Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ice Fishing in North Bay

The previous weekend we managed to make the expedition from Toronto to North Bay (a distance of about  350 km north) to do some ice fishing.  Compared to the balmy winter conditions in Toronto it actually felt like a normal Canadian winter in North Bay.  There was about 10cm of snow on the ground and the ice on lake Nipissing was about 70cm thick.

View from the parking lot

What follows are a few photos I was able to snap during our Ice Fishing expedition.

Lots of snow at our destination - notice the snowcat behind the office.

The sun trying to peak through in the morning

Waiting for a lift out to our ice fishing hut

Down to the work at hand - ice fishing!

Our bait

Patiently waiting for a bite..........

A freshly caught Perch on ice

Ice huts at sunset

Pattern in the snow on the ice pack

A lone ice fishing hut on the ice

Ice huts at sunset

Ice huts at sundown

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Saturday morning walk downtown

Got up early (for a Sat) and felt the urge to take some photos.  Yah I know it's been a while - but in my defense I've been a bit preoccupied lately hence the absence of posts.  Anyway I was out the door around 7am with the intention to go for a walk downtown with my camera.  I decided to take the streetcar in and found a spider making itself a home in the streetcar shelter at my stop.

Once downtown I made a big circle tour of the downtown core to see what I could find.  Toronto it seems is just one big construction zone these days so taking unobstructed architecture shots is difficult. 

One of my stops was at the Eaton Centre where I got a decent shot of the Canada geese in the morning light before any of the shops had opened for the day.

Kept on going east on Queen and up McCaul St. passing the iconic OCAD building.  I noticed the reflection of the CN Tower framed in this window.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Toronto Islands - Spring 2011

It appears some people do actually visit this Blog as I've heard some recent complaints that I should be posting something a little more often.  So mea culpa - I will strive to do better.

So this weekend a trip was made out to the Toronto Islands taking advantage of the sunny spring weather that has been absent for so long (it's been mostly cold and damp these past few weeks).  The Toronto Islands are a special place and thankfully at this time of year at least remain a bit of a secret getaway.  It is amazing that after a short ferry ride from downtown Toronto you are transported to what feels like a combination of park and small town.

Willows and water, Centre island near Centreville

A stop for lunch was made once getting off of the ferry at Centre Island.  After that it was off walking south to the pier on the south shore of Centre Island.

The Centre island pier

Directions, Centre island

On the boardwalk to Ward's island

Walking east from Centre Island towards Ward’s island you follow a path that soon leads to a boardwalk.  The boardwalk extends to Ward’s island and hugs the shore with a breakwater along the one side.  Strolling along the boardwalk it’s hard to imagine that you are only minutes away from downtown Toronto.  It’s enchanting with the water lapping at the shore, birds chirping in the background and the occasional visit by ducks or swans.

A view of The Rectory cafe from the boardwalk

Once on Ward’s Island the boardwalk passes several buildings including a former residence that has been converted into a restaurant.  The Rectory as it is known is beside the boardwalk and has a large patio outdoors facing the boardwalk and Lake Ontario.  It is shaded by a large stand of trees and is an ideal place to stop, have a meal or glass of wine, relax and people watch.

A view looking south from the patio of The Rectory cafe

The boardwalk on Ward's Island

Swans viewed from the boardwalk

View of the way to the beach on Ward's island

After a few glasses of wine it was off to the residences of Ward’s Island (yes there is a small community of people that still live on Ward’s island full time).  At one time there were permanent homes on all of the Toronto Islands however most were removed in the late 50’s and early 60’s to convert the space into parkland.  There is definitely a small town feel to the Ward’s Island community.  Many of the residents have gone to great lengths to decorate their homes and there is a whimsical playful feel to it as you’ll see in some of the photos.

Seen in a Ward's island garden

Ward's island home

Seen in a Ward's island garden

Treehouse on Ward's island

Seen in a Ward's island garden

Ward's island home with Toronto skyline in background

Ward's island home

Toronto skyline from Ward's island

Waiting for the ferry

Eventually after touring Ward’s island it was time to head back to the ferry terminal and back to Toronto.  

The Ward's island ferry, Ongiara

The Ward's island ferry, Ongiara
The Ward's island ferry, Ongiar
The Toronto skyline from the ferry
A visit to the Toronto Islands is an excellent way to spend the day if you have some time and want to experience something unique.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring frost on Periwinkle

A few weekends ago I was at Atty's place and up early on a weekend (I know hard to believe...).  I noticed quite a lot of ground frost and got a few shots of the periwinkle in the backyard.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicago Sept 2009

I've been going through photos and thought I post some stuff that was taken a while back.  In 2009 Atty and I spent the Labour Day weekend in Chicago to celebrate my 50th birthday.  The city of Chicago is slightly larger than Toronto in population but differs in many ways to Toronto.  For one the downtown core is comprised of many more skyscrapers.  Architecture has always been a part of Chicago and even today it offers tours highlighting the architecture.  In fact Chicago was where the first skyscraper was built in the 1880's.  Frank Lloyd Wright the famous American architect started his career in Oak Park a suburb of Chicago.  The Obamas have a home in Oak Park as well.  Jazz is also a fixture in Chicago and we took advantage of that by going to a Jazz Festival as well as some clubs by Lincoln Park.

Carbide and Carbon Building (completed 1929)

The Wrigley (1924) Building

The Wrigley (1924) Building

The Chicago river divides the city but also provides an opportunity for viewing it as well.  Tours as well as a Water Taxi service provide a means for getting around and also viewing Chicago from a unique perspective.
The Chicago River

Water Taxi on the Chicago River

Chicago Cultural Center, (formerly Chicago Public Library, 1897)

Chicago Cultural Center, (formerly Chicago Public Library, 1897)

Chicago Cultural Center, (formerly Chicago Public Library, 1897)

The waterfront area in Chicago has plenty of parkland, a marina, an aquarium and a museum.  The area is very people friendly and puts what Toronto has to shame.
Chicago skyline from Aquarium, Grant Park

Grant Park, Chicago waterfront

We were able to get around on the EL which is Chicago's Elevated Subway.  The EL provides access to both of Chicago's airports (O'Hare and Midway) and outlying suburbs.  Atty and I used the EL to get around all weekend as it was convenient and inexpensive.
The EL (Elevated Railway/Subway)

One interesting tour Atty and I took was in a suburb of Chicago called Oak Park.  The tour was of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright studio and a few of the homes he designed in the area.  It was a fascinating tour and the homes have a unique timeless look about them (they hardly look like they were built in the 1900's).
House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,  Oak Park, (built circa 1900)

House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,  Oak Park, (built circa 1900)

We were fortunate enough to be in town while Chicago had it's Jazz Festival going on down at Millenium Park (on the waterfront).  We were able to have some drinks and take in some of the many acts that performed at the festival.
Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival

On our way back home after attending the Jazz Festival we stopped by some art exhibits including a lit, interactive water fountain.  The light show and video display were fun to watch!
Crown Fountain, Millenium Park

Crown Fountain, Millenium Park

The balance of our final day was spent touring downtown and viewing some of the sights including a large sculpture in Millenium Park called the "Cloud Gate".  The sculpture is also called "The Bean" by locals as it resembles are huge chrome plated jelly bean.
Downtown Chicago from Millenium Park

Cloud Gate sculpture (aka The Bean), Millenium Park

Atty and I reflected in The Bean, Millenium Park

Looking up from under “The Bean”, Millenium Park

Downtown Chicago


Looking into Red

Water Tower (1869) and John Hancock Tower (1970)