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Two women use paddle boards on Lake Ontario just off the boardwalk along Lakeshore Blvd., in Toronto on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. The temperature on the day was expected to hit 31C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

GTA braces for ‘longest’ and ‘most significant’ heat wave of summer

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Aug 9th, 2016

The GTA is on the verge of what may be the “longest and most significant heat wave of the summer so far,” according to Environment Canada.

The federal agency is warning of high temperatures and even higher humidity until Friday. A heat warning was issued for much of southern Ontario, including Toronto and the GTA, on Monday.

“Hot and humid conditions under partly to mostly sunny skies are expected Wednesday through Friday,” the national weather agency said in a statement.

Environment Canada said a hot and humid air mass will enter the region on Tuesday afternoon, with temperatures expected to reach the low to mid 30s the next day.

“Humidex values peaking in the upper 30s to low 40s are expected beginning Wednesday as well,” it said.

In Toronto, it will be mainly sunny on Tuesday with a high of 31 C and a humidex near 37, 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said. There is a slight chance of showers or an isolated thunderstorm late Tuesday night with a low near 22 C.

The high is near 33 C on Wednesday, but the humidity will make it feel like 44 C. The steamy temperatures continue into Thursday and Friday with highs in the low 30s and humidex values in the mid 40s.

Overnight temperatures won’t provide much relief from the heat with temperatures expected in the low to mid 20s.

A somewhat weak cold front is expected to move into the area on Friday night, bringing with it a chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Olympic Roundup: Canada enjoys first multi-medal day in Rio

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Aug 9th, 2016

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Canada’s women’s rugby sevens team won a historic medal, while Kylie Masse continued Canada’s rise to relevance in the pool.

A pair of bronze performances on Day 3 of the Rio Olympics gave Canada its first multi-medal day of the Games and kept it on pace for its overall goal of 19 podium finishes. Canada has one silver and three bronze medals so far, with three of those coming from the women’s swim team.

SWIMMING

Masse, from La Salle, Ont., added to Canada’s fortunes in the pool by finishing tied for third in the women’s 100-metre backstroke. Canada, which hadn’t had a women’s Olympic swimming medal since the 1996 Atlanta Games, has sent a swimmer to the podium for three straight days.

RUGBY

Earlier, Ghislaine Landry had two tries and four conversions to lead the sevens squad to a decisive 33-10 win over Britain in the bronze-medal match as women’s rugby made its Olympic debut.

The nations’ women athletes have been the story so far for Canada, accounting for all four medals.

Masse posted a Canadian record time of 58.76 seconds en route to her bronze. Her swim followed a bronze in the women’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay on the opening day of the Games and Penny Oleksiak’s silver in the women’s 100 butterfly on Day 2.

“From the performances like the relay and Penny last night, everyone’s done so well not just in the pool, but also the other Canadian athletes, it’s really inspiring to see everyone do well,” Masse said. It really gives each athlete hope for their own successes.”

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won gold in 58.45 seconds, Kathleen Baker of the United States took silver in 58.75 and Chinese swimmer Fu Yunahui tied with Masse to win a second bronze medal.

“I knew it was a tight race and I knew just from swimming prelims and semis, we’re all so close and a lot of tough competitors,” Masse said. “I knew it was going to come down to the touch and just trying to get my hand on the wall first.”

The sevens rugby squad gave Canada its second team sport medal in as many Games after the women’s soccer team captured the nation’s attention by winning bronze four years ago in London.

But the medal was considered bittersweet for some on the team, as it followed a disappointing 17-5 semifinal loss to eventual champion Australia.

“There’s a lot of games over this tournament that we just didn’t play the rugby that we are capable of,” said Landry. “We were pretty disappointed with that, but that’s a performance that we can be proud of and it’s good rugby.”

Captain Jen Kish, however, couldn’t stop beaming.

“I feel like a superhero,” said Kish, who had been shedding tears just minutes earlier as the clock counted down. “I know 11 of my other teammates feel that way too.

“What a freaking historic moment for us. Now I know what our Canadian women’s soccer team felt like when they got bronze (at the 2012 Games). It’s just an ultimate superhero feeling. It’s great.”

Karen Paquin, Bianca Farella and Kelly Russell had the other tries for Canada, which took a commanding 26-5 half-time advantage.

