Wednesday, June 28, 2023

More of Collision Toronto 2023

Thousands of attendees are filtering into the Enercare Centre bright and early for Collision 2023. The many stages are ready for a world class lineup of speakers and the tech companies are setting up for the busy day. Most of the talks start around 10am so pick something that interests you and go listen. I am using their handy app to find the content, timing and location to schedule my time through the day. The conference runs June 26 to 29 in Exhibition Place.

I am starting off with "the future of digital marketing and content strategies" and I plan to finish with "electrifying the cow". With just minutes to go it is already standing room only at the Startup Showcase stage.

With the Startup Showcase new companies come on stage for rapid, two minute presentations concentrating around the topic. 

Colin on Centre Stage

At Centre Stage at 10:30am Google Deepmind's Colin Murdoch began his hour long talk on "how AI is changing the world" with around 2,000 people listening to him speak. He tells us that AI will solve humanities problems tackling the world's biggest challenges, like climate change, weather forecasting and effective, affordable health care. Hopefully this will work without creating too many additional challenges!

Apparently the shape of proteins are very important and AI has been able to map out the 3D patterns of the building blocks of life.

In the future Colin sees more of AGI, or Artificial General Intelligence. This type of AI is better able to work on many different types of problems.

Talking twitter

Then it was time for "is the engineer dead", followed by "what's next for the news on twitter", a panel discussion on the current state of Twitter.  They note that Elon bought Twitter for $44 billion then set upon a strategy of massive change, not the least being the blue check mark.  Now it is harder to follow events and find trusted content and even the meaning of the blue checkmark has changed. Because of this many people and companies have dropped out of the Twitterverse. Can Twitter survive the loss of advertisers and the jungle that it has become? One suggestion is bring back the free verified checkmark!

DealPotential - time to fast track your funding process
Startup Showcase 

Get IT done quietly, shhhhhh

Meat and agriculture is one of the challenges the earth faces due to its impact to the environment. Joshua March from SciFi Foods talked about the impact of some practices such as deforestation to allow for cows to graze, or the contribution of so many cows producing methane providing a negative impact to climate change. He notes that Bill Gates has said that everything has to be electrified, or in the case of meat must be lab grown, to have a chance to limit temperature increases which is sad that he pointed out that sales of lab grown meats and vegetarian 'meat' has leveled off.

All and all the web summit has been an exceptional value and great opportunity to network and learn at the same time. Don't forget that Collision is returning to Toronto in 2024.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Toronto Collision Tech Conf 2023

The tech world has arrived at Toronto's doorway as the massive conference called Collision returns to the Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place from June 26-29, 2023. See more of the conference on my post here.

It's hard to believe how many companies are in the building from around the globe, including some of the largest like Google and Amazon to some of the smaller firms looking for entry with the big boys and girls in the industry.

From Collision, "Collision will soon take over Toronto, with 150-plus hours of talks, masterclasses and networking sessions for attendees from all over the world to enjoy. The three-day event gives attendees the chance to mix with tech giants, leading entrepreneurs and cultural icons, and to learn from the people at the forefront of the tech industry and of society at large."

Outside the building is an army of food trucks and the occasional bar for some adult beverages. Inside is quite a few stages along with rows and rows of companies looking to contact the right people to make magic happen. There are at least two stages setup for people to pitch business ideas to an esteemed group of judges.

Some important stats from Collision:

Collision will gather 36,378 attendees from 118 countries in Toronto

A record-breaking 30 percent of startups this year this year are women-founded

41 percent of attendees are women; 36 percent of speakers are women

1,72727 startups and partners from 76 countries and almost 30 industries are are exhibiting

CA$188 million has been injected into the Toronto economy over the course of the three in-person Collision events since 2019

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Toronto Pride Parade 2023

The big weekend finale to Pride Month hits Toronto with three days of marches on the last weekend of June 2023. Friday was the Trans March, Saturday was the Dyke March and the big one is Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25 beginning at 2pm. The street festival on Church Street in the Gay Village runs over the weekend as well.

