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Burger King in talks to buy Tim Hortons

CityNews | posted Monday, Aug 25th, 2014

It could be a whopper of a deal.

Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Hortons Inc. and form a new publicly listed company that would be based in Canada.

They said in a statement Sunday night that Canada would be the largest market of the combined company.

The statement said 3G Capital, the majority owner of Burger King, would continue to own the majority of the shares of the new company on a pro forma basis, with the remainder held by existing shareholders of Tim Hortons and Burger King.

The companies say Oakville-based Tim Hortons and Miami-based Burger King would operate as standalone brands while benefiting from shared corporate services, practices as well as global scale.

“A key driver of these discussions is the potential to leverage Burger King’s worldwide footprint and experience in global development to accelerate Tim Hortons growth in international markets,” the statement reads.

The statement adds that the new corporation would be the world’s third-largest quick service restaurant company, with approximately $22 billion in system sales and over 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide.

The companies say they will not comment further unless there is a deal.

Tim Horton’s is well known for its coffee which is a high margin area where U.S. fast food giants have raced to grab market share.

Recently Burger King has been adding more coffee items to its menus in order to catch up with its rival McDonald’s.

This is not the first time Tim Horton’s has been owned by an American burger chain. For nearly 15 years the company was owned by Wendy’s after a deal was struck with founder Dave Thomas in 1995.

With files from The Canadian Press

Week of August 25, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Aug 24th, 2014

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Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

We’re decoding midway food with nutritionist Rose Reisman on Monday.

On Thursday, rapper-producer Kardinal Offishall stops by the BT studios.

Plus, on Friday, a performance from Canadian rock and reggae band, illScarlett!

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

5 things to do this weekend: BuskerFest, Walk for the Children and Taiwanfest

Michael Talbot | posted Saturday, Aug 23rd, 2014

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Aug. 22-24

BuskerFest: This long-running festival in support of Epilepsy Toronto brings an eclectic mix of street performers to Toronto’s downtown core. From puppets and musicians to contortionists and magicians, this three-day event promises a full slate of jaw-dropping talent. Yonge Street, from Queen to College. Friday to Sunday. Free. torontobuskerfest.com

Walk for the Children: In support of the Herbie Fund at the Hospital for Sick Children, this family-friendly walking tour of the Toronto Zoo raises money to support lifesaving surgeries for kids from around the world. There will also be a BBQ, games, and live entertainment. CityNews anchor Gord Martineau, a longtime Herbie Fund supporter, will also be on hand. Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Rd. Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $20-$35. Children under three are free. herbiefund.com

Taiwanfest: Immerse yourself in Taiwan’s unique music, dance, art and food over this three-day event. Some festival highlights include the Symphony of Movies — a celebration of Taiwanese filmmakers and the Pili Puppetry fashion show. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W. Friday to Sunday. Free.harbourfrontcentre.com

Waterfront Beach Festival: This fully licenced party on the beach will feature a slew of talented DJs from around the world. You must be 19 to attend. No dress code is in effect, so bring your beach attire. HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay W. Saturday. 1:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. www.wantickets.com

Rastafest: Drawing from the rich history of Rastafarian culture, the highlight of this event is a live concert featuring reggae stars from Canada and the Caribbean. The festival has a strong focus on education, with information booths where attendees can learn more about the Rastafarian culture. Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Rd. Saturday. 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. $10 at the gate; $7 in advance. rastafest.com

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca or submit it online at CityNews.ca or via our mobile apps.

12 ways to save money on back-to-school clothes

Suzanne Gardner | posted Friday, Aug 22nd, 2014

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Back-to-school shopping is often a source of dread for parents — mostly because they’re afraid of spending way too much money. It’s easy to go overboard once you hit the mall, but we want to help you keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your wallet! Before you hit the shops, check out our key ways to ease the burden on your bank account, while still getting the clothes you need.

1. Start by going through your child’s current wardrobe. This is the most important first step! Before doing anything else, go through your child’s closet and drawers to get a clear picture of what fall clothes they already have and what needs to be replaced.

