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First weekend of 2017: Winter fun, Queen streetcar service disruption starts

Last Updated Jan 6, 2017 at 6:52 am EST

A child enjoys the Colonel Sam Smith Park skating trail in Etobicoke. HANDOUT/City of Toronto

Welcome to the first weekend of the new year. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get out of the house more, then you won’t have any trouble finding something to do in the city this weekend.

If you’re a TTC rider, especially one who rides the 501 Queen streetcar, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that service on the Queen streetcar will be disrupted in the west end due to construction. The good news is that this work is being done to provide better service for TTC riders in the long run.


Events

Hot Docs ‘best of 2016’
The new year begins with a recap of the best documentaries of 2016, which are being screened at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers until Jan. 12.

The Beatles visit a television studio in 1964. GETTY IMAGES/Mark and Colleen Hayward
The Beatles visit a television studio in 1964. GETTY IMAGES/Mark and Colleen Hayward

 

Some of the documentaries include ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week,’ directed by Ron Howard; ‘Under the Sun,’ an inside look at the North Korean government’s propaganda machine; ‘The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble’ and ‘Gleason,’ which is about former NFL star Steve Gleason’s journey after being diagnosed with ALS and includes a live video journal he made for his son before his son was born in 2011.

Run4RKids 2017
Start the new year right by taking part in a run that helps raise awareness and money for youth and their families who are going through trauma and addiction.

On Saturday, participants will be taking part in several half marathons and marathons at the Toronto Track and Field Centre at York University.

Participants who raise $500 in pledges can race any of the events for free.

Mayor’s Winter Skate Party
He makes ‘dad’ jokes and on Sunday you can hear them in-person at Mayor John Tory’s skating party.

The event, which is part of the 100 years of Maple Leafs Hockey celebration, is being held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Several councillors will also be joining in the fun.

Winter Bird Count for Kids
Explore winter bird species this weekend at the Winter Bird Count for Kids at Tommy Thompson Park. Toronto and Region Conservation and Bird Studies Canada will guide you through the experience, which runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.

Guests will learn to identify winter shorebirds, go for a snowy nature walk, and enjoy some family time outdoors. Binoculars and warm refreshments will be provided.

All levels of birding expertise are welcome. The event is free to attend.

Winter Week
Winter Week festivities will take over the city this weekend, before the event wraps up on Sunday. The weeklong celebration of 100 years of Maple Leafs Hockey kicked off on Tuesday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs salute the fans after beating the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Nov. 22, 2014. NHLI/Getty Images/Graig Abel
The Toronto Maple Leafs salute the fans after beating the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Nov. 22, 2014. NHLI/Getty Images/Graig Abel

 

The event offers outdoor skating, appearances from Leafs alumni and special guests, Hockey Hall of Fame displays, as well as games, activities, music and giveaways.

Saturday’s event will be held at Nathan Phillips Square from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday’s celebrations will take place at Colonel Samuel Smith Park from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Toronto Franchise Expo
Take the steps to owning your own business at the Toronto Franchise Expo. The two-day event teaches aspiring business owners the ins and outs of franchise ownership.

Over 140 businesses are represented at the event, including Trade Secrets, Mr. Sub, the UPS Store, Panago and Canadian Tire.

Seminars are included with admission, which is $10 at the door and $8 online. The expo runs Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

No Pants Subway Ride
Don’t be alarmed if you see some people taking the subway this Sunday sans pants. There is a reason for it: it’s the 15th anniversary of the No Pants Subway Ride.

The celebration began in 2002 in New York. It was started by a group called ‘Improv Everywhere’ and is hosted here in the city by the ‘No Pants Society.’

Those who want to ditch their “leg prisons” can meet at the designated waiting area at Finch Station at 3 p.m. Shortly after that, commuters will take to the underground rails and then march in a parade from Dufferin Station to Penny’s Bar on Bloor Street West for a ‘No Pants Dance After Party.’ The pantsless subway rides will continue until the subway closes for the night.

TTC

501 Queen streetcar disruption
Starting Sunday and for the rest of 2017, westbound streetcars will be turning back at Roncesvalles Avenue, so that track and bridge work can be done on The Queensway, Lake Shore Boulevard and at Humber Loop. Streetcars will be bypassing Humber Loop as well.

This means that anyone travelling between the Long Branch loop and Roncesvalles will need to rely on shuttle buses.

During the track and bridge work, buses will replace 501 Queen streetcars west of Roncesvalles Avenue, on The Queensway and Lake Shore Boulevard. TTC
During the track and bridge work, buses will replace 501 Queen streetcars west of Roncesvalles Avenue, on The Queensway and Lake Shore Boulevard. TTC