Sunday, May 29, 2022

Bike Month and the World Naked Bike Ride Toronto 2022 coming

Toronto welcomes Bike Month from May 30 until June 20, 2022 with a Bike to Work group commute on Monday heading to Nathan Phillips Square and later an independent, clothing optional ride on June 11th. See my post of the 2022 event here.

From the City's media release: "Cyclists from across the city are invited to join the group commute at one of four starting points and ride to Nathan Phillips Square for a group celebration, co-hosted by the City of Toronto and Cycle Toronto. Each of the four official group rides will have at least two Cycle Toronto Ride Guides to ensure riders stay on course and arrive safely. Date: Monday, May 30
Times: 7:30 a.m. Cyclists will leave from Yonge and Charles Streets and proceed south on Yonge Street for the event outside of Toronto City Hall, followed by remarks at 8:15 a.m. at Nathan Phillips Square.
Cycling is the fastest growing mode of transportation in Toronto. Since Toronto’s Cycling Network Plan was approved in 2019, 64 kilometres of new bikeways have been installed with 47 kilometres of existing bikeways receiving upgrades and safety enhancements.

The four official meetup points and start times are:
• West: Bloor Street and High Park Avenue (southeast corner) at 7:10 a.m.
• North: Davisville Avenue and Yonge Street (southwest corner) at 7:20 a.m.
• East: East Lynn Park (Danforth Ave. west of Woodbine Ave.) at 7:10 a.m.
• Central: Yonge Street and Charles Street (northwest corner) at 7:30 a.m."

Mayor John Tory says “We support cycling in the city and recognize the many benefits it brings to the lives of our residents. We have worked hard to expand Toronto’s cycling infrastructure to increase safety and provide more opportunities for people to get around this city in a greener and cleaner way. I encourage residents to take part in Bike to Work Day this year and to celebrate all of the activities taking place this Bike Month.”

One of the best events for bike riders is the upcoming World Naked Bike Ride Toronto 2022 which is scheduled for Saturday, June 11, 2022 (second Saturday in June). The ride begins at Coronation Park (near Exhibition Place) with riders gathering and socializing from about 10AM to 1PM (rain or shine) and the naked riders heading out onto the streets of Toronto around 1PM - ride as bare as you dare. Socializing includes getting body painted, applying sunscreen and making sure your bike is ready to go. Remember to keep hydrated and pay attention to the flow of traffic and the hazards of streetcar tracks.

The WNBR Toronto 2022 route, organized by Gene Dare, will have some new destinations this year. While the usual route takes us through some of the top tourist attractions in downtown Toronto including Queen's Park, Kensington Market, Yorkville, Allen Gardens, several times around Yonge-Dundas Square and then taking a break at and in the pond at Nathan Phillips Square. When we head down Bay Street we will turn east along Queen's Quay and ride through Sugar Beach and instead of stopping at the Ferry Docks, the ride will continue to the CN Tower, then to H2O Beach and finally returning to Coronation Park. I am sure many will also continue to the nude beach at Hanlan's Beach on the islands.

The WNBR event is a world wide, annual protest against energy dependence drawing attention to the harm pollution does to the planet including climate change. The ride also helps to promote body acceptance and bicycling. WNBR continued throughout the Covid years of lockdown and should feature hundreds of participants this year.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Gumball 3000 Rally Toronto 2022

I'm hoping that Burt Reynolds, Farah Fawcett and Dom DeLuise return and step out of a magnificent sportscar a la The Cannonball Run. Anyhow, remember it's a rally, not a race!
The 6 day Gumball 3000 is back after a two year pandemic hiatus with 100 cars driving from Toronto to Miami, fundraising for the rally's charity foundation.
Giving out fee Gumball 3000 stickers and key chains

On Friday, May 27th the cars will line up in a grid on Bay Street in Toronto with a flag drop on Saturday at Yonge-Dundas Square.
A lot of the drivers stayed at the Four Seasons

From Gumball's website: "Rally Flag Drop takes place at 11am in Yonge-Dundas Square, with the last car expected to leave at approximately 3pm.

All events listed are FREE to attend!

See below a full itinerary of public Gumball events happening in Toronto:

Friday 27th MayGumball 3000 Grid Arrivals @ Bay Street: 9am - midnight EDT
Gumball 3000 Opening Concert @ Yonge-Dundas Square: 6pm - 11pm EDT

Saturday 28th MayCar parade & Flag Drop from Bay Street to Yonge Dundas Square: 11am - 3pm EDT"

See more photos after the jump.

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.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square