Wednesday, September 28, 2022

New Toronto Sign wrap unveiled in time for Indigenous Legacy Gathering

Rekindle is the new wrap unveiled by Mayor John Tory on September 28 recognizing UNESCO's International Decade of Indigenous Languages. The Mayor was joined by artist Joseph Sagaj, who designed the wrap, along with Elder Dorothy Peters and singer Zeegwon Shilling at Nathan Phillips Square.

Mayor John Tory passes the Toronto Sign

From the City's media release, "Sagaj’s design, Rekindle, was selected by a community jury in May. Rekindle offers a glimpse into how languages are vital to identity, voice and expression. Sagaj is Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) of the Sturgeon Clan and is from the remote community of Neskantaga in Northern Ontario. Throughout his career, Sagaj has felt honoured to share his Anishinaabe ancestry and heritage through art, featuring Indigenous knowledge, culture and teachings on numerous private and public commissions designing logos, murals, illustrations and painting projects for various organizations and different governments. Rekindle will remain on the Toronto Sign until the fall of 2023."

The City of Toronto will host the Indigenous Legacy Gathering at Nathan Phillips Square from September 29-30, 2022 where the City and the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre will honour the residential school survivors. Indigenous cultures, traditions and languages will be celebrated through education, media and entertainment. On the day before the gathering begins work crews were busy raising tipis in the square.

Also underway at the east side of Nathan Phillips Square is the construction of the Spirit Garden due to be completed in 2023 which will honour the residential school survivors with a permanent structure.

Mayor John Tory said “The Indigenous Legacy Gathering celebrates and honours the resilience of residential school survivors and their families and is an important form of reconciliation. The City is proud to collaborate with Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre on this vital event at Nathan Phillips Square. I invite Torontonians to visit Nathan Phillips Square to honour survivors and their families, while exploring, learning about and participating in Indigenous activities.”

Andrea Chrisjohn, Board Designate, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre stated that “Council Fire is proud to host this year’s Indigenous Legacy Gathering once again, following a 20-month lockdown and recent discoveries of those unmarked gravesites. This gathering will serve as an opportunity to bring our families, friends, and supporters together in a setting that celebrates the resilience of residential school survivors who continue to embrace their national identities through their voice, language and practices, denied to them in these institutions.”

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail

Rail trails take old abandoned rail lines and convert them to mixed use trails where people can walk, run or bike along the paths that have limited and maximum grade changes. Because trains could only handle a certain grade to be able to run they are perfect for relatively flat, human powered transportation needs.

We have been on the Cambridge to Paris rail trail twice and once on the Hamilton to Brantford rail trail. It was easier than I thought it would be to go up the mountain in Hamilton but the ride back down into Hamilton was the best.

A spring brings cold, clean water into a pond that feeds into the Grand River

On the ride to Paris you pass an abandoned shell of a mill, hidden beside the Grand River, bridge abutments from Grand Trunk Railway river crossings removed long ago or enter the amazing river town of Paris where you can see the buildings built up along the edge of the river. Several restaurants and patios along this section are pleasant places to enjoy the afternoon and get sustenance for the ride back.

Paris waterfront establishments 

The Penman's Paris dam

The Hamilton rail trail starts near a street that has a number of breweries, so it is a good place to start or stop. As you head up near the top of the escarpment you pass by the restored railway station at Sulphur Springs that comes with bathrooms and other services. If you continue on the trail you can travel from Brantford to Paris and onto Cambridge.
Historic Sulphur Springs

Hamilton to Brantford rail trail map
The first abandoned railway tunnel discovered in our biking adventures

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Vegan Fashion Show Toronto 2022 coming soon

A charitable vegan fashion show is coming to Toronto on Sunday, October 2nd to Longboat Hall where visitors that love both fashion and animals can enjoy clothes and designers that support Animal Justice. The goal of the Vegan Fashion Show is to highlight and support animal-free fashion materials and brands.

