Monday, October 11, 2021

Collingwood keeps getting more expensive to visit

We took our annual trip to the Collingwood area to check out the fall colours, which are nice on the escarpment by the way, but still muted around the city and one of our stops is at the top of Blue Mountain. We usually walk along the trails at the top of the ski resort, then take the ski lift ride down, enjoy the village and grab a bite to eat in one of their restaurants.

Water trikes rent for $17

This time we found out that they have added a ticket booth up top and are charging $25 to use the trails, $34 if you want to use the gondola to get down to the village. It used to be free to take the gondola down, then you paid for the trip back up (or you could climb the mountain), then they added the cost to go down as well. So we bailed and drove back down to park in the village and skipped the trails and the gondola. Not much was going on Saturday so we decided not to stay for dinner either.

Some of the fall colours on the escarpment above Blue Mountain
The view from the water's edge at Sunset Point Park

Our next stop was the park at the edge of Georgian Bay called Sunset Point. Parking was $10 per hour but they gave you a break and the maximum fee that they would charge per day was $50! We strolled the park for an hour and got out of town fast before they charged us for driving the streets. We ended up going for dinner in nearby Stayner.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Blue Jays end the 2021 season with sweep against Baltimore

We bought nose bleeds tickets to Rogers Centre, so high no one was above us, to watch the Blue Jays crush the Baltimore Orioles in a weekend series that only ended in heartbreak as the Jays didn't have the points to get into the playoffs as a wildcard. Wins by the Yanks and Red Sox ensured that we were finished for the year, but they played great and it was fun to see them back in Toronto in front of fans once again.
The tickets for the seats so high in Rogers Centre that they were beyond the lights and our section was pretty dark.  We chose these seats to help social distance and not worry about squeezing in between other fans, and our plan worked, plus they were cheap - it's nice that they offer $15 tickets (plus fees and taxes) to help reduce the cost to attend a professional sports game.
Still the other costs associated with the game include the money required to buy food and drink in the stadium are pricey, luckily they let you bring in your own food and small bottles of non-alcoholic liquids so you don't have to chow down on a $11.50 hot dog. But why are the MLB sports paraphernalia so expensive? Baseball jerseys sell for around $190 plus tax so if you were thinking of buying some Jays wear you better start saving up if you want to buy one at the game.

Heavy hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with 48 home runs in 2021 explains on the Jays website; "It hurts. Knowing that you win 91 games and you didn’t make the playoffs, it really hurts me, hurts all my teammates,” Guerrero said. “Like I said before, that’s just gonna make me stronger. [I’ll] come back next year even better than this year.”


Better luck next year Blue Jays, you did us proud.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Toronto Bike Rave 2021: Nuit Blanche Art Ride Cruise

A hundred riders lit up with LED lights cruised the City of Toronto on the night Nuit Blanche 2021, the all night art event, was supposed to be held before it was cancelled once again due to Covid restrictions. I joined Steve D'Silva of the Neon Riders group for a Toronto Bike Rave starting in Nathan Phillips Square at 7pm on Saturday, October 2, 2021. Many of the bikers also dressed up as skeletons as we celebrated the memory of Nuit Blanche with an unofficial alternative to the cancelled art festival.

Steve D'Silva
Bikers start to gather in Nathan Phillips Square

We hung out at the square for about a half hour before hitting the road in our night busting lighting accessories, following Steve as we headed to Matt Cohen Park to join up with the Toronto Cruisers group for the Nuit Blanche Art Ride cruise. As one big group we left the park at Spadina and Bloor around 8pm and began our journey through the streets and alleys of the city as we journeyed to various art installations or projects scattered throughout downtown Toronto, accompanied with music from some of the mobile DJs that were in the group.

Joining the Toronto Cruisers in Matt Cohen Park
While the route was unknown to most of the riders it was a night similar to the normal Nuit Blanche (just with less crowds), some of the art was amazing and some of it was a question of 'is this art?' Some of the highlights included the installations included in the Geary Art Crawl.  On this night though the best art was the large group of illuminated bike riders on the Art Ride cruise and as we passed crowds on the streets or on patios they cheered us on and took plenty of photos and videos of the ride.

See more photos of the night's adventure after the jump.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Alice Li dances for children's charities

@aliceli_official performs ballet on the corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets to raise money for SOS Children's Charities Canada on September 24th. The former Miss Canada, accountant (CPA and CA!) and cast mate for the upcoming Bachelor in Paradise Canada is known for raising money for children's charities.


BIPC describers her as "Alice, 27 Bachelor Nation From pageant queen to dancing queen, Alice is known for her viral videos, in which she performs for charity on the streets. As former Miss Global International (2020) and Miss Canada Intercontinental (2018), Alice is described by those who know her best as inspirational, hardworking, and passionate - she’s devoted to giving back to her community and leaving a positive footprint on the world. Now, Alice is looking for someone kind-hearted, driven, supportive - and punctual! - to complement her lifestyle. With her dancing shoes on, Alice is ready to nab that perfect man in Paradise!"


