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5 things to do this weekend: Team Canada, Blades on Stage & flower shows

Showwei Chu | posted Saturday, Jan 3rd, 2015

As our regular CityNews.ca series continues, we look at events happening in Toronto for a variety of ages and interests.

Jan. 2-4, 2015

World Juniors Championships: This annual event, organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation and co-hosted this year by Toronto and Montreal, showcases hockey’s finest young guns from around the world. Canada is still a contender for gold after it beat the U.S. 5-3 in the preliminary round. Team Canada is playing Denmark in the quarter-finals on Friday evening. Air Canada Centre. Until Jan. 5. For prices, click herehockeycanada.ca

Art Spiegelman retrospective: The Art Gallery of Ontario is holding a major retrospective of Pulitzer-Prize winning artist Art Spiegelman, who has illustrated comics for 50 years and is famous for his Maus books which documented his parents’ life during the Holocaust. On exhibit include rarely seen original manuscripts of Maus and 300 other works, including trading cards and magazine covers. 317 Dundas St. W. Until March 14. Exhibition included in admission price: $11-19.50. ago.net

High-Tech Maker Camp: MakerKids is holding day camps for kids throughout the holiday week at its Roncesvalles location, giving children hands-on experience with robotics, electronics and 3D printing. On Friday, kids will get to try 3D printers and lasercutters to make jewelry, a door sign or pretty much anything they can imagine. 2241 Dundas St. W., Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $99. makerkids.com

Blades on Stage: The stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre will be frozen for a holiday performance by famous figure skaters, including Elvis Stojko, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Violetta Afanasieva and Pete Dack. 300 King St. W. Until Sunday. $29-$130. ticketking.com

Flower show: Why not extend the Christmas season a wee bit longer with a visit to the annual Christmas Flower shows at the Allan Gardens Conservatory and the Centennial Park Conservatory. 19 Horticultural Ave. and 151 Elmcrest Rd., respectively. Until Jan. 11. Free.

What’s open & closed: New Year’s in Toronto 2015

Patricia D'Cunha | posted Wednesday, Dec 31st, 2014

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Holiday revellers: are you ready for your New Year’s Eve party? As you make your plans for the annual celebration, consult our list for information on mall hours, LCBO and Beer Store hours and transit options.

If you are heading out on Jan. 1, we have you covered there as well.

Shopping

Bramalea City Centre
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dufferin Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Eaton Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Fairview Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Pacific Mall
The mall is open 365 days a year.

The Promenade
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Scarborough Town Centre
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Sherway Gardens
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Shops at Don Mills
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Square One
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Vaughan Mills
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Yorkdale Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Most grocery stores are closed on Jan. 1, but select stores will be open. Check with your local store.

LCBO/Beer Stores

LCBO
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

The Beer Store
Dec. 31: Open until 6 p.m. Click here for a list of individual store open times.
Jan. 1: Closed

Municipal & federal services

Government/bank offices
Dec. 31: Most banks and other government offices open until the early afternoon
Jan. 1: Closed, plus no mail delivery

Libraries
Dec. 31: Open until 1 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Toronto garbage collection
There is no curbside recycling, organics and garbage collection on Jan. 1. Click here for more information on local pickup schedules.

Transit

TTC
Dec. 31: Ride for free on New Year’s Eve, with extended service on most routes from 7 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 7 a.m. on Jan. 1. Subways will run until around 4 a.m., and then resume service at 9 a.m.

Jan. 1: Sunday service schedule

Click here for more information.

GO Transit

Dec. 31: GO is offering early homebound and late-night service, and also free service after 8 p.m.
Jan. 1: Sunday service schedule

Click here for more information.

Other GTA transit

Some GTA transit services are also offering free rides starting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 31. Click on the links below for more information:

What’s open & closed Christmas and Boxing Day in Toronto 2014

Sarah-Joyce Battersby | posted Tuesday, Dec 23rd, 2014

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be the busiest on the roads and at the malls. Here’s a look at all of the information you need to know about what’s open and closed during the Christmas.

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. 24: Early pick-up starting at 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: No collection (All collections pushed forward one day. Click here for more information.)

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.)

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

Shopping:

Bramalea City Centre
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 6 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. – 10 p.m.

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

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

Pacific Mall
The mall is open 365 days a year.

