Thursday, February 28, 2019

Empty ice on the world's largest skating rink

Dramatic temperature changes and rain in the nation's capital closed off the Rideau Canal's 7.8km skating rink over the past weekend and it was a little eerie seeing the canal empty of skaters. The extreme cold that followed helped to get the ice back into shape and it opened again on Wednesday. Surface conditions are rated as Fair and you can check the conditions daily on the interactive map.

See more of the rink after the jump.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Motorama 2019 coming March 8-10

Hot rods, racing cars, modified cars and a tribute to the Ford Mustang are just part of the automotive lifestyle featured at the 5th annual Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo. Taking place at the International Centre (Halls 1-4 with over 330,000 square feet) from Friday to Sunday, March 8-10, 2019 and the parking is free.

For those that like speed, the Stoneridge Short Track and Drag Racing Night of Champions takes place on Saturday, March 9 with more than 125 racers to be honoured on the Rust-Oleum Stage in Hall 2 in front of fans. "Having so many Canadian track and series champions celebrated in one location, at one time, is a unique event in the world of racing."

In celebration of the 55th anniversary of the muscle car there will be a Mustang Corral with some of the street and racing versions from it's initial run to the present day. Other vehicular highlights of the show can be found in 'Mayhem in the Backroom', which features traditional custom cars, hot rods and the rockabilly lifestyle. And fans of Tuner cars, both Import and Modern Modified formats can check out Hall 4 with 'Spring Fever'.

“The goal of Spring Fever is to allow show visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the best that our community has to offer,” stated SF4 Director Kristine Hill. “We don’t just have cars on display here, we have live music, a great range of Tuner and Modified associated vendors and something that was really popular last year, a tattoo artist. We will have everything on the floor from traditional Japanese Tuners, to luxury cars, Modified trucks and some really rare custom builds. Everything from sleek and cool to loud and outrageous.”

Model and actress Cherry Dollface returns to the show as an invited celebrity guest and will help judge the first ever Miss Motorama Pinup Pageant to be held on Saturday, March 9 (keep checking out their website for news about the time of the pageant).  "One highlight of the Motorama Mayhem…in the Backroom that is sure to attract attention from show visitors is the Miss Motorama Pinup Pageant. Hosted by Suzie from Suzie’s (‘rock your inner pinup’) Bombshell Boutique, and featuring celebrity judge Cherry Dollface, the family-friendly Pinup Pageant will celebrate the ladies who live and breathe the pinup culture, all vying for a share of the $1,000 in cash plus other prizes. Miss Motorama will also receive a private ‘one on one’ hair and makeup session with Cherry Dollface. The Miss Motorama Pinup Pageant is the richest pageant of its kind in Canada."

For fans of reality television Tom Smith of Discovery Channel's Misfit Garage will be at the show all three days to meet fans and take part in a variety of events. "Misfit Garage is currently airing its sixth season of shows on Discovery. The individuals who work at the shop all have distinct roles, talents and personalities. Over the years, the ‘misfits’ have produced increasingly higher quality vehicles for greater profits but there’s always plenty of drama at the garage and it’s usually a struggle getting everyone pulling in the same direction as the delivery deadline looms. And then there are the frequent visits by their cocky nemesis Richard Rawlings (Fast N’ Loud), that inevitably add to the chaos."

Friday, March 8: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 9: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 10: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

ADMISSION PRICES (includes taxes!)

SENIORS (65+): $20
YOUTH (7 to 15): $17
CHILDREN (6 & Under): FREE!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Empathy is Illuminating

A recent exhibition in Toronto's Brookfield Place had an elevated box you could sit underneath to uncover what was inside. And inside was a cityscape with plenty of statements - remember to not hit your head.

A number of other exhibits talked about people and the cost of medicines as well as the benefits of milk

See more after the jump.

Handmaid's Tale at Toronto City Hall

Hollywood North continues even in the cold of winter as the television series the Handmaid's Tale was filming at Toronto City Hall on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Dozens of Handmaidens dressed in bright, blood red robes, topped by shockingly white bonnets strolled down the winding walkway and along the paths between the snow in Nathan Phillips Square.