BASKETBALL

Elsewhere, Canada’s women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 after rallying for an exciting 71-67 victory over Serbia. Kia Nurse scored 25 points for the Canadians, who trailed by as many as 18 points in the third quarter before outscoring the Serbians 26-10 in the fourth.

And Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil and Toronto’s Daniel Nestor topped Portugal’s Gastao Elias and Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the men’s doubles quarter-final in tennis.

But Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount. Que., was eliminated from the women’s singles tennis event with a 6-4, 6-2 second-round loss to German Angelique Kerber. Bouchard opened strong with an early break in the first set but Kerber earned a break of her own and the Canadian never recovered.

Bouchard still has a shot at a medal and an Olympic doubles title with Ottawa’s Gaby Dabrowski.

FIELD HOCKEY

The Canadian men’s field hockey team fell to 0-2 with a 3-1 loss to Argentina. Vancouver’s Scott Tupper scored in the 55th minute for Canada, which faces the Netherlands on Tuesday.

Canada will be hard-pressed to advance to the quarter-finals as only the top four from each of the two pools qualify.

It was also a disappointing day on the water for the Canadian men’s quadruple sculls rowing squad. Will Dean of Kelowna, B.C., Rob Gibson of Kingston, Ont., Pascal Lussier of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., and Julien Bahain — who was born in France but competes for Canada — were fifth in the repechage and failed to qualify for the final.

The team needed a top-two result to advance.

“We just beat ourselves,” said Gibson. “We just tried too hard.

“We started pulling apart from each other and in a boat and a crew like this we’ve really got to be one unit. We’ve said it all along we’re strong enough to be with the best crews in the world.”

ROWING

Victoria’s Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee – Canada’s best hope for a rowing medal – won their heat in the women’s lightweight double sculls to advance to the semifinal round Wednesday. But the women’s eight crew finished last in its three-boat heat.

Victoria’s Caileigh Filmer, Susanne Grainger of London, Ont., Natalie Mastracci of Thorold, Ont., Cristy Nurse of Georgetown, Ont., Lisa Roman of Langley, B.C., Christine Roper – a native of Jamaica now living in Canada – Antje von Seydlitz of Smithers, B.C., and Lauren Wilkinson of North Vancouver, B.C., along with coxswain Lesley Thompson-Willie of London will need a top-four finish in Wednesday’s repechage to make the final.

GOLF

Golf makes its return to Olympic competition Thursday with Canadian Graham DeLaet serving as the defending champion. The native of Weyburn, Sask., was given the lofty distinction at the tournament draw Monday because Toronto’s George Lyon won gold in St. Louis Games in 1904 the last time the sport was recognized as an Olympic event.

DeLaet will be in the opening threesome along with Brazil’s Adilson da Silva and Byeong Hun An of South Korea. Da Silva is the lone Brazilian in the field while both of Hun An’s parents won medals in table tennis at the ’88 Seoul Games.

9 tips for making ‘back to school’ lunches fun and easy

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Aug 8th, 2016

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The start of a new school year for kids means preparing lunches five times a week. With every parent wants to provide variety as well as maintain a healthy and nutritious lunch box for their child, this can be a daunting task.

Have no fear! Registered dietician Sue Mah gives us some lunchbox inspiration for the upcoming school year. Below are nine lunchbox tips will please everyone from picky eaters to vegetarians. Lunchboxes and lunch accessories can be found on Fenigo.

