Saturday, September 29, 2007

Russell Girl Filming in Port Credit

Update June 2010 filming - Two movie shoots in Port Credit:
See Lost Girl and Covert Affairs posts.

original  post:
It seems there's always something interesting to see when you go for a walk in the village of Port Credit in Mississauga. Some days, it's nothing more exciting than mallards swimming at the marina; other times, it's something wonderful like a Jazz festival.

This week, the excitement level is closer to the 'Jazz festival' rating: The Russell Girl, a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS that's in production in Toronto is doing some location shoots here in Port Credit, about 3 blocks from my home. (Look for the pylons and you'll find it.)

Signs around the neighbourhood direct cast and crew to various camps, like the Crew base camp set up near here (photo below). Others direct them to the feeding and waiting area in a local church. Everyone seems to take all the activity in stride, save a few impatient motorists who were honking horns to hurry along a crew member trying to remove pylons along Lakeshore.

The Russell Girl cast includes Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Jennifer Ehle, Tim DeKay, Henry Czerny and Amber Tamblyn, who plays "Sarah Russell, a 23-year-old aspiring medical school student who makes a rare visit to her small hometown." The houses being used for the small town location are right from central casting -- ie they couldn't be more perfect. As I walked down the street (where the night before, the big light on a crane was simulating daylight), I noticed each house had a 'new' old fashioned mailbox out front, including one with 'Russell' stamped in red letters. Another front yard had wonderful new astroturf-style grass -- we've had a very dry summer here and it must have needed help.

When Russell Girl wraps, we'll be back to looking for excitement from simpler things, like these Canada geese on a pond in Saddrington Park.

Update January 25, 2008
Half-page ad in the Toronto Star today for the premiere to air Sunday January 27, 2008
Great picture of Amber Tamblyn standing on the tree-lined street in Port Credit!

Update March 21, 2008 Good Friday in Mississauga.
On the street where the Russell Girl lived, Port Credit, Ontario

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mallards, Condo Views, and Mississauga Lakeshore

(NB: If you came here looking for Lakeshore Mississauga Port Credit Canada Day fireworks and party etc. the info is posted HERE!!!.)

Today's blog is a photo blog with some Mississauga pictures I took last week. (I'm in the middle of moving my photo site to a CMS system, so I am tied up with that) I hope these will suffice. More travel news coming soon!

This first picture below is of two mallards swimming alongside the pier at Snug Harbour (the popular restaurant near the lighthouse -- I voted for their chef's entry in last weekend's fundraiser chili contest -- great chili!) The water on the marina side (not the Credit river side) was so clear, I couldn't believe it!

Just behind Ten Restaurant in Port Credit, there's a block of really nice looking terraced condos. I took this photo from the east patio entrance looking south towards Lake Ontario.

Go to the end of the sidewalk in the above photo, and you come to the seawalk. This is the view looking east to Toronto. This spot always catches the cool lake breezes -- feels like the AC is on.

The photo below is from the same location as above, just looking more to the north and closer to the water.

I just loved the colors of the goldenrod and the purple loosestrife growing in the stones along the Snug Harbour pier (near the mallards in the top photo.)

West from the Credit River mouth / harbour area along the lake, the latest bloom of algae to come ashore was vivid green. A few days later, on the weekend when a group of us were cleaning up litter and stuff from Rhododendron Park, the algae was yucky brown, and smelling much like compost. Also notable were the mounds -- literally 18 inches high and 3-4 feet across in places -- of what I was told were zebra mussel shells. The shells were white and translucent, and empty of actual mussels.

So that's it for today. My tech support in Australia is awake soon, so we can get working on getting the photos to appear on my photo site. Ah, the irony. I can only imagine the disappointment and perplexity of someone surfing images today, and clicking on one for my site, then coming to the site and finding little boxes of text saying what is in the picture. Irony reigns!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Working Men Aid Crosswalk Safety in Mississauga

On this very fine last day of summer, I was walking east along Lakeshore Road in Port Credit. At Mississauga Road, I couldn't help notice that the crosswalk positively gleamed in the bright sunshine. It almost hurt to look at it. It was the whitest crosswalk I had ever seen. Obviously, it had been freshly re-painted and it looked wonderful. This is a busy intersection and it would do a lot to increase the safety for pedestrians here. I continued walking and soon found the working men responsible for the newly painted crosswalks, and stopped to watch and see how they did it.

The men first measured and marked the width with spray paint at both ends of the crosswalk, then placed a thin chain flat on the street between the opposing curbs, and ran a thin line of spray paint to mark it. At that point I asked one of them how they planned to paint the grid (after I told them I was a big fan of their work at Mississauga Road). Did they perhaps use a stencil? No - they measured the grid themselves to customize it according to street width.

Two men continued marking out the crosswalks on both sides of Lakeshore Road (just west of the lighthouse in Port Credit), finishing with laying metal strips crosswise to act as a straight edge for the stripes. Men working in the back of the truck were mixing a bucket of paint. Then they began to fill in the stripes. In the picture above, a metal rectangle with no bottom is laid on the street and filled with plasticized white paint. It's then pulled across the width to 'paint' in the stripes. The paint has to be applied in dry and fairly warm weather, and dries in about 10 minutes, tops. To give the crosswalk additional safety and visibility, the freshly painted stripes are immediately sprinkled with a generous amount of glass beads. The beads adhere to the wet paint and are set fast. (The man in the upper left corner of the picture is scattering the glass beads.) These beads are recycled from broken windshields. Cool, eh?

Here is a closer look at the stripe. Notice the metal strip guide in the lower right. (Sorry about my shadow -- there was a lot of traffic just a few feet in any direction, so I had to watch out. Drivers intent on getting into the Starbucks on this corner for their caffeine fix are not to be trusted!)

Here's another view of the newly painted crosswalk. The work men painted one lane on one side of Lakeshore, then crossed over and painted one lane on the other side of Lakeshore. By alternating and blocking off the new painted lane, the wet paint wouldn't be ruined by traffic.

As I walked back to Mississauga Road and was waiting to cross, I looked down. Sure enough, some passing cyclist had left a perfect tire print gouged into what must have then been wet paint. It had left a mark in the plastic paint and glass beads mixture just as if it had been fresh cement. The paint apparently lasts for 5-10 years before it needs re-painting, so that bike tire impression will last a long time.

What, you may well ask, does any of this have to do with travel? Well, I have seen a lot of this style of zebra striping crosswalk in other cities around the world -- Australia and Hong Kong come to mind -- but I can't recall seeing many in Canada. Nice to know that my 'home and native land' is getting with the safety program when it comes to crosswalks!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Monaco Yacht Show, Princess Grace Celebrations This Fall

If you're a yachtie, you may already be planning to be among the expected 24,000 visitors in Monaco for the Monaco Yacht Show, September 19-22, 2007. Even if you're not 'with boat', but will be traveling though Europe, why not drop by and get a glimpse of the good life.

This year, too, Monaco is marking the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Grace of Monaco, October 16-26. (Events are being held in New York, as well.)

It's been more years than I care to count since last I was in magical Monaco. If you can, you should go. I traveled there during early May, when hotel rooms could still be had, before being turfed out in favor of the glitterati attending the Cannes Film Festival, and the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Ah, Good times!