Monday, April 29, 2019

Honda Indy Toronto 2019 look ahead

Okay, the streets of Exhibition Place are booked for the summer running of the IndyCar
Series race, so let's take a look at what we know for sure. Great news as the fan favourite high jumping Stadium Super Trucks are coming back to Honda Indy Toronto 2019.
Stadium Super Trucks hitting the ramps
Hitting turn 1 at Princes' Gate
One - race weekend is Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14, 2019; Two - NASCAR Pinty's Series, the Road to Indy series and Porsche Challenge join the IndyCar headliners; Three - it doesn't look like there are any track layout changes, pits still along turns 8 thru 11; Four - they will have both on and off track entertainment including Thunder Alley and the series paddocks and Five - beer gardens will be involved.
With a mid-July race it means that they have to start building the track by mid-June which is great as I like to check on the progress of the build of both the track and the track side suites and grandstands.
NASCAR Pinty's Series stockcars
The week of the race is a busy one for the various teams. Staging, load-ins and scoring setup will take place starting on the Tuesday and continuing into Wednesday. Midday Thursday has a quick run of the two seater IndyCar and event car rides followed by a promoter track walk. Friday is the start of the race weekend with IndyCar and other series practices and the NASCAR Pinty's series qualifications - Fan Friday also has free attendance courtesy of the Honda Dealers of Ontario. Saturday is full of practice, supporting series races including Saturday's headliner race by NASCAR Pinty's Series and IndyCar qualifications. Sunday is the final day for racing with the Sunday headline IndyCar race of 85 laps starting at 3pm.

Casual day in the pits
Honda World
NASCAR winners with high pressure champagne showers

The sights and smells of racing are hard to get out of your system, so get ready for another great year of the Honda Indy Toronto. Single day tickets go on sale May 30th.

IndyCar winners on the podium

#FITCToronto 2019

Explore design and innovation in creative technologies during the return of the Future of Innovation, Technology and Creativity event April 29 to May 1 at the Hilton Toronto. The theme for 2019 is Pure Imagination and FITC offers a three days of presentations, discussions and displays of of digital development, media and technology. Plus workshops (Saturday, April 28), parties and an expo hall.
Day 1: Future of Innovation, Day 2: Future of Technology and Day 3: Future of Creativity

"Four inspiring tracks covering creativity, development, business, marketing, hardware, creative coding and more; Join an incredible group of 1000+ talented, passionate people from around the world; Get hands-on with some of the latest hardware used in ways you’ve never even imagined in our exhibitor area"

The Hilton Toronto is at 145 Richmond Street West and registration starts 8:30am Monday, 9am Tuesday and Wednesday. Events continue into each evening as well.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Battle of York 2019

Steel will strike down on flint and muskets will blast out fire and smoke during Battle of York displays in Toronto's historic Fort York this weekend. You can help honour the 206th anniversary of the Battle of York which took place in April of 1813 by attending Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28 from 10am to 5pm. The fort holds Canada's largest collection of original buildings from the War of 1812 and is a great living museum.

From the Friends of Fort York; Honour the 206th anniversary of the Battle of York fought on April 27, 1813. "The fort comes alive with musket-firing demonstrations, Georgian cooking in the Officers' Quarters kitchen, site tours, period animation and an 1812-era Kids' Drill. Make sure to include a visit to the original Regimental Colours of the 3rd Regiment of York Militia. Secreted away to keep them from American troops, the Colours are now on display in the Fort York Visitor Centre."

Americans attacked the Fort York in 1813 and the British defended, then retreated, blowing up some stuff in the process. The Government of Canada says of the occupation "The Americans accepted the surrender of York, occupied the town for a few days, burned government buildings including Parliament and the shipyard, and then returned to Sackets Harbour. For the Americans, the Capture of York was a politically important victory. Following months of ineffective campaigning, it was a much-needed boost to both military and civilian morale." The British returned after they Muricans left town, rebuilding and rearming the fort which then stood off an 1814 flotilla of returning Americans which was looking for a repeat of their earlier victory.

Activities take place at the fort until 4:30pm on the weekend with musket firing demonstrations at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30. You can also tour the buildings (guided tours and self guided) and see historic cooking demonstrations.

O'Cannabiz Toronto 2019

Canadian and International cannabis industry conference and expo takes place April 25-27 in Hall 5 of the International Centre. The Business Conference and Industry Awards Gala happens on Thursday, the Industry Expo is Friday and the Public Expo & Cannabis Meets Healthcare takes place Saturday. You can tell how fast the expo is filling up that weed has gone from back alley to big business in just a short time. Canadian cannabis legalization has kickstarted this section of the economy.

