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BT Christmas tree sale raises $13.8K for Daily Bread Food Bank

Winston Sih | posted Wednesday, Dec 11th, 2013

The fifth annual BT/Home Depot Christmas tree sale has raised $13,800 for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Hundreds of people lined up Wednesday morning for the fifth annual BT/Home Depot Christmas tree sale at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.

City’s Breakfast Television co-host Kevin Frankish, weather specialist Frank Ferragine, other show regulars and 680News’ Rudy Blair were at the square beginning at 5:30 a.m.

On Tuesday, the square was being packed with balsam firs, courtesy of Home Depot. Viewers will be able to buy a tree for a minimum donation of $10 to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

The donations will help the food bank. Last month, the Daily Bread launched its holiday food drive with the goal of trying to raise $2.5 million and a million pounds of food. Click here to make a donation.

“I am amazed every year that people will get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, come out in the cold to buy their Christmas tree and donate to Daily Bread. It’s a fantastic event,” Gail Nyberg, executive director of Daily Bread told Blair.

In 2012, more than a million people used food banks in the Greater Toronto Area. It was the fifth straight year of similar numbers, according to an annual report by the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Breakfast Television will also be collecting new, unwrapped toys for the annual Toronto Auxiliary Police Toy Drive, which was struggling for donations when it kicked off late November.

Five locations are accepting toy donations to help approximately 3,000 children and youth in need from the Scarborough area. Click here for locations.

Will you be lining up for a tree? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Behind-the-scenes photo gallery:

Follow along in our social stream below:

With files from Showwei Chu, CityNews.ca

Week of Dec. 9, 2013

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Dec 8th, 2013


It’s a stylish lineup on next week’s Breakfast Television!

Design duo Colin and Justin McAllister drop by to give tips on allergy-friendly and stylish décor for the holidays.

Jenn’s clothing sponsor — Want Boutique — will be by with glittery holiday party looks!

Plus, we reveal the winner of our BT YouTube Week with digital media correspondent Winston Sih.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca/live, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!


Former South African leader Nelson Mandela dies at 95

CityNews | posted Thursday, Dec 5th, 2013


Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically-elected president after decades of apartheid rule, has died, South African president Jacob Zuma says. He was 95.

“He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20:50 on the fifth of December 2013,” Zuma said on national TV. “He is now resting. He’s now at peace. Our nation has lost his greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”

The health of Mandela, who was freed from prison in 1990 and became president in 1994, had deteriorated in recent months after being hospitalized a fourth time since last December.

Reaction to his death from world leaders was swift. Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted, “All of Canada mourns with the family of Nelson Mandela and the citizens of South Africa. The world has lost one of its great moral leaders.”

“A precious light has gone out in the world,” former prime minister Brian Mulroney said in a statement. “Mila and I join with Graca Machel, his devoted family, and the millions who loved him in every corner of our world, in mourning this giant of our times.

“It is hard to imagine how much poorer the world would be, were we not to have been blessed by the power of the life of Mandela — the teacher of his people, a model for leadership everywhere.”

Mulroney hosted Mandela’s first visit to Canada in June 1990 and set up a $5-million fund to help relocate South African exiles.

In the United States, President Barack Obama said, “He achieved more than can be expected of any man. Today he’s gone home. We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings…He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”

Obama said he was among millions who drew inspiration from Mandela’s life and said his first political action was to protest against apartheid.

“The day he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears,” Obama said.

Overseas, British Prime Minister David Cameron posted on Twitter, “A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I’ve asked for the flag at No10 to be flown at half mast.”

Born in 1912 to the Thembu royal family, Mandela studied law and moved to Johannesburg where he became a part of the anti-colonial movement.

In 1961 he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe and led a bombing campaign against government targets. The next year Mandela was arrested and convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

He served 27 years in prison before an international campaign lobbying for his release was successful in February 1990.

His release was broadcast live around the world and would become a quintessential moment in the end of apartheid.

Mandela was married three times, had six children and 17 grandchildren.

Click here to view the comments of world leaders as they react to the death of Nelson Mandela.

CityNews’ Gord Martineau takes a look back at Mandela’s life in the report below.

EXCLUSIVE: Hockey comes alive when Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits BT

Winston Sih | posted Sunday, Dec 1st, 2013

Breakfast Television got up close and personal as we played host to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in studio to discuss his new book, A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey, in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 5.

