Niagara VegFest – 2015

Niagara VegFest kicks off the Vegfest season for me. I realize there is the Toronto Raw/Vegan Festival that same weekend, but driving down to the Niagara VegFest is always a nice opportunity to visit a few spots around Niagara Falls, NY too. The nice part about our occasional drives down to southern Ontario and northern New York State is that St. Catharines and the route to it and the area around it has become so familiar (in a good way.) We knew there was parking near the St. Catharines Farmers Market building just down the street at this massive (and free) public parking lot (so if it keeps happening in the same spot, and you didn’t know about this, now you do!) We arrived while things were already in full swing, and the first person I saw was photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur at her booth with cards and prints of her incredible work. She was also selling copies of We Animals, which is a beautiful and incredible touching heartbreaking powerful book I’m glad to have read the night it was launched. Jo-Anne is also working on a new project with Dr. Keri Cronin (who happens to be one of the founders of Niagara VegFest) that you should check out called Unbound – which is a  multimedia and book project that aims to recognize and celebrate the women at the forefront of animal advocacy – in both a contemporary and historical context. It’s a long term project, but you can follow along on facebook too if you want to. I know…

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Not Everyone Loves Marineland. – Marineland Opening Day Demo – May 18th.

Over a 1000 people joined in on the Marineland Opening Demo organized by Marineland Animal Defense this weekend. It felt like a pretty awesome show of solidarity with dozens of whistleblowers facing lawsuits, the captive marine and other animal life locked up in the jail/”amusement” park, as well as the community at large (please see GoHomeless.ca,) in addition to the various SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) they’ve thrown at organizers and the media and anyone else they don’t like (or threatened with lawsuits – even the OSPCA).

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A quick jump over to St.Catharines

Sometime last week I decided that I should finally pay an extended visit to St. Catharines, ON and eat some donuts straight from the source at Rise Above. Sure I was meeting some friends there (in theory), but we all know why I really went. It’s surprisingly easy to get down to St. Catharines from Toronto and there are multiple but since I was trying to keep costs to a minimum I took the regional GoTransit (which is a little over 30 dollars round-trip) but the greyhound is 40 round-trip. Being able to jump on a GoBus or Train, to get to almost anywhere (fun/interesting/random) in Ontario, is awesome. I think my excitement is definitely influenced by growing up on the prairies and not being in easily connected cities, we’re not kidding about the wide open prairies. There is something soothing about riding on the train. I know people that commute on it daily don’t necessarily feel the same way, but I enjoy it every time I’m on there. I’d do it more often if it wasn’t so expensive. I had to snap a random picture of one of the transit stations in Burlington, ON where I had to transfer from the Train to the Niagara/St.Catherines Bus. Is it just me or does it look like a space station? For some reason the moment I saw it, I thought of a Pogo Ball. First stop in St.Catherines is a Mall in the middle of nowhere, and unfortunately, St.Catharines Transit is…

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A Daytrip to Niagara Falls

Last Sunday I went with four international couchsurfers for my first real visit to Niagara Falls. The only other time I saw them was on a night run to NYC in passing. I was happy to go with other newcommers because I got the impression from talking with other Torontonians that one of the greatest wonders of the world had become commonplace. Now, I understand the feeling, in that going to Banff was not nearly as appealing as it seems to be to some of these eastcoasters. Nigara Falls is not particularly vegan friendly, or at least I didn’t get that impression. I might go down again just to try it again and do more exploring around the city, but I didn’t get the chance. Happy Cow has a couple of veg friendly restos listed, the friendliest place sounds like Sahara (6225 Thorold Stone Road, Niagara Falls, On) I’ll be honest, I went to one of the most unvegan places in the Clifton Hills Tourist District: Wendy’s. I was hungry, grumpy and tired. I had my standard baked potato, with some chives and some hot sauce. Yup. Most menu’s I checked out had really limited options, I’m sure they were veganizable (or not…) but my potato kept me going for a few hours. One of my fellow travellers needed to cross the rainbow bridge to enter the United States, and while she did that the rest of us walked along the edge towards the whirlpool. It was neat, but a…

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