Tag Archives: toronto

Go Topless Day

I’ve just learned of International GoTopless Day , promoting Topfreedom around the world, and am intrigued.  Not, as my wife thinks, because “it’s a chance to see boobies”, but because it’s a struggle for freedom over one’s body.  I know first hand what it is like to be told the choices I make about my body are not tolerated, or permitted by authorities.  I support these people in their struggles around the world.  Their take on things is one of equality: “As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests”.

gotopless toronto announcementIn Toronto (for its sixth year), where it isn’t against the law, but there is still stigma and discomfort doing so, the International GoTopless Day will be at Ashbridge’s Bay Park (Corner of Hubbard Blvd and Hammersmith Ave so further to the east past Kew Gardens (map)) from noon (or maybe 11am as some places claim) to 4pm on Sunday August 25, 2013.   The GoTopless Coordinator can be contacted at 416-691-6911 before noon on Sunday August 25th for more information?

Some people who have made press over this in the past are Moira Johnston, advocate and activist for a woman’s right to go topless, Holly Van Voast who has an upcoming film call Topless Shock Syndrome, and Phoenix Feeley who went to jail and went on a hunger strike to fight for her rights.  An interview with Moira can be seen in Episode #10 of Street Epics, and on BeastTV.

A facebook event for International Go-Topless Day is available, a map of many many events around the globe is on the organizers site..

An uncomfortable aspect of these events, for me, is that it is sponsored by Raelians.

Here is a funny cartoon by Scott Metzger

Scott Metzger obscene cartoon

Scott Metzger obscene cartoon

A question to you all: do your young daughters go topless, or not, and if so why or why not?

Jillian Jiggs Storymob

Group shot of some of the great kids and their great costumes for the Storymob.

Group shot of some of the great kids and their great costumes for the Storymob.

Yesterday we participated in a StoryMob.  What’s that you ask?orangePirate_sm-150x150

“StoryMobs are where great kids’ books meet flash mobs with a dash of Mardi Gras thrown in.  A story mob is inspired by an exceptional children’s book and allows for participation in a variety of ways. These may include costumes & props, copies of the book, simple choreography, musical instruments and vocal parts.”

I learned of it through our love of Fancy Pants Kids, whose Mompreneur Gretel Meyer Odell is one of the organizers of the StoryMobs in Toronto.  We were eager to participate and lucky the timing worked out for us so we could enjoy this family friendly theatre-esque event in Toronto.

Jillian Jiggs Cover

Jillian Jiggs Cover

Yesterday‘s book was Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman, which was a great choice due to all the dressing up that the characters in the book do, along with the refrain: “Jillian, Jillian, Jillian Jiggs, it looks like your room has been lived in by pigs!”.

I really wish I could have gotten video of the experience itself, but when you’re in the middle of it, as a reader (of two lines I was :-D) and costume changer of the kids, I wasn’t able too.  Hopefully down the road a video will be released of it from some of the many other participants so you can see what it is like in true flash mob style.  The passers-by who were walking the closed down Queen St for the Beaches Jazz Festival seemed to enjoy the street theatre they happened upon.

Thanks to children’s book store Ella Minnow for being a back-drop and anchor for the event.

The Children's Bookstore we were performing in front of. Get it "LMNO".

The Children’s Bookstore we were performing in front of. Get it “LMNO”.

Their window display for the Storymob.

Their window display for the Storymob.

If you’re keen to try this out yourself, they will be organizing two more this summer here in Toronto.   And yeah, why not start your own local one where ever you might be?

Update: More photos on the ‘official flickr‘, and Stephanie Mclellan’s  blog (you have to go fullscreen to see them all) and facebook (if you can handle the gif formated images).

Mitchell Field Outdoor Swimming Pool Modified Schedule Week of June 24-28

The outdoor swimming pools in Toronto are open!  It is that time of year, when many of the outdoor swimming pools in Toronto are opening for the summer.  It is also that confusing week when it is hard to know when the pools are actually open, since they operate under a ‘modified schedule‘.  Why’s that?  Well, most of the staff for the pools come from students who aren’t yet available for a regular work schedule and/or their expected clientele are otherwise occupied in-doors in said schools.

That said, I thought I’d share the schedule for Mitchell Field Community Centre pool since the website listing is incorrect (has it has been the last two years), and the city has not been helpful in the past to post the correct one online.

Monday June 24, Tuesday June 25, Wed June 26, Thursday June 27, and Friday June 28 the pool will be open daily for 4pm to 6:55pm.  That’s right folks, no break from 4:30 to 5 which is our fav time to swim!

After this week, so starting on the 29th of June, the pool will run on its regular schedule — which I believe to be 12-4:25pm and 5pm-6:55pm on weekdays.  The website is saying it is from 11am, and not 12, and on weekends it is staying it doesn’t open until 1pm but we’ll have to wait until next week to actually get that confirmed I think.

