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How to beat the ‘Blue Monday’ blues

News staff | posted Monday, Jan 18th, 2016

Monday is being dubbed the most depressing day of the year.

The third Monday of January is known as Blue Monday, which was initially a term that travel companies started using about a decade ago to promote sunny destinations in the middle of January.

It’s now more than a marketing tool: The term has seeped into popular culture and is used as a reminder to maintain good, mental and emotional health in the dead of winter

Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, studied Blue Monday and found a few reasons for the phenomenon. The glow of Christmas has faded, yet you’re still paying for the festivities; New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside; and yes, the weather is terrible.

“It’s after the holidays, there’s nothing much going on for a little while and there’s little sunlight,” North Toronto Sleep Clinic’s James Sayegh explained.

Nicole McCance, a psychologist in Toronto, has a few strategies to deal with mental health issues this time of year, including getting sleep and staying social.

“The winter feels really long,” McCance said, so do a mental health check.

“Ask yourself, how am I feeling today?” Look for warning signs early, like lack of motivation and difficulty sleeping. Listen to her tips in the video above or click here to view it.

One Toronto café is offering its customers a complimentary dose of “sunshine” to beat the Blue Monday blues.

The Brioche Dorée Café, on King Street West at Bathurst Street, is offering light therapy on Monday.

When is it Blue Monday and when is it something more? Check out the signs and symptoms of depression at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Toronto under extreme cold weather alert

News staff | posted Monday, Jan 18th, 2016

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The City of Toronto remains under an extreme cold weather alert on Monday morning.

The warning was first issued on Sunday, when the temperature felt like -20.

Similar temperatures are in store for the city on Monday: The high is just -7 C, 680 News meteorologist Jill Taylor said, and it will feel like -15 with the wind chill. On Monday evening, the low will dip to -12C, with a wind chill near -21.

There will be flurries with gusty winds out of the northwest, and in areas that typically snow squalls, 3-7 centimetres of snow could accumulate.

The snow caused school bus cancellations in Grey-Bruce and other areas. Click here for the full list.

During extreme cold weather alerts, the city provides extra services for homeless people, including TTC tokens to get to shelter and increased street outreach.

Also, the city has two 24-hour extreme cold weather drop-ins open for all of January and February.

Goodwill stores close across GTA due to cash flow problem

Diana Pereira | posted Monday, Jan 18th, 2016

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Goodwill said that 16 stores, 10 donation centres and two offices across the GTA are closing due to a cash flow problem.

Stores in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia and Brockville are closed as of Sunday.

The closing of the stores affects more than 430 Goodwill employees.

“Goodwill will be reaching out to the union, stakeholders and all levels of governments to bring clarity as soon as possible,” said Keiko Nakamura, CEO of Goodwill.

Apparently the Canadian Airport Workers Union, which represents Goodwill workers, contacted the company and have been “met with silence,” lawyer Denis Ellickson told CityNews.

Ellickson said it was unclear if the closure is permanent and there was no advance warning.

He did say there was some suspicion on Friday because apparently Goodwill’s CEO and a board member tried to get hold of the union to have a meeting which never happened.

The union wasn’t informed what the meeting would be about.

Sweet face! Toronto Zoo releases new baby polar bear video

News staff | posted Friday, Jan 15th, 2016

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Here’s the cure for the winter blues: The Toronto Zoo has released a new video of its baby polar bear.

Sure, the female cub is made for the cold temperatures, but she also made the best of them, snuggling under a blanket and playing with a ball.

Watch the two-month-old bear, who has not been named yet, in the video below. Click here to see it on mobile.

Aurora, one of the zoo’s adult polar bears, gave birth to two cubs on Nov. 11. One of the cubs passed away within the first 24 hours.

What’s a weekend without psychics and Mozart?

Patricia D'Cunha and Amber LeBlanc | posted Friday, Jan 15th, 2016

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You don’t need a psychic to tell you that a great weekend is ahead for the GTA and beyond. Anytime you get some downtime on your days off from work, it’s heaven.

Just because it is cold and there’s not much sun – yes, it’s winter in Canada – that doesn’t mean you have to stay in. Below are some events taking place this weekend that are sure to get you get out of hibernation.

And if you are working this weekend, don’t despair. You can still check out one of these events after work.

And remember: spring is just nine weeks away!


Events

Mozart masterpieces
Experience the brilliance and power of Mozart in three wonderful ways: through one of his operas, a piano concerto, and his last symphony.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will be performing Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 – nicknamed the “Jupiter Symphony.” Composed in 1788, it was Mozart’s last symphony and also the longest.

Portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart circa 1780 painted by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. GETTY IMAGES/Universal History Archive.
Portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart circa 1780 painted by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. GETTY IMAGES/Universal History Archive.

Also on the program: the overture and two arias from Don Giovanni, as well as Piano Concerto No. 9, K. 271 “Jeunehomme.”

The 8 p.m. show on Saturday is being held at Roy Thomson Hall, while the 3 p.m. one on Sunday is at George Weston Recital Hall. If you want to share your love for Mozart at the shows, there will be a chat during intermission.

Niagara Icewine Festival
It’s a celebration of one of Canada’s most delicious products. The 21st annual Niagara Icewine Festival starts this weekend and runs until Jan. 31.

Bunch of white grapes in the vine in the town of Niagara on the Lake where Ice wine is produced. GETTY IMAGES/Roberto Machado Noa.
Bunch of white grapes in the vine in the town of Niagara on the Lake where Ice wine is produced. GETTY IMAGES/Roberto Machado Noa.

It includes everything from tastings, galas, ice bars, skating and winery tours. The star of the show is the liquid gold that’s so coveted around the world. After this weekend, you’ll have two more weekends to enjoy the festivities.