2. Make a list — and stick to it! Now that you’ve gone through your child’s current wardrobe, make a list of what you need to buy to supplement their existing clothes. Whether you make that list on a piece of paper or on your phone, don’t stray from that list! Once you start doing that, it’s a slippery slope towards going way over your budget. And speaking of budgets…

3. Make a budget — and stick to it! Once you’ve made your list, you can figure out what your budget is. Some might find it easier to make an overall budget for your shopping trip, while others might prefer to break down the spending into categories such as shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, etc. To help you stick to your budget, try explaining to your child what your budget is and why, so that they might not bug you into buying that really expensive pair of shoes…well, it’s worth a try, right?

4. Spend more money and buy less often. This might sound counter-intuitive to saving money, but if you shell out a bit more cash for a better quality item, it’ll hopefully last a bit longer in your child’s closet. If you can, choose cotton over polyester, merino wool over acrylic, and maybe even get that sweater in a slightly bigger size so that your child will fit in it for another year!

5. Recoup your costs by selling good quality clothes. If your child has grown out of some clothes that are still in good, wearable condition, you can sell them to used clothing stores, consignment stores, or at a yard sale, as a way of making back some of your initial spendings. (Donating your child’s old clothes to a charitable organization is also a great idea!)

6. Host a clothing swap. Do you know a lot of other parents who might be looking to save a few bucks on new clothes for their kids? Host a clothing swap afternoon where parents can bring old, good quality clothes that don’t fit their kids anymore, and exchange them with someone else’s old gems!

7. Check out secondhand stores or thrift shops. Again, this is another great way to get some good quality, used clothes at a lower price. If you’re lucky, you might find some brand name pieces at discounted prices!

8. Buy later! Sure, you’ll want to get a few nice new items for your child for the first week back at school, but if you save the bulk of your shopping for a few weeks later, you’ll be able to take advantage of fall sales!

9. Put a limit on splurge items. If you’re bringing your child to the mall with you, it’s inevitable that they’re going to see a few really pricey items that they think they absolutely need to have. So before you hit the stores, tell your child that they’re only getting one or two splurge items — and stick to it!

10. Focus on basic, timeless pieces and only mix in a few trendy items per season. If you stock your child’s closet with a lot of jeans, khakis, basic tees and sweaters, a few new accessories can make the outfit look brand-new again.

11. Extend the season with layering items. A cute summer dress can be worn straight into fall just by adding leggings and a cardigan!

12. Keep an eye out for sales so that you can shop smart year-round. Don’t leave all of your back-to-school shopping for the end of August. Try to keep an eye on the sales so that you can take advantage of great deals all year round!

How do you save money on your back-to-school clothes shopping? Share your tips in the comments below!

How to remove corn from the cob quickly and easily

Irene Ngo | posted Thursday, Aug 21st, 2014

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We love our fresh Ontario sweet corn! While it’s delicious grilled and eaten straight from the cob, the sweet kernels also make a great addition to summer salads and sides. Removing corn from the cob can be a messy job, so I’ll show you an easy way to keep those kernels under control.

Sweet corn season only lasts until early fall, so make sure to pick up a bushel on your next farmers’ market trip to use in these recipes!

Harvest corn pancakes
Easy chicken tostadas
Sausage and corn salad
Herbed miso corn
Summer corn-pasta salad

TTC video offers preview of new state-of-the-art streetcars

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Aug 21st, 2014

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Transit users are getting their first look at the new bigger, safer, more accessible streetcars, which are set to debut later this month on the Spadina route.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has rolled out a new video to help riders get familiar with the state-of-the-art fleet.

In the video, the TTC outlines many of the features that come with the new cars, including more doors for boarding, wheelchair ramps, air conditioning, and bike racks.

The new streetcars also have twice the capacity of the current ones and four doors for boarding and exiting.

The video shows passengers how to open the doors themselves at less busy stops.

In the video, TTC CEO Andy Byford said the news streetcars will get riders where they want to go faster.

