Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Sk8 and Relate – Loose Canon Gallery (a bit of Toronto in Hamilton this month)

On Friday the 13th Hamilton’s Loose Canon Gallery will host The Skateboard Art Show. A group show exhibiting the talents of over 20 artists using a skateboard deck as a canvas. A few notable Toronto artists will be featured including Tjie Tsang, Mark Byk and Contra photographer Luis Mora.

The Skateboard Art Show
at Loose Canon Gallery (as part of the Hamilton Art Crawl)
Opening Friday August 13th (Running until September 4th)
150 James St North, Hamilton ON
Featuring Tjie Tsang, Mark Byk, Luis Mora and many more…

Haunted Hillbilly Hootenany – Dakota Tavern – TONIGHT

Country music, funny people and prizes?! Tonight, Monday June 28th, you can shake off the G20 blues at the Dakota Tavern. The Dakota Tavern is hosting a fundraiser for the production of “Haunted Hillbilly”. Haunted Hillbilly is a show that will be staged as part of the Summerworks Theatre Festival.

Haunted Hillbilly Hootenany
Dakota Tavern
249 Ossington Ave.
Monday June 28th, 2010
$15
Music and more…
Featuring: Justin Rutledge, Afie Jurvanen, Doug Paisley, Derek McCormack, Chelsea P. Manders, Matt Barber and others.

Big Divide In A Big City

Thankfully I was well clear of the hijacking of the peaceful march. Peaceful protestors have stayed clear of the vandals and their cyclone of disruption. There are varying accounts of the numbers of saboteurs (up 100 or 200???). Sad that 200 or so have blighted a massive 10,000+ peaceful march through the city.

Mayor Miller rightly branded these saboteurs as “criminals”. The news crews have all the catchy images of conflict they could have hoped for. A great negative feedback loop. We are up to about 6 Police cars torched by now. The security forces have managed to keep at least a one block perimeter safe and locked down. GO Train service is now non-existent and there are still small pockets of vandals between two different sets of solid Police lines. The ironic thing is that this small group of yahoos are relatively isolated.

Safe in the cage Mr. Harper is all smiles and entertaining his dinner guests. Such a contrast. Word is that the TFC game is still on.

Yonge and Dundas Square was another Black Bloc hotspot and Police are encouraging any stragglers to disperse from Queen’s Park (it’s unconfirmed whether they are now using force). I’m a block or so away from the Square and Queen’s Park and it’s business as usual. Many shops and grocery stores are still open. There are fewer cars and no streetcars but life goes on in the neighbourhood.

Public apathy? Perhaps. It’s more likely the fact that it a few bad apples are getting all the attention while most of us get on with life. Hoping that dialogue and issues take the spotlight tomorrow.

And Then It Gets Crazy…

All quiet along Yonge so far but Queen Street West is heating up. The troublemakers have started to mobilize and the Police have put on their masks. It appears that the Black Bloc and perhaps other militant groups like Southern Ontario Anarchists have started toying with flares, sticks and stones from gardens. Mailboxes have been dragged onto the TTC tracks and the Scotiabank near Much Music has had many windows smashed with hammers. Starbucks… Yep their garbage bins have been scattered.

Fearing the worst but not sticking around for the gas. Media vehicles, police cars have been trashed. Hard to say if the majority of these “crazy protestors” are going to tempt fate and march to the “cage”. Word is that they have made it to Wellington and Bay!

10,000+ marched today. Looks like a few hundred are looking for a fight. 100 plus police are marching in getting ready to bring it to them now that a police cruiser is on fire. Great!

Well the delegates are arriving at Royal York. Welcome to Toronto!

Don’t know why the Police have not defused this. This group sounds like they are way too close, a block away from the “cage” now. I can only guess that they are trying to get some damning evidence, clear the bystanders, and then mobilize the Police counter-attack. I’m not about to get anywhere near Union Station or the Royal York.

Note:

GO Transit have essentially shut down Union Station. Westbound passengers need to travel to Mimico, Eastbound trips now start/terminate at Danforth. Check GO Transit for more updates…

TTC have halted all streetcars in the core. Subways on the Yonge-University line are closed from Bloor to St. George Station.

A Showdown In A Ghost Town…

Thankfully I did not work in the core today. My uneasiness was reserved for my trip into the city from the 905. Arriving by GO Train to Union Station into what could have been the centre of madness, I was expecting the worst. Union Station and Front Street are bad enough on any Friday let alone the start of a weekend featuring a G20.

The suburban parking lot of the GO station was eerie and sparse. I had some snacks, my phone and a couple drinks. I hoped that I could endure at least a mild inconvenience. Got news that a scuffle between protesters and Police at Yonge and College as I reached the GO platform. Oh well, no turning back BUT that was to be one of my destinations tonight. I missed an earlier express train but crossed my fingers and took the milk run into “G20 land”.

