Wednesday, February 26, 2020

July was made for Toronto Festival of Beer 2020

In the heat of summer, rocking out to stellar bands and sipping cool suds is the perfect time for Toronto's Festival of Beer July 24-26, 2020. Headlining on Saturday is the Sam Roberts Band while on Sunday TLC takes the stage at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place.
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls when you could go see TLC headlining Sunday on the Bandshell Stage,” said Les Murray, president and owner of Toronto’s Festival of Beer. “Celebrate the 25th anniversary of TLC’s CrazySexyCool album along with some great eats and ice cold beer. Grab your tickets now before they sell out!” Tickets to Toronto’s Festival of Beer sell out every year — consumers are encouraged to buy early. For more information on tickets and other festival details, please visit Toronto's Festival of Beer is a 19+ event."
The Beer Store presents TFOB, a festival that brings beer lovers together to contemplate and imbibe in hundreds of golden brews, enjoy the entertainment and food. Joining the headliners will be bands like Bedouin Soundclash and Five Alarm Funk.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo 2020 coming mid-March

Just a short week before Spring officially hits Toronto, the sixth annual Motorama Expo comes to the Toronto International Centre March 13-15, 2020. This is a giant show filling over 330,000 square feet of all things automotive from custom cars to race cars and almost everything else in between.
Also appearing at the automotive extravaganza will be Chip Foose from the TV show Overhaulin' who will be at the show on both Saturday and Sunday for a celebrity meet and greet, presented by BASF Canada, Hagerty Insurance and Lincoln Electric.

From Motorama; "Upon entering The Grand Hall (Hall 1), showgoers will be greeted by 28 incredible mostly ‘first time shown’ cars, many of them built with an eye to debuting them at Motorama. Every car in the show will have been reviewed and approved by car coordinator Gary Challice and his team, guaranteeing a wide variety of immaculate, interesting and stunning vehicles. Heading deeper into the show, visitors will enter the Inside Track Racing Zone, Presented by Stoneridge Specialty Insurance. This area will feature racing series, tracks, clubs and motorsports suppliers representing the full spectrum of Canadian racing, including stock cars, drag racing, road racing, rallying, karting and more."

Hall 2 will feature car clubs and displays as well as the Motorama Stage, home of the awards presentations and panel discussions.

Hall 3 presents Spring Fever, modified cars and tuner cars. "According to Hill, word of the $1000.00 first-place prize and the $500.00 runner-up prize has spread, with entries coming in from as far away as Florida and Quebec. A wide variety of modified cars and trucks will once again be on display, showcasing everything from luxurious VIP-style tuners, to championship level drift cars, with an emphasis on new builds and trends."

Hall 4 has the Mayhem... in the Backroom with hot rods and custom cars, Jalopy Jam-Up and Miss Motorama Pin-Up Pageant.

CN Tower and Spotlight Toronto

You don't have to be a tourist to take a 58 second trip up the CN Tower, but it helps. With Spotlight Toronto you can enjoy over 35 attractions all winter long with two for the price of one offers - including the world's tallest free-standing structure at 553 metres which offers a spectacular view of the city and its far reaches.
The CN Tower is open from 9am to 10:30pm and the Spotlight continues on weekends until March 1st, 2020. The usual adult ticket to the look out level is $38 plus tax so the Spotlight price is a great savings and gets you up the tower during the less busy winter season. The fun starts when you crowd into one of the six elevators with windows that peek out and give you a view of the ride up.

The Look Out level

If you haven't been to the tower lately you have missed out on the renovations that have placed floor-to-ceiling glass Window Walls that run 360 degrees around the level, comprised of special glass 2.74 inches thick that adjusts darkness and makes photography easier. You can also get to the new Glass Floor and outdoor walkway which is one floor below the Look Out level. The glass floor is 346m above the ground and you can see the top of the aquarium with the sharks circling on the roof.
The outdoor walkway is screened in. It can get pretty windy and cold up there
Ripley's Aquarium is right below the tower
Standing on the glass floor with a mirror above
The CN Tower's shadow falls on the downtown core
A lot of times you can find buskers like army toy man and Spiderman at the base of the tower
Rogers Centre, the CN Tower and the Ripley's Aquarium of Toronto

It is a challenge to find some famous city landmarks which are partially obstructed behind towers and condominiums. When you look around the city's skyline you can see the impressive amount of downtown buildings, surrounded by low rise suburbs with small, random groups of buildings just popping up. The growth along Yonge Street leads north and is hard to miss. See some of the sights after the jump.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Kuumba25 at Harbourfront Centre 2020

