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Tuesday 30 August 2016

Toronto Prop Party

Movie Fan Art.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 100 Princes' Blvd.
Date: Aug 2014
Website:  www.torontopropexpo.com

  One year at the Canadian National Exhibition we walked through the Direct Energy Centre and were soon surrounded by some familar movie faces.  That particular year there was an exhibit by Toronto Prop Party which is a group of movie fans dedicated to building replicas of props and costumes from their favourite films.


  The amount of detail and time put into these recreations would have fooled us into believing that they were the real deal.  Masks and props from the Star Wars films appear to be one of the most popular fan recreations.

These aren't the droids we're looking for.
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi you're my only hope.

  There were even some Star Wars replica lightsabers.  Our research shows that in the original film the lightsaber was quite a simple prop and was actually the handle that held the flash bulb of an old Graflex camera.  If you could locate one of those you would be 90% of the way to your own replica.

Han Solo in Carbonite.

  Harrison Ford has been lucky enough to have been a big part of both the Star Wars films and the Indiana Jones movies.  Above he is frozen in carbonite as Han Solo and below is his famous Indiana Jones fedora.  Again these are replicas made by fans.  We expect that more time was spent creating Han's carbonite prison.

Indiana's Famous Hat.

  There were a couple of Transformers.  A huge Optimus Prime towered over anyone who stopped for a photo opportunity.  He stands nearly 23 feet tall and weighs about 2 tonnes. 

More Than Meets The Eye.

  There was also Bumblebee who is one of the Autobots and transforms into a Volkswagen Beetle.  We could tell that this robot was a replica as the real Bumblebee does not have "Please Do Not Touch" signs on his knees. 

Robots In Disguise.

  We never determined if these robot replicas actually had the ability to transform.

What kind of a future do you call that?

  Another movie from the 80s that has fans honouring it with replica props is Back To The Future.  There was a gravestone from Back To The Future Part III as well as the licence plate from the DeLorean time travelling car.  We were impressed with the dedication that went into recreating these movie props from these beloved films.


Map of Our World
Direct Energy Centre

Post # 130

Thursday 25 August 2016

The Princes' Gates

The Princes' Gates.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  210 Princes' Blvd.
Date: May 2014
Website:  theex.com

  The Exhibition or C.N.E. has been a part of summer in Toronto for almost 120 years.  The eastern entrance to the Canadian National Exhibition has become an instantly recognizable symbol of the annual fair.  It is known to many people as the Princess Gates, but that is due to confusion when hearing its true name of the Princes' Gates.

Canadian National Exhibition 1897 to 1927

   The inscription on the front of the gates reads Canadian National Exhibition 1897 to 1927.  It was during the C.N.E. in 1927 that the gates were officially opened by Prince Edward and Prince George.  The gates were named as belonging to the two princes.

Une Photo Floue.

  Another reason for the Princess confusion is due to the winged woman who stands atop the gates.  She is meant to be a copy of the Winged Victory of Samothrace which can be found in the Louvre in Paris.  We visited her headless, armless body during our trip to Paris and took this wonderfully blurry photo (above).

Princes' Fountain.

   At each end of the gates is a fountain.  That would be one for each Prince.

Inside the Gates.

  Above is a photo from inside the gates with Victory looking away towards the rest of Toronto.  Below is a paper version of the gates which was on display one year during The Exhibition.

Paper Princess Gates.

The C.N.E. runs for about two weeks at the end of August and ends on Labour Day which is the first Monday in September.

Let's Go To The Ex.

  During the Canadian National Exhibition the area behind the Princes' Gates is filled with pedestrians, midway rides and strange food combinations.  During the rest of the year, you are free to walk or even drive through the gates and head down Princes' Blvd.  That's Prince's Boulevard, not Princess.

Map of Our World
Canadian National Exhibition , Louvre Museum
Princes' Gates

Post # 129

Saturday 20 August 2016

The Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 50 Bay Street
Date: Aug 2016
Website:  www.thehip.com

  The core members of The Tragically Hip have been making music together since 1986.  Recently, the Canadian band announced a farewell tour due to lead singer Gord Downie's health.  We were lucky enough to see them during one of their 3 nights in Toronto.  Today they will play their final concert in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. We started off trying to compile a top ten Hip song list, but could not do it.  We finally managed to narrow down the list of songs that follows to include just twenty of our all time favourites.

1    38 Years Old
2    Ahead By A Century

No Dress Rehearsal.  This is our Life.

And that's when the hornet stung me and I had a feverish dream

3    Blow At High Dough
4    Bobcaygeon

Those Nights in Toronto.