In the end the GO train was exactly on schedule. It was somewhat inconvenient taking the western of the GO Station at Bay but I hardly wanted to venture anywhere near the “cage”. Seeing it from the double doors under the tracks was close enough. Testing my luck, I headed to the TTC toward College Station. By now the word was the police had brought in reinforcements and diverted the streetcars. Expecting the worst I headed up the Yonge TTC line and hoped for the best.

College subway did have a few police near the fare booth. No real issues from protesters, at least I arrived. I probably missed the worst the conflict on the street an hour before. I surfaced near the Winner’s store, not far where a man was arrested. A massive police presence but pedestrians could cross all crossings and vehicles were still being diverted West of Yonge.

My mostly uneventful trip made for the tastiest BBQ style burger ever. Guilty domestic bliss. Sad but true but just part of the kind of decompression most Torontonians must be experiencing after a high security, $50 Million an hour, international board meeting gets booked in your backyard.

So what happened. Everyone stayed home if they could. A few yahoos “tested the bounds” of authority. (Duh, what do you think happens if you breach a perimeter, push a cop or act like an idiot.) The majority of the protesters near the “problem area” and the city were peaceful. There may have been a few aggressive individuals at Yonge and College. Sad that the man that was arrested there was a deaf man (who probably didn’t hear the instructions from a scared and agitated security force). Worse still is that this man is being held in a detention centre without being provided an interpreter!

Despite the hype, I doubt the 2000+ protesters that congregated at Yonge and College were even headed toward fence forming the “cage”. The majority of groups involved in the “infamous scuffle” were from local activist housing and anti-poverty groups like Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty, OCAP and No One Is Illegal. Their installation of a Tent City at one of Canada’s highest concentrations of homelessness is meant to harken back to harsher times. Toronto’s erection and eventual evictions at a Tent City years ago.

In the end the city was a ghost town. Posturing and hype aside it could have been worse. Hoping for the best when festivities really kick in tomorrow.

Will Disaster Be Averted?

A minor earthquake and tornado didn’t destroy Toronto yesterday. Will the G20 summit mean a disaster for the city? Lake Mistake and an over armed security force may be more than just a little overkill. I doubt the numbers of people in the city disgusted by this circus (protesters, pedestrians, and everyday people) warrant such a heavy handed approach. One thing is for sure, we are going to be in for an interesting ride.

The major media have hyped this thing to the heavens. I pray there are no incidents (whether they are due to yahoo “protesters” or overzealous “security”.) This scandalous billion dollar love-in will really be a failure for the Harper government if there is no concrete progress on the “real” issues. Fiscal responsibility, the economy, and the environment should be front and centre. Instead the lead up and staging of this G20 has only highlighted what is wrong with richest nations; their lack of leadership and prudent use of human & fiscal capital.

Jane’s Walk Day – A Great Way To Meet Your Neighbours

Toronto owes so much to Jane Jacobs. This weekend she’s celebrated with over 120 walks across the city. She is also being honoured around the world with Jane’s Walks in 68 cities worldwide (29 in Canada, 32 in the U.S, 7 internationally). That’s over 400 walking tours around the world! What a wonderful way to rediscover one’s neighbourhood (and neighbours).

Jane’s Walk Day
May 1st and 2nd
see http://janeswalk.net/cities/category/toronto/ for details on Toronto events

Wavelength 500!!!

Wavelength 500 kicks off Wednesday night. That’s 10 years of great indie rock goodness culminating in a huge super festival. Come out a catch Bruce Peninsula, Evening Hymns, Pony da Look, Deep Dark United, and Canaille. A full festival pass costs $50 but that will get you all the stacked shows from Wednesday through Sunday.

Check the Wavelength site for more details. Not to be missed!

Wavelength 500 – Show #1 – February 10, 2010
The Music Gallery
197 John Street
Bruce Peninsula, Evening Hymns, Pony da Look, Deep Dark United, and the Canaille
Doors 7pm
$12 adv / $15 door ($10 Music Gallery members)

Beauty and the Beast2 & TENS – Video Showcase @ The Bait Shop

A real double feature for Toronto’s skateboarders (in hibernation or otherwise). Both the Girl/AntiHero tour video “Beauty and the Beast 2” and “TENS” will be screened at The Bait Shop.

Beast2
TENS

Double Feature at The Bait Shop – Beauty and the Beast and TENS
358 Dufferin Street, Suite 117
Toronto, Ontario, M6K 1Z8

Saturday January 30th
Doors at 7pm, vids start at 9pm.
Cash Bar
Open session on the mini ramp
(note 751 afterparty for those inclined…)

CN Tower To Be Lit With National Colours Of Haiti

The Red Cross has estimated that the death toll due to the magnitude-7.0 earthquake in Haiti as high as 50,000. As a small gesture of solidarity, remembrance and aid The CN Tower will be lit with the national colours of Haiti.

Canada has said that it will match charitable donations for the relief effort up to C$50 million. The department of Foreign Affairs and International trade has listed ways citizens can help contribute to the relief effort.

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