October, 2012

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Runners 2012

I was lucky to just catch the front runners (and eventual winners) of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon as they can through the Beaches.

The light was overcast and so the images aren’t as sharp as I would like, but am happy with the following shots I managed to take, which are shown here in the order I took them:

Hillary Chenonge, 10th Place Winner

Hillary Chenonge, 10th Place Winner

Ben Fish, 17th Place Winner

Ben Fish, 17th Place Winner

Front Runners Heading East Along Queen Street 1

Front Runners Heading East Along Queen Street 1

Kenneth (Kiplimo) Kimutai, 2nd Place Winner

Kenneth (Kiplimo) Kimutai, 2nd Place Winner

Siraj Gena, 5th Place Winner

Siraj Gena, 5th Place Winner

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Panoramic Pictures from The Beaches Firehall

I put in a request to the Toronto Fire Department for permission to take pictures from the top of the local Firehall’s tower adjacent to Queen and Woodbine in order to take panoramic shots of the local area. This is for a future story in the BTRA newsletter that compares the modern view against that of a panoramic set of shots taken from the Firehall tower shortly after it was built in 1905.

Here are a couple of panoramic views showing the view east from the tower looking towards downtown via Queen Street East:

East Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower 1

East Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower 1

East Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower 2

East Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower 2

Compare these to the view from the same vantage point from over a hundred years ago, from a panorama I stitched together taken from shots taken in the tower circa 1905 that were in the Toronto Municipal Archives. You can see the old Woodbine Racetrack, and muddier-looking Queen Street stretching off into a much smaller downtown Toronto core.

East and South Panorama from Beaches Firehall Tower circa 1905

East and South Panorama from Beaches Firehall Tower circa 1905

I also took some panoramic shots directly to the south, east and north. Here’s a panoramic shot looking southward:

South Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

South Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

Looking westward:

West Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

West Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

And looking Northward:

North Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

North Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

Unfortunately all of these shots suffer from too many darn trees in the way to properly see the houses and buildings properly. Will have to see if I can request to go up the tower again sometime after the leaves are off of the trees.

I was shown around by local Fireman Mr. Lalonde, who is also an amateur historian who has done a lot of research on the background of the Beaches Firehall. Here he is pointing out some old signatures on the old wooden box that once protected the original clock’s escapement mechanism, with signatures (primarily) of the fireman who worked at the station dating back to the 1910s:

Mr. Lalonde Pointing at Some of the Old Fireman's Signatures

Mr. Lalonde Pointing at Some of the Old Fireman’s Signatures

Firehall Signatures 1

Firehall Signatures 1

Firehall Signatures 2 (from the 1910s and Later)

Firehall Signatures 2 (from the 1910s and Later)

One of the more poignant ones was of the fireman who were here at the firehall on 9/11:

Firehall Signatures 3: Firemen Present at the Beaches Firehall on 9/11

Firehall Signatures 3: Firemen Present at the Beaches Firehall on 9/11

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Venus and Crescent Moon Just After Sunrise

Shot with my 200mm fast lens early this morning from the back deck of our house:

Venus and Moon in Morning Sky

Venus and Moon in Morning Sky

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Ducks on Signal Hill

While heading back down from Signal Hill to the Lower Battery in St. John’s, I ran across a small pond where a number of ducks had congregated. There were some ever-familiar Mallards, as well as some less familiar birds to me. Here are the better pics that I shot:

Northern Pintail Duck

Northern Pintail Duck

Female Mallard Napping (But Keeping an Eye on Me)

Female Mallard Napping (But Keeping an Eye on Me)

Possible Male Tufted Duck (Without Much of a Tuft)

Possible Male Tufted Duck (Without Much of a Tuft)

Male Green-winged Teal Beating a Retreat

Male Green-winged Teal Beating a Retreat

Pair of Northern Pintail Ducks

Pair of Northern Pintail Ducks

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Climbing Up Signal Hill

Pictures taken while hiking up the North Head Trail up Signal Hill, St. John’s:

Sign on the "Fallout Shelter", Lower Battery, St. Johns

Sign on the “Fallout Shelter”, Lower Battery, St. Johns

Houses in the Lower Battery, St. John's

Houses in the Lower Battery, St. John’s

Seagull Perched on Top of Chimney

Seagull Perched on Top of Chimney

The Winding North Head Trail, St. John's

The Winding North Head Trail, St. John’s

South Side of St. John's Harbour Entrance

South Side of St. John’s Harbour Entrance

Taking in the Landscape

Taking in the Landscape

Cabot Tower, Signal Hill

Cabot Tower, Signal Hill

Fleeing Fox, Signal Hill

Fleeing Fox, Signal Hill

The Ladies at the Top of Signal Hill

The Ladies at the Top of Signal Hill

A Long Way from Home, Signpost on Signal Hill

A Long Way from Home, Signpost on Signal Hill

The "Atlantic Kingfisher" Leaving St. John's Harbour

The “Atlantic Kingfisher” Leaving St. John’s Harbour

Cabot Tower, Signal Hill 2

Cabot Tower, Signal Hill 2

Old Cannons by Queen's Battery

Old Cannons by Queen’s Battery

"Cannon 2" From 1709

“Cannon 2” From 1709

Mounted Cannon Facing Our from The Queen's Battery

Mounted Cannon Facing Our from The Queen’s Battery

Mounted Cannon Facing Our from The Queen's Battery 2

Mounted Cannon Facing Our from The Queen’s Battery 2

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An Afternoon Visit to Quidi Vidi

