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Rogers & Shaw team up to launch new subscription-video service

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Aug 26th, 2014

Cable-and-internet giants Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. are partnering to launch a new streaming-video service, set to debut in November.

The subscription on-demand service — called shomi — will feature 14,000 episodes and titles, 11,000 hours of TV shows and more than 1,000 movies. Users will be access the service on a computer, tablet, mobile device, Xbox 360 and cable set top boxes.

The joint venture will be owned equally by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications. It will operate as its own standalone entity with its own management structure.

shomi will go head-to-head in the video-streaming space against Netflix Canada, which offers a similar all-you-can-watch-video model for one monthly fee. Earlier this year, Netflix Canada announced that it was raising its price from $7.99 to $8.99 a month for new customers.

The new service will be available first to Rogers and Shaw internet and TV customers and will cost $8.99 a month.

It will combine TV-and-movie recommendations from staff programmers as well as a software-based recommendation engine.

“We’ve taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media. “They told us loud and clear – they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits.”

Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media, added: ”We keenly understand the media landscape is rapidly changing and that viewers are looking for greater flexibility when it comes to what they watch and how they watch it. shomi is our first step into the new world of content streaming and we’re so pleased to be able to bring this made in Canada service to the market.”

As part of its launch, Shomi has secured exclusive past-season streaming rights to titles such as Modern FamilyNew Girl, and Sons of Anarchy.

 Rogers Communications is the parent company of this organization.

Canada, meet your Bachelorettes!

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Aug 25th, 2014

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Will it be the lingerie model? The ER doctor? Or maybe the personal trainer? We are a little bit closer to discovering who will win Bachelor Tim’s heart as City unveils the identities of all 25 bachelorettes for season two of original series The Bachelor Canada, hosted by Tyler Harcott. Find out who will get the coveted first-impression rose on the special two-hour premiere, airing Thursday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings) on City.

Fans can learn more about the 25 women looking for love this season as five different bachelorettes are highlighted each morning in exclusive video reveals on Breakfast Television across the country. Following the Breakfast Television debuts, romantic hopefuls can catch up on all of the candid confessions by visiting Citytv.com/BachelorCanada.

Click here for more reveals from The Bachelor Canada.

Announced in April, Canada’s newest bachelor, Tim Warmels, 28, is putting his life on hold in pursuit of the one thing missing from it – true love. The successful entrepreneur and Richard Ivey School of Business graduate is looking for a woman who is happy in her own skin and wants just as much out of life as he does. As the limos pull up on Night 1, will Jennifer the “joyologist” win him over with her positivity? Or will quiet-but-confident Christine make a more memorable impression? Can April Borgnetta’s burlesque moves, Lisa’s edgy style, or Rileigh’s party-girl personality steal Tim’s attention away from the other women?

Ranging in age from 23 to 42 - and hailing from all over the country - the 25 bachelorettes are a diverse collection of character, energy, and background, with one thing in common – the chance to win Tim’s love.

In alphabetical order, Tim’s 25 bachelorettes are:

  • Alison, 27 (nurse), from Montreal
  • Andrea, 30 (dental hygienist), from Kelowna, B.C.
  • April Borgnetta, 30 (wax artist/”vagician”), from Victoria
  • April Brockman, 27 (realtor), from Wasaga Beach, ON
  • Christine, 29 (music teacher), from Vancouver
  • Dominique, 28 (reception & IT/model), from Montreal
  • Jacqueline, 23 (law office administrative assistant), from Toronto
  • Jennifer, 26 (“joyologist”), from Montreal
  • Jenny, 26 (personal trainer), from Vancouver (b. Hong Kong, China)
  • Jewel, 32 (payroll accountant), from Toronto
  • Kaylynn, 26 (ballerina), from Vancouver
  • Kelsey, 28 (sommelier), from Calgary
  • Lisa, 25 (hairstylist), from Calgary
  • Martha, 26 (fashion buyer), from Montreal (b. Cuernavaca, Mexico)
  • Natalie, 27 (elementary French teacher), from Cambridge, ON
  • Raelee, 26 (gymnast/art director), from Calgary (**Previously announced as winner of the ‘Canada’s Choice’ bachelorette contest)
  • Rebecca, 24 (waitress), from Calgary
  • Renée-Anne, 28 (ER doctor), from Sherbrooke, QC
  • Rileigh, 23 (philosophy student/waitress), from Kingston, ON
  • Ritiuska, 33 (engineer) from Calgary (b. Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela)
  • Sachelle, 24 (university recruitment coordinator), from Sudbury, ON
  • Sarah, 31 (personal support worker), from St. Catharines, ON
  • Sharan, 23 (IT sales), from Vancouver
  • Sonia, 42 (lingerie model), from Calgary
  • Trisha, 28 (beauty queen), from Edmonton

