Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fall winding down in Minden

The search for vibrant fall colours brought me to Minden, Ontario northeast of Toronto where heavy winds just two days before had taken off a lot of the leaves in the area. I took advantage of the river walk along Gull River and also went to the top of the scenic lookout looking down onto the town.

The Minden water tower pokes out over the trees
'When Men Were Machines' by Andy Hillo, part of the river walk tour

See more of the tour after the jump.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2019 coming in November

Toronto's annual winter fair fills over one million square feet in Exhibition Place with unparalleled equestrian events, culinary training, agricultural exhibitions and plenty of entertainment November 1 to 10, 2019. A special feature from November 1-3 will be performances by the RCMP Musical Ride with their 32 horses and riders during paid performances in the Royal Horse Show.
From RAWF's website "Today The Royal continues that legacy of excellence and is the largest indoor agricultural event in the world. The Royal Horse Show is one of the world’s finest equestrian spectacles and attracts athletes from across the planet. A win at The Royal means something, regardless of whether you’re pickling, jamming, raising beef or driving six-horse hitches. Every year, 300,000 people come to The Fair to celebrate the very best food, livestock and horsemanship this country has to offer. There’s so much to do, see, hear, eat and indulge in at The Royal!"

On the first Saturday (Nov 2) you can check out the world-class Royal Horse Show family matinee beginning at 1pm with the RCMP Musical Ride as well as National Show Jumping Speed Competition, Pony Jumpers and Six Horse Hitches with Belgians, Clydesdales and Percherons, plus special giveaways.

"The Royal boasts a huge variety of equestrian competitions open to all ages. Along with Hunters and Show Jumpers, you will be amazed at the many different breeds of horses that pull carts, coaches, wagons and big hitches. Cheer for your favorite high stepping Hackney, shout when the announcer calls “drive on!” in the Road Horse classes or clap and whoop it up when the judge approaches your favorite heavy horse hitch for inspection! The Royal Horse Show is world-class equestrian competition at its finest."

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair hours
Tues. to Sat.: 9am – 9pm
Sun. Nov. 03: 9am – 6pm
Mon. Nov. 04: 9am – 6pm
Sun. Nov. 10: 9am – 6pm
Besides the amazing horse jumping championships one of my favourite events at the show is the Burnbrae Farms Culinary Academy where participants prepare meals under notable chefs using their favourite recipes and tasty local ingredients ($20 per session). We had a lot of fun cooking with the chefs and I can highly recommend the culinary experience.

Also at the show will be vendors as well as live music, entertainment lifestyle presentations and indigenous programming on the OLG Stage.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Salmon spawning in the Credit River

It's hard not to feel sorry for the thousands of fish that make the journey upstream from Lake Ontario, for those fish that have completed the journey, their bodies lay along the water's edge and spent eggs can be seen nearby. Last year we watched the salmon in Lowville Park.

This is along the riverfront trail just upstream of McNab Park. This is just off highway #7 in Norval

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Blessed graffiti mural on Dupont Street

The paint is fading and some of the work has changed over time, but I am happy to see that the graffiti mural remains on the Dupont Street underpass. The spaceman is new though but the business men angels still raise their hands to swear about something.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Art at the Small Arms Inspection Building

The Mississauga arts centre at 1352 Lakeshore Road East in Mississauga hosts part of the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art. This cool facility is right across Toronto's western boundary and was converted from a wartime small arms factory into a community art forum. The bank of windows in part of the building looks out onto some great fall foliage. Photographer Judy Chicago also has a number of works featuring pyrotechnics and smoke bombs.
New Mineral Collective Pleasure Prospects sculptures
Adrian Blackwell's Isonomia in Toronto?
A 300 foot cushion with an image of the shoreline of Etobicoke Creek is coiled and ready for people to sit on

See more art after the jump.

Devilish Desires - Toronto Oddity & Horror Expo

Scary, spooky! Skull Store and 13 Flames Empire presents Canada's first oddity and horror expo on Saturday, October 12.  This expo has all the dark and mysterious performers and attractions located deep underground (the basement) at 337 Symington Avenue from 11am till 7pm. The address is listed as a community centre but it looks like a small mall. The entrance is along Symington Street near the Beer Store.

It only costs $5 for admission and when you pay they put the mark of the devil an x on your hand! Plus the joint is licenced.

Performance list:

1pm - Poppa Jimbo the Misfortune Teller
2pm - FenyxFyre the Human Anomaly
3pm - Eyeclops the Body Butcher
4pm - Mysterion the Mindreader
5pm - Circus by Scarlet Black

From their Facebook page "We'll also have a museum of oddities, including ancient relics, deformed animals and other terrifying treasures - provided by the Prehistoria Natural History Centre!"

