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Toronto Zoo confirms polar bear cub is still cute in new video

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Jan 5th, 2016

Keep reading if you’re into cuteness.

The Toronto Zoo has posted a new photo of its polar bear cub as well as a video showing her being bottle fed by zoo staff.

The unnamed cub now almost two months old, weighs 2.8 kilograms and now feeds six times a day.

Her fuzzy white coat is also becoming thicker.

The zoo says she’s still in the wildlife health centre and not viewable to the public.

Horse community devastated by barn fire near Wellington County

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Jan 5th, 2016

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A barn that housed more than 40 horses will have to be knocked down after a devastating fire near Wellington County.

All of the horses inside, at least 43 animals, were killed in the fire at Classy Lane Stables in Puslinch on Monday night.

“Nobody wants to have this happen. They’re all part of our family. We all work, live and breathe, horse,” Cathy Illerbrun, an instructor at Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre, said Tuesday morning. The Centre is located across from Classy Lane and she said the owners were real neighbours.

“They help us with waste management … they even snowplow our driveway. They’re a great supporter to us. That’s what farmers are. That’s what neighbours do.”

The community, Illerbrun said, is united by their love of horses, and will respond to this tragedy “like farmers do: everybody pitches in and helps each other out,”

The fire began around 11 p.m. The remote location posed a problem for crews, Puslinch Fire and Rescue Service chief Steven Goode said.

“There are no hydrants in the area. There was a lot of water-shuttling that was happening. Road conditions were not the best,” Goode said.

“It was also extremely cold.”

The structure was fully engulfed and five separate fire departments were called in to battle the flames. Goode said he couldn’t comment on what fire protection systems were in place.

Classy Lane is a training centre for harness racing and is home to high-end racehorses. The barn was one of five at the stables and crews were able to save the other four buildings, Goode said.

“It’s a sad occasion,” Jason Benn, chief fire prevention officer for Puslinch Fire and Rescue Service, said Tuesday morning.

“Unfortunately, all the animals perished. They are racing horses that race throughout Ontario and Canada.”

Benn said the frigid temperatures made it difficult to fight the fire. It took four hours to extinguish the flames. The owners of Classy Lane were away at the time of the fire and are expected to return to the stable later Tuesday.

Barb Millier, who owns the facility with her husband Jamie, says she is unsure of the exact number of horses that were lost, but estimates at least 43 of the animals perished. Millier, who is visiting Florida and spoke to The Canadian Press by phone, said firefighters were still on the scene and that it was too early to speculate on the cause of the blaze.

She said her husband was trying to get a flight home as soon as possible.

Millier said all of the horses are standardbreds owned by trainers who race them at the Mohawk, Woodbine and Flamboro Downs racetracks in southern Ontario.

The Classy Lane website says the facility opened in 2003 and has five barns that accommodate 222 horses.

The cost of the damage is estimated to be between $4 and $6 million. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office is investigating. The fire is not considered suspicious at this time.

With files from The Canadian Press

Correction: An earlier version of this article said damages were estimated at $100 million.

TTC scheduling apps showing wrong data, should be fixed Tuesday

Charlene Close and news staff | posted Tuesday, Jan 5th, 2016

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TTC riders who rely on smartphone apps to check arrival times are feeling the chill today.

Predictions are off because NextBus, the California company responsible for updating transit data, didn’t upload the TTC’s new schedule.

The TTC pays NextBus about $600,000 a year to upload the new schedule every six weeks.

“Yesterday, Jan. 3 we changed the schedules for the next six weeks, and that schedule, for reasons we don’t yet understand, was not uploaded by NextBus as it should have been,” said Brad Ross, head of corporate communications at the TTC.

Since the NextBus data powers the TTC arrival times, any other app that uses that information will also be incorrect.

“Everybody who uses any application in Toronto for next vehicle arrival relies on NextBus to provide that data,” he said.

According to Ross, it’s not only arrival times on apps that are affected, but the times on subway boards and bus platforms as well.

“All of our customers are being inconvenienced who are waiting in fact at a subway station or a bus platform where we have boards that show next vehicle arrival time, those will be inaccurate.”

Ross says the company has assured the TTC that it will make things right and its predictions should be accurate for the start of service Tuesday morning.

‘The fire just exploded:’ Three in hospital after Bay and Bloor blaze

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Jan 5th, 2016

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Three people are recovering in hospital after a four-alarm fire at a highrise apartment on Monday night.

A sauna was sending out plumes of smoke, prompting the 911 call. When firefighters arrived and opened the door to the sauna, “the fire just exploded,” explained Toronto District Fire Chief James Green.

Emergency crews were called to the building on Charles Street, near Bay and Bloor streets, around 11 p.m.

When crews arrived, they found smoke in the hallway. They traced that smoke to the sauna. Green said the fire had “fully consumed” all the cedar and the electrical wiring inside.

