Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016

Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape! Enjoy the night of costumes and candy. I found this ape walking around downtown Toronto.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Zombie Resurrection

It's hard to keep a good Toronto undead, dead. So with the slightest twitch of an infected, newly departed soul, the beginning of the end starts to rise from the grave, eager to seek the brains of the living and enjoy the shuffling, mindless wandering of a mob of muttering zombie friends.
When Toronto lost the annual Zombie Walk in 2015 the undead howled in frustration and put away their blood. The problem was not lack of interest, but the usual lack of money. Costs associated with the walk were substantial - police, blood cleanup, insurance are expensive and since they couldn't raise the necessary funds the walk had to stop. But the zombie fever ran deep and scattered groups of the undead have begun to start their own walks. You can organize a walk and post the information to the Toronto Zombie Walk site. Seven independent events are scheduled for Toronto in October including the St Clair West Zombie Walk and a veggie lovers Zombie Walk where they will stalk grains, you know, cultivated cereal crops. St Clair West had a great turnout and promise to be back for next year.
One of the events was the Undead Army's chariot pull at City Hall on Saturday, October 29 from 1 to 5pm. "Banding together for the love of zombies and Halloween, join us on our march for the Toronto Zombie Walk at Nathan Phillips Square. We have built a chariot to be pulled by the undead (who for safety reasons will be kept on chains). The more zombies the better as we will also be joined by a professional photographer. Dress however you'd like but leather and spikes are deeply encouraged ;)". I left City Hall by 2:30pm sad that I had only seen a few zombies and no sign of the chariot, so I hope that the brains of the living brought more of the undead out for a feast after I had left.
Still upcoming is the Church Street Zombie Walk on Halloween night Monday, October 31. The fiendiesh ghouls will gather for pre-walk drinks at Glad Day on Church from 6 to 8pm, then begin their walk at 8pm. Actually the Church Street Halloween block party is supposed to be Canada's best and I have to attend this event sometime in the near future, so the zombies are just an extra bonus for those that drop by. Here is the information on the free, fun and inclusive Church Street Zombie Walk.

"They say Halloween night is the one night of the year that the thin veil between the living and dead gets lifted and the dead walk the earth. Join this group of walking undead as we stumble up and down Church Street during Canada's largest outdoor Halloween party and devour the amazing costumes and many photographers to be found on the strip.

The evening starts with a meet-up at 6:00pm at the newly reopened Glad Day (499 Church Street) where our zombies can collect and enjoy a few drinks to help get our zombie stumble perfected while enjoy the view of the costumes and action on the street.

At 8:00pm we will release ourselves onto the street where people from all ages may join us and head south on Church street, turn left (east) on Carlton, left (north) on Mutual street, left (west) on Wood to rejoin Church street and head north through the crowds and end at Barbara Hall Park (beside the 519 community centre). See route map here:".
Maybe the massive Toronto Zombie Walk will itself return from the dead, until then Trick or Treat and have a nice Halloween.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Night of Dread 2016

Toronto's 17th annual fearful night of pageantry comes to life death at the Dufferin Grove Park community celebration. Presented by Clay & Paper Theatre, participants wear large masks, watch fire spinners with flames on sticks and dance with the booming beat of the drum band. In lieu of masks you could paint your face as a skeleton and/or wear their suggested dress: Black, white and dreadful.

The park is on Dufferin Street, just across from the Dufferin Mall and the place is full of trees showing their fall colours. Along a slope following a walkway is the 'Valley of Remembrance' with a shrine garden.

"Participants gather for the parade in Dufferin Grove Park from 4 to 6pm where Clay & Paper Theatre puppets and masks are made available for revelers to wear. After the hour-long procession, with its towering puppets, fire spinners and an assortment of marching bands, all participants return to the park where they are treated to a theatrical spectacle showdown with the “Fear of the Year” for 2016."

From 4 to 6 pm people began to gather near the rink and listened to the music of the Candy Apple Jazz Band. At 6 pm the parade assembled and the Night of Dread parade headed out on the hour long journey of frightful fun. Returning to the park they took part in the Fear of the Year Scenario, enjoyed a good Mockery (post scenario events) and listened to more live music.

The night was family friendly and there were plenty of children dressed in Halloween costumes joining in the parade. "Torontonians are invited to call on, mock and banish their private and collective fears through parade and pageantry, music and masquerade, dance and a devilishly good party. NIGHT OF DREAD incorporates international folk and theatrical traditions, drawing inspiration from festivals of death and remembrance around the world."

Later in the night there was a Small Fears bonfire, a Death Dancers waltz and the eating of Bread of the Dead, which is a traditional Pan de Muerto baked in the the park's bake ovens. A boisterous closing dance party finished off the night.