Monday, September 27, 2021

Redpath Waterfront Trail 2021 and #ArtWorxTO

After one year the Redpath Waterfront Festival returns as the Redpath Waterfront Trail on from September 17 to October 3, 2021 as a socially distanced trail along the harbourfront. The festival is a mixture of art installations, promotions and virtual or augmented reality stops.
“After such a difficult time, we are very excited to bring this safe and unique trail to Toronto’s waterfront this September. We look forward to providing a fun experience that we hope will increase foot traffic and economic impact to this amazing area of our city,” says Lea Parrell, co-producer of the Redpath Waterfront Trail.


The route leads along Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne to Lower Spadina. You can scan the AR by scanning the AR codes on the way markers and find the big rubber duckie or a whale swim in the sky.
NBII DODEM (WATER CLANS) mural by Anishinaabe artist Que Rock
OLAMINA which is part of BSAM Canada Earthseeds

I admired the concept for the pile of bison heads in Ontario Square at Harbourfront Centre, part of the 'Built on Genocide' art installation by Indigenous artist Jay Soule / CHIPPEWAR, part of ArtWorxTO and the Luminato Festival on site until October 24, 2021, pictured at top and below.

From Luminato's website "Built on Genocide is a large-scale installation by multidisciplinary Indigenous artist Jay Soule | CHIPPEWAR, reflecting the historical events and colonial policies throughout Canada’s history that have deliberately undermined and destroyed Indigenous livelihoods. The work is influenced by the mass genocide of the buffalo as a result of the colonial railway expansion. The buffalo decimation is an underacknowledged but foundational aspect of “Canadian” history, with consequences that persist today. Built on Genocide will address the direct correlation between the genocide of the buffalo and the genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada."

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Another Anti-Vax protest at Yonge-Dundas Square


The square was full of protesters at Toronto's urban park across from the Toronto Eaton Centre on Saturday, September 25. The rally ended and some unmasked people tried to enter the mall when they were blocked by security and Toronto police officers and two people were later charged with assault.


"The media is the virus"

Speakers on a trailer sitting on Yonge Street

I don't have a problem with the protests, or that they don't want vaccinations. I do believe that they shouldn't have the right to not wear masks when they go inside stores, restaurants, etc, or distort the truth to make others not take the vaccine and put their, and other lives in danger.

See more photos after the jump.

Hope in High Heels charity walk


A small group of men showed their support for the pandemic charity walk Hope in High Heels as the majority of participants walked at home. Walk Week was September 19 to 25, 2021 with the final lap of the walk in pink shirts wearing pink high heels around the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square all for Halton Women's Place. The sign says Hope in High Heels, boys and men walking to end violence against women.

The walk is especially necessary as domestic violence has been much in the news with the murder of Gabby in the United States. As Covid restrictions have cancelled so many events the organization allowed for participants to walk with them in 2021 - from home and with registration fees waived.


From Hope's website, "This past year has been even tougher than most for women facing domestic violence. Woman abuse has become a pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic as our clients have found themselves in lockdown after lockdown with their abusive partners, with no opportunity to reach out for help. HWP has worked hard to support our clients throughout this difficult time, and we continue to need the community’s support as Halton Region reopens, and our shelters begin to reach capacity once again. Here is your chance to show her you support her- that you want to help her. Walk with us! In order to keep everyone safe, we are bringing back Hope in High Heels From Home. You’ll be able to choose how YOU want to participate during Walk Week 2021!"

They did well despite Covid as they had a giant cheque ready in the amount of one million dollars for Halton's Women's Place.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Toronto's Sexy Sleuths of da Six

A beautiful crew of crime busting detectives were at Toronto's City Hall, solving mysteries and breaking hearts! The nine ladies were collectively known as the Sexy Sleuths of da Six and they posed by the reflecting pond in Nathan Phillips Square.
They also brought their umbrellas

See more of the impromptu photo shoot after the jump.

Friday, September 24, 2021

#ShowLoveTO and #LoveTO

Toronto has brought out a campaign under the umbrella of ShowLoveTO that features 25 hearts spread out around the city like this one at the Joseph J. Piccininni Community Centre on St. Clair Avenue West. There are 25 of these illuminated hearts including one at City Hall. ShowLoveTO is to support local businesses, inspire tourism and welcome people back to the city as Covid vaccinations continue to expand amongst the population.

Mayor John Tory said "As we look to rebuild our city, ShowLoveTO is our opportunity to show our love for the small businesses, restaurants and main streets that make our neighbourhoods so vibrant. The many programs that are part of this new initiative will provide residents the chance to experience their city in different ways and to participate in their local community. Now that vaccine uptake has increased and as we look at reopening our city, now is the time to reconnect with our favourite restaurants, businesses, and artists and discover something new."



