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TDSB to send placement letters instead of report cards

Alanna Kelly | posted Thursday, Jun 11th, 2015

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Elementary students in the Toronto District School Board won’t be sent home with report cards in June, TDSB confirmed on Thursday.

Instead, the more than 170,000 students will get letters confirming their placement for the upcoming school year.

TDSB said in a press release that the reason the report cards will not be sent is “due to the ongoing strike action this month.”

The decision comes one day after York and Peel public boards announced on Wednesday that elementary students will also be receiving placement letters instead of report cards.

“I know that students, parents and guardians highly value report card marks and comments and we regret that the current labour situation does not allow us to provide final report cards this year,” said Donna Quan, director of TDSB.

TDSB said that elementary teachers are currently taking part in a province-wide strike action which includes not recording student marks electronically for the purpose of creating report cards.

Letters will be provided to students by principals during the week of June 22.

The ultimate guide for Toronto’s summer festivals

Kristen Gomes | posted Wednesday, Jun 10th, 2015

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The warm weather has made its arrival and now it is time to make the best of it. Every year, Toronto holds hundreds of free festivals for the public. The festivals can be anything from food, celebration of culture, music and more. Some popular festivals in Toronto that you might not want to miss include the Canadian National Exhibition, Taste of Toronto, Free Flicks at Harbourfront, Pride Parade and Bestival to name just a few.

Here are 5 tips to prepare you for upcoming festivals:

Plan your travel – Planning your travel ahead makes it easy to makes it on time. A simple look at the location can save time whether it is looking for a public parking lot, TTC stop, or restaurant.

Check the weather – Do not let the weather ruin your day, and ensure that you will be prepared for it. You probably know a friend or two who have ventured outdoors and either over-dressed or under-dressed for the weather. It is important to check the weather for the event. It makes it easier to enjoy the event when you are prepared.

Dress comfortably – No matter how long you’re going to be out, comfort is key.  Sometimes it is okay to be comfortable than fashionable.

Pack smart – Avoid over-packing, no one enjoys hauling around a heavy bag around from one street to the other.  Bring the essentials: phone, wallet, sunscreen, and drink to stay hydrated. Try sticking to cash since most vendors most likely will not take credit or debit cards.

Have fun and enjoy –Now you are fully prepared to head to Toronto’s street festivals. Whether you are going heading out with your friends and family or alone  have fun! Toronto has hundreds of festivals throughout the summer. Check out for the list of summer festivals here.

What are your tips? Share them in the comments below!

Welcome to the Cityline 21-day boot camp!

Dr. Joey Shulman | posted Tuesday, Jun 9th, 2015

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Welcome to the Cityline 21-day boot camp! Over the next 21 days, I will be providing you with meal plans that are filled with detoxifying foods, foods that are anti-inflammatory and meal plans that are delicious and nutrient dense. Each day, you will also be provided with a health tip and a superfood suggestion. My goal is to keep this plan super simple, so you can follow along easily and enjoy. Trust me, having a plan and direction always makes your health goals easier to obtain!

Why 21 days?

After being in practice for over a decade, I can tell you 21 days is definitely enough time to make a permanent change in your health and create new behavioral patterns.

Here are some of the benefits of my 21-day boot camp.

  • Improved energy and decreased “brain fog”
  • Improved mood
  • Cessation of sugar, carbohydrate or salt cravings
  • Optimized digestion and reduced feelings of bloating
  • Improved sleep
  • Weight loss

So, enjoy the suggestions over the next 21 days. If you do find a meal or snack you really enjoy, feel free to repeat it over and over again. (I myself am a creature of habit and find eating in routine and repetition ideal for health).

For my daily meal plans and health posts, visit the Cityline 21-day boot camp page or see the list below. You can also follow me on Instagram or Twitter and watch for the hashtag #21daybootcamp.

Share your journey and join the conversation on the Cityline Facebook page.

Wishing you best health,
Dr. Joey

Daily meal plans

All meal plans include one serving size unless noted. Optimal water intake per day is two litres. Alcohol intake is not reviewed on this plan. I typically recommend a maximum of two to four drinks per week.

For more on daily meal plans, check it out here.