See more Dread after the jump.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bay & Saks Xmas Windows celebration coming soon

Mariah Carey sang two of her Christmas hits in Toronto for the special unveiling of the new Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows. The stage was setup on Queen Street West at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre and traffic was shut down to handle the large crowds that turned up for the mini-concert, fireworks and shopping. Carey wears a gown by Anna Maier - provided by Saks Fifth Avenue. Photos of Mariah by George Pimentel, Getty Images
Hudson's Bay traditional animatronic window displays were replaced with new holiday scenes featuring animals instead of Santa and his wife and all the elves. "Hudson’s Bay’s iconic holiday windows invite customers into an Enchanted Forest with five distinct windows along Queen Street. The five windows flanking Queen Street portray scenes of a winter wonderland filled with 34 hand-sculpted spirited holiday animals. Over 350 square feet of LED walls enhance each vignette. The flagship’s façade features mixed garland, foliage, twinkling lights and cheerful holiday music, completing the magical display."
Previous window displays

Mariah Carey will help unveil the @hudsonsbay and @saks holiday windows on Thursday, November 3, 2016. This year will include extra excitement with lights, fireworks and the famous singer performing during the spectacular celebration along Queen Street West at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The unveiling is scheduled for 7pm.
Showing the Hudson Bay colours while checking out the Christmas scenes in the windows from the 2015 displays

This is the first time that Saks Fifth Avenue will join the Bay's long standing tradition of holiday windows that have enchanted families for decades.

"HBC Governor and Executive Chairman Richard Baker, and HBC CEO Jerry Storch, along with Hudson’s Bay President Liz Rodbell and Saks Fifth Avenue President Marc Metrick, will help unveil the new windows to the city of Toronto. Following the outdoor festivities, guests are invited to visit Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue for shopping and holiday cheer. Every floor in Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue will be animated with fun and engaging activations including monogramming and personalization stations, photo booths, fashion illustrations, DJ’s, holiday treats and more! Both stores will remain open until 11:00 pm."

Monday, October 24, 2016

#GhostbustersTO on the hunt for ghosts

ECTO-1 was in the hood and two #ghostbusters had their proton packs ready for action in Toronto. The familiar no-ghost logo was on the side of the former ambulance/hearse as the lady Ghostbusters; Answer the Call, waited beside Old City Hall on Queen Street West. The imposing stone building is sure to be haunted so I am sure the ladies will end up being slimed before putting those apparitions into a trap for transport to the containment unit.

"Ghostbusters makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. This summer, they’re here to save the world!"
The crew were in town to promote the release of the 2016 movie on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lanterns in Trinity Bellwoods Park

A cool fall day keeps the hipsters out of the Toronto park which, in summer, contains more people than many small, Ontario towns. As the changing colours brighten the urban landscape along both Queen Street West and certainly along Dundas Street, the frisbees that used to zip above the picnic crowd are much reduced and the slackliners are slacking somewhere else.

Beside one brightly coloured tree I spy some lanterns hanging from branches of another tree, cut off from their supply of luminous glow and reduced to mere decorations of some more adventurous times. I check the web and it seems lanterns and Trinity Bellwoods is a familiar tale including some past Nuit Blanche magic in the night. Starting in 2012 people released 100 of the lanterns from the park's dog bowl into the night with no sleep. But these ones look like they took some work to put up and too interesting to leave for want of a recycling box, these babies are meant to be used on idylic summer nights in the Big Smoke.
Denizens of the park also like to leave messages on the chain link fences at the baseball field and tennis courts with inspired writing like 'believe' and 'sending out a major love' the 'to my baby' is missing and so is the old 'I miss you', which I do miss.

Keeping warm with some soccer practice

A bench overlooking the dog bowl

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Everything To Do With Sex Show 2016

The Fall consumer romance show is turning on Toronto with entertainment and adult shopping at the Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place. The 17th annual sex show is presented by MyFreeCams and runs from October 21-23, 2016.
"It's packed with tantalizing stage shows, educational seminars, live erotic art performances, a kinky playroom, and a whole lot of shopping! The Everything To Do With Sex Show is geared towards singles, couples, and groups looking to spice up their lives." It also had some buff Toronto Firefighters promoting their calendar.

FAME Talent Agency

The main stage featured Carnival, Men of Steel and Cirque Erotic while the burlesque stage had Kitty KinEvil, Zyra Lee Vanity, Esther De Ville and Koston Kreme. There was also a kink stage and a seminar area where you could learn all about luvin'. Lady wrestling had a mat for some bouts by the Brawl Dolls.

See more of the show after the jump.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

#UFC206 Fan Event in Toronto

Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial artists Misha Cirkunov and Anthony "Rumble" Johnson were at Yonge-Dundas Square to meet fans of the exciting sport. The free event was open from 1 to 7 pm and included ladies from Monster Energy drinks and a DJ.

