Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Bees: The most important living being

On earth! Those fuzzy little pollinators move from flower to flower, saving the world. Not like those nasty hornets (actually they are helpful as well)! But the bees are endangered, mostly because of some crap we have done and need help to flourish again. Plant flowers and don't kill the bees.

Psychedelic tunnel and the Don Valley Trail

The Corktown Common underpass brings the Lower Don River Trail into Toronto's Canary District and it is very hard to miss. Bright red, yellow and white stand in contrast to the black bars, both inside and outside the structure rival the Don Valley Parkway rainbow tunnel.

This bridge has a stripes and polka dots lining the concrete supports
Fall colours along the pathway

See more of the Don Valley path after the jump.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Greenpeace and Ghost Atelier's On Thin Ice

Westbank and Allied brought the Nuit Blanche HXOUSE art installation from Yonge-Dundas Square to 533/539 King Street West and joined with Greenpeace and the UN for a weekend talk series on climate action. The event was held October 25-27 with UN Act Now 'World in Our Hands' on the 26th and Ghost Atelier's 'On Thin Ice' Greenpeace partnership on the 27th. 
Greenpeace Climate Justice Now banner
Joachim Johnson (standing) with Greenpeace members (sitting)
Sunday's event featured HXOUSE's Joachim Johnson, "storyteller and imperfectionist" along with Greenpeace members to discuss their work with the non-governmental environmental organization and share ideas about climate action. HXOUSE fosters innovation and opportunity along with being a creative incubator and accelerator facilitating ties between industry and talent. Westbank is a leading luxury residential and mixed use real estate development company that is dedicated to the creation of beautiful buildings - they previously brought us the 'Unzipped' stacked art/building installation.

Outside the presentation hall was a extremely large cloth structure created by the creative collective studio Ghost Atelier. The 25-foot white fabric was split on the inside and represented cracked ice to remind people of the effects of climate change and to inspire people to act in support of the environment. The sculpture also featured dynamic visuals sourced from within the structure.

During the 2019 all-night art arts festival the installation was displayed in one of Canada's busiest pedestrian intersections just outside the Toronto Eaton Centre. Nuit Blanche described the work as follows: "Using a diverse skillset ranging from architecture to neuroscience, the artists of Ghost Atelier will create a pilgrimage-like destination in Toronto’s busiest public square. Reflecting on sacred architecture, the artists will frame nature as a place of witness and collective grieving. Melting glaciers, one of the most visible elements of the ongoing environmental disaster, have inspired a number of art projects to date. Ghost Atelier will go a step further to show the deep connection between the diminishing ice caps and the narrowing future of humankind. Bringing the audience inside the deep crevasse in the glacier, the installation will serve as a physical reminder of the state of the planet. As well as aiming to inspire public action against climate change, the installation will emphasize the importance of bearing witness when it comes to life—and especially, to death."

See more photos of the even after the jump.

Evergreen Brickworks Day of the Dead

Death visited the Don River community centre during the Dia de Muertos Latin festival  on Sunday, October 27, 2019 - and he had a good time. The 9th annual celebration of Latin culture took place during the Sunday Artisan Market and had dancing, fun family activities and some traditional food and drink to enjoy from 10am to 3pm.

The main stage had performances of the Dance of the Monarch Butterflies and the Mexican Folk Ballent presenting a Chilango on the Day of the Dead along with storytelling by Catrinas. The Mexican holiday is for prayers and remembrance of family members that have died.

Merchants were selling Day of the Dead souvenirs with decorated skulls and skeletons being the most popular artifacts. Some of the visitors also had elaborate face painting with some ghoulish effects.

You can also wander the grounds of what was once a thriving clay quarry and brick manufacturing complex, then abandoned and brought back to life as a multi-use office and community centre. They have kept a bit of the old plant's components and graffiti to provide a historical background of the industrial process required to make the simple building materials. On weekends the limited parking fills up pretty fast and so try public transit, biking or even try the free shuttle from Broadview Station.
See the site in more photos after the jump.

Navy deployment in Great Lakes

Canadian Armed Forces HMCS St. John's docked down at Corus Quay over the weekend and is available for tours until October 30, 2019 when it departs at 10am. The ship is in Toronto Harbour beside Sugar Beach as part of this year's Great Lakes Deployment which runs until November 13.