From the City's news release: The following ShowLoveTO initiatives will engage Toronto residents this fall:

• Shop Local is a campaign that will launch across digital platforms, out-of-home advertising and radio and television to inspire residents to rediscover homegrown treasures and support local Toronto small businesses. Residents will be encouraged to find great shops, restaurants, products, services, creators, innovators and entrepreneurs in the community.

• DineTOgether is a two-week restaurant promotion, from Friday, September 17 to Sunday, October 3, to support the hospitality industry's recovery and renewal. It will showcase the breadth and diversity of Toronto’s restaurants and inspire residents to patronize local eateries. Feature menus will be available by takeout, delivery, patio dining and/or indoor dining. Menus will offer two items – a main and either an appetizer or dessert – and will range in price from $15 to $50 per person, plus taxes and gratuity.

• Dine With Your Neighbours will encourage Torontonians to dine with their neighbours on a driveway, porch, front lawn, balcony or their local restaurant patio to share a meal together during a one-night event, as part of the DineTOgether program.

• StrollTO will provide a way for residents to get outside and get to know their neighbourhood's hidden gems. StrollTO's 140 unique, self-guided itineraries were created in partnership with First Story and Heritage Toronto and will showcase Toronto's hidden gems and stories. StrollTO will also offer guided in-person weekend neighbourhood walks, in select neighbourhoods, in partnership with local community groups and experts. Additional StrollTO neighbourhood activations will include Poems for Your Path and NoVacancy art installations. StrollTO also will present Soundtracks of the City – playlists that combine 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.

• BigArtTO is a city-wide, temporary public art campaign that will encourage residents to explore their neighbourhoods again. Each of the program's 29 sites will digitally project a neighbourhood-specific, customized artwork created by Toronto artists onto a local building or landmark. The program will run for 11 weeks as part of ShowLoveTO and ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022, with two to three locations per week. Each projection will play for three hours, Wednesday through Saturday, providing more than 450 hours of free, temporary public art.

• ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022 celebrates Toronto’s exceptional major public art and the artists behind it. Discover creativity and community across the city at www.artworxto.ca.

• LoveTO will feature 25 illuminated hearts distributed in wards across the city and one at City Hall. Developed in partnership with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, the LoveTO hearts will be placed close to main streets to spread love to Toronto businesses, especially in neighbourhoods hardest hit by the pandemic. Residents can snap, tag and share using #ShowLoveTO

• ActiveTO provides residents routes to get outside and active every weekend. Times and locations are available at www.toronto.ca/activeto.

• ActiveArtsTO, in partnership with OpenStreetsTO, will support recreation, cultural animation and community engagement along ActiveTO’s Lake Shore Boulevard West route on Sunday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Offerings will include pop-up art and activations.

• Arts in Your Neighbourhood will present dance, music and theatre performances, murals, large-scale video projections, and art installations in public parks, main streets, sidewalks, parking lots and cafés.

• CaféTO patio patrons can enjoy nearly 1,200 on-street or sidewalk patios across the city, as well as expanded dining space on private property, such as in plaza parking lots. Curb lane (on street cafes) will be in place up until early November. New this winter, people can enjoy a whole new patio season as sidewalk cafes are permitted through April 2022.

• The Amplified Live Music on Patios pilot builds on CaféTO by facilitating live entertainment on participating patios until October 31. Residents can find a patio near them by using Destination Toronto's website www.destinationtoronto.com/patioscapesto/.

• HistoricTO is a time-ticketed, guided neighbourhood walking tour experience anchored at Toronto History Museums that connects Toronto’s communities by providing equitable and inclusive access to local history, heritage and land-based learnings. Tour schedule and tickets are available at www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/showloveto/historicto/.

• Cultural Loops offers self-guided tours that will feature outside-the-core neighbourhoods, and highlight public art, murals, local history, architecture and green spaces.

• Attractions Week, in partnership with Toronto Attractions Council and Destination Toronto, encourages residents to discover Toronto’s premier attractions again, or for the first time, with special promotions, experiences and exhibits from Friday, October 1 to Sunday, October 10.

Monday, September 20, 2021

2021 Toronto Fall colours


Update October 10: Peak fall colours are happening in northern and eastern Ontario. In Collingwood the escarpment is getting close to peak. While in the GTA the colour change is around 10%. Mild weather is probably holding back the changes. You are probably looking at another week or maybe two before the peak hits Toronto.
Oct 9 the escarpment at Blue Mountain

Oct 10 along the west branch of the Credit River in Georgetown shows some colour
Check out the Salmon Run currently underway as Salmon head for their spawning grounds

Back to the original post_____________________________________________

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs

Pride

Redball

Beaches

Graffiti

Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square

Transportation