A mural outside the Air Canada Centre pays tribute to a famous line from this song.

5    Boots Or Hearts
6    Courage

Gord in his feathered top hat.

Courage, it couldn't come at a worse time.

7    Fifty Mission Cap
8    Gift Shop

Ain't got no picture postcards.  But we got souvenirs.

A machine inside a trailer makes more Hip T-Shirts for sale.  

9    Grace, Too

Hip To Be Square.

The Hip have a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in downtown Toronto.

10    Greasy Jungle
11    Little Bones

Baby Man Machine Poem.

Baby eat this chicken slow.  It's full of all them little bones.

12    Locked In The Trunk Of A Car
13    Long Time Running
Since 1984 The Hip.

The Tragically Hip was formed in 1984.

14    Love Is A First
15    Nautical Disaster
16    New Orleans Is Sinking

Gordie Baby I Know Exactly What You Mean.

I had my hands in the river, my feet back up on the banks.

17    Poets
18    Scared

If you're prepared here's what I propose to do.

A room in Toronto's Masonic Temple (The Concert Hall) is dedicated to The Tragically Hip.

19    At The Hundredth Meridian
20    Wheat Kings

   Long after the sound of their last concert stops ringing in our ears, The Tragically Hip's music will continue to be played across Canada and hold a special place in our hearts.

Map of Our World
Air Canada Centre , Canada's Walk Of Fame

Post # 128

Monday 15 August 2016

Hamiota And Miniota

Hamiota's new sign.

Location: Hamiota, Manitoba, Canada
Address: 25 Maple Ave E.
Date: Oct 2014
Website:  www.hamiota.com

  Hamiota, Manitoba is a small town of about 850 people.  It just so happened that one day we found ourselves doing business with someone from the town.  The town is of special interest to us as it rhymes with one of our names.  When we were driving across the prairies from Winnipeg to Regina we made a special detour just to pay the town a visit.

Hamiota Lion's Club Sign.

  Hamiota used to be called Hamilton, but this caused confusion with the Hamilton in Ontario.  The name was changed to combine Hamilton with the word "iota".  Iota means plenty so the town's name means plenty of Hamilton.

Hamiota School.
 Hamiota United Church.

   We visited any buildings we could find with Hamiota in their name such as the Hamiota School and Hamiota United Church.  Our stomachs also requested that we pay a visit to the local bakery.

Pumpkin Pie, Muffins, Sugar Cookies and More.

    We purchased some strudel from the Country Crocus Bakeshop to be consumed on the road and also enjoyed at our hotel later that evening.  If you visit Hamiota we highly recommend it.  We visited in October and they were busy baking rows and rows of pumpkin pies.

Field of Rolled Hay.
 Three Silos.

    We left Hamiota and headed back onto the highway.  There was one more small town that we planned on visiting.  We drove past the fields that touched the blue sky.  We drove past rolled hay and silos.  We drove past cows grazing on the dry grass.

When one hundred and fourteen years old you reach, look as good you will not.

   The next town we visited was Miniota.  It's name means plenty of water.  We had noticed a Star Wars connection when we spotted the town on a map.  As a result we took along a small travel companion.  It was a mini Yoda action figure.  Now you may not be in the habit of carrying action figures in your purse so be sure to plan ahead.  If you find yourself driving through the prairies we suggest that you try to visit both Miniota and Hamiota.
Do or do not, there is no try.

Map of Our World
Hamiota , Miniota
Country Crocus Bakeshop

Post # 127

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios (Continued)

Sandals Grande Promenade.

Location: Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Address: Main Street
Date: Sept 2009
Website:  www.sandals.com

   One thing that everyone enjoys while at a tropical resort is a visit to the beach.  When we stayed at the Sandals Grande Ocho Rios we spent time on the beach, as well as both in and on the water.  We headed down to the pier and looked over into the water.


  The rocks were full of life both fossilized (above), and still on the move like this crab (below).


  The resort was offering tours in a glass-bottomed boat so we took them up on their offer.

Sandals Boats.

The boat tour took us along the coast so that we could see the homes and hotels that lined the shore.  We were also able to look down and see any creatures that might be swimming below.

Hidden Hotel.

Waterside Hotel.
Tall Tree.

  It wasn't long before we were headed back towards the resort.  We were passed by the much faster Sandals catamaran.

Headed back to Ocho Rios.
Sandals Catamaran.

  After our boat ride we took a walk along the promenade and looked out to the edge of the resort property from the very spot we would enjoy a candlelight dinner later that day.

The Edge of the Resort.

You can read the first part of this blog here.

Map of Our World
Sandals Grande Ocho Rios

Post # 126