Saturday, August 31, 2019

Sunflowers in Andrews' Scenic Acres

Sunflower Kingdom has bloomed in Milton, Ontario and the tractor ride brings visitors to a field of 150,000 sunflowers. Andrews Scenic Acres' is located on 10th Sideroad, just east of Highway 25 and minutes north of Highway 401 the flowers are accessed by a tractor ride past the orchards, berries and dahlia fields and into the back 40 and open until September 2, 2019.

Cost of entry into Andrew's is $10 per person ($5 on weekdays), with an extra $5 for access to the sunflower fields (you are given a wristband to get on the tractor). Tractors run every 40 minutes or so and pick you up just inside the entrance and let you off right in the heart of the sunflowers. Their rules are simple - do not pick the sunflowers and stay on the paths. Parking is free and you can wander the grounds watching the free range chickens, play with the animals at the petting zoo and check out the vintages at their winery - Scotch Block Winery. Hours of operation are 10am-5pm weekdays, 10am-6pm weekends and on Labour Day Monday open 10am-6pm.
Chickens love the hay pile
The Berry Bus doubles as transport to Sunflower Kingdom
There are a number of photo stations and look out points adjacent to the fields of 8 acres of sunflowers. The flowers are 3 to 12 feet tall and seem to be single handily feeding the entire provincial population of honey bees that are content to leave you alone as you take photos. The growing sunflowers face in one direction which is pretty cool and worth the money.

Fall Artfest in the Distillery District

The ever popular Toronto must see neighbourhood has the Labour Day long weekend Artfest from August 30 to September 2, 2019 from 11am to 6pm daily. Visitors can wander the alleys and streets of the Distillery District looking for fine art and crafts during the free event while enjoying live music and the shops and restaurants in the district.

From Artfest's website: "Toronto at the Distillery takes place on two holiday long weekends in the summer. The show focuses on fine art and craft with a splash of gourmet food. A curated selection of 80 artists from across Ontario, Quebec and beyond will be exhibiting their art and craft throughout the Historic Distillery District. You will discover paintings, photography, sculpture, pottery, glass art, jewellery, designer clothing and more."

Friday, August 30, 2019

Toronto International Air Show 2019

The CNE always closes down with a great flyover by Canada's own Snowbirds jet performance team as part of the aerial show taking place along the lake's edge over the Labour Day long weekend. For 2019 the Air Show, which celebrates its 70th anniversary, welcomes special guests The Red Arrows Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team. There is a Flight Festival practice on Friday, August 30 from 11am till 2pm then the show runs from Saturday, August 31 to Monday, September 2 from noon till 3pm.

From the CNE website; "The Red Arrows are renowned as one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams, having performed close to 5,000 times in 57 countries since 1965. Flying nine BAE Systems Hawk fast-jets, the team showcases the excellence of the Royal Air Force and demonstrates the global reach and capability of the Service, together with representing the best of British at home and overseas."
The Arrows leave a smoke trail in the skies above Toronto during Friday's practice run, in the photo above.

A special aviation display will be located at the CNE's Rose Garden during the weekend.

List of Aerial performers:
The Royal Air Force Red Arrows
Canadian Forces Snowbirds
Canadian veteran Gord Price in the Russian-built Yak 50
USAF Black Hawk Helicopter SAR Demonstration
MiG 15
Brent Handy in a Pitts Special
RCAF Griffon
RCAF CH-148 Cyclone

Here is the Ports Toronto information on Harbour closures for the Air Show:

"Toronto (August 26, 2019) – Please be advised that the Western Channel of the Toronto Harbour and a large portion of Humber Bay will be closed to marine traffic for the 2019 Canadian International Air Show (CIAS). Further, no watercraft will be permitted at Hanlan’s Point Beach during the Air Show.

CIAS is scheduled to take place on the Labour Day weekend, as follows: Saturday, August 31 to Monday, September 2 between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., with a practice day held on Friday August 30 between the hours of 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Western Channel of Toronto Harbour and a large portion of Humber Bay (as described below) will be closed to all marine traffic on these dates, starting approximately one hour before show times and re-opening at the conclusion of the show each day.

Waterborne spectators may observe the Air Show from east of a line from Gibraltar Point (43˚ 36.724’ N and 79˚ 23.383’ W) to a position 43˚ 36.299’ N and 79˚ 25.290’ W, forming the eastern limit. Waterborne spectators may also watch from south of a line running from the eastern limit to a position of 43˚ 37.275’ N and 79˚ 28.021’ W off Humber Bay Park. Waterborne spectators may also watch from west of a line running off of Humber Bay Park to the eastern limit at the Humber River (43˚ 37.920’ N and 79˚ 28.180’ W). These limits are identified on Chart 2085. The spectator boundaries will be monitored by the Toronto Police Services Marine Unit.