  1. Make a plan. Make sure you have everything you need in the fridge and pantry for the week ahead. Go to the grocery store during the weekends to verify you have everything you need to create a balanced lunch. For a homemade twist, do some home-baking over the weekend. The goodies can be stored in an airtight container for a few days or frozen, so that you will never be short of something to pop in the lunchbox.Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 9.12.03 AM
  2. Pre-pack lunch boxes. If mornings are hectic, pre-pack lunches the night before then store them in the fridge. This helps parents keep their morning on track, and gets the kids out of the door on-time for the school bell.
  3. Create a balanced meal. For a balanced lunchbox, include a variety of food types: fresh fruit, vegetables, starchy food, protein, and dairy. For example, a ham and salad sandwich on wholegrain bread, with carrot sticks, a piece of fruit and a yoghurt. If vegetarian, ensure food options meed a child’s dietary needs. Include protein rich foods include roasted chickpeas, nuts, and cheese.Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 9.12.13 AM
  4. Switch out sugary drinks for water. Water is the best for a drink in a child’s lunchbox. Use a refillable, easy to open, leak-proof bottle. For a fun summer-time twist, freeze up the water bottle so it will still be cool by lunchtime.
  5. Make sure your lunchbox is both tasty and safe. During hot weather use an insulated lunchbox with an ice pack to keep food cool. Wash, rinse and dry lunch boxes thoroughly after each use.
  6. Make it interesting. Try not to pack the same things every day. Spice up your child’s lunchbox with fun and interesting foods. Cutting sandwiches into different shapes can help keep younger children happy. Find cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into creative shapes. Cookie cutters such as butterfly and puzzle piece cutouts can be found on Fenigo.
  7. Ensure the food is accessible. Many food items might not be accessible to younger children. Loosen lids on yoghurt pouches if necessary. Peel and cut fruit if your child struggles with eating a whole fruit. Avoid using plastic wrap that can be tough to get off.
  8. Get your child involved in packing their own lunch box. After all, they are the one who is going to be eating it! Offer two or three options of fruit, sandwich fillings, veggie snacks and a small treat. Explore what your child will enjoy for lunch. For the kid who doesn’t like sandwiches, there are a variety of different lunch options that will please a picky eater. Examples of such are chicken pasta salad, sushi, cereal and milk, mini pizzas.Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 9.12.45 AM
  9. Find something new. Ask other moms what they offer their kids for lunch. Many moms are getting creative, packing leftover homemade chicken fingers with plum sauce in a bento box, cucumber sushi with seaweed snacks, or even fruit and cheese skewers such as apple cheese sailboats pictured above.

How to save money on kindergarten costs

MoneySense & Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Aug 8th, 2016

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When Kerry K. Taylor wrote the last $900 monthly cheque for her daughter’s daycare recently, she did a happy dance — albeit a temporary one.

No sooner had the Toronto personal finance writer exhaled a sigh of relief that 4 1/2-year-old Chloe would be starting kindergarten in the fall than she realized entirely new expenses would soon be cropping up.

“There’s going to be a myriad of other costs,” says Taylor — not the least of which is the roughly $400 a month she’ll have to shell out to keep Chloe in before and after school care while she’s at work.

While sending a child to kindergarten can feel like a welcome relief from staggering daycare fees, parents need to be aware that costs associated with starting school can add up to hundreds of dollars before their little ones even step foot in the classroom.

Parents will spend 4.5 per cent more on back-to-school spending this year than in 2015, according to a recent report from advisory services firm EY.

Still, some expenses may be altogether avoidable, meaning parents can save a tidy sum with the right type of planning.

Education experts say superhero backpacks, pencil cases filled with scented crayons and other knick-knacks aren’t necessary, and many parents may be surprised to learn just how little stuff soon-to-be scholars need.

Back-to-school advertisements, in particular, encourage parents to spend money on brand new designer wardrobes. But those duds are neither needed nor practical, said Liz Ugolini, the early years instructional co-ordinator at Peel District School Board west of Toronto.

“Children will be involved with playdough and paint and sand and outdoor play,” she said. “So it really is not for families to have children in their best clothes, but in the clothes that are best for play.”

Comfortable shoes, weather-appropriate attire and an extra outfit in case of accidents are all recommended.

For school supplies, it’s best for parents to stick to the basics, said Ugolini, like a properly sized backpack and a lunch bag with reusable food storage containers. She purchased her niece’s lunchtime kit for $11.

Moms and dads should also be aware that new students don’t need to bring crayons, pencils, markers, pencil cases or paper, Ugolini adds. Schools generally provide all those things, along with books, for its youngest pupils.

“Public education should never really be a financial hardship for families,” said Sue Pasian, the early years consultant for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board in Hamilton.

All these “embellishments,” as Pasian calls them, will be provided for students in their kindergarten classes.

Even field trip costs are generally kept to a minimum at that age, she said, with most excursions running families less than $10 a child. Many school boards can also help subsidize these costs for families struggling financially or connect them with charitable organizations that can, for example, assist them with some basic school supplies.

For Taylor, back-to-school items like the “Frozen” lunch box her daughter recently picked out, are inconsequential after years of daycare costs.

Less trivial, she says, are fees some parents may not know they’ll face. Some school boards charge fees for bus transportation, she said, while other parents may have to take on the costs of driving their child to school.

