Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 New Years Eve - Here comes the sun

Old Man 2017 shuffles off to retirement and baby New Year 2018 is almost ready to poop in his diaper. This is the time to be thankful for all that has happened in the past year and for all that might brighten our new year. And even though we are early into winter this polar snap has frozen us to the bones, it is time to reflect on George Harrison's song Here Comes the Sun and dream of the fun things we can do in Toronto during these cold days and dream of the coming summer sun.

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

I had a great year, family is good, friends are good, kayaks are still buoyant, my camera still works and I continue to explore the city finding interesting things to document, experience and share. I love unusual and colourful events and it is fun to try something new - you don't know what to expect but sometimes you can be blown away by what you see and feel. Sometimes you can be disappointed by an annual event, but heck, there is always next year and if you are lucky you can see some old friends or meet some new ones. Thanks to all that invited me to their event or posed for my camera.
 If you have any ideas about fun things to do in Toronto please leave a comment so that myself and others can discover things that make you happy. You can also find fun things to do in Toronto listed along the right side of the full web page.








When Toronto embraces art it can be magical and like many observers, I don't know if it is art, but I know what I like and that is why events like Nuit Blanche, Les Rues Des Refuses and art installations in places like Brookfield Place really help to unite people in the Six - sometimes in confusion and sometimes in joy and fellowship.
I hope to see your around and please say hi if I cross your path. To many new adventures in the coming year.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Fun things to do in Toronto November & December 2018

I remember December 2017 as if it was yesterday - and it was darn cold. They were saying that everywhere in the world was warmer than usual except for Canada and Greenland, which were colder. Probably Santa's tail wind from the North Pole followed him south. Toronto was going into 2018 with continuing extreme cold weather, hopefully 2018 will have balmy weather.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Royal Horse Show Fri to Sun, Nov 2-11.
Toronto Everything to do with Sex Show Fri to Sun, Nov 2-4.
National Women's Show Fri to Sun, Nov 9-11.
Remembrance Day Ceremony Sun, Nov 11.
Winter Magic Illuminite at Y-D Square Sat, Nov 17.
The Gentlemen's Expo at MTCC South Fri to Sat, Nov TBD.

Lowes Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District Thurs Nov 15 - Sun Dec 23.
Toronto Santa Claus Parade Sun, Nov 18.
Seasons Christmas Show Fri to Sun, Nov 16-18.
Cavalcade of Lights Sat, Nov 24. Music and the City lights up Nathan Phillips Square and sets off some fireworks.
Toronto Santa Speedo Run Sat Dec TBD. The run took time off in 2016 but it came back for 2017!
Toronto Comicon Fan Days Holiday Show Sat, Dec TBD. At the MTCC.
Kensington Winter Solstice/Festival of Lights Fri, Dec 21. A parade and a fire show.
New Years Eve Celebration Mon, Dec 31 from 8 pm to midnight with Toronto's largest dance and skating party - with some exciting fireworks and live bands.
And the next day is the Toronto Polar Bear Dip Tue, Jan 1, otherwise known as the Sunnyside swim.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Toronto 2018 Polar Bear Dip is cancelled

UPDATE: The 2018 dip is cancelled due to extreme temperatures and ice thickness at Sunnyside Beach: "Unfortunately due to ice conditions at Sunnyside Beach and in consideration of participant safety we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Toronto Polar Bear Dip for the first time in 13 years. This event for us has always been about starting the year off in a fun refreshing way and to raise money for Toronto charities. Today we have to consider the safety of everyone first and foremost. We will be exploring the possibility of running the event on a later date.

"We'd love to see the spirit of the event continue tomorrow! We'd encourage everyone to post a video of you doing your own "mini Polar Bear Dip" tomorrow to this page or to twitter with the hashtag #daretodip . If you can't "dip" then maybe jump in a snowbank or make snow angels in your bathing suit. If we can't be together tomorrow, let's be together in spirit! And let's keep the pledges for Boost coming in."
----------------------------------------------------------

Get ready to drop your clothes, show off your non-existent tan lines and run screaming into a frigid waters of Lake Ontario during the second celebration of the new year, the first being New Years Eve. You probably made a drunken promise to yourself the night before to do something so crazy that you wouldn't do it alone. No, you can only do it with family, friends and several hundred other people giving you the courage to do something like this on January 1st, 2018.

