Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Pedal The Don

Beautiful weather, barbecue, and bikes? This Sunday’s Pedal The Don looks to be a great cap to the weekend. From about 1pm to 3pm all are welcome to make the 17km journey along paved trails from Yonge and Lawrence down to the mouth of the Don River. (People are urged to register for this free event). It’s also a family friendly and the suggested participating age is 7 and up.

Pedal The Don
Sunday May 3rd

1pm until approximately 3pm

Ride starts on the South East corner of Yonge St and Lawrence Ave @ Public Library (3083 Yonge Street)
Note: Library will be closed

The 17km ride will be leisurely and informative, with 4 rest stops (approx 10 min each) where you can view the valley and learn about this important area. John Wilson, Chairperson of the Task Force to Bring Back the Don, will provide commentary at each rest stop.

At the end of the ride there will be a cash BBQ to help support the Toronto and Region Conservational Authority.

Life Without A Lens

Tomorrow is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day! An interesting way to challenge the typical way of taking a photograph in the era of digital point and shoot cameras. Shooting digital or analog, people around the world will take part in this free international event created to promote and celebrate the art of pinhole photography.

I’m going to try and shoot some pinhole shots with my Lomography Diana+. I’ve been too busy (lazy) to drill a hole in an old camera body cap and fashion a pop can “pinhole lens” on to it. There are no “rules” but I thought keeping the my personal challenge on analog film would be fun.

The idea of taking pictures over several seconds (or even minutes) will be a change. A chance to sloooow down. The best part will be viewing pictures taken around the world using a tiny hole for a lens. The organizers encourage everyone around the world to submit images. Last year participants from over 60 countries submitted images to the gallery.

So try your hand at pinhole photography, be it a pop can, cigar box, old SLR, or modified digital camera. Pic your favourite image taken Sunday and share it with the world.

This is not a photo contest. There are no good or bad pictures. Every pinhole photograph is unique. Have fun!

The Beginning Of The End For Cometic Pesticides?

Public health will trump the need for the perfect front lawn. Starting today Ontario is banning the sale and use of about 250 pesticides and ingredients, including 2,4-D and malathion.

The health risks and environmental impacts of these toxins are well documented (even blogged here). The science behind limiting widespread use of synthetic chemicals is mounting. For once it appears that Ontario is doing its citizens a good service.

Record Store Day – Tomorrow!

recordstoreday

April 18, 2009 is Record Store Day! What is Record Store Day? It was originally conceived by Chris Brown, and founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding independently owned record stores. A day meant to celebrate the few, true local record stores. The one’s that don’t merely pander to the payola and fickle tastes of corporate types “trying to move units”. These are the stores which promote local shows (even host them), sell a variety of great music vinyl as well as CD, and are types of businesses that enhance to the community (both the music community and the ones they inhabit).

Several venues in Toronto are part of the action including Soundscapes, Sonic Boom, Penguin Music and Criminal Records. You can expect the usual greatness from these epic Toronto independent record stores as usual. Tomorrow there will be some treats too. Sale items? Live performances? Local musician apparences? Special Limited Editions up for grabs? Perhaps all the above!

Record Store Day
April 18, 2009
Many participating Independent Stores Internationally and Toronto including…

Criminal Records
493 Queen Street West

Penguin Music
256-A Queen St W. (downstairs)

Sonic Boom
512 Bloor St. W

Soundscapes
572 College Street

Judge Blocks British MP’s Request To Enter Canada And Speak In Toronto

It’s official. British MP George Galloway’s request for an injunction to enter Canada has been denied. A Federal Court judge has ruled against his motion. Galloway was to speak tonight at Metropolitan United Church. The Toronto stop was to be the first of a four-city speaking tour GEORGE GALLOWAY: RESISTING WAR FROM GAZA TO KANDAHAR. The organizers of the Toronto stop, Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, have said that their event would continue regardless of the judge’s decision.

Galloway is no stranger to controversy. His response to the U.S. Senate regarding false allegations that he took bribes from Saddam Hussein was memorable. He has long taken criticism for his anti war stance and support for some pro-Palestinian causes. This support for some Palestinian groups has some people labeling him as a “terrorist supporter”. The Federal government stance, and latest justice decision seems heavy handed. Some have argued other “war criminals” (George W. Bush?) have been allowed into the country to speak. A view equally exaggerated, perhaps, but no doubt a strange precedent has been set with Galloway.

Gun Raffle Invitation Withdrawn, But Not The Prize…

Good thing that Canadian Sport Shooting Association decided to withdraw their invitation to their Annual General Meeting And Dinner this April. I mean a gun special interest group that is inviting an Conservative MP could look a bit strange.

MP Garry Breitkreuz was invited to attend since he is, “a voice of reason in the House of Commons regarding firearms legislation”, according to Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action had head of the CSSA. MP Breitkreuz’s private members bill and efforts to abolish the “long” gun registry strike a chord for the CSSA faithful.

