Sunday, January 28, 2018

Acton Winter Carnival 2018

Now with less snow! The balmy weather has impacted the small town Winter Carnival and several of the activities have been made unpossible, that's right, unpossible. No curling, no hockey games and no skating in the park, but everything else is a go. Sadly I missed the pancake breakfast.
Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette meets one of the dogs pulling the wagons

Sitting in the west side of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on top of the Niagara Escarpment and full of about 10,000 people, this town wanted a break in the winter doldrums and planned an annual outdoor day full of family activities. Starting at 11am on Sunday, January 28, 2018, ending at 2pm and held beside Fairy Lake in Prospect Park.
This older Newfoundland dog just supervises the rides now
Fires and bannock samples were still welcome
For children there was doggy wagon rides, jousting competitions, face painting, coloured ice block building and much more.

See more of the Sunday Funday festival after the jump.

Friday, January 26, 2018

NHL Alumni Winter Warm Up at City Hall

Pro hockey players like Bryan Muir (pictured at top), Nik Atropov and Dan Daoust join other alumni for a shinny hockey game in Nathan Phillips Square on January 26, 2018. The players will take to the ice from noon till 2pm in support of the 2018 Pro-Am and awareness of Alzheimer Awareness Month.
They have just about finished putting up the boards around the rink and the weather couldn’t be better to join the players and cheer on your favourites. The public is invited and it is free to watch.
Mayor John Tory addresses the players
From the Baycrest Pro-Am website. “The Winter Warm-Up will feature some of your favourite NHL Alumni, celebrity guests, lots of contests and prizes, and giveaways from our shinny supporters Tesla, Tim Horton’s and Kind Bar. Want to go above and beyond? The Winter Warm-Up is the perfect opportunity to promote the 2018 Pro-Am to your network of colleagues, friends and family! Invite them to come out and watch the game, participate in the fun and prizes, and get a taste of the Pro-Am action while learning about the impact they can have by supporting the cause. We can’t wait to see you all there! Come watch and cheer on your Pro-Am peers and NHL heroes, and kickoff your fundraising efforts to help us launch our 2018 Pro-Am season!”
Stanley Cup winner Bryan Muir practices for the media ahead of the event
#17 John Tory

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Breakfast Television Live with Mini-Wheats

@BTtoronto is filming their show in Yonge-Dundas Square as visitors play games and enjoy samples of Kellogg’s frosted breakfast cereal. Co-Hosts Kevin Frankish and Dina Pugliese are bundled up against the cold with temperatures of -10 C in the city so the cereal served with hot milk hits the spot. You could also pick up free boxes of cereal and winter touques.
The show is on City TV and has partnered with Mini-Wheats for the Wednesday, January 24. Filming took place in the morning between 7am and 9am.

Monday, January 22, 2018

CN Tower from a Union Station Platform

Sometimes you have to travel to the far end of the Union Station platforms to catch a GO Train to where you want to go, winding your way through the every changing crap show that is the station construction.
I was out at this platform, number 27, incorrectly it turns out and almost ended up east of Toronto instead of west. Luckily Ann noticed the error minutes before we set off on the Lakeshore East train and we got to the Lakeshore West train just in time. But before we left I got a nice view of the CN Tower along the condos and office buildings south of the rail line.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ice Breakers winter art at the waterfront

Toronto's hunger for interesting activities brings out the crowds during the cold of winter to see temporary art installations along Harbourfront or the Toronto Light Fest in the Distillery District. Ice Breakers comes back to Queens Quay West between York Street and Spadina Avenue with five new pieces for Winter 2018. The works will be on display from January 19 to February 25 all along the south side of Queens Quay. My favourite was the half buried red bear called "Through the eyes of the bear".
‘Through the Eyes of the Bear’ by Tanya Goertzen of People Places (Calgary, Canada). Inspired by Ursa Major - the Great Bear constellation. You can walk into the head and look out of the eyes. The bear is made of renewable, recyclable and compostable materials.
‘Black Bamboo’ by Bennet Marburger and Ji Zhang of 2408 Studio ( Hangzhou Shi, China). The shape is an abstract cube made of painted bamboo poles.

"After the huge success of last year's Ice Breakers event, we decided to open the exhibit up as an international competition for 2018. We were looking for installations that would bring colour, warmth and activity to the Waterfront - attracting visitors from across the City to experience this spectacular wintertime streetscape," says Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Waterfront BIA. You can see the 2017 Ice Breakers on my post here. The theme for 2018 is "constellation" and designers and artists were asked to create their projects with the stars as inspiration.
A hundred international submissions were received and the jury chose five final installations on October 19, 2017. "The name Ice Breakers is inspired by the utilitarian ships once used in Toronto’s harbour to break up frozen bodies of water, keeping commerce flowing into and out of the City. Ice Breakers is also a testament to the power of design, bringing strangers together and sparking a fresh dialogue about Toronto's urban Waterfront."
'Winter FanFare' by Thena Tak (Vancouver, Canada). Fan sculptures provide space for people to walk through.

'Ensemble' by João Araújo Sousa and Joana Correia Silva, JJs Arquitectura (Porto, Portugal). Chimes that make music when touched by visitors.

‘Root Cabin’ by Liz Wreford and Peter Sampson, Public City Architecture (Winnipeg, Canada). Is a cabin shaped by a pile of roots and painted pink inside.

And if you want more art you can see the fourth annual Winter Stations lifeguard installations starting February 19 (Family Day) in the Beaches. Photos by Ann and James Hamilton.

