Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fun things to do in #Toronto in Jan and Feb 2017

Happy New Year! Enjoy some cold refreshing Lake Ontario water during the annual Polar Bear Dip. Talk about starting out the year with a ferocious swim in the frigid waters at the foot of the city. Later that week, hopefully after you have warmed up, you can visit the bikes at the Motorcycle Supershow. You can keep up to date with 2017 Motorcycle events on my post here or check out Toronto Car Shows and Races 2017 on my post here.
Polar Bear Dip Sun, Jan 1. Noon at Sunnyside Beach. 'Do the Dip'
Toronto Rock Lacrosse starts in January.
North American International Motorcycle Supershow Fri to Sun, Jan 6-8.
Canada's Bridal Show Winter 2017 Fri to Sun, Jan 6-8.
The Franchise Expo Sat to Sun, Jan 7-8.
No Pants on the subway. photo - Joe Hamilton

No Pants Subway Ride Sun, Jan 8
Interior Design Show IDS 17 Thurs to Sun, Jan 19-22.
Toronto International Boat Show Fri to Sun, Jan 20-29.
Gore Gore Rollergirls. photo - Joe Hamilton

Toronto Roller Derby League Sat Jan TBD Season Opener.
Toronto's Ultimate Travel Show Sat to Sun, Jan TBD.
Winterlicious Jan 27 to Feb 9.
Toronto Light Festival Fri to Sun, Jan 27 - Mar 12.
Monster Jam Sat to Sun, Jan 28-29.

Harbourfront Centre Kuumba Feb TBD.
Hey, it's Groundhog Day on Thurs, Feb 2.
Glare Festival Thurs to Sun, Feb 2-5.
Happy Valentine's Day Tue, Feb 14. Hugs and kisses everyone.
Black Film Festival Wed to Sun, Feb 15-19.
Winterfolk Festival Fri to Sun, Feb 17-19.
Spring Fish and Boat Show Fri to Mon, Feb 17-20.
Canadian International AutoShow Fri to Sun, Feb 17-26.
Chinatown BIA Chinese New Year Celebration (Spadina and Dundas) Sat to Sun, Feb TBD.
Sears Great Canadian Chill Family Day Mon, Feb 20. On HOLD for 2017!
Motorcycle Show Toronto Fri to Sun, Feb 17-19.
Beaches Winter Stations Design Competition Mon to Mon, Feb 20 to Mar 27
Outdoor Adventure Show Fri to Sun, Feb 24-26.
Toronto Coldest Day of the Year Ride Sat, Feb 25.
Annual Bike Couriers Ice Race at Dufferin Grove Park Sat, Feb TBD, from 7-10 pm.
Bloor-Yorkville Icefest Festival Sat to Sun, Feb 25-26.

Moved into March....
CIBC Lunar Fest at Harbourfront Sat to Sun, Feb -Mar TBD.

Sexapalooza Fri to Sun, Mar 3-5.
Toronto International Bicycle Show Fri to Sun, Mar 3-5.
Canadian Motorsports Expo (CME) / Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo) Fri to Sun, Mar 10-12. Great winter show for race fans. "The Canadian Motorsports Expo Powered by Inside Track Motorsport News is a three-day celebration of Canadian racing that runs February at the International Centre (6900 Airport Road in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada)). In addition to booths and racing vehicles representing the entire spectrum of Canadian motorsports, the show is loaded with seminars and forums to entertain and inform racers and fans alike. Celebrity drivers will be at the CME to sign autographs and meet the fans. See photos from the show here.
Toronto Sportsmen's Show Wed to Sun, March 15-19.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tickets for Honda Indy Toronto On Sale Tuesday, November 29

General Public tickets for the 2017 @HondaIndy Toronto will be available at 10am along with the Champions Club offered at $50 for a limited time. The July 14-16 weekend event at Exhibition Place will feature several race series along with off track entertainment.

"To accelerate the experience, the Champions Club is being offered for $50 to new Two-Day Reserved Grandstand purchasers during a limited time. The exclusive benefits, previously offered only to renewal customers, include a souvenir credential with lanyard, complimentary Verizon IndyCar Series paddock pass (a $65 value), access to the pre-race grid walk, discounts on official event merchandise, the chance to win a two-seater INDYCAR ride on the historic track, and many other surprises, discounts and benefits which will be revealed leading up to the 2017 event."
“Honda Indy Toronto proudly draws race fans from around the globe making it a marquee event on Toronto's busy summer schedule. We’ll showcase a diverse schedule and double feature again with the NASCAR Pinty’s series on Saturday and Verizon IndyCar Series as the spotlight on Sunday,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of the Honda Indy Toronto. “The Champions Club program returns in 2017 for a limited time providing insider access to our avid race fans. It truly includes the ultimate package of experiences that simply can’t be bought for most sporting events.”

