Monday, February 19, 2024

Toronto Beaches Winter Stations 2024

Family Day is back in town and so is the annual art installation Winter Stations along the Woodbine Beach area of Toronto. The public exhibition starts February 19 and features seven winners of the design competition that requires participants to design a temporary installation around the existing utilitarian lifeguard towers.
Nimbus. I thought it was popcorn but it was a storm cloud
The view from inside

The proposals are judged and then the winners will work with the fabrication team to build the winning proposals which will be exhibited for approximately six weeks. Entering the contest is free and so is the exhibition so it is a nice reason to walk around the lake front in the middle of winter.
We Caught A UFO!
There is a lineup to get inside the UFO

For 2024 the theme is Resonance, for memories or moments that have made an impact to the collective narrative. Designers are also asked to provide recommendations for environmentally friendly ways to dispose or recycle the installation at the termination of the exhibition.
A Kaleidoscopic Odyssey
twin kaleidoscopes on the beach
It made great photo opportunities

The winners are; We Caught A UFO! (Croatia and Australia), A Kaleidoscopic Odyssey (Canada), Nimbus (Canada), Making Waves (Canada), Bobbin’ (Canada), Winteraction (Canada and Iran) and Nova (Canada).

Winteraction, without AR
A screenshot of Winteraction with Augmented Reality
Inside NOVA
Making Waves. The crank case is disconnected and the waves don't wave. This installation is off the beach and can be found at Woodbine Park (Queen St E at Northern Dancer Blvd)

City of Toronto Family Day 2024 events

The City's website has a number of Family Day activities, many of them free admission, if you are looking for things to do on this fine, newish holiday falling on Monday, February 19. For other events happening you can see my post on fun things to do in Toronto January and February 2024. I know that I will be checking out Winter Stations in the Beach today. Have fun everyone.

"Family Day Activities at Fort York
Feb 19, 2024
Experience interactive family-friendly drop-in activities that includes baking, dancing, drumming an...
Family/Children, Live Performances, Museum, Family Day

Family Day Drop In Craft at Colborne Lodge
Feb 19, 2024
Experience this child-friendly and hands-on craft program that will delve playfully into the theme o...
Museum, Family Day

Family Day Weekend Activities at Scarborough Museum
Feb 19, 2024
Engage in hands-on, minds-on programming that celebrates the meaning of family, both the ones we are...
Family/Children, Literary, Museum, Family Day

Family Day Weekend at ROM
Feb 19, 2024
$16.00 - $26.00
In celebration of Family Day, on Monday, February 19, the entire Museum - including all of the exhib...
Family/Children, History, Museum, Family Day

Family Day at Gibson House Museum
Feb 19, 2024
Enjoy a day filled with family, friends and fun! With a focus on child friendly weaving and textile ...
Family/Children, Museum, Family Day"

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Undercover Allan Gardens Conservatory

The Palm House portion of Allan Gardens is a multi-domed greenhouse, pictured above in 2018, attached to four other greenhouses, located in a large park taking up almost a full city block in downtown Toronto. This heritage structure is usually open seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm, and conveniently includes public bathrooms and free admission however, beginning in late 2022 the city began an upgrade to the building that required it to be shut down to the public to facilitate construction work that should last until May of 2024.
Palm House under cover

As work includes removing and replacing the glass panels they had to put up scaffolding and install a protective enclosure to protect the building and upgrades during the work. So if you didn't realize the interesting greenhouse was there you wouldn't know it now that it is covered up.

The other greenhouses are open and portable toilets have been placed outside for public use. You can still see the Arid House, the Tropical House, the Orchid and Bromelied House and the Temperate Show House with a Koi Pond. Recent lineups for a plant sale called the Hungry for Love: Carnivorous Plant Sale show how popular this site is and additional plant and seed sale days are planned in 2024.
A shovel "pine cone" art installation along the back of the greenhouse

From the City's website, "Allan Gardens is a park and an indoor botanical garden with six greenhouses comprising over 16,000 square feet. The indoor conservatory features colourful plants and flowers from around the world. Seasonal plants supplement the permanent plant collection of botanical importance since 1858. The conservatory boasts the "Palm House" (1909) modelled after similar structures in the United States and England."

From project architects discussing the construction work, "Allan Gardens Conservatory is a heritage landmark in one of Toronto’s oldest parks, established in 1858. Consisting of six greenhouses, thecast iron and glass domed Palm House, built in 1910, is one of the oldest such structures in North America and the centrepiece of the historic complex. This project involves the complete interior renovation of the existing administration building, plus a 720 sq.ft. addition. The new and retrofitted spaces will house public washrooms and offices for facility staff. The public washroom facilities are designed as a suite of fully accessible, single occupant rooms, including an AODA compliant washroom.

The addition is conceived as a translucent volume of glass and stainless steel which will reflect the landscape of the park and complement the architecture of the of the main conservatory buildings. To improve the relationship between built form and open park space, a glazed access corridor spans the east facade of the existing Administration building. This corridor allows indoor/outdoor views and brings activity and movement to that area of the park, enhancing public safety."
An indigenous campsite featuring teepees and ceremonial Sacred Fires in the park. Most of the other tent encampments, described as a shantytown by the Toronto Sun, have left the site
Some of the buildings surrounding the park

Upcoming Toronto Cosplay events

Cosplay, or costume play, is when people dress up like characters in fiction, like science fiction, comics or television and for many the clothes are really a work of art. Going to comicons (probably the most popular) or other fan meetings or other events allow for people to meet like minded people and have fun. In 2024 the Toronto area there a number of cosplay friendly events throughout the year.

