The Beaches of Toronto

Canada Geese on the beachThe Canada Geese Of The Beaches of Toronto


There is a wonderful area of Toronto I just love to visit.  It is the part of the Beaches (or The Beach, whatever your preference) on Queen Street East, starting at Woodbine, continuing east as far as Scarborough Bluffs, and on the south – the beach, overlooking beautiful Lake Ontario.  

800px-Scarborough_bluffs_-b 2

When we visit near the Bluffs, we usually carry some good food for the Canada geese and the ducks there, and catch a bite to eat at the restaurant at the Marina.

MarinaGrounds_Resturant2 2

The Bluffers Park Marina has offered the boater everything they could want for over 25 years.  Boat mechanics on site, two restaurants, a snack bar, a big sandy beach and just 20 minutes from downtown Toronto. Over 400 Slips, docks from 20’ to 80’, accommodating both power and sail boats, with a full service fuel dock, and winter boat storage.


The commercial part of Queen Street East is in the middle of the area I love to visit.  The stores, which change every once in awhile, provide unique and interesting shopping and dining – or entertainment.  There are plenty of cafés, and fine restaurants and pubs.  Leave the car at home, take a streetcar, then just saunter along the streets and boardwalks.  Streetcars are a great way to go, adding to the charm of the whole area. They’ve been travelling to The Beaches for a long, long time.
The Beach Streetcar now Queen Street Streetcar no 316 (1893)Toronto_Railway_Company_car_No._316

The side-streets have mostly semi-detached two-story duplexes or sometimes four-plexes, and express Victorian or Edwardian style architecture, built in the 19th century, from around 1900 and the 1920s.



This home (pictured below) located in a Beach neighbourhood recently sold for $1,875,000.


Here is short and enjoyable video from 2013 entitled “The Beach Toronto – Toronto’s Sports Paradise” (thanks to Bosleyrealestate) which really captures the flavour of the Beaches. In its 3:54 minute visualization, you will see beach volleyball, baseball, lawn bowling, tennis, skateboarding, rollerblading, biking, the broad sandy beach itself, the gently lapping, sparkling waters of Lake Ontario, swimming, sail and speed boating, kite surfing, the expansive boardwalk for daytime sauntering or moonlit walks, dogs (walking their masters), a multitude of interesting restaurants, stores and night spots, beautiful and unique homes, lovely tree-lined streets, our historic and beautiful Kew Gardens, and many restful parks. 

There are so many great places to eat in The Beaches that I couldn’t record them all here, but this link to the website “Urbanspoon” has a list of 157 locations to get you started!

Urbanspoon – The Beaches Restaurants

Walking the Dog Kew Gardens area

I love the parks.  I have spent memorable times on the benches looking out at Lake Ontario, watching proud owners of even prouder dogs walk by on the boardwalk (here since 1932).  It’s 3 km long, and there is a lovely park with picnic tables, and shady or sunny spots. My husband and I used to pick up a scrumptious Greek Salad takeout and set up our hibachi in the park, then cook a couple of steaks for a wonderful meal and memory.

2009 Beach Volleyball Championships

Or watch Beach Volleyball.

It’s fun watching the dogs, the kids, the bicyclists or roller-bladers on the path beside the boardwalk, and the benches along the beach are wonderful relaxation points.

The Beach Benches

I could listen all day to waves brushing the sandy shore, soft shushy ones or big booming crashers, all wonderful.  (I have a recording by my bedside I sometimes listen to, of waves breaking on the shore.) Soaking in the sun is another plus (most inexpensive way to get your vitamin D).  Or sitting in the shade of the huge old trees can actually lull you to sleep.  Even just thinking about a warm sunny day, sitting on a bench, under a big old tree, listening to the waves……zzzzz  oops!  sorry! I dozed off there for a moment.


Oh yes, and you can use the beach to swim too…..

Sunnyside is their Beach too

(Well, hey folks!  It’s OUR beach too, you know.)

The 2014 Beaches International Jazz Festival 

It’s like a small town in a pocket of the big city with its own individual treats.  Every year the Beaches presents its own International Jazz Festival which is being held this year from July 18 to 27th, and admission is free. Music has been a part of the Beaches for a long, long time.  Here are people listening to the Band at Scarborough Beach in the early 1900s.