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Winter Festival of Lights

Niagara Falls starts the holiday season with a concert, millions of lights and a great fireworks show. Two opening ceremonies were held on Saturday, November 19, 2016 in Queen Victoria Park at Murrary Street and Niagara Parkway with the Niagara Star Singers, the Zero Gravity Circus, a Laser Light Show and the firework finale. Winter Fireworks will continue Friday nights at 9:00pm from November 19 until January 27, 2017. A special Christmas program will see nightly fireworks form December 23 to December 30 at 9pm.
The free 34th annual kick-off of the Winter Festival shows started at 5:45pm and 7:00pm in Queen Victoria Park at Murray Street and Niagara Parkway. The fireworks were shot off in the Niagara Gorge starting at 6:40pm and 7:40pm.
Lights directed at the Canadian and American falls have been upgraded from xenon lights to new LED lighting technology which provides double the light. In addition the lights will be programmable from a smartphone and have more capabilities to allow for more colour combinations. The lights are more energy efficient and have less maintenance costs. The lights come on at dusk and requests can be made for specific colour combinations.

Illuminating the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls
"The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights turns Niagara Falls into an annual Winter Wonderland, with more than three million sparkling lights along a five-plus kilometre route. The Festival showcases grand holiday displays throughout the city and provides unique Niagara Falls events. The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights is the most enchanting of Niagara attractions and has become a family tradition for more than one million people from around the globe on winter getaways. The Festivals illumination route travels along the Niagara Parkway, past the roaring Niagara Falls, into Dufferin Islands and into surrounding tourist districts including Fallsview Boulevard, Victoria Centre, Clifton Hill and Lundy’s Lane. For more information please visit www.WFOL.com."
The setup for the falls illumination

The new banks of LED lights

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The sign says Toronto

Concrete courtyards and concrete walls make City Hall a dull picture, only enhanced by the strange sight of the flying saucer surrounded by the two semi-circular towers. By a stroke of good fortune they put a giant, colourful sign with letters that spell out Toronto down by the grey concrete pond, near the grey concrete arches and Toronto said that was good. Although by the side, it looks like a big 'I'.

The grey bureaucrats said that the sign was temporary and Toronto said that was no good, so the city decided to keep the sign around. Hooray, because I too love the sign.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Toronto's Holiday Windows

@Saks and @HudsonsBay changed up the old animitronic Christmas scenes and instead brought out some cute animals and cookie dresses for Christmas. The Toronto holiday tradition had previously filled the windows along Queen Street West with glimpses of Santa, his reindeer and the elves in their homes and workshops at the North Pole. Recently the new windows were unveiled with the help of singing star Mariah Carey.
A family tradition continues as crowds come down to see the windows

Hudson's Bay holiday windows at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre feature five windows with 34 hand-sculpted animitronic animals and over 350 square feet of LED walls that help portray the winter scenes along with holiday music, twinkling lights and mixed garland. The five scenes show bunnies and squirrels at a forest pond, mice playing with a snow covered bear, an owl and her babies, sleeping foxes and dancing raccoons and my favourite, the gaggle of Canadian Geese that are wearing snowshoes and doing a little dance.
Saks seemingly edible candy dresses

The new boys on the block are Saks Fifth Avenue and they have joined in on the celebrations with holiday windows that "transport viewers to a Land of 1000 Delights, an enchanting landscape of colorful candy and festive fashion. The windows display scenes set in fantasy music boxes, containing hand-painted mannequins twirling atop wind-up pedestals. Each of the nine mannequins wears a one-of-a-kind handmade costume featuring a confectionery hoop skirt made of giant candy canes, gingerbread men, cakes and icing, or hundreds of hard candies, among others. Whimsical hair, hats, and shoes complete each look. The music boxes are highlighted by panels of curved colored mirrors and hanging strands of fruit candy and cupcakes."

See more of the windows after the jump.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Gentlemen's Expo

#BeBetter, indubitably. The last day of the expo is Saturday, November 12 in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The lifestyle show provides a premium showcase for consumer experiences and entertainment. There were also quite a few dapper individuals attending the show as attendance climbed in the afternoon.
Samuel Adams Brewery
Rick Mercer reports from the expo

"Come to #TGE2016 if you are interested in: style, tech, music, sports, cars, alcohol, grooming, sex, food, entrepreneurship, whiskey, beer, spirits, gaming, DIY, wellness, health and more. Come to#TGE2016 if you want to see great speakers and compelling ATTRACTIONS. Come to #TGE2016 if you want to #BeBetter."
The expo is styled like a glossy mens lifestyle magazine with a variety of vendors, entertainment and drink. With inexpensive tokens available for purchase, in addition to the 5 tokens that come with the purchase of your entrance ticket, samples are widely available throughout the show. Most craft beer samples were 1 token while wine samples (like from 19 Crimes), cocktails and distilled spirits were a little more pricey.
Show Hours:
Thursday, Nov 10 – 4pm to 11pm. Last call at 10:30pm.
Friday, Nov 11 – 4pm to 11pm. Last call at 10:30pm.
Saturday, Nov 12 – Noon to 11pm. Last call at 10:30pm.
Knob Creek

