Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Twice this week I have come off the subway at Dundas station, and twice I have come to the surface to the sound of protest chants.

The first time it was a Free Tibet march as it proceeded up Yonge street.

a police man, with back tothe camera, stands in the middle of the street to block traffic as a Free Tibet march passes by on Yonge Street, protesters with flags and signs,

below: “Don’t forget Mr. Lingsta Tseten Dorjee, activist for non-violence.  It’s been 5 years since we lost Lingsta Tseten Dorjee”.   The banner then goes on to list Dorjee’s five demands including the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

a group of young men marching in a protest, Free tibet. carrying a banner with a lot of words in both Tibetan and English, one is wrapped in a Tibetan flag, some are wearing free tibet hats,

below: More protesters with signs and placards. “Free Shokjang now”.  Shokjang is the pen name of a Tibetan blogger who was detained by the Chinese authorities in March of 2015.

people carrying protest signs, free Shokjang now, release the panchen lama

protesters walk up Yonge Street with Tibetan flag and signs, one man has a megaphone

This afternoon, it was blue flags that I saw.  They are the flags of East Turkistan, also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.  On a map you’ll find it as Xinjiang in the most westerly part of China, right next the the “stans” that became independent after the break up of the USSR (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, etc).   The name says autonomous but there is no self-rule or self government for the Uyghurs. 

For a brief time in 1949 it was an independent country but it was invaded by communist China that same year.   Historically, East Turkistan is part of central Asia.  The people are not Chinese but are more closely related to the Turks.  The Uyghurs are the indigenous group of East Turkestan.

below: “Stop forced abortion, Freedom for East Turkistan”

women holding the blue and white flag of East Turkestan, also a sign that says stopped forced abortion in East Turkistan, wearing head scarves

below: “Islamic scholar Mohammed Salih killed in Chinese concentration camps.  We want justice.” Muhammad Salih Hajim, 82, died in custody back in January, about 40 days after he, his daughter and other relatives were detained in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province.    They were held without charges being laid.   He was the first to translate the Quran into Uyghur.

a black man with a suitcase has stopped to talk to people protesting for a free East Turkistan, he is pointing to one of the signs and a man is explaining something to him

at a protest for free East Turkestan, protesters hold a banner that says China, Stop Massacre of Uyghars

Also today, and just around the corner… A few minutes later I ran across another protest.  This one was at the corner of Gould and Victoria streets, at Ryerson University.   It was a quiet, civilized affair – more like a dance than a protest.

below: Both sides of the right to abortion debate were present.

people protest for and against the right to have an abortion.

below:   The anti-abortion sign would be turned, the ‘file not found’ sign would be moved in front of it, repeat every couple of minutes.

protesters at a right to abortion protest, anti and pro sides, both with a large sign.

below: It seemed to be a debate or a dialogue rather than a protest even though the people involved might disagree.   For such an emotional and polarizing subject they were being respectful and engaging.  At least they have the right to protest…. and to counter protest.

protesters at a right to abortion protest, anti and pro sides, both with a large signs.


The St. Patricks Day parade in Toronto is usually just a small parade – certainly not as big and crazy in places like Boston or New York City.  Part of the problem might be the fact that the weather is usually cold.  This year the parade was 6 days before St. Patricks Day.  I’m not sure when it started or how it happened, but Toronto’s parade is on the Sunday before the actual day.    At least the sun was shining this year.  It may be a small parade but those who show up, either to watch or to participate, seem to have a good time.   A few photos from this year’s parade:


below: Police on horseback led the parade.  Here they are passing the TV cameras.

three toronto policemen on horseback at the front of a parade, as theypass by the press and a large microphone boom

below: Carlton, the Toronto Maple Leafs mascot, was there. Once upon a time, the Maple Leafs were known as the St. Pats and they wore green uniforms.

Carlton, the Maple Leafs hockey team mascot in a St. Pats jersey waiting for the parade to start, working the crowd.

below: 32 flags, one from each of Ireland’s 32 counties.  The GAA is the Gaelic Athletic Association. 