Upon commencement of the practice and Air Show times noted, watercraft moored within the protected waterway north of the seawall at Ontario Place must remain west of the Argonaut Rowing Club until completion of the Practice or any of the Air Shows. Toronto Police Services Marine Unit will be onsite and mariners are to take direction from the Toronto Police Marine Unit"

Toronto Buskerfest 2019

Flames and juggling balls are sure to abound at the street performance festival at Woodbine Park in the Beach from August 30 till September 2. The festival also includes a Little Big Top and a Beer Garden sponsored by Great Lakes Brewery.

"It's spontaneous, it's outrageous; it's fun, funny and fabulous - there is literally something for everyone at the Toronto International BuskerFest for Epilepsy. The festival features spectacular circus artistry, non-verbal shows that can be understood by all, and one-of-a-kind entertainment that will have you questioning your very eyes. Music, magic and mime; feats of the impossible, and the ridiculous performed by comedians, fire jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, clowns, daredevils, beat boxers and much more. Four days of non-stop, action-packed fun!"

Event hours:
Friday, August 30, Noon – 11pm
Saturday, August 31, 11am – 11pm
Sunday, September 1, 11am – 10pm
Monday, September 2, 11am – 8pm
Family Fun Zone will close at sunset each day

Go early if you can because it becomes crazy with crowds later in the day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Toronto Labour Day long weekend events

This coming 2019 long weekend is chock full of things to do and the City of Toronto has a lot of their attractions open for business. Two of the biggest events are Buskerfest, back in Woodbine Park for another year August 30 to September 2 and the Canadian National Exhibition which continues along with the Canadian International Air Show (CIAS) August 31 to September 2. You can check out the historic Distillery District there will be an Artfest through the weekend along with a Sunday Market.
LOVE during the Fall Artfest 2019

Buskerfest 2019 in Woodbine Park

Here is the City's media release for "municipal recreation and attractions open in Toronto over the Labour Day long weekend

Toronto residents can take advantage of many activities the City of Toronto will offer during the coming Labour Day long weekend, though most City operations, including recreation centres, will be closed on Monday, September 2. TTC transit service will operate on its holiday service schedule on Labour Day Monday, with the subway starting at 6 a.m.

Fun in the water
The following 10 outdoor swimming pools will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Labour Day as well as operating on their regular hours Saturday and Sunday:
• Alex Duff Memorial Pool, 779 Crawford St.
• Donald D. Summerville Olympic Pools, 1867 Lake Shore Blvd. E.
• Grandravine Outdoor Pool, 23 Grandravine Dr.
• Heron Park Outdoor Pool, 292 Manse Rd.
• McGregor Park Outdoor Pool, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E.
• Pine Point Outdoor Pool, 15 Grierson Rd.
• Riverdale Park East Outdoor Pool, 550 Broadview Ave.
• Sunnyside-Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
• Parkway Forest Outdoor Pool, 59 Forest Manor Rd.
• West Mall Outdoor Pool, 380 The West Mall

Other City outdoor swimming pools, and the City's wading pools, will close for the summer season at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 1. All indoor swimming pools will be closed on Labour Day. Splash pads will operate on Labour Day and will be open daily until September 15.

The City's swimming beaches will be open and supervised on Labour Day from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., weather and beach conditions permitting. More information about beaches is available at and

Parents are reminded to supervise children at all times when they are in and around water. More information about swimming is available at

Toronto Island Park: Toronto's largest downtown park is a great place to walk, cycle, picnic and view the City's skyline during the long weekend. Visitors to Toronto Island Park are encouraged to plan ahead by finding out about the park's attractions at Ferry tickets can be bought in advance at to save time at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (located at the foot of Bay Street).

Golf: All five City-run golf courses will be open, offering holiday rates, on Labour Day. Fling golf is also available at the Dentonia, Humber, Scarlett Woods and Tam O'Shanter golf courses. Fling golf can be played alongside golfers and is scored the same way as golf. Instead of hitting the ball with a golf club, players fling the ball with a fling stick. More information about golf hours and locations is available at

Tennis: Many of Toronto's municipal tennis courts will offer public hours on September 2, varying by location. There is no fee to play during public hours. Tennis players are asked to share the courts by limiting their play time to half-hour intervals if others are waiting to use the courts. Details about tennis court locations and scheduled public hours are available at

Farm in the city: Home to domestic farm animals representative of a turn-of-the-century Ontario farm, Riverdale Farm is open from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. More information is available at, by calling 311 or at

Zoo in High Park: Toronto's oldest zoo houses animals such as bison, llamas, highland cattle and reindeer. The High Park Zoo is open daily, with free admission, from 7 a.m. to dusk. More information is available at

Conservatories: You can check out the flowers at Allan Gardens Conservatory and Centennial Park Conservatory this long weekend. Both conservatories will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Labour Day. Admission is free. More information is available at or by calling Allan Gardens Conservatory at 416-392-7288 or Centennial Park Conservatory at 416-394-8543.

