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File photo of the entrance of the Glen Abbey Golf Club on Aug. 20, 2017.

Glen Abbey owner wants to demolish parts of golf course despite heritage status

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Sep 27th, 2017

The Oakville town council will continue Wednesday to hear submissions on a plan to demolish the historic Glen Abbey golf course despite its heritage status.

Glen Abbey’s owner ClubLink filed an application Monday to demolish or remove the golf course and some buildings to make way for a mix of homes, offices and stores.

ClubLink is battling local residents over its redevelopment plan for the golf course, which has hosted the Canadian Open 28 times.

In August, the Town of Oakville voted in favour of designating Glen Abbey as a heritage site, giving it some protection under Ontario heritage laws.

ClubLink has accused the Town of overreaching but says it will not appeal the heritage designation.

Council heard Tuesday night from a number of groups opposed to ClubLink’s plans and will take up the issue again on Wednesday night.

The company has applied to demolish the golf course and several buildings, but some sites, including stables and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, will remain.

‘Some progress’ made as contract talks resume between GM and striking workers

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Sep 27th, 2017

General Motors Co. (GM) signage is displayed outside of General Motor of Canada Ltd. headquarter offices in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, on Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. General Motors of Canada Ltd. will pump $2.535-billion into a trust fund that will finance health-care costs for its retirees, eliminating a key legacy cost that the auto maker said hobbled it in the fiercely competitive North American auto market, according to The Globe and Mail. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The union representing 2,500 workers who have been on strike since Sept. 17 at GM Canada’s CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., says contracts talks have resumed with the automaker.

Unifor Local 88 says the two sides met on Tuesday in Woodstock, Ont., where GM responded to proposals put forward last Sunday.

A statement on the local’s website says “some progress has been made” and the talks will continue.

The brief statement did not elaborate, nor has Unifor revealed what was contained in Sunday’s formal proposal.

However, the union had previously said it wants the automaker to designate the CAMI plant as the lead producer of the Equinox sport utility vehicle _ currently the only product built at the plant.

Job security has become more of an issue for the union since GM shifted production of its Terrain SUV from the CAMI plant to Mexico earlier this year at a loss of more than 400 jobs.

Man found dead in suspected drug lab near Eglinton and Mount Pleasant

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Sep 27th, 2017

Toronto Fire's hazmat team at the scene of a suspected drug lab on Broadway Avenue near Eglinton Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Road on Sept. 27, 2017. CITYNEWS

One man is dead after emergency crews found him in, what’s believed to be, a drug lab near Eglinton Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Road.

Toronto Fire’s hazmat team was called to a unit at an apartment building on Broadway Avenue just before 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

It originally came in as a medical call, but when crews arrived on scene they found the man without vital signs and discovered the suspected drug lab.

He was pronounced at the scene.

The cause of death is not yet known, but police said it is not considered suspicious.

Some nearby apartments were evacuated as a precaution.

Toronto students feeling the heat in stifling classrooms

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 26th, 2017

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Parents at a public school in Toronto are concerned their children are feeling the current heat wave more than usual due to construction blocking school windows.

“I walked into the classroom and I could feel the heat coming out of the classroom,” said Marvin Kaye, whose daughter attends Grade 4 at Rawlinson Community School, near St. Clair Avenue West and Dufferin Street.

Kaye said when he asked his daughter’s teacher about the conditions inside the classroom, she told him the temperature was hovering around 30 C during the day.

“I can’t imagine what eight- and nine-year-olds are like after a few hours in 30-plus heat,”  he said.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said the school has been going through a significant renewal project for the last two years, and some classroom windows have been boarded up with only a small gap for air to come through.

“We would love to complete the work in the summer when students aren’t there, but the fact is with 584 schools, some of those schools needing significant maintenance and repair, it’s not possible to cram it all into July and August,” said TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird.

He said the classrooms have been provided with fans, and students are relocated to cooler areas like the basement when possible. But he added the challenge of keeping schools cool during extreme heat alert is city-wide, with only 125 of 584 schools air conditioned.

“The fact is, it is a very hot day and we’re doing the best we can given the circumstances were faced with,” he said.

Kaye argued that’s not good enough.

“Why isn’t there an air conditioner? Why not take the construction off the windows and let them get some air in there?” he said. “It seems like an incredible lack of rational thought.”

Meanwhile, the TDSB cancelled all outdoor activities for both Monday and Tuesday due to the extreme heat.

 

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle make first official public appearance together

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 26th, 2017

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Prince Harry and his girlfriend Meghan Markle chose to make their public debut as a couple in Toronto on Monday, making an unexpected but highly anticipated appearance together at the Invictus Games, the international sporting competition spearheaded by the royal.

The prince and Markle, a Toronto-based actor in the legal drama “Suits,” held hands as they walked toward Toronto’s city hall to take in a game of wheelchair tennis, one of several events that make up the week-long Games for wounded soldiers.

Both were dressed casually in jeans, the prince pairing his with a black polo shirt while his girlfriend wore a pale button-down shirt. They both wore dark sunglasses. And for those wondering, there was no ring seen on Markle’s left hand.

Harry, 33, is in the city for the Games, a multi-day sporting event he founded in 2014 to inspire and motivate wounded soldiers on their paths to recovery.

