Friday, May 20, 2022

John Notten's Over Floe at Cityhall

The climate change art installation is now floating in the pond at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto as part of ArtworxTO. I first saw this piece in Lake Ontario down at Ontario Place and I really enjoyed it.

From the ArtworxTO website: "Five geometric forms have somehow floated into this urban setting. Animated by the gentle breeze of the square, this grouping of small icebergs presents a mystery: viewed from all sides it becomes clear that they are more than merely chunks of ice floating in the hot sun. The ironic use of materials used to construct these 'natural' forms and their unlikely presence in the heart of the city presents questions about the environment for the audience to consider. "

Toronto Rib and Beer Fest 2022

Smoky barbecue flavours are filling Yonge-Dundas Square as Ribfest returns from Friday, May 20 till Sunday, May 22.

Big banners, sizzling meat, live music and beer means that life has indeed returned to the Big Smoke. Music themes will be Contry on Friday, Rock on Saturday and a Music Mash on Sunday.

Admission is free and hours are noon to 11pm Friday and Saturday while Sunday is noon to 8pm.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Friday the 13th Port Dover 2022

I was on the road early to beat the traffic and searched for the farm field parking lots with shuttles into the small, Lake Erie town. Couldn't find one and the barriers weren't up and I drove into Port Dover and found a spot at the Legion.  I found out later that the farm parking and shuttle system wasn't offered this year and the 'resident pass' was also cancelled for 2022. The town was open to vehicles except for the downtown core. You know you are in Dover when you see the famous lighthouse, pictured at top.
Photos from early in the morning as the bikers made their way into town

So far it looks like less vendors involved in the much anticipated motorcycle rally which only happens one time in 2022. Weather is beautiful today with a high temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and no rain in the forecast. The rally couldn't have a better Friday, May 13 planned.

The 'Thong Man' Paul Nurmi was back meeting his fans - he was an officer of the law today
The Vaudevillian a 1930's ragtime jugband due

You can hear the constant rumble of motorcycles as the bikers stream into town. Only motorcycles are allowed to park along the street and downtown is blocked off for the pedestrian friendly event.

See more photos after the jump.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Blossoms around Toronto 2022

High Park is the most famous Toronto destination for cherry blossoms around Toronto but crowds and restricted vehicular access make the park the choice if you like to walk long distances and enjoy your space with people almost as much as you like its beautiful blossoms. For lack of crowds and easy access I would think that the several groups of trees in Exhibition Place are the top place to go.

Trinity-Bellwoods Park

There are a couple more places sprinkled throughout the city that are also top draws in the looking at blossoms activity that you should consider. One is Trinity-Bellwoods Park in the long pathway that points right towards the CN Tower. Blossoms and the CN Tower in one of Toronto's favourite parks for socializing.

Queen's Park

Another location is a small strand of trees in Queen's Park right beside the Legislative Building of Ontario. You get the gorgeous Romanesque Revival structure, completed in 1892, and the impressive gardens and hedges in the front yard. The three cherry trees were donated by Japan and planted in 2005.

Next up is the University of Toronto's Robarts Library mini forest which consists of trees gifted from Japan along with new trees planted as a result of the recent addition to the building.
At the Robarts Library

If you are downtown around City Hall there are several trees at the old City Hall and also some lovely trees in the Osgoode Law Hall in such an amazing setting, hidden from view by the trees that line the site.

Toronto Covid-19 Emergency Declaration is over!

After more than two years Mayor John Tory terminated the municipal emergency on May 9, 2022 as per the advise from the Medical Officer of Health. We did it, we won the war?

The emergency declaration, the City of Toronto's first official emergency declaration, was declared on March 23, 2020 as the pandemic started running wild across the globe. Now the health and strategic command team have decided to end the declaration, bring employees back to pre-pandemic positions and continuing with vaccinations which is now the biggest weapon in their arsenal after lockdowns were ended earlier in March 2022.

Mayor John Tory said; “While the City of Toronto is no longer operating under an emergency declaration in response to COVID-19, our work to help people get vaccinated and to lead the economic recovery is continuing. We have made it through this emergency period thanks to our dedicated City staff who confronted this global pandemic – the greatest challenge of our generation – with a determination to do everything we can to help residents and continue to deliver much-needed municipal services. As Team Toronto's world-leading COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues, I want to thank everyone who has worked to help people get vaccinated and deliver more than 7 million doses so far. Most importantly, I want to thank Toronto residents who have worked with us throughout the emergency period of the pandemic to make sure we get through these tough times and come back stronger than ever.”

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Toronto Global Marijuana March 2022

The annual event is held on the first Saturday of May and occurs around the world. After being cancelled in 2021 due to the Covid lockdowns the march has returned to Toronto on May 7, 2022.

Vendors starting to setup at Queen's Park

Vendors started setting up in Queen's Park near the equestrian statue, north of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario building. The gathering started at high noon and the march was scheduled to start at 2pm. The combination of the year off along with marijuana legalization seriously impacted the participation in the march and crowd sizes were much smaller than usual.

Falun Dafa Day celebrations in Toronto 2022

Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall was super peaceful on May 7th as people celebrated World Falun Dafa Day with meditation exercises.