See more photos of the installations after the jump.

Toronto Light Fest 2018

The Distillery District is booming again as #tolightfest takes over from the recent Toronto Christmas Market. And instead of a reindeer with a nose that glows there is a dragon that belches flames. This festival is free to enter but parking, if you are lucky enough to find it, is $2.25 an hour. And believe you me, the tight quarters and too many cars make this area hard to traverse while looking for a precious spot to open up, so park somewhere else and walk to the district.

"During the cold, dark days of winter, City residents will be drawn out of their traditional indoor habitats to experience Toronto in a way they never have before."
A number of luminous art installations are spread throughout the historic Victorian industrial neighborhood including a piano that plays light, a pyramid, seven monks and lasers. Light sculptures, fixed and changing, are mixed among the stores and restaurants of this unique section of downtown Toronto. The festival is on from January 19 to March 4, 2018 starting each day at sundown and ending at 10pm every day but Sunday, which ends at 9pm. The festival directors say that they created the event to help winter not suck as much!

Photos by Ann and James Hamilton. See more of the light installations after the jump.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Interior Design Show 2018 Opening Night Party

Toronto’s #IDS18 Design Fair starts with a fun night featuring DJs, abundant amounts of free food and drink samples and the outstanding array of leading brands and design ideas sponsored by PurParket. Opening night was on Thursday, January 18 beginning at 7pm and continuing until 11pm and then heading to The Drake for the after party. Future Fantastic and Edge of Design were some of the buzzwords of the night. I highly recommend the show and if you are going to attend and the opening night party is definitely worth considering, then you can return on other days to listen and learn from experts.

Held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre – North Building the Interior Design Show runs from January 18-21 with days set aside for Preview on Thursday, Professionals on Friday, Globe and Mail Saturday and House & Home on Sunday. “The 20th edition of Canada’s design fair celebrates leading brands, innovative speakers and rising local talents. We hope you enjoy exploring the people, products and places that make the design world so exciting an inspiring.” The beauty of some elements make the show a combination of function and art that provide for a really unique trade show.
The variety of design groups and manufacturers brings many of the best products and services available in Canada all to one place. Highlights of the opening night were the Caesarstone display area and their adjacent stage and lounge as well as the ladies in the illuminated dresses.
Shauna Levy, co-founder of IDS in Toronto and President and CEO of Canada’s Design Exchange will be speaking at the Caesarstone Stage on Saturday at 11:30am. She says that “Design is certainly about beauty, but it’s now time for design to do some heavy lifting. Design should have a seat at the table when discussing how to create a world where all people can prosper.”

While the visual world is well represented at the show, there is also a component of learning with Trade Day Talks and Seminars such as ‘Universal Design: Learning from the past, designing for the future’, ‘Using the WELL Building Standard to optimize your healthy workplace’ and ‘the Business of Colour’.

Globe and Mail Saturday will delve into where we find inspiration and will have Guests of Honour: Yabu Pushelberg’s George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg. Their multidisciplinary firm looks at all aspects of design and architecture and the due will converse with Globe and Mail editor Kristina Ljubanovic. Saturday will also have Design Classes so that you can learn some of what it takes to develop into a successful designer with such topics as ‘For follows function – outdoor entertaining in small spaces’ and ‘Stages and phases of designing your dream home from the inside out’.
House and Home Sunday will look for trends as Canadian and International design personalities will provide keynote talks. This is your chance to ask questions from the experts and take in all their valuable advice.
In additional to the Caesarstone area there is also a Canadian by Nature exhibition, Studio North, Ontario Wood, designboom mart, how bright is our future space. There are also some quirky spaces such as the Bubble Yum bouncy ball rest area, the Crate Canteen and the Vantashack.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Interior Design Show Toronto 2018

The @idstoronto 3 day-weekend is almost here. Twenty years of people, products and places influencing the designs found in Canadian homes. Built to showcase designers and design concepts the Interior Design Show will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from January 18 to 21, 2018.
International Guests of Honour George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelberg will be the special design superstars of the show and will join the Globe Style Saturday speaker series. The pair have designed such projects as the interior of the Four Seasons Toronto and New York Downtown as well as the Canada Olympic House Rio 2016 games.
I loved the shiny elephant toilet paper holder
"The Interior Design Show is Canada’s premier showcase of new products and furniture, superstar designers and avant-garde concepts from North America and beyond. Over 3.5 action-packed days, the show captures the latest innovations for an engaged audience of consumers and professionals. With its ambitious programming, IDS Toronto is a driving force of the city’s flourishing design scene. The fair promotes rising design talents and attracts keynote speakers of international acclaim, making it the must-see event of the year for established and emerging design."

It all begins at the opening night party on Thursday, January 18. The party has some of the industry's greatest influencers celebrating the "Future Fantastic" from 7-11pm.

Professional Trade Day is Friday, January 19 from 9am to 6pm. "IDS Professional Trade Day is reserved to professional members of the design trade. The day is designed to inspire, educate and expose professionals to products, designers and ideas from both international and national perspectives. In addition to the floor exhibits and features, programming on this day includes the AZURE Trade Talks speakers series that takes place on the Caesarstone Stage, Trade Day seminars, the IDS Booth Awards and Design Awards."

January 20 is Globe Style Saturday is open to the public from 10am to 7pm. Where consumers can take in some speaker's series and learn all about design.

House and Home Sunday finishes the show on January 21 from 10am to 6pm. Find out what is trending with design personalities along with House and Home editors.

See some photos of the 2018 show after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square