You can wander the aisles, play in the Gentlemen's Cave, take part in the OLG ball game, take part in the Bag Jump or enjoy the culinary features or catch seminars on Tech Talk, Beer 101 or listen to the conversations with celebrities like Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Jim Cuddy, headliner Georges St-Pierre, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and many others hosted by Joey Vendetta of Live Nation Entertainment.

"This is the fourth installment of the Gentlemen's Expo and we're proud of the roster of celebrity guests we've put together" said Les Murray, President of INTELIVENTS, "There is something for everyone at the Gentlemen's Expo. Whether your interests are in entrepreneurship, music, sports, food, tech, style, grooming and so much more. We pride ourselves on providing a great experience built around great brand partners and sponsors who provide learning and content wrapped around the modern gentleman's lifestyle, and focusing on our goal to Be Better."
Innis & Gun

The Concierge Club

Thursday, November 10, 2016

End of fall, the beginning of Christmas

Fall ends when the forest canopy no longer flutters in the breeze above our heads, when the majority of the leaves have changed colour and fallen to the ground. And sadly, this time is fast approaching. Some areas of the city seem to be in a time capsule and will remain fall like for awhile, while others seem already stripped bare and awaiting the heavy fall of snow. So here's to the last of fall and the beginning of the holiday season.
Winter will begin when the solstice is good and ready, no skip that, it is already scheduled. Yep, Wednesday, December 21, 2016 is the first date of the new season. It is also the date for the 27th Winter Solstice celebrations in Kensington Market. You can help 'ignite the longest darkest night' in the markets, supported by local merchants, and take part in a unique night with a parade and a gathering of music and fire. Lantern sales are from 4-6:30 pm with the parade meeting at 6:30 pm at Oxford and Augusta and departing at 7 pm.
After tomorrow's Remembrance Day ceremonies, spread throughout Toronto, you will start hearing Christmas songs, see Christmas decorations and start to attend company Christmas parties. Ho Ho Ho. GO Transit offers free rides to the military on November 11: "We will honour the many men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. On November 11th, our veterans, relatives of fallen soldiers, those currently serving & their companions, all travel for free on Remembrance Day. We ask that you please wear or carry something identifiable, such as a medal, beret, blazer or uniform when travelling with us tomorrow. Thank you for your service."
Commerce Court sparkling holiday trees

Christmas excitement around town includes the Cavalcade of Lights in Nathan Phillips Square (Saturday, November 26) as well as Holiday Magic in Yorkville (Saturday, November 19) and the Santa Claus Parade (Sunday, November 20).

Monday, November 07, 2016

50th Cavalcade of Lights coming soon

Lights, fireworks and entertainment will be part of the Saturday, November 26, 2016 holiday celebration at Toronto City Hall. It's just a small party as you and thousands of other party goers jam into Nathan Phillips Square for a night of fun in the cold - so be prepared and try to keep warm. It is especially cool as Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, whom I am a big fan of, is using my photo on the City's website (the heart flame).
Great Gulf and Hudson's Bay are the big sponsors of the night and the preparations are underway as the City is putting up the multitudes of lights necessary for the sparkling evening. The holes for the Christmas Tree are open and waiting for the tree to arrive. Update: The tree is up and waiting to be decorated. Monday, November 8.
Crews on manlifts putting lights up on the arches over the future skating rink

During the night you can enjoy outdoor skating with DJs spinning some tunes before and after the concerts.

Fireworks at City Hall by Joe Hamilton

The 2016 schedule for the Cavalcade of Lights is after the jump.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Walking at the foot of the Bluffs

Lake Ontario has left a path at the Scarborough Bluffs which allow you to walk along the waters edge under the massive wall that is perched so precariously that your every step seems a miracle against gravity and relatively slow affect of erosion.

Fall colours still remain along the exposed grey cliffs and the drive down the roadway to Bluffer's Park is magnificent. Forest floors are covered in a thickening blanket of fallen leaves as cooler temperatures continue to hound us on the journey to winter.
Down at the floor of the park along the footpath telling people not to climb the bluffs. Other signs are posted warning of heavy fines if caught. It doesn't stop people, the steep walls usually keep people off the slopes more than signs ever will. Along the top of the bluffs brave and foolish people wander close to the precipice which is weakened by erosion and waits for just a little more something, like wind or water, before another piece of grey silt and clay deposited and crushed under glaciers, lets loose and crashes to the ground below.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square