From the Vegan Fashion Show website, "Love fashion? Love animals? Enjoy a fun fashion show while contributing to meaningful, long-lasting help for animals in Canada! This charitable event showcases vegan collections from multiple designers and brands on the catwalk. Also enjoy vegan vendors, pumpkin spice lattes, musical guests, raffle prizes, photo walls, and learn about plant-based leathers at this year’s next-gen material display. Educational materials are available to take home as well. Featured by Forbes, Harper's Bazaar, and more."

Doors open at 5pm, with shopping and information available until the guest speaker starts at 6pm followed by fashion presentations starting at 6:10pm. The entrance to Longboat Hall is a part of the Great Hall on Queen Street West with the entrance to the event at 103 Dovercourt Road.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

illumi a dazzling world of lights

Over 20 million LED lights spread over 13 distinct themed areas in Mississauga makes a great family experience as illumi continues until January 8, 2023. You can find the bright lights near Hurontario and Derrycrest Drive with free parking and discounted tickets until September 25.

From the illumi pres release, "After raising its White Big Top throughout the Greater Toronto area with its shows Cavalia and Odysséo over the last decade, the creators of Cavalia are ecstatic to return, this time not with their four-legged stars - but instead, with millions and millions of lights! Today, Cavalia announces its new project that will light up the Mississauga night sky with its latest masterful production, illumi - A Dazzling World of Lights. Making its debut this September, the extraordinary light show is the first of its kind in the Toronto market and the largest light, sound, and multimedia show in the world. Kids and adults alike will be captivated as they embark on a spectacular outdoor journey on foot through 13 magical worlds across a 600,000-sq-ft site (equivalent to ten football fields!) located near the intersection of the 407 and Hurontario Street. Brought to life by cutting-edge programming technologies, the immersive illumi universe features high-definition projections, jaw-dropping, state-of-the-art animatronic creatures, thousands of light structures, and over 20 million brilliant LED bulbs."

“We are incredibly excited to call Mississauga the new home of illumi and spark the imagination, curiosity, and emotions of people of all ages across Ontario and beyond,” said Normand Latourelle, Creator and Artistic Director, Cavalia. “We are deeply proud of the immersive worlds we have created – all with the intent to bring people together to experience joy and wonderment in a unique, magical, and mesmerizing setting.”

It is a very impressive art-light installation that you walk through, with opportunities to touch the works, wander through the different universes and sit under the giant tree of lights. It is much better than the typical drive through light show plus there are food trucks and a tent where you can sit and relax under large, illuminated butterflies.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Scarecrow Invasion in Meaford 2022

Meaford must have a lot of crows that attack everyone from the sky because they have filled the town with scarecrows, they hang from streetlights, they stand by the tourist apple (the other big apple!) and they are on the steps of Meaford Hall. The crows must come because of all the apples around Meaford.

The Scarecrow Invasion takes place in the Georgian Bay waterfront town from mid-September to mid-October every year (this is the 25th annual festival) with a parade scheduled for September 30.

Info on the festival and parade from the Scarecrow Invasion website, "The invasion of the scarecrows begins in mid-September and runs till the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. More than 300 scarecrows will be found in the downtown area of Meaford, and in Bognor, Annan, and Leith – dangling from downtown lamp posts, hiding in bushes and trees, lounging happily on benches, peeking out from behind cornstalks and resting comfortably on porches and verandas. They frolic everywhere! Sykes Street and the harbour area are particularly alive with scarecrows during this time. This year’s decorating theme is Scarecrows Celebrate 25 Years. The date and time for this year’s parade is Friday, September 30, starting with pre-parade ceremonies and entertainment at 5 p.m., then the parade at 6 p.m. on Sykes Street, followed by a family festival at the Rotary Harbour Pavilion… free activities for the whole family, apple pie contest awards and auction, entertainment, and more."

