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5 things to do this weekend: Get your “Panamania” on and bebop at the Beach

Patricia D'Cunha | posted Friday, Jul 10th, 2015

Don’t be so blue about the Pan Am Games — cheer up! Toronto is a hub of activity this weekend with events galore shaking things up.

From swingin’ jazz to a “La Fête Nationale” party, and some Pan American fanfare, there is something for everyone — even the “woe is me” type. Remember, summer in the city is a good thing.

July 10-12, 2015

Beaches International Jazz Festival: The Beach will be a “whoopee spot” as jazz musicians take over the neighbourhood for the annual festival from Friday until July 26. So, come on, Toronto, it’s time to get your groove on with “all that jazz.” Click here for the show schedule. Drivers, take note: Queen Street East will be closed daily from Woodbine to Beech avenues from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on July 23-25.beachesjazz.com

Toronto Bastille Day 2015: Experience the “joie de vivre” as the city celebrates Bastille Day on Sunday, ahead of La Fête nationale — France’s national holiday marking the start of the French Revolution — on Tuesday. The free event at David Pecaut Square at John Street and King Street West features French gourmet fare, music and a picnic. torontobastilleday.com

Panamania: Celebrate the Pan Am Games with Toronto’s lively arts and culture scene. Starting Friday and until Aug. 15, Torontonians and visitors alike can take in more than 250 free and ticketed performances and exhibitions at Nathan Phillips Square, CIBC Pan Am Park and the Distillery District. Athletes and fans can mingle at the nightly victory celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square.toronto2015.org/panamania

Pan American culture in film: Get out of your funk and into the spirit of the Pan Am Games by immersing yourself in documentaries about the diverse cultures that make up the Americas. Some of the films are from Peru, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, and will be shown Saturday and Sunday, and Aug. 8-9, at the Hot Docs Bloor Cinema. bloorcinema.com

Union Summer: Once bland and dreary, the new St. John A. Donald Plaza in front of Union Station boasts a food market in a bistro-type atmosphere. Too long a lineup at Uncle Tetsu at Bay and Dundas streets? Check out the popular cheesecake at this market, along with a host of other vendors. On now until Aug. 30, in partnership with Front Street Foods. frontstreetfoods.com

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

5 ways to get your family outside this summer

Today's Parent | posted Thursday, Jul 9th, 2015

After 13 years, I found the silver bullet: the trails. Lacing up for a run, walk or bike ride slays my kid’s grouchiness within minutes (or at least half an hour). We’ve always been an active family, but it was only after tween angst hit (hard) that I noticed the correlation between trail time and better moods. Since then, it’s become my go-to parenting tool.

Studies show being outdoors doing physical activity lowers depression risk, reduces anxiety and improves behaviour—but that’s moot if you can’t get your brood outside. So my advice is: Don’t ask, tell. Bribe. Threaten. Cajole. Whatever works. Because the payoff is pretty sweet.

Within minutes, Esmé typically takes off, power walking with the dog. Or cycles ahead as I follow on foot. Or pushes herself to breakneck speed, to drop her dad and I on family trail runs, eager to be alone with her thoughts.

Sometimes she doesn’t notice me catching up, and I hear her humming to herself, an unguarded moment for my taciturn introvert. Other times, she slows down so we can walk and talk. Or she gets silly: On a recent outing, I wondered why she was lagging as I jogged ahead. I found out when she rode past me, hitting me with the brushy end of a five-foot-long reed that she’d fixed, jousting-rod style, to her bike.

If you’re not already an especially active family, it can be hard to know what to do beyond hanging out at the local playground or splash pad. Here are a few ways to enjoy summer outside with your kids.

• Open-water swimming. Check local lake and river water-quality updates. Then put down the Kindle and wade in!

• Orienteering and geocaching. Go on a high-tech treasure hunt using your GPS. Be prepared for trails and mud.

• Explore a provincial park. Even better—explore at night. Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park hosts guided wolf howls.

• Pick up a rod. Google “learn to fish” and your province to find free programs.

• Search for creatures. Look for snails after it rains. Go out after dark and watch bats swoop for insects. Bring a flashlight and see what bugs are underfoot.

