Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Harbourfront mist cloud and market in the public square

The public square at Harbrourfront Centre was converted from a summer pond/winter ice rink to a open square, for sure with interesting benches folding around the edges and a nice pattern of stone, but it seemed boring. Then they added holes and pipes that sprays mist and creates a low lying cloud at the square and life is good again.
In addition to the nearby Lakeview Market they also have a Harbourfront Night Market, located in the same square as the mist. And the free, outdoor night market featuring "culinary delights, food trucks, artisanal crafts and community" is open on select days from Saturday, July 13 to Sunday, September 15, 2024.

Sat, Jul 13 - 12:00pm ↑ 11:00pm
Sun, Jul 14 - 12:00pm ↑ 8:00pm
Sat, Aug 17 - 2:00pm ↑ 11:00pm
Sun, Aug 18 - 2:00pm ↑ 8:00pm
Sat, Sep 14 - 2:00pm ↑ 11:00pm
Sun, Sep 15 - 2:00pm ↑ 8:00pm

Monday, July 15, 2024

Getting ready for the 2024 for Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto

Track build and Grandstand construction for the 2024 edition of the Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto race weekend is going well and the installation of the concrete barrier wall and fencing have started on Lake Shore Boulevard. Crews are working during off-peak times to minimize the impacts to traffic. Race weekend is from Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21.

Temporary road closures on Lake Shore Boulevard West and Strachan Avenue will begin on Wednesday, July 17 and last until July 21, 2024. The weather forecast looks great, with just a small chance of rain on Sunday. If the race can't be run on Sunday it will be held over until Monday, along with the road closures.

Here is part of the City of Toronto's media release, "Road closures for this event will begin on Wednesday, July 17, 2024: At 12 p.m.: southbound Strachan Avenue will be closed from Fleet Street to Lake Shore Boulevard West and at 8 p.m.: Lake Shore Boulevard West will be closed from Strachan Avenue to British Columbia Drive. The roads will remain closed all weekend and are scheduled to reopen on Sunday, July 21, 2024, at 11 p.m."

Current Weather Forecast (from July 15)
Thu, 18 Jul Sunny. High 24. Night Clear. Low 13.
Fri, 19 Jul Sunny. High 26. Night Clear. Low 15.
Sat, 20 Jul A mix of sun and cloud. High 27. Night Cloudy periods. Low 16.
Sun, 21 Jul Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers. High 26.
Another outlet has mostly sunny and pleasant on Sunday, with a High of 24, low of 17 and only 25% chance of rain.

The Tragically Hip band has been named as the honorary grand marshals for the NTT IndyCar race on Sunday, July 21.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Urban Playground and the Water Gun Fight in Berczy Park

The Battle of Berczy Park was a peaceful exchange of water during the third annual Toronto Water Gun Fight in the famous park, home to the flatiron building mural and the dog themed water fountain. The troops gathered at 1:30pm in the park, learned of the battle's code of conduct (see below), posed for a group photo and the water guns began blasting around 2pm on Saturday, July 13, 2024.

Urban Playground

This activity was arranged by Urban Playground, a group dedicated to making Toronto fun - "one silly event at a time" with free social events in public spaces. They have also done the Pillow Fight and the Snow Ball Fight.

You didn't have to go far to get water
Code of Conduct:
"1. This is a water fight: don't bring any other weapons apart from water pistols. Water bottles and modest-sized containers also work in a pinch. Homemade soakers are encouraged.
2. Water balloons are messy: if you bring them, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO STAY AFTERWARD TO DO A THOROUGH CLEANUP because littering is a crime.
3. We are not going to be your parents, nor are we going to be the police, so if you see someone doing something stupid tell them to stop. If you're doing something stupid - don't. You're going to ruin it and this has the potential to be a massive laugh.
4. Dress for the occasion; you're going to get wet! Shorts, bikinis, flippers, floaty armbands...? Costumes are encouraged. Bring a baggie if you've got a cellphone or wallet to protect.
5. DO NOT terrorize the public. If they want to get involved, they will, but passersby and spectators must be left out of the action.
6. If you bring a camera, it better be waterproof or you should stay on the sidelines. We're not responsible if you get it broken. But please do post your photos after the fact.
7. This is a LAUGH. Don't take it too seriously, and don't beat each other up over it (close-up shooting and all that).
8. Leave no mess behind! We come and then go. The location looks as clean or better than before we arrived. If you brought water balloons, you are expected to stay afterward to guarantee this.
10. If there's a summer drought, be modest in how much water you use.
11. If anyone asks who organized this: we all just happened to be in the same place at the same time. Weird, huh?
12. No dyed water. It stains clothes and the site. That's vandalism.
14. Have fun. Be responsible.
15. Events go forward, rain or shine. You aren't afraid of getting wet.
16. Come to Berczy Park and show some love.
See ya at the Playgrounds,
Kfir and Urban Playground team"
Watergun fight video

