Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Kicked out of Friday Harbour

Our first kayak trip of the season happened when we visited Big Bay Point, near the northern part of Lake Simcoe and it ended not so well. Travelling to Innisfil we made for the government dock to launch our kayaks and ended up with a $50 parking ticket because they don't like visitors, so try to go to some other town if you want to launch your kayak. Areas along Lake Simcoe were infamous for episodes of locals pushing Asians into the water in assaults that were known as 'nipper-tipping'. It looks like they found another way to keep unwanted visitors from coming into the area by restricting parking access to taxpayer funded places like government docks!

At the mouth of Friday Harbour

Then we set out on the water during a beautiful day, boating around the point and heading over to the new development at Friday Harbour. My wife is obsessed with this place, she tried to win a condo by buying a ticket to the Princess Margaret lottery but lost out and cried for days. It started to enter her thoughts because of the radio ads and their logo with the combined backwards F attached to the letter H (she dislikes the logo so it is stuck in her head). I thought it would be a perfect waterborne journey and then we could explore the harbour and go into one of the restaurants or even Starbucks for a coffee and snack.
Friday Harbour 5-0 gives us the old heave ho

As we headed into the harbour (picture at top) we were greeted by a couple of security people in a pontoon party boat who said that they can't have just any kayaks in the harbour and kicked us out.
Leaving the government dock, you can almost hear the town say we don't want you

An old anchor decoration along the shore
The highlight of the trip was the brood of tiny ducklings

So basically Big Bay Point sucks for visitors.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Pride Parades and Streetfair Schedule 2018

Pride Month culminates with the three immensely popular parades that march out from the Church-Wellesley Village, along Bloor Street and down Yonge Street to various terminal points. Anchoring the parades will be the annual Pride Streetfair running on Church St from Dundas Street East to Charles Street East.

The Streetfair is on Friday, June 22 (7pm-2am); Saturday, June 23 (noon-2am) and Sunday, June 24 (noon-11pm). This fair will feature a licensed drinking section (with wrist bands, id checks and bag searching) on Church St from Carlton St to Charles St.

The roster of Toronto Pride Parades starts with the Trans March on Friday, June 22. The march starts at 8pm with the rally starting an hour earlier. "Toronto’s Trans March is officially one of the largest, most exciting Pride events in the world – not only for all the trans and non-binary folks, friends, and allies who rally and march together in solidarity, but for anyone who is lucky enough to witness the landmark event. Trans women of colour and people with different abilities are encouraged to lead the march and set the pace for all. Join us at the intersection of Church and Hayden streets as we make our way along Bloor, south on Yonge, and east on Carlton to Allan Gardens where we host a fantastic lineup of trans performers for a postMarch showcase until 10PM."

Parade number two is the Dyke March Saturday, June 23. The march starts at 2pm and the rally time is one hour before. "The Toronto Dyke March is a political demonstration of critical mass, welcoming all self-identified dykes to create political and visible space. This grassroots event is not a parade. The women and trans people of our dyke community take over the streets of downtown Toronto to celebrate our power, strength, diversity and passion of dyke experiences and identities. We will reflect on our history, celebrate our accomplishments, learn from our past, honour where we’ve come from and lift voices that have been silenced and forgotten. Join us for the post-march rally in Allan Gardens for performances, crafting and even more dyke-community building."

The final parade is the namesake Pride Parade which starts at 2pm. "The 38th Annual Pride Parade is happening June 24, 2018 at 2 P.M. followed by a moment of silence at 3 P.M.. From the corner of Church St and Bloor St all the way down Yonge St to Yonge-Dundas Square, tell your stories to a crowd of over 1 million festival-goers and many more watching at home through art direction, costume design, choreography, music and special effects. Go glitz & glam. Be colourful and creative. Go big. And have fun!"

