Greetings to the many thousands of readers over the past month from across Canada and the United States, as well as countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, India, Australia, Japan, the Ukraine, Mexico, Romania and the Netherlands.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Life is better at the cottage: Don't miss the Spring Cottage Life Show to see why

   One-Tank Trip for March 25-17

   (c) By Jim Fox
There’s something about “cottaging” that gets into your blood and you just can’t shake it.
   Take it from a veteran cottager whose grandfather bought an isolated property on Raven Lake, near Coboconk, and built a modest cabin years ago.
   Life would never be the same, as it is a rite of passage for so many Canadians.
   Your kids, grandkids and family pets will thank you for keeping the tradition and memories alive – with all the enjoyable hard work and bankroll.
   The days of roughing it are long gone with no electricity (coal-oil lamps and stoves instead), a block of ice in the so-called fridge and a well to manually pump drinking water.
   Now it’s four-season escapes with Wi-Fi, satellite TV, central heating and air-conditioning, washers, dryers, dishwashers and all the comforts of home.
Dogs have as much fun as their human companions at the cottage. (Jim Fox photo)
   Before heading off to the lake, stream or river to a cottage, cabin, bunkie, trailer or motor home, there’s an easy primer by attending the Spring Cottage Life Show to see if you’re up to the ownership challenge.
   This harbinger of summer and ritual for Ontarians preparing to open their seasonal retreats runs from March 31to April 2 at the International Centre (6900 Airport Rd. at Derry Road) in Mississauga.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tap into spring with Ontario's sweet treat -- maple syrup

   One-Tank Trip for March 18-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   How sweet it is!
   They’re tapping into spring with the running of the sap to make Canada’s iconic maple syrup.
   Visit a sugar shack where sap is collected from maple trees and boiled into syrup, and tour a sugar bush to learn about the making of this sweet treat.
Tom Shaw shows the traditional method of tapping maple trees using a hand drill on his Orillia-area farm. (Jim Fox photo)
   It’s all possible at the 53rd Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on April 1, the world’s largest single-day fest of its kind that attracts 70,000 people in one day.
   Come early and hungry to this community north of Kitchener-Waterloo for a pancake and sausage breakfast served from 7 a.m.
   Some 15,000 servings of flapjacks, smothered in 750 litres of syrup, are devoured.
   There are trips to the sugar bush, a pancake-flipping contest, dog show, petting zoo and toys, quilts, crafts, antiques and collectibles, along with great food including maple syrup toffee.
   Children can enjoy midway and pony rides, inflatables and musical performances.
Yum. Come and get ’em – flapjacks smothered in maple syrup. (Ontario Tourism)

The Small Glories in concert with special guest Sarah Jane Scouten March 24 at Stratford’s Revival House

(News Release)

Cara Luft & JD Edwards create a sound that is definitely all their own

Stratford, ON (March 8, 2017)  The Small Glories, a dynamic folk duo from Winnipeg, take to the stage at Stratford’s Revival House at 8:00 pm on March 24, 2017. The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, whose voices beautifully blend, creating a sound unique and definitely all their own. The concert is presented by String Bone Presents!
The Small Glories

Veteran artists Luft and Edwards, who enjoy substantial solo reputations, continue to blossom as a union, while building a buzz around their tight harmonies, authenticity and visceral performances. Luft is a Juno Award winner and a founding member of the hugely successful trio The Wailin’ Jennys. She has earned a solid reputation as an exciting live performer, as well as an accomplished guitarist and claw-hammer banjo player. The JD Edwards Band performs gritty, invigorating country rock music with strong blues and soul influences. Edwards’ voice ranges from gentle and melodic to fierce and powerful, leaving listeners wanting more. As a result of their combined talents, Luft and Edwards perform and sing together like they have been doing it for years. Additionally, both of them are insightfully honest songwriters.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Inquisitive kids really "dig" digiPlaySpace

   One-Tank Trip for March 4/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Using language that perhaps only kids will understand, young minds can learn to code, control robots, paint with light, travel through space and visit Canada’s National Parks through high-tech experiences.
   This world where users control a robotic arm that mimics human movement, interact with the solar system and space across a circle of 28 iPads, and paint with light while the environment around them begins to glow is known as digiPlaySpace.
Visitors to digiPlaySpace can learn all about robots, programming and basic electronics to create their own inventions. (Photo by Little Robot Friends)
   This is the sixth international exhibition of its kind that runs now through April 23 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
   Don’t be shy: It’s where interactive art, design and activities from acclaimed Canadian and international artists “highlight the power of creative technology for kids and those young at heart.”
   TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world, through film, and its projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival, Lightbox featuring five cinemas, major exhibitions and learning and entertainment facilities.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Disney On Ice warms winter; LEGO Batman in Toronto, Metro Detroit

   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 25-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   An all-new Disney On Ice show glides into London and Toronto next month featuring Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out and Finding Dorey.

   Then, join Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they travel to four timeless worlds in the fun-filled Disney On Ice show Passport to Adventure in Hamilton.
   Dory and friends glide into London for Disney On Ice’s Follow Your Heart. (Feld Entertainment photos)

   The action-packed adventure Follow Your Heart takes to the ice at London’s Budweiser Gardens from March 2 to 5 and at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, March 15 to 19.

   This live production produced by Feld Entertainment is an ice-skating extravaganza featuring Inside Out, Disney’s Frozen and other stories.

