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 31: Toronto is finally feeling the love as Fall colours are taking over the City's trees and forests.
HTO Park is full of bright 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_____________________________________________

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Honda Indy Toronto will return in 2022

Get ready for racing on the streets of Toronto again as the NTT IndyCar Series returns in mid-July 2022 as part of their 17-race schedule. The Honda Indy Toronto will continue the excitement of the race weekend - on and off the track, in Exhibition Place and onto Lake Shore Boulevard West. Let SpeedFest and Thunder Alley be full of race fans again as vaccines kick Covid's ass.

“This is an exciting day for Toronto and our race fans! After all the disappointment experienced from missing out on the event the last two years, we are thrilled that the Honda Indy Toronto will return to Exhibition Place July 15th to 17th, 2022,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of Honda Indy Toronto. “We are grateful to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Honda Canada, the province of Ontario and the City of Toronto for working closely with us to make this happen.”

And news from IndyCar about the upcoming season: “This schedule continues to build on the growth and momentum the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has achieved, especially in 2021,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “Our terrific partnership with NBC Sports has led to a fantastic opportunity to place an unparalleled 14 events on broadcast television while completing the rest of the schedule with USA Network and Peacock.

“Our drivers and teams will give the fans a strong, earlier start with six consecutive races on NBC, building even more anticipation for the crown jewel of the Indianapolis 500 in May. Our summer schedule also is full of action, with no extended breaks in the calendar, leading into the crowning of a champion on the West Coast with our last two races also on NBC.”

The 2022 calendar is benchmarked by the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 29. This year’s “500” on NBC was the most-watched edition of the race since the 100th Running in 2016.

“This is an excellent schedule for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship,” Miles said. “This calendar provides a level of balance between temporary street circuits, road courses and ovals, and that variety and required versatility from our drivers are important, distinguishing attributes of NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing.

“The continuity among our events and the growth in the number of teams showcase our strong positioning and continued momentum.”


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Light Bike Rave for anti-Nuit Blanche 2021

UPDATE 21sep2021: Going with both the Neon Riders at 7pm and Toronto Cruisers at 8pm. Details put into the revised post. UPDATE 20sep2021: We are in discussions with Toronto Cruisers and Neon Riders to join their planned Oct 2nd, 2021 Art Ride. Their plan is to meet at 8pm at Matt Cohen Park (Spadina Ave at Bloor St W) and ride until midnight. Wait for further updates.

So Nuit Blanche is cancelled for 2021, what is a body to do on what is the usually the greatest all-night art festival in Toronto? I say we take back the night. I am planning alternate Nuit Blanche programming (anti-Nuit Blanche) - the return of the light bike ride which has been running concurrently with Nuit Blanche. Bring back the light bikes for 2021!

On the traditional Nuit night of Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 everyone with light bicycles, or illuminated e-scooters,  join us for a couple hours riding around downtown Toronto. Just like they used to do with rave rides by Neon Riders or the monthly night rides by the Toronto Cruisers. Add massive lights, bring some music and be one of the better art installations that Nuit Blanche has ever seen.

Riders can now gather with Neon Riders at 7pm on Saturday, October 2nd in Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto City Hall - here is their Facebook post for the event. While riders social distance and check out the groovy lights on the bikes in the first hour, then head out to Matt Cohen Park for the 8pm meeting with the Toronto Cruisers - here is their Facebook post for the event.

Matt Cohen Park at 8pm

Keep safe, social distance, wear masks and make sure your bike has headlights, taillights and a bell. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sasha Huber challenging racism with Rentyhorn in Toronto

Work from artist Sasha Huber is appearing at The Power Plant starting in early January 2022 but you can see her photo 'Rentyhorn' on the exterior south wall of the Harbourfront gallery now.

From Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival website; "Sasha Huber’s multidisciplinary practice investigates colonial residue in the environment, highlighting the ways in which history is imprinted in the landscape through acts of remembrance. Rentyhorn (2008) documents a reparative intervention led by the Helsinki-based artist to rename the Agassizhorn, an Alpine peak named after Swiss-American glaciologist and “scientific” racist Louis Agassiz (1807–73). The mural captures Huber looking out over the Agassizhorn while holding a plaque arguing for the mountain’s renaming—a reminder that the gallery site is also embedded with colonial histories."

You can check out Sasha Huber's solo exhibition 'YOU NAME IT' at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery January 29 till May 8, 2022.
From the artist's website describing the motivation for Rentyhorn; "As a member of the Transatlantic Committee “De-mounting Louis Agassiz”, I made the following intervention. I carried a metal plaque bearing a graphic representation of the slave Renty to the top of an Alpine peak, the Agassizhorn (3946 metres), on the borders of the Swiss cantons of Berne and Valais. In so doing, I took the first step towards renaming the mountain. This act commemorates the fact that the Swiss-born naturalist and glaciologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) was an influential racist and pioneering thinker of apartheid, and that the Agassizhorn should be renamed the “Rentyhorn” in honour of the Congolese-born enslaved Renty, and of those who met similar fates. Agassiz ordered Renty to be photographed on a South Carolina plantation, “to prove the inferiority of the black race”."

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Nuit Blanche Toronto postponed until 2022

UPDATE: Nuit might be cancelled but I plan a Night Bike Rave Ride on Saturday, Oct 2 starting at 7pm at Toronto City Hall before joining Toronto Cruisers at 8pm. Come and join in as we try to keep the Nuit Blanche fun going!
I have been getting my lite-bike ready for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2021 all night art event when I decided to check up on the status of the upcoming festival. Bad news, Covid has hit this event as well and Nuit Blanche will not take place in 2021.

Here is the City of Toronto's announcement regarding the cancellation.

While public health restrictions continue to ease, mass gatherings of the scale of Nuit Blanche are not anticipated to be possible in time to stage this much anticipated annual program. As a result, the City has made the difficult decision to postpone the popular all-night celebration of contemporary art in 2021.

Funds allocated to produce this one-night event will be used in 2021 to support cultural and community organizations to program in public spaces throughout the late summer and fall. Nuit Blanche Toronto will return in 2022, led by Artistic Director Dr. Julie Nagam as a city-wide celebration to mark its 16th edition and help close out ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art in 2021-22.

Nuit Blanche sponsors, partners and funders are vital to its success. The City greatly appreciates the commitment by many of these partners to reinvest and support artists and creative collectives for Nuit Blanche 2022. For Nuit Blanche 2022 sponsorship opportunities, please email sponsorship@toronto.ca.

Sculpture at St Paul's Basilica

The white sculpture stopped me in my travels, a female figure crouched over an object in her lap. It sits near two historical plaques for the House of Providence at 83 Power Street, just a stones throw near Queen Street East.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square