Caribbean Carnival: Toronto’s Junior Carnival Parade moves to Downsview Park – Toronto Star

Toronto Star
More than 2,000 people will be attending the free children’s event known as Junior Carnival Parade on July 21, which has been held the past eight years in the Jane-Finch area. It was so popular that organizers decided to move it to the larger venue.

Charles Roach, who in 1968 helped launch Caribana, the precursor to the carnival, smiled broadly as youngsters got ready AND flamboyantly flailed in bright pinks, oranges and baby blues with drums beating and music blaring.
Downsview Park is a park in the community of Downsview in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that first was home to de Havilland Canada, later also a Canadian Forces Base.
Area: 593 acres (240 ha)
Address: 35 Carl Hall Road, Toronto, Ontario M3K 2N6, Canada

Canadian prostitution law amended to allow legal brothels in Ontario

Global National news reports on the landmark ruling in Ontario court
that deems brothels legal in Ontario

Oshawa mayor gives 10 reasons why Oshawa is not the middle of nowhere. Take … – Toronto Star

Toronto Star
Oshawa mayor gives 10 reasons why Oshawa is not the middle of nowhere. Take
Toronto Star
REASON #4: Oshawa’s version of the festival formerly known as Caribana is Fiesta Week. “We’re fairly diverse and multicultural,” Henry says, noting that the Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Caribbean, Ukrainian and German communities are just a few of those who set up in June for their Carnival
When Canadian singer Jann Arden had a tiff with VIA Rail she was asked to leave the Ottawa-bound train with her contraband dog, she disembarked in Oshawa. Instead of using the city’s “prepare to be amazed” slogan, she called it “the middle of nowhere” on Twitter.Arden has since apologized, saying she was referring to the “10 acres of parking lot” that greeted her.

Certainly, she’d feel differently if she was let off downtown. They have free 30-minute parking at city hall, Mayor John Henry gives out Oh Henry! bars as business cards and bureaucrats smile as you walk by.

Toronto through the eyes of Olivia Chow – blogTO (blog)

blogTO (blog)
Toronto through the eyes of Olivia Chow
blogTO (blog)
Spotting Chow riding her trademark flower-decorated bike along the waterfront isn’t an unusual site (neither is seeing her at protests shaking hands or at yearly events like Caribana and Pride).

What’s one Toronto event or festival that you try your best not to miss every year?

Nuit Blanche. I go every year because of the excitement and inspiration generated by all the art around town. Also because it is free, many art lovers who normally can`t afford the entrance fees can participate.

Dragonaires hit the road – Jamaica Observer

Dragonaires hit the road
Jamaica Observer
From the 3-6, they will play the Caribana Festival in Toronto before moving on to Britain 7-9. For the remainder of the month, the Dragonaires have shows booked for the Canadian cities of Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton. The Dragonaires was formed in

1963 footage of Byron Lee & The Dragoinaires demonstrating the latest dance craze from Jamaica: the Ska! with shared vocal duties

The Dragonaires was formed in 1955 by Byron Lee while he was a student at St George’s College in Kingston. The band had marginal success in the ska era of the early 1960s, but made a name for itself a decade later by recording a series of wellreceived calypso albums and songs.

The current Dragonaires lineup has one original member, percussionist Carl Brady. Other long-serving members are keyboardist Neville Hinds, trombonist/vocalist Sammy Johnson and guitarist Errol Gayle.

Lee, who initiated Jamaica Carnival in 1990, died in November, 2008 at age 73

Read more:

A mother speaks – Trinidad Guardian

Trinidad Guardian
A mother speaks
Trinidad Guardian
The news of Greaves’ death spread like wildfire with local newspapers carrying the headline: “Trini Shot dead in Toronto, Canada”—the country in which he resided with his family at the time of his passing. Finding out a loved one has passed is never Visiting T&T for a month, this certified social worker hopes to meet with the relevant organisations and government officials to implement her programme locally.
“We must become cognisant of the struggles of young people and we must do all in our power to give them hope,” she admonished.