The Canadian Sport Shooting Association (CSSA) Annual General Meeting and Dinner is to be held at the Best Western Toronto Airport West, 5825 Dixie Road, Mississauga April 18th. The most contentious issue is not the all you can eat buffet dinner of roast beef, chicken and salmon. Nor is it that Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz was invited only to have this offer rescinded. The negative media attention thus far is granted as the CSSA appears to be insensitive to the community.

While there are aproximately 2 million law abiding gun owners in Canada that doesn’t provide any excuse to wave a gun in Toronto’s face. The CSSA will be auctioning off a handgun at their AGM. Not just any gun, a Berreta Px4 Storm. This gun is just like the ones used by Canadian Border officials and law enforcement. The CSSA describes the gun as follows:

“the PX4 “Canadian Edition.” This is a very special “Limited Edition” of the
PX4 Storm and only 500 units were made, specifically for Canadian shooters.
Featuring a factory Beretta 106mm barrel and a 10 round magazine, this
previously “prohibited” pistol qualifies for “restricted” status”

Berreta handguns have been only available in Canada legally since 2005. There were little more than a handful of registered up until the Dawson College shooting. After this shooting registration of Berreta’s almost tripled. Were these buyers all criminals? Not necessarily but perhaps the “hype” was due to the fear that these guns could soon become more difficult to obtain or become banned.

The outrage expressed by the mayor’s office, citizens, families and victims of gun violence is warranted. The reality is that 30-40% of legal guns are getting into the hands criminals. The gun registry is not contributing to criminal activity nor can it be our only measure to reduce gun violence. Yes, it is true that the gun registry has cost over $2 billion dollars but this is largely due to some 2 million Canadian gun owners and gun manufacturers/lobbyists crying over registering their legal weapons. The Conservative government has had some talk of making restricted weapons harder to obtain but not too loudly. Their “tough on crime” stance is softer than they would care to admit.

The majority of people in Toronto back Mayor Miller’s push to make semi-automatic weapons illegal. If you are a good law abiding citizen, civic duty and respect to the community in which you live is not burden, it is a priviledge.

Art On The Mind For FRIDAY?

Of course this Friday is the night of Hamilton’s Art Crawl. It’s always nice to hit up all the gallery openings along James Street North. Considering that most galleries stay open until 11pm it makes the trip to the Hammer all the more leisurely. I may still hang in the city though. There is a a fundraiser for a local art mag, Bad Day, at Lennox Contemporary Gallery Friday night. I haven’t been to the Lennox but this might be a worthy excuse. Eva Michon is the editor of Bad Day and has produced some fine work (right here in Toronto).

BAD DAY Magazine Fundraiser – Lennox Contemporary Gallery
Friday March 13, 2009

12 Ossington Avenue at the centre of the Queen West Art and Design District.

Accessible
Parking on the street or in the lot just north at 18 Ossington Ave.
TTC via the Ossington bus or the Queen St. streetcar.

Toronto 175

With all the doom and gloom being reported it’s nice to contemplate something good for a change. Friday March 6, 2009 marked Toronto’s 175th Anniversary.

It’s easy to get caught up in winter’s blahs and take for granted what we have. The St. Lawrence Market, Pedestrian Sundays, Kensington Market, High Park, The Beach, Cabbagetown, to name but a few and there are many other reminders.

Spacing’s contributing city photographers have donated 175 photographs to the City of Toronto’s Archives and Spacing has created some great historical buttons. Toronto Star Columnist Christopher Hume has a great interactive map of Toronto architecture. You should pick up Toronto’s Visual Legacy Official City Photography from 1856 to the Present by Steve MacKinnon & Karen Teeple & Michele Dale as it’s a fascinating book. It details Toronto’s progress from the building of The Bloor Street Viaduct, old and new city hall, to street life through the eras.

You’ve come a long way Toronto. Hoping we can continue to build a better city together.

Sleeping Giant – Art With A Punch

Sleeping Giant Gallery had their grand opening just one month ago. Time flies. This Friday they celebrate yet again with a group show featuring Wes Loates and Jimmy Decaire among others.

A Black & White Affair – Opening Show
Sleeping Giant Gallery

789 Dundas (two blocks West of Bathurst)

Doors open at 8pm and close at 2am

Budget, Budget, Budget… Coalition, Election, or More of the Same

Yes the leaks have been plentiful but Jim Flaherty will be delivering the budget today. I bet CPAC has never been some popular. It will be an interesting ride for sure.

Many commentators are sharp to note that even the previously promised Infrastructure spending has yet to flow (to Toronto and other cities). Will it this time? Downloading the burden on Municipalities (who would be forced to increase taxes) won’t cut it. Miller tried to tame the condo-flipping crowd with a tax increase and got stonewalled. There’s no where to “increase” taxes unless you simply CUT expenditures (i.e. give people less services for the same tax dollars paid). A shady tactic all too familiar by several levels of government. It’s happened far too many times and I’m hopeful that this time the lack of Federal investment in social and brick and mortar infrastructure has been addressed. Tax cuts and no investment (most all of our surplus serviced debt vs. a balanced approach) have swayed Canada to deficit even before a stimulus package.

Will the government fall on this latest list of spending promises? Will a Coalition take over or will an election get called? Judgement day is coming.

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