Sunnyside Beach Park is the place - right at the bathing pavilion where tables will be setup to register the bathers starting at 11am. Then you can huddle under propane heaters, hold your coats close to your body and get mentally ready for the plunge that most people take at a gallop. Some fall early into the water, losing their footing and sometimes their footwear, others go splashing at a mad dash out into the water before flinging headlong into the water or gradually forcing your body into the cold, cold water. You can see photos from the 2017 Polar Bear Dip on my post here.

There might be ice on the lake this year for the dip so they will have to break it up and clear it away to make it ready for the event which takes to the water around noon. If you like attention from the media wear costumes, stay in after most of the crowd has left or go in after the main group has finished.
If you planned it right you could have done the Toronto Santa Speedo run, picked up a free red bathing suit and used the swim suit at the Polar Bear Dip - a win win scenario. And I know you will see some of the Steakin' Speedsters at the Dip supporting charity and making a splash.

NOTE: The 2018 Polar Bare Dip has been cancelled due to the extreme cold.

For those that like their Polar Bear Dip with a little less clothes there will is a Polar Bare Dip planned at Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands. You can ring in a happy Nude Year, meeting at noon on January 1 and dipping at 1:30pm. Make sure to contact gene.dare@yahoo.com to confirm the details of the swim first.

2018 New Years Eve at Toronto City Hall

Crack out the noisemakers and sparkling fruit juice, it's almost time to celebrate the birth of the new year. Nathan Phillips Square is hosting probably Toronto's biggest party on Sunday, December 31, 2017 starting at 8pm shortly before midnight. The fun includes DJs and a DJ skating party, concerts, site animations and some spectacular fireworks at midnight. It will be busy and it will be cold so prepare for travel and the weather.

NOTE: Due to the extreme cold weather the City has greatly reduced the planned schedule. "The New Year’s Eve event will begin shortly before midnight with a live DJ set, followed by a countdown to the stunning fireworks display, which will be taking place at midnight as planned. We will continue to monitor weather conditions over the next 48 hours and make further adjustments if necessary. We advise those attending to dress appropriately for the weather, cover all extremities, monitor themselves and others for signs of cold stress, and keep active when outdoors, if possible. Our website includes more information on the health impacts of extreme cold weather."

Original Schedule and Artists

8 p.m. | OBUXUM
8:45 p.m. | Classic Roots & Nimkii Osawamick
9:40 p.m. | Nino Brown (Yes Yes Y'all)
10:30 p.m. | Jessy Lanza (DJ Set)
11:15 p.m. | Bonjay
Midnight | Fireworks by GFA Pyro
8 p.m. - Midnight | Visuals by Roxanne Luchak

The City of Toronto provides the following information for getting to the event:

We encourage you to take public transit to this event. There will be a number of road closures in effect around Nathan Phillips Square.

In addition to the regular all-night Blue Night Network service, the Toronto Transit Commission is extending its all-night subway service on all lines (Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4) to 4 a.m. on January 1. TTC service will be free from 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 31 to 7 a.m. on Monday, January 1. Arriving to and departing from the event via Osgoode Station is recommended. More information about the holiday schedule is available at ttc.ca.

GO Transit will provide extended late-night service and offer free rides after 7 p.m. GO schedules are available at http:www.gotransit.com. We are committed to presenting an accessible event. An accessible viewing area and a sign-language interpreter will be provided onsite.
Date & TimeStart Date:Sunday, 31 December 2017End Date:Sunday, 31 December 2017Time:8:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Burlington Lakeside Festival of Lights

Festive displays of lights are in Spencer Smith Park which is down at the foot of Brant Street near the fancy pier. Entrance to the park is free and there is parking nearby so you can enjoy Burlington's longest running festival from dusk to dawn.
This is the 22nd year of the holiday lighting show which opens from December 1, 2017 to January 8, 2018 along the Lakeshore Road park.
"Over 60 festive displays light up Burlington’s Spencer Smith Park through the holiday season. Wander through the park with family and friends, or get a full view of the themed displays while driving along Lakehshore Road at the city’s waterfront. it’s a magical sight for the whole family, especially the young at heart."