Tobago does not need a second Carnival – Trinidad & Tobago Express

Tobago does not need a second Carnival
Trinidad & Tobago Express
In a television interview, the Minister of Tobago Development, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, in response to a question on nearby competing carnivals, stated the plan to hold another carnival in Tobago in October did not coincide with any other Caribbean carnivals.

There are some carnivals which, although being held in months other than October, are, in my opinion, still vying for the limited time and resources of “would-be ” travellers, including returning Trinbagonians.

There is the Barbados Crop Over, Grenada’s Spice Mas, St Vincent’s Vincy carnival, St Lucia carnival and other lesser-known carnival-type festivals, for example, Junkanoo in the Bahamas. Further, in North America, from which we will expect most of our visitors, there are the Trinidad-style Labour Day Parade in Brooklyn, New York; Miami carnival in Florida; Philadelphia carnival in Pennsylvania; and, more recently, Baltimore carnival in Maryland, all in the US; and Caribana in Toronto, Canada.

In addition, it is apparent that the Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism and his Government have not given consideration to the fact that the month of October is one of the wettest months in the year.

Maybe having a day allocated for a “Trinidad-style” Carnival during the Tobago Heritage Festival will not only give a boost to this festival but will be cost-effective.
and more »

"Absolute integrity" – NOW Magazine

NOW Magazine

Gary Webster became an unlikely hero, a quiet, meticulous civil servant, well known globally and respected for his expertise while rarely talked about at home – mostly because he was too busy implementing change to worry about interviews.

Webster’s leadership ensured that the TTC continues to be one of the three lowest-cost transit agencies in the world, per passenger carried or kilometre travelled – something we as taxpayers and fare-paying riders should be proud of.

During his time as CGM, the TTC started giving tours, participating in Doors Open Toronto, the Pride parade and Caribana and engaging young students as TTC Ambassadors at events.  

Former Toronto Asantefuohene Passes Away – GhanaWeb

Former Toronto Asantefuohene Passes Away
He was the 2nd Asantefuohene of Toronto from 1986 to 1988. It was during his reign as the Asantefuohene of Toronto that the Ashanti Canadian Cultural Group participated in the Caribana festival, now known as Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival,  

The best way to beat February blahs? Carnival and Mardi Gras and Shrove … – National Post

National Post
The best way to beat February blahs? Carnival and Mardi Gras and Shrove
National Post
Toronto’s most famous carnival celebration is, of course, the festival formerly known as Caribana(now Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival) — transplanted to summer because of the weather — but February offers a carnival smorgasbord in town as well.

For a taste of carnival Brazilian style, head to Rodeo Brazilian Steakhouse (95 Danforth Ave., 416-465-0969).

The spirit of New Orleans is alive at Southern Accent (595 Markham St., 416-536-3211,, which is holding a Cajun house party for Mardi Gras (Feb. 21).

At Big Daddy’s Bourbon Street Bistro and Oyster Bar (212 King St. W., 416-599-5200, there’s a Mardi Gras party on Tuesday, with free beads and samplings of New Orleans-themed cocktails and snacks. From 7 to 11 p.m., Gene Hardy and the Pipsqueak Orchestra will play swing jazz and blues..

“The Swiss always have their carnival one week later than the Germans do,” says Helmut Enser, owner of German restaurant The Musket, which serves as home base for Canadysli, Toronto’s version of Swiss carnival, which has been taking place annually since 1976 (40 Advance Rd., 416-231-6488,

In Basel, Morgestraich starts on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, but here it falls on Feb. 25, beginning at 7 a.m. and running until about 10:30 a.m. Canadysli is an outdoor parade with indoor entertainment in full carnival style, with masked characters, surreal costumes and the dissonant chords of Canadysli Guggemusig, the house marching band. “They play false tunes on purpose; it’s really hilarious,” Enser says.

Participants and observers can restore flagging spirits with a Canadian breakfast or Swiss specialties such as mehlsuppe, a hearty flour-based soup with shredded cheese, onion quiche and küchli, a thin and crispy pancake dusted with icing sugar. On March 3, The Musket hosts a carnival masquerade ball with an optional dinner, raffle, live music from the Rail City Kings and, of course, the Canadysli Guggemusig.


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