A group of young people walking in the St. Patricks day parade, holding a banner and everyone is holding a flag from a Irish county. GAA Colour Party, 32 county flags.

below: Five Deloreans (cars) parked by the flags for the parade, before joining it at the end.  This is directly across Bloor Street from where the TV cameras were.   Deloreans were made near Belfast but for only a short time in the early 1980’s (1981- 1983).   About 9200 cars were produced.  The Delorean company went bankrupt in December 1982.

a man stands on a sidewalk, leaning on a barricade, lots of large Irish flags, a delorean car with its door open is across the street

below: Carrying Donegal County flags

three men carrying flags in the St. Patricks day parade, walk past a church, many people on the sidewalk, pavement, watching the parade go by

below: Doug Ford, now the leader of the Ontario PC party joined the parade.

Doug Ford, St. Patricks day parade, wakls towaards the people on the sidewalk to shake hands, politician, politics,

below: That’s quite the hair – he insisted that it was natural but I think it’s because of the green beer…..

two people sitting on the sidewalk watching the St. Patricks Day parade, a red head woman with long hair and a man with a curly bright green wig, both are smiling, both dressed for cold weather,

three teenagers selling candy at the parade, all dressed in green hats and other St. Patricks day stuff,

three kids sitting on little plastic stools watching a parade,

below: Maybe it’s true,  maybe everyone is Irish on St. Patricks day.

5 Asian women (Korean?) watching St. Patricks day parade, posing for the camera, all with shamrock green things aon their heads so only their faces stick out, the word Irish is written on each shamrock


below: What would St. Patricks day be without a leprechaun or two?

a man in a leprechauin costume walking in a parade.

a group of people sitting on the sidewalk as a parade passes by on Bloor Street in Toronto

Yesterday started damp and grey but then flipped to bright and sunny.   Almost spring-like even.   So off to the beach I went.

mural of people enjoying the beach, surfing, jogging on the boardwalk.

Well, not that kind of beach.   It does look warm though doesn’t it?  Yesterday it was more like this:

below: Looking towards Lake Ontario from Kew Beach Ave.  Lots of trees and lots of what looks like grass but is more like mud.   Squish, squish as I walked gingerly across the water logged ground, trying to keep my shoes clean.

large park beside Lake Ontario at Kew Beach, Toronto, large mature leafless trees, spring, grass is brownish colour, some people in the distance, walking on the boardwalk,

The goal?  To check out this year’s warming stations art installations.  Lots of others had the same idea as it turns out.   Some kids, some dogs, but that’s okay.

below: Interacting with “Nest” both on the outside…..

a woman model poses beside an art installation on the beach

below: …. and on the inside. Like all the other warming stations, this one is built around a lifeguard station.

kids climbing on a lifeguard station that is inside Nest, an art installation that is open to the sky at the top of the lifeguard chair.

below: The structure is covered with netting-like fabric on the inside and webbing on the outside.  It was designed by a team from Ryerson University – Adrian Chiu, Arnel Espanol, and Henry Mai.

an older couple examine the fabric that is on the inside of Nest, a warming station at Kew Beach

below: A sign of the times, a pink pussy hat makes its appearance as “Pussy Hut”

large oversized pink pussy hat as an art installation on the beach

two little girls inside the large pink pussy hut warming station

below: “What’s all the fuss about?”

a small black and white dog with a blue neoprene vest and a red coat with 4 legs

below:  A large square made of many pieces of hanging red fabric, anchored at the bottom with plywood.  This is “Obstacle” by Kien Pham.

Obstacles, by Kien Pham, an art installation part of warming stations 2018 in Toronto, by Lake Ontario, consists of many large flaps of red fabric that you can walk between.

a girl in pink jacket with pink hood stands between large flaps of red fabric that is part of Obstacles, an art installation


below: “Revolution” by a design team from OCAD university. It consists of 36 vertical red poles with conical metal pieces that twirl. You can look through them or speak through them, or just walk amongst the red poles.

people walking amongst an an art installation of small conical tubes like megaphones on red poles of differing heights.

looking down a metal tube

an art installation of small conical tubes like megaphones on red poles of differing heights, lake in background

below: Red!

a mother holds her young son's hand as they stand together on a beach overlooking Lake Ontario, backs to the camera

below: “Rising Up” by University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development.  The design was inspired by the topography of the Don Valley.