St. John's has traveled through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Great Lakes and will stop at several ports along the way, beginning with Windsor, holding shipboard tours and career fairs so visitors can see what opportunities are available as a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy.
They even brought some friends from the army along

Next stop for the Halifax-class warship is Kingston, then onto Montreal, Quebec City and finally Sept-Iles.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Impulse teeter totters at Harbourfront

Canada Square is full of illuminated teeter totters presented by Winter Stations. The park area at Harbourfront has the installation from October 25 to November 12, 2019.

From Harbourfront's website: "Give a pulse of warmth to winter’s short days and dark nights as you hitch a ride on 15 glowing musical seesaws that transform the central waterfront into an illuminated urban playground. As you soar through the air, you'll activate the light and sound sequences of Impulse, becoming the musician and artist of your own artistic creation. This internationally renowned travelling art installation was first presented as part of the sixth edition of Luminothérapie in 2015-2016 at the Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal."

When you climb on the teeter totter the top half lights up.

See more of impulse after the jump.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Night of Dread 2019

Face your fears with the Clay & Paper Theatre 20th annual Night of Dread on Saturday, October 26. The family friendly community party is staged in Dufferin Grove Park and has a dress code - Black and White and Dreadful.

Participants can call on their fears, then mock and banish their fears with pageantry, dance and then a fun parade. Later the Valley of Remembrance is the site to visit the shrine garden before gathering around the bonfires.

From the Clay and Paper Theatre website "Participants gather for the parade in Dufferin Grove Park from 4 to 6pm where Clay & Paper Theatre puppets and masks are made available for revelers to wear. After the approximately 45 minute procession, with its towering puppets, fire spinners and an assortment of marching bands, all participants return to the park where they are treated to a theatrical spectacle showdown with the “Fear of the Year” for 2019."

Parade route
-Starts at Dufferin Grove Park
-North on Gladstone to Bloor
-East on Bloor to Concord
-South on Concord to College
-West on College to to Havelock
-North on Havelock and back to Dufferin Grove Park

See more pictures after the jump.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Toronto Snowmobile, ATV & Powersports Show 2019 this weekend

You know the snow is coming and you can either stay inside for the season or check out the world's largest Snowmobile, ATV and Powersports Show for options for winter outdoor adventures. The show is on October 25-27 at the International Centre. 

For excitement you can watch the indoor freestyle performances on various machines "Heath Frisby, Cody Elkins, Brody Wilson, Keith Sayers and Canada’s own Kassie Boone will once again be pushing the levels of gravity, flipping snowmobiles, dirt bikes and ATVs all weekend long in six INDOOR Freestyle Shows for the many cheering fans. First shows are at 3pm and 6pm on Friday, October 25th and two shows are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday of the show, you won’t want to miss it. Check the website for all the times. " Photos provided at top.

Ontario Tourism will have a pavilion in Hall 2 where you can meet representatives for clubs, operators, resorts and hotels/motels. Children can be registered for Driver Training Course put on by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs.

Snowmobile, ATV and UTVs vendors like Honda, John Deere, Kawasaki, Kubota, Polaris, Ski-doo and other top manufacturers will be showcasing their new machines.

Parking is free and discount coupons are available on line.

Aurora Winter Festival 2019 coming to Ontario Place

The North Pole is coming to Toronto for the 2019-2020 Christmas Season from Friday, November 22 to Sunday, January 5. The Aurora Winter Festival on the west island of Toronto's Ontario Place is a winter holiday experience inspired by the North Pole features light displays, characters, amusement rides, live entertainment, skating and much more. Provided photo at top.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Ball's Falls

Autumn colours make for magical visits to parks along the Niagara Escarpment and in Twenty Valley you can visit the Ball's Falls Conservation Area which is home to not one, but two waterfalls. The scenery and trails throughout the park follow along the river and lead to the upper and lower falls which also includes a historic industrial village setting.

Coming into the park you see the Ball's Falls Centre for Conservation which includes galleries and bathrooms - open from 9am to 4pm. Special events and programs are put on during the year and includes the annual Thanksgiving Festival.
The hamlet that was built to harness the power of the falling Twenty Mile Creek features the Ball family home, a flour mill, lime kiln, blacksmith ship and other period buildings. Over time the town was abandoned and now it is maintained by the park - ooohh, a ghost town.
Upper Falls
Lower Falls
The upper falls are about 10m high and pretty accessible from the base if you follow a slightly difficult path along a boulder filled river bank. The lower falls plunge over 27m into the gorge wearing through the many layers of sandstone, shale and limestone with the upper falls made of the same materials as found at Niagara Falls. You can really see the colour differences of the rocks along the fractured edge of the lower falls.

Be Kind sign along river

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square