Saturday, March 31, 2018

TD Northern Lamps at TD Centre Toronto

A touch of the far north skies have been captured in a light installation at King and Bay Street. Located in the King Street courtyard, the artscape shining green, blue and pink at night time helps to celebrate Canada's indigenous experiences with the lights. The display and the stories will be on display at Toronto-Dominion Centre until May 30, 2018.

"The TD Northern Lights Installation invites colleagues and passersby to experience Inuit artists' interpretation of this this natural wonder in downtown Toronto," says Kerry Peacock, Executive Vice President, Day to Day Banking, Investing and Transformation and Chair, Indigenous Peoples Committee, TD Bank Group.
"The TD Northern Lamps is a newly installed art experience outside the TD Centre, at King and Bay in Toronto. The installation tells the personal stories of Inuit artists working in Cape Dorset, Nunavut and their experience with the Northern Lights. Known for its vibrant art scene and renowned artists, Cape Dorset (Kinngait in Inuktitut) sits off the southwestern tip of Baffin Island. With a population of about 1,400, the hamlet is 2,300 kilometers from Toronto. It is a frequent trek for William Huffman of Dorset Fine Arts (a division of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-Operative), who helps promote the art and artists in the region."

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Clean Toronto Together 2018

Mayor John Tory helped to launch the upcoming Clean Toronto Together event starting April 20. Over 200,000 residents and businesses join together to clean away litter and other debris long hidden by winter’s snow cover.

Spring cleaning begins with School Cleanup Day and the Corporate 20-Minute Makeover on Friday, April 20. Then the 15th annual city-wide cleanup of public spaces happens from Saturday, April 21 to Sunday, April 22 and is ‘Canada’s largest spring cleanup.’ 
Mayor John Tory, right
Sponsors, volunteers and the Mayor joined the media on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at Nathan Phillips Square to talk about the need for the event and to promote everyone to join the movement.

"Every year, Clean Toronto Together sets new records for community participation, which is a testament to the people of Toronto and the pride we take in our great city," said Mayor Tory. "I encourage everyone to get involved in our spring cleanup and to make an effort every day to keep our city clean and green. Sponsors and partners include lead sponsor Glad Canada, Pizza Pizza, Tim Hortons, Toronto Star, Global News, Global News Radio, Metroland Media, Metro News, Park People, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board and Bag2School."

"GLAD Canada is delighted to be part of the City's cleanup for the eighth year in a row. It's wonderful to see more residents, communities and schools pitching in every year," said Mike Pilato, General Manager of Clorox Canada, which owns the GLAD brand. "The simple act of spending just 20 minutes cleaning an area in your community can make a huge difference and make Toronto an even more beautiful and vibrant city."

When you register you will be supported with garbage, recycling bags and special litter collections.

Current registration numbers (as of March 27):
221 Community Cleanups
376 School Cleanups
133 Corporate Cleanups
149,110 Volunteers

And here is the city's press release about their Community Environment Days starting April 7:

The City's 27th annual Community Environment Days start on Saturday, April 7. These events, hosted by local Toronto City Councillors, encourage the correct and safe disposal of waste, promote the reuse of materials through donations, and provide residents with an opportunity to learn about waste diversion, water conservation and other environmental initiatives.

Community Environment Days allow residents to safely dispose of items that do not belong in the City's Blue Bin recycling or Green Bin organics waste diversion programs. These include items such as household hazardous waste, home healthcare waste and electronic waste. The events also provide an opportunity to bring specific items for donation to local schools and shelters. Free compost is available for pickup, to a maximum of one average car trunk load per household. Residents are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for local food banks.

"Community Environment Days are an opportunity for residents to participate in the City's waste diversion programs and learn how they can do their part to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills by properly disposing of or donating items," said Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the City's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.

"Improper disposal of items such as household hazardous waste, healthcare waste, textiles and electronics is a huge problem in the city," said Jim McKay the City's General Manager of Solid Waste Management Services. "In 2016, approximately 52,000 tonnes of materials was incorrectly placed in Blue Bin recycling and there continues to be a high percentage of material in the garbage that could have been diverted from landfill. Through education, policies and programs such as Community Environment Days, the City promotes and educate people on reuse, recycling and proper waste disposal."

Community Environment Days are a partnership between the City's Solid Waste Management Services, Environment and Energy, and Toronto Water divisions, and Orange Drop, Ontario's Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste program.

Event dates and lists of approved items for drop-off and donation is available at or call 311.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Winter is over at Ontario Place

But the lights remain and the island park is open for pleasant walks past the marina, concrete ship breakwater, the Cinesphere and the abandoned rides of the family theme park that closed in 2011. Actually this is a good time to visit the western portion of the island park before any redevelopment changes what is left and you can try to recall what the park looked like when you were younger.
In 2017 they started a winter light festival which had a synthetic skating rink as well as a winter light exhibition from December 8 to March 18, 2018 (the end of March Break). The festival had free admission and was open seven days a week and included skate rentals, food and drink, music and an evening bonfire from Friday to Sunday. There is plenty of paid parking at Ontario Place, pick the western lot, which shouldn't be too busy unless there is a concert at the Budweiser Stage or games at BMO Field across Lake Shore Boulevard.