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fun things to do in Toronto September & October 2018

Kids back in school and parents having fun, now that's what Fall is all about. This is a busy part of the year with some of Toronto's biggest events rolling into town, along with a few hundred movie stars and filmmakers. The all night art festival returns once again, spreading into Scarborough now and maybe this is the year that the Toronto Zombie Walk will return - you can always hope.

Canadian National Exhibition CNE Fri to Mon, Aug 17-Sept 3.
Toronto Fan Expo Comicon Thurs to Sun, Aug 30-Sept 2.
Buskerfest Fri to Mon, Aug 31 to Sept 3 during the Labour Day weekend at Woodbine Park in the Beaches.
Toronto International Film Festival Fri to Sun, Sept 7-16. Something about films and stars.
Toronto Beer Week Fri to Sat, Sept 14-22.Toronto Oktoberfest Fri to Sat, Sept 27-29 in Ontario Place.
Just for Laughs Festival JFL42 Thurs to Sat, 20-29.
Windfest Sat to Sun, Sept TBD.
I Love Culture Fri to Sun, Sept 28-30.
Nuit Blanche Sat, Sept 29 (6:51 pm to sunrise). The all night art thing with plenty of videos and light shows as well as Les Rues Des Refuses.
Haunted Walk of Old Toronto Oct - Nov.
Zombie Walk CANCELLED. Take your brains and run for your life. UPDATE: Individual walks are springing up.
Toronto International Snowmobile, ATV and Powersports Show Fri to Sun, Oct 19-21.
Art Toronto Fri to Mon, Oct 26-29.
Night of Dread Sat, Oct 27 TBD.
Zoomer Show Sat to Sun, Oct 27-28.
Halloween on Church and the Church Street Zombie Walk Wed, Oct 31.
Moved to November
Toronto Everything to do with Sex Show Fri to Sun, Nov 2-4.

Bingemans Gift of Lights

Kitchener's drive-thru holiday light installation is the largest in Southwestern Ontario and includes a 200 foot light tunnel. The roadway winds along a 2 kilometre route with static and animated displays on both sides of the road.
Open between November 17, 2017 and January 6, 2018 starting at 5pm, the entrance is located off of Bingemans Centre Drive between the Gift of Lights signs. The admission is $20 per car with up to 8 people allowed per car. You can save money by ordering the tickets online and even pick up a speed pass for an additional $8.
You can listen to holiday music by tuning to 100.1 on the FM dial during the approximately 20 minute experience. They ask that you don't stop but when we went mid-week it wasn't too busy and we were able to make small stops and take photos through the windows without causing a traffic jam.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Toronto Fashion Week 2018 now with THE COLLECTIONS & RE\SET

@TOfashionwk, the twice a year fashion, art, music and culture event, has incorporated Toronto's
THE COLLECTIONS fashion design and production agency with RE\SET fashion designers. Spring Fashion Week will be in the luxury retail destination at Yorkville Village from February 5 to 7, 2018. (Photo at top of Toronto-based designer Narces showcases at Toronto Fashion Week 2016 Photo credit: George Pimentel)

"The partnership between Toronto Fashion Week and THE COLLECTIONS™ aims to promote more of Canada's talented designers and reform past traditions which includes refreshing and restoring the designer presentation model through new and engaging experiences, as well as direct-to-consumer activations. "We're thrilled to partner, and reunite, with THE COLLECTIONS™ for the upcoming season of Toronto Fashion Week. This partnership allows us to continue promoting and supporting the incredible emerging talent we have in the Canadian market," says Carolyn Quinn, Executive Director, Toronto Fashion Week. "We can't wait to further spotlight Canada's fashion identity and continue to establish Toronto as a premiere destination on the international fashion scene."

Collaborations between the key leaders of fashion in Canada will help to develop and unite the fashion industry and promote Canadian designers here and internationally. Founding partners include Yorkville Village, the Hazelton Hotel, Freed Developments and Hill & Gertner.

