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The Habs are Canada’s team: exclusive CityNews poll

Christine Chubb | posted Wednesday, Oct 8th, 2014

It’ll be a crosscheck into the boards for Leafs Nation but a new Forum Research poll conducted exclusively for CityNews has found that when it comes to the NHL, Canada’s team is the Canadiens.

With support coming from every province across the country, Montreal is cheered on by 23 per cent of Canadian hockey fans, almost doubling those who root for the Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs combined.

Support for the blue and white was highest in their home province with 33 per cent of Ontarians saying the Leafs were the team they cheered for the most.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, captained by Halifax’s Sidney Crosby, are the highest-ranking American team, as the fifth most-supported team in Canada. Support for the Penguins also ranked highest in the Atlantic provinces.

And there is still no question that hockey is Canada’s game. More than 8-in-10 Canadian adults said they think hockey is important to our cultural and social fabric — including those who aren’t fans of the sport.

“Even among those who claim not to be fans, hockey is seen to be an important cultural signifier in this country, and when two thirds of the adult population watches a single game, you know that’s true,” Forum Research president Dr. Lorne Bozinoff said in a statement. “I don’t know if this could be said for baseball, basketball or NFL football in the US, or cricket or Premier League football in the UK.”

Just over half of Canadians, 53 per cent, said they were NHL fans, with the majority support coming from younger males, the wealthy and those who vote conservative.

Most of those asked considered themselves regular fans with only a tenth classifying themselves as “extreme fans.”

The highest number of NHL fans live in Alberta with 61 per cent.

The Forum poll was conducted between Oct. 3 and 5 and has a margin of error of 2.5 per cent from random sampling of 1,504 Canadians 18 years of age and older.

Forum Research probes Canada's Hockey Fandom

5 things to do this weekend: Nuit Blanche, Oktoberfest and Parkdale Flea

Michael Talbot | posted Saturday, Oct 4th, 2014

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Oct. 3-5, 2014

Nuit Blanche: For the 9th straight year Toronto will be transformed into a thrilling dusk-to-dawn art fest full of awe-inspiring, interactive installations. This year’s event features more than 120 projects, with 80 produced by Toronto’s talented art community. Various locations. Click here for an interactive map. Saturday, 6:53 p.m. to sunrise. Free. scotiabanknuitblanche.ca

Oktoberfest at the Mill Street Brew Pub: Twenty tasty beers will be on tap alongside special Bavarian food stations to help soak up the suds. There will also be live entertainment to keep the party going. Mill St. Brewery. 21 Tank House Ln. Saturday, 6 p.m. $25 per ticket. $200/table for 10.toronto.millstreetbrewpub.ca

Toronto’s Bridal Show: Over 150 vendors will be on hand to help prepare you for the big day.  There will also be daily fashion shows and a slew of prizes, including wedding dresses, cakes, and a 7-day vacation. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd. Fri-Sun. $20. 12 and under free. torontosbridalshow.com

High Park Harvest Festival: Spend a charming fall afternoon in Toronto’s most sprawling green space. The celebration of autumn includes horse and wagon rides, pumpkin decorating and chest-warming apple ciders. There will also be live music and dance workshops. Colborne Lodge, 11 Colborne Lodge Dr. Sunday. 12 to 4:30 p.m. Free. toronto.ca

Parkdale Flea: Whether you’re looking for an antique piece of furniture, a forgotten work of art, or some vintage threads, this is the place to peruse. Plenty of food and drink vendors will be on hand so pack an appetite. 1266 Queen St. W. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.parkdaleflea.com

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

Hong Kong protesters fear new police push

Reuters | posted Tuesday, Sep 30th, 2014

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Thousands of pro-democracy protesters spent another night sleeping on Hong Kong’s normally busy roads, extending their blockade.

Riot police withdrew on Monday after a weekend of clashes.

But as the protesters prepared to press home their demands for another day on Tuesday there were fears that could change.

Some suspect there could be a push by police to clear the roads before Chinese National Day on October 1st.

“I think this is the government’s strategy. They used tear gas two days ago. If they’d used it again yesterday or today it would stir up a lot of talk internationally. The pressure on the government would be too great, so I think it makes sense that it was quiet yesterday,” said protester Helen Kwong.

Organisers say up to 80, 000 people took to the streets as the protests flared on Friday night.

There’s no independent confirmation of the figures.

There’s already been a demonstration in support of the Hong Kong protesters in Taiwan.

A rally in Macau is also planned for Wednesday.

The protests erupted after China said it would limit elections for Hong Kong’s leader in 2017 to a handful of candidates loyal to Beijing.

Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Mayor Ford diagnosed with rare form of cancer, doctors ‘optimistic’

Michael Talbot | posted Wednesday, Sep 17th, 2014

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Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer, but the mayor’s Mount Sinai colorectal surgeon said he’s “optimistic” it can be treated and says it hasn’t spread to any organs.

