Thursday, February 29, 2024

Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show 2024

The Big Recreational Vehicle Show has setup in the International Centre over the February 29 to March 3, 2024 weekend with electrical connections plugged in, patio awnings up and beverages at the ready. Weather is inconsequential because the show is inside and the thousands of visitors are either campers or potential campers checking out what is available in the market, feeling good knowing that this show is produced by the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association and some of the largest RV Dealers are here to tempt them with deals on some great models.

Luckily you don't have to order your tickets six months in advance by waking up at dawn with three computers hoping to get passes into the show. Now you can just buy tickets to the Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show online, or at the door, and enjoy the free parking at the International Centre and wander the five enormous halls of the centre which also includes a 15,000 square foot RV Parts and Camping Marketplace.
It was interesting to see the back ramp decks on a lot of units. Another trend is the second floor units with a lot of windows and more room for car, kayak and biking spaces.
Stairs to the second floor
There are also a lot of chances to enter contests like the Cash Cube above, in thus case you have to buy a trailer to get in the cube.

Campers are like boaters, their current model is just until they get the next bigger one, unless they are going for the tiny little campers because they are so cute, or get that next boat because there is a houseboat dealer at the show. And to find camp sites you can visit several that are at the show like Camp Hillbilly, Family Paradise Seasonal Resort Community and Great Blue Resorts. This show is great partly because of the large amount of camping trailers, recreational vehicles, tent trailers, van campers, pickup truck camper inserts, fifth wheels and more - from $16k to $100k plus, in one place and allowing walk throughs of the units.

Don't just get an RV, try out the luxury bus camping lifestyle.

Find booth 505 where you can enter contests, check out the RV Lifestyle, live entertainment and kids zone. You can also attend a number of seminars throughout the weekend, like the GO Power Solar - What you need to tap the sun for power in the Aviation Ballroom A/B near Hall 5.

Show Hours

Thursday, February 29th 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday, March 1st 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 2nd 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 3rd 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

I was checking the vendor list and some of the more interesting ones include 3 Angry Cats, Roasty Toasty Campfire Company (if you buy park wood you might want to check out this company started by a 13 year old!), Terego for camping at some unusual places like wineries and farms, Urban eBikes because I love ebikes and Cinderella Incinerating Toilets. The rest I will discover at the show.

Toasting giant marshmallows at the show

See more of the camping and RV show after the jump.

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

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.

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

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square