Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Toronto Jazz Fest 2024

A lot of people remember the famous musical quote from the Office television series when Angela says “Jazz IS stupid; I mean, just play the right notes!”, but many people love jazz music. So enjoy the Toronto Jazz Festival 2024 from June 21 to 30 at several locations in Toronto.

Jazz Fest 2024 Map

The Jazz Fest has a combination of free (in the Bloor-Yorkville area) and ticketed events and one of the larger outdoor locations is in UofT's Victoria College parks along Burwash Hall Residence. The site includes the TD Main Stage and the OLG Lounge along with a large display by the I Love NY people.

The festival has been put on by the Toronto Downtown Jazz Community since 1987 and has been very successful and the main sponsor is TD.

Monday, June 24, 2024

TD Union Summer 2024

The Festival on Front is back up and running at Toronto's main transportation hub, Union Station, for Union Summer June 24 to August 25, 2024. You got your culture, your food and drink and if you have time before your train is ready, bingo you got something to do.

The summer patio is on the Front Street Plaza, the middle section off Union Station, and the TD Stage is on the west side of the patio where you can listen to live bands and performers.

Hours of Operation
Sun-Wed 11:00am-8:00pm
Thu-Fri 11:00am-9:00pm
Sat 11:00am-10:00pm
*Union Summer will be closed Jul 22-24 to rotate food vendors*

See more photos after the jump.

2025 WNBR Toronto ride announced

Toronto WNBR organizer Gene Dare has identified the date of next year's ride and guiding principles. The bare as you dare ride will take place Saturday, June 14, 2025. You can see some of the 2024 ride on my post here.

"World Naked Bike Ride
Second Saturday of June every year.
Coronation Park, Toronto

Less Gas, More Ass!

1. Reducing fossil fuel consumption: By cycling naked, participants show their commitment to more sustainable and less oil-dependent modes of transportation.

2. Cyclist safety: The event highlights the vulnerability of cyclists on the roads and encourages motorists to be more attentive and respectful towards alternative modes of transportation.

3. Body Positivity: By stripping naked to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride, participants celebrate the diversity of human bodies and promote self-acceptance.

This unique event combines activism, awareness, and celebration of bodily freedom. It brings together people from all walks of life for an unforgettable cycling experience."

Saturday, June 22, 2024

“The Garden Gardens” in the Sculpture Gardens

Toronto's tiny Sculpture Garden at 115 King Street East near Church Street has a new art installation on display called “The Garden Gardens” by Julia Campisi. Her work will be exhibited from June 1 to September 10, 2024. The Sculpture Garden is near Church Street and squeezes between two really old buildings (built in the 1840s).
Julia's Toronto Hydro Electric maintenance cover, above
I found one of the real maintenance cover that I found on the street, not to far away

Julia replicates life in some type of polymer or plastic, some of which have been destroyed by the time I had taken photos of the site. Her art is interesting because of her description of reason behind the art and because I saw one of her pieces in real life out in the street. From the Garden's website you can find the summary below.

“The Garden Gardens” explores the intricate systems that underpin urban life by transforming familiar urban elements into revered artifacts. In a deliberate nod to the tradition of the museum presentation, Campisi employs the plinth to create an open air art gallery that creates a striking narrative between adoration, artifice and absurdity. The installation invites us to navigate the complexities and generative effects that progress has in shaping our perception of reality, culture and identity. In doing so, she offers a powerful meditation on the nature of truth, authenticity and the enduring allure of facades in our modern world.

All that remains of the three basement floor jacks are the baseplates
They are unsurprisingly less durable when not made of metal. I feel bad for the artist and hope that they weren't destroyed on purpose

Working autobiographically, Campisi uses labour intensive and experimental methods to re-make seemingly random elements from her daily life. She is not interested in maintaining reality but rather is more interested in generating a fantasy to create a space where assumptions, absurdity and artifice are front and centre. She is not trying to trick the viewer but rather draw out their judgments and bring into question the general feeling or idea of culture as ascribed to our built environment. Ultimately, her work is fixated on why we exist and how the things that we never pay attention to ultimately define, generate and build who we are.

Amidst our cultural fixation with facades, “The Garden Gardens” serves as a commentary on society’s preoccupation with surface appearances. In our pursuit of the idealized and the superficial, we often unwittingly embrace facades to obscure deeper truths, blurring the lines between reality and illusion. These sculptural works invite viewers to confront this paradox and contemplate the profound implications of living in a world where truth is often veiled by artifice."

Friday, June 21, 2024

NXNE Queen West Day Party

Toronto's 2024 NXNE annual music festival takes place in mid-June 2024 and featured a Queen West Day Party on Saturday, June 15 from 11am to 7pm. Performers started on the main stage at 5:55pm and continue into the night and was free for all ages.

The Day Party had vendors and a beverage patio as visitors combined love of music with the magic of Queen Street West. NXNE has emerging talent and established performers and bands play throughout the years and at various locations and only requires one, inexpensive festival pass to go to all shows.

Floating garbage becomes Upcycle art in the inner harbour

Toronto's Harbour Square Basin near the ferry docks has another temporary floating art installation called "Upcycle" by artist Javid Jah. The semi-circular structure is weighted to float approximately at its centre and is anchored to keep it in place. The art will stay until the end of September 2024.
The round form is made of 456 recycled plastic water bottles and each bottle contains submitted stories, or messages in bottles, of people's connection to water which is the rational behind the design. Javid wanted to explore the environmental and spiritual impacts connecting us to nature through water.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Mini train at Roundhouse Park

A tiny train runs around Roundhouse Park in Toronto, across the road from the CN Tower, part of the Toronto Railway Museum. It might be hard to see the small train from all the big trains in the yard but it makes all stops, one I believe, in the park at the historic Don Station building.
The regular running of the mini train began June 13, 2024 and operates from noon to 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday until September 2nd. Just don't think of the time the mini train derailed!