Initial treatment will consist of two rounds of chemotherapy, starting within the next 48 hours.

“The diagnosis is a malignant liposarcoma,” Dr. Zane Cohen confirmed. “It’s fairly aggressive, but we are treating this very aggressively in order to eradicate the tumour.”

Cohen said he’s “optimistic about this tumour” because it is responsive to chemotherapy, and Mount Sinai has one of the largest centres in Ontario to deal with sarcomas.

“This particular liposarcoma is more sensitive to chemotherapy than most sarcomas,” he said. “We will be able to say more after the (chemotherapy treatment).”

The type of tumour Ford has “comprises about one per cent only of all cancers,” Dr. Cohen revealed, adding that it originates in soft tissue, like fatty tissue, rather than organs.

The abdominal tumour is 12-by-12 centimetres and Dr. Cohen said it has likely been growing for several years, although a CT scan in 2011 for a kidney stone didn’t reveal any masses.

“These types of tumours are often slow growing, to get to the size that it is now, it is often several years,” he added.

A small two centimetre cancerous nodule has also been found in the mayor’s buttock behind his left hip, and Dr. Cohen called it “part of the same tumour.”

The cancer diagnosis was made with a second biopsy on Monday, after the first one from last week proved inconclusive.

“Depending on his (response to chemotherapy we’ll decide) what we do next,” he added. “He may require further cycles of chemotherapy.”

Cohen said other possible treatment options following chemotherapy include radiation and surgery.

In the meantime, political strategist Jim Warren says Ford insiders tell him Doug Ford will remain in the mayoral race.

“He will remain in the race because it gives Rob hope to fight through the chemotherapy … and literally have the fight of his life,” he told CityNews.

Doug Ford released a statement shortly after Dr. Cohen made the diagnosis public.

“Rob will beat this,” he said.

“He is an incredible person, husband, father, brother and son and he remains upbeat and determined to fight this.”

“Rob has always been so strong for all of us and now I ask us to be strong for him.”

Doug Ford’s rivals in the race to be Toronto’s next mayor were quick to respond to the cancer diagnosis.

Olivia Chow, who lost her husband Jack Layton to cancer in August 2011, said Ford should embrace the public’s support as doctors work to fight the aggressive disease.

“I know what it’s like when a family receives bad news, but I also know the strength that the support and warm wishes can give to you,” she said. “I hope the Ford family can feel that warmth that envelopes them right now.”

“I know that Rob Ford is strong, he’s a fighter.”

John Tory, who leads the mayoral race in the latest polls added: “Mayor Ford is a husband, a son, a brother a father, and I extend my best wishes and my continuing deep concern and my thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery.”

Rob Ford running for Toronto council; brother Doug running for mayor

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 12th, 2014

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Rob Ford’s brother Doug Ford has jumped into the Toronto mayoral race after the ailing mayor dropped out just an hour before the nomination deadline closed on Friday afternoon.

Rob Ford, 45, is now running for a council seat in Ward 2, Etobicoke North, one that he held for a decade before he became mayor in 2010. His older brother filed his nomination papers to run for mayor shortly after at city hall and had only this to say: “I’m good. I’m signed in and 100 per cent running for mayor.”.

Their nephew, Michael Ford, who was running for councillor in Ward 2, withdrew his nomination and filed to run as a Toronto District School Board trustee in Ward 1.

The mayor, who remains in hospital with an abdominal tumour, withdrew from the Toronto mayoral race shortly before 1 p.m.

In a statement, he said, “My heart is heavy when I tell you that I’m unable to continue my campaign for re-election as your Mayor.

“Now I could be facing a battle of my lifetime, and I want the people of Toronto to know that I intend to face this challenge head on, and win.”

But he said that while he was unable to commit to the heavy schedule required of a mayoral candidate he would still run for councillor in Ward 2 while focusing on getting better.

Doug Ford said he’d speak about his mayoral bid at 7 p.m. from his mother Diane’s home in Etobicoke. Mayoral rivals Olivia Chow and John Tory weren’t immediately available for comment. But they both planned to speak later in the afternoon.

On Wednesday, doctors discovered the mayor had a “fair size” abdominal tumour after he went to Humber River Hospital for unbearable abdominal pain, an issue he faced for about three months.

It remains unclear whether the tumour, which was biopsied on Thursday, is cancerous. Results wouldn’t be available for about a week, his Mount Sinai Hospital Dr. Zane Cohen said after he was transferred there for further tests.

Dr. Cohen, an internationally recognized colorectal surgeon, said Ford was resting comfortably and had some pain, for which he was receiving medication. Ford had abdominal surgery in 2009 to remove a tumour on his appendix. His father, Doug Ford Sr., died of colon cancer in 2006.

