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Canadian tenor Michael Burgess dead at age 70 after battle with cancer: friend

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Sep 28th, 2015

A family friend says Canadian tenor Michael Burgess has died at age 70.

Bruce Bowser says Burgess died in a Toronto hospice on Monday evening surrounded by members of his family.

Burgess had been battling cancer for a number of years and was best known for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the Toronto production of “Les Miserables.”

He also took the role across Canada on the first national tour of the production as well as appearing for the 10th anniversary concert at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Burgess was also known to hockey fans for singing the national anthem for many years at Toronto Maple Leafs home games and was the first person to sing “O Canada” at a World Series baseball game.

Bowser says a funeral for Burgess is planned for Oct. 5.

Man sets fire to gas pump while trying to burn spider near fuel door

The Associated Press | posted Monday, Sep 28th, 2015

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A man with an apparent case of arachnophobia caused a fire at a suburban Detroit gas pump by putting a lighter to what he says was a spider near his fuel door.

WJBK-TV reported on Saturday that he escaped injury and his vehicle suffered little damage, but the gas pump was destroyed.

A clerk shut off the pump from indoors and called the fire department.

The motorist can be heard on the surveillance video at the Center Line station asking: “Is that a spider in there?” The video then shows flames erupting along the car’s side, the pump and the pavement.

The man darts to safety and later uses a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. A spider is not seen.

The clerk says he apologized the next day.

First weekend of fall is here: what you need to know

Patricia D’Cunha and Amber LeBlanc | posted Saturday, Sep 26th, 2015

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It’s the first weekend of fall and there’s no shortage of things to do in the city and beyond to celebrate the start of the new season. Quench your thirst at the Toronto Cider Festival and devour some chocolate at Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show.

The vibrant season also brings with it optimism and hope with the Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer charity event.

As you make your plans, plan ahead for some closures as well. The Don Valley Parkway will be closed for a portion of the weekend, and the SRT will be shut down the entire weekend.

Road closures

DVP fall maintenance
The Don Valley Parkway will be closed in both directions between Highway 401/404 and the Gardiner Expressway from 12:01 a.m. on Sunday to 5 a.m. on Monday for fall maintenance.

Traffic on the Don Valley Parkway. SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/Floydian
Traffic on the Don Valley Parkway. SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/Floydian

Nutrience Oakville Half Marathon
Lakeshore Road West from Third Line to Dorval Drive will be closed from 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. on Sunday. Jones Street is off-limits from Rebecca Street to Lakeshore from 7:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Harvest Festival
Drivers won’t be able to access two eastbound lanes of Dundas Street West from Runnymede Road to Fisken Avenue from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Toronto 10 Miler and 5K
Road closures will be in effect in the Port Lands area – Cherry and Leslie streets, and Lake Shore Boulevard – from 5 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Note: Consult the list again on Friday for added/updated closures.

TTC closure

SRT shutdown
If you’re a transit rider in Scarborough, give yourself some extra time. There’s no train service on the SRT (Line 3) between Kennedy and McCowan stations on Saturday and Sunday.

The TTC says crews will be conducting upgrades and maintenance work on signals, cables, wiring and the power rail.

Replacement shuttle buses will be running and stopping at all stations.

501 Queen streetcar on diversion

For the next two weekends – Sept. 26-27 and Oct. 3-4 – the 501/301 Queen streetcars will divert west of Greenwood Avenue.

Crews will be replacing worn rails at the streetcar stops on Queen Street at Alton Avenue and Laing Street.

The 501 and 301 Queen streetcars will divert using Broadview Avenue, Gerrard Street and Coxwell Avenue.

A replacement bus service will be provided on Queen between the Neville Park Loop and the intersection of Queen and River streets.

Regular service will resume on Monday morning.

Events

Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show
Bake up some fun this weekend by taking a gourmet tour with delectable treats around every corner. The baking and sweets show, which is one of North America’s biggest event of its kind, runs from Friday to Sunday at the Toronto Congress Centre. This year’s theme is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Click here for ticket prices.

Treats at Canada's Baking and Sweets Show. Photo via facebook.com/CanadasBakingAndSweetsShow
Treats at Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show. Photo via facebook.com/CanadasBakingAndSweetsShow

Toronto Cider Festival
Toast the first weekend of fall with a brand new event at Yonge-Dundas Square. Taking place on Saturday, the Toronto Cider Festival will give you a chance to try a variety hard ciders from around the country. There will also be food trucks on hand and music during the day and evening sessions. Ticket prices are $30 and $60.

Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer
Car! Road hockey warriors will face off on Saturday for a very good cause. It features over 100 teams playing and raising money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. A number of celebrities are set to attend including Johnny Bower, Glenn Healy, Paul Henderson and Eric Lindros.

Nutrience Oakville Half Marathon
There’s still time to register for one of the last running events of the season. The annual Oakville event, which takes place on Sunday, includes a half-marathon, 10K run/walk, 10K student relay, 5K run/walk, and a 2K run/walk.

Word on the Street Festival
If the sight and smell of books makes you do the happy dance, then this is the place for you on Sunday. This year, the book and literacy celebration is taking over Harbourfront Centre. You can browse through several book stalls, listen to book readings, attend literary workshops, and meet authors from various genres. Admission is free.

