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August long weekend 2015: What’s open and closed in Toronto

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 31st, 2015

The August long weekend – Simcoe Day in Toronto – is a civic holiday and a long weekend for many people in the Greater Toronto area.

The holiday goes by many names across the province, and it goes by different names and is often celebrated with different traditions across the country. In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island the day is known as Natal Day, while it is Regatta Day in Newfoundland. In Ottawa the Civic Holiday is often referred to as Colonel By Day.

Businesses are not required to close Monday under the provincial Retail Business Holidays Act, so they may open at the discretion of the municipality.

Below is a list of what’s open and closed in the GTA:


  • Tourist attractions (ROM, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Zoo, Ripley’s Aquarium)
  • Major malls (Eaton Centre, Yorkdale, Fairview, Sherway Gardens, Square One, Vaughan Mills)
  • Select Beer Store locations (Click here for a full list)
  • LCBO (378 stores across the province will be open. Click here to find your store)
  • Movie theaters
  • City-run facilities like pools, splash pads and golf courses. (Click here for details)
  • Riverdale Farm
  • High Park Zoo
  • Toronto Islands and ferries


  • AGO
  • Banks
  • Government offices
  • Post offices and mail delivery
  • All Toronto Public Library branches

Weekend Events

Click here for what you need to know for the Caribbean Carnival, including road closures and a parade route map.

Iconic Kraft Dinner rebrands, is now officially called KD

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jul 30th, 2015


It’s been a staple at Canadian dinner tables for decades and now the company will be calling it what you’ve been lovingly calling it for years.

Kraft Canada announced on Thursday that Kraft Dinner has been rebranded to simply ‘KD.”

“You may recognize our new name from what you’ve always called us. #KDisnowKD” the company Tweeted.

Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishal stopped by Breakfast Television on Thursday to promote the rebranding.

“Everybody, everywhere, we’ve all grown up on Kraft Dinner,” Kardi said. “And for decades Canadians have called it KD.”

He then announced that in solidarity he would be changing his name for one day.

“Because of their love and appreciation for the fans, they officially changed the name to KD so in solidarity with them I am also changing my name to Kardinal D’Offishal, so I’m KD with KD.”

Hottest day of the year in Toronto?

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015


The GTA is riding a heat wave and Wednesday is shaping up to be the hottest day of the year, with temperatures pegged in the mid-thirties and the humidex near 40.

The city is under an extreme heat alert – the first one of the year – and an Environment Canada warning remains in effect for Toronto for a third straight day.

Wednesday’s forecast calls for mainly sunny skies with a high of 34 C, but it will feel like 39 C with the humidity, 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said. CityNews weather specialist Frank Ferragine agreed.

Although this could be the hottest day of the year, the temperature may not be record-breaking at this point, Taylor said on Monday. A record high of 35.6 C was set in Toronto on July 29, 1949.

The warmest day of the year so far was on Tuesday, with a temperature of 32.6 C recorded at Pearson International Airport.

The air conditioning is on overdrive due to the sweltering heat and Toronto Hydro is asking people to limit the strain on the utility’s equipment.

The utility said there has been a surge in demand and with more sizzling temperatures on the way, customers are being asked to ease up on their electricity use.

Environment Canada issued a heat warning for Toronto and the GTA on Monday. Environment Canada issues a heat warning in Ontario when the temperature is expected to reach 30 C or more with a humidex of 40 or more.

The hot weather also prompted the city’s medical officer of health to issue an extreme heat alert for Toronto.

During a heat alert, the public is encouraged to call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness, to make sure they are cool and drinking plenty of fluids.

In Toronto, when the forecast calls for a high greater than 31 C and the humidex more than 40 – over a two-day span – with a low that is greater than 20 C, the city will issue a heat alert. If the same conditions are in store for three days in a row, an extreme heat alert will be issued.

So far this year, the city has issued four heat alerts.

So how can you keep your cool in the intense summer heat? Here’s what the city advises:

  • Drink lots of cool water even before you feel thirsty
  • Go to an air conditioned place such as a shopping mall
  • Wear loose, light-coloured, breathable clothing and when outdoors wear a wide-brimmed hat
  • Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day

The following cooling centres are open during the extreme heat alert:

  • Metro Hall – 55 John St. (This cooling centre opens at 11 a.m. on the day the alert is issued and remains open 24 hours a day for the duration of the Extreme Heat Alert.)
  • East York Civic Centre – 850 Coxwell Ave. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • North York Civic Centre – 5100 Yonge St. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Driftwood Community Centre – 4401 Jane St. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre – 399 The West Mall (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • McGregor Community Centre – 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Centennial Park Community Centre – 1967 Ellesmere Rd. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

The city has also extended its hours at the following eight pools until 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday, weather permitting, to help people cool off:

  • Alex Duff Memorial Pool, 779 Crawford Ave.
  • Alexandra Park Pool, 275 Bathurst St.
  • Cummer Park Community Centre Pool, 6000 Leslie St.
  • Giovanni Caboto Outdoor Pool, 1369 St. Clair Ave. W.
  • McGregor Park Outdoor Pool, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E.
  • Monarch Park Pool, 115 Felstead Ave.
  • Sunnyside-Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
  • Smithfield Outdoor Pool, 175 Mount Olive Dr.