12 best sunscreens for every skin type and adventure

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Jul 7th, 2015

Week of July 6, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 3rd, 2015

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

Tune in Monday as Miguel takes over the BT stage and performs his new hit single, ‘Coffee.’

On Wednesday, Arlene Dickinson’s helps us find financial success.

And to end off the week Friday, we are gearing up for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

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!

Best of BT Weekend: July 3, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jul 3rd, 2015

Live at the Ontario Science Centre

We took a look at the Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition.


Summer savings for kids

Bruce Sellery shared tips on getting your kids to save money over the summer.


How to get invited back to your friend’s cottage

Mairlyn Smith chats about what you can do to ensure you get invited back!


Toronto weekend road closures: Pan Am party shuts down section of Bloor; SRT closed

CityNews | posted Friday, Jul 3rd, 2015

If you didn’t know summer arrived in Toronto, you would know it by the road closures in effect every weekend for events.

This weekend, a Pan Am Games torch relay celebration and street festivals will take over the city. Below is a list of road closures.

Also, keep in mind, there are some subway closures this weekend.

Road closures for events

Pan Am Games Torch Relay Community Celebration
The torch makes its way from Trenton to Toronto on Saturday, on day 35 of the relay. Citytv’s Tracy Moore is expected to arrive carrying the torch at the Bloor viaduct (Prince Edward viaduct) around 7 p.m. and will light the cauldron.

Bloor Street including the viaduct from Parliament Street to Broadview Avenue will be closed from 8 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Motorists won’t be able to access to Castle Frank Road from the Don Valley Parkway and the Bayview extension ramps from 4 p.m. on Saturday to 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Salsa on St. Clair
The street party celebrating Latin culture takes place along St. Clair Avenue this weekend, featuring live music, dance, food, and other events.

St. Clair Avenue will be closed from Winona Drive to Christie Street from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Youth Day
The free event on Sunday will allow young people to showcase their music, fashion, film, photography, and other artistic ventures in front of the masses at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Yonge Street, from Dundas to Queen streets, will be closed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Taste of Lawrence
The three-day food and culture festival takes place in Scarborough from Friday to Sunday.

Lawrence Avenue, from Warden Avenue to Birchmount Road, will be closed from 10 a.m. on Friday to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

TTC closures

Trains won’t be running on Line 3 (SRT) this weekend for TTC track and maintenance work. Regular service will resume at 6 a.m. on Monday.

Shuttle buses will run between McCowan and Kennedy stations. Kennedy, Lawrence East and Scarborough Centre stations will be open for fare purchases.

Also, service on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between St. George and Pape stations starts running at noon instead of 9 a.m. on Sunday due to beam and track work on the Bloor viaduct. Shuttle buses will run along Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue.

5 things to do this weekend: Lego, Salsa dancing & movies in a park

Alanna Kelly | posted Friday, Jul 3rd, 2015

July 3-5, 2015

Summerlicious: The kick-off of Summerlicious this weekend means summer is truly here. The culinary celebration of Summerlicious has arrived to show off the delicious cuisines Toronto has to offer. This year things are going to be a little different with a Pan Am and Parapan Am Games theme. There will be five events inspired by the 41 nations participating in the Games including tapas in Parkdale and a dinner in Peru. For more information and ticket prices click here.

Salsa on St. Clair: Head down to St. Clair West this weekend for a free event celebrating Latin culture that promises to have everyone dancing in the streets. Pulsing drums and fiesta flavored food starts at noon and runs into the night. For more information visit salsaintoronto.com.

Taste of Toronto: This weekend Torontonians will flock to Fort York where chefs from across Toronto will gather to blow your taste buds away. It is literally foodie heaven in Toronto with close to 50 dishes to savor. A few items already revealed on the menu include crispy BBQ pork tacos, true Northern Atlantic salmon, fresh oysters and cheesy slow-cooked lobster. Tickets can be bought at the door or online.