Taylor also suggests parents take a close look at their kid’s school calendar and pre-arrange care for professional development days, spring break and other holidays that leave kids at home but don’t necessarily mean time off for parents. Last-minute arrangements can be difficult and expensive, she said.

Aside from child care and transportation, it’s a good idea to budget some cash for pizza days, not to mention clothes for rapidly growing children, she added.

“There’s a whole bunch of little things that can pop up,” said Taylor. “Kids are expensive. It’s crazy how expensive kids are, you know?”

 

SIU called in after shooting near Yonge-Dundas Square

CityNews | posted Monday, Aug 8th, 2016

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Toronto police and paramedics at the scene after a shooting near Yonge-Dundas Square on Aug. 8, 2016. CITYNEWS/Tammie Sutherland

Two men are in hospital and the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has been called in after a “police involved” shooting near Yonge-Dundas Square.

One of the men is being treating for a stab wound and the man who is accused of stabbing him was allegedly shot by police.

Toronto police initially said they were called to Yonge Street and Dundas Street East for a stabbing, which happened around 6 a.m. on Monday.

Then, a short time later, police told CityNews they were investigating a shooting.

A witness at the scene said he saw a well-dressed man get into an altercation with a homeless man on Yonge. He said the well-dressed man stabbed the homeless man and then fled on Dundas. Later, that same man lunged at officers with a knife and was shot by police on Dundas after officers demanded he drop the knife in his hand, the witness said. This has not been confirmed by the SIU.

The man who was shot was rushed to hospital, and there is no word yet on his condition.

The stabbing victim is believed to be in his 60s and his injuries are minor, paramedics said.

Dundas Street West is closed between Yonge and Bay streets for the investigation.

Vehicle shot in Regent Park, woman taken to hospital

CityNews | posted Monday, Aug 8th, 2016

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A woman is in hospital after someone opened fire on a car.

The shooting happened near Regent Park around 2:15 a.m. on Monday but the woman was taken to hospital from Danforth and Coxwell avenues.

It’s not clear if she drove the car there or if she was a passenger and someone else drove the bullet-riddled car away from the crime scene.

So far, no arrests have been made.

Power outage cripples Delta, some flights resume

News staff and The Associated Press | posted Monday, Aug 8th, 2016

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Delta Air Lines temporarily grounded flights on Monday, disrupting the travel plans of thousands of passengers including those in Canada, after a power outage in Atlanta hit its computer systems globally.

In an update posted on its website at 8:40 a.m., Delta said the ground stop has been lifted and some flights are taking off, but warned that cancellations and delays continue.

“Delta has experienced a computer outage that has affected flights scheduled for this morning,” Delta said earlier in the morning. The airline said flights waiting to depart were delayed but flights already in the air would continue as normal.

The power outage in Atlanta started around 2:30 a.m. ET, and impacted computer systems and operations at Delta, the airline said around 7 a.m. At the time, Delta warned of “large-scale cancellations.”

Delta said that flight status systems, including airport screens, were incorrectly showing flights on time, something the company was trying address.

“We are aware that flight status systems, including airport screens, are incorrectly showing flights on time. We apologize to customers who are affected by this issue, and our teams are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”

People line up at the Delta Airlines check-in counters at Pearson International Airport on Aug. 8, 2016. CITYNEWS/Mehrdad Nazarahari

People line up at the Delta Airlines check-in counters at Pearson International Airport on Aug. 8, 2016. CITYNEWS/Mehrdad Nazarahari

 

Early confirmation of the troubles first came in an official Delta account that responds to customers via Twitter. The company had said its IT systems were down “everywhere” and several applications were affected, including the company’s website.

Typical responses to Delta’s customers complaining about their service were: “We are experiencing a system outage nationwide” and “Delta has experienced a computer outage that has affected flights scheduled for this morning.”

Pearson International Airport in Toronto and the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport were among many that were affected.

So far, there are more than 70 Delta flights that are scheduled to leave Pearson on Monday, which won’t be taking off unless the problem has been resolved.

Travellers are advised to check their flight status before going to the airport.

The airline said travellers will be entitled to a refund if the flight is cancelled or significantly delayed. Travellers on some routes can also make a one-time change to the ticket free of charge.

Computer outages have caused major headaches for airlines and travellers before. Southwest Airlines was forced to cancel more than 2,000 flights across the U.S. last month after technology problems prevented many travellers from checking in or boarding flights.

With files from The Canadian Press

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