Erika took us for a trip to several places close to St. John’s today, including Quidi Vidi, a small town with an impressive art studio and a damn good brewery. Here are some of the pics I shot of the scenery while there:

Buildings in Quidi Vidi Harbour

Buildings in Quidi Vidi Harbour

Beached Boat in Quidi Vidi

Beached Boat in Quidi Vidi

Two Men Discussing in Quidi Vidi

Two Men Discussing in Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi Panorama

Quidi Vidi Panorama

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A Drizzly Day in St. John’s

Our first full day in St. John’s, Newfoundland was initially rainy, then tapered off to being just drizzly.

We first went to the regional Art Gallery and Museum known as the The Rooms, where I was told I couldn’t take pictures, so nothing there.

We then went into downtown looking for a place to eat, and we ended up at The Bagel Cafe where the girls had large mugs of hot chocolate (tea for me) and chowed down on some hot and hearty breakfast food for lunch.

Here are some pics I took while walking along some of the streets in St. John’s while trying to keep out of the rain as much as possible:

Colourful Houses in St. Johns on a Rainy Day

Colourful Houses in St. Johns on a Rainy Day

Victoria Hall on Gower Street, St. Johns

Victoria Hall on Gower Street, St. Johns

Fred's Records, St. John's

Fred’s Records, St. John’s

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Visit to Bay Bulls and Cape Spear

Today Erika started her long weekend from work on the set of “Republic of Doyle”, and she took us all to the first place she wanted to show to us: Bay Bulls, where she had gone sea kayaking earlier in the year.

Some pics from Bay Bulls:

"150262" Out of the Water for the Off-Season

“150262” Out of the Water for the Off-Season

Mishell the Mermaid Statue at Bay Bulls

Mishell the Mermaid Statue at Bay Bulls

Small Waterfall at Bay Bulls, Newfoundland

Small Waterfall at Bay Bulls, Newfoundland

Huge Spools of Oil Pipeline Equipment, Bay Bulls

Huge Spools of Oil Pipeline Equipment, Bay Bulls

Seven Eagles Coming into Port at Bay Bulls

Seven Eagles Coming into Port at Bay Bulls

St. Peter and St. Paul Church Facade at Bay Bulls

St. Peter and St. Paul Church Facade at Bay Bulls

One of the most fascinating things at the St. Peter and St. Paul Church is their gate, made up of four cannons topped with statues of saints: the “cannonized saints”. The two larger cannon are Enlgish, and the smaller ones to each side are French:

The "Canonized Saints" Gate at St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Bay Bulls

The “Canonized Saints” Gate at St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Bay Bulls

Coming Back from Sea Kayaking in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland

Coming Back from Sea Kayaking in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland

Annie and Erika Getting Out of their Sea Kayak at Bay Bulls, Newfoundland

Annie and Erika Getting Out of their Sea Kayak at Bay Bulls, Newfoundland

Everyone was hungry after kayaking, so we went to what is by reputation is the best fish and chips restaurant in Newfoundland: “By The Beach“. I ordered the Captain’s Plate so everyone could try a bit of everything. Here’s what it looked like:

The Captain's Plate at "By the Beach" Restaurant

The Captain’s Plate at “By the Beach” Restaurant

It was easily the best fish and chips I have ever had. Period.

Then off to Cape Spear, which is the furthest east you can go and still be in North America.

Annie, Erika and Vanessa at Cape Spear, the Most Easterly Part of North America

Annie, Erika and Vanessa at Cape Spear, the Most Easterly Part of North America

It was also the place where during WWII a battery was put in place for defense. The guns and the concrete remains of the old battery are still in place.

Old Naval Gun at WWII Base Cape Spear

Old Naval Gun at WWII Base Cape Spear

Hairy Eyeball Graffiti in Old WWII Base Cape Spear

Hairy Eyeball Graffiti in Old WWII Base Cape Spear

Then back to home base to rest before dinner at an upscale pizza place Erika wanted us to go to. While we were waiting for our table to be ready at that place, we headed over for some local music and ended up in Kelly’s Pub where we saw Ray O’Leary play most of a set:

Ray O'Leary Playing at Kelly's Pub

Ray O’Leary Playing at Kelly’s Pub

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