Monday, October 15, 2018

Fall visit to Centre Island

The fashion of the day appeared to be winter coats and mittens because it was cold and the sun wasn't always cooperating. Still there were quite a few visitors to the Toronto islands wandering the paths and checking out Centreville amusement park, now closed for the winter, and explore the other islands - Ward's Island, Olympic Island, Algonquin Island and Snake Island.
Timelapse video of ferry ride back to Toronto, video by Ann Hamilton

You can bring bikes over on the ferries, which run a fall schedule until October 23rd, 2018, so we biked around which is far superior to just plain walking. Besides the closed amusement park you could only find some tiny horses at Far Enough Farms, all the other animals have been moved.
We also saw the shipwreck on Hanlan's Point clothing optional beach.

See more of Centre Island after the jump.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Shipwreck on the Toronto Islands

Hanlan's Point clothing optional beach has a part of history sitting in the sand, surrounded by metal barriers put up by the City of Toronto. A part of an old ship is nestled in the sand, probably a rudder of a pirate ship destroyed in some great battle with an antique Toronto ferry.

There are many questions that I have no answers to at this point, like, did it wash ashore during a storm or is the rest of the ship under the sand, is it a rudder, was it really from the 1800s, and will excavations and archaeology studies be undertaken in the area?

See more of the relic after the jump.

Waterlicht at the Bentway

A light and sound installation is now at Bentway Park under Toronto's Gardiner Expressway. The large-scale work is by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde and is lit up at nights from 7pm to 11pm, October 12 -14, 2018. You can also listen to the installation by internet on their website.

Looking towards the CN Tower, a short video by Ann Hamilton

"This large-scale light installation illustrates the universal power and poetry of water and will have its Canadian premiere in Toronto from Friday October 12 to Sunday October 14, 2018. Waterlicht is a dream landscape created through the imaginative use of LEDs, special software, and lenses. Larger-than-life, cascading waves of blue light will soar underneath the Gardiner Expressway, simulating a virtual flood and calling attention to rising water levels along Toronto’s shoreline."

The park is working with partners to promote the importance of the environment including clean water and climate change. See more blue lasers after the jump.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cheltenham Badlands in Fall

The red hills in Caledon have been partially freed, now they are allowed visitors at the edge, looking into the cage. Where once the people roamed freely over the rolling ridges, the authorities shut down nature and fenced in the badlands, too bad they said, must keep people away. The area is owned by the Ontario Heritage Foundation and controlled by the Bruce Trail Association.

To protect nature they paved over a big chunk of it and put in a new 33-spot parking lot, guarded by a gate and charging a flat rate of $10 parking, every day of the week, from 8am to 7pm. You can walk along the Olde Base Line Road sidewalk from the parking lot to the Cheltenham Badlands where you can find the boardwalk located at the top edge, looking down over the hills eroded by the elements. When the hills are wet the soils becomes darker. Also, no drones (without a permit) are allowed.

You can find the badlands on the south side of Old Base Line Road between McLaughlin Road and
Mississauga Road. The area, stripped of grass and soil now consist of the gullies and mounds, red from the iron oxide in the Queenston Shale and with bands of greenish, white bands of the iron oxide. In fall, with bright sun and clouds in the sky, the hills and surrounding forest are spectacularly beautiful.
In winter the hills are closed from the end of October to May, for now they are open seven days a week. During weekends, especially with Fall colours, they recommend that you use the shuttle service which runs from 9am to 4:30pm, every 20-30 minutes from the Terra Cotta Conservation area. Cost for the shuttle is based on entrance to Terra Cotta, which is currently at $6 per adult and $8.99 during CVC Fall Fest, so after your shuttle you can take in the park.

See more of the badlands after the jump.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Indian Residential School Survivors Celebration

Colourful teepees were setup all over Nathan Phillips Square during the IRSS legacy celebration to honour survivors of the residential schools. The celebration is on from October 9 to 11, 2018 and features demonstrations, workshops and indigenous showcase performers.

From the IRSS legacy website; "The three-day cultural gathering features cultural activations, traditional workshops, an Indigenous marketplace and food vendors. Attendees from across Turtle Island are invited to celebrate diverse Indigenous cultures."