Listening to the Band at Scarboro Beach early 1900s

Events at the this year’s Jazz Festival include:

Beaches-Jazz-Taste Of Jazz -2012-Band-playing-on-street 2

Streetfest runs July 24-26 showcasing the finest in Big Band, Swing, Dixieland, Smooth, Post-Bop, Afro-Cuban, Fusion, Funk, R&B and Soul sounds that Toronto has to offer – upwards of 50 Canadian bands entertain you along a 2 km stretch of Queen Street East (closed to traffic for this occasion) playing 3 sets between 7 to 11 pm nightly. Check the site link below for all musical artists performing & the locations where you’ll find them:

Beaches Jazz – Streetfest


Taste of Jazz occurs July 22-23 in Woodbine Park featuring live music and a fine lineup of food trucks offering a full range of tasty delights, along with a licensed beer/wine garden area. It’s a “Gourmet Food Truck Extravaganza”! Here’s the link to check it out:

Beaches Jazz – Taste of Jazz

The BIJF Tune-Up Run could help you work off the calories you might have added at the Taste of Jazz. This official training run event, organized by Canada Running Series, invites you to a group training run or walk on July 27 at 8 a.m., starting in the Beaches Boardwalk near the Leuty Life Guard Station.  You have a choice of 5k, 10, or 20k – all routes head out in the same direction. Check this website for information: 

Beaches Jazz – BIJF Tune-Up Run

The Jazz Workshops are held at the Mennonite New Life Centre, 1774 Queen Street East, on July 21-23 and July 26-27. Some of the most talented artists in Toronto present these free workshops. Go to this site to choose your workshop and register by email:

Beaches Jazz – Jazz Workshops

Jazz In Motion – Photography/Multi-Arts Projects – displays of images that best define the essence of jazz music, jazz musicians and the audience which supports them.  You can also submit artwork or participate in live painting in the park. Here’s the site to get information on the submission of photos or artwork:

Beaches Jazz – Jazz In Motion Juried Photography Exhibition


See you at the Festival!

Cherry Beach

but don’t forget to stroll down and spend time on The Beaches too!


As has become her custom these last few posts, my daughter has offered to add her favourite “themed” musical contributions to my blog. I’ve given her free reign, so let’s she what she’s come up with…

Finding my favourite music with a Beaches theme wasn’t difficult for me. In fact, being a lover of all things beach-related I had a great time picking out these tunes. I’ve included a little background info that you might find interesting. I hope you can take time to listen, as hardly anything can lift your spirits as high and get your toes tapping as happily as a bit of music in your life.  My selections cover a wide variety of music styles. Hopefully there’s something here for everyone’s tastes.

Blake Shelton – Some Beach
Blake Shelton (b. 6/18/76 Ada, OK) American country singer & TV personality. His 2001 debut single “Austin” was 5 wks. at #1 – Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. His Gold debut album had 2 more Top 20 hits, and his 2nd & 3rd albums (2003/2004) were also certified Gold.  He’s charted 24 singles, 11 of them at #1.  He’s also judged on TV singing competitions Nashville Star, Clash of the Choirs, & The Voice (where his team won 3 seasons out of  6). He’s married to famous country singer Miranda Lambert. He has 6 studio albums, 3EPs, a compilation, and 18 singles. (wikipedia)  He’s had numerous award nominations (including 7 Grammys) which have earned him 25 #1 awards – American Country Awards; American Music Awards; CMT Music Awards;Country Music Association Awards; iHeartRadio Music Awards. (  I have to admit, Blake Shelton wasn’t on my radar till I watched him on The Voice but I’ve grown to appreciate his distinctive sound since then. I especially enjoy his 2008 cover of Michael Bublé’s “Home”.