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

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 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.

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. – 8 p.m.

LCBO/Beer Stores

LCBO:
Dec. 24: Click here to see hours for your local LCBO
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed. Some LCBO agency stores may choose to open on Boxing Day.

The Beer Store:
Dec. 24: Click here to see hours for your local store.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed

Christmas snow not likely as mild temperatures, rain move into GTA

Patricia D'Cunha | posted Monday, Dec 22nd, 2014

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Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of southern Ontario, including Toronto and the GTA, calling for “some un-Christmas-like weather for the first few days of winter.”

The statement extends to parts of eastern Ontario as well, including Kingston and Ottawa.

Winter officially arrived at 6:03 p.m. on Sunday, but milder weather is expected to move into the region over the next couple of days.

A low pressure system over the U.S. Midwest will track towards the Great Lakes, bringing some rain on Tuesday, the weather agency says.

680News meteorologist Jill Taylor says it will be mainly cloudy on Monday and a high of 3 C. On Tuesday, the forecast calls for rain in the late afternoon or evening and a gusty wind, with a high of 5 C.

Parts of Eastern Ontario could encounter freezing rain before warmer temperatures arrive later on Tuesday, the weather agency says.

White Christmas not likely

According to Environment Canada, rain is expected to continue into Christmas, with the temperature forecasted to hit the single digits and potentially the low teens in many areas.

Taylor says rain will be heavy at times on Christmas Eve, with around 15-20 millimetres in accumulation, a gusty wind to 50 km/h and a high near 10 C. Rain is expected to change to snow overnight and the temperature drops to 2 C.

As for Christmas Day, some areas could see some light flurries accompanied by a strong wind. Although the temperatures will be cooler, the weather agency says “don’t expect much if any accumulation for a white Christmas.”

Taylor says the GTA will deal with windy conditions and wet snow on Christmas Day. The high will be near 2 C but will feel like -8 C with the wind.

5 things to do this weekend: Hallelujah time, winter solstice celebration

Patricia D'Cunha | posted Saturday, Dec 20th, 2014

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As our regular CityNews.ca series continues, we look at events happening in Toronto for a variety of ages and interests.

Dec. 19-21, 2014

Handel’s Messiah: Get swept up in the annual Toronto holiday tradition, featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. The pinnacle moment of the concert, the well-known Hallelujah chorus, will make you leap for joy and warm even Scrooge’s heart. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. Friday (8 p.m.), Saturday (8 p.m.), Sunday (3 p.m.). Prices: $38 to $105. tso.ca

Breakfast with Santa: With Christmas less than a week away, Santa and his crew are very busy, but they always have time for their fans. First up, fill your belly with Mrs. Claus’ scrumptious breakfast buffet that includes pancakes with maple syrup, scrambled eggs, shortbread cookies, and croissants. Then, enjoy story time with the elves, taffy rolling, decorating sweets with Mrs. Claus, and of course, a visit with Jolly Old St. Nick. Palais Royale, 1601 Lake Shore Blvd. W. Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Children 12 and under: $15; adults: $20. Free parking. palaisroyale.ca

Holiday movie classics: “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,” one of George Bailey’s children says in the classic Frank Capra movie It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. Select Cineplex Odeon locations. Saturday, various showtimes.cineplex.com

Home Alone returns to this big screen in karaoke-style holiday quote-a-long, so feel free to yell out some of Kevin McCallister’s (a.k.a. Macaulay Culkin) memorable phrases like, “you guys give up yet? Or are you thirsty for more?” Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W. Friday, 9:30 p.m. $11, and get some goodies with a donation to their food drive in support of the Stop Community Food Centre. hotdocs.ca

Toronto Christmas Market: This is the last weekend for you to check out the Toronto Christmas Market, now in its fifth year. The market has a European flare with its cobbled walkways and a beer garden, but also embraces Canadiana with mouth-watering poutine and homemade fudge. Children can marvel at the life-sized gingerbread house, sing along with Santa’s elves, say hello to Santa, and catch performances next to the twinkling tree. Adults can sample some mulled wine or hot rum while warming up next to the fire. Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St. Friday (noon to 9 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Free admission. torontochristmasmarket.com

Kensington Market Winter Solstice: Usher in the winter solstice — the longest night of the year — with light as the season officially arrives at 6:03 p.m. ET on Sunday. Stroll through Kensington Market with handmade illuminated lanterns as you encounter giant puppets, watch shadow play theatrics, dance to eclectic music, and take in the dramatic fire finale in Alexandra Park at Bathurst and Dundas streets. The 25th annual event is hosting by the non-profit community group Red Pepper Spectacle Arts. Kensington Market, starts at Oxford and August streets. Sunday, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Free admission.redpepperspectacle.wordpress.com

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca,or submit it online at CityNews.ca or 680News.com, or via our iPhone & iPad apps.