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Toronto Sculpture Garden relaunch

A tiny oasis of calm on an otherwise busy street in the heart of downtown Toronto contains a waterfall and a place to showcase the art of sculpture. Located at 115 King Street East, just across from St James Cathedral, the small parkette is accessible from King Street and the alley to the south. The City has relaunched the Toronto Sculpture Garden after a brief hiatus in 2014 and will feature two exhibits this year. "I am delighted this public art location is active once again and I look forward to seeing exciting new works there now and in the future," said Mayor John Tory.

Up first is an installation by Canadian artist Karen Kraven with a piece called Pins and Needles, made with marine canvas and lightweight plastic. It resembles a drying rack for giant clothes.

"Inspired by the histories of labour strikes that occurred at garment factories in Montreal, Toronto and New York, the exhibit takes its name from a hit Broadway show organized by the editor of a newspaper from the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Kraven's artwork takes apart the individual pieces that make up women's trench coats and transforms them into sculptural elements. The disassembled clothing casts away its functionality and suggests abandoned bodies, much like the act of going on strike. The installation will remain on display until September 15."

Find the garden on the Toronto Discovery Walks route

From 1981 to 2014 the garden had 60 exhibitions from over 80 artists. Managed by the City and developed by the Lous L. Odette Family, The City of Toronto and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture. The next exhibit will be in the fall of this year. Here is the garden with a sculpture in 2011.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

TFOB 2018 sounds Beerlicious

Cold beer and great music are being announced for the upcoming Toronto Festival of Beer presented by the Beer Store at Exhibition Place July 26 to 29. Bands start Thursday at the OLG Bandshell Stage with Broken Social Scene and The Rural Alberta Advantage, on Friday; Ludacris, on Saturday; Dwayne Gretzky and on Sunday, the final day of the Festival of Beer; I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven.

“We are thrilled to present this great lineup, on the opening night of TFOB 2018,” said Les Murray, President and Owner of Beerlicious and Toronto’s Festival of Beer. “Bringing together much loved Toronto based Broken Social Scene and The Rural Alberta Advantage is sure to make Thursday night a can’t miss. It is a great night for consumers to enjoy a first taste of the beer, food,and music presented at TFOB. We hope to see you there!”

Broken Social Scene is a Toronto based indie rock band of indeterminate size founded in 1999 by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. The duo released their first album in 2001 which also featured a number of guest performers. By their second album, released in 2002, the band included 11 musicians and won their first Juno Award as Best Alternative Album in 2003.

Rural Alberta Advantage is an award winning trio of musicians playing percussive folk songs know as "Canada's best unsigned band" and has been nominated for two Juno Awards. Amy Cole, Paul Banwatt and Nils Edenloff have released The Wild, their fourth album and have collaborated with Mill Street Brewery for RAAle which will be available at the festival.

OLG is supporting the live music at the Bandshell Stage and will also present the OLG Winners' Corner with a chance to win VIP experiences, prizes and exclusive access.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ruins in Rockwood Park

Located east of Guelph on Highway 7, this small town has the Grand River Conversation Authority park which features camping, hiking, a beach for swimming in the Eramosa River and the ruins of the Harris Woolen Mill near the dam and waterfall.
dam and waterfall

looking towards the small islands in the Eramosa River

The river is also perfect for canoeing or kayaking as you can coast between small islands and float along steep limestone cliffs. Popular with weddings and large groups is the ruins of the old mill. Only parts of the walls remain now, with paths throughout the large complex.

Several Harris brothers started the original mill in 1867 which burned down and was replaced with a stone structure in 1884. The mill closed down in 1925 and became part of a private park which later was acquired by the Grand River Conservation Authority. Another fire in the 1960s further destroyed the mill which was partially restored in 2010.

