Weekend Warrior: the Celebrate Yonge festival, The Ex, Blue Rodeo, the Ontario Summer Games and the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit
By Ben Fisher
Go Yonge Street! (Image: Ian Muttoo)
A street that was once known as the world’s longest deserves a party. The Celebrate Yonge festival (Aug. 17 - Sept. 16) is a pilot project for a city hoping to infuse energy into the downtown core. Instead of gridlock (for that, you’ll just have to look to the congested surrounding areas), Yonge Street between Queen and Gerrard will feature reduced traffic lanes to make extra room for pedestrians. The festival will also showcase a wide array of events.
It’s That Time of Year Again
The Ex (Aug. 17- Sept. 3) is back, folks. That means rides, games, attractions and deep-fried everything. New this year is the Sky Ride, hovering above the grounds to offer an eagle-eye view, along with the new Nitro roller coaster and even a zip line. The Food Building will once again serve as a glutton’s dream, with an all-bacon stand introduced this year, along with its polar opposite, a shop offering vegan fare. Concerts this year include Nick Carter, Don McLean and The Tea Party, with Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir starring in the skating exhibition. Let’s go to the Ex!
It’s That Time of Year Again (Again)
The Ex isn’t Toronto’s only annual late-summer staple. Once again this year, Blue Rodeo (Aug. 18, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre) will bring some local flavor to town for a night of bluesy rock alongside Great Lake Swimmers. Jim Cuddy and the gang probably won’t offer up too many surprises, but instead a reliable array of crowd-pleasing hits under a (hopefully) clear sky.
A Cure for Your Olympic Hangover
The Olympics Games in London ended last Sunday, leaving many Canadians scrambling to find something else to distract them at work. While it’s not quite the Olympics, the Ontario Summer Games (Aug. 16-19, across the city) offers a 28-sport fix for those still yearning for more amateur athletics. The Games, taking place in Toronto for the first time, brings nearly 2,500 athletes together for a chance to reign atop the country’s most populous province.
Those Dudes Were Big
The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest exhibit is a mixture of the (really) old and new — a dinosaur exhibit that also incorporates exciting new technologies to enhance the experience. Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants From Gondwana (on now) features some of the largest dinosaur skeletons ever mounted in Canada. Thanks to a downloadable iPhone and iPad app, visitors will also have the chance to see a digital rendering of the dinosaurs as they would have looked in the flesh.