Tag Archives: Toronto Events Summer

What’s New at Toronto Buskerfest 2015

The 2015 Toronto Buskerfest returns to Yonge Street from Thursday through Sunday, August 27-30.

So what’s new at this annual summer Toronto event? (Updated with photos I took Aug. 28, 2015).

"Fireboy, a Busker in Toronto Buskerfest 2009" by Loozrboy
“Fireboy, a Busker in Toronto Buskerfest 2009” by Loozrboy

Innovations at Toronto Buskerfest 2015

Judging from their web site, Buskerfest Toronto has three main innovations.

First, their Family Fun Zone has expanded along Yonge St. between College & Gerrard. The Scotiabank Tent hosts the workshops and many activities. The Family Fun Zone Stage has performances from 12:30-6:30pm.

"Welcoming Children to Buskerfest 2015" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Welcoming Children to Buskerfest 2015” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

The second new service is valet parking for your bicycle. Cycle Toronto will operate valet parking for about 200 bicycles. Head to Dundas St. West between Yonge and Bay Streets, where the Cycle Toronto tent will be pitched. The system works like a coat check: get a ticket stub when you leave your bike with them; trade the stub for your bicycle once you’ve been Buskered.

"Climbing the Wall at Buskerfest 2015" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Climbing the Wall at Buskerfest 2015” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

Third, you can pre-register for a 5Km Epilepsy Walk to be held on Sunday Aug. 30 at 10am at 468 Queen St. East (at Sackville). The “Purple Walk” fund-raiser supports Epilepsy Toronto. The official Epilepsy Toronto Purple Walk web page explains more and has a link for registration or donations.

"Silver Elvis at Buskerfest 2015" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Silver Elvis at Buskerfest 2015” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

Toronto Buskerfest offers a blend of new and returning performers, so it’s worth a visit every year.

"Map of Buskerfest along Yonge Street in Toronto" image (c) by Mike DeHaan via gmap-pedometer
“Map of Buskerfest along Yonge Street in Toronto” image (c) by Mike DeHaan via gmap-pedometer

The Nitty Gritty for Toronto Buskerfest 2015

Toronto Buskerfest 2015 runs on Yonge Street from College/Carlton south to Queen Street on Aug. 27-30. (Noon through 11pm on the two weekdays; 11am-11pm on Sat.; and 11am-8pm on Sunday). That section of Yonge Street will be closed to north/south traffic.

The #1 Yonge subway line has stops at College, Dundas and Queen. The TTC also operates the 501 Queen, 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton streetcars which should be running despite the Yonge Street closure. (Updated Aug. 28, 2015): This afternoon, I saw the 506 Carlton streetcars running just fine. While jogging toward Yonge St. along Gerrard, past Ryerson University, I nearly ran right through Buskerfest because Gerrard was open to vehicles.

As noted, the valet parking for bikes makes cycling a really good option.

"Kids Play the Bike Percussion Instrument at Buskerfest 2015" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Kids Play the Bike Percussion Instrument at Buskerfest 2015” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

Almost everything is outdoors, so wear your sunscreen lotion, baseball cap, and carry an umbrella.

"The Bike Percussion Instrument at Buskerfest 2015" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“The Bike Percussion Instrument at Buskerfest 2015” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

Toronto Buskerfest supports Epilepsy Toronto, so they’d like you to pay a toonie to enter the grounds. Each busker act passes the hat at the end of the performance, so bring a fair number of loonies, toonies, fives and tens. Even a person as frugal as myself sees the value in paying these amazing performers for their live up-close-and-personal shows. Buskerfest is your best chance to see these great Canadian and international buskers.

Regular readers know I’ve promoted Buskerfest Toronto in previous years. If you still need more details, the official Toronto Buskerfest web site has them.

"Rappelling down the Wall at Buskerfest 2015" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Rappelling down the Wall at Buskerfest 2015” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

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

My blog tracks many of the 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. (The site is monetized; buy something through an ad and I should earn a commission). 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 left-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about Toronto Buskerfest 2015.

Visit both China and Iran in downtown Toronto in August 2015

This weekend, visit both the Toronto Chinatown Festival and the Tirgan festival of Iranian culture. Explore the world in the comfort of two annual summer events in Toronto!

"Chinese Lion Dance for Chinese New Year 2009" image by Maureen Didde under CC license
“Chinese Lion Dance for Chinese New Year 2009” image by Maureen Didde under CC license

The Tirgan Festival of Iran at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto

The Tirgan festival runs from Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 20-23, at Harbourfront Centre on Queen’s Quay.

Some of the showcase events require tickets, such as the opening ceremony on Thursday evening at 8:30pm. Surprisingly, that’s the most frugal paid-admission event for the Tirgan festival: a musical ensemble featuring guitars, bass, drum and sax. One of the other paid-admission musical performances is already sold out, as of Tuesday evening. Get your tickets online while they are still available!

