Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Blue Jays Winter Fest and 2018 Promotional Events

Toronto's favourite Major League Baseball team has a number of attractions besides the big bats that drive home the hits - although they only finished fourth in the American League East Division in 2017, so maybe they need some bigger bats. You can find their regular season schedule here - with the 2018 regular season home opener on Thursday, March 29.
"2018 will include an increased number of weeknight giveaways to provide fans with more options, access and flexibility to enjoy our promotions and game entertainment any day of the week. Families will continue to enjoy kid-friendly activities in 2018, including NEW Jr. Jays Sundays and three NEW Jr. Jays Weekends."

On January 20, 2018 the first Toronto Blue Jays Winter Fest presented by TD is a one-day fan access event that features players and alumni appearances, coaching staff, live entertainment, tours and much more. The Rogers Centre will open at 10am and close at 6pm for the Winter Fest.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Jennifer Lopez is the new Star of GUESS Jeans

GUESS is introducing the famous actress, singer and dancer as the new Spring 2018 Advertising Campaign Star. Photographed by fashion photographer Tatianna Gerusova and working with art director Paul Marciano, co-founder of GUESS, the inspiration for the shoot was Jennifer's glamorous life as a fashion icon, singer and performer in Las Vegas and as a Hollywood actress. Photo at top by Tatianna Gerusova.

“When I got the call from Paul Marciano asking me to become the new GUESS Girl, I was thrilled and excited to be a part of such an iconic brand that I have loved since I was a teenager,” says Jennifer Lopez. “When I look back at early GUESS campaigns through the years, you see all of these beautiful models and iconic images that Paul has created. It is a tremendous compliment to have been selected for GUESS’ Spring 2018 campaign."

I pass by the GUESS store in the CF Toronto Eaton Centre all the time and I distinctly remember the early media campaign photos with Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith. It is nice to see that the store occasionally looking beyond the younger stars and going with the gorgeous Jennifer Lopez who has been named People Magazine's first Most Beautiful Girl in the World and Forbes most powerful celebrity. GUESS started as a jeans company and has now become a worldwide lifestyle brand.

“Jennifer Lopez is a GUESS Girl’s dream! She is an accomplished artist, she is iconic, and sensual.” says Paul Marciano. “Jennifer’s impact and influence continues to grow and this campaign celebrates the notion that women get more beautiful and talented as they gain life experience. Her beauty and class shine through this campaign and I am so excited Jennifer accepted to be our new GUESS Girl and at the same time ‘Femme Fatale’ of Marciano.”

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Toronto Cavalcade of Lights 2017

Concerts, the first lighting of the ginormous Christmas Tree, a skating party and then fireworks blasting off over City Hall during Saturday's extravaganza. I always find it amazing when Nathan Phillips Square is literally packed full of people enjoying the celebration du jour and looking forward to the best that the city has to offer.

The weather started off fine but about an hour before the fireworks started it began to rain, not a heavy downpour, just enough to be annoying. Still the fireworks went on and they were spectacular.

It is interesting to note that when they closed off Queen Street West in front of City Hall they use dump trucks and sometimes ttc buses to block off the roads, no longer just temporary barriers. Scary of course when you think of the reason behind the blockade.

6:00 pm Skating Party with DJ Fawn Big Canoe
7:00 pm Main Stage Performance by Charmie
7:30 pm Dignitary Remarks & Tree Lighting
7:45 pm Main Stage Performance by Matthew Barber & Jill Barber
8:35 pm Fireworks Display by GFA Pyro
8:40 pm Main Stage Performance by Alex Cuba
9:40 pm Skating Party with DJ MelBoogie
10:30 pm Show Ends
Plus Fire and LED Artists by Illuminair Entertainment from 6:30 to 10:15 pm and visuals by Roxanne Luchak at 6 pm and 9:40 pm.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Gentlemen's Expo 2017

