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Dwyane Wade responds to Canadian heat after rude anthem behaviour

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, May 9th, 2016

Dwyane Wade promises to change his pre-game shooting routine after his behaviour during “O Canada” sparked outrage on social media.

The Miami Heat star has become Public Enemy No. 1 after video showed him shooting through the beginning of the national anthem for Saturday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

“I’m not a disrespectful person,” Wade said Sunday. “So if anybody thinks I’m being disrespectful to a country, then they don’t know who Dwyane Wade is.”

Wade traditionally doesn’t line up for the anthem until he hits his last shot, and blamed timing for his behaviour Saturday. When Canada’s lone NBA franchise plays in Miami, the anthems start earlier than the regular schedule.

“It’s something that I do before every game that I prepare for, and I’ve been doing it my whole career,” Wade said. “So I understand whatever is said from that standpoint, but I’m not a disrespectful person.”

“It was no disrespect from myself. And if anybody feels like it was, please don’t fill up my timeline with disrespectful comments, because that’s not this guy right here. Find somebody else for that. But we’ll adjust our pre-game routine for the next game.”

The incident sparked outrage on Twitter. Toronto Mayor John Tory posted “Hey @DwyaneWade a Canadian invented the game. Respect the anthem. #WeTheNorth #RTZ.”

Member of Provincial Parliament Mike Colle wrote a letter of complaint to commissioner Adam Silver.

To Wade’s comments about not being a disrespectful person, former Ontario Premier Bob Rae tweeted: “Sure coulda fooled us!”

The Raptors went on to beat the Heat 95-91 to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven second-round playoff series. Game 4 is Monday in Miami.

You need to plant this easy-to-grow flower

Frank Ferragine | posted Friday, May 6th, 2016

What’s the easiest, foolproof flower to grow in your garden? Frankie Flower’s says you should start with the marigold! This beautiful flower comes in a variety of colours and will bloom all summer long (just remember to prune after bloom). Plus it’s the perfect seed to grow with your kids–the large seed is easy for small fingers, it germinates quickly and it doesn’t require a ton of soil.

Get planting this weekend with Frankie’s tips!

Moms rule this weekend’s event roundup across the city

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND AMBER LEBLANC | posted Friday, May 6th, 2016

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In case you need a reminder, Mother’s Day is on Sunday. While mom should be celebrated every day, there are plenty of things to do around town this weekend to mark the occasion.

Aside from mom’s day, three walks are also taking place in the city, two to benefit charities. There will some road closures associated with one of them.

As you make your plans, keep in mind a portion of Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) is closed this weekend for TTC work.


Things to do with mom

Something sweet
Forget about just giving your mom a box of truffles, take her on a chocolate and sweets tour instead.Tasty Tours Toronto is offering tours all weekend, one on Saturday and two on Mother’s Day. There is also a chocolate workshop on Sunday … you can never have too much chocolate. Prices vary for the tours.

Something savoury
Whether it is just you and mom, or the entire family, enjoy a traditional brunch or dinner buffet at the Old Mill on Sunday, featuring meat and seafood dishes, cheese platters, an assortment of vegetables, and rice pilaf, to name a few. Of course, a meal would not be complete without dessert like tortes and pastries. Click here for the menu and buffet rates.

Dining room at the Old Mill Toronto. Photo via oldmilltoronto.com.
Dining room at the Old Mill Toronto. Photo via oldmilltoronto.com.

Cruisin’ on a Sunday afternoon
A scrumptious brunch followed by an afternoon cruise along the city’s waterfront is a lovely way to spend Sunday with mom.

Mariposa Cruises has two cruises, one on its Northern Spirit boat and another on the Showboat. Each comes with brunch, a two-hour cruise, a welcome mocktail, a complimentary rose for mom, and a free family portrait.

Mariposa Cruises' Northern Spirit boat. Photo via facebook.com/mariposa.cruises.
Mariposa Cruises’ Northern Spirit boat. Photo via facebook.com/mariposa.cruises.

The Northern Spirit cruises along the harbourfront and around the Toronto Islands, while the Showboat cruises through the Toronto Island waterways.

Click here for more information and cost details.

Mom and baby love at the zoo
What better way to spend Mother’s Day than by visiting the animal moms and their offspring at the Toronto Zoo.