As the countdown to the eagerly awaited premiere winds down, learn more about Tim and get an inside scoop straight from the bachelor himself by connecting with him on Twitter @BachCanTim (official hashtag #BachCan) and on Instagram at @timbo0505.

Week of August 25, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Aug 24th, 2014

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Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

We’re decoding midway food with nutritionist Rose Reisman on Monday.

On Thursday, rapper-producer Kardinal Offishall stops by the BT studios.

Plus, on Friday, a performance from Canadian rock and reggae band, illScarlett!

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!

Connected City: Best ways to clean-up your devices

Winston Sih | posted Wednesday, Aug 20th, 2014

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Connected City

City digital media correspondent Winston Sih takes a look at an app that will help you clean-up your device.

Catch Connected City with Winston Sih on his weekly segment airing on CityNews: The 5.  View all previous segments by clicking here.

Burger King finalizes deal to acquire Tim Hortons

Romina Maurino, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Aug 26th, 2014

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Burger King and Tim Hortons are teaming up in a US$11-billion deal that will allow the fast food companies to grow in the U.S. and internationally, but promises no changes to Canadians’ morning coffee.

“One of the key value drivers of this transaction is the potential to significantly accelerate Tim Hortons’ international growth potential, like we did with Burger King,” Alex Behring, executive chairman of Burger King and managing partner at 3G Capital, said during a call with investors to discussed the deal Tuesday.

“By leveraging our master franchise joint venture model, our network of global partners and the vast experience of our global management and global development team members, we see no reason why we can’t bring the double-double to the rest of the world.”

The deal comes just over a day after both sides confirmed they were in talks, a possibility which sent their stock surging and created a flurry of speculation about what the combination may mean for the burger and doughnut chains.

Both sides were clear Tuesday that the focus of the deal was growth, given that it will create the world’s third-largest quick service restaurant company, with about $23 billion in system sales and more than 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries.

“This very clearly aligns with those objectives and priorities that we established, and we clearly said that things like the U.S. for us was a must-win battle, we clearly said that the international markets for us were untapped potential, and certainly this new relationship will allow us to move much quicker as a combined organization than we felt we could move ourselves,” Tim Hortons president and CEO Marc Caira said.

“This transaction will not only allow us to preserve our rich Canadian heritage, but it will allow us to bring even more meaningful benefits to Canada in the long run.”

The company has been owned by a large U.S. chain before, when it was purchased by Wendy’s International Inc. in 1995. It was spun-off from Wendy’s in 2006.

No major changes are expected to the actual brands, and Oakville, Ont., will remain the headquarters of Tim Hortons and Miami will remain the home base of Burger King.

When asked Tuesday if the deal meant Burger King could eventually sell Tim Hortons coffee, the answer was a quick and definitive “Absolutely not.”

“There’s no to mix the product or do any co-branding,” said Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Burger King.

“The real driver here is the growth, and the ability to take such a strong and beloved brand internationally.”

Schwartz will become CEO of the new combined company, with overall day-to-day management and operational accountability.

The new company’s board will include the current eight Burger King directors and three directors to be appointed by Tim Hortons, including Caira, who will also be appointed vice-chairman and focus on strategy and global business development.

Private equity firm 3G Capital will own about 51 per cent of the new company, with Behring as executive chairman and director.

