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Three Autumn Art Events in Toronto Late in Oct. 2014

What can you do in Toronto on the weekend before Hallowe’en 2014? You could dare the annual Night of Dread, or peruse art either in Kensington or in the eastern Beaches. Check out these three annual Autumn events in Toronto, listed in sequence of their start dates. (Added Oct. 24, 2014): It may not be “art”, but PawsWay hosts their annual Dog Hallowe’en Party this weekend.

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"Beach Studio Tour Bike Oct. 2013" image by Mike DeHaan

The Autumn 2014 Toronto Beach Studio Tour

The semi-annual Toronto Beach Studio Tour runs Friday through Sunday, Oct. 24-26, 2014. The times are 6-9pm, 10am-6pm and 11am-6pm respectively. While I love the format of touring the Beach neighbourhood to find each studio, you really must check the official Beach Studio Tour web site to sift through the types of art, artists and venues.

I saw a parked yellow Beach Studio Tour bicycle today, so use them as guideposts as you explore the Beach. The area is bounded by Gerrard St., Victoria Park (except for location #10 farther east), Queen St. East (except for a few that are south of Queen), and Woodbine Ave. (except for location ‘A’ slightly west, along Queen).

Admission is free, although you will be tempted to buy pieces from these local artists displayed at the studios on the tour.

Normally I recommend transit, but the Beach neighbourhood is quite bike-friendly. If you select just a few studios in one area, it’s easy to take transit. If you drive, watch for one-way streets and sometimes limited parking.

The 2014 Night of Dread in Dufferin Grove Park

Clay and Paper Theatre will host their 15th annual Night of Dread on Sat. Oct. 25. The parade, or “procession”, begins at 6pm. Head for the mid-north area of Dufferin Grove Park at Gladstone Ave. and Dufferin Park Ave. (It’s just east of Dufferin St. and south of Hepbourne, which is south of Bloor St. West).

The procession will walk north to Bloor, east past Ossington to Roxton Road, south to Drewson and back into Dufferin Grove Park. “Pageantry and celebration” will follow the parade, so stick around in the park.

The dress code is “black and white and dreadful”. Arrive in the park after 4pm if you need a suitable mask; they may have a few available. This annual Toronto event is as much about art and theatre as it is about Hallowe’en and parades, so it actually fits the artistic theme of today’s article.

Pay what you can, although they suggest $10. The official Night of Dread web page has a few more details.

Of course I’d recommend taking the TTC’s Line 2 (Bloor) to Dufferin and walk south.

The Fourth Toronto Kensington Market Art Fair of 2014

The Kensington Market Art Fair’s fourth and final session of 2014 takes place on Sun. Oct. 26. Both 2D and 3D art will be on display.

While it’s free to enter, you might pay to leave with the artwork of your choice. This official Kensington Market Art Fair Artist Directory for September and October 2014 may whet your appetite.

Kensington Market is a car-free zone on these Sundays. Take the 510 Spadina subway south from Line 2 (Bloor), to Baldwin St. or St. Andrew St. Then walk west one block to Kensington Ave.

The PawsWay Dog Halloween Party 2014

(Added Oct. 24, 2014): I’d forgotten that PawsWay hosts their Dog Hallowe’en Party on Sunday. Dress up yourself and also dress your pet in a suitable dog costume! This free 2-hour Dog Hallowe’en Party begins at 4pm, with a “doggie costume contest” at 5pm.  PawsWay is at 245 Queens Quay West, near Harbourfront.

For less than $20/person, join the afterparty, called “The Haunted Walk’s Halloween Dog Party”, in the Distillery District at 30 Gristmill Lane, from 7:30-9pm. You must pre-register online.

Gristmill Lane runs south-east from Parliament Street, between Mill St. and Distillery Lane. Look for the north-east corner of Parliament Square Park, cross Parliament St. to get to the east side, and take a few steps south from Mill St. Gristmill Lane is pedestrian-only; don’t think of driving your car onto it.

The official web page for both these canine Hallowe’en events is “Purina PawsWay and The Haunted Walk’s Halloween Dog Parties 2014“.

Looking for More Annual Events in Toronto Canada?

My blog tracks some of the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, especially if they are free or frugal.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and other online sites.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about these three art events in Toronto coming just a week before Hallowe’en 2014.


Plan B in the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

My vacation kept me from writing anything before the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. But now that it’s over, let’s learn about Plan B.

"2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Sign" image by Mike DeHaan
“2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Sign” image by Mike DeHaan

Brief Summary of Results for the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is one of the most important annual sporting events in this city. The 2014 Waterfront Marathon saw one record return to a Toronto resident; a pair of good efforts by other Canadians; wins by a Kenyan and an Ethiopian; five Guiness records; and nearly 4000 finishers in this 42.2 kilometre event.