In his first Canadian morning television interview for the book tour, Prime Minister Harper sat down with co-host Kevin Frankish to chat about this labour of love that looks at the early days of Canada’s pastime sport.

Released in November of this year, A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey explores the fascinating early years of ice hockey. A passionate hockey fan, Prime Minister Harper presents a thrilling depiction of hockey heroes, business leaders who built the game, and the rise and fall of teams pursuing the coveted Stanley Cup.

Watch the full interview above.

See the behind-the-scenes photos in the gallery below.

Click to buy the book at Amazon.ca.

Click to buy the book at Amazon.ca.

Week of Dec. 2, 2013

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Dec 1st, 2013


It’s a star-studded lineup on next week’s Breakfast Television!

He’s our prime minister and hockey historian; Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be live on Breakfast Television Monday with his new book–A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey.  Plus, Toronto Maple Leaf Nazem Kadri will be on the show working up an appetite in the kitchen.

Click to buy the book at Amazon.ca

Click to buy the book at Amazon.ca.


Actress and singer Hilary Duff stops by on Wednesday to talk about her latest charity initiative.

And, Evangeline Lilly will be in studio with the scoop on her latest role in The Hobbit to round out the week on Friday!

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca/live, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!


Actor Paul Walker killed in car crash

CityNews | posted Saturday, Nov 30th, 2013


Fast and Furious star Paul Walker has died in a car accident in California.

He was 40.

His death was first reported by online gossip website TMZ and then confirmed on the actor’s verified Twitter account Saturday evening.

A statement posted on the actor’s Facebook page said Walker was attending a charity event and was a passenger in a friend’s car at the time of the crash.

“We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time,” the statement read.

TMZ reported that the vehicle burst into flames after the collision.

Walker also appeared in such films as Varsity BluesShe’s All That and Pleasantville.

He was currently shooting Fast & Furious 7 at the time of his death.

With files from Christine Chubb, CityNews.ca

Shopping tips and resources for Canadian Black Friday

Winston Sih | posted Thursday, Nov 28th, 2013


Crushing crowds, stampedes at the door, even pepper spray and bullets — these are the just some of the scenes Americans are willing to endure on Black Friday as shoppers trample over each other to get the best prices on TVs, video games and designer handbags. Well, Canada, now it’s our turn.

City digital media correspondent Winston Sih shared some of his tips for preparing for one of Canada’s biggest shopping days.

Last year Canadian retailers began offering their own Black Friday deals in an effort to keep shoppers here north of the border. This year, the tradition looks set to really take off with major malls jumping into action — 21 Cadillac Fairview malls are set to open early on November 29th — encouraging even more stores to offer deep discounts and hopes that Canadians will bound through doors en masse.

For Canadians who aren’t quite used to dealing with Black Friday madness, we offer up a few tips for surviving the mad dash for discounts.

1. Do your homework

Before you head out into the mayhem, know where to start. Find out what’s on sale and where the best price is and plan your day accordingly. Keep an eye out for store fliers or check out sites like RedFlagDeals.com.

2. Make a list (and stick to it)

Hitting the chaos of Black Friday without a list can lead to bags full of useless things and big credit card bills. Figure out what you need to buy before you go out. And make your list realistic — you may not be able to buy everything on your holiday list.

3. Ask for a better discount

This is where we polite Canadians can take a lesson from our friends in the U.S.! You don’t need to be rude, but asking if a retailer if he or she is able give you a better price isn’t going to hurt anyone’s feelings — and you might even get away with paying less.

4. Know what to avoid

Black Friday doesn’t mean everything is on sale. Items like toys and winter clothes will be way cheaper right before or after Christmas. Ditto for brand name TVs and other electronics, which usually go on sale in January and February as retailers make room for new models.

5. Leave your credit card at home

Black Friday is a dangerous time for anyone with a tendency to impulse shop. The best way to avoid overdoing it or going over-budget is to avoid plastic and take cash, that way you’ll avoid any scary surprises when your credit card bill comes.

6. Read the fine print

Before you buy anything, make sure the store isn’t changing its return policy for Black Friday. For example, a sale item might be eligible for an exchange not a refund.

7. Wait for Cyber Monday

If the crowds and mall mayhem isn’t your thing, you can shop from the comfort of your couch on Cyber Monday. Lots of online retailers offer great discounts on the Monday after Black Friday. Even better, we can take advantage of deals on both sides of the border!

Online resources:

With files from Chatelaine and Caroline Cakebread

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