The corporate headquarters of the new global company will be based in Canada, but despite much speculation about the possible tax benefits of such a deal, Behring said taxes weren’t a motivating force for the move. Burger King says it won’t see any meaningful change to its tax rate.

“This is strategic transaction, this is creating a new global leader in the QSR sector, and it’s not being driven by tax rates,” he said.

“Burger King’s effective tax rate is the in mid to high 20s, which is largely consistent with Canadian taxes.”

The companies said there won’t be any changes to the way the franchises are managed or jobs, saying repeatedly the deal wasn’t about synergies but rather growth.

Under the terms of the transaction, Burger King will pay C$65.50 in cash and 0.8025 common shares of the new company for each Tim Hortons’ share. This represents total value per Tim Hortons share of C$94.05 Canadian, based on Burger King’s closing stock price on Monday. Tim Hortons shareholders can choose either all-cash or all stock in the new company.

Tim Hortons shares were up 8.6 per cent to $89.10 on the Toronto stock market, while Burger King ticked down 2.6 per cent to US$31.55. Both shares surged almost 20 per cent on Monday when reports of the deal first surfaced.

Apple replacing faulty batteries in some iPhone 5 units

CityNews | posted Monday, Aug 25th, 2014

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Apple is acknowledging a problem with a small number of iPhone 5 units.

Some of the phones have faulty batteries that have very short battery life and need to be charged more frequently.

The affected devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013.

The tech giant is replacing batteries for free in Canada on Aug. 29. It’s already available in the United States and China.

If you have an iPhone 5, click here to input your phone’s serial number to see if you are eligible for a battery replacement.

Burger King in talks to buy Tim Hortons

CityNews | posted Monday, Aug 25th, 2014

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It could be a whopper of a deal.

Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Hortons Inc. and form a new publicly listed company that would be based in Canada.

They said in a statement Sunday night that Canada would be the largest market of the combined company.

The statement said 3G Capital, the majority owner of Burger King, would continue to own the majority of the shares of the new company on a pro forma basis, with the remainder held by existing shareholders of Tim Hortons and Burger King.

The companies say Oakville-based Tim Hortons and Miami-based Burger King would operate as standalone brands while benefiting from shared corporate services, practices as well as global scale.

“A key driver of these discussions is the potential to leverage Burger King’s worldwide footprint and experience in global development to accelerate Tim Hortons growth in international markets,” the statement reads.

The statement adds that the new corporation would be the world’s third-largest quick service restaurant company, with approximately $22 billion in system sales and over 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide.

The companies say they will not comment further unless there is a deal.

Tim Horton’s is well known for its coffee which is a high margin area where U.S. fast food giants have raced to grab market share.

Recently Burger King has been adding more coffee items to its menus in order to catch up with its rival McDonald’s.

This is not the first time Tim Horton’s has been owned by an American burger chain. For nearly 15 years the company was owned by Wendy’s after a deal was struck with founder Dave Thomas in 1995.

With files from The Canadian Press

5 things to do this weekend: BuskerFest, Walk for the Children and Taiwanfest

Michael Talbot | posted Saturday, Aug 23rd, 2014

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Aug. 22-24

BuskerFest: This long-running festival in support of Epilepsy Toronto brings an eclectic mix of street performers to Toronto’s downtown core. From puppets and musicians to contortionists and magicians, this three-day event promises a full slate of jaw-dropping talent. Yonge Street, from Queen to College. Friday to Sunday. Free. torontobuskerfest.com

Walk for the Children: In support of the Herbie Fund at the Hospital for Sick Children, this family-friendly walking tour of the Toronto Zoo raises money to support lifesaving surgeries for kids from around the world. There will also be a BBQ, games, and live entertainment. CityNews anchor Gord Martineau, a longtime Herbie Fund supporter, will also be on hand. Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Rd. Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $20-$35. Children under three are free. herbiefund.com