a white and brown dog on a leash in the foreground, people and kids climbing on a wooden structure which is actually an art installation called Rising Up

looking through part of rising up, a wood structure built on the beach, a couple walks hand in hand between the art installation and Lake Ontario

rising up, an installation part of warming stations at kew beach, beside lake ontario

below: Ooops!  One has blown over and collapsed already (it was quite windy).  Ironically it was called “Wind Station” (designed by Paul van den Berg and Joyce de Grauw).  When it was first constructed, it was in the shape of a nuclear cooling tower and you could go inside.  The little plastic windmills continue to blow in the wind.

a few people in the background, they are looking at white wood and white plastic toy windmills lying on the ground. it is a collapsed art installation, part of warming stations at kew beach, by Lake Ontario

below: Not everyone was looking at the warming stations.

a lone person standing on a beach, looking out over Lake Ontario, back to camera, in full wetsuit, holding onto a surf board under his (or her) arm, another surfboard sits on the sand.

below: This is ‘Make Some Noise’, designed by Alexander Greiss and Jorel Heid. Apparently it is based on based on the intonarumori, an invention of the Italian futurist Luigi Rusollo in 1914. An intonarumori generates noise. Rusollo envisioned noise music replacing traditional forms of music but he was not successful and none of his contraptions survived.

people on the beach checking out the art installation, Make Some Noise, a large yellow and black vertical box, with four large black loudspeakers

a child with a red jacket is trying to climb inside a large black speaker, conical shaped, on the side of a black and yellow art installation at the beach, warming stations, Kew Beach, lake ontario is in the background.

below: This is one side of the box. The red is a handle that can be turned thus generating noise. I don’t think that it was working. Each side had a handle and a black speaker.

close up detail of one side of Make Some Noise, an art installation, yellow and black diagonal stripes, narrow and close together

Stay warm!


Womens March
Nathan Phillips Square

A few photos of people (of all ages) and signs at today’s rally and march.

below: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made”  and “Destroy patriarchy not the planet” while sitting on the 3D Toronto sign.

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, two young women sitting in the O of the 3D Toronto sign, each with a sign, a couple behind them - the woman looking at them, the man taking a picture with his phone. The cover on his phone is a British callbox (phone booth)

below: “Grope”.  A play on Obama’s Hope sign

Toronto womens march and protest, women with a sign that is picture of Donald Trump in reds and blues with the word Grope written in large letters

below: Walking across Dundas Street.  “Believe women”. “My body is not public property”.

women walking down Bay st towards Nathan Phillips square and city hall, womens march

women walking down Bay st towards Nathan Phillips square and city hall, womens march


below: There were many Princess Leia & the Resistance signs.

young girl on her father's shoulders, wearing hat and scarf and holding a reistence sign with a picture of Princess Leia on it.

below: “Men of quality don’t fear equality”.

men of quality don't fear equality.

below: “Gender equality now”.  “End Violence Against Women”.

Toronto womens march and protest, a woman with a sign that says gender equality now, and a woman with a sign that says end violence against women along with the names of women who have been killed by their partners.

below: “Boys will be good humans”

Womens march, protest parade - mother pushing double stroller, with two boys in in, sign that says boys will be good humans,

below: “I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit!”

older woman with a walker at womens march protest at Nathan Phillips, wearing a pink hat and a pink sign that says

below: “Love is the answer. Try it”

Womens march, protest parade, woman with hat and scarf and holding a sign made of brown cardboard, orange painted letters that say Love is the answer, try it

women holding protest sign, womens march, Toronto
signs and placards ready to be used in a protest rally, womens march, I am a snowflake, together we are an avalanche
group walking in a protest march, the future is female is one of the signs being carried, walking on Dundas St

Toronto womens march and protest, a smiling woman with a placard that reads hear me roar, along with a picture of a tiger

Nobody illegal, be kind, signs, held by kids and their parents in the womens march

person in shark costume holding a sign that says sharks aren't scary, climate change is.

below: “I stand with the dreamers” “Defend DACA”