“When crews opened the door, the influx of oxygen caused an explosion that blew them back and injured a few of our guys. It blew doors out down the hallway and ruined the celling at the far end of the hallway.

“The fire came out and knocked the fellas down that were right in front of the door. There was no fire that went down the hallway,” it was just the force of the explosion, Green added.

A “mayday” was called in shortly after that. One firefighter and two residents were taken to hospital, but are all expected to recover. Officials say everyone is accounted for..

https://twitter.com/Toronto_Fire/status/684229991819788288

https://twitter.com/Toronto_Fire/status/684231064047468544

Drivers facing new rules for pedestrian crossovers

CityNews | posted Monday, Jan 4th, 2016

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It’s the first day back to work and school for many after the holidays, and new rules are in effect aimed at keeping pedestrians safe.

Under the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, drivers will be required to remain stopped at pedestrian crossovers with overhead lights or at school crossings with guards – displaying school crossing stop signs – until everyone is off the roadway.

Also, pedestrians will be prohibited from entering a crossover if the vehicle is so close that the driver cannot stop.

The new rules, which went into effect on Jan. 1, applies to pedestrian crossovers and not at crosswalks, unless a school crossing guard is present.

According to the Ministry of of Transportation, “pedestrians crossovers are identified by specific signs, pavement markings and lights.” Such crossovers have overhead lights and push buttons for pedestrians.

A crosswalk is located at intersections with traffic signals, pedestrian signals or stop signs.

Drivers who break the new crossover law will be fined $150 to $500 and face three demerit points. Fines will be doubled in community safety zones.

According to police, 38 pedestrians have been killed on city streets in 2015, including a 63-year-old man killed in a hit-and-run on the Danforth just before midnight on Dec. 30.

And 2016 is not off to a great start. A man died after being struck by a vehicle in Scarborough on Sunday evening.

Toronto under extreme cold weather alert

CityNews | posted Monday, Jan 4th, 2016

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Toronto’s medical officer of health has issued an extreme cold weather alert for the city on Sunday, with temperatures expected to plummet overnight.

An alert is issued when temperatures are set to reach -15 C or colder according to Environment Canada’s forecast.

During extreme cold weather alerts, extra services are available to the homeless, including two 24-hour drop-ins and extra shelter beds.

Click here for more information on cold weather alerts and the services they trigger.

680 NEWS meteorologist Harold Hosein says we can expect flurries on Sunday night and a low of -14 C, but windchill values near -25 C.

Monday is looking similar, with a high of -11 C and a windchill that will make it feel like -20 C.

TTC fare hike, subway service changes take effect

CityNews | posted Monday, Jan 4th, 2016

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Another TTC fare hike will take effect on Sunday, but subway access on that day of the week will also grow by an hour.

TTC commissioners approved the increases in November when they voted on their 2016 operating budget, which included a number of fare hikes to balance the books.

The transit commission will implement the following changes starting on Sunday:

  • A cash fare hike of 25 cents
  • A 10-cent increase to the price of a token
  • TTC subway service will start at 8 a.m. on Sundays, one hour earlier than the current 9 a.m. Sunday opening.

However, the price of Metropasses — which has seen a jump of 45 per cent in the past decade — will be frozen.

2016 also marks the final year of the Metropass, which will be turfed in favour of a Presto card. For more information on how Presto works, click here.

What’s open and closed Christmas and Boxing Day; some events too

CityNews | posted Thursday, Dec 24th, 2015

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It’s crunch time, one and all. Last-minute shopping, gift wrapping, writing cards, baking sweets, cooking the family meal, and buying the much-needed wine are some of things on your to-do list for Christmas Day.

And when it’s all said and done, there’s Boxing Day to look forward to. Some shopping enthusiasts even head straight from the family gathering to line up at their favourite store to be the first to snag some good deals.

So, as you run around doing all these things, we have compiled a handy list of what’s open and closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Presents under a Christmas tree. GETTY IMAGES/UIG.
Presents under a Christmas tree. GETTY IMAGES/UIG.

While Christmas Day festivities and Boxing Day shopping are at the top of mind, there are a couple of hockey events taking place this weekend, including the World Junior championship. And someone could get a magical Christmas present from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) this weekend.

If you are looking for something to do with your children over the holidays, check out the Magical Toyland at Casa Loma.

Merry Christmas, from everyone at 680 NEWS and CityNews!

Transit

TTC
Dec. 24: Regular weekday service
Dec. 25: Sunday service schedule (most routes start at 9 a.m.)
Dec. 26: Holiday service schedule (most routes start at 6 a.m.)

The TTC will have reduced rides over the holidays but free service on New Year’s Eve.

File photo of the 504 King streetcar.
File photo of the 504 King streetcar.