Vendors include
Taboo Textiles
Rue Morgue
The Hidden Path
Spider & Fly
Trevor Walker
The Vault
Skull Store
Salem's Lott Scary Hot Sauces
Kingpin's Hideaway
The Toy Butcher
Rotten Rags
Atelier Propraetoria
Tony's Dark Nightmares
Midgard Metal Works
Drop Dead Candles
W.S Critters
Valkyrie Bone Crafts
Zombie Jesus

See more horror after the jump.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Lancome popup at the Bay

Hudson's Bay has a popup on the 7th Floor of their Queen Street department store called ExtraOrdinary Spaces. Flowers and coloured balls join chairs, hanging flowers and other associated art and perfume installations from September 10 to October 20, 2019. You can get to the popup by taking the elevator and when the door opens, there you are. Plus it's free.

If you start in the Toronto Eaton Centre you can cross to the Bay from the second floor pedestrial bridge over Queen Stree.
It looks like they also kept the ball pit from the last installation exhibition they had at the Bay

Day of the Girl FACT or FACT CHECK

Tomorrow is International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, 2019, the Toronto Eaton Centre had a game show in centre field called Fact or Fact Check starting today. "Plan International Canada is hosting an interactive game show to celebrate International Day of the Girl and spread awareness for girls’ rights."

You can play the game from the 10th to the 12th and help spread awareness for girls' rights.

Thursday, October 10, 2019 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday, October 11, 2019 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 12, 2019 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Lunar Garden at City Hall

Workers tending the zen garden in Nathan Phillips Square move about the heavy turquoise sand pulling a 30 pound rake, weaving intricate patterns around the sparse artifacts that populate the individual plots, gaining perhaps wisdom and peace. The large art installation by Danial Arsham fills a good portion of the concrete square put there for the annual all-night art festival Nuit Blanche 2019 and will remain their until Saturday, October 12. A large moon overlooks the garden, set at the edge of the permanent stage and at night the moon will shine brightly on the installation acompanied by music from Charlotte Day Wilson.

The five separate areas of the garden contain 425,600 pounds of sand as well as sculptures of a single tree, a fountain, a large camera and a clock along with a number of white rocks.

From the City of Toronto's Nuit Blanche web portal, "Visitors will be able to take a break from the everyday and Zen out in this surreal world. A 30-foot (nine-metre) light orb resembling the moon will light up a landscape made of colourful sand. The sculptures—enlarged casts of everyday objects—will hint at future archeological finds. Shifting between a centuries-old tradition, an artist's creative interpretation, and an implied future, the garden plays with motifs of permanence and impermanence creating a work that has the tendency to float in time. This signature style of reimagined architecture continues the artist’s past work—including colour-gradient sand paintings which present raked Zen gardens in a static, vertical format. The artist’s recent shift away from black, white and gray tones became possible with special glasses that correct his colourblindness. These allow him to see a broader, more vibrant spectrum—one he will share with Toronto through this otherworldly and luminous “Lunar Garden.”

Thursday, October 03, 2019

World Press Photo 2019 at Brookfield Place

The best of the best of the best are back in the Allen Lambert Galleria during the 62nd annual World Press Photo Exhibition. Over 78,000 photos were entered from photographers from 129 countries, the winners will be in the galleria from October 1 to 23, 2019. Here is a small selection of some of the winners. Sarah Blesener's photo of Russian students laughing before a singing and marching competition in the picture at top.

Descriptions from the World Press Photo website: "Patriotic education, often with a military subtext, forms the mainspring of many youth programs in both Russia and the United States. In America, the dual messages of ‘America first’ and ‘Americanism’ can be found not only as a driving force behind adult political movements, but around the country in camps and clubs where young people are taught what it means to be an American. In Russia, patriotic clubs and camps are encouraged by government. In 2015, President Vladimir Putin ordered the creation of a Russian students’ movement whose aim was to help form the characters of young people through instruction in ideology, religion and preparedness for war. The ‘Patriotic Education of Russian Citizens in 2016–2020’ program called for an 8 percent increase in patriotism among youth, and a 10 percent increase in recruits to the armed forces."
Visitors wander the free exhibition in Brookfield Place

A child sleeps on a mattess on top of a dead river in this photo by Mário Cruz

"The Pasig River in Manila, Philippines was declared biologically dead in the 1990s, due to a combination of industrial pollution and waste being dumped by nearby communities living without adequate sanitation infrastructure. A 2017 report by Nature Communications cites the Pasig as one of 20 most polluted rivers in the world, with up to 63,700 tons of plastic deposited into the ocean each year. Efforts are being made to clean up the Pasig, which were recognized by an international prize in 2018, but in parts of the river the waste is still so dense that it is possible to walk on top of the garbage."
Brent Stirton photo of a female anti-poaching ranger training in Zimbabwe

"Akashinga (‘The Brave Ones’) is a ranger force established as an alternative conservation model. It aims to work with, rather than against local populations, for the long-term benefits of their communities and the environment. Akashinga comprises women from disadvantaged backgrounds, empowering them, offering jobs, and helping local people to benefit directly from the preservation of wildlife. Other strategies—such as using fees from trophy hunting to fund conservation—have been criticized for imposing solutions from the outside and excluding the needs of local people. "

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square