Arriving at dusk allows you to take in some of the park that doesn't have lights and to check out the sunset over Humber Bay. Then you can wander the paths as the festival lights brighten against the coming darkness as you enjoy your wilderness adventure.

See more of the abandoned flume ride after the jump.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Allan Gardens Spring Flowers

It's starting to feel a bit like spring as the snow has disappeared and the outdoor rinks are left to melt in the afternoon sun, but the blossoms are still some time away. You can get a better sense of the coming warmth by visiting the Toronto conservatory during the Spring and Easter flower shows which continue until April 29, 2018.

The beautiful Palm House and the attached greenhouses are full of both permanent botanical displays as well as the seasonal flowers like tulips, lilies, hyacinths and hydrangeas. Open year round from 10am to 5pm the park and greenhouses are located at 19 Horticultural Avenue - just east of Yonge Street along College Street.
The large green leafs fill the central Palm House

Saturday, March 17, 2018

March Break Toronto Comicon 2018

Comics, celebrity guests, artists and cosplay are great reasons to check out the spring Comicon at the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 16-18.

Hours for Saturday are from 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

See the amazing cosplay mega-gallery after the jump.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Toronto Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo 2018

It's a busy Saturday at Motorama 2018 and car fans are checking out the amazing vehicles in the International Centre. Remember there is more parking at the GO Station just beside the Centre. The car show presented by Mothers is on from March 9 to 11 with over 300,000 square feet of exhibits, sponsors, vendors and celebrity guests like Courtney Hansen from TV's Overhaulin' and PowerBlock and PowerNation.
Motorama 2018 is the fourth annual combined Canadian Motorsports Expo and Motorama custom car and hot rod show. Saturday night has the Short Track and Drag Racing Night of Champions. 

Spring Fever modified cars and culture is in Hall 4, complete with a DJ pumping out the jams, nitrous oxide tanks and big sets of speakers in plenty of trunks. About 80 vehicles were competing in several best of categories including best of show.
Hooters ladies at their booth

Here is a copy of there weekend schedule.


10:30 to 11:20 a.m. – MOTORAMA’S 2018 CELEBRITY GUESTS: This year’s celebrity guests at Motorama include: Ron Capps (2016 NHRA Funny Car World Champion), Courtney Hansen (Automotive TV Personality / Dream Car), Jeff Lutz (Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws), Lou Santiago (co-host of Discovery Velocity’s Car Fix), David Schroeder (2017 Drag Week Overall Champion) and Twiggy Tallant (Vegas Rat Rods). See and hear them on-stage as they participate in a Q&A with the fans.

11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. – APC LATE MODEL SERIES DRIVER PANEL: This exciting series enters its fourth season of action in 2018 and continues to grow. It featuring many of the province’s top Late Model racers, competing at tracks around southern and central Ontario. Series Announcer Jamie Maudsley hosts this session. Expected participants include Series Organizer Luke Ramsay and several registered series drivers, including Shae Gemmell, Josh Stade, JR Farrelly, Jamie Cox, Rick Burbridge, Treyten Lapcevich, Jake Sheridan, Mat Box and Andrew Gresel.
Drag racing panel on the Johnsonville stage. Champion Ron Capps is in the middle

12:30 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. – DRAG RACING DISCUSSION PANEL: This year’s Motorama show boasts several honoured guests from the drag racing world. Hosted by Bill Richards and Larry Satchell, expected participants in this panel include 2016 NHRA Funny Car World Champion Ron Capps, reigning Hot Rod Drag Week Overall and Unlimited Champion David Schroeder, multi-time Drag Week champ and Street Outlaws star Jeff Lutz, Ontario Street Outlaws series promoter Paul Norris, jet dragster racer Neale Armstrong, Yvonne Potter of Paton Racing, and Andrew Stirk of DSE Sportsman Promotions.

1:45 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. – SEMA STAR BUILDERS: Show announcer Rick Seeley hosts this on-stage session that features several builders who caught our attention at SEMA and have brought their vehicles to Motorama. They include Ty Hauer of Indiana’s Reisinger Custom Rebuilding, Ohio’s Anton Lanesky of Anton’s Rod Shop, Eddie Pettus from Iowa’s Eddie’s Rod and Custom, and Pennsylvania’s Mike Heim, of Quality Custom Rides. Be sure to check out their feature vehicles in Hall 2.

3:00 to 5:00 p.m. – SHOW CAR CLASS AWARDS: Hosted by Rick Seeley, Gary Challice and celebrity guests Courtney Hansen and Twiggy Tallant, with more than 200 vehicles in competition, there are dozens of different classes and categories to be judged. The class awards will be announced and presented on The Johnsonville Stage during this session.

5:15 to 6:30 p.m. – DRAG RACING NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY STONERIDGE SPECIALTY INSURANCE: Bill Richards and Larry Satchell return – with a special appearance by 2016 NHRA Funny Car Champ Ron Capps – to host this awards presentation which honours Canadian drag racers who won track or series championships during the 2017 season. More than 40 champs have registered for this special awards presentation.

