Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cavalcade of Lights

With the construction at the Toronto City Hall square, the normal two to three week long festival was changed to about an hour on Saturday!

Various artists were on hand to perform for the crowd, with the event starting at 7pm sharp. Shawn Desman, Divine Brown and Sarah Slean and host Kevin and Ingrid shared the stage.

One of the highlights of the event for me was the trampoline show put on by Haute Vol.

Once the music was done, the fireworks started, of course being Toronto, there was an announcement ahead of time to warn the crowds that "big noises" would soon be happening!

Once that was done, the sky lit up with a great show.

After the show, the Fire Guy performed for the crowds, doing amazing things with fire,

and while carefully balancing on top of a box, and balanced on a plastic tube, while an audience member throws the tourches to him!

Throughout the nite, on the east side of the square, companies like Burt's Bees,

and Canadian Tire were on hand to provide free samples and gifts for the crowds.

Canadian Tire also had Debbie Travis on hand and I must say, she was a great sport, chatting with all those in line, including myself. I had to ask her about pronouncing Urinal, from her show From the Ground Up, as with her accent it came out like Your Anal! Too funny!

In the end, the large crowd left a huge mess for the City to clean up. To me, kind of a sad way to end a great show.

Great Lakes Shipping

On the way back from the Niagara area, I always like to stop at the Burlington Lift Bridge. There's a variety of things that happen in this area, from the large plants belching fire on the Hamilton waterfront, to the lift bridge itself.
Today, a ship from the inner harbour was making its way out into Lake Ontario.

The ship, the Clipper Loyalty , was built in 2006, and is registered in the Bahamas.

I'm always fascinated on the "push" of water that preceeds a big ship like this, and how it creates almost a "hole" in the water level just beyond the bow.

And it is interesting to see the lifeboat used.

This close up shows that the boat is designed to literally dive into the water once the men are inside and the boat is released.

Although its hard to see, the crew are in the bridge of the ship, making sure there is a safe passage under the lift bridge.

While other crew work on deck.

2010 Gales of November Magilla Schaus Memorial

Magilla Schaus was a big part of what's called fresh water surfing, specifically the Great Lakes.
He recently passed away, and to celebrate his life, the local surfers, along with the ESA, held a memorial contest. I follow Origin Surf, which let me know it was happening.
Predicting surf conditions isn't easy, specially weeks in advance, but the date was picked and Saturday morning found the winds howling on Lake Erie at Crystal Beach.
A number of surfers slapped on their wet suits to jump bodly into the chilled water.
Using both long and short boards, the guys hit the waves, doing run after run in the water.
I was there from 9 to 12, and it was a non stop procession of surfers.
And, while these guys are going out in a couple of milimeters of neoprene, I wimmped out and started taking pics from inside my car, rather than the out in the howling wind!

I will have some more pics up on my PBase account as well!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Soccer nite in Canada

Soccer is huge through out the world, and the local Toronto Football Club has lots of fans. Although the team was not in the final, Torono was choosen to host the MLS final, between FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids.
To celebrate the final, there was a free event at BMO Field.
Tents were set up from various sponsors, such as The Sun, including sunshine girl Theresa Longo in the middle, who was the winner of the Bud Pit Crew Search during the Honda Indy.

Home Depot, who were giving out construction helmets, and were stratigically placed in the shadow of the large Rona sign at BMO field.

and the X-box was on display, here is James trying to play soccer, with no controls but his body!

This is a reply of the video of the action!

Also on hand were various players, providing free autographs.

The highlight was the Matthew Goode Band,

on hand to give a free concert to the assembled fans.

Santa Time

Well, Sunday afternoon found the sun shinny on a relatively cool day, perfect conditions for the Toronto Santa Claus Parade.

There was a large crowd on both sides of the street. I started at Dundas and University, and the crowd continued all the way to Christie Pits, the start of the parade.

Leading the way was the Mayor,

and the Chief

Kids, both the big kind,

and the little were mixed into the parade.

Fortunately, its still an old fashion parade at its heart.Commercialism doesn't really enter into the picture.
So there were clowns,



kids in go karts,

and a giraffe

which took part in the parade.

And everyone was their to see the magical reindeer,

and the big guy himself, Santa Claus!