Toronto Festival of India parade

As part of the Festival of India there is a parade that runs down Yonge Street in Toronto and it contains thousands of participants and three humongous wagons that roll down to Queens Quay before making their way onto the Toronto Islands for the balance of the festival.
The impressive structures on the wagons come down when they need to pass under wires
The 2024 festival runs July 13 to 14 and is a weekend full of all India, including the culture, spirituality and the expression of community. The annual festival, which began in the 1960s, is called Ratha-Yatra and is organized by the Toronto Hare Krishna Centre. The event is free but you will still need to pay to get to the islands - and the lineups at the ferry boats and the water taxis were also humongous.

Here is the overall scheduling information from the festival.

Day 1: Grand Chariot Fest ParadeDate: July 13, 2024
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Yonge-Dundas Square to Queensquay
The festivities kick off with the grand Chariot Fest, a colourful procession featuring majestic chariots, traditional dances, and vibrant music. The parade starts at Dundas Square and moves down Yonge Street, concluding at Queens Quay.

Day 2: Festivities at Centre IslandDate: July 14, 2024
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Centre Island, Toronto
The celebrations continue on Centre Island with a full day of activities including cultural performances, arts and crafts, spiritual seminars, and family-friendly activities. Attendees can enjoy a free vegetarian feast, explore a vibrant marketplace, and participate in interactive workshops.

Festival Features:Arts & Culture Tent: Discover traditional crafts, captivating performances, and interactive workshops.
Spiritual Seminars: Enrich your mind and soul with inspiring talks on mindfulness, wellness, and spirituality.
Gopi-Dots Face Painting: Experience the beauty of traditional face painting and learn about its cultural significance.
Family-Friendly Activities: Enjoy workshops and activities suitable for all ages.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair TOAF 2024

It's a busy weekend in Toronto and the TOAF returns to Nathan Phillips Square for the 63rd annual, three-day art event July 12-14, rain or shine. There are also a number of sculpture installations near the stage including ‘Journey Through Geometry’ by Safoura Zahedi previously show as part of DesignTO, pictured above as I am reflected in the steel plates, polished to a mirror finish.
Journey through Geometry

From TOAF's website, "The 63rd Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is a multi-faceted and multi-layered event. More than 165,000 visitors join us each year at Nathan Phillips Square. Visit us this year July 12 to 14 for a great weekend of art collecting and artist discovery, installations, guided tours, soulful kids programs, live painting, and site-specific dance."

Rows and rows of individual white canopy tents fill the square at City Hall, each full of some type of art. There are over 350 artists taking part in the art festival and you can sign up for free tours to check out some of the collections.

Festival hours
Friday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Saturday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

A volunteer holds up an Art Tour sign

Downtown Toronto Ribfest 2024

Ribs slathered with thick layers of barbecue sauce and cooked over large grills could taste good, but how can you be sure the food is tasty? Because of all the trophies piled up in front of the booths, plus all the banners stacked high above the mobile kitchens! This is a weekend made for meat and you can find it at the Northern Heat Rib Series Downtown Toronto Ribfest. 

