Category Archives: Toronto

WE MADE SOME PAPER…

Watermark Invention

The unique craft of adding a watermark to the paper originated in Italy around 14th century in a small town Fabriano on Marche Island, Italy. Originally watermarks were made as a simple initial or trademark symbol. Over the centuries the art evolved from primitive to the artistic – reproducing the works of art, famous portraits or coat of arms. The technique is based on fixed-wire mould used for the insertion of distinctive marks that can be seen against the light…

Old Tradition

Special mould for watermak used in hand-made paper in Fabriano Italy
Watermark Mould used in paper making

In older days the Fabriano paper-makers used the water driven stamping mills. Several mills were present where the old linen or cotton rugs were used to create the fine pulp. The pulp is the base of what would become the raw paper. In turn that raw paper will be submerged in the gelatin derived from animal bones – another invention of the Fabriano artisans. Even in our days this technique is used to produce some of the banknotes, shares, cheques, some other fancy business papers and special papers for pencil, pen, wash and watercolour drawings.

Watermark on raw hand-paper made from the mould
Watermark on raw hand-paper made from the mould

Our experience

As a visitors of the special workshop organized by St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura held by Federico Salvatori, Mastro Cartaio (“master papermaker”) of the Paper and Watermark Museum in Fabriano, along with Professor Paolo Granata of the UofT. We have a chance to make our own paper with watermark using this truly unique experience to feel the value of creation and appreciate the artistic approach to paper-making.

Paper-making workshop with masters from Fabriano Italy
Making Paper with master from Fabriano, Italy

If you want to know more or visit the Museum in Fabriano here is the link to their website: http://www.museodellacarta.com/

“SUMMER OF SPACE” at Ontario Science Centre

Roberta Bondar, Canadian Astronaut, Ontario Science Centre
Roberta Bondar, Canadian Astronaut, Ontario Science Centre

It’s 6 pm and we are at the Ontario Science Centre, and yes, it’s closed for the public. But we are here for a very special event – we are going to be the first to see the “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” at the well known IMAX theater and later chat with Mark Armstrong (son of Neil Armstrong ), Roberta Bondar (Canadian Astronaut), Natalie Panek (Aerospace Engineer), Shawna Pandya (Astronaut Candidate) and some other really interesting people working in the industry. We met Bob Thirsk, Canadian Astronaut, and had a chance to talk about the path to success… “Stay focused on what you are doing and you will surely achieve your goals!… ” And this applies not just to space exploration.

Summer of Space at Ontario Science Centre

On July 20th 2019 the Science Centre commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing with special lunar-themed programming featuring Canadian astronauts. The adventure begins with “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” that unfolds on the IMAX Dome screen and features never-before-seen 70 mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. The film recounts the most extraordinary of human achievements and puts audiences at the centre of NASA’s historic lunar landing, capturing every moment of the mission.

Ontario Science Centre, Summer of Space, Space Lab
Summer of Space, Ontario Science Centre, Space Lab

The special exhibitions “Astronaut” and “Women in Space” tap into what it takes to break the boundaries of life on Earth and unlock the mysteries of our universe. You will see and touch a piece of the Moon, spend an evening gazing at the stars or go to a space camp (fitness level and age restrictions apply)! Or, experience the G-force powers… feel the powers of the Shuttle right in the seat of the spacecraft… check your knowledge and test how well you are prepared for a long space journey!

Summer of Space, Ontario Science Centre, Space Lab
Summer of Space at Ontario Science Centre, Space Lab

Lots of fascinating facts, hands on experiences and challenges await those ready to conquer space and travel the universe!

For more information to better plan your visit refer to their website:
https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/

Woodside National Historic Site

Woodside National Historic Site

The house and the park located on 11.5 acre property covered with mature trees. The park offers perfect place for walks and picnincs, beautiful shaded lawns and paths during the summer. The house opens for visitors from October till Chrismas.

Woodside National Historic Site, Entrance
Woodside National Historic Site, Entrance

Mackenzie King House

The house dates back to Victorian period, was built by James Colquhoun. After his death in 1877 varuois tenants occupied the house. One of them was the Kings family. They lived in this house from 1886 till 1893. The house was a home for a boy who later became Canada’s tenth Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King. Tha family had four children, and while visiting the house we can see their rooms and well kept personal items. His father John King was  a lawyer, and he taught his kids English, French, math and science. There is a large collection of boks, many of them are rare originals…

Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King
Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King

The house has a spacious living room with piano. The room was filing up with various guests during many holidays…

Living room in William Lyon Mackenzie King House
Living room in William Lyon Mackenzie King House

Travel  at that time was a challenge, so the house has a nice guest bedroom with all the necessary items…

Guest bedroom in William Lyon Mackenzie King House, Kitchener
Guest bedroom in William Lyon Mackenzie King House, Kitchener

The sisters were sharing the bedroom, we can see some of the clothing and original furniture.

Girls' room in William Lyon Mackenzie King House, Kitchener

We had a chance to enter the room of William, quite small and with very modest furnishings. The bedrooms are all on the second floor and interestingly, there is no heating – only the first floor of the house is heated, so in the winter the heavy blanket and the hot water bottle did the job!

Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie KingWoodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King

The most important item of the kitchen is the original wood-buning stove. It is fully operational and if you visit the place during Christmas Holidays you may be lucky to try fresh baked cookies or bread! They say tastes amazing!

Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King
Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King

 

 

 

 

 

 

The House is not just a museum, there are different events and workshops offered for students.

To learn more visit https://www.explorewaterlooregion.com/listing/woodside-national-historic-site-kitchener/     and      https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/woodside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube!

Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube

Gloria-puppet character from Noreen Young Show "Under the Umbrella Tree"
Gloria-puppet character from Noreen Young Show “Under the Umbrella Tree”

Gloria the Gopher, from CBC’s vintage “Under the Umbrella Tree” children’s series, is very happy to tell everybody that she and her friends Holly, Iggy the Iguana and Jacob Blue Jay, are now streaming on Canada Media Fund’s new channel, Encore+ on YouTube.  This is a channel that features Canadian television classics that viewers will enjoy seeing again and again.

Just in time for March Break!

26 English episodes.

26 French episodes.

For more information about Noreen Young, please see Wikipedia

Please note also:

A Puppet Retrospective comprehensive exhibition of Noreen Young’s puppetry creations and art works over the years.

The exhibit will run from July 14 to September 22, 2018 and the official Opening Night will be held on August 4 from 2 – 4 at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte.

Saturday August 25, 2 pm. Rock the Arts performance

Rock The Arts puppets performance will perform at the museum on Saturday August 25, starting at 2 pm to complement Noreen Young’s Puppet Retrospective exhibition, which runs July 14 to September 22. They will perform “Animal Adventure.” More details on the website rockthearts.ca

 

Saturday September 22, 2018, 1pm. Come play puppets with a PRO

Ever wonder what it would be like to puppeteer on a TV show? Always wanted to give it a try?

Well, here’s your chance.

Puppeteer, Bob Stutt, has decades of TV and film experience including seven years with the Friendly Giant, ten years with the Muppets and ten years as Basil Bear on Canadian Sesame Street where he was also lead writer. He performed Iggy Iguana on CBC’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” and also “Molly Doll” on The Big Comfy Couch. Bob has also filmed over 100 TV commercials in Denmark for the Danish National Railway.

And now he would love to spend some time playing puppets with you!

We’ll provide the cameras, monitors and a few puppets. You provide enthusiasm, imagination and any puppets of your own that tickle your fancy.

Come be a star for a day and experience first-hand the challenging, inspiring, silly world behind the puppets you see on TV.

Admission is $20 per person. This three-hour workshop is open to adults and kids over the age of 10 with a limit of ten to twelve people.

Toronto musician Gerry Shatford combines poetry and piano

Toronto music lovers will have a rare opportunity to hear “When I Sat Down to Play the Piano” performed live at Gallery 345 on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.

Inspired by the poetry of Al Purdy, the collection of compositions (several of which appeared in the 2015 feature-length documentary “Al Purdy Was Here”) will be presented by East York pianist and composer Gerry Shatford, accompanied by Neil Swainson on bass and Barry Elmes on drums. Toronto poet, editor and educator Paul Vermeersch will also be on hand to provide introductory narration for each of the pieces, reading the Purdy poem from which its inspiration was drawn.

Proceeds from this concert will be donated to the Al Purdy A-Frame Association which has overseen the preservation and restoration of Al Purdy’s historic residence in Ameliasburgh, Ontario. During Purdy’s lifetime, the house was a gathering place for famous Canadian writers including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, George Bowering, Lynn Crosbie, Dennis Lee, Margaret Laurence, and numerous others. The A-Frame Association continues this tradition by financing a residency program for aspiring writers.

Gallery 345 is at 345 Sorauren Ave. Tickets cost $20 for general admission, or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only), and can be reserved by contacting info@gallery345.com

Exploring Waterloo Region – Bingeman’s Big Splash

After lunch at the (nearby) Boston Pizza, we came in to the Bingeman’s Big Splash. After changing into our bathing suits we stepped out on to the deck exited about all of the slides that awaited us. They had many slides to choose from and better yet, the height restrictions are very reasonable so that everyone can go (most of the required heights are around forty inches). My personal favourite slide was the Cyclone.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Over all, the park quite fairly spread out which makes it feel like there is less of a crowd, there also is a big wave pool

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

which has a shallow end

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

and a deep end however the tubes have to be rented for five dollars each and Cabana rentals are also available, another thing to note is that most of the rides are one person at a time, however there are a couple that two people can ride on at the same time.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

We highly recommend that you try it out especially if traveling with young ones.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Overall it is the most fun water park in the region.

By Jonathan K.