I feel more refined just walking around the expo, checking out some spiffy threads, sampling some tasty brews and spirits and mingling with all sorts of gentlemen at the annual Toronto show. You could enjoy the culinary stage events and even take in some boxing matches which were held to raise money for the Fight to End Cancer. This is one of those shows that you are not sure what to expect but it is not a night of adult entertainment, this is a man's show about style and consumer experiences but women can also enjoy the show. The samples can be purchased for tokens, ten for $10, and you could try cocktails, liquors and some fine beers.
TGE2017 had "Those beautiful jackets from Wully Outerwear. Those plaid sherpa shirts from Honorable Beasts. Those gorgeous winter boots from Altorosto. The message behind TenFed clothing (buy a piece, fed 10 kids). That incredible selection of Parc City Boots. Those game-changing socks from Voxx Life. The cool factor of Brave & Bearded. The variety and styles of socks from Hot Sox. Those form fitting boxer briefs from Topik Wear. Those shoe saving products from Urad. The custom selection from Surmesur. The garment saving offerings from Park Lane Cleaners. The class of King & Bay Custom Clothing. The Canadian-inspired pieces from Gentlemen Of The North. The botanicals from False Ox. The vast product line from Elegance Gel. The grooming essentials from 6ixMan."
The Gentlemen's Expo takes place in the north building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Friday, November 24 to Saturday, November 25. You can sample some fine adult beverages while watching people at the gaming centres or at the many babershops.

See more photos after the jump.

The Everything to do with Sex Show 2017

Friends and couples are crowding into the International Centre for the weekend adult consumer sex show. With a fun filled schedule taking place from Friday, November 24 to Saturday, November 26 the shopping and entertainment are a great way to spend some quality time together before you have to hibernate for the winter.
Jacqui Childs at the Naked News booth
The fun takes place in Hall 1 of the centre and there is something for everyone, or almost everyone, in the aisles full of vendors, entertainment, services and a dungeon. There was a full schedule of seminars featuring Sex with Dr Jess, live demonstrations and stage performances throughout the weekend. Cirque Erotica and Oasis Aqualounge had several shows that wowed the crowds and on Saturday night at 11pm the Miss BumBum North American Contest Toronto Finals took place.

See more photos after the jump.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Exciting weekend coming to Toronto

Fun times are in store for the Big Smoke during the November 24-26, 2017 weekend - starting with Gentlemen's Expo, the Everything to do with Sex Show and the Cavalcade of Lights!

Celebrities Joe Carter, Robbie Alomar, Curtis Joseph and Darcy Tucker will be at the Gentlemen's Expo on Saturday. The Expo runs November 24-25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building). Hours are from 4-10pm on Friday and Noon to 10pm on Saturday. "We welcome gentlewomen or gentlemen: Sure, our show name has ‘Gentlemen’ in it, but our event is for everyone. #TGE2017 is open to anyone who enjoys great experiences, watching engaging speakers and acquiring knowledge. Seriously, if you like great food, whisky/beer/wine/spirits, sports, tech, style, fashion… then #TGE2017 is for you."
Then the spicy Everything to do with Sex Show is also on from November 24-26. Located at the Toronto International Centre. "The Everything To Do With Sex Show provides an upscale adult playground dedicated to enhancing lifestyles, encouraging romance, personal betterment and all things Taboo. Enjoy entertainment, provocative and educational seminars, unique shopping, fashion shows and LIVE demonstrations." Hours are Friday 5pm to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight and Sunday noon to 6pm.
Fireworks, skating and concerts are Saturday nights fun down at Nathan Phillips Square on November 25. The skating starts at 6pm, lighting of the 60 foot Christmas Tree happens at 7:30pm, fireworks are at 8:35pm and the night ends at 10:30. "The Cavalcade of Lights is a 50-year Toronto tradition bringing families together to celebrate the start of the holiday season," said Mayor John Tory. "The event offers a fantastic lineup ofperformers, the lighting of the city's official Christmas tree, and a spectacular fireworks show. I invite everyone to join the festivities." The City puts up over half a million energy efficient lights in the square to help light up the night.


