Greetings to the many thousands of readers over the past month from across Canada and the United States, as well as countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, India, Australia, Japan, the Ukraine, Mexico, Romania and the Netherlands.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Icy adventures await to embrace the winter season

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 14-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   If you don’t want to trade your snowsuit for a swimsuit, then it’s time for some icy adventures.
   There’s the Fire and Ice Festival in Bracebridge, Icewine Festival in Niagara and an icy trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park.
   A shortage of snow last year certainly didn’t repeat for the winter festival in downtown Bracebridge on Jan. 28.
A tube run is created downtown for the Fire and Ice Festival in Bracebridge. (Explorers’ Edge)
   There’s “more than enough snow” to create the amazing tubing run, said Jordan Mulligan of Muskoka Tourism.
   At midweek, the town already had “up to four feet (122 centimetres) of snow, which has been amazing for our winter tourism,” he added.
   Even so, fest workers will bring in 50 truckloads of fresh, fluffy snow to make their epic tubing hill, he said.
   The festival had its debut last year and was a huge success as people took to Manitoba Street for wintry fun.
   Starting with a pancake breakfast at the fire hall at 8:30 a.m., the fest runs until 9 p.m. and “pays homage to the glory of a Canadian winter,” the Bracebridge Business Improvement Area says.
A frosty scene as an ice carver gets sprayed at the Bracebridge festival.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Zoom, zoom to Detroit for automotive bliss

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 7/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   When it comes to planning an automotive-themed getaway, all roads lead to Detroit – the “Motor City.”
   Highlighting annual events in this motor mecca is the world renowned North American International Auto Show revving up next week.
   It attracts more than 800,000 people over nine days to view 750 vehicles and countless interactive displays.
Glitzy models showing off the latest models at the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview in Detroit. (Jim Fox photo)
   While in town, cruise over to the Henry Ford museum, tour auto baron homes and cap it off with a stay at Marriott’s Dearborn Inn built by Henry Ford.
   The auto show from Jan. 14 to 22 at the Cobo Center is the place to see “next-generation automotive products and technologies” as they make their world debuts.
   Among those is the new fifth-generation Lexus flagship sedan said to have an extended “bold new look with a coupe-like silhouette” and premium rear-wheel drive “for a more dynamic experience on the road.”

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Niagara Icewine Festival 2017 – Celebrating Another Year of Icewine Excellence

(News Release)

(St. Catharines, ON) – The 22nd Annual Niagara Icewine Festival is around the corner and the time is right to plan your January getaway to Niagara. The 2017 Xerox Icewine Gala marks the 22nd regional celebration of the truly Canadian icon: Icewine.

What began as a gala event has evolved into three weekends of globally sought after Icewine experiences. From stunning formal affairs to outdoor Ice village settings to wineries setting the stage with incredible culinary and Icewine delights; Niagara is the place to explore your senses.
The 2017 Xerox Icewine Gala

 -- Taste the best in culinary and wine; as noted Niagara chefs prepare Icewine infused delights or create the ultimate Icewine pairing.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ingersoll Choral Society’s Dinner Theatre presents “ICS Goes West”

(News Release)

INGERSOLL, Ontario -- You’ll want to be there when the Elm Hurst Inn becomes an old time western saloon as “ICS Goes West” in January.

Featuring songs inspired by the pioneers and early settlers, this Dinner Theatre is a departure in musical style for the Ingersoll Choral Society and promises to be an entertaining evening/afternoon of great music and fun.

Musical Director, Holly Langohr, invites you to “travel back in time to enjoy the beauty of the American Folk Song in the wild, Wild West!

Kick off the New Year with Orillia 150 and skating through the week

(News release)

 New Year’s Eve in Orillia will be a night to remember as the city kicks off its 150th anniversary and the start of many great events planned for 2017.

Orillia became a village in 1867, the very same year Canada became a country and New Year’s Eve and Day will mark the beginning of this milestone celebration. The Orillia community has been preparing a wide variety of experiences for throughout the sesquicentennial year; the first is set to take place on Dec. 31, 2016, at Rotary Place.

“City staff have engaged extensively with partners in the Orillia community to offer special programming throughout 2017 that celebrates Orillia’s sesquicentennial. Join me and others as we honour Orillia’s past, present and future – all starting on Dec. 31st,” said Mayor Steve Clarke.

New Year's Eve and week at Blue Mountain Village

Ring in the New Year at Blue Mountain Village! Choose from over a dozen New Year's Eve celebrations in the Village, then enjoy FREE family fireworks over the Mill Pond at 9:30pm and the main show at midnight over the mountain. 
Click the link below for information on reservations and to purchase tickets to events throughout the Village. 
Learn More

Daily horse & wagon rides, interactive drumming, groove dancing, Columbia snowshoe tours, and more! Visit our website for more information. Click the links below for a printable schedule of the events & activities taking place in the Village:

December 23 – 30
December 31 – January 8

Harbourfront Centre presents DJ Skate Nights, Toronto’s ultimate winter block party

Harbourfront Centre’s DJ Skate Nights return to the Natrel Rink with non-stop dancing every Saturday night. Sharpen those skates and skills as local and international DJs drop electrifying beats, guaranteed to keep the party going all night.
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, M5J 2G8

