Sunday, July 30, 2023

Toronto Foodville Afro-Caribbean Food Festival

There was a lot of entertainment and visitors in the relatively small space of Stackt Market on Bahturst Street during the Foodville Afro-Caribbean Food Festival on Saturday, July 29, 2023. This was a brand new cultural festival highlighting the food and music from Africa, Caribbean and Afro-Latin areas presented by Black Owned Toronto.

The lineup of entertainment included DJs, bands, dancing, live performances on 3 stages with soca, hip-hop, R&B, afrobeats and more along with food and vendors on site. Some of the excitement took place within the Blue Moon Brewery.
Some beautiful Carnival dancers in the square
Stackt Market is also a great place to visit with all the art type things, food, drink and entertainment.

Love Park Toronto

What used to hold a circular, descending exit ramp from the Gardiner Expressway is now full of love, or the visual representation of love - a big, red heart at the foot of York Street near the waterfront. The heart is a pond, full of slightly algae tinged water (they are working on that) with a large tree on a small island in the pond. Surrounded by city roads, glass towers and the nearby expressway.
When the off ramp came down they left the concrete T supports in place, like the ones at the end of the expressway to the east at the end of the Gardiner along Lakeshore Boulevard, and I hoped that they would leave the supports in place and incorporate them in the design. However, the City was pretty clear that they would take down the supports, which they did. It does look nice though, a pretty addition to the southern Financial District in the Harbourfront neighbourhood, plus it has a doggy park there as well.
From Waterfront Toronto's website, "Love Park delivers on romance. The pulse of the park is its central heart-shaped water feature—a universal symbol for love aligned to true North. A mature Northern Catalpa tree punctuates this water feature as it sits on its own dedicated island. Adjacent office towers have a unique aerial view of the park’s heart shaped pond, the wisteria-covered trellis, Catalpa island, and lush greenery. Dedicated park furniture surround the heart-shaped water-feature and can be moved to suit your ultimate comfort and vantage point, while bronze-cast native-Canadian animal sculptures playfully animate the green refuge."

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Toronto Importfest 2023

Canada's biggest and baddest car show is back in Toronto on Saturday, July 29, 2023 at the north building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from 11am till 10pm. And the place is packed with modified vehicles and almost all come with wicked sound systems and booming bass.

The annual auto extravaganza features competitions, models and vendors and originally came to Toronto in 2001. Now 22 years later the crowds are still enthusiastic walking the row upon row of cool looking cars. The top Tuners in North America will battle it out for thousands in cash and awards.

The crowd loves these cars and will be here for hours checking out the cars and their accessories and modifications. There will also be a dj and a model photo shoot.

From Importfest's website ( you can also find the following.

Vinyl Wrap Demo
RC Car Play Area
Meet & Greet Special Guests
Feature Models
Stage Performances
Special Build Vehicle Debuts
BREAK DANCING: TBA Brand presents the 8th Annual B Boy Battle Live at ImportFest. Hosted by UBL - Universal B Boy League. "Gather around - make a circle - and watch the show."

It's a dance off

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Fergus Medieval Faire

Downtown Fergus, Ontario is the perfect place to go back in time for the Fergus Medieval Festival, it looks like you are in a castle with all the stonework and those traffic signals, because I am sure that old castles had traffic signals. On Saturday, July 22, 2023 the core of the small town was closed to vehicles so the festival could take over and wander the street, alleys and parking lots visiting the vendors, displays and friendly armed combat could take place.
The Fergus Medieval Faire event schedule and map

I was very impressed in how many of the visitors got into character or costume to add enjoyment to the day. The medieval faire ran from 11am to 5pm and the crowds were large and enthusiastic. From the festival's website "Join us for a free, family-oriented day of medieval fun & merriment. Featuring knights and ladies, vikings, battles, magicians and wizards, monks, birds of prey, musicians, archery practice, fight the knight (for kids) and more!"

The range of cosplay at the event included the traditional knights, royalty, vikings and other, more eclectic trappings - like furries, Lord of the Rings characters and other some cartoon characters.

If you like to dress up or go see these medieval events you can find more information on Medieval Festivals in Ontario on the faires website. The upcoming 2023 faires include the Oxford Renaissance Festival and the Salty Dog Pirate Festival.

See more photos after the jump.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Sunday at Honda Indy Toronto 2023

Today is the day where the sleek, powerful machines play for all the marbles at the Honda Indy Toronto 2023. With massive power and speed that pushes air like a hammer along the track - bring your ear plugs and watch 27 IndyCar drivers take to the streets in and around Exhibition Place for the annual Grand Prix of Toronto. The fast six were determined on Saturday in a slight moist condition - Christian Lundgaard took the P1 award and will lead the field on race day. Rounding up the Firestone Fast Six are Scott McLaughlin (P2), Pato O'Ward (P3), Felix Rosenqvist (P5) and Will Power (P6). During the morning practice a light rain started, see photo at top.