"The founding partners have been working diligently to develop programming that will enhance the Toronto Fashion Week experience," says Gregory Menzies, Executive Vice President, and Project Lead- Yorkville Village, First Capital Realty Inc.. "We're honoured by the trust and support of the industry and look forward to making an impact with this high-profile collaboration – this will be a season that won't be forgotten!"

Fun things to do in Toronto July & August 2018

Hot rays of sunshine bake the heat into the streets of Toronto and the beaches fill with worshipers of the golden orb. It's time for some of the best festivals that the town has to offer. So quench your thirst with some fine brews at the Toronto Festival of Beer and get your motor running at the Honda Indy Toronto.

Toronto Fringe Festival Wed to Sun, July 4-15.
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition Fri to Sun, July 6-8.
Beaches Jazz Festival Fri to Sun, July 6-29.
Salsa on St Clair in Toronto Sat to Sun, July 7-8.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival Sun to Sun, July 7 - Aug 12.
Honda Indy Toronto Fri to Sun, July 13-15. Exhibition Place will sound like a jacked up hornet's nest as the IndyCar series and the NASCAR Pinty's series light up the streets of Toronto.
Tim and Brenda's Cruise for the Cure Show and Shine in nearby Vaughan, Sunday, July TBD.
Port Dover Friday the 13th Motorcycle Rally Friday, July 13.
Toronto Festival of Beer Fri to Sun, July 26-29. Hmmm, beer.
Importfest Saturday, July 28 - cars and girls at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Toronto International BrazilFest Sun July TBD. In Earlscourt Park.
Guild Park Arts Festival Sat to Sun, July 28-29.

Rogers Cup Tennis Sat to Sun, Aug 4-12.
Taste of the Danforth Fri to Sun, Aug 10-12 ESTIMATED.
Canfitpro Consumer Fitness and Wellness Show Wed to Sun, Aug 8-12.
Wheels on the Danforth Fri to Sat, Aug TBD.
York-Eglinton International Street Festival Sat to Sun, Aug TBD. Suspended due to road construction.
Canadian National Exhibition CNE Fri to Mon, Aug 17-Sept 3. Do you want to go faster? And don't forget the fantastic Canadian International Airshow.
Chinatown Festival Sat to Sun, Aug 18-19.
Aloha Toronto Festival Sun, Aug 19.
Big on Bloor Festival Sat to Sun, July 21. Car free from Dufferin to Lansdowne.
Taiwan Fest Fri to Sun, Aug 24-26.
2 Day Best of the Beach Coed Volleyball Sat to Sun, Aug TBD.
Miss Sexy Car Wash Show and Shine Sun, Aug TBD in Scarborough from 11 am to 7 pm.
Toronto Tamil Festival Fri to Sun, Aug 25-26.
Bloorcourt Arts and Crafts Fair Sat, Aug 25.
Leslieville Beerfest Sat, Aug 25.
Go Topless Day protest in Toronto Sun, Aug 26. 12 pm to 4 pm at High Park. Always Sometimes the Sunday closest to Women't Equality Day which is August 26.
Fan Expo Canada Thurs to Sun, Aug 30 to Sept 2. Some amazing cosplay on display.
Buskerfest during the Labour Day weekend at the Beaches in Woodbine Park. Fri to Mon, Aug 31 to Sept 3.
And the world famous Toronto International Film Festival, or tiff Sept 7-16.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fun things to do in Toronto May & June 2018

When the weather starts to get toasty and the city streets start to fill with patios, well then the livin' is easy. Time to get out and explore the attractions and events that occupy Toronto's 2.8 million people in Canada's largest city. A lot of people only explore the city when they have to show visitors around, then they discover some really exceptional places. It's time to explore Toronto like you are a tourist.

