THE 2021 ROYAL AGRICULTURAL WINTER FAIR WON’T TAKE PLACE IN PERSON THIS YEAR. IT WILL IN 2022.

The 2021 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will not take place in person this year. Instead the organization is looking forward to welcoming guests to its 100th anniversary celebration in 2022. The Royal’s Board of Directors made the decision to cancel the 2021 in favour of returning to an education focused online experience this year — in NOVEMBER 2022, The Royal will mark its 100th Anniversary then. Plans are to make it bigger and stronger than ever, and looking forward to celebrating with one-and-all. “As uncertainty surrounds COVID-19 it became clear we weren’t going to be able to host The Royal in its traditional way,” stated Charlie Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer at The Royal. But don’t forget NOVEMBER 2022!

AFTER SOLID TRAINING A YOUNG LAD MIGHT WELL BECOME AN AIRLINE PILOT. I KNOW ONE WHO DID.

How lucky I’ve been to have such a long-time, best friend, JAN ANDREA. We’ve known each other for decades and still regularly communicate. Jan told me “I was seven at the time the above photo was taken – we were living in Curaçao.”  We became good friends, and much later he set off working as a KLM Airline Pilot based in Amsterdam, flying internationally. Jan had never flown to Toronto, but when he came over here for the first time I gave him a detailed tour and after that we began more-than-once connecting to Amsterdam, and he took a liking to Toronto and then Montreal, back and forth. I got to know the Dutch quite well and Jan’s partner, HenkVos, who found his English improving all along the way.  Jan was already quite fluent in EnglishRoss and I took both of them on a tour around Nova Scotia and Halifax, over to Prince Edward Island, and then later we managed to explore the Netherlands. Just for fun a highlight for me was Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Holland.  Fire works were everywhere. I asked Jan if I could use his photograph. He said “Of course you can. All going well over there?”, And I said “Thanks again for the photo! We’ll talk one way or another real soon.”

THE SUN WAS SHINING WHEN ROSS WINTER AND I DECIDED TO EXPLORE TORONTO’S UNDERPASS PARK


Underpass Park transformed derelict, unused space beneath a series of overpasses into a unique community park. The area is located under and around the Eastern Avenue, Richmond and Adelaide overpasses. It’s the most extensive park ever built under a Canadian overpass, and the first ever in Toronto. “torontosavvy” presented the early version of The Park, but it was quite different then from the one we saw yesterday. New murals and painted figures have changed from 2012 – many are for children, and there are several others for adults. Around the edge are spectacular high-rise buildings, which turn the area into another city altogether. Get yourself to River Street and head South. Once you reach the West Donland, you’re there. You’ll find the Park is laden with greenery, sculptures, city bus service, dogs everywhere, kids playing – all having a great time.

HUMMING BIRDS ARE NOT EASY TO HAVE A PHOTO TAKEN – BUT BRYAN BLENKIN MANAGED TO DO IT

I’ve tried many times to take photos of HummingBirds, but failed always. They came close, but in a split second they were flying away. One attempt was in Arizona and another in Mexico City, but I missed them both. These little birds with long, slender bills are native to the Americas.  With about 360 species they occur from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, but the vast majority of the species are found in the tropics. Many have brightly coloured, glittery feathers. Often the males are more colorful than the females. They’re named for the humming sound made by the  rapid beating of their wings. < From Wikipedia.>

Obituary of Brian John Elston (1949-2022)

I’d known Brian for many years at TVOntario,and since both of our retirements we’ve re-shaped and enjoyed our new lives.  Brian always wanted to be remembered as a lover of family, dogs, and his homestead. As for me, I’ve assembled a 12-year-old Blog, along with our Cabbagetown house, garden and photography selling business. Brian is survived by his wife Suzanne (neé Womersley), sons Matthew (Kathleen), Peter (Tessa), and daughter Sarah (Scott); grandsons Parker and baby James, and four-legged friends Layla and Zoë. His parents C. John (Jack) Elston and Elsie (neé Oke). With the help of his Dad Jack, he built a one-tube radio as a child. And spent endless hours in his room on Concession Street listening to legendary Wolfman Jack as he howled throughout the night. Whereas my late nights were spent listening to a.m. radio stations from The US and Canada. Today I’m a fan of The Radio Garden.Brian’s happiest times were spent at home. If he wasn’t cutting the grass, tilling the garden, or fussing with some technology or other, he was walking the dogs or floating in the pool, weather permitting. At day’s end, he liked nothing better than sharing a drink with Suzanne on the deck, his retrievers on either side of him, and he’d watch the sun go down over the fields that once were farmed by his grandfather. He told his beloved wife Suzanne, the day before he died as they walked the snowy field around their home, that his life was perfect. Brian, you couldn’t do better than that. I’ll always remember you at TVOntario, and the time you were interested in my grandmother’s 1946 radio, which I happened to have partly on my Blog. “Bless you, Brian.”

TORONTO STAR – QUEBEC’S CREATIVE SIDE – CLEVER PEOPLE & BUSINESSES WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED.

First-off you need to know about COVID-19. “Consult the provincial website for most up-to-date information, and contact individual businesses to confirm how they’re currently operating.” From Dean Lisk – Special to the Toronto Star – Wheels take a road trip through Montreal <and the efficient Metro> learning more about the people, culture and history of Ontario’s eastern neighbour.” This week we’re exploring Montréal. In the morning, grab some bagels from iconic spots like the famous St. Viateur Bagel Shop (since 1957) . <Photo – Sesame the Bagel  holds court on the streets of Montreal as the mascot of St. Viateur Bagel.> After Sesame why not head to Mont Royal Park and its iconic Catholic cross.  <Photo from The Gazette> Head inside the Biodome in Montréal’s Olympic Park. Walking through the expansive building you’ll encounter plants and animals from North and South America, including a tropical rainforest with penguins from Antarctica, and the Laurentian Forest. In the Afternoon – bread, pastries, cheeses and coffee at one of the city markets such as the Jean Talon Market in Little Italy, or The Atwater close to the Lachine Canal. If you want to learn more about the markets Spade and Palacio offers ‘Beyond the Market Walking Tour’ starting in May, and a 2-hour ‘Mural Art Tour’ including 20 massive works from 2-9 storeys high. In the evening – take one of the climate control gondolas at the Grande Roue de Montréal. (This is a Ferris wheel built at the Old Port of Montreal for festivities on the 375th anniversary of the city.) Located in the Old Port the wheel soars 60-metres high, offering one-of-a-kind views of the city and St. Lawrence River.

After that, explore Old Montréal and enjoy dinner at one of its amazing restaurants. On DAY 2 – Leave Montréal and cross the Samuel de Champlain Bridge <A new bridge, photo below> to Quebec’s Eastern Townships,  along with small bridges and cities between the St. Lawrence River and The  Border of The United States of America.

BROOKFIELD PLACE IS A FIRST-RATE LOCATION TO TAKE-IN SOME OF TORONTO’S BUSINESS DISTRICT

Designed by Santiago Calatrava. close to Bay Street. and near the corner of Front and Yonge Streets, with the Hockey Hall of Fame in the lower level – that’s part of Brookfield Place. If you’re wandering down Bay or Yonge be sure to go inside and admire Calatrava’s superb architectural success. Stop for lunch at Marche inside and then walk through the giant hallway. Generous space is provided for plenty of spectacular photography.