His presence had sparked intense speculation about whether the couple — who have publicly acknowledged their relationship and have been photographed together in the past — would appear together at an official event.

Markle, 36, had appeared at the Games’ opening ceremony this weekend, cheering athletes from the stands, but was seated several rows away from Harry, who sat next to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. first lady Melania Trump.

That they chose a sporting event at the Games as their first public joint appearance is significant, said royal historian Carolyn Harris, author of “Raising Royalty: A Thousand Years of Royal Parenting.”

“The Invictus Games has been his initiative and it grows out of his own military service and now one of the key aspects of his public service is promoting the interests of veterans, so it shows how important this event is to him that he’s in Toronto attending all these events and that Meghan is accompanying him,” she said.

“This public appearance also demonstrates how Canada is a very welcoming environment for royalty — William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, made Canada their first Commonwealth tour as a married couple and now we’re seeing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping out as a couple.”

Some royal watchers had earlier suggested the couple would hold off on a public appearance together for fear of stealing the spotlight away from the Games, but Harris said their presence has, in fact, brought more attention to the event.

She said it is interesting that they chose to attend wheelchair tennis together, noting that tennis courts have been “the setting for royal events since the Middle Ages.”

Harry has been dating Markle since last year. He confirmed the relationship in November when he complained about intrusive press coverage. Markle recently told Vanity Fair she and Harry are in love.

Harry and Markle sat together in the stands at the small downtown Toronto tennis venue on Monday, occasionally applauding or leaning in to talk to each other. The couple later lingered to speak and shake hands with some in the crowd.

They eventually walked away from the event, again holding hands.

The Invictus Games run until Sept. 30.

 

TDSB takes steps to help students beat the heat

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 26th, 2017

Students are seen in a classroom in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

Summer vacation is over and kids are back in school, but summer weather only just arrived in Toronto last week.

With unseasonably warm temperatures some classrooms across the city are sweating it out.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) governs 584 schools out of which only 125 are fully air conditioned. Others are partially air conditioned and some have no air conditioning at all.

In an email, Ryan Bird, TDSB media relations, says it’s simply not financially possible to install full air conditioning in all schools.

“The cost to install complete building air conditioning at all schools that don’t currently have it would reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars – not to mention the added maintenance, replacement and operational costs associated with the installation of A/C in all schools,” he said.

However, he stressed that school staff make every effort to ensure students are comfortable.

“During warmer temperatures, our staff do their very best to keep students cool,” Bird said.

Some of the steps taken to help students beat the heat include:

  • Closing blinds and using fans
  • Relocating to cooler areas where possible
  • Reducing strenuous activity like some gym activities
  • Cancelling all practices for school sports teams temporarily across TDSB schools till temperatures cool down.
  • Students with heat related medical concerns are encouraged to speak to staff for further accommodation.

In addition, Bird said the TDSB is in the process of creating cooling stations in schools that are not equipped with A/C.

This involves cooling large ares such as gyms or libraries so that students have access to cooler areas when temperatures soar. The process is expected to take five to seven years to complete

Extreme heat continues in GTA; power outage in Forest Hill

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 26th, 2017

A thermometre showing 40 C. GETTY IMAGES/artpartner-images

Toronto and the GTA are in store for another day of potentially record-breaking heat on Tuesday, as a heat warning remains in effect.

Temperatures are expected to soar to 30 C, but it will feel like 40 C with the humidity, 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said.

While the heat didn’t break a temperature record at Pearson International Airport on Monday, the region is expected to break a record on Tuesday. A record high of 29.6 C was set on this day in 1998.

The GTA is also on track to beat a record on Wednesday. The high is expected to hit 28 C – the record high was 27.2 set on that day in 1973.

Much of southern Ontario has been under a heat warning by Environment Canada since Saturday. However, the national weather agency said a cold front is expected to move across southern Ontario through the day on Wednesday, bringing with it cooler temperatures by Thursday. The high for Thursday is expected to be 19 C.

The Toronto District School Board cancelled all outdoor activities for both Monday and Tuesday due to the extreme heat. The school board has also taken precautions in many of its schools because about 20 per cent don’t have air conditioning.

Meanwhile, it was an uncomfortable night for many residents in Forest Hill who had to deal with an power outage overnight, which meant no air conditioning in this stifling heat.

Power went out at around 8:30 p.m. on Monday after a fault in Toronto Hydro’s underground infrastructure.

The affected area is bounded by Bathurst Street, Avenue Road, Glencairn Avenue and Eglinton Avenue, affecting around 1,000 customers.

The power utility initially said crews were hoping to have power restored by 7 a.m. However, at around 6 a.m. Toronto Hydro said the restoration time was now mid-to-late morning since crews are having issues pinpointing the fault location.

 

Crash closes Toronto-bound QEW at Burlington Skyway

CityNews | posted Monday, Sep 25th, 2017

A serious crash closed the Toronto-bound QEW at the Burlington Skyway on Sept. 25, 2017. This traffic camera shows the QEW near Eastport Drive. MTO

The Toronto-bound QEW will be closed for several hours at the Burlington Skyway due to a multi-vehicle crash.

The OPP said it happened around 6:15 a.m. on Monday.

The multi-vehicle crash involved a transport truck, as well as a motorcycle.

There has been no word on injuries.

All traffic is being rerouted to Eastport Drive.

 

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