6:00 pm Skating Party with DJ Fawn Big Canoe
Visuals by Roxanne Luchak at 6 pm and 9:40 pm
Fire and LED Artists by Illuminair Entertainment from 6:30 to 10:15 pm
7:00 pm Main Stage Performance by Charmie
7:30 pm Dignitary Remarks & Tree Lighting
7:45 pm Main Stage Performance by Matthew Barber & Jill Barber
8:35 pm Fireworks Display by GFA Pyro
8:40 pm Main Stage Performance by Alex Cuba
9:40 pm Skating Party with DJ MelBoogie
Visuals by Roxanne Luchak at 9:40 pm
10:30 pm Show Ends

Cavalcade of Lights road closures on Saturday, November 25 from 4 to 11:30 p.m.:
• Bay Street from Dundas Street to Richmond Street West (local traffic only from Dundas Street to Hagerman Street and controlled access point for Albert Street and James Street)
• Queen Street West from University Avenue to Yonge Street
• York Street from Queen Street West to Richmond Street West
• Elizabeth Street from Foster Place to Hagerman Street
• Hagerman Street from Elizabeth Street to Bay Street

Also around town is KidzFest at Yonge-Dundas Square Saturday, November 25; the Cabbagetown BIA Holiday Kickoff on Carlton Street Saturday, November 25 and the Weston BIA Santa Claus Parade on Sunday, November 26. In addition the Toronto Christmas Market continues in the Historic Distillery District until Saturday, December 23, 2017. The market charges $6 admission from Friday to Sunday and the crowds are intense on the weekend.
At the Gentlemen's Expo

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ottawa empties the Rideau Canal

The locks are open and a trickle of water flows through the canal as winter comes to the Nation's capital. First they drain the river after the canal season ends in the fall, then they partially refill the canal for the famous winter skating, and refill it in spring time - usually late April or early May.

Ottawa has several city name signs downtown and a 'Canada 150' sign on Parliament Hill

Around Parliament Hill the buildings remain under construction and cranes are everywhere. A construction barrier is around the Centennial Flame and beside it is a NHL sized hockey rink being installed close to the east block. The Ministry of Canadian Heritage is adding a section for Nunavut's shield and floral emblem.

Across the Ottawa River is the Quebec city of Gatineau which, along with Ottawa, is in the National Capital Region. We found an art installation in a park in Gatineau which featured a can of Campbell Soup (tomato) with three pigeons that were fascinated by the can. Each of the components were much larger than life.
Artist Cooke-Sasseville created the contemporary artwork sculpture called L'Odyssée with more than a passing reference to Andy Warhol.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Santa Claus is coming to town

The jolly old slacker is away from the North Pole while his elves are working their asses off. And where does he go? Pulled on horse drawn sleighs waving to the children during annual Santa Claus parades like the one in Acton.

Toronto's parade is Sunday, November 19 starting at Christie Pits at 12:30pm, the parade ends in the St Lawrence Market.

Light Show in the Brockville Railway Tunnel

Canada's first railway tunnel ends at the edge of the St Lawrence River and heads north under Brockville's city hall and within the damp confines of the underground is a really cool light show. LED strips along the edges light up the 1722 foot tunnel and they are controlled to put on various displays which are great to watch. It is like watching ghosts approaching in the night, freaky cool.
The tunnel itself was originally built between 1854 and 1860 to connect the Brockville and Ottawa Railway and trains ran until 1970. No tracks remain in the tunnel, only a small section of imprints at the entrance way. A path between two concrete curbs has replaced the twin steel tracks that used to carry the locomotives down to the waterfront.
Water drips in through the cracks and calcium deposits cover sections of the bricks and open cut rock tunnel so be prepared to be dripped on. The light show has several variations. One is a band of bright red light that moves slowly down the tunnel followed by the sounds of a train engine, another is a series of different colours that move up and down the length of the tunnel and one that plays along with music. It's definitely worth the trip to watch the lights.
Brockville is located along Highway 401 west of Kingston and is known as the City of 1000 Islands.