I stand with Dreamers, Defend DACA, protest signs

young woman giving peace sign and laughing, holding a girls sign

below: “Missing my nap to smash the patriarchy”

mother and daughter, Womens march, protest parade, daughter is a baby in a front carrier, sign ver her says Missing my nap to smash the patriarchy

below: “Feminism is for everybody”

Toronto womens march and protest, a young woman with a sign that says feminism is for everybody

below: “The peeved beavers”

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, two women talking, one is holding a sign that says the Peeved Beaver

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, a woman with a very pink wig on, holding a sign from that says fight racism and islamophobia

below: “I am a snowflake”

Womens march, protest parade - a girl walking with her father, she has a pink sign that says I am a snowflake

two protest signs, one says because a strong woman raised me. the other is a Nellie McClung quote about never retract, never explain, never apologize, get things done and let them howl

below: “Pussy power”

Womens march, protest parade - a woman holding a black placard with pussy power in pink, stickers of cats, and some tampons on it

Womens march, protest parade - young women with signs and rainbow peace flags

below: ” I stand with you” across the shoulders

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, from the back, a woman with short and very orange hair, has a patch on the back of her black jacket, rainbow flag with I Stand with you

below: “Why I march? So my daughter will never have to say #metoo”  “Supergirl in training”

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, by the rink a mother and daughter getting their picture taken. Both are holding signs, the daughter's sign is yellow and says Supergirl in training, mother's sign is pink and says

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, 3 girls watch the protest march go by, they are each holding a sign - Respect my existence or expect resistance, the second is Grab 'em by the Patriarchy, and the third is OK with

below: Trump in effigy, “Stop the madness”

Toronto Womens march, protest parade, woman holding up an effigy of Trump with a sign that says stop the madness. Others around her walking in the protest march

below: “Care about each other, not like Donald Trump”

boy with a large hand drawn sign on white bristol board that says care about each other not like donald trump

below: “Love not fear” and big red heart shaped balloon.

women in crowd at Nathan Phillips with sign that says Love not fear, also a large red mylar balloon heart

below: “I hope”

little girl on father's shoulders in Toronto womens march on Bay street, holding sign that says I hope

Womens march, protest parade, a group of people with animal rights, eat vegan, signs

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, a woman with a megaphone

below: “Tick tock on the clock, we all say time’s up!”  “You’re so vain you probably think this march is about you”

women marching in Womens march, holding pink signs

below: “Respecta mi existengia espera resistencia”.  “We are the change”

many women marching, many holding placards with protest slogans

below: “We won’t let this slide”.  “My sexual preference is mutual consent”.

two women holding up signs, a pink one that says we won't let this one slide and a yellow sign that says my sexual preference is mutual consent

On Saturday Toronto FC, Toronto’s pro soccer team, won the MLS (Major League Soccer) championship when they beat the Seattle Sounders 2 – 0 in the finals.  To celebrate, there was a parade from Maple Leaf Square, near the Air Canada Centre, up Bay street to Nathan Phillips Square.

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, police escort at the front of the parade

kids sitting on a float, waving tfc flags, dressed in red and white

float being pulled by a car in the tfc parade on Bay Street, December 2017

The team was founded in 2005 and began playing in 2007.   They were the first Canadian team in Major League Soccer.  Since then, 2 other Canadian teams have joined the league, Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact.  There are 22 teams altogether.

below: A line of photographers join the parade

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, photographers walk in a line in front of one of the banners in the tfc parade up Bay street to celebrate thesoccerteam's championship win

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, men holding a banner

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, young boy helping to hold a banner as they walk in a parade

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, a group of men fans wearing red and white tfc team scarves

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, a group holding a banner as they walk

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white,

a reporter holding a microphone, interviewing a couple who are watching the Tornto FC parade, she is holding a large red 2 and he is holding a large red 3, the number 23,  They are wearing tfc hats andscarves and sweatshirts

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, a man wearing a large tfc team flag

below: Outside Nathan Phillips Square.

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, crowd in front of Nathan Phillips Square, team and fans on open top double decker red bus, two policemen on horses,

below: She had the action happening right in front of her – including me!

