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The cheapest week to travel this summer

Barry Choi | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

Labour Day is just around the corner, and if you haven’t made any travel plans yet, you might be surprised to learn that there’s still some time to score some wicked deals. KAYAK, the world’s leading travel search engine has analyzed their data and have found that the week of August 28th is the cheapest week for Canadians to travel this summer when prices are 17% lower compared to the rest of the season.

Not only is this week ideal for lower fares, but it’s great since most travellers would have returned home from their trips which mean fewer crowds that you’ll need to deal with. The median prices listed below are based on coach, round trip flights with Canadian origin cities searched on KAYAK. Here’s a look at the top 10 cheapest destinations for Canadians to travel to during the week of Aug. 28:

Washington, DC

Median airfare – $173

Some Canadians may be avoiding Washington, DC for political reasons, but that would be a mistake. The city is one of America’s greatest and features plenty of free attractions including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. If you’re looking to save a bit of money on hotels, stay in Arlington where prices are cheaper and take the train to get into the city.

Victoria, B.C.

Median airfare – $188

With its blend of traditional beauty and modern amenities, Victoria is no hidden gem, but that’s okay. The inner harbour is a great place to get to know the city where gardens and architecture greet you. If you’re lucky, you may run into the city’s most famous local, Darth Fiddler. Yes, that would be Darth Vader yielding a fiddle instead of a lightsaber. For something more serious, head to the B.C. Buildings of Parliament where free guided tours are available.

New York City

Median airfare – $191

It may be cheap to get to New York City, but hotel prices can set you back quite a bit. To help you offset your costs, consider picking up a CityPASS that will give you discounted admission to six attractions. Food can be rather inexpensive with Halal Cart Guys charging $8 for their famous chicken platter while $1 slices at 2 Bros Pizza may be the best deal in the city. Even if you decide to splurge, that’s okay since the Canadian dollar has gone up in value recently.

Chicago

Median airfare – $191

If you haven’t been to Chicago, what are you waiting for? The city has some of the best architecture in the world that is best viewed from the river. Even though the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise will set you back USD $46, it’ll be worth it since you’ll learn all about the city in 90-minutes. Alternatively, you can book a free tour through the Chicago greeter program that connects you with a local guide.

Boston

Median airfare is $197

With history, art, and sports, Boston is a city that is suitable for all. History buffs will want to follow the freedom trail that takes you to 16 historic landmarks. If you’re into art, the Museum of Fine Arts has more than 450,000 works of art, while the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum houses a smaller and more intimate collection. Fenway Park is home to the Red Sox and one of the oldest ballparks in the game.

Montreal

Median airfare – $199

Montreal is celebrating is 375th birthday this year, and you better believe the city is still celebrating. The best thing to do in the city is to explore the various neighbourhoods. Old Montreal’s historic buildings and horse-drawn carriages will make you think that you’ve stepped back in time. The port area mainly attracts tourists but is still a lot of fun. For something a bit different, head up to Plateau/Mile End where St. Viateur and Fairmount Bagels are found.

Philadelphia 

Median airfare – $201

Philadelphia may have been made famous by Rocky, but these days the city is known for its food. No, I’m not talking about cheesesteaks, Italian beef sandwiches at the Reading Terminal Market are what the locals prefer. Top Chef contestant, Sylva Senat’s new restaurant, Maison 208 is set to open any day now and is sure to be a popular place. Okay, if you’re a Rocky fan, head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and dash up the stairs.

Dallas

Median airfare – $201

Dallas is a huge city, so there are two things to keep in mind. Get familiar with public transportation or ride sharing and book a hotel that’s central such as the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. When you’re ready to see the city, head to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science that is both impressive on the inside and out. For 360-degree views of the city, head over to the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck. CityPASS is also available in Dallas which will help you save on attraction tickets.

Toronto

Median airfare – $209

The CN Tower may be Toronto’s most recognizable attraction, but the Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square is easily more popular. Head to the sign at any hour, and you’ll find people snapping pictures among the letters. One could argue that food has now also become a popular attraction in the city. How could you not enjoy a bowl of bibimbap in Koreatown or have some gelato in Little Italy? Need a break from the city? Take a ferry to the Toronto islands and relax for the day.