From Friday through Sunday, the Iranian bazaar and “Taste of Iran” areas are free to enter. It may be tough to leave without buying at least a snack. There are free musical performances; a workshop on the tombak drum; visual arts; children’s programmes; and much more. Check the Tirgan Festival web site or browse the Harbourfront Centre’s “What’s On calendar” for all the events and the details about dates, times and locations.

Harbourfront Centre in Toronto is on the newly revamped Queen’s Quay, and a lovely walk south-west from Union Station on the #1 Yonge subway line. Or take the 509 streetcar from the depths of Union Station.

The Toronto Chinatown Festival on Spadina

For August 2015, the Toronto Chinatown Festival’s theme is “The Forbidden City”. You are free to enter Spadina Ave. from St. Andrew St. through Sullivan St. on Saturday Aug. 22 (from noon to 11pm) and again on Sunday (from 11am to 8pm).

China’s Forbidden City was home to the emperors and the government of China. It was the centre of culture and the Chinese civilization.

The Chinatown Festival in Toronto limits itself to the west side of Spadina. The OLG stage and the TD Bank stage anchor the southern and northern ends of the festival. Expect terrific performances; I would expect lion dances, musical performances, martial arts, and more. Unfortunately, at press time, they have not yet posted an actual schedule.

There’s no need to schedule your snacks; I count at least two dozen food vendors in their list of vendors. You might find something to buy, also: the Bee Shop is the most intriguing merchant with a purely English name; but I’m not sure whether the Tung Hoi Aquarium will sell fish to go.

The best way to find the Toronto Chinatown Festival is to exit the #1 Yonge/Spadina subway at the St. Andrews station and head south.

The full list of vendors and sponsors for the Chinatown Festival in Toronto is available online.

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

My blog tracks many of the 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. (The site is monetized; buy something through an ad and I should earn a commission). 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 left-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about the Tirgan festival of Iranian culture, and the Toronto Chinatown Festival.

The Eastern Section of the Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto

The eastern section of the Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto offers free running and biking fitness opportunities, along with a scenic view of Lake Ontario. Several other facilities are nestled near this biking trail. Join me on a quick tour on a Monday morning in the summer.

"A 2.5Km Section of Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto" image (c) by Mike DeHaan via gmap-pedometer
“A 2.5Km Section of Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto” image (c) by Mike DeHaan via gmap-pedometer

Finding the Eastern End of the Martin Goodman Trail

The Martin Goodman Trail’s eastern tip is at the south end of Fernwood Park Avenue in the eastern Beach neighbourhood of Toronto, off of Fir Avenue, and south of Queen Street East.

"Fernwood and Fir in the Beach neighbourhood in Toronto" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Fernwood and Fir in the Beach neighbourhood in Toronto” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

The Balmy Beach Club is just east of Fir and Fernwood, and south of Queen St. East, past the curve in the road shown in the above image.

Let’s turn right, instead, to join the Martin Goodman Trail at the south end of Fernwood.

"Looking south-east onto the Martin Goodman Trail from Fernwood" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Looking south-east onto the Martin Goodman Trail from Fernwood” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

Heading West along the Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto

Heading west along the Martin Goodman Trail from Fernwoood, we immediately see the boardwalk between the trail and Lake Ontario. While runners may use either the trail or the boardwalk, cyclists should stay on the paved trail.

If you turn left (east), you’d find the Balmy Beach Club’s south entrance on the Boardwalk. In the summer, some beach volleyball nets get a workout there. But that’s behind us as we travel west.

"Leuty Lifeguard Station and the Boardwalk in Toronto" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Leuty Lifeguard Station and the Boardwalk in Toronto” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

The above picture shows the Leuty Lifeguard Station on the beach, as well as a lifeguard’s chair. The flags indicate water quality and whether a lifeguard is on duty.

The boardwalk has benches, obviously, but let’s keep going on our fitness trek.

In fact, this section of the trail has about half a dozen fitness stations. Look for wooden beams where you can do pull-ups, inclined sit-ups, and other exercises. Sorry that I didn’t take photos!

"The Kew Beach Lawn Bowling Club in Toronto near the Martin Goodman Trail" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“The Kew Beach Lawn Bowling Club in Toronto near the Martin Goodman Trail” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

Beyond that fence, the light green grass is part of the Kew Beach Lawn Bowling Club, just north of the Martin Goodman Trail. A couple decades ago, when I was a participant, the sport of fencing was the second-safest in Canada. The safest? Lawn bowling.

I didn’t take a picture, but Kew Gardens also hosts a small ice hockey rink (just west of the lawn bowling club).