Lunch break
Up and down they went as shooting focused on several characters and the interesting pattern of the women walking two by two. Making movies, or television is tough work. Later the actors went over to Trinity Church by the Eaton Centre for lunch and personal time.
Nathan Phillip Square

Monday, February 18, 2019

L'Oreal Paris Canadian Women of Worth

Beauty brand L'Oreal Paris "Because I'm Worth It" announces 2019 Canadian Women of Worth Honourees and invites Canadians to vote for their favourite at Each candidate will be awarded $10,000 towards their charity and the winner will receive another $10k charity donation on International Women's Day. This is the third annual Women of Worth program and you can see more details and vote online until March 4th.

“We couldn’t be prouder to applaud these changemakers. Their steadfast resolve and achievements are truly remarkable,” said Milan Mladjenovic, General Manager, L’OrĂ©al Paris Canada. "Every year we’re profoundly moved by the stories that accompany these crusaders – and this year is no exception. I feel tremendous privilege acknowledging these notable women who are making our world a better and brighter place.”

The ten honourees for 2019 who lead the challenge to foster change and inspire others are as follows, in alphabetical order as provided by L'Oreal Paris.

"Ishita Aggarwal, Mom’s The Word (MTW) in Vaughan, ON supports homeless and low-income expectant mothers fight maternal poverty, health illiteracy and infant morbidity.

Toyo Ajibolade, Lady Ballers Camp in Toronto, ON actively engages racial minority girls and young women from low-income households. She removes gender, social and economic barriers so these women can participate in recreational programs, educational activities, leadership and employment accessibility.

Lynda Debono, Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive in Toronto, ON is driven to mobilize youth in her community, and rally around the impact of food insecurity, while feeding hundreds of thousands of people in need.

Isabelle Ducharme, Keroul - Montreal, QC is an advocate for increasing the accessibility of cultural and tourist services for those living with limited physical abilities in Quebec.

Katie Mahoney, We Are Young in Halifax, NS is granting unfulfilled wishes to elders in the hope to bridge the gap between generations, raise social awareness of the inequalities of seniors and honour the role they play in society.

Danielle Main, Leash of Hope Assistance Dogs in Vancouver, BC founded a non-profit program that rescues dogs and trains them to be service dogs for people with a variety of disabilities, allowing them to regain their independence. She is blind and has the first trained guide dog from the program.

Dr. Eliza Olson, Burns Bog Conservation Society in Delta, BC is dedicated to the protection and sustainability of the unique ecosystem of Burns Bogs for future generations and champions environmental stewardship through education in her community.

Adeola Deborah Olubamiji, STEMHub Foundation in Mississauga, ON endeavours to expand the ambitions and accessibility for females, visible minorities and underserved youth to pursue education and careers in the fields of science, math, technology and engineering studies (STEM).

Lynne Rosychuk, The Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation in Morinville, AB supports victims of domestic violence, including families and children of all ages and genders. They help those in need find safety and resources to begin their journey of healing. As well, they are building a safe haven, Jessie’s House.

Nicole White, Moon Time Sisters in Saskatoon, SK is an activist for women’s rights and social equality and helps supply menstrual products to those with little or no access in Northern Indigenous communities and beyond."

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Winter Stations 2019

Six installations have been selected for the fifth annual Winter Stations design competition in the Toronto Beaches. Spread along Woodbine Beach by Ashbridges Bay Park are (west to east) Mind Station, Chairavan (pictured at top), Cavalcade, Above the Wall, the Forest of Butterflies and Ground Squared. The installations are designed around the existing utilitarian lifeguard stands to stand temporarily in the cold of winter.
Above the Wall
The Forest of Butterflies
The "public art installations to The Beaches for an exhibition to celebrate Toronto's winter waterfront landscape. This is a single-stage open international competition, welcoming artists, designers, architects and landscape architects to submit concept proposals for Winter Stations' temporary artwork installations." Migration is the theme for 2019 and the Family Day weekend is the start of Winter Stations and it ends April 1st.
Mind Station, or wack a mole

Ground Squared

See more after the jump.