5 things to do this weekend: City of Craft, The Nutcracker, and some un-Christmas joy

CityNews | posted Saturday, Dec 13th, 2014

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Dec. 12-14, 2014

City of Craft: More than 50 vendors will be offering hand-made trinkets and unique treasures just in time for gift-giving season, from crocheted cacti to botanical hangover remedies. The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W. Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $2, children 12 and under are free. facebook.com

The art of Dr. Seuss: For the 13th year in a row, the Liss Gallery has mounted an exhibition celebrating the art of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. The exhibit includes original paintings, drawings, and sculpture from Seuss’ time as an author as well as his other walks of life, from military propagandist to influential artist. Liss Gallery, 140 Yorkville Ave. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. liss-gallery.com

The 12 trees of Christmas: See what your neighbourhood looks like in Christmas tree form at the Gardiner Museum’s 12 Trees of Christmas display. It’s the last weekend to see the 12 designer trees put together by local noted locals from TV hosts Steven Sabados & Chris Hyndman and Kimberley Newport-Mimran. The Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults, $15; Seniors, $11; Students, $9; Children 12 and under are free. gardinermuseum.ca

The Nutcracker: The holiday season is officially underway as the National Ballet of Canada’s production of The Nutcracker begins Saturday. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Dec. 13-Jan. 3. $25-$409. national.ballet.ca

Stanley Kubrick Exhibition: As an antidote to all the Christmas cheer and consumerism, take in the photographs, letters, props and costumes from famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s home and work. Known for 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, the exhibition includes special screenings of the director’s award-winning films. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. Oct. 31-Jan. 25, 2015. Adults, $12.50; Students and seniors, $10; Members, free. tiff.net

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca or submit it online at CityNews.ca or via our mobile apps.

Thousands say goodbye to Beliveau at Montreal funeral

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Dec 10th, 2014

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A who’s who of the hockey and political worlds paid an emotional farewell on Wednesday to Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau, whose death last week unleashed a national outpouring of grief.

Dickie Moore remembered his longtime teammate as a “great man.”

“It is a tremendous honour to stand here for my teammate and friend Jean Beliveau,” said Moore, the first person to deliver an eulogy at the emotional funeral. “Everyone has said so many wonderful words about him, words like strength, dedication, devotion and elegance.

“I was lucky to have been with Jean for many glorious years with the Canadiens, lucky to share amazing moments together, lucky to have him as a friend.

“Would you rather be good or lucky? I was lucky. He was good,” he said to chuckles from the congregation.

Moore was followed to the podium at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral by Yvan Cournoyer, one of six pallbearers at the sombre event.

Cournoyer spoke about Beliveau, 83, in revered tones as his “captain” and described what he called almost a father-son relationship with the late icon.

“Oh captain, my captain, bon voyage,” Cournoyer said, his voice choking.

Other teammates who delivered eulogies were Serge Savard and Ken Dryden, who recalled being Beliveau’s roommate toward the end of the 1970-71 season as the goaltender was breaking into the league.

“He treated everyone with respect,” Dryden told the service. “He said the right things and in the right way, in French and in English, because that’s what he believed and that’s what he was.

“He made every occasion better. He made everyone who was there feel that their town, their organization, their province, their country, their event mattered. That they mattered.”

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson also addressed the service and spoke of Beliveau as an athlete, a friend, a champion and an example to follow.

“He was a special man, a Jean Beliveau like no other,” he said.

Beliveau’s casket was draped with the flag of the Canadiens, the team with which he won 10 Stanley Cups as a player and another seven as a team executive.