See more photos of the tunnel after the jump.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

King Street Transit Pilot

Moving more than 65,000 public transit riders along King Street has become a priority for the City of Toronto and so on Sunday, November 12 the east-west roadway stopped allowing cars through intersections. Only streetcars are allowed to pass along King Street, all private cars have to turn off King Street at each intersection. It seems way more confusing than a system of one way streets and my brain hurts thinking about it. Many vehicles are ignoring the changes at this point so it will take some getting used to.
King Street at Bay Street
King is the third busiest ttc corridor in the City, surprisingly just behind the Yonge-University and Bloor-Danforth subway lines. So they have cut off two lanes of traffic, one on each side, for such things as drop off zones, accessible bus stops, public spaces and ttc stops. This pilot project runs between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Toronto Fan Days 2017 ComiCon coming December 9

Your one day holiday show brings cosplay festivities to the city in time for Christmas gift giving. Fans can check out the selection of comics, costumes, toys, memorabilia and other items at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building from 11am to 5pm.
Visitors can enjoy the show, make new friends, show off their cosplay and meet groups of like minded fans. And the entrance to this mini-comicon is only $10. You can see photos of the 2016 Holiday Show on my post here.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Toronto's Christmas Tree

A 60 foot tree was brought into Nathan Phillips Square November 6, 2017 and hoisted aloft by Weller Tree Service. Arriving at City Hall at 8am on a large flatbed trailer the rest of the morning was taken getting the tree upright and tied into place. Decorations will now be placed around the beast of a tree ahead of the Cavalcade of Lights.
Weller Tree Service has selected and installed the tree for several decades. It has to settle for three days before the decorations can start being placed, it does not require watering and will be recycled after the holiday season ends. It takes about two weeks for a crew of four to put up the decorations and lights around the tree.
"The 51st annual Cavalcade of Lights will launch the holiday season on November 25 at 7 p.m. at Nathan Phillips Square. The event will include a DJ skating party, the lighting of Toronto's official tree, live musical main stage performances, special pop-up performances and a spectacular fireworks display."

Cavalcade of Lights 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

Honda Indy Toronto 2018 Renewal tickets on sale now

Previous purchasers of two-day reserved grandstand seats can pick up tickets for the 2018 race ahead of the general public sale coming December 5, 2017. Customers can reserve the same seats or upgrade with prices ranging from $85 for Bronze to $185 for Gold two-day grandstand seating. Renewal tickets also include enrollment in the Meridian Champions Club which "offers exclusive benefits and access, including a souvenir credential with lanyard, complimentary Verizon IndyCar Series paddock passes, pre-race grid walk, discounts on official event merchandise, an opportunity to win a two-seater Indy car ride on the track, and many other experiences. Additional exclusive offers and surprise benefits will be revealed leading up to the 2018 event."
The Honda Indy Toronto is a street course racing around Exhibition Place and onto Lake Shore Boulevard which will run July 13-15, 2018. Children under 12 get in free to the Motorsports Festival throughout the weekend when entering with a ticketed adult. Also returning for 2018 is the Ontario Honda Dealers Association Fan Friday with free general admission with a voluntary donation. Children

"The Honda Indy Toronto has shown tremendous momentum over the past two years, and we expect this positive trend to continue. 2018 will be an extra special celebration as we mark our 10th year with Honda Canada as title sponsor of this summer racing tradition," said Jeff Atkinson, president of Honda Indy Toronto. "Then, Sunday afternoon's Verizon IndyCar Series race will certainly ignite additional passion from our fans. The new Indy car design, and the recent announcement of local favourites James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens becoming driving teammates has formed an awesome, all Canadian super team to root for."
Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe gives the thumbs up to fans in the grandstands

On and off course attractions include beer gardens, Thunder Alley, charity events, food trucks as well as several race series including the open wheel cars of the Verizon Indycar Series and stockcar racing from the Nascar Pintys Series.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square