GO Transit
Dec. 24: Early homebound service (Check the GO website for schedule details)
Dec. 25: Sunday service schedule
Dec. 26: Saturday service schedule

Shopping

Bramalea City Centre
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Eaton Centre
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Dufferin Mall
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Erin Mills Town Centre
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

People shopping at the Eaton Centre on the day before Christmas Eve in Toronto on Dec. 23, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin.
People shopping at the Eaton Centre on the day before Christmas Eve in Toronto on Dec. 23, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin.

Fairview Mall
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Pacific Mall
Open 365 days a year

Scarborough Town Centre
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sherway Gardens
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Shops at Don Mills
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Square One
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The Promenade
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Toronto Premium Outlets
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Vaughan Mills
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Yorkdale Mall
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Grocery/drug stores

Sobeys
Dec. 24: Most stores will be open from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Most stores are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Loblaws
Dec. 24: Most stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Longo’s
Dec. 24: Most stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Dec. 24: Closed
Dec. 26: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Shoppers Drug Mart
Select stores will be open on Christmas Day, and store hours over the holidays vary by location. Click here to check the hours at your local store.

Note: Call your local grocery or drug store for their holiday hours before heading out.

LCBO/Beer Stores

LCBO
Dec. 24: All stores will open at regular hours and close at 6 p.m. Click here to check hours at your local LCBO.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed. Some LCBO agency stores may choose to open on Boxing Day.

An LCBO store is pictured in Toronto April 20, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Francis Vachon.
An LCBO store is pictured in Toronto April 20, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Francis Vachon.

The Beer Store
Dec. 24: All stores will open at regular hours and close at 6 p.m. Click here to check hours at your local store.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed

Tourist attractions

Toronto Zoo
Dec. 24: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Toronto Zoo's twin pandas are seen on Nov. 12, 2015. Screen grab via Twitter/@TheTorontoZoo.
The Toronto Zoo’s twin pandas are seen on Nov. 12, 2015. Screen grab via Twitter/@TheTorontoZoo.

Four rare white lion cubs hanging out in the maternity ward. Photo via Twitter/@TorontoZoo.
Four rare white lion cubs hanging out in the maternity ward. Photo via Twitter/@TorontoZoo.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 26:  9 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Royal Ontario Museum
Dec. 24: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Casa Loma
Dec. 24: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Ontario Science Centre
Dec. 24: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

AGO
Dec. 24: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Government offices

Dec. 24: Most banks and other government offices open until the early afternoon
Dec. 25: Closed (no mail delivery)
Dec. 26: Closed (no mail delivery)

Toronto Public Library

Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed

Toronto garbage collection

Dec. 25: No collection (All collections pushed forward one day. Click here for more information.)

A blue bin and a black bin are seen in High Park on Oct. 14, 2015. Image courtesy CityNews viewer Astrida Liepins.
A blue bin and a black bin are seen in High Park on Oct. 14, 2015. Image courtesy CityNews viewer Astrida Liepins.

City of Toronto recreation centres

Dec. 24: Community recreation centres will close at 4 p.m., except those with scheduled permits.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed

Click here for list of activities to do in the city over the holidays.

Events

Christmas Day jackpot 
Now this would be the ultimate Christmas present! The OLG says the Dec. 25 Lotto Max jackpot is $60 million with 35 additional $1 million prizes.

Janine Lubey, centre, promotes the Lotto-Max lottery at Yonge and Dundas Square in Toronto on Sept. 25, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marta Iwanek.
Janine Lubey, centre, promotes the Lotto-Max lottery at Yonge and Dundas Square in Toronto on Sept. 25, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marta Iwanek.

Hockey galore
A Boxing Day tradition starts on Saturday. Canada’s World Junior Hockey team starts its defence of its 2015 title in Helsinki, Finland.

Canadian players celebrate Canada's 5-4 win over Russia during the gold medal game hockey action at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto on Jan. 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian players celebrate Canada’s 5-4 win over Russia during the gold medal game hockey action at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto on Jan. 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The Toronto Marlies play the annual Boxing Day classic at Ricoh Coliseum against the St. John’s Icecaps. Game time is at 3 p.m. and tickets are available here.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are back in action on Sunday. They’ll be in Brooklyn to face the New York Islanders.

Rogers Hometown Hockey in Oshawa
Rogers Hometown Hockey comes to the GTA this weekend. The festivities take over the area around Oshawa City Hall starting at noon Boxing Day and continue the next day, leading up to the televised Leafs game.

Magical Toyland at Casa Loma
If you’re looking for something to do post-Christmas with the children, Casa Loma is keeping the holiday magic alive.

It’s called Magical Toyland and features magic shows and Santa hosting children in his workshop and leading them in a scavenger hunt and other arts and crafts. Click here for ticket information.

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