Laban Korir of Kenya won in 2:08:15, beating Tariku Jufar by 21 seconds (or 1/2 second per kilometre) in the men’s division. Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia took the women’s division in 2:23:15 (15th place overall), beating Aliaksandra Duliba by 1:28.

Finishing between the men’s and women’s winners was Canada’s Eric Gillis, with a 2:11:21 personal best. He had hoped to beat the Canadian men’s record of 2:10:09, set by Jerome Drayton 39 years ago. Canadian Lanni Marchant finished in 2:31:06. Both Canadians qualified for the 2015 PanAm games, to be held in Toronto next summer.

The Toronto Waterfront Marathon is one of the few Canadian events to rack up world records, even if they are not “fastest in the open division”. Across both the marathon and half-marathon disciplines, the 2014 Waterfront Marathon in Toronto set Guinness World Records for a woman wearing fire-fighting gear or as a zookeeper’s uniform; men wearing baseball gear or a superhero costume; and Michal Kapral, the Joggler, added the half-marathon to his previous marathon and 10Km records for juggling 3 balls while running.

I did not find Ed Whitlock or Fauja Singh in the marathon results; I’ve written about their world records for their age categories, set here in previous editions of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

The Fallback for Plan B

The Toronto Star states that Eric Gillis used his fallback plan during Sunday’s race. “Plan A” was to claim the $39,000 prize for breaking Drayton’s old record. When his legs became sore, he switched to “Plan B”, which was to beat a 2:11 time. With three kilometres to run, he fell back to “Plan C”: run a personal best.

That’s a strategy I recommend to runners whom I’ve trained through the Running Room program: set a range of goals. For many of us recreational runners, “just finishing” is a worthy goal as “Plan C”. Loftier goals may include a personal best time; qualifying for Boston; or beating either a friend or the pace from a recent training run. Having a fallback Plan B truly helps keep you going through adversity.

References for This Article on the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

My congratulations to the Toronto Star for covering the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon results, as well as profiling some of the competitors in recent days. This article used “Canadian record still standing after Toronto Waterfront marathon” and “5 weird Guinness records set at Toronto’s Waterfront Marathon“.

As well, the official Canada Running Series results are online.

Looking for More Annual Events in Toronto Canada?

I often track annual Toronto events that I find interesting, free or frugal.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and other online sites.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.


Toronto Thanksgiving at Harbourfront for Family Activities

Celebrating Thanksgiving is an annual family tradition for many of us, but where can you go for a family Thanksgiving event in Toronto? Let me suggest a couple…

"Inner City Canoeists in the Natrel Pond at Harbourfront in Toronto" image by Danielle Scott
“Inner City Canoeists in the Natrel Pond at Harbourfront in Toronto” image by Danielle Scott

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Harbourfront in Toronto

Harbourfront Centre hosts a variety of free family activities for Canadian Thanksgiving 2014.

If the weather permits, you can canoe on the Natrel Pond! Congratulations to the Harbourfront staff member who first suggested this; it would not have crossed my mind. But canoeing is a great way for your family to burn a few calories from your Thanksgiving feast. And if you are not experienced paddlers, this is the safest venue for learning to canoe. This is the exception to “free”; it’s $4/person for canoes or $5/person by paddleboat.

The pond should be open from 11am-8pm on Thanksgiving Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 (weather permitting).

The Little Island Comics event is free from 11am-5pm. Children will choose among drawing their own panels, collaborating on a mural, or simply reading and enjoying comics suited for their ages. Head for the West Arcade at Harbourfront for this family activity.

If your children prefer Lego, or simply want to switch activities, the Lego Construction Zone offers another creative outlet for children from 11-5 in the Marilyn Brewer Community Space at Harbourfront.

Other family Thanksgiving activities at Harbourfront will include “cool crafts“, the singing duo PerlHaze, “primp and parade your pram” (stroll with your stroller at 3:30pm), a photo booth with kids’ costumes to preview your Hallowe’en looks, and more. My “more” item would be “Lets Talk Science“… I’d like to learn how to levitate a ball of tinsel. The science show is on the Ann Tindal Lawn, from 11-5.

Harbourfront Centre in Toronto is located at 235 Queen’s Quay West. I’d take the TTC’s Line 1 (Yonge) subway to Union Station, and enjoy the “8 minute” walk. The 509 route saves you part of the walk.