From the O'Cannabiz website; "It is a full-spectrum cannabis B2B event that connects thousands of expert companies and brands integrated in the full 360 degrees of the industry. These include: lighting, nutrients, greenhouse construction and supplies, peer-reviewed agri-practices, lifestyle, medical and legal issues, marketing, the hiring of professionally trained growing staff, best financial and investment advice, quality control and market analyses. It is, in short, a buffet of best-business practices. And it’s your best opportunity to source… shop… network… and grow."

Opening day had rocker Henry Rollins kickoff the conference with a keynote address by the cannabis advocate.

"O'Cannabiz is back, bigger than ever, and we are super-proud of what our team has produced for 2019," said Neill Dixon, founder of O'Cannabiz. "Our attendees expect the number one-rated cannabis event in Canada, which includes a business breakfast, breakout sessions, a stacked roster of speakers, a women's brunch, and of course, the tradeshow floor. We plan to over-deliver on this expectation."
Saturday is the final day of the trade show and will feature a Woman in Weed Breakfast, the Public Expo and keynote speaker Montel Williams as well as actor Ricki Lake from Weed The People.

The conference is full of solutions for growing, packaging and the business of weed including canna-tourism.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

In High Park before peak bloom

A rainy spring Saturday prior to the famous blossoming of the Sakura cherry trees is a sure way to see the park in virtual solitude. A tour of High Park shows that the cherry buds have come out to play.
Few visitors and an empty patio as Toronto waits for cherry blossoms
April showers are bringing May flowers and the round, green buds have poked out of their case and they are waiting to change to florets (12-17 days from peak bloom). When the florets grow stems and extend away from the buds, it will mean that peak bloom is about one to two weeks away. And don't blink to long when they bloom because they only last a week or two.

Keep off the bloomin' trees

The trackless train which makes eight stops throughout the park runs on weekends in April, then from May to Labour Day the train runs everyday. Cost for adults is $4.50.

Parking and travel into High Park will be banned during peak blossom time, so today was a nice change from what will surely become one of the biggest attractions in Toronto when peak bloom 2019 finally occurs. You can find more updates on my Toronto Cherry Blossoms 2019 post.

Toronto 420 Festival 2019

Rain is slowing down but not stopping the annual festival dedicated to weed which is currently underway at Woodbine Park in the Beach. Vendors and visitors started to setup around noon and the party continues until 6pm on Saturday, April 20, 2019.

Entertainment is on at the large stage and people with lawn chairs and big ass umbrellas are gathering around the stage. This year's celebration is the first time under Canada's recent legalization laws so enjoy responsibly.

And don't let the drizzle stop you.

See more photos after the jump.

Spring growth wasn't the only buds around

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Toronto Forks & Barrels festival coming soon

The #ForksandBarrels village tour is stopping in Toronto and that village has alcohol, food and entertainment! Enjoy a festival with roads like Beer Lane, Wine Avenue and Spirit Street located in one of my favourite places - Ontario Place from June 7 to June 9, 2019.

Forks & Barrels is a series of four 19+ events taking place from May into August in Kitchener, Toronto, St. Catharines and Windsor with a "focus of our festivals is sampling food and beverages in an immersive, interactive, and aesthetically pleasing experience."

Take in Foodie Central, explore Tropica's Caribbean themed section, shop the vendors in the Marketplace and enjoy entertainment in the Square all on the West Island of Ontario Place from Friday 1pm to 11pm, Saturday 11am to 11pm and Sunday from 11am to 8pm.

Forks and Barrels likes to be socially innovative with an interactive experience to allow attendees to enjoy the finer things in life. Environmental priorities include waste sorting and no single use plastics allowed. And the fun also incudes a scavenger hunt and other fun activities as well as voting on beer, cider, wine, spirit and food awards.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling 2019

It's Bottcher versus Koe at the Players' Championship Mens Final as only the two teams are on the ice in old Maple Leaf Gardens. The Pinty's Grand Slam started Thursday, April 9 with a total of 19 draws deciding the winning teams over seven days. Semi-finals were held on Saturday.
At the semi-finals
The Mens Final started at noon on Sunday, April 14 in Ryerson University Mattamy Athletic Centre, the Ladies take to the rink at 4pm later in the day.
Team Bottcher wins this Grand Slam with a final score of 5 to 1 in eight ends against Koe. Bottcher was out performing Kevin Koe throughout the game and took it handily in the final end.

Team Hasselborg from Sweden will compete against Team Einarson from Manitoba for the Ladies Final. In the 8th end the teams are tied 4-4 and are playing an extra end with Einarson's team having the hammer. Canada's Einarson wins 5-4 with Hasselborg unable to take the point.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square