1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar



Police seek suspect in GoodLife gym thefts

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Mar 8th, 2018

Some gym-goers looking to drop a few pounds ended up a little lighter in the wallet after a series of recent thefts at GoodLife Fitness Centres in Toronto.

Toronto police say the first incident took place at the GoodLife at 3280 on Bloor St. W. on Jan. 23 at around 5 p.m.

A 45-year-old man put his belongings in a locker and proceeded to work out. When he returned to the locker room he noticed that his credit cards had been stolen.

A similar incident took place on Feb. 4 at around 4 p.m. at the GoodLife at 185 The West Mall.

Police say a 30-year-old man returned from his workout to find his lock cut and his wallet and keys stolen from his locker.

In both instances, police say the stolen credit cards were used to make purchases at nearby businesses.

Police have released security images of the suspect. If you know anything, contact police.






Oakville jewelry store robbed at gunpoint, 2 suspects sought

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Mar 8th, 2018


Halton police are searching for two suspects wanted in an armed robbery at Oakville Place, near Trafalgar Road and the QEW.

It happened at the Mariani Jewellers and Watch Boutique store around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Police said one suspect threatened staff with a gun, while the other stole a number of watches. No one was injured during the robbery.

The suspects are described as being about five-foot-10, with an average build, wearing dark clothing, blue toques and white masks.

They were last seen getting into an older model Dodge Caravan.

Police said a third suspect may have been in the vehicle.

The challenges of policing drivers impaired by pot use

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Mar 8th, 2018


The use of recreational marijuana is expected to be legalized this summer, but new rules regarding driving while high aren’t expected to come into effect fully until at least December.

In the interim, police forces across the country are scrambling to get officers trained to spot drivers impaired by pot use. The Toronto police service currently has only 15 trained drug recognition experts (DRE).

While more officers are being trained, the program is lengthy, complex and requires learning how to execute a battery of tests, including the collection of toxicology samples.

Const. Clint Stibbe says Toronto police has been preparing for the legalization of marijuana for some time and has trained hundreds of officers on delivering basic, standardized field sobriety tests.

“They do have the tools in order to place a person under arrest based on the criminal code … that may be impaired by a drug, an alcohol or a combination of the two,” he says.

Bill C-46, currently before the senate, aims to give officers more tools to detect drug use. It sets out new thresholds for THC levels — the psychoactive element in pot — while driving. If the bill passes, DREs are expected to be called on more frequently.

Drivers would be tested with oral swabs to detect how much THC is present in their systems. However, THC levels are not an accurate indicator of how impaired a person might be. An individual’s tolerance level, method of consumption and even metabolic rate could impact their actual level of impairment.

“We need to keep in mind that how everybody reacts to that, what they consume and what the officer is faced with will be unique on a case by case basis,” Stibbe says.

MADD Canada says the variable impact of THC levels on impairment is why they aren’t in favour of an ‘absolute zero’ approach.

“You have to allow some margin of error for these instruments to measure against,” says Andrew Murei, CEO, MADD Canada. “If you simply use zero, you might be picking people up that have a drug in their body, but it has no effect on their driving ability”

The senate committee returns to the bill later this May.

Bugs in the grocery aisle: Loblaw adds cricket powder to its PC line

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Mar 7th, 2018


Canada’s largest grocer believes Canadians are ready to cook with crickets and is bringing the alternative protein ingredient to grocery shelves under its President Choice label.

A number of companies already sell various insect protein products, like mealworm bolognese sauce and honey-mustard flavoured whole crickets. But Loblaw Companies Ltd.’s announcement signifies more Canadians appear to be willing to munch on insects.

Shoppers can now find bags of President’s Choice cricket powder at their local Loblaw stores, the company said Tuesday. It’s the first time Loblaw’s in-house brand is selling insect protein.

President’s Choice is always looking to bring what’s new and next to Canadians, said Kathlyne Ross, Loblaw’s vice-president of product development and innovation.

“We are giving Canadians the option to not only try something new, but to also make a conscious decision on what they eat and how it impacts the environment.”

Proponents of entymophagy, a name for the eating of insects, say it has environmental and health benefits. Insect farming tends to produce less greenhouse gases, and requires less feed, water and land than more traditional livestock. Companies selling insect products tout their high-protein content.

The crickets used for the powder come from Norwood, Ont.-based Entomo Farms.

The farm started in January 2014 and has grown from 464 square metres to 6,100, said co-founder Jarrod Goldin. There’s plans for expanding further, with another 3,700 square metres soon to be built out, he said.

For reference, 2,800 square metres house about 100 million crickets, Goldin said.

Entomo sells cricket and mealworm products, like protein powder and whole-roasted mealworms, under its own brand name on its website and at various grocery stores — though no national chains, he said.

Cricket powder is really malleable, he said, and can be added to most anything people already eat.

Goldin sprinkles some on top of plain yogurt and berries for breakfast, for example. It can be baked into pizza crusts, added to pancake mix or put into a chili recipe.

The only limit is imagination, he said.

The taste varies based on concentration. A small amount won’t add any flavour, Goldin said, otherwise “it has a very lovely, earthy, nutty, mushroom-ey kind of flavour.”