A second hand book stall. GETTY IMAGES/Grady Coppell
A second hand book stall. GETTY IMAGES/Grady Coppell

Woofstock
Are you blue about summer’s departure? You need to accentuate the “paws-itive” like our furry friends will be doing this weekend at Woodbine Park, home to the largest outdoor festival for dogs in North America. Your pooch can check out the latest in dog treats, meet up with other pals, and show off their tricks. Admission is free for humans and doggies.

Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market
Walking into Kensington Market feels like strolling through another world, one where people can freely roam about without having to worry about cars being in their way. The street festivalin the eclectic neighbourhood, which features artists, musicians and food vendors, will be held on Oct. 25. Admission is free.

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market from 2012. Photo via facebook.com/pages/Pedestrian-Sundays-in-Kensington-Market
Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market from 2012. Photo via facebook.com/pages/Pedestrian-Sundays-in-Kensington-Market

Food Truck Festival Ontario
Get your food trucks here! The Sunday festival at Downsview Park will dish out the best food trucks across Ontario, including BeaverTails, Buster’s Sea Cove, My Sticky Rice and Meltdown Cheesery. General admission is $10 plus tax.

A BeaverTails food truck. Photo via facebook.com/BeaverTailsMobileGTA.
A BeaverTails food truck. Photo via facebook.com/BeaverTailsMobileGTA.

8 lunch recipes for kids who hate sandwiches

Today's Parent | posted Thursday, Sep 24th, 2015

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Have a kid who has an aversion to anything with bread (and wraps too)? Pack up one of these yummy recipes for her school lunch.

Fickle fall weather expected, experts say

Jaime Pulfer | posted Tuesday, Sep 22nd, 2015

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Children are back in school, Halloween costumes are hitting the stores and pumpkin-spice-everything is everywhere.

It’s the last full day of summer before fall arrives at 4:20 a.m. on Wednesday.

What kind of weather will the new season bring with it?

Although Tuesday is the last official day of summer, 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor says summer isn’t giving up so easily.

“It will be a warm day. [The forecasted high of 25 C] may actually even feel a bit warm with the humidity,” Taylor said.

“And no big cooldowns for us. Even the overnight lows are above-average. The average low is about 10 C.”

Taylor says even the rain won’t be an issue for a while with a “prolonged stretch of dry weather.”

“We may not get any measurable rainfall until the first weekend of October, so that’s still 11-12 days away.”

But don’t get too comfortable because the weather could turn quickly, Taylor warns.

“Once the cooler temperatures do come, it may be a bit of a shock to us because we will [have been] dealing with those very comfortable temperatures for a good portion of October.”

The Weather Network says we should prepare for a temperature rollercoaster ride when it comes to the fall forecast, according to a report in the Toronto Star, with temperatures hitting mid-summer levels before suddenly plunging into a “false start” to winter sometime in October.

The suggestion is that around the Great Lakes, the cooler temperatures will mean a greater chance of snow earlier than usual this year. Yes, we said it: snow.

Trending: Drake opens new Toronto restaurant with Susur Lee

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 22nd, 2015

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Drake has made another investment in the six, opening a downtown restaurant with famed Toronto chef Susur Lee.

Fring’s, on King Street West at Spadina Avenue, opened on Monday night with a star-studded party.

Drake was there, as were Jada and Jayden Smith, and Serena Williams. Williams and Drake are rumoured to be dating but have not confirmed their relationship.

Hello! Canada reporter Ally Dean was at the party and confirmed the tennis great was still in championship shape.

https://twitter.com/AllyEDean/status/646145712544161792

Frings — the dish, not the restaurant — belongs to another Canadian staple: A serving of half-fries, half onion rings found at Harvey’s.

It’s not known if they’ll be on the menu.

Fring’s takes over the spot of King Street fixture Crush Wine Bar, which had been serving steak frites since 2002.

Lee and Drake both posted about the restaurant on social media:

Quick tips to simplify your routine and stay healthy for fall

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Sep 22nd, 2015

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Trying to get back on track with your health for fall? Follow Dr. Joey Shulman‘s quick tips for you and your family to stay healthy all year long!

Tip #1: Eat healthy snacks
Having healthy snacks on hand are great for keeping you and your family on a healthy track. Make sure you always have healthy options whether you’re on-the-go or at home, such as nuts, fruit, or healthy bars. Also check out some nut-free snacks to pack for school lunches.

Tip #2: Get organized
Being organized is vital when you’re planning to stay on track. Plan out lunches and dinners ahead of time with your children (or just for you!) to make grocery shopping a lot easier. Planning ahead can also help your kids get excited for meals.

Tip #3: Stay hydrated
Buying a water bottle that you like will make you more likely to drink more water throughout the day. Always keep an empty one in your bag, in the car, or at the office.

Tip #4: Wash your hands
As back-to-school time approaches, so does flu season. Make sure you and your kids are staying healthy by washing your hands before and after meals. Try to also have hand sanitizer at your disposal in case you don’t have access to a sink.

For Joey’s 7 healthy fall recipes, click here.

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