Month and Days of Operation
May: Saturdays and Sundays in May and June 1-2
June: (starts June 13) Wednesday to Sunday
July: Wednesday to Sunday
August-September 2 (Labour Day 2024) Wednesday to Sunday
September 3-Spring 2024 Closed

The museum opened in 2010 and over 500,000 riders have taken the train which runs along a half a kilometre of track. You have to buy tickets for specific times and be there 5 minutes before the scheduled departure.

I've always admired the city skyline from the park, along with the Steam Whistle Brewing company.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Luminato Festival continues Evanescent installation

Bright, shiny balls, shimmering in the sun are at Bay-Adelaide Centre, Brookfield Place and First Canadian Place until July 30, 2024. The shiny balls are an art installation by artist Atelier Sisu and this is phase two of the 2024 Luminato Festival display.
In the courtyard of Brookfield Place along Front Street

Arnell Plaza at Bay Adelaide Centre

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hanlan's Point Rainbow Road

The World's largest rainbow road is on Toronto Islands at Hanlan's Point along the city's first nude beach. It is called the "Long Path to Equality" by queer artist Travis Myers and is almost 2,000 feet long and was designed as a tribute to the LGBTQ2+ community and was unveiled in time for Pride Month 2024.
Hanlan's is now an entirely clothing-optional beach
You can take a Toronto ferry or water taxi to Hanlan's Point

It starts at the road sign at the Island's Beach Road and Lakeshore Avenue and runs towards the Island Airport. On the post is a sign from the City designating the area as a historical queer space and the site of the first Pride in 1971.

Toronto Collision Tech Conference 2024

I really like the saying "the Olympics of Tech" to describe the Collision Conference which is in Toronto for the last time before it moves to Vancouver in 2025. Almost 40,000 people attended the 2023 conference and the 2024 conference continues from Tuesday, June 18 to Thursday, June 20, 2024 in the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place. While content runs from 10am till 5pm there is also Collision After Hours that you can check out as well, plus keep your eyes peeled for entrepreneur and tennis legend Maria Sharapova's talk.

The main stage is setup and ready for morning breakout startups and then Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave's opening remarks at 10:15am
Paddy takes to the stage and says that Collision will bring us together. He also noted that there were a high number of startups taking place in the show (1600) and 44% of the startups are female founded. 
Collision Conference will become Web Summit Vancouver when it moves to the west coast of Canada in May 2025. There have been a number of Web Summit events around the world; Web Summit Rio in South America, Web Summit Qatar in the Middle East and the upcoming Web Summit Lisbon. Toronto has had three in-person Collision conferences since 2019, wildly popular despite the whole Covid thing. The conferences began in Dublin in 2009 and in the years since have seen almost 1,000,000 attendees around the world join technology founders, entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders exchange ideas while discussing emerging trends which are, and can, impact the world.
The atmosphere has changed since thousands of people have joined the conference floor, checking out the vendors and catching some dynamic speakers at the multiple stages.

From Collision, "The final Collision event in Toronto will gather more than 40,000 tech entrepreneurs from 130-plus countries. In just 10 years, Collision has become the fastest-growing technology event in North America, often dubbed the “Anti-CES”, for its unique approach toward creating meaningful connections and communities."

Early in the first day of the conference I am looking forward to two speakers discuss "The real world impact of AI" followed by "To Infinity and beyond! The future of space". I also want to check out some of the startups and PITCH sessions. Check out the full schedule on the Collision website or App and fill up your own schedule, then make your own connections.

instagram @CollisionConfHQ

See more of the show after the jump.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Toronto Taste of Little Italy 2024

This popular, annual neighbourhood street party brings together thousands of people to enjoy the culture and cuisine of Italy while squeezed into College Street from Bathurst to Shaw Streets. This year's shindig ran from Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16 with the amusement rides to the west and the main stage to the east.
Watching the soccer game

There was plenty of live entertainment planned throughout the three day weekend event but Saturday, June 15 the biggest draw was the Euro Cup 2024 soccer tournament game as Italy took on Albania. Things were tense at the beginning after Italy gave up a goal at 23 seconds before Italy finally won the game 2-1. The beer tent and main stage with the soccer game on the big screen is shown in the photo at top.
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow gives the thumbs up at the street festival

See more of the street festival after the jump.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Na-Me-Res Traditional Pow Wow at Fort York

Toronto is celebrating Indigenous History Month and the Na-Me-Res (Native Mens Residence) put on a traditional Pow Wow in Fort York's Garrison Common over the June 15-16, 2024 weekend. The Pow Wow was also included an Indigenous Arts Festival and concerts.

The colourful event was free to attend and featured music, art, food and dance of the First Nations, Inuit and also the M├ętis Peoples of Turtle Island. First up was the Pow Wow from 12 noon till 5pm followed by the Indigenous Arts Festival Mississaugas of the Credit concerts from 5:30pm to 10pm. Sunday continues with more of the Arts Festival concerts and dance performances from 11am to 4pm.
The Pow Wow finery was amazing

Crowds watch the dance circle

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square