Misha Cirkunov

UFC206 will be held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2016. Cormier vs Johnson is the main title fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

The current fight card for the night is as follows.
Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson
Valerie Letourneau vs. Poliana Botelho
Zach Makovsky vs. John Moraga
John Makdessi vs. Lando Vannata
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Drew Dober
Jason Saggo vs. Rustam Khabilov
Nikita Krylov vs. Misha Cirkunov
Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi
Chad Laprise vs. Li Jingliang
Jordan Mein vs. Emil Meek

Monday, October 17, 2016

World Press Photo 2016 at Brookfield Place

@Artsbrookfield is hosting the annual journalism photo contest from October 4-25 in the Allen Lambert Galleria. While the world of news is changing drastically over the past few decades, World Press Photo Foundation seeks to develop and promote visual journalists with the traveling exhibition of award winning entries in the world's largest press photography contest. Admission is free and the show is open from 9am to 9pm. I include a small selection of some of the photos that I really enjoyed. At top is 'In the Same Boat' (Contemporary Issues, second prize stories) August 26, 2015: "People on an overcrowded dinghy wait as the Médecins Sans Frontières rescue ship Bourbon Argos approaches" by Francesco Zizola.
Sergey Ponomarev

"We were formed in 1955, when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest to expose their work to international colleagues. That annual contest has since grown into one of the most prestigious awards in photojournalism and multimedia storytelling, and the exhibition it produces is seen by four million people worldwide each year."
Christian Bobst

Christian Bobst

Over 80,000 photos were submitted by photographers from 128 countries for this 59th contest and while some of the pictures are heartbreaking, they do need to be seen. "Freedom of information, freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech are more important than ever, and quality visual journalism is essential for the accurate and independent reporting that makes these freedoms possible."

Anuar Patjane Floriuk
Chen Jie
"Tianjin Explosion (General News, third prize singles) August 15, 2015: A large pit, wrecked vehicles and damaged buildings remain in the aftermath of explosions in the container storage station of a logistics company in the Port of Tianjin, northeastern China."
Corentin Fohlen
March Against Terrorism in Paris (Spot News, second prize singles) January 11, 2015.
"People demonstrate their solidarity with victims of terrorist attacks, and voice support for freedom of speech, at the end of a rally at the Place de la Nation in Paris."
John J. Kim

Snowmobile, ATV & Powersports Show this weekend

The annual Toronto show featuring freestyle snowmobile aerobatics at the International Centre from October 21 to 23, 2016. Heath Frisby, 12 time X Game medalist, headlines the Ultimax Belts indoor freestyle shows over the weekend event (Friday: 3:00 pm, Saturday: 11:30 am and 3:30 pm and Sunday: 11:30 am and 2:30 pm). Halls 1 to 4 of the Centre are full of powersports, winter and year round, as the World Largest event of its kind gets people excited and looking forward to the white powder of Canada's coldest season. Photo provided.

“The level of excitement that Snowmobile Freestyle brings to the Show is incredible. This year we will have it indoors. Over the past thirteen years we have had to cancel a few shows due to high winds and unpredictable heavy rain. We won’t have that problem this year. Having Heath indoors in a very comfortable environment will make this freestyle show our largest to date. We’re thrilled to have Heath back at the 29th Annual Show!” Commented Mike Blakoe, Show Manager, Marketer Shows Inc."

Advanced Tickets are ON SALE NOW… Save $3.00, check out their website at and remember, parking is free. Included in the International Snowmobile, ATV & Powersports Show are a large number of tourism exhibits, newest winter gear, used snowmobiles, ATVs and other powersports.

"If you’re in to snowmobiles, ATVS and an all around Powersports enthusiast, this is the show for you! As soon as you step foot on the show floor, you’ll be blown away with the incredible roster of exhibitors and the feature events taking place around the show, not to mention the enormous Outdoors Event Area with Live racing and Freestyle Shows. You’ll find huge Manufacturer Displays showcasing all of the new sled and ATV line-ups. With more corporate manufacturer displays at this snowmobile and ATV Show than any other across North America, you’ll be sure to see: Arctic Cat, Can-Am, Dodge, Honda, John Deere, Kawasaki, Phantom, Polaris, Ski-Doo, ODES UTV, CFMoto and Yamaha. All of these machines under one roof, over one weekend, you can’t miss it! We guarantee it will be worth the drive to get here."

Show Hours: Friday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Deer in the Humber Arboretum

Fall colours abound in the GTA and the river valley adjacent to Humber College presents beautiful nature walks in forests that are full of yellows and splashes of red. I have often been to the conservation area and along the banks of the river where you can find signs of deer, but I have never seen any of the wild creatures myself. However, today we walked down into the valley and we came upon a deer eating some nature stuff. He froze as we came into view but my eagle eyes quickly noticed the deer and after a short period he resumed eating his dinner.
The park used to have a deer fence that ran along the side of the valley with a series of gates that let people cross between the areas while keeping the deer out of the school and off the streets. This kept the deer from higher education and stuck in low paying jobs so they go rid of the fences but for some reason kept the gates - and I noticed that the gates are locked. You can get out but you can't get back in.
"Located behind Humber College's North campus, the Humber Arboretum consists of botanical gardens and natural areas surrounding the Humber River. This unique site is home to the Carolinian bioregion, the most diverse ecosystem in Canada, and boasts over 1,700 species of plants and animals. The Humber Arboretum covers approximately 250 acres (101 ha) of the West Humber River Valley between Highway 27 and the 427 and is easily accessed from Humber College Blvd."
The areas filled with tiny maple trees are so cute - full of all colours of regular sized leaves on tiny little tree trunks. It's like looking over a massive forest from a helicopter. After seeing the cute deer I am on the lookout for bears now but will settle for chipmunks. 

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square