Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Dominion Canada Day!

A patriotic house on Woodbine Ave.
It's been an absolutely gorgeous day for the Canada Day celebrations at Stan Wadlow Park in East York. Sarah and I got up this morning and grabbed a quick cup of coffee before we headed outside onto Woodbine Ave. to catch the parade as it traveled its final few metres before entering the park. There are a few clouds now, which have helped to cool things off a little, but we soaked up quite a bit of sun while we were at the parade and then at the fair (twice), and it kind of has me "zonked". Also, this should be a holiday, so today's post is going to be more of a "photo journal" than anything. I look forward to your angry emails.

Sarah and the (non-functioning) Ferris wheel at noon
So let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. As I mentioned yesterday on my blog and lamented more than once today on Facebook and Twitter, the midway this year has been a tremendous disappointment. This picture was taken at 11:30 this morning, after the parade and at the exact moment the rides and games were all supposed to be open for business. As you can see, they were a long way from being ready to go; in fact, the Ferris wheel behind Sarah wasn't running until 3:30 PM, four hours after it was supposed to. On our second trip to the park we stood near someone from the organizing committee who was very politely but firmly chastising a representative from the midway providers, asking why the Ferris wheel didn't even arrive until 11PM last night, why there were so few activities, why the booths weren't open until well after noon, and on and on and on. The company rep spent all of his time lamenting how little sleep he, personally, had had this past week and deflecting the blame in any way he could. At one point he promised the organizer that there would be "twice as many rides next year and much better, too". But since this is at least the fourth year this particular company has had the contract to provide the midway for East York (which has been smaller, crummier and later in opening each and every one of those years), I would have to say that if they are given the contract again next year then the entire organizing committee for the East York Canada Day celebrations should be replaced.

By the way, in case any of you reading this are ever charged with hiring a company to provide rides and midway games for an event, I would recommend that you avoid "Outdoor Amusements" operating out of Scarborough. They clearly have no idea what they are doing and, judging from the size of the cars (a Caddy and an Audi) that two of the owner/operators showed up in today after the fair hadn't opened on time, it's obvious to me that not a lot of money is being invested in ride upkeep or paying for people to actually put the fairs together. There are a lot of kids and adults at the park today that are disappointed, disgusted or outright angry about the way things have turned out. I know for a fact that some of these kids have saved their money for today and there's so little to spend it on.

Anyhow, that was the black mark on the day. There were many more positives, like the weather, the parade (tremendous fun), the booths (many more than previous years) and the pool (open and jam-packed). Here are some of my favourite pictures from the parade:

Blinky in the current cop colours
Old jeep and older passenger

Vintage fire truck
I love these hillbillies every year

Quilty car, one of Sarah's faves
Sole member of the "Red Man Group"

Here are some pipers in the parade...

Nine pipers piping

...and here are the same pipers post-parade, having congregated in the same backyard on the street beside our building that they have every year since we moved here...

Five pipers...erm...not piping a photo that was taken immediately after they performed this:

So far, being invited into that backyard to film the playing of O Canada on the pipes has been the highlight of my day. I hope the fireworks can compare favourably.

That's it for now. I have a few more pictures and videos which I will post tomorrow along with a summary of the fireworks display. Also, my apologies: this turned out to be every bit as wordy as a "normal" blog posting. Nevertheless, wherever you are, if you're Canadian I hope you are having a fantastic Canada Day. Now I need a nap, because I am old and if I don't get one I may not make it through the pyrotechnics tonight.


  1. Yes, the pipers were fantastic, and it was really a thrill to see them up close!


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