Pop Art at the AGO
A new exhibit opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario Sunday featuring the work of “pop artists.” Works including Andy Warhol’s “Elvis” are on display.

Andy Warhol's Elvis I and II (1963–64), the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Photo via AGO.
Andy Warhol’s Elvis I and II (1963–64), the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Photo via AGO.

The artists from the 1960s are said to use their work to analyze the impact of mass culture on the modern psyche, but you can judge for yourself. The exhibit called “SuperReal” can be seen with regular admission to the gallery.

Psychic brunch
Come one, come all to the psychic brunch on Sunday, being held at Cranberries Restaurant in St. James Town.

A woman takes part in a psychic reading. GETTY IMAGES/PeopleImages.com.
A woman takes part in a psychic reading. GETTY IMAGES/PeopleImages.com.

The brunch, which is held on the third Sunday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., features a 20-minute reading, another five-minute reading from a different psychic and a $5 meal voucher at the restaurant.

Guess how much it costs for all this? For those who are not psychic, the price is $40.

Money raised from the event goes to the Rainbow Association of Canadian Artists, a non-profit group that celebrates diversity in music.

Toronto International Boat Show
This is the last weekend to enjoy what summer has to offer at the boat show, being held at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place.

More than 500 exhibitors will be on hand to whisk you away to dreams of sailing or kayaking on the open water, or just hanging out in a houseboat.

Attendees can also practice their boating skills in the indoor lake or watch the wakeboarding show.

TTC

Streetcar diversion
The 506 Carlton streetcars will be diverting this weekend as TTC crews conduct concrete repairs at the streetcar stop at Carlton and Church streets.

Photo Credit: Aaron Miller, CityNews.ca

Streetcars will travel on Dundas Street between Bay and Parliament streets. Shuttle buses will run during the diversion.

Regular service resumes at 5 a.m. on Monday.

Barn fire kills at least a dozen horses in southwestern Ontario

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Jan 15th, 2016

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Twelve horses have perished in a barn fire in the second such tragedy to hit southern Ontario this month.

The horses died late Thursday when fire erupted at a private farm in Mount Forest, Ont., northwest of Guelph. This fire follows a devastating blaze on Jan. 4, in which 43 standardbred horses perished in a stable fire at the Classy Lane Stables in Puslinch.

A person who answered the telephone at the Mount Forest property early Friday said all 12 horses were Arabian. He said he preferred not to comment further as they were “still trying to deal with it.”

Mount Forest fire chief Dave Guilbault said he had been informed that one or possibly two horses had escaped the blaze, which erupted at about 10 p.m.

“It’s a large pasture here, so we know for sure one got out.”

Twelve horses died in a fire at a private farm in Mount Forest on Jan. 15, 2016. Image via Dave Richie.
Twelve horses died in a fire at a private farm in Mount Forest on Jan. 15, 2016. Image via Dave Richie.

Guilbault said one person at the property, where the horses are both owned and boarded, suffered minor injuries.

“One gentleman was taken to hospital for precaution with a little bit of smoke inhalation and anxiety,” he told The Canadian Press.

Guilbault said the blaze was contained to a single structure and that firefighters had “put up a water curtain … so there’s no damage to the house nearby.”

He said although it was too early to say what caused the fire, he said there is speculation that a tractor might have caught on fire. Guilbault said investigators from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office were expected to be on the scene Friday morning to begin looking for the cause.

The Jan. 4 fire at the Classy Lane Stables in Puslinch has had a devastating impact on the horse racing community in southern Ontario.

Co-owner Jamie Millier said the economic impact reached deep into the closeknit, horse-oriented community and that groomers, veterinarians, blacksmiths and other professionals in the industry would feel the effects of the deaths for months to come.

Trainer Dan Lagace, who lost seven horses he had worked with, said the fire was more than just a professional catastrophe — it was akin to losing members of a family.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Three final station names chosen for new Eglinton LRT

CityNews | posted Friday, Jan 15th, 2016

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The Metrolinx board of directors has chosen the names of the three final stations on the new Eglinton LRT.

In the end, the board agreed to keep Forest Hill and Fairbank stations, but amended the suggestion of Lebovic to Hakimi Lebovic.

In October, Metrolinx invited the public to offer feedback on proposed station and stop names. Many of the names came under fire for being too obscure for the average rider.

The TTC also provided its own recommendations on the proposed names in November.

Metrolinx’s first principle in station naming is that it has to be unique and cannot be confused with any other station – so a number of stations were named after smaller streets in the area. More prominent streets that may be more familiar to riders were already in use for TTC subway stations and GO Transit stops.

The 19-kilometre light rail transit (LRT) line will run along Eglinton Avenue connecting Mount Dennis in the west to Kennedy Road in the east. It is currently under construction and is set to open in 2021.

Rene Angelil, Celine Dion’s husband-manager, dies at 73

CityNews | posted Friday, Jan 15th, 2016

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Rene Angelil, the husband and manager of international superstar Celine Dion, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 73.

Angelil is survived by his three children with Dion – Rene-Charles, 14, and 5-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy. He also had two adult children from previous relationships.

Angelil was born in Montreal in 1942. He was a pop singer in the 1960s, and a member of a pop rock group named “The Baronets”.

Prior to managing Dion’s career, he managed Quebec entertainers Rene Simard and Ginette Reno. In 1981, Angelil mortgaged his home to fund Dion’s first album, ‘La voix du bon Dieu.’ In 1994, he married Dion in an extravagant wedding that was broadcast live on television.

Angelil suffered a heart attack in 1992 at the age of 51, and was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998. He underwent a number of surgeries, including one in 2013 that involved removing parts of his tongue.

Angelil was also an avid poker player, and qualified for the 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions.

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