Ice in Toronto Harbour

Current ice concentrations on Lake Ontario right now are slightly less that the same time last year and looking out from the beaches of Toronto, you can't see much ice beyond the inner harbour. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) shows only a 6.9% mean concentration for ice cover - most of it near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.

The wooden boardwalk is partially clear of snow and ice
It looks like this chunk of ice has crystal flowers growing inside

But if you want some ice for your drinks the inner harbour is the place to be. Near Sunnyside Beach some large chunks of ice have been pushed up on the shore and the rest of it looks like a jumbled puzzle.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Motorcycle Show Toronto 2019

Beat the winter blues at the 2019 edition of the Motorcycle Show Toronto. Sleek bikes and raw power meet in Exhibition Place's Enercare Centre Friday, February 15 to 17. Manufacturers shiny new motorcycles are on display, giveaways and stunt shows are happening and on a beautiful winter Saturday what else would you need to get you out of the house?

The new model showcase features the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory, BMW S 1000 RR and R 1250 GS Adventure, Ducati Panigale V4R and Multistrada 1260 Enduro, Harley-Davidson CVO Limited and FXDR as well as the Honda CB65OR and other bikes from Indian, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph and many more. You can also see ATVs, scooters and plenty of motorcycle accessories in the giant hall.
Yahama Riding Academy
From their website "Looking for your fix of two-wheel, three-wheel and four-wheel action? The Toronto Motorcycle Show is the biggest manufacturers show in Ontario, with a wide-ranging and exciting line-up of exhibitors that celebrates the motorcycle lifestyle. From the open road, to the track and to the trail, this is your chance to see the newest models from the big names. Find everything you need for the season ahead, including bikes, aftermarket parts, gear, accessories and more! Talk to experts, join a riding club, plan your next motorcycle trip and meet awesome people who share your passion.

The Show is jam-packed with special features and events that are sure to please riders of all ages, including the kids. Mark the dates now on your calendar and make plans to join us. The Motorcycle Show is the ultimate get-together for riders and future riders. Come to the show and fuel your passion! We speak motorcycle here!"

Starting very early

Umbrella Academy in Toronto

A platoon of people dressed in black walked under black umbrellas through Toronto on Friday, February 15th to promote the TV series Umbrella Academy. They walked two by two, protected from the elements even though it wasn't even raining!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Frost Princess at the Beauty Ice Castle

#getboldinthecold. Quite a few young princesses lined up for free makeovers in the Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Ice Castle at Yonge-Dundas Square.

"From February 14 to February 15, Shoppers Drug Mart invites you to their first-ever Beauty Ice Castle — a dramatic pop-up ice castle where you can “step out of the cold and into some bold beauty looks”. Experience all the ice castle has to offer such as complimentary makeovers, live DJ, hot chocolate bar, a cozy chalet lounge, and giveaways!"

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Toronto Light Festival 2019

On a clear night you can see the glow of #TOlightFest from miles away so it is time to take in the light art that is illuminating the historic Distillery District. The lights go on at sundown and go to 10pm on most weeknights, 11pm Thursday through Sunday from January 18 to March 3. Michael Buble's Edge Lit Heart near the Phoenix Rainbow in the photo at top. There are also a couple of additional light art pieces at the Farimont Royal York Hotel (Stingray 2.0 and Storm in a Tube).
The Toronto Light Fest symbol with the reflection of Tunnelception in the window, you can get some free Reece's Pieces beside the installation
From their website: "During the cold, dark days of winter, The Toronto Light Festival offers visitors a reason to bundle up, get outside and celebrate the season, creativity and life in the big city. The Festival, now in its third year exhibits local and international light artists. Artworks are curated to educate, warm hearts, inspire or just put a smile on visitors faces."
The Long View giant polar bear
The Guardians of Time
The permanent heart installation

With or without the lights, the Distillery District is a great place to visit in Toronto but this makes it even better. The light festival is free to enter but you need to find paid parking nearby (some in the district, some immediately surrounding the area), or take public transit to the site.

See more of the light art after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square