Monday, October 08, 2018

World Press Photo 2018

The best of the best of the best. Pictures that capture the world, good and bad, return to Brookfield Place as part of the prestigious, annual photography competition. The photos speak for themselves.
Alessio Mamo, Italy. War portraits
Ronaldo Schemidt, Venezuela
From the World Press Photo website; "We showcase stories that make people stop, feel, think and act. We encourage diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. We exhibit those stories to a worldwide audience, educate the profession and the public on their making, and encourage debate on their meaning. We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling."
Adam Ferguson, Australia: Boko Haram, Aisha was assigned a suicide bombing mission

Thomas Peschak, Germany/South Africa: nature

See more of my favourite photos from the 2018 exhibition after the jump.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Wedding photos at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park

You take your chance with weather anytime of the year but with weddings you hope for beautiful blue skies with the odd puffy white cloud, but you take what you get. Ann and I just photographed a wedding that had a bit of rain and fog so thick it was hard to see 30 metres in any direction. Still we were up for the challenge and searched out sites in the auto-sport park in Clarington, Ontario for wedding appropriate backdrops.
We brought our equipment to one of my favourite race tracks, formerly known as Mosport, and now known as the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, just outside of Bowmanville. Race fan, expert photographer and model builder Chris got married to Melly in the modern race centre which sits on the hill overlooking the start/finish line of the track. As part of the facility rental they also had the opportunity to use the track for wedding photographs under the supervision of track personnel.
It was a great wedding and getting a chance to take photos at their special event was a nice opportunity to bring out the cameras for trying some creative ideas. We ended the night with some sparkler photos and also had a chance to do some light painting pictures - see the photos at top.
The facility and grounds were first rate and if you are a race fan, start your cars and book that place now. Plus it was a fantastic wedding.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Signs of Fall in Ontario 2018

Bring on Autumn. Leaves are changing colours as nights get colder and that ungodly season known as winter approaches unsuspecting Ontarians, ready to smack them in the face with a snowball. Central Ontario looks like it is currently sitting at around 40% colour change. There is only a small window of time available to get out there and explore nature, so pick out your favourite spot and try to find parking anywhere close to there.

See more Fall after the jump.

Stained Glass and Christmas in Campbellville

There is a Christmas wonderland and antique stained glass store in Campbellville, Ontario that has an amazing selection of coloured glass stacked and hung everywhere you look, both inside and outside. I remember stopping at this site many, many years ago when the kids were small because the Santa climbing a ladder in the front yard caught my eye.
The store even carries some of Ed Mirvish "Honest Ed's" windows and tons of windows from various churches. In the front yard to the side are rows of outdoor displays full of Christmas themed stuff and in late November until the end of December they put out all sorts of Christmas lights and decorations and you can wander the property celebrating the holiday season. They open the displays in winter from 5pm to 10pm and you can make donations to help support the exhibition.
All the Christmas displays are hidden away until the Christmas season approaches
Rows and rows of stained glass windows

See more of the displays after the jump.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Pop-Up Happy Place is coming to Toronto

Harbourfront Centre will be home to @WeAreHappyPlace beginning November 1, 2018. The pop-up will be full of installations and themed rooms with a "mission to spread happiness across the world" and comes to Canada after sold-out runs in Chicago and Los Angeles. Happy Place will continue until January 1, 2019 and general admission tickets are available now. Photo provided by Happy Place.

"Happiness comes in the form of the world’s largest indoor confetti dome with half a million pieces of confetti, a 20-foot-tall double rainbow that encourages visitors to jump into a pot of happiness, 7-foot stilettos made of a million candies, and a superbloom room with over 40,000 immersive flowers. HAPPY PLACE features 20,000 square feet of whimsical spaces and happy moments."

The place of positivity and joy was created by Jared Paul who wanted to create a place for people to embrace happiness. They will also have a lemonade stand which donates the proceeds to a local charity, which in Toronto will be with Live Nation Canada.

Capture your happy down at Harbourfront.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Waiting on the Salmon Run

Update October 7, 2018: It was a grumpy Saturday, the ever present rain in the forecast kept people out of the parks but in Lowville Park the salmon are in their spawning run up Bronte Creek. Dozens of Chinooks can be seen in various pools of water as they try to get upstream.
Dark forms in the water are the large salmon heading upstream
Splashing and fighting against the current

Some of the salmon turn on their sides
Youtube video of the spawning salmno

And back to the Original Post....

Colder temperatures of Fall bring the salmon spawning up river from September to November to lay their eggs in shallow waters. You can find the fish heading against the current in larger rivers like the Don River, Duffins Creek and Bronte Creek. We checked on the weekend and couldn't see any of the Chinook making the heroic journey upstream yet.
Bronte Creek runs through Lowville Park in Burlington and we decided to explore the park to check on the spawning status. The park is a great place to check out nature and there is a long staircase leading down into the valley. The stairs were built by J. Aucland & Sons in 1919 and apparently there are 104 concrete steps, split by a metal handrail, that lead down the steep hill.

The stairs are tricky to find if you don't know where they are. Follow Lowville Park Road to the end, cross the pedestrian bridge over Bronte Creek. The stairs are on a straight line between Lowville Park Road and the straight part of Guelph Line at the top of the hill, right beside the existing hydro pole line. It is harder to find where the stairs are on Guelph Line, there is no sign or concrete sidewalk to the top of the stairs, signs would indicate that it is private property and you have to keep out. However, the land is accessible and is still part of Lowville Park, enter along the driveway with the hydro wires and continue to a small trail which passes by a Willow Tree, keep going and you are there.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square