Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Honda Indy Toronto 2023 coming July 14-16

With 42 days to go till Race weekend, organizers Green Savoree Toronto opened up single ticket sales on May 31, 2023. The 35th annual Honda Indy Toronto takes place Friday to Sunday, July 14 to 16, in and around Exhibition Place at a blistering pace with the top tier, open wheeled NTT IndyCar Series supported by a number of other race series including Canada's own NASCAR PINTYS Series. 

Exhibition Place and of course Lake Shore Boulevard are transformed from the home of the CNE into a temporary 11-turn street course over the course of about a month. The world-class motorsport festival begins with Honda Fan Friday on July 14 with free general admission from the Ontario Honda Dealers Association and a voluntary contribution to Make-A-Wish Canada. The fast weekend continues with more practices and qualifying events including Saturday's IndyCar qualifying along with several races from the supporting series. Race weekend ends with the headlining NTT IndyCar Series on Sunday with the top three drivers making their way to winner's circle for trophy presentation, hat rotation and the always fun champagne soaking.

In addition to the action on the almost 3km track you will be able to find a food and drink festival, vendors and entertainment along Thunder Alley and several series paddocks to visit (paddock passes required for IndyCar). You can also buy a Pit pass if you want to see the cars and race equipment up close (except for the actual IndyCar race).

"The Honda Indy is a can't-miss event on Toronto's 2023 summer festival calendar. We are excited to continue the tradition for the 35th year," said Jeff Atkinson, president of the Honda Indy Toronto. "The weekend will provide festival goers a unique experience full of sights and sounds both on and off the track. Single-day and weekend ticket options at different price points help make the event enjoyable for everyone."
The top three drivers of the 2022 Honda Indy Toronto in a confetti explosion
Colton Herta (2nd), Felix Rosenqvist (3rd) and Scott Dixon (1st)

The 2022 Honda Indy Toronto NTT IndyCar Series was won by Scott Dixon, his 4th time in Toronto! However a number of current drivers also have multiple wins on the Streets of Toronto like Will Power and Josef Newgarden that will give Scott a run for his money. IndyCar notes that "Josef Newgarden is a two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and the winningest current American driver in the series", although he is only 4th place in the standings - that is a tough series!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Flower Rings in College Park Toronto

I think that the futuristic portals installed in College Park have been moved and a covering of flowers have been put around the rings. They do look beautiful in the sun.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Have fun in Storm Crow Manor

I had a chance to check out Toronto's Storm Crow Manor which is a crazy good bar and restaurant in the heart of the Gay Village and I loved the atmosphere, drinks and food! Described as "Toronto's geekiest bar" which opened in 2018 in a mansion at 580 Church Street and featuring a sanity-shattering array of theme rooms, secret doors, catacombs, cyberpunk bars, glowing, bubbling cocktails, randomly-generated burgers and, oh yeah, tentacles."
The gorgeous mansion

The walls of the stairs leading to the bathrooms
Some drinks come with LED ice cubes and dry ice to make them glow and smoke

I loved the cocktail menu with their brilliant names like 'Beetle Juice', She-Hulk's Gamma Juice and the new 'Vader Tiki'. Once I saw the glowing drink make it's way from the bar I was sold on the LED ice cubes and ordered some for my own parties. Plus I started out with a random shot, chosen by a roll of a 20-sided die (if you roll a 20 you get to keep the shot glass), where I desperately hoped that I wouldn't get number 15 - the Xenomorph Brain Fluid "“Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility." Creme de Cacao, Blue Curacao, Grenadine, Baileys **Contains dairy", which would probably looks all brain-like.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Muddy the big catfish

The Dunnville Mudcat sits proud in a park, proud as a giant sculpture of a fish could be, waiting for that giant hook and worm that finally lands the monster. We love to drive across Ontario, and soon Canada, and look forward to discovering the unusual and beautiful sights. Sometimes the attractions are shown on blue signs along the highways, sometimes it is just an internet site that prompts curiosity.

This, the world's largest Mudcat Sculpture, just shouts "take time and come visit me!" And the fish is obliging at 50 feet long and 27 feet high it is ready to eat man-sized bait. It was completed in 2009 and located in Dunnville's Centennial Park near the Grand River and just north of the shores of Lake Erie.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

IndyCar 2023 schedule including Toronto

As we approach the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28th we also eagerly await the return of the racecars to the streets of Toronto. Race weekend in Toronto takes place from July 14 to 16, 2023 in Exhibition Place and onto Lake Shore Boulevard.

This year's NTT IndyCar Series schedule features 17 races beginning with the Streets of St. Petersburg, the Indianapolis 500 and ending with the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California. Seven road course races, five on street circuits and five oval races. The NTT IndyCar Champion will receive the Astor Challenge Cup in Monterey Sunday, September 10. 

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” said NBC Sports, VP, Programming Mike Perman. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

In the lead up to Toronto's race we find the series at The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio during the 4th of July weekend and after Toronto they head to the Iowa Speedway for a doubleheader. From Indy Car, "The 2023 season hits its stride with eight races in the final nine weeks. Peacock once again will provide an exclusive presentation of the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday, July 16, for the series’ annual appearance in Canada’s largest city."

