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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pedal power: See Ontario By Bike

   One-Tank Trip for April 25/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   “Ontario: Yours to Discover – By Bike.”
   That’s the suggestion and slogan of Ontario By Bike, a project of Transportation Options, a non-profit organization and leader in cycle tourism development.
   “Spring has sprung and wheels are in motion as cyclists are keen to get out there on the roads and trails in greater numbers than ever,” said executive director Louisa Mursell.
   Seeing the countryside on two wheels by pedal power is a “documented growing phenomena worldwide and in Ontario,” the organization has confirmed.
Writer Jim Fox enjoying a ride in the Copeland Forest at Horseshoe Valley with Jenna Hunter and Natasha Ilic.
   In the province, 69 percent of cyclists have taken an overnight or day trip in the past two years and the Ontario By Bike Network launched in 2010 is active with 1,000 “bicycle-friendly” locations in 28 regions.
   “We were in London and Lambton County in the Sarnia area last week to expand the Ontario By Bike Network to those areas,” Mursell said.
   There was “tremendous interest” from businesses looking to become certified as bicycle friendly and reach the growing cycle tourism market, she added.
   Later this spring, it will expand to Brant County, North Bay and the Mattawa area.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Toronto's Bloor St. Culture Corridor marks first anniversary and welcomes new associate destinations


TORONTO, Canada (April 14, 2015): The Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, celebrates its one year anniversary in April 2015 and is pleased to announce the 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media + Education and the Toronto Reference Library as new Bloor St. Culture Corridor Associates.  

The 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media + Education presents a variety of visual art exhibitions, music concerts and other performing arts programming, as well as educational programs.

The Toronto Reference Library presents a wide array of literary and cultural experiences for Torontonians, including art and cultural exhibitions at its TD Gallery, showcasing the library's vast special collections; and lectures, talks and readings from national and international authors, thinkers and newsmakers at its Appel Salon.

HarbourKIDS presents the fascinating, freaky circus spectacle of Toronto's International Circus Festival, May 16-18, 2015

TORONTO, ON (April 20, 2015) - HarbourKIDS is pleased to present the annual Toronto International Circus Festival, co-produced with Zero Gravity Circus, May 16-18. This three-day festival promises the fascinating spectacle of the circus for those curious enough to venture through.

"This year we really wanted to celebrate all aspects of circus culture and inspire kids to really feel they've run away with us to the circus," explains HarbourKIDS Toronto International Circus Festival Programmer, Allison Cummings. "We want kids, and parents, to embrace their freaky, curious, free and independent selves, to celebrate their uniqueness."

From the traditional to the strange side-show circus, HarbourKIDS celebrates it all. Featuring the Petless Petting Zoo, our version of the cabinet of curiosity, to the Sweet Variety of Circus hosted by Kristian Reimer on the Stage in The Round. There is something to charge every creative spirit.

Stratford Festival kicks off 63rd season with first preview of The Sound of Music

April 21, 2015… The Sound of Music, the most beloved movie musical of all time, marks its 50th anniversary this year.

To celebrate, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic returns to the Festival stage for the first time in 14 years in a production directed and choreographed by Donna Feore. Previews began on April 21, signifying the first performance of the 2015 season.

Taking on the iconic role of Maria Rainer is newcomer Stephanie Rothenberg, who recently starred as Rosemary opposite Nick Jonas in the Tony-nominated Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Ben Carlson, whose incredible musical abilities are a secret to no one, will mark his eighth season with his first role in a Stratford musical, playing Captain von Trapp.

The Sound of Music is one of my all-time favourites,” says Ms Feore, the force behind a growing list of hit musicals at the Festival, including Crazy for You and Fiddler on the Roof. “The chance to do this at the Festival is an absolute gift. I’m asking the audience to really invest in these characters, and there is no other theatrical space that allows for a more intimate and shared experience between actors and audience than the Festival stage. They’re getting every detail, every emotion. It changes everything.”

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ontario Yours To Discover - By bike

(News Release)

TORONTO - All types of cyclists can now easily find an array of Ontario-wide summer ride ideas, inspiration and detailed travel information in the newly released 2015 Cycling in Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario guide.

Available for free, this 24 page colourful annual publication keeps getting bigger, better and more sought after by cyclists each year.

Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular recreational activity in Ontario as more and more Ontario residents and visitors take to two wheels to explore Ontario by bike. Not only is cycle tourism a growing phenomena worldwide but in Ontario as well; with 69% of cyclists in Ontario having taken an overnight or day trip in the past two years.

Ontario tourism businesses are welcoming cyclists, many providing an extra level of service to those who arrive by bike. Cycle tourists can find over 1,000 locations around the province that have achieved certification status as a bicycle-friendly location through the Ontario By Bike Network.  An increasing number of destinations are now publishing cycling maps, showing bike routes and ride details.

Guelph Museums celebrates Guelph’s birthday with behind-the-scenes tours‏

GUELPH, ON -- On April 23, the City of Guelph is turning 188. To celebrate, Guelph Museums is hosting special behind-the-scenes tours of the Civic Museum and its permanent collection.
The tours will acquaint visitors with Guelph’s rich history, and provide a unique opportunity to see artifacts not currently on display in our galleries.
At the same time, visitors will learn about the work of a museum curator and how artifacts are stored and preserved in our collections.