6:45 to 8:15 p.m. – SHORT TRACK NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY STONERIDGE SPECIALTY INSURANCE: Hosts Greg Calnan and Adam Ross will be joined by Courtney Hansen and Twiggy Tallant to honour dirt and asphalt oval track racers who won year-end track or series championships in 2017. Each champion will receive a plaque and will be interviewed about their title-winning campaigns. Special thanks to Eibach Canada, London Recreational Racing, Image Factor Media and Inside Track Motorsport News for their support of this ceremony which will honour almost 90 short track champs.
SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2018

10:30 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. – CAR SHOW PROMOTERS PANEL: Several of North America’s top car show promoters will talk about what’s new for 2018 for their respective shows, leading into a Q&A discussion about the hobby. Expected participants include: Jim Pearsall (Syracuse Nationals), Bill Doherty (Atlantic Nationals), Bob Larivee (founder of Detroit Autorama), Kristine Hill (Summer Showdown), Chris Gooderham (Canadian Automotive Expo) and a representative of Oshawa Autofest.

11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. – MEET THE MEDIA: One of the show’s most popular on-stage features. Several members of the Canadian motorsports and automotive media discuss issues related to Canadian and International racing. Expected participants include: Erik Tomas (Raceline Radio Network), Norris McDonald (Toronto Star), James Neilson (Inside Track Motorsport News), Gary Grant (The Garage Guy /, Wally Nesbitt (Inside Track Motorsport News), Jim Kenzie (Toronto Star) and Tim Miller (Hamilton Spectator / Inside Track Motorsport News).

12:45 to 1:25 p.m. – NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES DRIVER Q&A: Into its second decade as the country’s top racing series, the NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES is entering an exciting time. A new GM body-style will be introduced at Motorama and the tour is set to make its first appearance outside of Canada, in the fall, so there will be lots to talk about. Series Announcer Adam Ross will host the session which is expected to feature Anthony Spiteri of Pinty’s Delicious Foods and several NPS series racers discussing their plans for 2018.

1:45 to 2:40 p.m. – HOT ROD PANEL: Legendary hot rod personality and Motorama Show Car organizer Gary Challice will be joined by Show Announcer Rick Seeley to host this discussion featuring several prominent members of the hot rod, custom car and classic car communities. Expected to participate on the panel are several local prominent builders with vehicles at Motorama, as well as celebrity guest Lou Santiago.

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – SHOW CAR SPECIAL AWARDS: Hosted by Rick Seeley and Gary Challice, and some of our celebrity guest presenters, dozens of awards will be handed out at the show, including the Motorama Grand Champion who will be presented with a $5,000.00 cheque!
Pinty's and the NASCAR Pinty's Series race cars were well represented at the show

See more photos after the jump.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Verizon IndyCar Series 2018 starts this weekend

Josef Newgarden will begin to defend his Championship title with the first race of the 2018 series in the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg March 9-11. The series runs from March into September with the Streets of Toronto race returning during the July 15 weekend.

Indycar 2018 Series Schedule

IndyCar will headline the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend July 13-15 in Exhibition Place along with the NASCAR Pinty's Series Grand Prix of Toronto, the Mazda Road to Indy, the Porsche Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge and the Global MX-5 Cup. Also returning is Fan Friday - free entrance covered by the Ontario Honda Dealers in support of Make-A-Wish Canada; "With generous support from fans, Honda Canada and the Ontario Honda Dealers have raised more than $518,000 for Make-A-Wish®, helping to make the wishes of children who are living with a life-threatening medical condition come true. Honda Fan Friday will feature a jam-packed schedule of on-track action, contests, and all kinds of entertainment in full gear from gate open to close across the event site, providing something for everyone, race fan or not!"

See my coverage of the 2017 Honda Indy race weekend on these posts.

In addition to the on-track action there will also be the associated RaceFest with Honda World, Thunder Alley, Honda Speedzone, Beer Gardens and Series Paddocks/Garage. There will be a photo display of Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe's show car at Honda World

See more festival information from HIT after the jump.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Winter Stations 2018

Seven art installations are lined up along Woodbine Beach, built around the lifeguard stations that dot the sand along the shores of Lake Ontario at the east side of Toronto. The waterfront exhibitions were created based on the theme of 'riot: violent disturbance; uproar; outburst of uncontrolled feelings' and will remain in place until April 1st (started on Family Day February 19).
'Make Some Noise!!'

These pieces of interactive art that will have to survive the harsh conditions found during Canada's winter next to one of the finest Great Lakes that you will ever know. Three of the designs were by the University of Guelph, Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art.
Winter Stations winners were selected in an international single-stage competition that places the temporary artwork, created by designers, artists, architects and others to promote creativity and joy without limit on the size of the installation. A jury chose the projects partly based on durability and constructablility and within a certain spending limit.
'Pussy Hut'
"The lifeguard stands are essentially identical. They are sturdy steel structures to which the installation is to be fastened. The method of fastening is up to each competitor, however it may not result in any damage to or modification of the structure. As this is the off-season for use, there are few restrictions on covering the stations; the three exceptions are: the shepherds’ hook, the lifesaving ring and any emergency signage."

See more art after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square