2004 – Here’s Blake Shelton with his corny/cute country hit called Some Beach from “Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill” – (h/t Blake Shelton – YouTube)

Vince Guaraldi – Pebble Beach
Vincent “Vince” Guaraldi (b. San Francisco, CA. 7/17/28 – 2/6/76) American jazz musician/pianist noted for innovative compositions & arrangements & for composing music for Peanuts animated TV shows (wikipedia)  1st recorded work was 1953s “Vibratharpe”w/the Cal Tjader Trio. Studio sessions & touring kept him busy during the ’50s (Conte Candoli (2 albums), Frank Rosolino (1), Cal Tjader (10+), 1956 Woody Herman tour & standing ovations at the 1958’s 1st Monterey Jazz Festival w/The Cal Tjader Quintet). National prominence came with 1962’s Gold record/Grammy winning “Cast Your Fate to the Wind”. – Producer Lee Mendelson heard that song & asked Guaraldi to compose music for a “Peanuts” Christmas TV special and Guaraldi enthusiastically took the job. He & his trio performed 17 “Peanuts” TV specials, & 1 feature film “A Boy Named Charlie Brown”. (Derrick Bank & wikipedia).  Although he died young, at 47, he’d recorded 17 albums, with many additional notable appearances on other artists albums, and at least 14 posthumous album/cd releases since then. I hope you have the opportunity to listen to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” album- one of my favourites.  I love his style of jazz, I hope you do too.

1964 – This is an audio only video of the Vince Guaraldi Trio performing Pebble Beach from “A Boy Named Charlie Brown”.  – (h/t TheElectronicPeanut sin kanal – YouTube)

The Beach Boys – The Warmth of the Sun
The Beach Boys – American rock band formed in Hawthorne, CA. 1961. The group’s original lineup were brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, cousin Mike Love & friend Al Jardine. They bacame the most popular surf rock band in the U.S. during the early 1960s. Mastermind & chief songwriter, Brian Wilson, took The Beach Boys’ music to ever increasing levels of sophistication and artistry between 1964 and 1966. They then became one of most popular international acts of the decade and arguably the only American group to effectively challenge the success of The Beatles in terms of mainstream appeal and critical recognition. The Beach Boys produced 29 studio albums, 4 Live, 34 compilations and 82 singles. (wikipedia).  2012 marked their 50th anniversary and the surviving band members completed a 73 date world tour to commemorate their years of making great music. On a personal note, I never understood the supposed rivalry between fans of The Beach Boys and fans of The Beatles. Although I’m partial to the Beatles, I enjoy them both. Perhaps my favourite Beach Boys album is “Surf’s Up” – hopefully you’ll get the chance to hear it.

1964 – Let’s reminisce with The Beach Boys in this video showcasing beautiful sunset pictures backed by one of their lovely harmonic songs – The Warmth Of The Sun from “Shut Down Volume 2” – (h/t David Patch – YouTube)

Percy Faith – Ebb Tide
Percy Faith was born and raised in Toronto, Canada (b. 4/7/08 – 2/9/76) Child piano prodigy, giving his first recital at 15 at Massey Hall; played music for silent movies at movie theatres. He injured his hands in a fire at 18 which cut his concert pianist career short. Faith moved into arranging, beginning with local, hotel orchestras but quickly moving to radio where he developed his lush pop-instrumental style. For most of the ’30s, he worked at the Canadian Broadcast Company radio. His show, Music by Faith, was also aired within the U.S. -moved to Chicago in 1940.- had his first #1 hit “Delicado” (1952) -composed film scores during mid 1950s, starting with Oscar-nominated Love Me or Leave Me (w/Geo.Stoll). -his biggest hit of the 1960s was “The Theme From A Summer Place”by Max Steiner (reached #1 & earned him his 1st Grammy). Percy Faith was one of the most popular easy listening recording artists of the ’50s and ’60s. He had many hit albums & singles, and also was responsible for arranging hits by Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, and Burl Ives, among others, as the musical director for Columbia Records in the ’50s. (Cub Koda – AllMusic).  Percy Faith’s music is where I go to relieve life’s stresses. Sit back, close your eyes, you’re at the Beach. So Relax!