Monday, September 19, 2022

Toronto Windfest 2022

Woodbine Beach was the place to be for flying, or watching colourful kites take to the sky over the large, sandy beach on Saturday, September 17. The annual festival celebrates the art of kite flying and teaches others by putting on workshops and demonstrations during the event, plus it is free to attend.

It was a festival weekend in Toronto

In the lead up to Autumn Toronto just had a boatload of festivals over the past weekend (September 16-18, 2022) which included the Polish Festival, the Ukrainian Festival, the Redpath Waterfront Festival, Windfest, the Small World Music Festival, the Pape Village Summerfest and the Mexican Independence Day Celebration. Over the weekend the famous Toronto Film Festival, or tiff, came to an end for 2022.

Love accepted everywhere sign at tiff 2022
Floral garlands were a big part of both the Ukraine and Polish festivals
From the Roncesvalles Polish Festival's website, "It’s been a long 2 years since we were able to be together to celebrate Roncesvalles Village, and the unique heritage of this neighbourhood, at our weekend Roncesvalles Polish Festival. Coming this September 17 & 18, and building on the long history of the Roncesvalles Polish Festival, which include fan favourites, like Polka and pierogi, in conjunction with a fresh focus to celebrate a broader range of local artists, musicians and, of course, food. Whether it’s your 1st time or your 15th, we can’t wait to say Hello, Cześć, Boozhoo, Tansi, and Bonjour and welcome you to Roncesvalles Village!"

Nearby was the Toronto Ukrainian Festival telling us to, "Discover Ukrainian culture in Canada and share the Ukrainian spirit at North America’s largest Ukrainian Street Festival. This is your opportunity to experience Ukrainian culture and hospitality at its best. Enjoy non-stop entertainment with Ukrainian performers from the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, the USA and Ukraine, including dancers, vocalists, musicians and a special youth segment. Vendor kiosks will offer delicious, authentic Ukrainian food and beverages, beautiful crafts and collectibles. Cultural pavilions will feature interactive cultural activities and displays of historical and contemporary interest."

Across the City was the Pape Village Summerfest on Saturday which was just a chance to enjoy the neighbourhood and take part in the street festival. They also had Superman, Wonder Woman and a tortoise and a dinosaur handler!
The stages are setup for the nights performances

From the Small World Music Festival 2022, "Join us September 16th through 18th at Fort York Garrison Common, for a FREE, family-friendly community celebration of music, dance, craft, food and more! Some of the participating artists include International names like hypnotic French-Venezuelan singer La Chica, Argentina’s Tanghetto with their neo-tango sound, and the rousing spiritualism of Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad Qawwali from Pakistan. The festival's two stages will feature the best in genre-busting and culture-crossing sounds, celebrating Canada's ever-evolving musical landscape. From Toronto, Montreal and beyond, they’ll include Funk Lion, Moneka Arabic Jazz, Pantayo, Shauit, Joyce N’Sana, Clerel, Hawa B and many more. There will be buskers and marching bands and we’re delighted to have a roster of partners including Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto History Museums, FabCollab, Uma Nota Culture, the 50/50 Performing Arts Collective, Tkaronto Music Festival, Wavelength Music, Art Spin, Link Music, Aga Khan Museum and many more."

The Redpath Waterfront Festival says, "JUST ADD WATER. The Redpath Waterfront Festival is thrilled to return to Toronto’s waterfront from September 17-18, 2022, with a Water Weekend! From 11am-8pm each day, join us as we celebrate the last weekend of summer with unique and interactive on-land and on-water entertainment in HTO Park and Sugar Beach."
Tugboat Theodore Too was back for the waterfront festival
Along with a big beaver from Parks Canada

Mexican Independence Day Celebration at City Hall with "The 2022 Mexican Independence Day Celebration event marks the 28th annual celebration in Toronto! For the past two years we've shared an online event with original programming, but we now look forward to gathering once again to eat, dance, sing, enjoy culture, crafts & shopping together as we celebrate on September 17 2022 at Nathan Phillips Square!"

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square