Yonge-Dundas is easily accessible from public transit and just across from the Toronto Eaton Centre

Yonge-Dundas Square is fenced in and the food festival is open from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14 and is free to attend, but bring some money because ribs ain't cheap. And they say "Get ready for…
MOUTH WATERIN’, FINGER LICKIN’, BELLY RUBBIN’ GOOD BBQ!" There is a Friday only coupon for two free sides available on their website.

The tight quarters in the square mean that there won't be a beer tent or live music at this festival.

Ribfest hours
FRIDAY: 12pm – 10pm
SATURDAY: 12pm – 10pm
SUNDAY: 12pm – 9pm

One Week till Fan Friday at Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto 2024

July 19 is coming fast and Free Fan Friday in support of Make-A-Wish® Canada opens the exciting 2024 race weekend at the Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto. Friday is free with a voluntary donation to the charity, otherwise single day or weekend tickets are available for the rest of the 36th edition of the race festival in Toronto. Seats in the Grandstands will be on a first come, first served basis for Fan Friday.

From the media release, "To kick off the exciting festival weekend set for July 19-21, in lieu of paid admission, spectators can make a voluntary donation to Make-A-Wish® Canada and receive complimentary gate admission on Friday, July 19. More than $1 million has been raised for children with critical illnesses to grant their wishes through these efforts over the past 12 years. Honda Canada Foundation will match donations dollar-for-dollar made by generous race fans up to a total of $50,000 during the Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto weekend."

You can donate at the entrance or within Enercare Centre where a Make-A-Wish® Canada Zone is set up. There will be activities, prizes and photos with the charity's mascot Roary. There will also be a 50-50 raffle contest with the draw to be held on the Monday after the race weekend.

Gates will open at 8:30am on Friday and on track action starts at 9am with a Radicals Cup practice session. All five race series will be taking part in the first day, including the NTT IndyCar Series practice at 3pm, with the first race of the weekend by the Radicals Cup starting at 5:05pm.

There are four driver autograph sessions planned for Friday; 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Autograph Session (Heritage Court in Enercare Centre), 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Autograph Session (Heritage Court in Enercare Centre), 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM Radicals Cup Autograph Session (Heritage Court in Enercare Centre) and 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM USF2000 & USF Pro 2000 Autograph Session (Heritage Court in Enercare Centre).

A charity running event, the Rev and Run 5000, will begin after the cars have left the track for the day beginning at 6:25pm.

There will a food truck section along with beer gardens and vendors in Thunder Alley and you can also view the supporting series paddocks, no ticket required. For entrance into the IndyCar Paddock or the Pit area additional tickets are required.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Evanescent now in Brookfield Place

The long hall in Brookfield Place is now the temporary home to the Evanescent art installation. The big, shiny balls are nestled in the Allen Lambert Galleria, on display as part of the Luminato Art Festival.
Putting the installation together
Previously installed in the garden outside of Brookfield Place, it fits in nicely in the long, glass and steel arched space home to many large scale art pieces in the past. Evanescent should probably be on site until the end of July 2024.

From Brookfield Properties website, "Atelier Sisu is a Sydney based design studio led by award winning artists Renzo B. Larriviere and Zara Pasfield. The pair work with a multi-disciplinary team to create experiential environments, installations and sculptures. Their direction of work sits between the fields of art and architecture (art-chitecture), with particular focus in the realm of public art. Their work endeavours to be visually engaging and intellectually elegant in nature. This immersive piece of ‘art-chitecture’ appeals to our universal playfulness and childlike wonder. Evanescent is about living fully in the moment and not taking life, in all its beauty, for granted. This large-scale public artwork is Instagram-worthy, yet its magical message might just encourage you to put your phone aside."

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Reflektor art installation at Soho and Queen St West

It's been locked up behind a metal fence for too long, now it is free to mirror the cityscape around it. The shiny, metal art sculpture designed by Jyhling Lee Landscape sits at the corner of Soho Street and Queen Street West in downtown Toronto, sitting beside the MEC store.