A New Year’s Eve Ice Skating Jam Named Saturdays featuring DJ P-Plus in partnership with Ian Andre Espinet Entertainment: December 31, 8pm – 1am Beam Me Up with A Digital Needle & Cyclist: January 7, 8–11pm La Rumba Buena by Blancon & Drumspeak: January 14, 8–11pm Globetrotter by DJ medicineman: January 21, 8–11pm Bey Skate with DJ Lissa Monet: January 28, 8–11pm Soca on Ice featuring Dr. Jay de Soca Prince: February 4, 8–11pm GUMBO featuring DJ Revy_B: February 11, 8–11pm 1 LOVE T.O.’s 10th Anniversary Party featuring DJ DLUX & YUKNODIS: February 18, 8– 11pm

For further information on DJ Skate Nights, please visit http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/djskatenights or call Harbourfront Centre at 416-973-4000.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Toronto Zoo animals ready to party with all of their friends; White Christmas with butterflies in Cambridge

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 24/16

  (c) By Jim Fox

   “Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo.
   I do believe it; I do believe it’s true.”
   - At the Zoo, Simon & Garfunkel

   The popular Boxing Day event at the Toronto Zoo to see the animals celebrating the holiday features a series of treks.
   The special Treats and Talks program on Monday also has half-price admission.
   “Visitors can choose from one of three treks to learn about our animals and watch as they enjoy special holiday treats,” said publicist Amanda Chambers.
Visitors to the Toronto Zoo can view the two adult and two baby pandas. (Toronto Zoo)
   Trek 1 starts at 11 a.m. at the Giant Pandas Experience and moves to the Eurasia Wilds with the camels and ends at Tundra Trek with the polar bears at 12:30 p.m.
   Trek 2 starts at 12:30 p.m. with the river otters for indoor viewing and then to the Americas Pavilion to see snakes, ending inside with Indian rhinos.
   Trek 3 begins at 1 p.m. at the Indio-Malaya Pavilion with the Sumatran orangutans, heads to the African Rainforest Pavilion and the ring-tailed lemurs, finishing with the African Savanna’s white lions.
Ring-tailed lemurs are the topic of a zoo enrichment program. (Toronto Zoo)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Winter getaway specials and free ski passes to Horseshoe Resort

The snow has arrived in Muskoka and we're ready to get outside and embrace it, are you?

Packed with outdoor fun, hearty winter menus and cozy accommodations, Deerhurst makes it easy to find your ideal winter escape. ​


Last chance to experience CHIHULY at the Royal Ontario Museum

Must-see exhibition’s extended engagement ends Jan. 8, 2017 

TORONTO, December 20, 2016 — Time is running out to catch CHIHULY, one of the Royal Ontario Museum’s most popular exhibitions this year. During CHIHULY’s Toronto engagement, hundreds of thousands of ROM visitors have been captivated by the visually stunning artworks of the internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

With the exhibition drawing to a close on Sunday, January 8, 2017, visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the Museum’s extended holiday hours to experience the otherworldly beauty and breathtaking artworks of this crowd-pleasing exhibition while they can. 

On display in the Museum’s Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall, the luminous show features 11 spectacular installations that include a number of Chihuly’s iconic pieces, as well as artworks created exclusively for the ROM exhibition.

A favourite with visitors of all ages, the popularity of CHIHULY has contributed to a strong summer/fall season for the ROM, positioning the Museum to repeat last year’s impressive admission numbers of 1.1 million visitors.

It’s a white Christmas at the Toronto Zoo - Come out and say farewell to the White Lion Cubs

(News Release)
TORONTO, ON, Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - The Toronto Zoo is announcing that all four white lion cubs, Hank, Harrison, Oliver and Gus, will be embarking on an exciting journey to Parc Safari in Quebec in early 2017.
Visitors will have a chance to see the Zoo’s 15 month old white lion cubs over the holiday break for one last time. This move for the four cubs signifies the next step in their behavioural development as they will have the opportunity to form their own pride.
  The birth of Makali's cubs has been a wonderful opportunity to spread the word on the plight of African lions in the wild.
As one of the Zoo's key mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve biodiversity, these cubs help highlight the importance of lion conservation and what is being done to preserve this magnificent species in Africa. The Toronto Zoo supports lion conservation efforts in the wild through the Toronto Zoo Endangered Species Reserve Fund.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lighting up the "festive" season

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 17/16

  (c) By Jim Fox

  Let there be lights – millions of them ablaze in cities and towns casting a festive glow at this time of year.
   There’s the Niagara Winter Festival of Lights, Bingemans’ Gift of Lights in Kitchener, Amherstburg’s River Lights, Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village and Simcoe’s Christmas Panorama to name a few.
  Fireworks light up the night sky over Niagara Falls.
   Called “Canada’s foremost illumination festival,” Niagara Falls says it “captures the magic of the holiday season” now through Jan. 31.
   More than one-million people view the eight-kilometre “illumination route” through the Niagara Parks, Dufferin Islands and into the surrounding tourist areas around the falls.
   There are millions of sparkling lights and animated displays including a huge Canadian-U.S. flag, Skylon Tower, Zimmerman Fountain, Canadian wildlife sculptures and Religions of the World themes.
   The illumination of the power generating station has a choreographed sound and light show with an interactive display of reindeers leading Santa’s sleigh and there’s a 3-D show on the facade of the Oakes Hotel.
A $4-million upgrade provides more robust lighting of the Horseshoe and American falls.