Sunday, June 30, 2019

Blue Jays on the Canada Day Weekend

Major League Baseball is in Toronto during Canada's birthday, presented by Honda, and the holiday long weekend. The Jays take on Kansas City in a three game mini-series which started on June 28 and continues until July 1. Promotions were on Friday (Grichuk Ran-Doll Giveway) and Monday (baseball hat), Saturday was too bad, so sad, nothing for you. Crowds were a little light, sun was shining and the best seats were on the west side, hidden from the setting sun.
The Blue Jays website says "On Monday, July 1, the Blue Jays will celebrate Canada Day presented by Honda. Fans are encouraged to get to the ballpark early to take part in our pregame festivities that will be sure to get you in the Canadian spirit. Pregame ceremonies will pay tribute to the Canadian Armed Forces. Additionally, the first 15,000 fans to enter the ballpark will receive a Blue Jays Relaxed Denim Hat Giveaway presented by Honda."

Jays won Friday and Saturday, lost Sunday and Monday's game starts at 1:07pm in Rogers Centre.
Good day to watch the game from Skywalk along the edge of the CN Tower

A little base cleaning

Hilton rides the Big Bike

The crew from DoubleTree by Hilton recently rode the Big Bike around Toronto for Heart and Stroke. Loading and unloading happened on King Street West at Bay Street and they took time to get the group shot afterwards. They say that "It's a heart-pumping, cheer-thumping, crazy big, fun ride!" that raises money for research in Canadian hospitals and universities.

It takes 29 riders raising a minimum of $2,000 for the charity to pedal throughout the community for 20 minutes while the Bike provides the driver. The bike really gets around because I also just saw it in Renfrew near Ottawa.

While you pedal, you literally stop traffic to support critical heart disease and stroke research, so you’ll feel good, while doing good. But be warned: The minute you stop, you’ll want to climb right back on. It’s that much fun!

July brings the Toronto Festival of Beer 2019

#TOBeerFest when warm weather, great music and cold beer are best served in Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place during the annual Toronto Festival of Beer presented by The Beer Store from July 26-28. The 19+ festival spotlights will be on five iconic Michigan brewers and Funk Town - 18 sour brews and the sounds of Funk, Motown and Soul. Get tickets before they sell out.
“We are bringing the ‘Funk’ back to Toronto’s Festival of Beer for 2019,” said Les Murray, President and Owner of Toronto’s Festival of Beer.“Funk Town is the place to discover a variety of sour products both local and international.”

"This year marks 23-years of Toronto’s Festival of Beer and features performances by Public Enemy Radio, Ghostface Killah & Raekwon, Dwayne Gretzky, Ja Rule & Ashanti, and more on the OLG Bandshell Stage. The festival is also introducing, for the first time ever, a secondary stage that is completely dedicated to country music. The Complete Country Stage presented by Twisted Tea will feature Brett Kissel, Hunter Brothers, and more."

Pillars in Love Park

Demolition of the York-Bay-Yonge off ramp of the Gardiner Expressway in 2016-2018 left a plot of land where the ramp circled 270 degrees and merged into northbound York Street. The initial plan was to remove the ramp and pillars and to create a park in the open space with extensive tree cover and a large, heart-shaped pond. Designed by Claude Cormier and Associates the area was to be called "Love Park".

Residents of Toronto decided that they wanted to leave the circular pattern of pillars in place, much like those found at the eastern end of the Gardiner along Lake Shore Boulevard, and they started a petition to try to make it so. Also petitions were made to remove the pillars, or bents, and go with the original Love Park design. I don't know if they will remove them, but for now they are still solidly in place and I like them.

 City of Toronto Youtube timelapse video of the demolition

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Tall Ships at the Redpath Waterfront Festival 2019

Canada Day long weekend in Toronto includes the annual party down at the lakefront. This year includes some big boats like the Bluenose II which you may remember from some coins like the Canadian dime. The World's biggest rubber duck didn't make an appearance this year.
"Every three years, the Redpath Waterfront Festival, presented by Billy Bishop Airport, welcomes a fleet of majestic tall ships to Toronto’s waterfront. During Canada Day weekend, from June 29 – July 1, these ships will be docked from Bay to Lower Sherbourne and will be open for deck tours. The festival is also excited to welcome the Canadian Coast Guard for the first time."
Bluenose II
High water in Lake Ontario means the fleet has moved eastwards near the Toronto Ferry Docks and along Sugar Beach. There is quite a distance between the two groups of Tall Ships and most people walked between the sites, otherwise the TTC #6 or #72B buses were available along Queens Quay.

Tall ships return to the Great Lakes

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Toronto Pride Parade 2019

The Pride Parade on Sunday, June 23 completes the weekend parade schedule with the Trans March on Friday, the Dyke March on Saturday and with the Church Street Festival draws the weekend lineup and Pride Month to a close. It was good to see our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau show up once again to walk in the parade and uniformed police were once again banned from joining in the parade, except to work it. Check out my mega-photo album.
Justin waves hi
Pride 2019 Festival map

"Pride Toronto supports our communities in the pursuit of our unequivocal rights to be known, be heard, be understood, be accepted, be respected, and to celebrate the beauty of who we are." Pride Parade started at 2pm from Church and Bloor Streets, moving to Yonge Street and continuing south to Yonge-Dundas Square. Musician Carly Rae Jepsen was performing on the Bud Light float while Ontario Premier Doug Ford skipped the parade.

See lots more of the parade after the jump.