March Toronto Comicon March 15-17 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Bldg.

Some Furries at a Medieval Festival

Furnal Equinox: Under the Sea March 15-17 for furries and furry fandom at the Westin Harbour Castle.

Anime North May 24-26 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Pretty Heroes July 27-28 at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto. A Girl Power fandom event.

Fan Expo Canada August 22-25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Sometimes there is a fanexpo winter comicon so keep your eyes open for that and any new events.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Toronto Motorcycle and Powersport Show 2024

Moto Canada brings the Toronto Motorcycle and Powersport Show back to the city from this weekend from February 16-18 at the Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place. This is the fourth stop in the 2024 cross Canada show tour and features top motorcycle brands and equipment along with a virtual racing simulator, demonstration rides for children and a Moto Intro for adults - plus much more.
This year's tour is now under the Moto Canada Connect banner and is presented by NFP with something for on-road and off-road powersport and motorcycle riders, a look at the latest electric vehicles and the unveiling of some brand new models. In addition to the vehicles there will be plenty of vendors showing riding gear and accessories so that you can look good, enjoy the ride more and be safer when riding.

Don't forget about She Rides Night on Friday as women interested in the motorcycle lifestyle are encouraged to check out the show and also look for the Adventure Riding displays that also provide helpful tips and advice on making the most of your experience.
Royal Enfield unveiled the jewel of their collection; the Bullet 350. Produced continously since 1932 in Britain and later in India and still expanding around the globe.
From Moto Canada, “As the national showcase for major manufacturers in the sector, The Motorcycle and Powersport Show is the destination for all of the latest models, gear and information needed to have a great ride,” says Landon French, President and CEO of Moto Canada. “Our show brings the motorcycle and powersport communities together, whether you are a seasoned rider with thousands of kilometres on the odometer, or brand new and interested in what it takes to climb on and enjoy the experience of the road or trail. Rider passion is alive and well in Toronto, the motorcycle and quad lifestyle is one that people are curious about. The Motorcycle and Powersport Show is a playground for both the moto-enthusiast and the moto-curious.”

LOCATION: Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place — 100 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto, ON, M6K 3C3
HOURS: Friday, Feb 16: 12:00PM – 9:00PM, Saturday, Feb 17: 10:00AM – 8:00PM and Sunday, Feb 18: 10:00AM – 5:00PM.
Interactive motorcycle training 
Free motorcycle rides at the show

See more of the Motorcycle and Powersport Show after the jump.

Illuminite Light Festival coming to Toronto

During the entire month of May 2024 the Downtown Yonge BIA is bringing an interactive light festival to the area including SAM LAMP by artist Sam Hardwicke-Brown, pictured above, temporarily installed at College Park close to Bay and College Streets.

From the Downtown Yonge BIA Illuminite website, "This installation is a response to episodes of negative mental health that we all face throughout our lives. Through the semiotics of structure, and the use of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) light technology, the intention of the installation is to provide support to those within the structure. This noctilucent installation aims to provide temporary comfort to those in need. In the bleakest of darkness, one will find support in the light. This project acts as a Seasonal Affective Meditation space, and temporary safe haven for those in need."

The six installations are free to view from March 1-31 daily until midnight and consist of the following pieces.

Artist: Spectrum by Mirari
Location: Trinity Square Park

Artist: Sam Hardwicke-Brown
Location: Trinity Square Park

digital drapes
Artist: MattCreative
Location: HNR Properties 19-21 Dundas Square

You were here
Artist: Meghan Cheng
Location: Yonge Street

Artist: Ariel Weiss, Fransesco
Location: Trinity Square Park

Artist: Radha Chaddah x RAW Design
Location: Yonge Dundas Square

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Après Ski in the Distillery District

For some reason ski lifts are always broken in the distillery district, which is good since there seems to be a serious lack of snow and no hills, however should you wish to party after waiting for the lift to start working you can head to Trinity Square in Toronto's Distillery District for Après Ski Weekends.

The After Ski weekends are Fridays to Sundays (1pm - 7pm) from Friday, January 26 to Sunday, March 31, 2024 and are free to attend.
From the historic District's website,"Après Ski Weekends at The Distillery District are back! Visitors can gather around fire pits in Trinity Square while relaxing on Muskoka chairs wrapped in warm, complimentary blankets and enjoy: Making S’mores with giant marshmallows - perfect for the whole family to enjoy! Warm (or cold) drinks such as hot chocolate, mulled wine and beer (with all day Friday Happy Hour from 1:00 - 7:00 p.m., enjoy 50% off all drinks) - it's the best happy hour in the city! )
Fire-side comfort foods served from our outdoor wood-fired grill and StrEAT Food Distillery food truck. Vintage après ski photo opportunities. Grab your friends and try the shot-ski for a fun, memorable experience! Live DJs every Saturday from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. Fire pits are first-come, first-served."

The post ski event will also be open on special days including Family Day (Monday, Feb 19) and on Leap Day (Thursday, Feb 29). Please note that payment for the event is cashless.
You can also stop by all the amazing restaurants and stores in the district and buy and place a lock on the LOVE LOCKS display

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square