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Saturday 30 July 2016

Rogers Cup

Rexall Centre

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 1 Shoreham Drive
Date: Aug 2010
Website:  www.rogerscup.com

  The Canadian Open tennis tournament takes place every year in both Toronto and Montreal.  It has been in place since 1881 and is currently referred to as the Rogers Cup.  Each year the event rotates between the two cities.  So on even numbered years the men will play in Toronto and the women play in Montreal.  The next year the men head to Montreal and the women come to Toronto.  We have been lucky enough to attend the event several times, but we still have never seen the women play.

Nicolas Kiefer serves.
Andy Roddick returns.

  Back in 2004 we saw Andy Roddick defeat Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer.

Sunset over the Rogers Cup.

  In 2010, after an evening of long rain delays, we saw Canada's Peter Polansky win against Jurgen Melzer.  We also witnessed the doubles match featuring Canadians Vasek Pospisil and rising star Milos Raonic.  They were playing against the number one and number two ranked players at the time. They successfully defeated Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic out on the court that night.

Grigor & Kevin.
 Andy VS the Neon Shirt.

  In 2014 we watched matches between Grigor Dimitrov and Kevin Anderson as well as Britain's Andy Murray and  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  Tsonga won his match, but he was wearing a very bright shirt which we thought was a little too close to tennis ball colour to be allowed.

What a racket!  I'm having a ball.

There were two mascots for the games:  The Racquet and The Ball.  They danced around a bit between the matches and then temporarily obstructed the view for some fans during the match. 

Obstructed view seating.
The Raquet and The Ball made of sand.

  The Rogers Cup event also includes stations with food, contests and giveaways.  There was also plenty of opportunity to show off your tennis skills.

Practice makes perfect.

  Aside from the main stadium there are tennis courts with smaller viewing areas where players can practice and other qualifying matches are held.  The Rogers Cup is always a fun event where we were lucky enough to see some world class tennis.
Future Tennis Stars.

  This year Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto had a tennis court set up to promote the tournament where the public could come and play.  There were also some events set up and entertainment like The Fire Guy and his flaming tennis racquet below.

Excuse me sir!  Would you like to see a smoking serve?

Milos Raonic.

  Speaking of smoking serves, Milos Raonic has one of the fastest in tennis today.  At a previous Rogers Cup he hit a serve which was clocked at about 249 kilometres per hour. We were lucky enough to see that serve in action back in 2010.  This year we are hoping that Milos Raonic will play his way to becoming a men's singles champion.

Map of Our World
Rogers Cup (Toronto)
Nathan Phillips Square

Post # 124

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Fork in the Road (Strange Brew)

Where should we go?  Loonie bin or brewery?

Location: Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Address: 1 Brimley Road South
Date: Nov 2014
Website:  www.toronto.ca

  In the movie Strange Brew, Bob & Doug Mckenzie drive to a fork in the road and have to decide which way to go.  They have to use the signs to decide between Elsinore Castle, Elsinore Research & Development, Elsinore Brewery, or the Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane.  Geez there's a lot of arrows eh?  In reality there are four different Toronto locations that have been composited into the film.  We have added our own re-creation at the top of this blog using photos from when we visited the real life locations.
Looking up Brimley Road from Scarborough Bluffs (June)

  The main location is at the bottom of the hill that leads down to Bluffer's Park in Scarborough.  The brothers encounter their signs where the red "Do Not Enter" sign is located.  Once they decide to continue on and try to get their money from the brewery, they go up the road on the left.  This is actually against traffic as it is usually one way southbound.  We have taken photos at the Bluffs countless times, but never a picture looking up the road.  It is the Bluffs themselves or Lake Ontario that make for the best photo opportunities.  The first time we went to take our picture was in June (above), but it didn't quite look right with all the green trees.  We ended up returning again in the fall and finally got the shot we wanted (below).

Looking up Brimley Road from Scarborough Bluffs (November)

  On the left side of the hill is Elsinore Castle, which is played by Casa Loma.  Casa Loma was completed in 1914 and has stood watch over Toronto ever since.

Sure looks spooky up there.  I don't like the look of this at all. (Casa Loma)

  Near the center of the road is Elsinore Brewery which  is played by the R.L. Hearn Generating Station.  The station was used for electrical generating since the 1950s and decommissioned in 1983.  That is the same year that Strange Brew was released.  The movie added the big Elsinore name using special effects.  There was some additional filming done at this location when Bob & Doug arrive at the brewery and walk through the parking lot.  You can read more about this location here.

It's real big eh?  Yeah, but don't get scared.  Just think of all the free beers we're gonna get.

  We also used another picture we had taken during a day spent sailing on Lake Ontario.  Here you can see the huge chimney and the line of hydro towers heading away from the station.  The hydro towers appear to be used in the composite along with 2 chimneys.  We couldn't quite figure out the best angle to get all of this in one picture.

Hearn Generating Station

Finally, the R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant plays the part of the Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane.  It is located up on the hill to the right.  It plays a bigger role in the film at the end when it catches on fire.  An extremely beer bloated Bob saves the day by relieving himself on the fire.  He does in two minutes what would have taken the fire department two hours.  You can read more about this location here.

Hey that's the looney bin eh!

You take all of these locations, mix them up into one shot and you sure have a Strange Brew of Toronto landmarks eh?

Map of Our World
Fork in the Road (Strange Brew)
Casa Loma , R.L. Hearn Generating Station , R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant
Bluffer's Park

Post # 123

Friday 15 July 2016

Molson Indy

This is the race.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  Exhibition Place
Date: July 2003
Website:  www.hondaindytoronto.com

   Once again engines will roar down by the lake!  The Honda Indy 2016 will take over the Exhibition Place grounds from July 15 to 17.  Back in 2003 when we attended the event it was still sponsored by Molson "Don't drink and drive" Brewery.