See more of the ruins after the jump.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

World Naked Bike Ride Toronto 2018

Toronto once again joins the worldwide protest against global oil dependency with an impact that can only be made by hundreds of naked bike riders grouped together, winding through city streets to the delight of thousands of onlookers. The World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) starts at 1pm on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Coronation Park, just south of Exhibition Place’s Princes’ Gates, and proceeds north, passing through some of Toronto’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Ride marshals help keep the group safe as they come to busy intersections and bikers try to be as careful as they can – especially around the ttc streetcar tracks which can prove treacherous to bicycles, and the clothes free protest stops occasionally for group photo opportunities. The next ride is June 8, 2019.
WNBR Toronto map 2018
Gene Dare

Co-organizer Gene Dare arrives early at Coronation Park and greets the riders as they begin to show up around 10:30am. Body painters will take orders for artwork framed on the nude canvass (Sydney Desnoyers; small $5, Medium and sparkle nipples for $10 and large for $20) and riders will socialize and pose for pictures with visitors, friends and the many photographers that welcome the peaceful protest. The gathering place is the large military memorial just steps from the edge of Lake Ontario, shaped like the hull of a ship, in the shadow of the large flagpole beside the memorial.
Candice Blake gets body paint applied

‘Less gas, more ass’ is one of the slogans that is popular with those that want body paint and people can bring their own paints to apply to one another. The dress code for the ride is ‘as bare as you dare’ and people are encouraged to join the ride – in or out of clothes, and on bikes, roller blades, skateboards or even just run along. You can join from the beginning or wait for the group to meet you, disrobe and join the group along the way. The weather is supposed to be nice and Gene has spent a lot of time promoting WNBR through posters and working with the media so there should be a record number of participants in 2018. If you don’t have your own bike there is always the Bike Share Toronto bicycles spread throughout the city.

Several special locations are special to the ride including the ride along Queen Street West, Kensington Market, University of Toronto (maybe they will be in more wedding photos this year), Church and Wellesley Village and the ride later down Yonge Street past the Eaton Centre. In the past we have stopped in Allan Gardens to support other protests and the route changes depending on the circumstances (ie construction or major events). Major stops are planned for Queen’s Park and the reflecting pond at Toronto City Hall where group photos are planned. Other places of interest that the ride passes through are Yorkville (the Mink Mile loves the ride), Trinity Bellwoods Park (sometimes missed due to a large market in the park), Ryerson University and Yonge-Dundas Square. Gene plans to go twice around the square which will be fun as there is the Session Toronto kickoff to Craft Beer Week event going on at the time.

After the ride goes down Bay Street in the Financial District it arrives at the Toronto Islands Ferry Docks where many of the riders join the weekend crowds and journey to Hanlan’s Point Nude Beach. Many of the riders return to the start point at Coronation Park to successfully complete the WNBR for another year.

See more of the WNBR after the jump.

Toronto Ride to Conquer Cancer 2018

The epic #rideTO over two days and 200km is ready to leave from Exhibition Place on Saturday, June 9th at 8am.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2018
360 degree photo

"Spoke to spoke and pedal to pedal. The Enbridge® Ride to Conquer Cancer® benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre unites an unparalleled community of powerful men and women across Ontario who are committed to conquering cancer in our lifetime. For more than a decade, we have united the doctors, researchers and supporters on the front lines of the battle against cancer, vowing to conquer this disease once and for all.
And the first riders leave the start line

Join us on June 9-10, 2018, for The Enbridge® Ride to Conquer Cancer® benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre."

Thursday, June 07, 2018

IFBB Men's 212 Bodybuilding at Toronto Pro SuperShow 2018

The 212 is the weight class, competitors must be 212 pounds or less to compete in this IFBB catagory at the Toronto Pro SuperShow. Bodybuilders took to the EXPO stage on Saturday, June 2, 2018 for judging, followed by the finals later that night in the John Bassett Theatre.

See more 212 after the jump.

IFBB Men's Physique at Toronto Pro SuperShow 2018

Fit, muscular and healthy athletes in board shorts took to the EXPO stage during the Toronto Pro SuperShow held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Their shape and conditioning are amazing and they definitely bring their six-packs to the competition.

See more men's physique after the jump.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

IFBB Men's Classic Physique at the Toronto Pro SuperShow 2018

The men took to the Expo stage in black posing shorts to compete in the category between bodybuilding and physique.

See more of the competition after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square