1954 – Although many artists have performed this lovely tune, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Toronto’s own Percy Faith’s version of Ebb Tide(h/t baroqer2010 – YouTube)

Chris Rea – On The Beach
Chris Rea (b. 3/4/51-) is an English singer-songwriter, recognizable for his distinctive, husky voice and slide guitar playing.  The “British Hit Singles & Albums” stated that Rea was “one of the most popular UK singer-songwriters of the late 1980s”. He was already a major European star by the time he finally cracked the UK Top 10 with his 18th chart entry…By 2009, Rea had sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.  He is well known for his 1978 hit song “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” that chartered #12 on the Billobard Hot 100 and spent 3 weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard adult contemporary chart…The Guinness Rockopedia described him as a “gravel-voiced guitar stalwart”.  He has compiled 23 studio albums, 11 compilations, 1 Live, 1 soundtrack & has had 72 hit singles. One of my all-time favourite Yuletide songs is Chris Rea’s “Driving Home For Christmas”.  Whether you celebrate or not, it’s a wonderful song to listen to during the Holidays.

1986 – Here’s a taste of Chris Rea’s unique voice in his video for On The Beach from the Platinum selling album of the same name – (h/t SwinIntoMyOcean – YouTube)





A long walk on a long beach shortens every kind of sorrow! (Mehmet Murat ildan)
Writers begin with a grain of sand, and then create a beach.  (Robert Black)
Beach girls now, beach girls tomorrow, beach girls till the end of time.  (Luanne Rice)
Here, Fridays were dedicated to the two Bs – Beach and Boats.  (Laura Miller)
Everyday I’m steppin’ on a beach!  (Spongebob)
Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.  (Michelle Held)
On the beach, you can live in bliss.  (Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys)
After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.  (Pam Shaw)
Going to the beach and being around five of your friends and having a good time means so much more than going out and spending hundreds of dollars. (Maria Sharpova)
I could never stay long enough on the shore:  the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.  (Helen Keller)
If there’s a heaven for me, I’m sure it has a beach attached to it.  (Jimmy Buffett)
You can tell all you need to about a society from how it treats animals and beaches.  (Frank Deford)
My life is like a stroll on the beach… as near to the edge as I can go.  (Thoreau)
The beach is in our blood.  Everyone in our family returns to the beach instinctively, just like the sea turtles.  (Sandy Archibald)
There’s a big umbrella casting shade over an empty chair, palm trees are growing, warm breeze is blowing, I picture myself right there, on Some Beach, Somewhere. (Rory Feek & Paul Overstreet “Some Beach”)
Play in the sand; splash in the water; get dirty; get wet.  The beach is the only place my mom doesn’t get mad about me doing that stuff.  Of course I love the beach! (Dixie Dykens, age 5)

…and from that famous author, “Unknown”, comes the following:

-Leave me alone, world, I’m on beach time.
-My feeling about the beach is quite simple… I just love the beach!
-Sunrise beach mornings, a great way to start the day. Sunset beach evenings, a great way to start the night.
-Life’s a beach, and I’m just tanning.
-At the beach, time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted.
-Memories made at the beach last a lifetime.
Come walk with me, take off your shoes, let’s walk the beach with only the moon to light the path and waves to hear you tell me you love me.
-Why does the ocean rock the moon to sleep every night?  So the sun will wake and kiss the beach.

 Paws for Awhile

A Day at The Beach

 Chillin'Just Chillin’

ShadingCool Shades Man!

LoungingAnother cool one please

Couple in the ShadeShady Couple

Couple in the sunStanding in your shadow

Couple in the surfTwo Against The World

DraggingSwimming is such a drag

meeting friendsBeach Convention

FunningDogs Gone Wild!

DiggingBurying My Head In The Sand

SandingI’m a Living Sand Castle

PlungingTaking the Plunge

Resting after frisbeeWanted: Human Frisbee Tosser

Cool surfingSurfer Girl

Serious Surfing      Surfer Dude

Surfing familyHang Five!

What the???Livin’ On The Edge

1920x1080 Beach wallpaperSun Setter

Life is serious…. beaches are fun…. have fun now and then

Signing off…. ej





Ice Is Not Nice

The Ice-Is-Not Nice Storm

Okay, I’ll admit that sometimes ice is nice.