Over the past year, there has been plenty of baby love at the zoo with the adorable giant panda, polar bear, rhino and white lion cubs being born with weeks of each other. Take your mom to the zoo on Sunday and learn more about the animal moms and their babies.

While everyone will be ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ over the super cute cubs, don’t forget to dote on the mothers too – polar bear Aurora, Indian rhino Ashakiran, white lion Makali and giant panda Er Shun.

Light refreshments will be served (the animals get their own treats), and grandmothers, moms and daughters can win some prizes. Tickets are $12 for members and $15 for non-members (including taxes).

De-clutter with mom
If your mum is a neat freak, nothing would make her more happy than to hang out at the Barns Upcycle.

Held at the Artscape Wychwood Barns from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, the an upcycle promotes the idea of converting unwanted materials into new products. The event features a clothing repair-a-thon, mother-to-mother sale, and more.

Other events

Sporting Life 10K
Expect one major road closure (but also smaller ones) as 25,000 people raise money for Camp Oochigeas in one of the most popular races in the city.

The Sporting Life 10K starts at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday along Yonge Street at the Sporting Life near Roselawn Avenue, and goes all the way down Yonge, turning left on Richmond Street downtown, continuing through the Entertainment District and ending at Fort York.

The race is fully sold out, but people are encouraged to line the route to cheer on the runners.

Route outline for the Sporting Life 10K. SPORTING LIFE.
Route outline for the Sporting Life 10K. SPORTING LIFE.

Meagan’s Walk
The 15th annual Meagan’s Walk is set for Saturday, honouring a brave five-year-old girl who died of a cancerous brain tumour in 2001. Her parents created the walk in order to raise money for the Hospital for Sick Children.

Participants will be walking from Fort York to the hospital in a five-kilometre route. Besides the walk, there will also be face painting and live music and entertainment. To get your team into the walk, email walkteam@meaganswalk.com.

Route map for Meagan's Walk. Photo via meaganswalk.com.
Route map for Meagan’s Walk. Photo via meaganswalk.com.

Jane’s Walk events
Toronto is honouring one of its most famous urban pioneers, Jane Jacobs. The 10th anniversary ofJane’s Walk is set for this weekend, a few days after what would have been Jacobs’ 100th birthday.

Taking a Jane’s Walk allows you to explore the city, meet your neighbours and talk about issues affecting the city. You can find a list of the different walks here.

Blossom and Bloom
The hustle and bustle of Union Station will have a flowery respite this Friday and Saturday. The annualBlossom and Bloom show takes place in the newly renovated West Wing and Oak Room.

A collection of flowers.

The show transforms the area into a floral wonderland, with the plants and other crafts for sale. There will also be a large sculpture flower garden, live music and a complimentary henna station. Admission is free.

TTC/road closures

Sporting Life 10K
On Sunday, Yonge Street will be closed from Lawrence to Eglinton avenues from 4:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Fort York Blvd will also be closed from Bathurst Street to Lakeshore Boulevard from 4:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Along the route, the following closures will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.:

  • Yonge Street from Eglinton Avenue to Richmond Street
  • Richmond Street from Yonge Street to Peter Street
  • Peter Street/Blue Jays Way between Richmond Street and Front Street
  • Westbound Front Street from Blue Jays Way and Bathurst Street
  • Bathurst Street from Front Street to Fort York Boulevard
  • Fort York Boulevard between Bathurst Street to Fleet Street

The intersection will reopen to motorists after runners pass the area. All roads are expected to re-open by 12:30 p.m.

Meagan’s Walk
Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, participants will make their way along sidewalks from the Fort York National Historic Site to the Hospital for Sick Children.

Elizabeth Street, from Gerrard to Elm streets, will be closed from 4 a.m. to around 4 p.m. However, drivers can expect minor delays as the walkers cross major intersections.

University of Toronto Science Rendezvous
George Street, from College to Harbord streets, will be closed in both directions from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Road work
Bayview Avenue from River to Queen streets is closed in both directions until May 20 for road repairs.

Gerrard Street, from Yonge to Church streets, will be closed until the end of July for watermain replacement, road resurfacing and bike lane and sidewalk upgrades.