If you are unfamiliar with Mitchell Field’s pool here in Willowdale, North York (address 89 Church St – enter through the CC, not the Arena), it is a small pool, with a very gradual incline and a maximum depth of 1.2meters (4ft 6″) or so, this makes it a great choice for the smaller kids as many of the older kids in the neighbourhood will make the trek up to Goulding Park, or if they want to pay the couple bucks and be super crowded they’ll do the afternoon swim at Douglas Snow (of note: this week it is closed and will re-open after Canada Day I believe).  Be warned, later in the season the 5-7 swim can get a tad chilly as the pool itself is in the shade that time of day.

Six Year Old completes 25km Ride for Heart

Ride For HeartMy wife and six-year-old son today rode in the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Ride for Heart.  My wife’s father passed from a heart attack a long time ago.

Overall the organizing had more than 13,000 riders and raised over $5.5 million today.

Jen raised $235, and my son raised $130.  Thank you to our friends and family who supported them in this adventure (looks like the website is still taking pledges? hint hint)

My son had been looking forward to it for months and he exceeded our expectations in completing the trip in 2 hours 20 minutes (avg Speed 11km/h).  Route mapping done via the MotionX-GPS app.

Update for 2014: Here is their fundraising link for this year’s ride.

Cirque Sublime performs the 15th Annual Wishes and Dreams Fundraiser

Last night Cirque Sublime performed at the Starlight Children Foundation‘s 15th Annual Wishes and Dreams Fundraiser in the Allen Lambert Galleria of Brookfield Place.   The Starlight Children’s Foundation celebrated receiving nearly $2 million in donations from Brookfield Place’s tenants and suppliers.

Opening the show and performing the Holiday Lighting Ceremony was Ariana Shaw (my silks coach!) as the Starlight Princess.

Les Vitaminés (Cbastien Tardif and Vincent Dubé) next did a funny and skillful clowning static trapeze act.

Amy Neumann, in her first professional performance as an aerial artist, wowed the crowd with her aerial silks skills.

Jean-Francois Martel was next on stage where the large man entered a very large Cyr Wheel.

Next up, Les Vitamines returned to the stage for their Balloon Ballet.  (No video as my hands were full of kids instead of a camera).

And to conclude the acrobatics for the evening Duo Voltart (Damien Boudreau and Geneviere Cliche) do some astounding Hand to Hand (not my video as again, I was holding a kid instead of a camera).

Toronto is a great place for seeing Circus Arts!  If you’re interested in trying it out recreationally, check out the Toronto School of Circus Arts.

You can have YouTube play all the above videos for you together using the playlist.

Toronto Circus Performances November 2012

If you’re interested in being entertained, surprised, and/or delighted this month in Toronto, check out the following options.

  • Cirque Eloize’s iD is in town this weekend only at the Sony Centre (Video Preview)
  • Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna finishes it’s Toronto run this weekend as well.  If you haven’t seen this superb show yet, see if you can still find a seat before it leaves town forever.  Viktor Kee’s Lizard, Lara Jacob’s Balance Goddess, and many other unforgettable acts await you.
  • Circus Orange will be lighting this up at Illuminite in a free show for the tree lighting at Yonge & Dundas Square on November 10.  The ‘Winterfest’ Downtown Yonge BIA will also be hosting many Buskers over the holiday shopping period as well.
  • Cirque Sublime will be doing a free show at the Brookfield Place (formerly BCE place – 181 Bay Street) in the Allen Lambert Galleria Nov 15 at 5pm-7pm in support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation Lighting Ceremony and Fundraiser.
  • Cirque Sublime (at least the Cube Act) will be performing again on Nov 17 at the Sony Centre as part of “It’s Always Something” in support of Gilda’s Club.

‘I on the sky’ at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto

Young People's Theatre LogoDynamO Théâtre‘s I on the sky is currently playing at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto with tickets still available for this weekend’s performances.

My kids and I saw the show today (they perform twice a day for school groups as well as the ticketed weekend shows) thanks to a Toronto4Kids contest win, and it was excellent.  An acrobatic trampolining energetic costume filled play without words that is also touching and heartfelt, not to mention laughter inducing.  If you can find the time to squeeze in the 60minute show, I recommend you do, you won’t be disappointed.  Side fact for my circus followers — two of the actors are former Cirque du Soleil performers.

The program suggests it for an audience of 10 years and up, and YPT suggests grades 3 to 7, but my 3 & 5 year old were engrossed completely.  There is conflict, and bullyish behaviour from the ‘thugs’ as I named them, plus some violence near the end from the ‘soliders‘ but it didn’t seem to register on the kids.For an added bonus to your outing, after the show get a peameal bacon sandwich from St Lawrence Market and head a block south of the theatre to David Crombie Park and you can sit on a back to back green bench, almost like the ones in the show.  Minus the trampoline in the middle.

If you’re still not convinced, here is a video preview of the show.

Plus a special mention to ‘Jeff‘ for overruling the front of house staff’s aversion to my barefeet.