Brickfete: A world made of Lego? It’s a real thing and it is happening this weekend in Toronto. Lego hobbyists have created unique city layouts, trains, historical buildings, castles, pirates and more for you come take part in all weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Don’t worry, it’s not just for children. For more information and ticket prices visit Toronto.brickfete.com

Christie Pits Film Festival: Grab a blanket and sit under the stars while watching a movie at Christie Pits Park. Sunday marks the first movie of the summer and the film starts rolling at sunset. Pay what you can or give the suggested donation of $10. Don’t get spooked but the opening night is a Toronto symphony of horror. For a list of all the movies being played visit christiepitsff.com/films, and don’t forget that its “BYOBlanket.”

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

8 life jacket tips that can save your child’s life

Today's Parent | posted Thursday, Jul 2nd, 2015

Your kids can’t wait to start splashing. They’ve got sunscreen, water toys and goggles—but what about a proper life jacket? Not just reserved for boating, life jackets are crucial around pools and open water, especially for your littlest fish. The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that all infants and toddlers weighing at least nine kilograms should wear a life jacket (or personal floatation device, PFD) when playing in or around water. (There are no life jackets or PFDs approved for use in Canada for infants less than nine kilograms; they should be held by an adult). Kids can drown in as little as one inch of water, and children between one and four years old are considered most at risk. In fact, drowning is the second most common cause of death for children under five years old.

To keep your little ones safe, it’s important that life jackets or PFDs fit properly and include the right features. Keep these tips in mind when choosing a life jacket:

1. Make sure it meets safety standards

The life jacket or PFD you use should meet Canadian safety regulations (check for a label from Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, or Fisheries and Oceans Canada). Life jackets and PFDs are similar in that they both strap around the torso; however, life jackets are designed to flip a person from face-down to face-up in the water, while PFDs do not have this feature. Remember that pool and swim toys (noodles, inflatable rings, water wings or bathing suits with floats in them) are not considered standard water safety gear and should not replace a life jacket.

2. Choose the size based on your kid’s current weight

Kids’ life jackets are sized by weight, starting at nine kilograms or more—in Canada, there are no safety approved life jackets or PFDs for infants who weigh less than nine kilograms. Do not purchase a bigger life jacket for your child to “grow into”—make sure your child is the correct weight for the life jacket you buy. It should be snug, but not so tight that you can’t do up the zipper and buckles. You should not be able to lift the life jacket up to your child’s ears or over their head.

3. Go bright

The brighter, the better. Vivid colours like orange and yellow ensure that your child is clearly visible in and around the water.

4. Get all the right features

The Canadian Red Cross recommends the following features in kids’ life jackets and PFDs:

  • A large collar to support your child’s head
  • A looped grab strap on the collar for easy grabbing
  • Durable, functioning, rust-proof (plastic) buckles and zippers, waist-ties with snug-fitting drawstrings or elastic in front and back, and a safety strap that fastens between your child’s legs to keep the jacket in place.
  • Add reflective tape to increase visibility and a plastic whistle for emergencies. (And teach him how to blow it—your kid likely won’t mind practicing).

5. Put life jackets on, not just near your child

Life jackets and PFDs are meant to be worn, not just near a child or in a boat with a child.

6. Don’t let life jackets replace adult supervision

Toddlers should always be supervised and within arms reach when in or near water, and infants less than 9 kilograms should be held by an adult (as there are no safety-approved infant life jackets). Transport Canada recommends that infants and toddlers should be at least nine kilograms and able to wear a life jacket before boarding a boat.

7. Don’t use life jackets as cushions or toys

Sitting on a life jacket or using it for another purpose can squish the inner material, making it less effective and no longer up to safety standards. Store life jackets in a dry area to ensure they stay in good working condition.

8. Test it out

Every time you zip your kid into it, check the life jacket over for wear and tear, such as broken fasteners, buckles, straps or zippers, and make sure all are in good condition. Replace the life jacket if you find rips. Every summer, ensure your child’s life jacket fits properly and that he can freely move his arms and easily breathe, move, bend over and sit in it. Also make sure he can walk and see the ground without tripping.

In the water, test the life jacket by wading in with your child until he’s at chest level. Assist him as he brings his knees up and floats on his back. Make sure the life jacket keeps your child’s head safely above water and that he can breathe. While beside your child, have him practice swimming in the life jacket on his back and tummy.

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