In a drink, or a rink, or a snow-cone, popsicle, ice cream. As an icicle, or a sculpture in a winter festival. On a sprain, on a hot day in any way, shape or form. It’s even beautiful on trees and shrubs and other things, especially when you’re in a warm house or car, looking out.

2013-12-22 21.13.30_2In fact, the beauty of ice-coated limbs and twigs can be breathtaking!

Toronto Ice Storm 3 Roozbeh Rokni

But ice is definitely not nice when it heavily coats power lines and breakable tree branches which land on those power lines and crash through the rooftops of houses and car windows. Or on people, cats, dogs, or bunnies.

1085The power went out the Saturday before Christmas here in Toronto. I thought to myself “not nice!”  The power had flickered around 11:00 p.m., but settled back down again, and I dozed a little in my comfy chair.  I awoke to darkness at 2:15 a.m. (battery clock).  Power off, I groped for the small LED flashlight on my keychain, and headed for the stairs, figuring “I’ll just check on Mickey (my bunny), go to bed, and the power will be back on in the morning.”  Only, of course, it wasn’t….

2013-12-28 12.22.47I called my daughter (phones were okay), and found they, and an awful lot of Ontario were without power too.  Not nice.  We couldn’t get through to Toronto Hydro, the t.v. and computers weren’t working, of course, but we had land line and cell phones. My daughter reminded me that we both have a portable local and short wave radio (for when the power is out….)  – with a light – and which runs on batteries (I have plenty), and after a brief search, voilá!  I was once again connected with the world.  680 news assured me they would keep me up-to-date with the latest news on the storm.  But there were no updates on Scarborough – none at all.

Toronto Ice Storm 1 (Roozbeh Rokni)My son-in-law drove my daughter to my place, to keep me company for the “short duration of the power outage.”  (Yeah, right!)  Being the great guy that he is, he made more than one visit over the next two days, bringing us hot food and drinks from Tim Horton’s and Country Style donuts (a couple of very few places in Scarborough with power), and for our sakes, he stayed in long line-ups, sometimes almost an hour.  Greater love hath no husband / S-I-L!  He’s a keeper.  He stayed with bunny (Cooper) at their apartment, as it was cooling off slower than my house. My car was buried in about three inches of ice – all over, and it was way, way too cold to try to chip it free.

2013-12-23 11.25.15 2They told me their first trip to my house was like running a dangerous gauntlet at every knocked-out traffic light.  Snow and ice-sheeted streets – branches down all over the place, weird and wacky driving from panicked motorists – and in the areas with downed power lines there were no street lights or stop lights. In spite of the weather, traffic was still heavy, intersection crossings (with no police to direct drivers) were nightmarish.  It was a severe storm, people!

2013-12-28 12.23.03 2That’s when it hit home hard that ice was NOT nice.  Although power was out province-wide, there were pockets where people weren’t affected at all — even here in Toronto.  Since they weren’t talking on the news about Scarborough outages, we assumed (correctly) that we were probably hit the worst, and would be the last to have power restored (also correct). I recall a Provincial government spokesperson telling us that  Mississauga (pop. 713,443) was quickly having their power restored from 500,000 to 50,000, to 5,000 then 500 – but there was still no word about Scarborough (pop. 625,698) and whether even one person had their power restored… I think the same spokesperson told the radio interviewer that if people couldn’t get through to the Hydro by phone, (believe me, they couldn’t) they could turn on their computers and visit their website.  (Whaaa???) I also really enjoyed hearing the Toronto Hydro spokesperson assuring us that he could positively state they couldn’t positively state when the emergency would be over.  (Duh!)

2013-12-23 09.22.05Day two we found candles – big ones, small ones, slender ones, fat ones and stubs.  We also found matches, even if it took ten to get one that would strike. But in a weird, shadowy way, it was kind of beautiful, in the candlelight, assisted by the portable radio light.  We even felt a teeny bit of warmth.  Teeny.  We took turns (in our bundled up bodies) holding Mickey, all wrapped up in a cuddly soft towel, and he seemed to enjoy it immensely.

