The jets are powerful, lending themselves to a meticulously coordinated performance that has the jets flying within inches of each other at speeds exceeding 420 mph. “We are delighted to welcome the Breitling Jet Team. Their performance is compelling and well choreographed,” said Kevin Walsh, air show director. “This summer is the last time they are performing in the states because of the incredible demand for them overseas.”"

Joining the show over the airport is the modern battle reenactments and camps along with unique helicopters like the Soviet Mi-24 Hind, the AH-1 Cobra, the CH-47 Chinook and the UH-1 Huey. The battle participants have large encampments full of historic equipment and a military vehicle display which is open to the public as well.
"The WWII Battle brings to life the sights sounds and smells of ground and air warfare. Using realistic historical re-enactors and restored vintage aircraft, tanks, half-tracks and other equipment, this incredible reenactment brings history to life! Watch in awe as U.S. and German troops square off in battle before your eyes featuring authentic armor and reenactors in historically accurate dress."
Also this year will see the introduction of the Batcopter and the Batmobile. "Originally featured in the first Batman movies and TV show, this aircraft has been restored to airworthy condition by Captain Eugene Nock. Come on down to Thunder Over Michigan this summer for your chance to see the famous Batcopter accompanied by its partner in crime, the Batcar!"

You can find ten reasons provided by Thunder Over Michigan for making it to the 2016 show after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square