Royal Ontario Museum news: Last chance to see Douglas Coupland’s latest exhibition

Exhibition is first major survey of work by Douglas Coupland with more than 100 artworks on display in Toronto
Toronto, ONThe widely acclaimed Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything exhibition, presented by TD Bank Group, closes at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

As part of a first-time partnership between the ROM’s Centre for Contemporary Culture (RCC) and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), the engaging exhibition features more than 100 works by Douglas Coupland on view.

This is the last opportunity see one of Canada’s most provocative thinkers question what our future holds.

Sustainable 'Green' and Earth Day events planned at the Toronto Zoo

Each year in April the Toronto Zoo hosts Earth Day Celebrations. The objective of this event is to raise awareness for a sustainable planet earth and to provide actions and activities that will encourage stewardship. Taking place within the award winning Tundra Trek, the event showcases specifically selected organizations that are champions in environmental conservation stewardship in Ontario and promote green ideas from organizations from across Ontario. The Earth Day Celebrations promote renewable energy, sustainable living and the fact that every single person can have an impact on climate change for a better planet. This year's event on, April 25 and 26, 2015, will showcase the important work by the Toronto Zoo's Wildlife Health Centre in helping to maintain a healthy population of wildlife around the Greater Toronto Area. 
The Toronto Zoo also offers a program directed towards Senior Management in the business community called ECOexecutives. This program provides a unique, inspiring and motivating setting to help transition an organization's sustainability goals to the next level. The program can customize workshops to suit each organization's individual needs. Also we offer exclusive animal tours to further emphasize the connection between sustainable business choices and biodiversity protection, and a roaster of experienced sustainable business professionals to facilitate and mentor attendees.

Classic rockers return to Casino Rama

RAMA, ON  – Casino Rama is excited to announce the return of several fan favourites including classic rockers Whitesnake and co-headliners George Thorogood & The Destroyers and Brian Setzer.

Also hitting the stage later this spring are country performers Kip Moore and Montgomery Gentry, alongside the venue’s first Bollywood production, Mystic India.

Fans are invited to visit the Casino’s Facebook page (Casino Rama Resort) to gain access to an exclusive pre-sale, along with a chance to win their way into their favourite show by beating the Box Office for a pair of tickets.

The just announced additions to the 2015 concert line-up include:

Knock, knock . . . it's Doors Open Ontario's new season for 2015

   One-Tank Trip for April 18/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   History buffs, culture fans and the just plain curious can join in visiting some of Ontario’s historical and cultural gems.
   It’s time again for the Ontario Heritage Trust’s popular Doors Open program from later this month through mid-October.
   The doors of many of the “most intriguing and charming heritage sites” will swing open for a peak that will include some buildings that have never been open for public tours or visits.
Boarding House Arts limestone heritage building in Guelph
    It’s a chance to “discover the story behind every door,” the provincial government agency says.
   “Throughout the province, there is a growing pride in our heritage,” said trust chairman Thomas Symons.
   “Communities boast of their commercial buildings, courthouses, theatres, museums, places of worship, gardens, natural heritage and other sites,” he added.
   Admission is free for this “eagerly awaited” program now in its 14th year and that has attracted more than five-million visitors in that time.

   Royal City opens
   Again this year, Guelph leads the Doors Open parade with the first of the season on April 25.
   That’s followed next month by Peterborough and Whitby on May 2; Hamilton, May 2 and 3; Richmond Hill, May 9; Brockville-Thousand Islands, Kincardine and area, and Toronto on May 23 and 24; and Oxford County on May 30.
The entry of the historic Knox Presbyterian Church in Guelph. (Photo by Melissa Gobeil)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cool, funky and savvy describes Aloft hotels

   One-Tank Trip for April 11/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Not all new hotels are created equally.
   Take, for instance, Aloft hotels that are billed as “hip, hot and happening.”
   Called the “tech-forward, innovation hub for millennial-minded travellers,” Aloft is emerging across Canada, after its launch in Montreal in 2008 and then Vaughan Mills in the Greater Toronto Area and Calgary.
Funky furniture adorns the “Savvy Suite” bedroom at Aloft Atlanta Downtown. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Also within a “one-tank trip” are just-opened Aloft offerings in Detroit and Buffalo, with distinctive styles all their own in these loft-style retreats.
   This pioneering brand with its “social guest experience” is big on the techy elements as it introduced the industry’s first robotic butler delivering amenities to guest’s rooms.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Way down upon Stratford's 'swanee' river; signs of spring in Ontario Parks

   One-Tank Trip for April 4/15
   (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s not just people who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring-like weather, but our fine feathered friends, too.
   There’s pent-up demand by the swans of Stratford to “escape” from being cooped up in their winter home to waddle their way to the Avon River.
The Stratford Police Pipes and Drums show the way to the river
   It’s there where they establish nesting areas and – more importantly to them – their mating grounds.
   They’ll be doing the noisy waddle walk to the river with great pomp and ceremony on April 12.
   It’s part of a weekend of “family fun announcing the arrival of spring,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
   The crowd gets into the action, too, with many wearing swan hats given out along the route to watch the “graceful yet feisty” swans along with a gaggle of geese head to the chilly water.