See more of Pride after the jump.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

A trip to Kingston and beyond

So much of Canada is worth visiting, but you might need plenty of time to drive there, so sometimes you like to keep within a few hours of travel. If you take a mini-vacation of a couple of days you can go a little further than easy day trips - like going to Kingston, Ontario which is about a 3 hour trip. 

As a city along the St. Lawrence River the waterfront is a big draw with historical landmarks and a great trail along the waters edge. We stayed in a hotel that looked down on the pier that is used for boat tours, near the ferry that runs to Wolfe Island. You can see engine 1095 behind the Kingston sign in Confederation Park.

One of the 4 Martello Towers in Kingston
Royal Military College (RMC) Arch
Torpedo looking towards the city from the RMC grounds
Kingston Pumphouse Steam Museum
Looking toward the Brock St wharf from our room in the Confederation Place Hotel

Besides biking we enjoyed visiting the Kingston Pen, which was closed in 2013 and turned into a tourist destination, the Royal Military College, some museums and the historic downtown area with some great bars and restaurants. Fort Henry wasn't open when we dropped by so we will save that for another time.
Kingston Pen tour

Driving to your mini-vacation you can always stop along the way, like we did with Reid's Dairy (great ice cream), the Big Apple in Colborne and Primitive Designs in Port Hope.

The Big Apple
Later we drove to Belleville, about an hour away, to see Canada's first railway tunnel which has been converted into a sound and light show worth the visit.
Belleville tunnel

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Toronto World Naked Bike Ride 2023

Warm and sunny with highs of 27 degrees is perfect for a little bare ass bike riding for WNBR2023. The streets of Toronto will be filled with cyclists on Saturday, June 10 supporting the environment by protesting vehicular pollution all the while promoting body positivity and joining a worldwide event taking place in over 70 cities and in 20 countries. The northern hemisphere rides in June and the southern hemisphere rides in March. Toronto rides annually on the second Saturday of June so you can prepare for next year. The official date is Saturday, June 8, 2024.

HTO Beach
Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall

Update: it is gorgeous weather and it's warming up. Gene was here at 9am, photo at top, and by 9:30am riders were just starting to show up.

The ride starts in Coronation Park, just south of the Princes' Gates in Exhibition Place, at the war memorial adjacent to the Canadian flag. Gene Dare, the Toronto ride organizer, will probably be there at nine am but most people show up starting around 10 where participants will socialize and apply body paint before starting the ride at 1pm.

Matti Charlton for Mayor
Some of the posters made for the ride
People lined the streets as the ride passes by

As the large crowd of riders, estimated at over 200 for this year, head out of the park for the approximate three hour tour the City starts hearing of the ride on social media and many line the streets and cheer on the naked bikers. The route takes the World Naked Bike Ride Toronto past some of the city's iconic landmarks and neighbourhoods including Queen's Park, Yonge-Dundas Square, Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall, the CN Tower and Sugar and HTO Beaches before returning to Coronation Park.

Dress code is as bare as you dare with plenty of sunscreen recommended. Costumes or fun accessories are also welcome.  You can join the ride, or leave the ride any time you want. Many head over to Hanlan's Point clot hing optional beach at the end of the ride.

Here are some of Gene's suggestions for the ride.

1.  Careful on the ttc tracks.

2. Take lots of pictures!

3. Top up the air in your tires. Oil all moving parts for a smoother easier ride.

4. No bike, then run, roller blade or scooter it. Cover the seats of your rental bikes please.

5. Water and suntan lotion is a necessity. Note: you can refill water at Allan Gardens and City Hall.

6. The co-organizer of the Montreal Naked Bike Ride will be bringing body paints to our ride.

7. Allan Gardens may have a tent encampment there. Give those people their space please.

8. After we get back to Coronation Park please get dressed. The protest is over.

9. Three police divisions have been notified of the protest and welcomed to participate.

10. Just have fun!

Come back often as I add more pictures of the 2023 WNBR.

You can explore past WNBR Toronto events through this link:

See more photos after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square