Collision tech conference Toronto 2023 coming in June

It has been described as the "the Olympics of tech" and it is coming back to Toronto from June 26 to June 29, 2023 at the Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place. Collision brings some of the world's best speakers, tech companies and leaders, media and thousands of attendees as they take part in expert-led workshops and roundtables which provide invaluable learning and development.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on stage

From Collision, "With expert-led workshops and roundtables, Collision is buzzing with insights from the leaders of all industries touched by tech. Hear it from a well-balanced and enticing line-up covering today’s pressing topics. Hear inspiring success stories, join thought-provoking conversations and upskill at Collision. As Entrepreneur Magazine puts it, “every visitor is guaranteed to learn something both new and exciting”."

There are 16 pages of listed speakers taking part in the conference, a literal who's who of CEOs, COOs, founders of so many famous companies, publications and sports including some that I picked out such as Geoffrey Hinton of the University of Toronto described as the Grandfather of AI, Danielle Belton Editor-in-chief of HuffPost, Bill Manning President of Toronto FC & Toronto Argonauts MLSE and Subrata De Executive VP and Global Head of Programming and Documentary Vice.

Canadian actor Seth Rogen at the conference

Monday, May 15, 2023

World Naked Bike Ride Toronto 2023 coming in June

Are you ready for the annual two-wheeled, gas-free mobile protest that is one of Toronto's most unusual public events? Well WNBR is scheduled for Saturday, June 10, 2023 so here are top ten things you need to know to prepare for the bike ride.

1. Transportation and parking. WNBR Toronto starts in Coronation Park along Lake Shore, just south of Prince's Gates at Exhibition Place, in the war memorial next to the giant flag. Parking on site is limited so try biking to the park or look for parking at nearby Ontario Place, Exhibition Place or nearby Queens Quay area.

2. Gathering starts early on from around 10am so that participants can socialize, prep and decorate bikes, apply body paints and get any costumes ready. You can also meet ride organizer Gene Dare wearing the big, red hat who is usually on site by 9am. There will be plenty of visitors watching and taking photos, both in the park and along the route of the ride, so wear a mask if you are uncomfortable with this. There will probably be a body painter on site but they might be busy so bring some of your own paints to use and share.

3. This is a clothing optional event, be as bare as you dare from fancy suits to your birthday suit. As Gene explains this is a legal, clothing free protest and the police often show up to touch base with Gene or even occasionally providing police bicycle escorts. Gene notifies and liaisons with Toronto Police and news organizations so they are aware of the ride. Media crews might visit during prep to interview and film the bikers and we will take group photos before the ride begins.

4. It is important to bring sunscreen and liquid refreshments, apply both liberally as you don't want sunburns on delicate body parts or dehydrate on the ride.

5. You don't need to use a bicycle. Any gas free, auto free mode of personal transport is welcome. We see scooters, roller blades and skateboards being used and consider the bike share bicycles if you don't own, or can't get their own bike to site - although a seat cover is definitely suggested (good for all bikes).

6. The actual ride starts at approximately 1pm as hundreds of people mount their bikes and head out of the park, led by route guides and traffic wardens protecting the cyclists at intersections. WNBR Toronto is a rain or shine event so try to use waterproof paints if it is raining. Weather almost always has been nice for the ride, so hopefully this will continue in 2023.

7. The ride takes approximately 3 to 4 hours and takes us through or by some of Toronto's most famous landmarks or neighborhoods including Trinity Bellwoods Park, Kensington Market, the University of Toronto campus, Yorkville, Queen's Park, Allan Gardens, around Yonge-Dundas Square and Toronto City Hall, near Steam Whistle Brewing for the CN Tower picture as well as Queen's Quay and H2O and Sugar Beaches. The pace is relatively moderate so the large group of riders keeps together as best as possible.

8. WNBR Toronto stops for photos and rest at Queen's Park, Allan Gardens, Toronto City Hall / Nathan Phillips Square and the Toronto Ferry port CN Tower.

9. Public reaction is generally very favourable with many lining the street as WNBR people cry out the name of the ride or shout out "less gas, more ass". Surprisingly many people don't know of the ride, or that it was happening that day so they are a little bit surprised to see so much naked flesh passing by. They smile, laugh and wave while almost everyone pulls out their phones to document the ride, otherwise people might not believe them. There are some that make fun of the rider's bodies or tell them to put in clothes, but they are mean, small in numbers and the ride is also about body positivity.

10. You can stay with the group till the end of drop out whenever you feel like it, otherwise we head back to the starting point at Coronation Park. Don't forget to put on clothes when you leave the ride! The majority of people might stop at the Toronto Ferry port where they either quit the ride, head over to the clothing free beach at Hanlan's Point on the Islands or return to Coronation Park. The choice is yours. Have fun and be a positive force towards improving the planet!

Now you are ready to do something outside the box and remember to have fun and enjoy the physical workout.

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Ursa Minor the 12 foot bear in Toronto

Nestled into the courtyard of the Bay Adelaide Centre is a rather large 12 foot metal bear made of infinity mirrors and colour changing LEDs. Created by artist Jen Lewin, the art installation named Ursa Minor is an impressive sight amongst the towers of downtown Toronto. May 7th 2023 is the expected end of the temporary installation.

The sculpture is ironically named after Ursa Minor, or Little Bear, which compared to the constellation really is small. From Jen's website; "Ursa Minor is a towering 12-foot-tall infinity mirrored bear by American contemporary artist Jen Lewin.The sculpture is free-standing and engages onlookers with its colorful flowing and interactive LED light choreography. Inspired by the dazzling natural phenomena of Polaris (the North Star) and its constellation Ursa Minor, the sculpture’s multi-paneled infinity mirrored body illuminates, conveying emotions of amazement, wonder, and exploration and reminding us to “Look Up”."

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square