Feast for Thanksgiving at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto

A higher priced option is to enjoy an old-fashioned Thanksgiving feast at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. They require reservations for the soup or salad appetizer, turkey or stuffed acorn squash main course, and dessert. Black Creek serves these Thanksgiving dinners on Sunday and Monday (Oct. 12 & 13, 2014), at noon, 3pm and 6pm. The price includes admission and parking; but taxes and other drinks are extra. (The drinks include “Black Creek Beer”; this museum includes a mid-1800s working brewery!)

Phone 416-667-6295 to reserve your Thanksgiving dinner at Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Black Creek Pioneer Village is located at 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, off Steeles Ave. W. and just east of Jane St. (It’s nestled beside York University). You can get there by TTC bus, although it does have a perfectly good parking lot.

References for Thanksgiving in Toronto

When is Thanksgiving Day in Canada? Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the 2nd Monday in October, just as our neighbours in the USA celebrate Columbus Day. American Thanksgiving is on the final Thursday of November.

Harbourfront has two main pages for Thanksgiving 2014: “HarbourKIDS for You” and “Harbourfront Centre Whats On for Oct. 13, 2014“.

Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Thanksgiving Dinner page has more details. Once you’re in that site, you can also find the directions and other background information.

Looking for More Annual Events in Toronto Canada?

My blog tracks many of the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, and provides ideas for fascinating, free or frugal things to do in Toronto. I especially like to cover summer attractions and special events, especially for Canadian holidays.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and other online sites.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about family activities for a Toronto Thanksgiving at Harbourfront or at Black Creek Pioneer Village.


Mennonite Singing in Toronto at Black Creek Pioneer Village

The annual Toronto Mennonite Festival always puts the focus on the quilt auction that is surrounded by food vendors. So their two free music programs don’t get much publicity, despite the importance of vocal music in the Mennonite tradition.

"Three Modern Mennonite Hymnals on a Quilt" image by Mike DeHaan
“Three Modern Mennonite Hymnals on a Quilt” image by Mike DeHaan

Free Music in the Town Hall Green at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Visitors strolling in the Black Creek Pioneer Village town hall green will hear free musical performances much of the day. That program takes a break during the quilt auction, which starts at noon. Otherwise, a variety of folk and gospel music mingles with the aroma of apple fritters, Sloppy Joes, sausage on sauerkraut, and other foods reflecting past or modern Mennonite cuisine from different backgrounds.

Join the Four Part Harmony of Mennonite Singing

The other musical gem is hidden in the Mennonite Meeting House. Starting at 10:30am, some Mennonites from Toronto and the GTA will sing for up to an hour. You’re invited to sing along with the Mennonites singing in four part harmony; “no experience is required”. Or simply listen to a few of their hymns.
The Meetinghouse is building 39 in the official Black Creek Pioneer Village map (PDF). After you go north from the entrance in the Visitor Centre building, turn right (east) as you pass the first building. (That’s the tin smith shop and Masonic Lodge). The next building is the Mennonite Meeting House.

If you cannot get to the Toronto Mennonite Festival on Sept. 20, 2014, you could visit one of the “Mennonite Churches in Toronto and the GTA“. These worship services are open to anyone.

To illustrate how seriously Mennonites take their music, many congregations currently have one hardcover hymnal and two supplementary spiral-bound song books. Often these are simply called the “blue hymnal, green hymnal or purple hymnal” during church services. “Hymnal: A Worship Book” was published in 1992; the others are more recent. Order one or more for yourself:

  • “The Mennonite Hymnal: A Worship Book” in Canada or in the USA via Amazon.
  • “Sing the Journey” in Canada or in the USA via Amazon.
  • “Sing the Story” in Canada or in the USA via Amazon.
"Three Modern Mennonite Hymnals on a Quilt" image by Mike DeHaan
“Three Modern Mennonite Hymnals on a Quilt” image by Mike DeHaan

Of course, the Toronto Mennonite Festival could use a slightly older reddish-brown hymnal, or any of three older versions published in the second half of the 20th century. With more than two centuries under its belt, Mennonite denominations have enjoyed a rich tradition of singing hymns in 4 part harmony. (Reference: “History of Published Mennonite Hymnals“).

When and Where is the 2014 Toronto Mennonite Festival?

The Toronto Mennonite Festival is an annual autumn Toronto event on the third Saturday of September; Sept. 20, 2014 this year. The entrance opens at 10am. As noted, the four part singing starts at 10:30. The quilt auction begins at noon. The whole event wraps up around 4pm.

Black Creek Pioneer Village hosts the Toronto Mennonite Festival. It’s just west of the main York University campus. The address is 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, which runs south from Steeles Ave. just east of Jane St. and well west of Keele St.