Bike and skate parks: Skateboarders and bike riders in Toronto who want to practise their moves have many options. The City maintains several bike and skate parks across Toronto, with something for everyone. More information is available at

Toronto museums
The City's 10 Toronto history museums will be open on Saturday and Sunday of the long weekend, with the exception of the Market Gallery, which is closed Sundays. Two museums, Fort York and Spadina Museum, will be open on Labour Day Monday (as well as on Saturday and Sunday). The 10 museums' hours of operation and activities vary by location. More information is available at

On Monday, Fort York National Historic Site and its visitor centre (250 Fort York Blvd.) will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature tours and ongoing exhibitions. Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.) will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Regular admission applies at both sites.

Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is offering peak-season hours during Labour Day long weekend, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the last admission at 6 p.m. Visitor highlights include the newly opened Kangaroo Walk-Thru, Splash Island giant splash pad, daily animal shows in the Waterside Theatre, and Keeper Talks. International Vulture Awareness Weekend takes place on September 1 and 2. More information about the zoo's features are available at"

Movie fans can rejoice because next week is also the star studded shining start of the Toronto International Film Festival (tiff) running from September 5 to 15.

2019 Air Show

Monday, August 26, 2019

Mabuhay Philippines Festival 2019

A celebration of Philippine heritage and culture took place at Toronto City Hall over the August 24-25, 2019 weekend. This is the longest running Philippine festival in Canada and it just turned 21.

Featuring some intricate outfits along with fashion shows, cuisine and entertainment based on the South East Asian country that is made up of a lot of islands (over 7000).

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Toronto Fan Expo 2019 cosplay

Comic lovers ultimate expo hits the big smoke for another cosplay filled weekend at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. Check my large photo gallery from Sunday, August 25, 2019.
Visitors were asked to celebrate the 25th Fan Expo Canada at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre which ran from Thursday to Sunday, August 22-25. Show hours and single day admission costs were as follows: Thursday $30 4pm-9pm, Friday $45 10am-7pm, Saturday $65 10am-7pm and Sunday $50 10am-5pm. With this year's admission you got a lanyard and glossy Fan Expo badge, much better than the wristbands used previously. Additionally you could pay for access to celebrities for Q&A panels, photos and autograph sessions with stars like John Travolta, Jeff Goldblum, Mia Farrow, Rainn Wilson, Elizabeth Berkley, Pamela Anderson, Jason Momoa, Sean Astin and Summer Glau.

Show attractions were Artist Alley, Family Zone, Geek Speed Dating, Tabletop Gaming Rooms while live programming included Quidditch lessons, live steel sword fighting demonstrations and script readings. The active gamer section of the comicon has expanded over the years, beyond comics and toys.

 See more cosplay after the jump.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The MAMMOTH Cheese

Road tripping through eastern Ontario on the way to Ottawa and we had to stop at some quirky attractions along the way. In Perth with a visit to the Mammoth Cheese replica located by the Crystal Palace. The original big boy of cheese was 22,000 pounds which crashed through the floor at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and its fame has only spread from then when it was shipped to England.
Perth is a beautiful old town and the Crystal Palace is nestled between a river and a canal.

More of downtown Perth

See more roadside attractions after the jump.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway

This is the big brother to the Kirkfield Lift Lock and the biggest hydraulic lift lock in the world, located in Peterborough and went into service in 1904. Giant rams lift one lock while the other brings the second lock down from a height of 19.8 metres. One lock is filled with more water to make the locks complete their lift cycles without getting stuck mid-lift.
When we visited the lock was having some operating issues and they had to manual operate the lift locks. It kind of stuck half way for awhile before they completed the vertical cycle.
Kirkfield uses a lot of steel truss construction to hold up the locks, Peterborough uses non-reinforced concrete for the supports with 20,000 cubic metres of concrete used in the whole structure. A massive ram 2.28m in diameter lifts or drops each boat chamber filled with 1040 cubic metres of water.
You can grab a river cruise which will take you into the lift-locks 

The Trent-Severn Waterway in this area flows along the Otonabee River, but there is an upper and lower part of the river. The canal along the Otonabee River was started in 1885 and featured five concrete locks (the first in Canda) and four dams. The lift lock was part of a later section of canal work which built an artificial waterway to tie together Little Lake and the Otanabee River at Nassau Mills.

The engineer in charge of building the lift lock was Richard B. Rogers who built the single lift to reduce time spent traversing the waterway as the alternative would have been multiple locks, each slowing down boats passing through the canal.

At the top of the lift lock you can find bathrooms and nearby is the Peterborough Lift Lock Visitor Centre and the Peterborough Museum and Archives.

Looking downstream on the canal
The single, giant ram for each lock is set in the middle of the lock

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square