Click here for more tips on how to beat the heat.

People are also reminded, once again, to not leave a person or pet inside a parked car or in direct sunlight.

5 free summer events you will not want to miss

Kristen Gomes | posted Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015


When summer arrives so do the events and anything will ever beat a FREE event. With over hundreds of events happening in Toronto here are five free events you will not want to miss.

Panamania Live at Nathan Phillips Square
100 Queen St. West | July 10 – August 12
2015 Pan Am Games kick off this summer and ‘Panamania Live’ is for all the music lovers out there. With over 20 free concerts and 100 bands there is something for everyone to enjoy. Headliners include The Roots, Janelle Monae, The Flaming Lips and Death from Above 1979. Each night there will be a free concert, fireworks and winner celebrations.

TIFF in Your Park  
Various parks in the GTA | July 11 — September 25
TIFF in your Park will be celebrating 40 years of screening films across the GTA in a park near you. This year, there will be 14 parks you can go to that will be screening family favourites like Ghostbusters, Hugo and more.

Open Streets TO
Downtown Toronto | August 16 and September 6
Open Streets TO is making a comeback this summer. It is Toronto’s largest free recreation program that focuses on promoting physical activity and exploring the city. The closure will be on two Sundays August 16 and September 6. Click here to see the closures that might effect your commute during the weekend.

Dancing on the Pier
235 Queens Quay West | July 2 — September 3
The Harbourfront Centre presents Dancing on the Pier every Thursday evening. The waterfront turns into a vibrant dance floor  with participatory dance for all ages. It will be a great way to show off your dance moves this summer.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit
100 Queen St. West| September 18–20
The event is one of Toronto’s first, longest and largest outdoor art fair. The exhibit showcases over 250 artists and attract more than 100,000 people. There will be something out there that everyone to admire and enjoy.

Week of July 27, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 24th, 2015


Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

Be sure to tune in Tuesday as Lennox Lewis returns to the BT studios.

On Wednesday, Jenn will be live at Fenelon Falls, Ont.

And to end off the week Friday, we’re debunking the myths: juicing or smoothies – which is better?

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

Best of BT Weekend: July 24, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 24th, 2015


Meatless BBQ

Vegan Chef Doug McNish shares meatless must-haves and tips. 


How to avoid eating unhealthy snacks at work

Holistic Nutritionist Andrea Donsky shows us healthy snacks to reach for when you’re at work.


Live at Camp Ooch

Jenn was live at Camp Ooch in Muskoka.


Hot dog! Toronto chooses perfect street meat toppings

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jul 23rd, 2015


From the onions and chili of a Coney Island hot dog to the poppy-seed buns of Chicago, our neighbours to the south are the clear ‘wieners’ when it comes to choosing iconic frankfurter toppings.

But why should America have all the fun? As Toronto chows down on National Hot Dog Day, we asked you what condiments would put our city on the street meat map.

The suggestions ranged from the funny (skinny jeans and a beard), to the cheesy (Kraft Dinner), to the intriguing (crushed potato chips). Check out our list and send us your suggestions on Twitter.

Fun facts:

  • Hot dogs trace their origin as far back as the 15th century to various parts of Germany and Austria.
  • Established by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council in the United States, National Hot Dog Day is now celebrated around the world, including Canada.
  • The average hot dog is consumed in 6.1 bites.
  • Mustard is the most popular hot dog topping – 88 per cent of hot dog eaters use mustard.
  • Mickey Mouse’s first on screen words were “Hot Dog!” marking his transition from the silent screen.
  • The name “hot dog” is often attributed to a cartoonist who observed the carts selling “red hot dachshund dogs” on the New York Polo grounds and was unable to spell dachshund, so he printed “hot dogs” instead.
  • Sausages were previously consumed while wearing gloves. As the legend goes, a sausage seller at an exposition during the turn of the 20th century ran out of gloves and had to improvise by serving the sausages on rolls.

Source: Maple Leaf Foods

Week of July 20, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 17th, 2015


Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

Tune in Monday as it’s all about the meatless BBQ–you read that right!

On Wednesday, we learn how to avoid eating unhealthy snacks at work.

And to end off the week Friday, Jenn will be live at Camp Ooch in Muskoka.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

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