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, group holding three large flags

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, father with young child on his shoulders as he takes a selfie, tfc scarf

below: The team players made their entrance into Nathan Phillips Square with lots of people lining the barricades.  You’ll notice that I have no photos of the players themselves.  It was just too crowded.   Besides, I have more interest in the fans and supporters!

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white,

below: ‘All For One’ in the Toronto FC motto.

people in Nathan Phillips Square, including all along the south ramp. Banner over the entrancethat says, All For One, which is the tfc motto

Toronto FC parade, people dressed in red and white, wearing red and white toque and scarf and waving a tfc team flag

The space in front of City Hall was crowded!  Hundreds of fans in red and white filled most of the available spaces around the Christmas Fair booths.  They also lined all the upper ramps and walkways.  There were speeches and then…..  I will admit to running off to find a warm drink in a warm place instead of sticking around to listen!  I don’t follow soccer but considering the size of the crowd today plus the fact that attendance at a TFC game averages over 27,000, many others do follow it…..  soccer has definitely found a home in Toronto.

from the back, a youngman holds out a flare

women in a crowd of Toronto FC supporters in a parade

four boys in red and white at a parade

I arrived at the protest in time to see a very large Palestinian flag being held up by some of the crowd.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

The recent decision by Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was the issue that sparked yesterday’s protest.  I missed the largest part of the gathering but there were still quite a few people in front of the court house on University Avenue – or more importantly, across the street from the American Embassy.

The flag was  rolled up from both ends.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

City TV dropped by as well.  Every time anyone came near the reporter, she stopped and waited for people to pass. Then she started over.    This was take 5 or 6 and once again, she stopped seconds after I took this picture.  I’ll assume that she eventually got her story.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

below: Two flags.  Palestine. Canada.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

below: “Trump Embassy in Jerusalem…. stupid idea”

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave.

below: The image of Recep Erdogan, President of Turkey, on his back and a Turkish flag in his hand.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave. - with Turkish flag as well as flag with image of Erdogan on it

below: A group has their picture taken with the Lebanese flag.

protest at Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, University Ave. A group is gathered around a man holding a Lebanese flag.

group of men in a line, kneeling, praying, outside,

candle in a pumpkin carved into a spider jack o'lantern

Another year of jack o’lanterns and giant spiders

a giant spider halloween decoration in front of a house

and other creative spooky and creepy decorations.  Clowns and pumpkin heads.

life sized skeleton in a front yard, one with a creepy clown face and one with a pumpkin head

And even bunnies can be fearsome.   Bunny with baseball bat.

three life sized skeletons in a front yard, a rabbit mask on one which is also holding a baseball bat, a pumpkin head, and one with a bear mask that is half brown and half black

It’s a time for dressing up in costumes and having fun….  for kids

kids in Halloween costumes laughing together

…. and for adults (night time photos taken on Church street)

below: What’s scarier than Donald Trump?  Three Trumps! Thrice the thrills.

three men in suits and ties with large cardboard Donald Trump faces

a group dressed up for Halloween, night time, street party, 2 women, 2 men, toy guns, gangsters and burlesque.

woman in black with large black antlers stand against a wall, an older man is looking at her

a large inflatable dinosaur costume, a death ghoul costume, and many people standing around them posing for photos at a night time halloween party on Church St., toronto

posing for photos in Halloween costumes

Not everyone was scary – look at these cute and cuddly animals!

a group in full animal costumes pose for a photo, a walrus, a shark, a cat, a leopard,

a man wearing a cowboy hat with a sheriff's bagde, and a skull mask checks his phone while standing outside pizza pizza, window lit up and people inside including a man making pizza

two men in gruesome halloween masks and baseball caps


two people dressed as smurfs for Halloween, a large smurfette and a smaller male smurf with a red hat

Even Marilyn stopped for a picture.

a man dressed in drag as Marilyn Munro with blond wig and white dress, posing with an Asian woman


a young man in purple jacket and white face with the word damaged written across his forehead

a young woman poses as a black faced zombie between two men with creepy clown masks on

an Asian woman with black cat ears poses with a man in white boa and very large day of the dead head hat

close up of a person in a furry, hairy monstrous mask with bloody fangs

a boy with his arm made up to look like his hand is fallen off