Calgary

Median airfare – $213

Many people fly to Calgary just as a means to get to the Canadian Rockies, but spend some time in the city, and you won’t be disappointed. The recently opened Studio Bell at the National Music Centre has been getting rave reviews and stands out in the East Village. Down the street from the Studio Bell is the Glenbow Museum where you can learn about Canadian history. Foodies will be happy to hear that Calgary’s food scene has exploded over the years with tasty food available all over the city.

This originally appeared on MoneyWeHave.com and has been republished with permission.

Barry Choi is a personal finance and budget travel expert at Moneywehave.com.

The dirty dozen & the clean 15

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jul 24th, 2017

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The dirty dozen and the clean 15 refer to fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group. Use this list to help make grocery shopping easier.

 

The Dirty Dozen (in order of contamination)
Apples
Celery
Sweet bell peppers
Peaches
Strawberries
Nectarines
Grapes
Spinach
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Blueberries
Potatoes

The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination)
Onions
Sweet Corn
Pineapples
Avocado
Cabbage
Sweet peas
Asparagus
Mangoes
Eggplant
Kiwi
Cantaloupe
Sweet potatoes
Grapefruit
Watermelon
Mushrooms

Trump had another conversation with Putin at G20

VIVIAN SALAMA AND JILL COLVIN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jul 19th, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. Trump and Putin met for more than two hours. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summi in Hamburg on July 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump had another, previously undisclosed conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Germany this month.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer and National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton confirmed that Trump and Putin spoke at a dinner for world leaders and their spouses at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The conversation came hours after Trump and Putin’s first official face-to-face meeting on July 7, which was originally scheduled to last just half an hour but stretched on for more than two. The two world leaders were also captured on video shaking hands and exchanging a few words after they arrived at the G20 summit of industrialized and developing nations earlier that day.

Anton would not specify the duration of the conversation. But he said the discussion was casual and should not be characterized as a “meeting” or even a less formal, but official, “pull aside.”

“A conversation over dessert should not be characterized as a meeting,” he said.

The dinner, hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was open only to world leaders and their spouses, as well as one translator per couple, according to a senior White House official who described the event on condition of anonymity despite the president’s criticism of unnamed sources.

The official stressed that Trump spoke with many leaders over the course of the dinner and said he spoke briefly with Putin, who was seated next to first lady Melania Trump, as the event was concluding. Trump spoke with Putin using Russia’s translator, since the American translator did not speak Russian.

But Ian Bremmer, who said he spoke with two people who attended the dinner, said that Trump and Putin spoke for nearly an hour while sitting among the other world leaders and their spouses at the dinner. Bremmer is a foreign affairs columnist and the president of the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm.

Attendees described the meeting as startling, said Bremmer, who was told Trump was very animated as he spoke with Putin, often using his hands to gesture.

Trump defended the dinner in a pair of angry tweets late Tuesday that noted the dinner had been on his public schedule.

“Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is ‘sick.’ All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!” he wrote.

A few minutes later he added: “The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!”

Trump and Putin’s relationship has been under scrutiny since the election campaign, when Trump repeatedly praised Putin as a strong leader and publicly encouraged him to hack then-rival Hillary Clinton’s emails. Trump aides have since said he was joking.

U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election in order to help Trump. Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on their findings and dismissed investigations into potential collusion between his campaign and Moscow as a “witch hunt.”


Related stories:

Video: Trump, Putin hold first face-to-face meeting

It’s official: Trump campaign wanted campaign help from Putin government

Following the money: Trump-Russia probes turn into hunt for finance criminality

Internship opportunity at Breakfast Television – Fall 2017

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jul 17th, 2017

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Passionate about breaking news, lifestyle content, social media, and producing creative and engaging stories for television and online?