The Loblaw deal has been in the works for years, Goldin said, and he’s hopeful it’s the first of many insect-protein products the national grocer will stock.

Loblaw described the partnership as “its first move into sustainable insect protein.”

It may not be the only large grocery chain to start selling insects.

Metro Inc. doesn’t currently carry any such products, said spokeswoman Sadie Weinstein in an email.

“But we’re always assessing food trends and might look to carry some of these products in the future.”

Toronto diner makes cameo in Oscar-winning ‘The Shape of Water’

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Mar 7th, 2018


Toronto’s historic Lakeview Restaurant is open to all kinds of characters, from a cocktail-slinging Tom Cruise to John Travolta in drag and Sally Hawkins as the mute paramour of an escaped merman.

Known to locals for its late-night comfort fare, the west-end diner has racked up an impressive number of film credits over more than 85 years of service, including a cameo in The Shape of Water, which was awarded the Oscar for best picture on Sunday.

Co-owner Fadi Hakim said film crews descend on the Lakeview Restaurant about once every month or two for movie, television and commercial shoots, temporarily shutting down the all-hours eatery.

“It is an iconic diner in the sense that it is a landmark in Toronto,” Hakim said in a phone interview this week. “A lot of film scouts really like it because … they don’t have to do a lot to it at all, except maybe rebrand it.”

Hakim said the diner’s wood-panelled decor and vinyl cushioning makes it a “no-brainer” destination for any production scouting locations for period pieces like The Shape of Water, which is set in the 1960s.

“The idea is when you walk in here, you’re instantly transported,” he said. “You can just feel the history of it.”

Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro was so smitten with the diner’s art deco esthetic, he set extra scenes in the greasy spoon, according to Hakim, although it’s unclear how much of the footage made it into the film.

For the Cold War-era fantastical romance, the Lakeview Restaurant was retrofitted into a Dixie-themed pie shop in Baltimore, where one of the film’s characters buys a fridge full of highlighter-hued key lime pies.

Soon after the movie hit theatres, Hakim said the diner had to add key lime pie to its menu so patrons could re-enact the scene in which Hawkins’ mute janitor takes a bite of the dessert and sticks out her green-stained tongue.

He said other customers will jokingly order the dish featured in the 1988 bartending rom-com Cocktail starring Cruise, whose character gets an ample serving of chicken a la king dumped on his head.

Some cinephiles will come to the restaurant just to sit on the same stool where Travolta dined in a pink-sequined dress in the 2007 musical adaptation of Hairspray, or saunter through the doors with the deadly swagger of a mobster in Boondock Saints, Hakim said.

He said the diner has collected cinematic memorabilia from several productions, such as a shard of glass from the door Daniel Craig accidentally shattered while he was filming the 2011 psychological thriller Dream House.

But Hakim tried to distance the restaurant from other less appetizing props, like the lifeless rats that flew past Robert Pattinson’s head in the David Cronenberg-directed thriller Cosmopolis.

“Wasn’t our rat,” said Hakim.

Other stars that have graced the restaurant’s tiled floors on screen include Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Wahlberg, Willem Dafoe and Michelle Williams, and Hakim said many more celebrities have stopped by to eat when the cameras weren’t rolling.

While Toronto often serves as a cinematic stand-in for American cities, Hakim said he thinks the diner’s distinctly Toronto sensibility shines through on the big screen.

Established in 1932, the Lakeview Restaurant has changed hands several times over the decades, but the diner’s mission has stayed the same.

The neon sign out front reads “Always Open,” promising good grub at any hour to a broad cross-section of city-dwellers, Hakim said.

“There is no class separation to it. I think that that ultimately is what certain places in Toronto have,” he said. “It is a bit of a cultural icon that everybody can enjoy, and that’s what I think that diners distinctly can offer.”


AGO warns of possible ‘ticket scams’ for ‘Infinity Mirrors’ exhibit

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Mar 7th, 2018


Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario is warning patrons to beware of possible ticket scams for its massively popular exhibit “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.”

In a post on its Twitter account, the AGO notes it’s “the only authorized seller of Infinity Mirrors tickets.”

It adds: “Visitors may be asked to show ID and risk being disappointed by ticket scams and being denied admittance to the exhibition, due to unauthorized duplication or sale of a ticket.”

The AGO is the only Canadian stop for the smash contemporary art show, which has become a sensation on Instagram.

The exhibit features mirror-lined rooms with kaleidoscopic environments alongside the artist’s works.

Timed-entry tickets first went on sale to the public in January and quickly sold out.

Ontario passes first of its kind concussion safety law

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Mar 7th, 2018


Ontario has passed concussion safety legislation designed to protect amateur athletes and educate coaches about the dangers of head injuries, calling the law the first of its kind in the country.

The bill – named Rowan’s Law in memory of 17-year-old Rowan Stringer who died from rugby injuries – passed with rare all-party support Tuesday.

Rowan’s father, Gordon Stringer, said he hoped the Ontario legislation would lead to reform in other provinces.

“The heavy lifting has been done here in Ontario,” he said. “But this is not something that’s an Ontario issue. This is something that needs to be addressed across Canada.”