Black History Month exhibitions and cultural events continue at Harbourfront Centre during the 25th anniversary of Kuumba. Descriptions from the Harbourfront website; "Kuumba25 examines the past through cultural expression, ritual and memorabilia, while re-envisioning identities through art, culture and education." Many of the events are free, so drop by the centre.
Some of the installations include The Prism Effect by William Ukoh, Building Black by AMORPHIA and Know Your Rights Camp Public Art Installation by Colin Kaepernick.
"The Prism Effect explores colour, race and social value while dissecting how we receive information and formulate social habits based on culture, upbringing and our environments. Based on his own experience of leaving Nigeria and migrating to a new country, Ukoh challenges our natural social inclinations to divide or belong. Broadening the conversation around comfort, acceptance and globality."
"With eight new artworks comprised of over 50,000 Lego® pieces, Building Black: AMORPHIA is the latest body of work from Ghanaian-Canadian visual artist Ekow Nimako. The works thread together elements of West African mask making traditions, fauna and organic forms to create an amorphous and fantastical tapestry. The interlacing of natural elements, and the geometric forms typically associated with the iconic medium, evoke an aesthetic that is at times haunting, futuristic and simultaneously traditional."
Know Your Rights Camp Public Art Installation "Harbourfront Centre presents an exclusive Canadian debut public art installation, courtesy of Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. Featuring freedom fighters representing the living embodiment of the organization’s beliefs and pillars. From athletes to activists to lawyers, scholars and actors. In the spirit of love and courage, the following freedom fighters have collectively transformed their cultural power into a non-negotiable demand for Black liberation. Together these individuals, selected by Colin Kaepernick, represent the Know Your Rights Camp's 10 principles and inspire us all to fight for our freedom... by any means necessary."

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Power Plant Contemporary Gallery is free for 2020

The tall, branded smokestack marks the location of the gallery at Toronto's Harbourfront. BMO Financial Group has made it possible for the gallery to have free admission for all of 2020. Once an actual power plant for the Toronto Terminal Warehouse, now known as Queen's Quay Terminal, the building was converted into an art gallery in 1987 that exhibits contemporary art along with other talks and events.
Dawit L. Petros - Spazio Disponibile  (25 January - 10 May 2020)

From the Power Plant's website; "The Art Gallery at Harbourfront (operating as The Power Plant) is Canada’s leading non-collecting, public art gallery dedicated exclusively to contemporary visual art from Canada and the world. Governed by its board of directors, The Power Plant serves a strong network of community stakeholders and is a registered Canadian charitable organization, supported by its members, sponsors, donors, and funding bodies at all levels of government."
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa - Asymmetries (25 January - 10 May 2020)

The address is 231 Queens Quay West and here are the operating hours: Tuesday–Wednesday 10 – 5 PM, Thursday 10 – 8 PM, Friday–Sunday 10 – 5 PM. *Open holiday Mondays 10 – 5 PM.  Next door to the gallery is Harbourfront Centre and the Natrel outdoor rink so the area is a must visit if you are in Toronto.

The view of the Power Plant from the CN Tower

Friday, February 21, 2020

Toronto Motorcycle Show 2020

The world's top manufacturers are in the Enercare Centre February 21-23 to present new and returning motorcycle models for the upcoming riding season.

Friday morning is the media preview with the show opening to the public at noon today. So join me as I check out the new stuff first.
Media Preview Schedule:
9:15 am Media Registration (Media Centre, Salon 107)
9:30 am – 9:55 am Clutch Society
10:00 am - 10:15 am Kawasaki
10:20 am – 10:35 am Triumph
10:40 am – 10:55 am Piaggio
11:00 am – 11:15 am Yamaha
11:20 am – 11:35 am Suzuki
11:40 am – 11:55 am Harley-Davidson
First up is the Clutch Society's enclave full of custom builds for people that have a passion for riding and love for the lifestyle. Plus they have beer from Collective Arts Brewing. Founders Dan and Suzy welcomed us to their new temporary home where you could also find info on the October 2020 Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival.
Bradley from Kawasaki presented the 4th generation ninja complete with the enhanced Ninja front lip and the move to a single muffler, full tft dash display and an impressive electronic package. Next was the superbike style ZX10RR which is the only one in Canada Followed by the new 2020 ZH2 which is a 200hp supercharged absolute beast, starting at under $20k.
Ian from Bonneville Triump had several new models with their flagship motorcycles the Rocket 3 GT 2500cc next generation complete with bluetooth connections, pictured at top.
Shane represented the Piaggio group: 'Aprilia designed for racers, built for riders'. The 217hp 2020 RSV4. One of their machines was the fastest up the famous Pikes Peak. Piaggio also does Moto Guzzi motorcycles and vespa scooters. New for 2020 is the Vespa electric scooter.

Graham from Yamaha was excited to show the Tenere 700 with many variations possible through modular designs and accessories. The new R1 has a new engine to meet new European regulations. These bikes compete as superbikes. Yamaha also manufacturer generators, 4x4s and boat motors.