5 things to do this weekend: Mac & cheese festival

Patricia D'Cunha | posted Friday, Jun 5th, 2015

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June 5-7, 2015

Mega Pet Adoption Weekend: Pets can brighten up your day and make you laugh, and all they want from you is love and some belly rubs. Over 700 dogs and cats need a good home, and you can offer them one. The adoption fee is $25 for a spayed, neutered and vaccinated pet. Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place, 200 Princes’ Blvd. petsmartcharities.org

Mac ‘n Cheese Festival: What’s better than mouth-watering mac and cheese? A festival celebrating its cheesy goodness. Toronto chefs will be competing to win over your taste buds with their take on the classic dish. Relax in the beer garden as you listen to live music and street performers. Money raised from the event will help FoodShare Toronto deliver affordable fresh food to low-income communities. Free admission, prices vary for tasting tokens. Liberty Market, 171 East Liberty St. Friday (6-10 p.m.), Saturday (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and Sunday (noon to 4 p.m.). macandcheesefestival.ca

Royal Conservatory of Music Open House: If you or your child is interested in taking music lessons at the conservatory — which was founded in 1886 — explore what it has to offer at this meet and greet. Try out free lessons, meet the faculty, partake in music appreciation, and check out student concerts. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor St. W. rcmusic.ca

Walk for Alzheimer’s: Lace up your shoes and hit the pavement this weekend to help people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Money raised from the walk, which is being held in four locations in Toronto, goes to help those who have the disease and their loved ones, and fund research into finding a cure. Saturday. Locations: Centre Island (Toronto Island Park), Etobicoke (Etienne Brule Park), Midtown (Sherwood Park), and North York (G Ross Lord Park).alz.to

Haunted Toronto scavenger hunt: Mwhahahahaha … who says ghosts and scary tales are only reserved for Halloween? Toronto’s past is summoning the present in this Urban Capers scavenger hunt that uncovers some of the city’s upscale haunted past. Teams of two to six brave souls set out in the dark to gather answers to questions. Friday, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. urbancapers.com

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca or submit it online at CityNews.ca680News.com and via our iPhone and iPad apps.

Week of June 8, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jun 5th, 2015

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Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

Tune into BT Monday as Christina Cravero, the Style Mogul, chats about bridesmaid trends.

Stacy Irvine will be joining us in studio Wednesday.

And to end off the week Friday, Lucia Connor from Yorkdale Shopping Centre shares some of Dina’s styling and wardrobe secrets!

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!

Best of BT Weekend: June 5, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jun 5th, 2015

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BBQ 101: Everything you should and shouldn’t eat

Nutritional guru Rose Reisman gave us the low-down on BBQ 101–the things you should and should not eat.

Everything you need to know about cheese

Cheese expert Georgs Kolesnikovs taught us everything weed need to know about cheese.

Keeping your kids reading throughout the Summer

Robin Tameshtit showed us the books your kids will want to read this summer.

5 tips for affordable family travel

Today's Parent | posted Thursday, Jun 4th, 2015

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When my kids came along, my husband and I found ourselves with a mortgage, daycare fees and a dearth of cash for family travel. And yet, there were so many places I wanted my kids to see! So, I’ve made it my goal to get us where we want to travel on the cheap without sacrificing comfort. Read on for a few of my time-tested methods:

Set up a vacation fund

I have a high-interest savings account called “The England Fund” (for the first big trip we ever took with our kids). Whenever I get an unexpected cheque or save on a purchase, I squirrel away the extra cash. The bonus: I don’t feel guilty spending money that’s already been allocated for trips, but I don’t go crazy, either, because the fund becomes mybudget.

Be faithful to your frequent flyer plan

Pick one and stick to it—otherwise you could have miles or points accumulating in small batches everywhere, but never enough to book a flight. Not sure which plan best suits your spending habits and goals? Check out the credit card selector in the bottom-right corner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s website. Just plug in the required information about which province you live in, whether you tend to carry a balance on your card, if you’re willing to pay an annual fee and what rewards and benefits appeal to you most. It spits out a range of options, along with data about points and how they accumulate.

The right points plan

Keep in mind that when it comes to points plans, flexibility counts. Often, you can use points or miles to pay for hotel rooms, car rentals and admittance to special events, as well as airline tickets. Compare the benefits of driving to your destination and cashing in your points for a free hotel room. Alternatively, if you get the best return for your buck with a cashback credit card, choose that option and then plow the savings into your vacation fund.

Live la vida local

Over the years, my family has rented an Ontario cottage, a Tuscan villa and an apartment in Croatia. Letting a house, condo or cottage for a week is considerably cheaper than paying for a hotel, and you get space, privacy and a kitchen where you can throw together a meal. For Canada, try homeaway.ca or cottagesincanada.com, and for rentals around the world, check out vacationrentals.comairbnb.com or vrbo.com.

Don’t double up on travel insurance

Before you fork out the big bucks for insurance, find out if you’re already covered. Many premium credit cards provide trip cancellation and interruption insurance, rental-car insurance and out-of-country medical insurance as long as you use the card to book your flight, accommodation or rental car. Even if you have to pay a yearly fee in the range of $30 to $170 for the card, it could save you hundreds in insurance alone.

A version of this article appeared in our June 2014 issue with the headline “Sweet deals”, p. 32.

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