From the Toronto group's facebook page; "Join us for an inspiring day at Nathan Phillips Square this Saturday, May 7, as we celebrate World Falun Dafa Day and the birthday of Falun Dafa's founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi! Come for a beautiful day of meditation exercises and cultural performances, followed by a grand parade in downtown Toronto.

Here is the schedule. We look forward to seeing you there!"
8:45am - 10:45am Group Exercises
11:30am - 1:30pm Stage performances and VIP speeches
2:00pm - 3:30pm Grand Parade
A dancing lion was also at the celebration

Cherry blossoms in Exhibition Place 2022

Toronto's Exhibition Place is the perfect place to see cherry trees bloom in the warmth of springtime. You can park in one of the many lots and walk around the area checking out the trees placed throughout the home of the Canadian National Exhibition.

There is a semi-circle of cherry trees around Princess Margaret Fountain near the Better Living Centre. When the wind blows the Canadian flags surrounding the fountain it really makes an impressive site.

Nearby is the Liberty Grand and you can walk the path between the fountain the entertainment complex under cover of the cherry blossoms reaching over the walkway. Then at Liberty Grand you can find several strands of cherry trees around the building.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Toronto Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo 2022

Cars, cars, cars! The 7th annual car show takes place April 29 to May 1, 2022 at the International Centre complete with Spring Fever modified cars and culture, Inside Track Racing Zone, Truck-O-Rama and Motorama Mayhem. Entrance is through Hall 1 of the centre and the hours are Friday 10am-9pm, Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 10am-5pm.
The 'Shermanator' by 'Filthy Rich' Bosch built with Sherman M4A2 tank parts

Info on Spring Fever from the Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo website, “We’ve been putting on this part of the show since 2016, so we have a pretty good idea what works for the Motorama visitors,” noted Spring Fever Organizer Kristine Hill. “We have an amazing line-up of vehicles, everything from the classic to modern Tuners – cars from the 1980s to the current model year. Naturally, a lot of our cars are Imports, but we’ll have a modified Austin Mini in the display, as well as some trucks and motorcycles. And visitors should come by and check out the many really high-level builds.”

Chad Hiltz, the star of the TV Show ‘Bad Chad Customs,’ with his fiancĂ©e and TV co-star Jolene MacIntyre

For the ultimate power boost there will be Rick Kopp's Jet Drag Truck named Boneshaker. For the Motorama Saturday and Sunday's schedule of events see after the jump along with more photos from the show.

Miss Motorama pinup contest

At the Meet the Media panel guest speakers included James Neilson, Jim Kenzie, Tim Miller, Joel Robinson and Wally Nesbitt, moderated by Dave Bradley. Much missed this year is the king of Canadian motorsports media icon Norris McDonald who on April 22nd tweeted that "I have been sick, in Hospital. Might be awhile." Panelists gave good wishes to Norris and hoped for his speedy recovery.

Some of the issues discussed by the esteemed media panel included tire and rubber shortages which have impacted the Pinty's series stockcar races. Electric car racing is so quiet, you can only hear the tires screaming as they round the track. Hydrogen and hybrid fuel systems are the future and F1 is already hybrid (by using energy recovery systems). More races will be run on dirt track, including a Pinty's series race (long-awaited debut on dirt at Ohsweken Speedway Aug. 16th). And the panel was shocked by the changes to F1 cars that have seen Lewis Hamilton having a hard time of it, the multi-year F1 champion has also been lapped (from Skysports "Mercedes have had more issues than most with the 'porpoising' phenomenon seen this year when the car violently bounces on its suspension at high speed. Not shown in the simulator, this caught Mercedes completely off guard, and they believe it is the source of 99 per cent of their problems.")

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Toronto Raptors playoffs from the 600 Bell Fan Deck

Watching the NBA Raptors take on the Philadelphia 76ers in Scotiabank Arena from the eagles nest known as the Fan Deck was a lot of fun. Toronto is in a heated series round one match with Philadelphia and we watched them lose to the US team in two overtimes on April 20. Fast forward to Saturday and the Raptors fight back to win and remain in the playoffs. Make some NOISE and shout GO Raptors GO!

The pre-game show has plenty of giant flags, special lighting and blasts of flame from behind the net.

They say that no team has come back from three loses, no wins and takes the series so the 2019 NBA Champions Toronto Raptors are walking the edge as they continue the fight. The next game is Monday, April 25 in Philadelphia.

Taking the shot
Celebrity singer Drake sits on the sideline cheering the team all the way

We scored the tickets from @arcman15 (many thanks) and headed to the arena not knowing where the 600 section was located. We entered the building from Gate 5 in Jurassic Park and took the elevator up to the 4th floor, then walked up two floors to get to the section high above the court - a long suite with a great view of the whole arena, along with its own bar and bathroom. If you ever get a chance to go to the fan deck I can recommend the view and the exclusive feel of the area, it is a great experience.

Raptors VIP guest of the night was Jerome Williams - the Junkyard Dog himself, who spent time in the fan deck and posed for photos with the guests. We took one shot with the 6'9" former Raptor where he bent down to our level and another when he stood tall and towered over us. 

Now you see him....
Now you don't
Pointing the way to the Fan Deck presented by Bell and Ford
The view from Seat 9 in the 600 section
The bar is to the right. There are only two rows of seats in this area and you get a table with a coat hook

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square