Breakfast Television is a three-and-a-half hour LIVE television news and lifestyle production and is looking for a full-time digital and production intern for its Fall 2017 term (Sep. through Dec.). The successful applicant must be studying a relevant program, and the internship must be part of their school curriculum.

We’re looking for an individual who’s bright, creative, and energetic, with a passion for news- and lifestyle-themed content, plus the ability to hunt down the latest trends before they go viral! Knowledge of video production and editing would be considered a strong asset.

The position is a full-time, five-day-a-week program, running from 6 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday in our downtown Toronto studios.

Should you fulfill the requirements and wish to apply for the position, please forward your resume and cover letter, along with your placement officer’s name and contact info, to:

comments@bttoronto.ca
Please include ‘Internship‘ in the subject line.

Alternately, send a hard copy to:

City – Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
Breakfast Television Internship Program
33 Dundas Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1B8

If we are interested in following up with you, we will be in touch to set up an interview.

Home sales in Greater Toronto Area plunge 37.3% last month: TREB

ALEXANDRA POSADZKI, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jul 6th, 2017

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A for sale sign displays a sold home in a development in Ottawa on July 6, 2015. Nearly one in five first-time homebuyers received help with a down payment from a family member, according to a survey conducted by the federal housing agency released Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Toronto Real Estate Board says the number of homes sold last month plunged 37.3 per cent compared with a year ago, even as the number of listings rose.

The board says 7,974 homes in the Greater Toronto Area changed hands in June while the number of new properties on the market climbed 15.9 per cent year-over-year to 19,614.

The average price for all properties was $793,915, up 6.3 per cent from the same month last year.

The data comes after the Ontario government introduced rules aimed at cooling Toronto’s housing market, where escalating prices have concerned policy-makers at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

Ontario’s measures, which were retroactive to April 21, include a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, expanded rent controls and legislation allowing Toronto and other cities to tax vacant homes.

Experts have said that buyers have been waiting to see what the impact of the changes will be – similar to what happened in Vancouver after the B.C. government introduced a 15 per cent foreign buyers’ tax last August.

There have been growing worries that overheated prices in Vancouver and Toronto could be a problem for the broader economy, especially if there is a sudden decline in housing prices sparked by higher interest rates.

The Bank of Canada has recently signalled that time is running out for the rock bottom interest rates it put in place in 2015 to cushion the blow of a sudden decline in global oil prices.

Two Canadian pitchers selected in second day of MLB Draft

680 NEWS / THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jun 14th, 2017

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University of Kentucky right handed pitcher Zach Pop (#52) was brought in for the late innings during game play between the Miami University Redhawks and the University of Kentucky Wildcats at Kentucky, Lexington, US, on March 12, 2017. (Mat Gdowski/Icon Sportswire/REX/Shutterstock)

Canadian pitchers Zach Pop and Daniel Procopio were both chosen on Day 2 of the MLB Draft on Tuesday, bringing the total of Canadian players selected to four over the first 10 rounds.

The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Pop, a Brampton, Ont., native pitching at the University of Kentucky, with their seventh-round selection, while the Los Angeles Angels used their 10th-round selection on Toronto’s Procopio, a right-handed pitcher out of Niagara University.

Pop spent the 2017 season pitching as the Wildcats’ set-up man and appeared in 22 games. He struck out 20 in 20 2/3 innings, giving up 19 hits and holding batters to a .247 average.

Pop was a 23rd-round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013 but did not sign with the club. Later that year, he helped Canada to a bronze medal at the under-18 Pan American Championships in La Paz, Mexico.

Procopio started 12 games for the Purple Eagles and went 6-4 with a 4.19 earned-run average. He had 75 strikeouts over 58 innings and limited batters to a .203 average.

Procopio represented Canada in 2013 at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. He was drafted by the New York Mets in 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft as a high school player.

Right-hander Landon Leach of Pickering, Ont., was the first Canadian drafted this year, going to the Minnesota Twins in the second round (37th overall) on Monday. Shortstop Adam Hall of London, Ont., went to the Baltimore Orioles with the 60th overall pick.

The final day of the MLB Draft goes Wednesday with rounds 11 through 40.

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