Free Live Music at the Junction Music Festival on Sept. 20, 2014

“But wait! there’s more” singing in Toronto this Saturday.

The Junction Music Festival also runs on Saturday Sept. 20, 2014. It boasts free live music on five stages on Dundas St. West between Quebec Ave. & Indian Grove. The event is centred on Keele St. & Dundas St. W.; and there are smaller performances as well all along Dundas Street.

I’d suggest taking transit via TTC buses that connect to the Number 2 Bloor-Danforth subway line. The 30 Lambton bus come from the High Park subway station; the 40 Junction bus links at Dundas West;  and the 41 Keele and 89 Weston buses from the Keele station.

If I were going there for lunch, I’d start at the west end with the on-street buskers and “Live music all day” at the Axis Gallery and Grill. The first stage shows, as well as many of the other performances, start in the early afternoon and run into the evening.

Manifesto Live at Yonge Dundas Square

Also on Sept. 20, 2014, Yonge Dundas Square hosts free live music and dance for the Manifesto festival. This “festival of community and culture” runs from Sept. 17-21, 2014, at a variety of venues.

Again, for the live free performances at Yonge Dundas Square, the TTC should be your chariot of choice, whether the Number 1 Yonge subway line is running or you have to rely on the 505 Dundas streetcar.

Looking for More Annual Events or a Holiday in Toronto Canada?

You can find more annual events for your vacation in Toronto Ontario; or for local residents wanting things to do in Toronto this weekend.

Ideas for a Toronto Vacation or Staycation

My blog tracks many annual Toronto events that I find interesting, and with fascinating, free or frugal things to do in Toronto.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s), except that Mike is quite involved with the Toronto Mennonite Festival. I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and other online sites. That’s why DeHaan Services highlights those online articles on this site.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about Mennonite singing four part harmony in Toronto at Black Creek Pioneer Village, as well as the other free music performances this weekend at Yonge Dundas Square and at the Junction Music Festival.


Savour the 2014 Taste of the Kingsway in Toronto

The 2014 Taste of the Kingsway festival returns to Bloor St. West on either side of Royal York Road on its annual weekend in September. This popular west of downtown street festival features food, a dog show, live performances on two stages and street-based entertainment. Except for the food, all the fun is free, as far as I can tell.

"Map of the Taste of the Kingsway in Toronto" image by Mike DeHaan via Google Maps
“Map of the Taste of the Kingsway in Toronto” image by Mike DeHaan via Google Maps

Where is the 2014 Taste of the Kingsway Festival?

Two stages bracket the Taste of the Kingsway festival: the Montgomery Stage at the west end (at Montgomery and Bloor); and the Prince Edward Stage to the east. (Yes, you guessed: at the intersection of Prince Edward Drive North and Bloor St. West).

What does the Taste of the Kingsway 2014 Offer?

What’s on stage? A variety of musical genres, from ’50s rock and tribute bands through disco, jazz and R&B to classical instrumentals and opera (The International Tenors).

The Taste of the Kingsway 2014 organizers are keeping their list of street performers and buskers relatively secret.

I think two highlights will be the Scotiabank Dog Show on Saturday from noon to 3pm; and climbing the rock wall. Beyond that, you can see antique cars (anytime) or slightly younger retired Maple Leafs hockey veterans (Sunday afternoon). Kids should enjoy the midway rides and clowns.

And since it’s a “Taste of…” festival, you can expect cuisine from the local restaurants.

When is the 2014 Taste of the Kingsway festival?

The 2014 Taste of the Kingsway runs from 5pm Friday Sept. 5, 2014 (to 10pm), through Saturday 11am-10pm, to Sundary from 11am until 6pm.

Take the #2 subway (Bloor-Danforth) to the Royal York station. Walk out and you will be in the middle of the action. The Islington 110 bus or Royal York Road 15 bus should get you fairly close. While you could bike to the Taste of the Kingsway festival, it’s always difficult to move the bicycle through a crowd.

The Official Taste of the Kingsway Web Site

For more details, and a rather fascinating video introduction to the 2014 Taste of the Kingsway festival, refer to the official Taste of the Kingsway web site.

In 2012 I’d listed a number of other annual “Toronto Festivals and Events 1 Weekend After Labour Day 2012” along with this Taste. Many of them are likely to still be running, so check those too.

Looking for More Annual Events or a Holiday in Toronto Canada?

My blog notes many of the upcoming annual Toronto events that I find interesting, especially if they are free or frugal things to do in Toronto.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and other online sites.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about the 2014 Taste of the Kingsway in Toronto.

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