The other designated pallbearers were Savard and former Canadiens players Phil Goyette, Guy Lafleur, Robert Rousseau and Jean-Guy Talbot.

Those attending the funeral included Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Gov. Gen. David Johnston, former prime ministers Jean Chretien and Brian Mulroney, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and ex-Quebec premiers Jean Charest and Bernard Landry.

Former NHLers included Mario Lemieux and Luc Robitaille.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also travelled to Montreal.

“He was just great to be around,” Bettman told reporters before the service. “And he’s going to be terribly missed.”

He was asked about suggestions that the Conn Smythe Trophy could eventually be named after Beliveau.

“We’ve been focused more on his passing and that loss and celebrating his life and I know at the appropriate time we’ll focus on what is a remembrance fitting for someone like Jean Beliveau,” Bettman said.

Harper described Beliveau as someone who transcended his sport.

“We’ve obviously lost a great citizen, somebody who was admired and respected by everybody everywhere in the country,” he said on his way into the service. “I certainly have admired Mr. Beliveau since I was a young boy.

“He was an individual who was great in his sport but ultimately even greater than his sport. He’s already part of the Hockey Hall of Fame and now he’s become part of the history of our country.”

A few hundred seats were reserved for fans on a first come, first served basis. Those who couldn’t get inside were able to watch the ceremony on giant screens nearby.

Montreal police, who have been wearing camouflage pants and red ballcaps in recent months to protest pension plan reforms, wore their regulation uniforms out of respect for Beliveau.

Beliveau entered the Hockey Hall of Fame the year after his retirement in 1971.

Thousands of people filed into the Bell Centre on Sunday and Monday to pay tribute to Beliveau and shake hands with his wife, Elise.

On Tuesday night, the Canadiens honoured him before their game against the Vancouver Canucks.

‘Significant snowfall’ expected for GTA on Wednesday evening & Thursday

Jaime Pulfer and Patricia D'Cunha | posted Wednesday, Dec 10th, 2014

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Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for cottage country, including Barrie and Owen Sound, calling for 15 to 20 centimetres of snow, while parts of southern Ontario including the GTA remain under a special weather statement.

A wall of snow in northern New England is approaching from eastern Ontario, and is expected to slowly spread westward across the regions on Wednesday evening, the agency warned.

“Driving conditions will quickly deteriorate as the snow arrives tonight,” Environment Canada said. “Motorists should allow extra time to reach their destination due to low visibility in areas of heavier snow and blowing snow.”

The agency said the snow storm is expected to have a significant impact on the morning commute on Thursday.

“Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions.”

Earlier, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for parts of southern Ontario, including Toronto and the GTA, calling for “significant snowfall” for the region on Wednesday night and Thursday. The statement also extends to Barrie, Orillia, Waterloo, Hamilton and Niagara.

According to the weather agency, general snowfall totals are expected to be around 10 centimetres, but that depends on location. The eastern parts of the GTA could be hit with up to 15 centimetres of snow by the time the storm ends.

680News meteorologist Jill Taylor says the forecast calls for mainly cloudy and windy conditions to start on Wednesday, followed by snow around 9 p.m.

She said there will be some flurries before 9 p.m., which means the drive home could be tricky, and then back to work and school on Thursday morning.

Taylor said the bulk of the snow is expected overnight and early Thursday morning. Between 3-7 centimetres of snow could fall overnight in parts of the GTA, with another 3-7 centimetres on Thursday.

“It’s the east end of the GTA that could end up with 10-plus centimetres of snow,” Taylor said.

“Just expect a very slow commute early tomorrow morning — really, no matter where you are.”

There are questions about preparedness after the last snowfall in November and the problems with the contractors on the Queen Elizabeth Way.

It could be the most snow the GTA has seen this season so far, with 6.3 centimetres recording at Pearson International Airport on Nov. 17 and four centimetres on Nov. 19.

The snow is expected to end later on Thursday for central and southwestern Ontario.

For Wednesday, a high of 1 C has already been reached, but it will be near -1 C for the rest of the day with a wind chill near -8. The low will be -5 C with a wind chill near -12 in the evening.

Air Canada has issued a travel advisory for Toronto, saying flights might be impacted by the forecasted snow.

Many airlines have issued alerts about weather in other areas like Quebec, Ottawa, the East Coast and the U.S. Northeast.

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