The law establishes removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols for players to ensure they are taken out of a game if they are suspected of having a concussion. Coaches and teachers will also be required to review online resources that help them identify and manage concussions in players.

The bill also includes a concussion code of conduct that would set out rules of behaviour to minimize concussions while playing sports.

Daiene Vernile, Ontario’s minister of tourism, culture and sport, called the new law a “historic step” that balances the approach to concussion management in amateur sport.

“The Rowan’s Law Act will be a catalyst for longer-term culture change for concussion management and injury prevention in amateur sport and beyond,” she said.

The legislation was created following a coroner’s inquest into Rowan’s 2013 death, adopting its recommendations and the work of a legislative advisory committee on concussion management and prevention.

Rowan died from second impact syndrome after multiple concussions. During the coroner’s inquest her family learned that she had actually Googled “concussion” before she died.

Rowan’s Law was jointly introduced by Progressive Conservative, NDP and Liberal members.

Tory legislator Lisa MacLeod said she was thrilled to see the legislation pass but thought other provinces have been slow to follow Ontario’s lead. She remained hopeful that the federal government will help move concussion safety forward.

MacLeod also praised the Stringer family for their work on the issue and said the involvement of former NHLer Eric Lindros, talking about his experiences, further helped shine on concussion safety.

“We’re talking about concussions now,” she said. “There’s a great deal of awareness when you’re at the hockey rink or the soccer field or the rugby pitch compared to where it was before.”

Lindros called the new law a “blueprint for this entire nation” and said the culture around concussion treatment is changing compared to when he was playing professional hockey.

“It wasn’t spoken of,” he said. “I remember being sent to a migraine specialist and he turned around quickly and said ‘you don’t have migraines. You’ve sustained a concussion.’ … It just wasn’t heard of to take time off.”

Ontario to bring in ‘pay transparency’ bill aimed at closing wage gap

Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Mar 7th, 2018


It’s time to put an end to wage inequality between women and men, Ontario’s premier said Tuesday, as she announced legislation that aims to increase pay transparency in the province.

Kathleen Wynne, whose Liberals have been championing fairness as they bid for re-election this spring, said action was needed on the issue.

“We’ve got to pay attention to the reality of women’s lives,” she said while detailing legislation that was to be introduced Tuesday afternoon. “They still are not paid the same as men are paid. They still, at a very young age, have their horizons limited. We have got to stop doing that to them.”

The wage gap between women and men in Ontario, Wynne said, ranges anywhere between 12 per cent to 29 per cent depending on the workplace.

If passed, the government’s bill would require all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary rate or range, bar employers from asking about past compensation and prohibit reprisal against employees who do discuss or disclose compensation.

It would also create a framework that would require large employers to track and report compensation gaps based on gender and other diversity characteristics, and disclose the information to the province. If a company does not comply with the measures, it could face fines, Wynne said.

“Right now in workplaces there is resentment and hostility because information is not shared,” she said. “There’s suspicion about who is paid what. This policy is targeted exactly at that. I believe that people can deal with real information.”

The pay transparency measures will begin with the Ontario public service before applying to employers with more than 500 employees. It will later extend to those with more than 250 workers.

The proposed legislation is part of the government’s strategy for women’s economic empowerment, which includes up to $50 million in funding over three years.

It is in line with other measures from Wynne’s Liberals that have been centred on fairness and opportunity, such as the province’s increase to minimum wage and expansion of drug coverage for people under age 25.

“The phrase I always use is that government exists to do the things that people can’t do by themselves,” Wynne said. “It is quite clear that individual women are not able to make these changes themselves.”

Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said the government has looked to other jurisdictions for the basis of its pay transparency legislation, including existing laws in Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom.

“We’re trying to learn as much as we can from the process that’s been employed in other jurisdictions,” he said. “They obviously targeted the larger companies first and went to the medium-sized after that.”

Flynn said other jurisdictions have been able to cut their wage gap to half of Ontario’s levels in a short time using such an approach. For example, Iceland’s wage gap currently ranges from 6 to 18 per cent, according to the Ministry of Labour.

“We figure we can move that quickly and that far within a period of three or four years,” he said. “We’ll be making progress that simply hasn’t been made to date.”

Fay Faraday, co-chair of the Fair Pay Coalition, which has been advocating for pay transparency, said the measures announced Tuesday were “timid” and applied to too few workplaces to be effective.

Faraday said employers have had the legal obligation since the 1960s to pay non-discriminatory wages but “wide-spread non-compliance” with the laws has been allowed to exist because employees must come forward with complaints.

The legislation should be changed to ensure all employers, not just large companies, must prove to the government they’re paying fair wages to workers, she said.

“They’ve had five decades to get their wage structure in order to eliminate discrimination and time’s up,” Faraday said.

New Democrat Cindy Forster called the bill an attempt to shore up votes ahead of the election.

“The Liberal government has failed around pay gender issues for many, many years,” she said. “What I understand from just a first glance at the legislation on pay transparency is that it is a weak piece of legislation that isn’t really going to address the concerns for women.”

Page 9 of 78« First...7891011...203040...Last »