Ford has faced a series of drug, alcohol and other scandals over the past 18 months but had been a viable contender for mayor.

He was trailing rival candidate Tory in the most recent polls by Forum Research and Nanos Research.

Voters head to the polls on Oct. 27.

Click here for CityNews’ special on mayoral candidates and here for the official candidates list.

With files from The Canadian Press

Statement

As many of you know I’ve been dealing with a serious medical issue, the details of which are unknown. But I know that with the love and support of my family, I will get through this.

I want to thank the residents of Toronto for your wishes and prayers and I also want to thank the amazing staff at Humber River Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital for the care and compassion you have shown, not just me, but all the people who come here to get better.

People know me as a guy who faces things head on and never gives up, and as your Mayor I have done just that. I derailed the gravy train, cut unnecessary spending and made government more accountable. I did this by facing these challenges head on.

Now I could be facing a battle of my lifetime, and I want the people of Toronto to know that I intend to face this challenge head on, and win.

With the advice of my family and doctors I know I need to focus on getting better. There is much work to be done and I can’t give it my all at this point in time.

My heart is heavy when I tell you that I’m unable to continue my campaign for re-election as your Mayor.

While I’m unable to commit to the heavy schedule required for a Mayoral candidate I will not turn my back on Ward 2. I will be running as Councillor of Ward 2, to represent the fine folks that have become my neighbours and friends over these past 14 years.

Four years ago we made history. With your help we started a movement that would take back our city.

I was not alone in this, my big brother Doug was by my side, sharing my vision, fighting for the great people of Toronto. I never could have accomplished what we did without him.

Doug loves our city as much as I do. He believes that standing up for the average person and watching the bottom line are what matters most at City Hall.

Doug also believes in standing up for his family no matter what. His loyalty and willingness to be there for anyone, anytime is just who he is.

I’ve asked Doug to finish what we started together, so that all we’ve accomplished isn’t washed away.

I have asked Doug to run to become the next Mayor of Toronto, because we need him. We cannot go backwards.

I love our city and I love being your Mayor. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve you.

For the past four years I have gotten up everyday thinking about our great city and how to make life just a little bit better for each of you.

To anyone facing a serious health challenge, I wish you strength and courage on your journey, you are not alone.

Hope is a powerful thing. With hope, support and determination I know I will beat this, not just for my family, but for YOU, Toronto.

My family and I thank you for your continued support and prayers. God bless.

–Rob Ford

Apple unveils 2 iPhones & Apple Watch at launch event

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 9th, 2014

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Apple has unveiled two new iPhones and the Apple Watch at its launch event in California.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be 50 per cent more energy-efficient than the previous iPhones, the technology giant says, and will be available on September 19. The two phones are the thinnest iPhones ever made.

CityNews technology specialist Mike Yawney was at the event in Cupertino, Calif., where Apple has its headquarters.

See the transcript of Yawney’s coverage below.

Vogue names West Queen West world’s 2nd coolest neighbourhood

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 9th, 2014

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The people who live there already know this, and now, so does the rest of the world.

In its September issue, Vogue Magazine named Toronto’s trendy West Queen West area the second coolest neighbourhood in the world.

Vogue said it has all the “hallmarks of hipness … a verifiable artery of indie patisseries, homegrown labels and hidden-from-view galleries.”

The magazine also mentions The Drake and the Gladstone hotels, as well as Soho House and Grafitti Alley.

Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa neighbourhood took the No. 1 spot on the top 15 list.

Other neighbourhoods on the list include Sodermalm in Stockholm, Centro in Sao Paulo, Bushwich area in north Brooklyn, Milan’s Brera district, and Hackney in London, England.

What’s the coolest neighbourhood in Toronto? Let us know in comments.

New streetcar proof-of-payment system may slow down commuting process

CityNews | posted Friday, Aug 29th, 2014

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The new streetcars starting Sunday on the 510 Spadina route will feature a new proof-of-payment system and it may slow down the commute.

The fare payment box next to the driver will be replaced by a machine that will print out a proof of purchase.

CityNews timed out a ticket purchase using the new machine. It took about 16 seconds from the second a token went in to the minute the ticket printed.

With the older streetcars, it only takes a few seconds to pay with token or cash by dropping it into the fare payment box at the front of the vehicle.

“I think the TTC can do one thing really well and that’s waste my time,” one rider said.

When asked if the machines will cause congestion, the TTC said it might but that’s why there will be machines at some stops.

There will be two machines per streetcar and eight along the route at the actual stops.

With the new system comes amped-up security, with about 20 fare inspectors checking proof of payment.

In addition to the new method of payment, the new streetcars are bigger, lower, and are wheelchair accessible.

Two new streetcars will start running on the 510 Spadina route starting on Sunday.

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