Jason from Suzuki rolled out the brand new Katana, based on gss platform. It comes with 3 mode traction control. Next is the 2020 V-Strom 1050 with new technology intelligent riding system which monitors and remembers your style of riding.
The curtains were removed for these new Harley-Davidson models

Finally Scott from Harley-Davidson went through a few gorgeous bikes such as the LiveWire electric bike with a 235km riding range. Harley-Davidson is a company in transition as they bring in a product portfolio appealing to wider range of customers. The Jumpstart model; No clutch, no gears to run through. Also the new Fatboy blacked out 2020 limited edition anniversary model. Plus two new models were unveiled during the Canadian premier of the Bronx 115hp bike and the new Pan-American touring motorcycle liquid cooled 145hp bike.

From the Motorcycle Show Toronto website; "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."

Show Hours
Friday, Feb 21st 12:00PM - 9:00PM
Saturday, Feb 22nd 10:00AM - 8:00PM
Sunday, Feb 23rd 10:00AM - 5:00PM

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Sculpture Sanctuary in Guild Park

The garden park at the edge of the Scarborough Bluffs is an interesting place to explore in winter time. You can walk through the scenic park full of the history of long ago Toronto buildings, rescued before the wrecking ball tore down old buildings to make way for the new.

The park at 201 Guildwood Parkway started as an Inn in 1914, then a home for artists, turned into a training base for the Women's Royal Naval Service personnel, then the Clarks began to collect the architectural pieces and finally in 1978 began life as a public park. It's definitely more intimate in the off season - just dress for the weather and score some great parking spots.
The open air theatre molded after the ancient greeks
One of the biggest annual events is the Guild Park Arts Festival where you have to find parking at several strategic areas and take free shuttles into the festival because it is so popular. The Guild Alive with Culture 2020 dates are Saturday, July 25 to Sunday, July 26.

There are also theatrical and musical performances put on at the open air theatre presented by the Artistic Directors Helen Jovonen and Tyler J Seguin beginning with Alice in Wonderland and followed by Salt-Water Moon. Music series will be on three Sunday evenings in August.

2020 Season at a Glance
Alice in Wonderland July 22 - August 8
Salt-Water Moon August 12 - August 22

Music Series
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party August 2
The Roaring Twenties August 9
East Coast Kitchen Party August 16

Monday, February 17, 2020

Toronto Museum of Contemporary Art

MOCA occupies the former Tower Automotive Building in Toronto's Lower Junction neighbourhood. Exhibitions take up 4 floors at 158 Sterling Road - the 100 year old heritage building, once the tallest in Toronto, was an aluminum factory and is now home to contemporary art. As part of 'Art for Our Sake' the current exhibitions are 'A Sudden Beginning', 'Archiving Eden: Exchange', Images in Debris', 'High Sky Murmur Hole' and 'An Embodied Haptic Space'.
From MOCA's website; "When it opened a hundred years ago, this building was considered innovative because it did not use beams for support. Instead, it pioneered a new approach called concrete flat slab architecture. Each floor is a slab of reinforced concrete and is supported by concrete columns – the “mushrooms” you see on each floor, which distribute the weight to the floor below." With the columns defining corridors of open space, the museum fills the voids with exhibitions and also utilizes the tall walls for contemporary art and projections. I really like the building and the entrance fee is very reasonable - the adult ticket price is only $10. You can also check out the museum during free Friday nights from 5pm - 9pm.
A Sudden Beginning by Carlos Bunga (February 6 – May 10, 2020). You can enter the work if you take off your shoes and walk with care
Procession by Carlos Bunga on the ground floor. Painted cardboard columns 

Images in Debris by Sarah Sze (February 6 – May 10, 2020)

HUSH SKY MURMUR HOLE by Megan Rooney (February 6 – April 12, 2020)

Just a window under maintenance
An Embodied Haptic Space by Shelagh Keeley (February 6 – May 10, 2020)
"For her exhibition at MOCA, Shelagh Keeley combines a series of tarp paintings from 1986, a film projection from 2016, and a brand-new ephemeral wall drawing — the latter of which she will create on-site over the course of several weeks in January 2020. In the visceral, site-specific installations she has been producing for over 40 years, Keeley balances the speed and rigidity of digital photography with the slowness and freedom of drawing in an expanded field. At the root of this installation are photographic traces of the MOCA building pre-renovation. Through her new wall drawing, one space in time is transferred into the present, as traces of labour are interwoven and transformed by a gestural response to the site."
Archiving Eden: Exchange by Dornith Doherty (November 20, 2019 – May 3, 2020). X-Ray images of 5,000 seeds

Museum Hours

Monday 11 am–6 pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 11 am–6 pm
Thursday 11 am–6 pm
Friday 11 am–9 pm
Saturday 11 am–6 pm
Sunday 11 am–6 pm

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square