2013-12-23 09.24.16Because there was no wind (thank goodness) the house temperature just dropped degree by degree, not all at once.  Our wonderful next-door neighbour ran a big generator from his truck and offered to split a line for us, to provide us with some basic power.  I was thinking “small heater, toaster oven and fridge.”  We thanked him and figured we’d be okay until morning, when he said he’d come and set us up.

In the middle of the night, my daughter heard the generator go out (lack of sound woke her up) and in the morning we found out from our neighbour that thieves had taken the generator.  He went out and bought another ($1500), because he was temporarily housing other people at his place, with lots of kids.  Unfortunately, this generator wouldn’t be able to provide power for my house.  I have no words to express my contempt for the thieves who stole this (or any) generator.  To make matters worse, by that time, we had been told to expect the power to be out until the Saturday after Christmas.  Those thieves knew that generator was a lifeline for others – but they just didn’t care.

Members of our family in Peterborough phoned to find out if we were okay, and on learning our situation, insisted we pack up immediately (with both bunnies) and head for the north country.  Which we did.  Which was wonderful.  Which was one of the best, most memorable Christmases we’ve ever spent.  Although we found out from our neighbour that power on our street had been restored on Thursday, we decided to accept  the generous invitation from our hosts to stay until the weekend, which we did.

2013-12-27 14.07.09Later, in checking with other family members, I found one of my nephews not only had the power off for several days, but had a water pipe burst in a radiator, in their 113-year old beautiful house, and one of the downed tree limbs took out a side mirror on their car.  They spent a lovely Christmas day with another nephew and family (also without power) by cooking their delicious turkey on the BBQ.

Friends north and south of us had no power outage at all.  I even got one email back from friends who reminded me that they were “down south”, toasty-warm on a Panama Canal Cruise…. “you silly girl….”.


And now we might be heading back into more and more ice storms to come?  Will we have to learn to build igloos? (I know, I know – a lot of people south of the border think we already live in them…)

igloo-village2-600x374We’re a little more prepared than a lot of our neighbours to the south, say I, smugly.  We’re the hardy ones who have been doing winter for a long, long time.  We know how to drive on winter roads, use snow and ice for pleasure – ice sculptures, ice skating, skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, skidooing, making snow angels, snowmen, and growing Christmas Trees.  And, bottom line, Santa Claus lives at our North Pole.

PALETAART – so much beauty in the world…..

After the many nasty run-ins we’ve had with our recent “Ice-Is-Not-Nice” ice storm, I think we might all enjoy looking at ice from a different, more artistic point-of-view!

Since 2006 there’s been a wonderful annual event held in Toronto called the Bloor-Yorkville IceFest.  2014 finds Toronto continuing the tradition and hopefully you will be able to attend the Ninth Annual Icefest on either Saturday February 22nd or Sunday February 23rd.  Better yet, come for the whole weekend and enjoy all of the festivities and celebrate winter in the city!  This years sculpting theme is “Heat Wave”. The location is Yorkville Park in the Bloor/Yorkville area (Bellair St. & Cumberland) and the time is from 12 noon until 5 pm both days.

I’ve selected some beautiful sculptures from previous years (below) to give you a taste of what’s to come in the upcoming Bloor-Yorkville IceFest!

Bloor-Yorkville IceFest 2014 for web

This link will take you to the the 2013 IceFest site for a feel of what you will see if you attend this year…  Bloor-Yorkville IceFest

The 2014 Bloor-Yorkville IceFest will feature an array of spectacular ice sculpture displays, events and demonstrations for the public to enjoy. See the magic of ice come to life as artists put the finishing touches on this amazing winter scene, crafted from an astounding 20,000 lbs. of ice.

image-5-mainCome marvel at this year’s “Heat Wave” ice display, bringing the tropics to Toronto! Ice sculptures will range from palm trees, tropical flowers, and parrots, to a sail boat, schools of tropical fish, a sea turtle, or maybe even a tiki bar!