The semi-circular, muti-faceted artwork is named Reflektor and really catches the eye as you pass by. I was drawn to the piece and walked up into the circle, taking photos and reflected back into the camera. It's kind of like a giant, metal orange, spread apart in one piece and created in the cyber orange factory.
From behind it looks just like a ball

Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto 2024 race schedule

Track preparations are underway in Exhibition Place for the 2024 Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto race weekend and the schedule for the high octane event has been posted. Fan Friday on July 19 gets the party started and the Radical Cup Race is highlighting the free admission Friday with a voluntary donation to Make-A-Wish® Canada foundation (seating is on a first come, first served basis and is a great way to check out racing in Toronto).

Five racing series are taking part in the 2024 Toronto race weekend; the headliners being the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with the race on Sunday, the USF Pro 2000 Presented by Continental Tire, the USF Pro Championships Presented by Continental Tire, the Sports Car Championship Canada presented by Michelin and the Emzone Radical Cup Canada presented by Michelin.

IndyCar is North America's premier auto racing series utilizing open-wheeled beasts that compete on both ovals and street circuits. NTT IndyCar has also introduced a "first-of-its-kind hybrid unit. The 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine". July 19-21, 2024 will feature plenty of on track action for IndyCar including practices, qualifications and the Sunday race with driver introductions starting at 12:40pm followed by the 85 lap race.

2023 winner Christian Lundgaard during driver introductions
The 2023 IndyCar winners during podium presentations. Alex Palou (2nd), Christian Lundgaard (1st) and Colton Herta (3rd)
IndyCar drivers Scott Dixon and Will Power, both multiple winners of past Toronto races

Christian Lundgaard 45 Danish driver Christian Lundgaard is returning for his third season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Here is the schedule right off Toronto's website.

Fan Friday, July 19
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Radicals Cup Practice
10:15 AM - 10:45 AM USF2000 Practice
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM USF Pro 2000 Practice
11:45 AM - 12:25 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Practice
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Autograph Session (Heritage Court in Enercare Centre)
1:00 PM - 1:25 PM Radicals Cup Qualifying
1:40 PM - 2:00 PM USF2000 Qualifying
2:15 PM - 2:35 PM USF Pro 2000 Qualifying
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 1
4:30 PM - 4:50 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Qualifying
5:05 PM - 5:40 PM Radicals Cup Race 1
6:25 PM Rev & Run 5000 Charity Running Event
See 2023 Friday highlights here.

Saturday, July 20
9:10 AM - 9:30 AM USF2000 Qualifying 2
9:45 AM - 10:05 AM USF Pro 2000 Qualifying 2
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2
11:45 AM - 12:25 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Race 1
12:40 PM - 1:25 PM USF2000 Race 1
1:40 PM - 2:15 PM Radicals Cup Race 2
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM USF Pro 2000 Race 1
7:00 PM The Children's Breakfast Clubs Ride Toronto Indy Charity Cycling Event
See 2023 Saturday highlights here.

Sunday, July 21
8:00 AM - 8:40 AM USF2000 Race 2
8:55 AM - 9:35 AM USF Pro 2000 Race 2
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Warm-up
10:45 AM - 11:25 AM Sports Car Championship Canada Race 2
11:40 AM - 12:15 PM Radicals Cup Race 3
12:40 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Driver Introductions
1:30 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto (85 Laps)

Remember, with road closures required for the street course through Exhibition Place and onto Lake Shore Boulevard, take public transit when ever possible, because otherwise you won't be driving as fast as the cars on the track.

Sunday, July 07, 2024

RCAF100 at Hamilton Warplane Museum

Several active military aviation planes were on display at the Hamilton Warplane Heritage Museum July 6-7, 2024 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The museum's usual roster of static and flying aircraft were temporarily buoyed by the influx of Canadian warbirds.

The anniversary of the RCAF occurred on April 1, 2024 and recognizes the inception of the separate and distinct part of the Canadian Armed Forces. To showcase the anniversary the RCAF is participating in a number of airshows and displays around the country including the fly in to the Hamilton museum for the weekend event.

Included in the centennial display were several fighters like the CF18 Demo Team, a helicopter, a search and rescue plane, a couple of transports and a helicopter. You could also meet the crews and take tours of the aircraft.

See more of the warplanes after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square