   Publicist Beth Merrick says the story swims with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Finding Dory as they embark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the meaning of family.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Art action comes alive for fourth annual Railway City Arts Crawl in St. Thomas, Ontario

(News Release)

City-wide arts celebration sees increase in number of participating artists and host venues
St. Thomas, ON: The Railway City Arts Crawl is back for its 4th straight year.
The popular winter celebration of local arts and culture invites people to explore venues throughout St. Thomas and meet talented local artists engaging in the creative process.
A free Arts Crawl passport is available at participating venues and helps arts crawlers locate the venues and artists they'd like to explore over the two-day event on February 24th and 25th.
A snapshot from the 2016 Crawl at Railway City Brewing Company.
Arts Crawl Coordinator Megan Pickersgill says there are more artists participating and more interactive projects this year.
“There's an ice sculpture in the making at the Elgin County Railway Museum”, said Pickersgill. “Watch a train emerge out of ice while you are surrounded by the big trains of the past”.

Toronto Zoo goes wild through Family Day

Open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm daily*
Bring your family to meet ours this Family Day weekend! Meet Canada’s only giant panda cubs, 
Jia Yueyue and Jia Panpan, enjoy over 10 km of walking trails and explore five indoor tropical pavilions. 
Plus, stop by and wish our male Indian rhino calf, Nandu, a Happy First Birthday – he turned one year old
on Friday, February 17th!  And don’t forget about attending one of the Zoo’s daily animal keeper 
talks, schedule here.

Kids and adults will have the opportunity to connect with wildlife conservation by visiting our BIG and SMALL interactive Interpretive Stations at Polar Bears, African Rainforest and Indo-Malaya Pavilion. Check out our schedule and drop by to learn about how we at the Toronto Zoo are working hard to save and protect animals from around the world.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Everything's coming up . . .

   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 18-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Everything’s coming up roses and you name it while savouring an early taste of spring at area garden shows.
   The Canadian Shield Rose will debut as “flower of the year” at Canada Blooms in Toronto to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.
A piano with water coming flowing was designed by Richard’s Lawn and Garden in Stratford. (Doug Bingham photos)
   A much-anticipated show is the Stratford Garden Festival from March 2 to 5 and there’s the upcoming Orchid Society show at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
   “Earthly Delights” is the theme of Stratford’s fest at the Rotary Complex, presented by the Lung Association and sponsored by Pro Resp.
   “Welcome spring, savour the scent of fresh mulch, take in the colour of blooming flowers and revel in the earthly delights,” said Deedee Herman, lung association area manager.
   Highlights include numerous gardens that “showcase the talent and creativity of area landscapers and offer inspiration for the gardening season ahead.”
There are lots of colourful flowers at the Stratford Garden Festival.
   Visitors will discover ideas to apply to their own gardens.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Peller Estates launches Barrel Cellar Dinner Series

(News Release)
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario --Visitors to Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake can now enjoy the ultimate wine country experience in a brand new series that takes guests on a wine and culinary adventure with exquisite tasting menus created by Executive Chef and CityLine personality Jason Parsons in the stunning Peller Estates Barrel Cellar.  

Each dinner in the series has a unique theme that treats guests to a pre-dinner reception, cooking demo or wine seminar before they are whisked away into one of Niagara’s most memorable underground barrel cellars (surrounded by 300 wine barrels) for a four-course dinner perfectly paired with Peller Estates VQA wines. 

“We set out to create a dining experience that truly captures the flavours Niagara has to offer in an unforgettable setting.  As a proud member of Feast Ontario, it’s always been our philosophy to create seasonal menus using ingredients from Canadian farmers and producers.

Pairing each dish with one of our premium VQA wines and serving dinner in the Barrel Cellar creates an atmosphere that engages all five senses”, explains Winery Executive Chef Jason Parsons. “It definitely provides an exciting dining opportunity for both visitors and Niagara locals by celebrating everything our region is known for”, he adds.

Explore the magical northern landscape this Family Day at HarbourKIDS: North

Harbourfront Centre celebrates the northern winter landscape with HarbourKIDS: North. Featuring free family activities, discover, examine and explore the mighty expanse of the North and its ever-changing terrain while considering conservation and respect for the environment.

235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, M5J 2G8

February 20, 2017 (11am-5pm)


Blue Mountain Village has lots happening on Family Day Weekend 2017

There’s no better way to spend Family Day Weekend than at Blue Mountain Village!  Gather the family for a weekend of skiing and entertainment.  Head off on a FAMILY CHANNEL Scavenger Hunt, try maple taffy on snow, join a DJ party in the heart of the Village, or check out one of the free activities below:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New concerts at Casino Rama: Bill Engvall, Reza, Riverdance, Umverto Tozzi in May 2017

Great Entertainment Headlines at Casino Rama Resort
New concerts added to the spring 2017 event line-up at the Great Indoors

RAMA, ON (Monday, February 13th, 2017) - Casino Rama Resort is one of Ontario’s premier entertainment destinations offering world-class concerts & events year round in our award-winning Entertainment Centre. The just released additions to the 2017 concert line-up includes performances by:   

Bill Engvall
Saturday, May 6
Tickets are $39.82/$48.67/$57.52
This popular Southern comedian is a celebrated actor, Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist and a member of the now legendary Blue Collar Comedy team #HeresYourSign

Edge of Illusion Tour
Friday, May 12
Saturday, May 13
Tickets are $23.89/$32.74/$46.02
Hailed by critics as the Nation's Top Touring Illusionist, Reza has sold out venues across North America, entertaining millions.  He has been profiled/featured on television and radio in 31 countries around the world.