Ctrl – V Experience in Waterloo, Ontario

As soon as we knew that we are going to CTRL-V we were so impatient that could not wait for 8 pm! The dinner took so long… Finally at 8:10 pm we arrived at Ctrl-V  – Canada’s first virtual reality arcade that was opened in Waterloo just recently.                                       We walked in the first set of doors… First the parents  had to sign the waver for safety reasons… after the wavers we watched the helpful demonstration video… and finally were ready to start!                           My first game was “Climbey”.  I had a tutorial, also the staff helped me to figure out walking and climbing techniques.  After playing “Climbey”, I choose a game where you pick a song and with your controllers you bump to the beat of the song – I chose “Shake it off” By Taylor Swift. It was a good exercise. My  about an hour experience felt like ten minutes…

By Anna Sophia

Family trip to African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.

To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans.  One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures  each housing different wild animals.  We are surrounded by lions,  then  we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view  – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

 

Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!

Elephant swim

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the cafe to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.

By Jonathan K.

 

 

Day trip to Collingwood, July 2017

After the 1 hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Cranberry Village. We first arrived to the rooftop patio, which has the best view in all of Collingwood.

Roof top Patio in Living Water Resort, Collingwood

From the roof you can see the lake Huron, the 19 hole golf course as well as the newly refurbished marina.

Cranberry Golf Resort

Following a quick resort tour and lunch on the roof top patio we went to do paddle board yoga (SUP Yoga).

 

SUP Yoga, by Blu Wave in Living Water Resort, Collingwood

 

At first we thought that there was no way we could balance on a paddle board, let alone do handstands, bridges and other meditation poses.

Paddle Board Yoga by Blu Wave, in Collingwood Ontario

It turned out however that meditating on a paddle board while being gently rocked by the lake was very relaxing as well as a slightly challenging workout, after about an hour we returned back to the village to take on the iron chef challenge.

The iron chef challenge works like this; two teams of equal size are given 10 minutes to plan a dish using unknown ingredients
They can also “ purchase” products such as a lemon or herbs using the team’s points, which are then deducted from the final score.

Iron Chef Challenge Team 1, July 2017

Iron Chef Challenge food preparation

Once they have used up their 10 minutes of planning time, they are given 20 minutes to cook and arrange their chosen dish. The team at the end with the most points wins. However its not that simple as the chefs who organize the competition/exercise will throw in some really odd ingredients to challenge the contestants even more. For example in our list of products that we must use was included local fresh perch and oddly enough, a small box of cereal, again, all of the given items must be included.

Iron Chef Competition

Second Team in Iron Chef Challenge in Living Water Resort, Collingwood

Iron Chef Challenge winning team, July 2017

 

After completing the challenge, we went to the lakeside grill to enjoy their specialty steak, we heard that it was delicious because they had recently invested quite a lot of money into a brand new grill that cooks the whole steak perfectly and evenly and it was delicious, so delicious in fact that we all wanted another plate of steak even though we were full.

And like that the day was finished, we said our goodbyes and got in the car for the 1 hour drive back home.

By Jonathan K.

Bombardier Museum of ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

We arrived in Valcourt QC to see the place where the man known as the  pride of Valcourt created his company that would be renowned by the  world. The visit begins with the simple garage where  Joseph Armand  Bombardier decides to overcome the challenges of driving in the deep  snow.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

By adapting the tractor wheels into treads and skis to become parts of  the vehicle he was able to make the first snowmobile- the B7 – that  within a very short period of time became in great demand not just in Quebec but all over Canada. In the garage there is still his officefilled with tools and papers, as if he just stepped out for a moment.
And you can see the first original snowmobile that looks quite bulky, since it was made of wood and various parts from other machines, stands in the middle of the garage.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

The new creation became so popular that the company moved to the new larger building and was supported by the whole community of Valcourt. The larger sized vehicles followed and the business was prospering until… after World War II, the Quebec government passed a law that required cities to  remove the snow from highways and streets and the need for the snowmobile as a transportation quickly faded. The creativity of Joseph Armand Bombardier never stopped and he
brought new ideas into growing the business… a few months later the “Ski-Doo” comes out of his production and quickly gives raise to the new sport and gives all new outlook for winter fun.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

From section to section we could see the machines created in different times for the variety of purposes – snowmobiles of all sizes, all terrain vehicles, the rail transport – here you can get on the actual streetcar and image being on the streets of the busy downtown.
In the next hall we were impressed by the original subway wheels that are used in Montreal Metro – and these are produced by Bombardier Inc. as well.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

One of the expositions is dedicated to the aircraft industry, here the imagination will take you up to the skies – yes, you can fly! And feel like a pilot of the commercial aircraft, which destination is any place of your choice!

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

And not just the destinations you can reach here, you can build the totally new vehicle of your own creation. In the room filled with I-pads there is big screen with the images of all sorts of surrealistic machines moving, floating, flying, zooming… it’s a wonderful world of imagination; and no matter the age – it is a great fun for all!

FabLab, Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

One more surprise at the end of our tour – so called ‘’ FabLabs’’. Anyone who likes to create, is in need of tools and good technical advice can come here and for a very reasonable fee get it all including materials, software and a helping hand! Really impressive and well done! And so encouraging!

Bombardier Original Garage, Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

Family Travel & Tourism