It's now sunny and warm out by the Princes' Gates and the run off lane

Weather wise it looks like thunder showers are in the forecast today as well, starting around noon. So hopefully that forecast is wrong! Update: rain pushed out till later tonite. Ten minutes to the start of the race and it is sunny and hot, perfect for burning rubber on the track. In Sunday's IndyCar warmup the top three were Scott Dixon, Kyle Kirkwood and Josef Newgarden. 

There are four support races today and an IndyCar warm-up session (10:15am). This afternoon the IndyCars will head to the grid at 1:10, drivers to their cars at 1:44, drivers start their engines at 1:53 and the green flag drops at 2:00pm. Estimated end of the race is 3:40pm.

Scott Dixon, four time winner in Toronto will be defending his 2022 win. While he has been finishing out of the top drivers in practice and qualifications, he remains in the top 10 every time - he won't give up easily and could certainly make this win number 5 in Toronto. What a smashing race. After 3pm there were seven cars out of the race including Helio Castroneves. The results of the race have Christian Lundgaard 1st, Alex Palou 2nd and Colton Herta 3rd.

The morning practice run

Sunday, July 16 schedule
8:10 AM - 8:50 AM USF2000 Race 2
9:05 AM - 9:40 AM Radicals Race 3
10:15 AM - 10:45 AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Warm-up 1
1:05 AM - 11:45 AM USF Pro 2000 Race 2
12:00 PM - 12:40 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Race 3
1:10 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Driver Introductions
1:53 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Honda Indy Toronto

Helio waits for his turn during driver introductions
Two fighter jets make a pass over IndyTO
Driver introductions
Influencer Ava Rose on stage with Jeff Atkinson, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree
Firestone in Victory Circle
The Mayor of Hinchtown, James Hinchcliffe, speeds away from the track on a golf cart

The three winners hold up their trophies while a confetti cannon goes off
Champagne spraying time

See more of the IndyCar race after the jump.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Saturday at Honda Indy Toronto 2023

Gates open for the Honda Indy Toronto 2023 at 7:45am and it looks like the day might finish without thunder showers, hopefully. So the qualifications and racing can continue in a blistering pace as more and more rubber is being laid on the track. IndyCar will take to the track twice - one for the second practice and one for qualifying and the famous Firestone Fast 6 in anticipation of Sundays headline race. Tom Blomqvist of the #60 car passes by the Princes' Gates during the Fan Friday practice session in the photo at top.
Starting the day with a technical inspection for IndyCar 

NASCAR Pinty's Series are done now, the winner of the 2023 Tiffany Gate Grand Prix of Toronto was won by Alex Tagliani. The remaining series will continue to duke it out on the track in the runup to Sundays battle royal on the 11 turn, 2.874 km temporary street circuit.

Take a chance to win a hot tub from Seaway Pools & Hot Tubs

There are some ladies in mas costumes promoting Barbados

This is still a big day for IndyCar as the pressure to get the pole position is immense. In practice one the top five fastest cars were; Kyle Kirkwood #27 car, Romain Grosjean #28 car, Felix Rosenqvist #6 car, Colton Herta #26 car and Scott McLaughlin #3.

I noticed that a lot of the drivers who usually got around the site using motorcycle type scooters have switched over to two-wheeled escooters.

There are six races scheduled with the supporting series as well as a number of practices and qualifications.

2023 speed festival map

Qualification news from IndyCar "Every driver in the Firestone Fast Six session switched to Firestone slick tires on a drying track after using rain tires during the slippery second session. That created some fish-tailing, heart-in-throat moments, as all six drivers scrambled for grip in the few areas where the track remained wet. A handful of drivers brushed the wall during the thrilling, unpredictable final session as the rear of their cars side-stepped and sashayed exiting corners." The top six drivers were Christian Lundgaard (P1) with a speed of 100.217 and a time of 1:04.1567, Scott McLaughlin (P2), Pato O'Ward (P3), Felix Rosenqvist (P5) and Will Power (P6).

Saturday, July 15 schedule
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Sports Car Championship Canada Race 1
9:15 AM - 9:35 AM USF Pro 2000Qualifying 2
9:50 AM - 10:10 AM USF2000 Qualifying 2
10:35 AM - 11:35 AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2
11:50 AM - 12:35 PM USF Pro 2000 Race 1
12:50 PM - 1:25 PM Radicals Race 1
1:40 PM - 2:25 PM USF2000 Race 1
2:50 PM - 4:20 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying 
4:35 PM - 5:15 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Race 2
5:30 PM - 6:05 PM Radicals Race 2

At 10pm there will be a special drone show over Beanfield Centre on Saturday, July 15 for only one night to celebrate the 2023 Honda Indy Toronto. 

See more photos from Saturday after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square