Westbound Lake Shore Boulevard, from York Street to Rees Street, will be reduced to one lane except from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays when two lanes will be open. The closure, which is for Toronto Hydro work, is expected to be completed on July 27.

Richmond Street, from Yonge to Bay streets, is also reduced to two lanes until July 1 for road and sidewalk repairs. One lane will be used for cyclists and pedestrians.

Partial Line 2 closure
Subways won’t be running on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between Bathurst and Jane stations this weekend due to track work. Shuttle buses will stop at all stations.

A TTC report proposing numbered subway lines was presented at a board meeting on Oct. 23, 2013. TTC

Next Sunday (May 15), subway service along Pape to St. George stations will start later (exact time to be determined) due to bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct.

Raptors even series against Miami with overtime victory

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Friday, May 6th, 2016

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DeMarre Carroll came up big for the Toronto Raptors both on and off the floor Thursday.

Carroll showed some tough love for struggling all-star Kyle Lowry, and then went out and scored a team-high 21 points to lift the Raptors 96-92 over the Heat in overtime, to send the series to Miami tied at one game apiece.

And moments after Lowry scored on a key jump shot with 15 seconds left in regulation, Carroll pulled the point guard aside and said “I told you so.”

“Because I’ve been texting Kyle, I kind of do the rough brother texting with Kyle, I tell him you’re Kyle Lowry, you need to play like you got a chip on your shoulder,” Carroll said. “I remember the Kyle Lowry in Memphis that got traded. And that’s the biggest thing for Kyle is he gotta remember who he is. He’s a blue-collar, gritty, grimy type of person.”

Two days after perhaps the worst game of his career, Lowry had 18 points, including two clutch baskets in the final 46 seconds of regulation, plus six assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 12 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan chipped in with 20 points, and Terrence Ross added 10.

In what’s been a roller-coaster post-season for the Raptors, it was another wild night.

The Raptors roared out to a 14-point lead, and looked poised to romp to a relatively easy victory over Miami, but the Heat had all the momentum in a horrible third quarter for Toronto and took a 65-63 lead into the fourth.

Luol Deng capped an 8-0 Heat run with a three-pointer to give Miami a seven-point lead with six minutes to play. But the Raptors clawed their way back over a thrilling final few minutes of regulation.

“Our sense of urgency was there,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

After Lowry’s jumper with 15 seconds to play, Goran Dragic, who played the second half with eight stitches in his lip, sunk a heartbreaking three with 10.5 seconds left to send the game into overtime tied 86-86.

Toronto dominated in OT, virtually the reverse of Tuesday’s game. Miami missed its first five shots, and the Raptors had baskets from DeRozan and Valanciunas, who was huge down the stretch. A Deng dunk made it a four-point game, but free throws in the dying seconds from Cory Joseph, DeRozan and Lowry iced the victory for Toronto.

DeRozan and Lowry laughed when asked if they think the Raptors will have a playoff game that resembles the consistent squad of the regular-season.

“Man, it’s been ugly,” DeRozan said.

“Uh-gly,” Lowry added.

“When we do, I’m pretty sure you will know,” said DeRozan, to which Lowry piped in: “IF we do.”

“It’s a grind man, honestly,” DeRozan said. “We know nothing was going to be pretty, as long as we can come out with a W, doesn’t matter how we play. It’s going to come.”

Carroll had a superb night, shooting 7-for-13 and grabbing four steals and five rebounds with his hustle play.

Lowry, meanwhile, had been limited to just seven points in a horrible performance in Game 1, and stayed on the court until 1:15 a.m. shooting alone. He said the next day the Raptors can’t win the series without him playing well.

The two-time all-star had moments where he looked like his post-season slump might be a distant memory. He scored early on a mid-range jumper, then followed it up with a beautiful pass to Carroll for a three-pointer. And when he tossed up a three of his own late in the first quarter, the Air Canada Centre crowd of 20,906 went nuts.

“I felt great,” Lowry said. “I got so many phone calls and texts from people who just care about me in general, fellow NBA players, and just friends of mine supporting me. And then knowing I have the support of my teammates, I just had to come out and have fun and be myself.

He shot just 7-for-22 on the night, while DeRozan, his right thumb taped after his jammed it on the final play in Game 1, shot just 9-for-24, and made just two of his eight free throws.