“These vehicles feature four sets of doors, so customers will be able to board and exit the streetcar at any of those doors,” Byford said.

“That’s good news because quicker boarding and exiting means less time spent at stops and that means better, quicker service.”

The first of the new streetcars will debut on the 510 Spadina route on Aug. 31, Then, over the next five years, more than 200 of them will completely replace the older fleet.

Currently, around 250,000 riders take streetcars on a daily basis.

Earlier this month, the TTC proposed implementing the proof-of-payment (POP) system on all 11 streetcar routes as early as Jan. 1, 2015, in an effort to speed up commuting time for riders.

Originally, the TTC had planned to phase in POP gradually over the next five years with the rollout of the new fleet of streetcars, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

A city staff report concluded the top reason for delays on the busy King streetcar line is passengers taking their time getting on and off the vehicles.

The TTC board approved a new transit plan at their meeting Tuesday. It includes nine major recommendations for improving TTC service, including time-based transfers and adding more express bus routes.

With files from Jaime Pulfer, 680News.com

Mairlyn Smith’s tips for food safety in the home

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Aug 19th, 2014

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We love that Cityline viewers like to prepare and cook so many meals at home, but it’s important to do so safely! Protect yourself and your family from food poisoning (something over 4 million Canadians suffer from every year!) with these basic food safety rules from Mairlyn Smith.

CLEANING:

  • Make sure your hands and the counters are clean before and after touching food.
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, sing a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to yourself, or pretend you are in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy just before a surgical procedure.
  • Designate a cutting board for fruits and vegetables and a separate one for meat, fish, and poultry.
  • Never transfer cooked meat, fish, or poultry onto a plate that was used for raw meat, fish, or poultry.
  • Avoid kitchen sponges — they are a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Wipe counters with paper towels OR change your dishcloth daily. Wash the dishcloth in hot soapy water and air dry.
  • To sanitize counters use Health Canada’s recommendation of 5 mL/1 tsp bleach to 750/2.5 L water.
  • Wash your reusable grocery bags often.
  • Wash out your cooler bags often.
  • Wash out lunch bags every day.
  • Rinse all produce under cold running water just before use including hard-peeled vegetables and fruits, i.e. watermelon, squash, etc.
  • Use a vegetable brush on skinned produce like potatoes, apples, pears, etc.

CHILLING:

  • Let the food safety rule “keep hot foods hot and cold food cold” become your food safety mantra. The temperature danger zone for food is between 4 °C (40 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F). Keep foods above or below these temperatures.
  • Keep your refrigerator at 40°F/4°C or lower and your freezer at -18 °C (0 °F) or lower.
  • Bring raw meat, fish, or poultry home from the grocery store and refrigerate as soon as possible or within two hours in the cooler months. If it’s in the summer, put it in ASAP.
  • Store raw meat, fish, and poultry away from other foods in separate containers to prevent any raw juices dripping on other foods. Best place to store them is on the bottom shelf.
  • Store raw meat, fish, or poultry no longer than two to three days in the refrigerator. If it’s any longer than that, freeze and thaw as needed.
  • When freezing foods, place in a freezer bag or container to avoid freezer burn and label with the date.
  • Don’t overcrowd your fridge as you need proper cold air circulation.
  • Thawing: even though your mom may have thawed frozen meat, fish, and poultry on the kitchen counter, doesn’t mean it gets the green light. NEVER thaw anything on the kitchen counter. Thaw in the fridge, in the microwave, or in a sink full of cold water changing the water every 30 minutes.

COOKING:

  • The only way to tell that meat, fish, and poultry is cooked is with a food thermometer. Investing in one is the most important tool in food safety you will have.
  • Have a pot of chili on the stove for a crowd? Keep hot foods at or above 60ºC (140°F).
  • Cooked meat, fish, and poultry should be stored in separate containers within one – two hours after being cooked and should be eaten within two to four days. Remember you can’t smell bacteria until it’s so far gone that food poisoning is sure to occur. When in doubt, throw it out.

For more of Mairlyn’s great tips, check out the videos here at Cityline.ca

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