"Tennis Courts at Kew Beach in Toronto north of the Martin Goodman Trail" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Tennis Courts at Kew Beach in Toronto north of the Martin Goodman Trail” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

Next we find the tennis courts, again north of the trail.

Note that there are any number of micro-trails that join the streets of the Beach neighbourhood to the Martin Goodman Trail. This photo also shows one of the decorative boulders (on the far right) and a functional garbage container. Earlier in my run I passed a garbage truck making its rounds, as well as a couple of other service vehicles. Toronto Parks and Recreation Department keeps this trail, and Toronto’s many parks, in fine form.

"The Donald D Summerville Olympic Pool near the Martin Goodman Trail" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“The Donald D Summerville Olympic Pool near the Martin Goodman Trail” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

The Donald D Summerville Olympic Pool towers above (and just to the north of) the Martin Goodman Trail. It’s just south of the eastern end of Lake Shore Blvd E., where it curves north to become the foot of Woodbine Avenue. I have no idea why someone decided to build an elevated swimming pool, but it is highly regarded among those looking for a place to swim.

It’s worth noting that this whole stretch of the Martin Goodman Trail has sandy beaches. The many lifeguard chairs attest to its reputation as a “swimmer’s beach”; one of several in Toronto.

The upper left of the above photo shows another “bathing station”: a place to change your clothes. Beach volleyball is a big feature of this section of the Martin Goodman Trail, just west of that bathing station.

Just to the north of the bike path, and before reaching the swimming pool, is the first of several children’s playgrounds along this section of the trail.

"Meeting the Ashbridges Bay Park Road from the Martin Goodman Trail" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“Meeting the Ashbridges Bay Park Road from the Martin Goodman Trail” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

We’ve gone past another children’s play area, and through a wider park area that hosts a lot of picnics on weekends.

The above photo shows the Martin Goodman Trail meeting the Ashbridges Bay Park Road, which I always call “the driveway south from Coxwell”. Turn left to find a parking lot, as well as a section of trails that the Beaches Running Room calls “the Peanut”. (That’s based on the aerial view of an elongated figure-8 biking trail). That area hosts Canada Day Fireworks in Toronto at Ashbridges Bay, an annual free summer Toronto event that I usually watch from nearby Woodbine Park.

However, we’re turning right (north) towards the intersection of Coxwell and Lake Shore Blvd East.

"The Martin Goodman Trail meets Lake Shore Blvd East at Coxwell" image (c) by Mike DeHaan
“The Martin Goodman Trail meets Lake Shore Blvd East at Coxwell” image (c) by Mike DeHaan

The Martin Goodman Trail continues left (west), south of Lake Shore Blvd East. I didn’t take a picture of Ashbridges Bay, to the left of the trail. Today the Boy Scouts facility was hosting some children in canoes (or something… I was busy running) in the bay.

Across Lake Shore Blvd, the above photo hints at the skateboard park on the north-west corner of this intersection. I run past there quite often; and it’s rare to see fewer than a dozen youngsters training or just enjoying the free facility.

Looking Back at the Ashbridges Bay Park

"Ashbridges Bay Park Road at Coxwell and Lake Shore Blvd East" image by Mike DeHaan
“Ashbridges Bay Park Road at Coxwell and Lake Shore Blvd East” image by Mike DeHaan

The above photo looks back, east, along Lake Shore Blvd East and across the intersection for Coxwell and the park road (to the right). Woodbine Park is to the left; it has become the home of many free annual Toronto events such as AfroFest and the Muhtadi International Drumming Festival.

Are You Going Further West along the Martin Goodman Trail?

If you head west along the Martin Goodman Trail from Coxwell, it turns south onto Leslie Street. You will recognize it as a construction zone for the new TTC streetcars, but it should become a really pleasant “linear park” at that corner.

The south end of Leslie has the gate to Tommy Thompson Park; but the Martin Goodman Trail turns west at that gate, following Unwin Avenue. You will eventually find Clarke Beach, where the trail turns north onto Cherry Street. And that’s all the foreshadowing for this article.

The local Running Room in the Beaches makes good use of the eastern-most section of the Martin Goodman Trail. It’s one of the flatter biking trails in Toronto, but that’s something that runners can really appreciate.

One word of caution: these 2.5 kilometres of parkland attract huge crowds on summer holiday weekends. It’s definitely not a fitness trail at those times, unless you’re training for slow-motion dodge-the-families-with-children.

Looking for More Fitness Trails in Toronto Canada?

I have recently begun to note fitness trails in Toronto, in addition to noting many of the 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. (The site is monetized; buy something through an ad and I should earn a commission). 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 “Fitness” category at the bottom of the left-hand column for recent articles in this vein. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about the eastern section of the Martin Goodman Trail in Toronto.