Global M March. Note: No permits means no festival but the march continues - gather at high noon Sat, May 5 at Queen's Park North, march begins at 2pm. Date to be confirmed.
World Naked Gardening Day Sat, May 5 (usually first weekend of May)
Toronto Marathon Sun, May 6.
Canadian Music Week Mon to Sun, May 7-13.
Colour Me Rad 5k Sat, May 12 in Downsview Park.
Toronto Comic Arts Festival TCAF Sat to Sun, May 12-13.
Toronto Roller Derby League.
Cherry Blossoms in Toronto - should happen May (TBC). Best views in High Park. Update: Peak Blossoms in High Park TBD.
Miss Hooters Toronto Bikini Contest Wed, May (TBC) at the Downtown Hooters and Thurs, May (TBC) at the Toronto Airport Hooters - doors open at 7pm. Cost is $10.
Castrol Presents the Victoria Day Speedfest at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Fri to Sunday, May 18-20.
Spring Sessions Toronto's Festival of Beer Sat to Sun, May 19-20. 
Toronto International Circus Festival Sat to Mon, May TBD.
Anime North Fri to Sun, May 25-27.
Woofstock Sat to Sun, May 26-27. Cute dogs in costumes at Woodbine Park in the Beach area. Don't forget about Winter Woofstock in November.
Toronto Lift Expo Fri to Sun, May 25-27.
Doors Open Toronto Sat to Sun, May 26-27. Chance to see things normally closed to public or attractions with no entrance fee.

Toronto Pro SuperShow Fri to Sun, Jun 1-3.
World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) Sat, Jun 9. Right through downtown Toronto, nude. Meet at Coronation Park by noon, ride begins at 1pm.
Toronto edition of the Global Reddit Meetup in Trinity Bellwoods Sat, Jun TBD, starting at 2pm.
Luminato  Tue to Sun, June 5-24. Cool art installations.
Northern Ink Xposure Tattoo Show Fri to Sun, June 8-10.
North By North East (NXNE) Music Festival Fri to Sun, June 8-17.
Roncy Rocks in Roncesvalles Sat, June 9.
The Beaches Ribfest - Beach BBQ and Brews: Fri to Sun, June 15-17.
Taste of Little Italy Fri to Sun, June 15-17.
CHIN Picnic has been merged with Taste of Little Italy Festival Fri to Sun, June 15-17.
Nuit Rose in Church/Wellesley Village and Queen St W. A festival of queer art and performance. Sat, Jun 16.
Hope Volleyball Tournament Sat, June 16 on Toronto Islands. Charity volleyball bash/tournament.
Battle of Black Creek Re-enactment Sat to Sun, June 16-17.
Dragon Boat Race Festival Sat to Sun, Jun 16-17.
Bloorville Exotic Cars Sun, Jun 17.
iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards 2016 Sun, Jun TBD.
Toronto Jazz Festival Fri to Sun, Jun 22 to Jul 1.
Summer Solstice Thurs, June 21.
OM T.O. Thurs, June 21. International Yoga Day
World Pride: Toronto Pride Week and Pride Parades Fri to Sun, June 22-24. The parades are things of colour and beauty: Trans March on Friday, Dyke March on Saturday and the Pride Parade on Sunday. The Street Festival on Church St is on during Pride Weekend.
Pride Parade, Sunday, June 24: Formation area: Rosedale Valley Road closed from Bayview Avenue to Park Road to accommodate the formation of the parade. Parade route: Starts at Church Street and Bloor Street East, goes west on Bloor Street East to Yonge Street, south on Yonge Street to Dundas Street and back to the festival on Church Street. Roads will be closed for varying periods between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. The parade takes place from 2 to 6:30 p.m.
Redpath Waterfront Festival Fri to Sun, June 22-24.
Toronto Wine and Spirit Festival Fri to Sat, Jun 22-23 at Sugar Beach.
Digital Dreams Festival Sat to Sun, June 23-24.
Junction Summer Solstice Celebration Sat to Sun, June 23-24.
Toronto Roller Derby League: Clam Slam Fri, Jun TBD. Part of the Pride Celebrations - love the name.
Canada Eve Fireworks Sat, June 30.

Events moved into July
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition Fri to Sun, July 6-8.
And Toronto's MotorFest the Honda Indy Toronto 2018 is coming Fri to Sun, July 13-15. 

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs

Pride

Redball

Beaches

Graffiti

Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square

Transportation