Ready for the race.

  The barriers and grandstands have already been put into place well before event weekend.  We took the photo above near Lakeshore Blvd. and Newfoundland Drive.  Exhibition Place has a street named after each of Canada's provinces and territories except for one.  There is no street representing the Northwest Territories.  Perhaps Northwest Street was deemed too confusing for drivers?  When the racing weekend finally arrives if you are on any street near the Exhibition grounds you will hear it. 

These seats are good.  The ones in front of us are the pits.

  We were lucky enough to have seats right behind the pit lane.  This gave us a front row seat to watch the pit crews in action.  They perform a well choreographed routine when their driver pulls in.  Tires are removed and changed and both the car and driver get some much needed refueling.  Every second counts until the driver is back out on the race track.

Pit crew in action.
That was the pits.

  The cars raced past us at average speeds of around 100 miles per hour.  We took lots of photos and we had to time it just right in order to catch a vehicle in our shot.  You could hear the noise of a vehicle as it changed gears and came around the bend and then roared ahead as it entered the straightaway.

Hang on lady, we going for a ride!

  The only time it was easier to film the Indy cars was when there was a caution on the track and the pace car was released to lead the vehicles.  The Indy cars are actually Champ Cars that get their name from the most famous race, the Indianapolis 500.

Keep Up The Pace.

  The 2003 race was won by Paul Tracy from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.
Rock the CASCAR.

  Over the course of the day we also witnessed a CASCAR stock car race.  CASCAR stands for the Canadian Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.  Their pit crews must roll out the equipment and set up on the pavement in front of the Indy car pit lane.  That race was followed by a Formula 1600 race.  Eventually the race day had to come to an end and the engines fell silent.

On the fast lane of the street I'm driving.

 You can drive through the Exhibition grounds yourself while the barriers are still in place and pretend you are on your victory lap.  Keep in mind that while race car drivers are paid to push their cars to the limit, the rest of us will have to pay if we don't obey the traffic laws.

Map of Our World
Molson Indy (Honda Indy)

Post # 122

Sunday 10 July 2016

Confederation Bridge

Rolling down the highway smiling.

Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Address: Confederation Bridge
Date: July 2006
Website:  www.confederationbridge.com

  If you wanted to bring a car to Prince Edward Island you used to have no choice but to do it by boat.  In May 1997 the Confederation Bridge opened and allowed people to drive across to the island.  The good news is that if you wish to visit Canada's smallest province it is free to drive across.  The bad news is that you will have to pay if you ever want to leave again.

Entrance to Confederation Bridge.

  The bridge took about three and a half years to build.  It spans 13 kilometres over the Northumberland Strait.  It starts in the province of New Brunswick and ends in PEI.  When we last checked, the toll was about $50 per vehicle to leave PEI again.

And they're from Prince Edward Island. They're from Prince Edward Island.

  Another option for leaving Prince Edward Island is to take the ferry.  We chose this option.  The ferry will cost you as well so don't think you are getting away without paying your fair share.  As our trip was taking us further east this option made the most sense.  We drove from Shediac, New Brunswick to Cavendish, PEI.  After a few days visit we headed east again to Wood Islands, PEI where we caught the ferry to Caribou, Nova Scotia.  It was then eastern bound once more to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ferry from Wood Islands to Caribou.

  We had crossed the Confederation Bridge in a downpour and the rain stayed with us while we were on the island.  Despite the grey skies, our ferry trip allowed us to get up on the deck and finally get some fresh sea air.   The mud in PEI is red due to its high iron-oxide content.  Our ferry set sail and we left the red mud of Prince Edward Island behind.  We vowed to return when the sun was shining to check out this province once again.  Hey,  it wouldn't even cost us anything to drive over there.

It's the bright red mud.

Map of Our World
Confederation Bridge
Wood Islands to Caribou Ferry

Post # 121

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Statue Of Liberty (Splash)

The statue is a gift from French citizens that has come to symbolize hope for naked women everywhere.

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address: Liberty Island
Date: Jan 2009
Website:  www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm

In the movie Splash, Daryl Hannah plays a mermaid who goes by the name of Madison.  Tom Hanks is Allen Bauer who was saved by a mermaid after falling out of a boat when he was a boy.  Years later Allen has another boating accident and is saved once again.  The mermaid finds his wallet and decides to travel to New York in order to locate him. 

Bocce Balls!
You got feet use 'em. Don't touch my hat. Do not ever touch my hat.

When a mermaid is on land she has legs like a human, but when she enters the water her tail returns so she can swim away.  Madison arrives in New York on Liberty Island.  She climbs over the railing like the one in the first picture above and walks past a sign like the one in the bottom left corner of the second picture.  As she walks across the grass with the skyline of Manhattan in the background she causes quite a commotion.

Miss Liberty has seen the New York skyline which once she dwarfed, rise in great mountains of stone and steel.

  It seems that even though mermaids have legs when on land, they do not instantly become clothed.  As a result Madison appears naked on the island.  The movie Splash was actually the first Disney film geared towards adults under the name Touchstone Films.

Okay miss this ain't California.  We don't go for this stuff here.

  Madison is quickly ushered inside through the doors on the front right of Lady Liberty and away from the crowds.  She is then escorted by police boat from the island wearing an extra long "I Love New York" t-shirt.  This is one way to possibly get a free souvenir that we were unwilling to try.

Bye Madison.  Farewell Liberty.

Map of Our World
Statue of Liberty (Splash)

Post # 120