“I don’t think I ever missed that many free throws,” DeRozan said. “But it’s just something I’ve got to deal with it. It’s my first game playing with it hurt, sore like it was. . . another day of rest and icing and I should be alright the next game.”

Game 3 is Saturday in Miami, while Game 4 is Monday.

The Raptors won five of their last six regular-season matchups with Miami, but the Heat claimed the series opener 102-96 on Tuesday, ruining a thrilling comeback by Toronto to force overtime on a half-court Lowry buzzer-beater.

The Air Canada Centre was painted in black and white T-shirts that spelled out “6IX,” the Drake-inspired nickname for Toronto. Maple Leaf Square outside drew a packed crowd of T-shirt waving fans.

The Heat raced out to an early-six point lead but the Raptors found their rhythm with a 17-3 run, and took a 29-19 advantage into the second quarter.

Miami cleaned up its turnovers in the second, giving up just one, and pulled to within five points before a Carroll basket sent the Raptors into the halftime break up 48-41.

The Raptors shot just 6-for-20 in the third quarter, and the Heat ended the frame on a 13-2 run to take their first lead since early in the first.

Crews scramble as Fort McMurray fire explodes in size

John Cotter, The Canadian Press | posted Friday, May 6th, 2016

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Crews fighting to save Fort McMurray from rampaging flames water bombed the city Thursday to try to keep away a wildfire so intense it has spawned its own weather.

“It was creating its own high winds yesterday and even lightning was coming from the smoke clouds it created,” Chad Morrison of Alberta Forestry told a briefing in Edmonton on Thursday.

He said the fire continued to grow Thursday, but at a slower rate than before, and the spread was happening in forested areas away from the community.

More than 1,100 firefighters, including those in dozens of helicopters and air tankers, are battling the massive blaze.

Officials could not update the number of structures that have burned – already at 1,600 – saying crews had not had the time.

Morrison said there were 22 water bombers at work and more were coming in, including four from Quebec.

“But let me be clear: air tankers are not going to stop this fire,” he said. “It is going to continue to push through these dry conditions until we actually get some significant rain.”

Crews received a small break Thursday with temperatures forecast to fall to 16 C from the low 30s. But low humidity and high winds were expected to keep the situation fluid and dangerous.

They continued to fight the blaze near the evacuated community of Anzac, where the flames were getting closer to buildings.

The risk in the rest of the province also remained high and a provincewide fire ban was issued Thursday afternoon.

Premier Rachel Notley told a news conference that officials cannot speculate on when it might be safe for residents to return to the city except that “it will not be a matter of days.”

She said even when the fire situation is brought under control, officials will need time to assess buildings and infrastructure so that people can be brought back safely.

“I know this experience is heartbreaking … and a devastating experience for individuals and for the families that are affected,” she said. “I understand the Albertans that are affected by this tragedy are scared, and very tired, and very worried about their homes and what the future holds for themselves and their families.

“Trust us that we have your backs.”

Notley also said in coming days there will be more information about concrete aid for evacuees, including government-issued cash cards and temporary housing options.

She asked all evacuees “whether you’re in the reception centre or you’re staying in your friend’s rec room” to register themselves either online or by phoning the Red Cross, adding it is crucial to the province’s ability to assess what support everyone requires.


Related stories:

Avery Haines: No shortage of heartbreaking Fort McMurray survival stories

Maclean’s: What it looks like when superimposed on maps of other Canadian and international cities

Video: Fort McMurray couple gets special souvenir from Kevin Pillar of Toronto Blue Jays


The fire, which had been menacing the oilsands capital since the weekend, rode a rapid shift in winds Tuesday afternoon to cut through the city on an east-west axis. It divided the main road and sent 80,000 residents fleeing in opposite directions under a mandatory evacuation order.

Aided by high winds, scorching heat and low humidity, the fire grew from 75 square kilometres Tuesday to 100 square kilometres on Wednesday. By Thursday it was almost nine times that at 850 square kilometres – roughly equivalent to the size of Calgary.

The fire remained wrapped around the west and southern edges of the city. If Fort McMurray were the face of a clock, flames surrounded it from the numbers four to 11.

Evacuees began their second full day out of their homes. Thousands remained in oilfield work camps north of the city, while the rest had moved south to stay in hotels, in campgrounds, with friends or in designated centres that included Edmonton.