Taiwanfest: Immerse yourself in Taiwan’s unique music, dance, art and food over this three-day event. Some festival highlights include the Symphony of Movies — a celebration of Taiwanese filmmakers and the Pili Puppetry fashion show. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W. Friday to Sunday. Free.harbourfrontcentre.com

Waterfront Beach Festival: This fully licenced party on the beach will feature a slew of talented DJs from around the world. You must be 19 to attend. No dress code is in effect, so bring your beach attire. HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay W. Saturday. 1:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. www.wantickets.com

Rastafest: Drawing from the rich history of Rastafarian culture, the highlight of this event is a live concert featuring reggae stars from Canada and the Caribbean. The festival has a strong focus on education, with information booths where attendees can learn more about the Rastafarian culture. Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Rd. Saturday. 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. $10 at the gate; $7 in advance. rastafest.com

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

12 ways to save money on back-to-school clothes

Suzanne Gardner | posted Friday, Aug 22nd, 2014

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Back-to-school shopping is often a source of dread for parents — mostly because they’re afraid of spending way too much money. It’s easy to go overboard once you hit the mall, but we want to help you keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your wallet! Before you hit the shops, check out our key ways to ease the burden on your bank account, while still getting the clothes you need.

1. Start by going through your child’s current wardrobe. This is the most important first step! Before doing anything else, go through your child’s closet and drawers to get a clear picture of what fall clothes they already have and what needs to be replaced.

2. Make a list — and stick to it! Now that you’ve gone through your child’s current wardrobe, make a list of what you need to buy to supplement their existing clothes. Whether you make that list on a piece of paper or on your phone, don’t stray from that list! Once you start doing that, it’s a slippery slope towards going way over your budget. And speaking of budgets…

3. Make a budget — and stick to it! Once you’ve made your list, you can figure out what your budget is. Some might find it easier to make an overall budget for your shopping trip, while others might prefer to break down the spending into categories such as shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, etc. To help you stick to your budget, try explaining to your child what your budget is and why, so that they might not bug you into buying that really expensive pair of shoes…well, it’s worth a try, right?

4. Spend more money and buy less often. This might sound counter-intuitive to saving money, but if you shell out a bit more cash for a better quality item, it’ll hopefully last a bit longer in your child’s closet. If you can, choose cotton over polyester, merino wool over acrylic, and maybe even get that sweater in a slightly bigger size so that your child will fit in it for another year!

5. Recoup your costs by selling good quality clothes. If your child has grown out of some clothes that are still in good, wearable condition, you can sell them to used clothing stores, consignment stores, or at a yard sale, as a way of making back some of your initial spendings. (Donating your child’s old clothes to a charitable organization is also a great idea!)

6. Host a clothing swap. Do you know a lot of other parents who might be looking to save a few bucks on new clothes for their kids? Host a clothing swap afternoon where parents can bring old, good quality clothes that don’t fit their kids anymore, and exchange them with someone else’s old gems!

7. Check out secondhand stores or thrift shops. Again, this is another great way to get some good quality, used clothes at a lower price. If you’re lucky, you might find some brand name pieces at discounted prices!

8. Buy later! Sure, you’ll want to get a few nice new items for your child for the first week back at school, but if you save the bulk of your shopping for a few weeks later, you’ll be able to take advantage of fall sales!

9. Put a limit on splurge items. If you’re bringing your child to the mall with you, it’s inevitable that they’re going to see a few really pricey items that they think they absolutely need to have. So before you hit the stores, tell your child that they’re only getting one or two splurge items — and stick to it!

10. Focus on basic, timeless pieces and only mix in a few trendy items per season. If you stock your child’s closet with a lot of jeans, khakis, basic tees and sweaters, a few new accessories can make the outfit look brand-new again.

11. Extend the season with layering items. A cute summer dress can be worn straight into fall just by adding leggings and a cardigan!

12. Keep an eye out for sales so that you can shop smart year-round. Don’t leave all of your back-to-school shopping for the end of August. Try to keep an eye on the sales so that you can take advantage of great deals all year round!

How do you save money on your back-to-school clothes shopping? Share your tips in the comments below!

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