Remembrance Day

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Canadians celebrate Remembrance Day, a day dedicated to commemorating those who died in combat for this country. I took a break from commenting on my students’ essay proposals to accompany Alan to Queen’s Park and check out the celebrations there. We’ve been there in previous years to watch the cannons fire their salute but this is the first time went to the ceremony at the memorial on the north side of the park. The event was quite touching and as in most commemorations to do with war, the importance of preserving peace was the main focus of all the eulogies and speeches. I took many pictures and recorded a few videos, and as soon as I finish processing those, I’ll post them here.

Remembrance day

Halloween 2007

Every October 31st, Church street between Wellesley and Wood is closed for traffic and people of all ages come out in the most elaborate costumes to parade along the street. Bands usually perform on a stage, while everything from six grown men dressed as Care Bears to very scary-looking Geishas walk up and down the street. The fancier the costume, the more people will line up in front of the person to shoot pictures.

Despite all the work I had this week, I decided to invite a few friends from school over for dinner and we then went out to check the action. I didn’t take too many pictures because I’m really not very good in shooting pictures of people at night. I hate flash so I’m really not very good at it. But I managed to get some cool effects that evening…

Click on the picture below and watch the slideshow!

Slideshow

Dyke March & Church Street

Yesterday we checked out the Dyke March. Smaller and less commercial than Sunday’s Gay Pride Parade, the Dyke March is a fun event. The women come out in huge numbers. After the parade we went for a walk along Church Street, the main street in the Gay Village to check what was going on there. There were stalls of all kinds set up – food, beverage, information, stores, you name it. Even the Police, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and the Armed Forces had recruitment tents there, which is something I find really amazing since where I come from the police forces and the military are very anti-gay environments. I’ll talk more about the events of the day later, I just wanted to leave a few pictures. The first 45 or so are of the Dyke March and the remainder are of people on Church St. Just click on the image and you’ll see the slideshow.

Update: It’s 5:30 pm on Sunday and we just came back from Church St. We tried to check out the parade but it was way too crowded and hot on Yonge St. so we went to Church and shot some pictures of the people who were coming back from the parade. I’ve added the pictures to the slideshow.

Click here for slideshow

Busy weekend ahead

The weekend is promising – we want to check out at least two festivals: The Taste of Little Italy and the Blues Fest at the Distillery District. But first, we head out to Kensington Market and the best coffee in the city…

Here’s where I go, from the Toronto Life magazine:

Casa Acoreana
Louie Pavao founded this corner spot as a fruit stand 41 years ago; his four sons (Victor, John, Ozzie and Mike) now preside over the café and bulk shop with familial pride. More shack than shop, it serves up the perfect latte (potent and smooth); and with hundreds of different kinds of tea, coffee and spice filling pretty glass jars, the old-fashioned general store pops with colour. A dreamscape for the candy cognoscenti, Acoreana rescues many classics (Tunnock’s Snowballs, Thrills gum) from extinction.
235 Augusta Ave., 416-593-9717.

Palm Sunday

Christians celebrate today the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem, marking the beginning of Holy Week, when Jesus was arrested, tried, and executed. According to the gospels, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on Sunday, riding a colt or a mule and people lay down their coats or small branches on his path. Palms or small branches came to symbolize the event and here in Spain they design very elaborate statues with palms for the processions that mark the event. Unfortunately, we slept in and weren’t able to check the events today but last year we happened to be visiting the Monastery of Pedralbes during Palm Sunday and came across local families attending special services for it:

Family coming out of the church holding their palms:

Palm sunday

These two girls were the best, notice the elaborate palm creation they held:

Girls running away Palm sunday

It will be a holiday here from Thursday to Monday so I’ll be sure to go out and try to catch some pictures of semana santa…

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all pictures © Alexandra Guerson