By late afternoon, 4,000 people had been airlifted out of the camps, and the hope was to get another 8,000 out by end of day.

Scott Long with Alberta Emergency Management said it was too dangerous to begin an escorted convoy of evacuees out of the area along Highway 63, but officials were hoping to try again at first light Friday morning.

In preparation, gasoline trucks were being sent in Thursday to fuel up vehicles for the long trip through the city and to the south.

Fort McMurray is 435 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

The military was on standby, but had not been called in except for helicopter support to rescue stranded residents.

The fire has proven to be as capricious as it has been hellacious, leveraging high winds to level neighbourhoods in the south and southwest, transforming homes that once housed families into smoky wastelands of concrete, rebar and ash.

Crews have managed to save critical infrastructure, such as the downtown, the hospital and the water treatment plant.

Fire threatened the airport Wednesday, but Long said it sustained “mild damage” and was still in operation.

Officials said they have yet to determine what caused the fire, although they know it started in a remote area about 15 kilometres from the city.

There have been no reports of fire-related deaths or injuries.


Rogers is giving free long distance/texting to Fort McMurray until May 17 and we are partnering with the Red Cross. If you would like to donate $10, text the word REDCROSS to 45678 or 30333 for a $5 donation.

How big is the Fort McMurray fire?

Amanda Shendruk | posted Friday, May 6th, 2016

(This post has been updated)

One day, so much destruction. On Thursday morning Maclean’s published a series of maps showing Canadian and international cities superimposed with the burn area of the Fort McMurray fire. Those maps reflected the size of the fire as of 5 pm Alberta time on Wednesday. Yet by Thursday afternoon the government announced the fire area had increased dramatically to 85,000 hectares. Below are updated maps showing the original fire zone, marked by dotted lines, along with the burn area as it stood at 1 pm Alberta time. All indications are that it has grown much larger since.

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vancouver_done

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london_new

6 tips for dealing with student debt

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Student debt

With thousands of students earning their degrees in the coming weeks, repaying student debt is top of mind. Bruce Sellery shares his top six tips for dealing with the pressure, managing your loans and repaying them in a timely manner.

1) Live like a student

It’s hard to control your income, but Bruce recommends that you try and control your spending. Start by avoiding “lifestyle inflation” and live within your financial means—instead of living on your own, live with roommates.

2) Write it all down

Keep track of your financial obligations, (e.g. student debt, credit card debt, loans to parents), and be aware of the terms of the loans, including the interest rate and the minimum payments you need for each.

Keep in mind that new Canadian regulations state that you don’t have to start repaying your student debt until you make $25,000 a year.

3) Look at your cash flow

Take a hard look at your cash flow to see how much money is coming in and what your fixed expenses are (rent, internet, transit etc.) to set achievable goals. How much can you realistically put towards debt? Look at the big picture: how much are you making on an annual basis to determine a financial plan to pay off debt.

4) Set it and forget it

Set up auto-transfers to various debts on your payday. Make a plan to meet the minimums every month, no matter what.

Avoid not paying your debt as this will affect your credit rating. If your payment goes to collections, it will be a hit to your rating that can take years to fix.

5) Build a buffer

In other words, save extra money that acts as a safeguard. This is also known as an emergency fund, rainy day fund, or back-up savings.

6) Put 10% of income towards debt

Take a percentage of your income to put towards debt. If you do not receive a yearly salary and are working cheque to cheque (e.g. freelancers, contract), take out 10% of each cheque and put it towards debt.

How to donate to Fort McMurray fire relief efforts

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Alberta Strong

You can donate $10 dollars to help the people in Fort McMurray when you text the word FIRES to 45678.

Other ways to donate:

  • Text the word REDCROSS to 30333 and a $5 donation will be added to your wireless bill
  • Text the word REDCROSS to 45678 and a $10 donation will be added to your wireless bill

Additionally, Rogers is partnering with Red Cross to support those affected by the Fort McMurray fires by waiving the cost of calls and texts to/from Fort McMurray to help our customers stay safe and in touch with loved ones. Rogers will also be donating $100,000 to Red Cross to help those affected by the Fort McMurray fires.

Rogers is the parent company of City and this website.

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