image-5-main-1The 2014 14th Annual Sassafraz Ice Carving Competition starts Saturday at noon.  Visitors can watch, and are invited to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Sculpture, to be announced at 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

image2-mainThe Festival will also include ice carving demonstrations throughout the neighbourhood and street closure both days on Cumberland Street and Bellair Street. There will be a live DJ on the street with music provided by “Bellosound.”image14-mainFebruary is Heart Month and the Bloor-Yorkville BIA supports the Heart and Stroke Foundation during IceFest. For a donation of $2, visitors can sample tasty “Maple Syrup Taffy” from 1 pm – 4 pm each day. “Iced Kiddie Cubes” with a collectible toy inside will be distributed at 2 pm each day for a $2 donation.

image7-mainThis is an all ages, family friendly, FREE event, all you have to bring is warm clothes, a hearty winter spirit, and maybe a camera to capture the moments in ice forever!image5-mainFor more information you can contact the Bloor-Yorkville BIA Director of Marketing, Rick Kaczmarek – Phone: (416) 928-3553 ext. 24, Fax: (416) 928-2034 or email:












Trees were draped in silver lace;
Air was brittle, fine snow-crackled.
The sky had donned a hazy face —
…..And the cold crept in.

The room was warmed by firelight’s glow;
The shadows danced, and sounds were muted.
The golden lamps were all turned low —
…..Then the cold swept in.

Her face was calm and manner proud;
Her eyes unblinking, smile unmoving;
But where her heart was wrapt in shroud —
…..The cold slept in.

Perhaps on balmy springtime day,
When flowers bloom, when memories sweeten,
Her icy crypt will no more say —
…..Where cold wept in.

© E Joyce Finn/Collie




BjörkBjörk Guðmundsdóttir: born 21 November 1965, known as Björk, is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Her first public appearance was on Icelandic Radio One in 1976. Her first solo album was released in 1977 (when she was 12 years old.)  Her musical style is eclectic and she has achieved recognition in alternative rock, jazz, electronic dance music, classical, and avant-garde.  Before her solo career Björk was a member of a number of Icelandic bands, most notably The Sugarcubes. Three of Björk’s 1990s singles charted in the UK Top 10.  Her record label, “One Little Indian”, reported that by 2003, she had sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.  Awards:  four BRIT Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, one MOJO Award, three UK Music Video Awards, and (2010) the Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in recognition of her “deeply personal music and lyrics, her precise arrangements and her unique voice.”  She has been nominated for 14 Grammy Awards (and two for art direction on her album sleeves, done by others), one Academy Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. She won the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in Dancer in the Dark. Ranked twenty-ninth in VH1’s “The 100 Greatest Women in Music”, eighth in MTV’s “22 Greatest Voices in Music“, and sixtieth in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Singers of All Time“.

Here’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” from her 1995 album “Post” on YouTube page BjörkTV:

Sigur Rós

Sigur RósSigur Rós is an Icelandic post-rock band with melodic, classical, and minimalist aesthetic elements. Sigur Rós was formed in 1994 in Reykjavík by singer and guitarist Jón Þór Birgisson, bassist Georg Hólm and drummer Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson.  Sigur Rós is known for its ethereal sound, frontman Jón’s falsetto vocals, and the use of bowed guitar. The band is named after Jón’s sister Sigurrós Elin.  International acclaim came with 1999’s Ágætis byrjun (“A Good Beginning”). The album’s reputation spread by word of mouth over the following two years. Soon critics worldwide hailed it as one of the great albums of all time, and the band was playing support to established acts such as Radiohead. To date they have completed seven studio albums, one remix album, three extended plays, one soundtrack album, fourteen singles, nine music videos and two video albums.  Their music has been featured in both film and television and they continue to record and tour extensively.

Here’s their song “Hoppipolla (Jumping In Puddles)” from their 2005 album “Takk…” along with a beautiful BBC Planet Earth video collage posted by Masroor on YouTube:

Agent Fresco

Agent FrescoAgent Fresco are an Icelandic band, combining the pop, alternative, art and math-rock genres. The band consists of Arnór Dan Arnarson – Vocals, Þórarinn Guðnason – Guitar / Piano, Vignir Rafn Hilmarsson – Electric Upright Bass / Bass / Synth and Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson – Drums.  The band formed in 2008 just weeks prior to competing in the Músíktilraunir (An Icelandic version of Battle of the Bands) which they won. They also won ‘best guitar’, ‘best drumming’ and ‘best bass playing’.  In 2009 Agent Fresco were also named as the best new artists at the Icelandic equivalent of the Grammies – the Íslensku Tónlistarverðlaunin.  Agent Fresco are currently working on their second album.