Toronto Indigenous Arts Festival 2019

Historic Fort York which brings Canada's sometimes violent past to life welcomes the indigenous culture with the annual Indigenous Arts Festival June 21-23, 2019

"Shop arts and crafts, and explore an Indigenous artisan market featuring contemporary and traditional fashion goods. View the schedule below and start planning your experience at the third and final day of the Indigenous Arts Festival!"

Here is Sunday's schedule from the City's website. Sunday, June 23 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fort York West Gate

11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. – Toronto’s Indigenous Ecology | Alan Colley, founder of Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours leads a guided walk that teaches the history of the grounds along with teachings about the relationships of the land. Sponsored by Stantec. Tour duration: 45 minutes. Meet by the Stantec sign.
Visitor Centre Orientation Theatre

10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. & 3:15 p.m. – Seven Grandfather Teaching | Discover the origins of the Seven Grandfather Teaching and the animals they represent. Join a Wheel of Teaching game & learn how to apply the teachings to life. Workshop delivered by Indigenize Our Minds. Drop-in. Limited capacity.

11:45 a.m. – Moccasin Identifier Project | Carolyn King, former elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation leads this workshop and discusses the context, aim, and activities of the project as an educational and public intervention project to promote the ongoing presence of First Nations in cities throughout Ontario. Stencil images of First Nations’ footwear as a visual reminder of this traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples.

4:15 p.m. – Toronto’s Indigenous Ecology | Alan Colley, founder of Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours leads a guided walk that teaches the history of the grounds along with teachings about the relationships of the land. Sponsored by Stantec. Tour duration: 45 minutes.

Fort York Garrison Common

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Mississaugas of the Credit Community Booth | Meet Indigenous knowledge keepers, enjoy activities, and learn all about the Moccasin Identifier Project.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Red Pepper Spectacle Arts | Stencil colourful emblematic flags honouring the Grandfather Teaching in Anishinaabemowi, and Clan Animal images. Drop-in.Shop a range of Indigenous artistry from on-site vendors, including jewellery, clothing, leather goods, and beadwork.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Indigenous Market Vendors | A wealth of Indigenous artistry at the Indigenous Arts Festival Market Day! Featuring artisans from across Ontario, these vendors offer authentic goods including jewellery, clothing, leather goods, and beadwork. Cash preferred. ATM in the Visitor Centre. Vendor list subject to change.
Fort York North Grounds

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Indigenous Arts Festival Community Village | Celebrate the Solstice weekend. Organizations include The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Native Child and Family Services, The Toronto Public Library, and more.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Conundrum Interactive Musical Instrument | Hands-on activity, the iconic Canadian musical instrument from creator David Hynes. The Conundrum brings together strangers in a deep and visceral experience that people remember and carry with them into their daily lives.

Fort York East Grounds

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Okitchitaw Indigenous Weapons Experience with George Lepine | Unique, powerful, and practical martial art system that uses basic but aggressive combat movements and traditional weapons that were employed specifically throughout Plains Indigenous Warfare. Closed-toe shoes mandatory.
Fort York West Gate

10:20 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre Tipis.
Fort York Visitor Centre

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Biidaaban: First Light Interactive Virtual Reality Project | Interactive VR time-jump into a highly realistic—and radically different—Toronto of tomorrow. Walk-ups welcome. Presented by National Film Board and House of VR.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Sacred Canoe Art Installation | A 19-foot-long canoe designed and painted by the students of a visual arts educator and guided by Indigenous Elder Todd Jamieson. The painting depicts life, the wampum belt, and our journey together walking side-by-side in harmony and peace. This project reflects a desire to see the tenets of Truth and Reconciliation spread throughout the nation, starting with a single classroom.
Fort York Visitor Centre Boardwalk

a.m. – 8 p.m. Izhininjiiniwag – They Move in a Certain Way | Photography exhibit featuring Indigenous youth connecting their passion for skateboard culture, Pow-Wow regalia, and photography. Skateboarding’s roots can be directly traced to surfing, itself an Indigenous technology. In honour of this connection, Oasis Skateboard Factory students worked with artists Chief Lady Bird, Aura, and Ev Pakinewatik to design and create regalia-inspired skate fashion to surf the city’s concrete waves. Presented by The Bentway and Oasis Skateboard Factory in collaboration with Chief Lady Bird, Aura and Ev Pakinewatik.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Random Acts of Graffiti in Toronto

Graffiti, the scourge of any downtown wall, can be both a work of art and an act of public mischief. Some graffiti installations have a definite theme and in one area it is Calvin and Hobbes and another it is comics or portraits. I liked the little girl screaming in the photo at top.

Groundskeeper Willie eating a donut
A famous mouse slaps a cat

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Honda Indy Toronto track build 2019

Update June 29, 2019: 11 days left until the start of the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend and work around the track continues. Little of the concrete block barriers remain to be installed as they concentrate on installing grandstands, suites, fence posts and fencing. The long Turn 11 grandstands are taking shape and the pedestrian bridge is being assembled. Down at Princes' Gates the Pinty's Pub and Grill outdoor lounge is starting to take shape. No painted start line and no banners have been placed yet.
Panorama of Turn 1 and Princes' Gates
Outside Turn 11 trackside suites
Inside Turn 11 grandstands
The pedestrian bridge going into place over pit lane

Now back to the previous June 23rd update--------------------------------------

Panorama of pit lane

Update June 23: a majority of the concrete barriers are in place except for intersections, building access, etc. with the pits looking all blocked in. Most fencing still needs to be put up on the barriers. Grandstands and suites are under construction and the start/finish line still needs to be painted.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square