Here is “Implosions” from their 2011 debut album “A Long Time Listening” form the Agent Fresco YouTube channel:

(with a nod and thanks to Wikipedia for most of the above artist info)




– A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.  (Franz Kafka)
– Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.  (Werner Herzog)
– Eternity is a glorious word, but eternity is ice.  (Degan Stojanovic)
– Europe was a horrible place,  There was nothing on TV.  The food was terrible.  And they don’t even have ice.  Who doesn’t have ice?  (Johnny Ramone)
– Fighter pilots have ice in their veins….. (Buzz Aldrin)
– He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
– How do you say no when a little kid is asking you for ice cream?  (Jimmie Johnson)
– I always wake up at the crack of ice.  (Joe E. Lewis)
– I was the happiest guy in the world when I was on the ice.  You’re being paid to play a game!  (Bobby Orr)
– Ice burns, and it is hard to the warm-skinned to distinguish one sensation, fire, from the other, frost.  (A. S. Byatt)
– Ice contains no future, just the past, sealed away.  As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct.  Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way – cleanly, clearly.  That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.  (H. Murakami)
– Ice is fascinating to me. Ice is the one thing in our world that went from an agricultural product to being manufactured.  (Alton Brown)
– If I offer you a glass of water, and bring back a cup of ice, I’m trying to teach you patience.  And also that sometimes you get ice with no water, and later you’ll get water with no ice.  Ah, but that’s life, no?   (Jarod Kintz)
– In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.  (Ralph W. Emerson)
– It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water.  (Franklin P Jones)
– Life is only a flicker of melted ice.  (Dejan Stojanovic)
– Like fragile ice anger passes away in time.  (Ovid)
– Like there’s actually a need for Greenland.  You can get ice at 7-Eleven.  (S. Kluger)
– One of the reasons there are so many terms for conditions of ice is that the mariners observing it were often trapped in it, and had nothing to do except look at it.  (Alec Wilkinson)
– Sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally.  (Ian Allison)
– She had never known that ice could take on so many shades of blue:  sharp lines of indigo like the deepest sea, aquamarine shadows, even the glint of blue-green where the sun struck just so.  (Malindo Lo)
– Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.  (Robert Frost)
– The ice was here, the ice was there, The ice was all around;  It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, Like noises in a swound!  (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
– The only drink I like ice in is water, because you can’t water down water.  (Jarod Kintz)
– The sound of the blades on the ice in the morning is like smelling fresh coffee.  (Tara Lipinski)
– There’s nothing pretty about ice.  Ice grows nothing.  But we’ve got this in our minds that we’ve got to make everything cold.  (Don Young)
– They say blood is thicker than water, but I say ice can be more solid than blood, when times get cold.  (Anthony Liccione)
– Thou art all ice.  Thy kindness freezes.  (William Shakespeare)
– Three feet of ice does not result from one day of cold weather.  (Chinese proverb)
– We were the only pulsating creatures in a dead world of ice.  (Frederick A. Cook)
– When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, have you grown old.  (Samuel Ullman)
– You are ice and fire the touch of you burns my hands like snow.  (Amy Lowell)



(Eavesdropped on some bunny conversations during the ongoing ice storm……..

2013-10-28 11.47.21_2Cooper:  “Would this be a good time to try out my new sled?”  P1030115   Mickey:  “I think it’s a better time to hunker in my bunker…”

2014-01-02 04.02.09_2Mickey:  “Or hide behind it…. whatever…”P1000238Cooper:  “Mickey…. are you in there?”

P1030088Mickey:  “I’m right here, Cooper.  What’s up?”

2013-12-26-17-30-52_4aCooper:  “Let’s just relax together and read the papers.”
Mickey:  “Whatever….  But stay ready to run….and hide”

Signing off ….. ej