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Pre-order beer coming to The Beer Store

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Jun 28th, 2016

The Beer Store has announced that beer drinkers will now be able to pre-order and pay for their favourite brewski ahead of time.

The new application called Beer Xpress is the “new faster way to get your beer at the Beer Store.”

Launching of Beer Xpress will take place on Wednesday where more details will be unveiled at the Mississauga location.

A faster way to get your beer (CNW Group/The Beer Store)

Ron MacLean to host Hockey Night in Canada, with David Amber

Sportsnet | posted Monday, Jun 27th, 2016

Ron MacLean is returning to host Hockey Night in Canada, alongside David Amber, Sportsnet announced Monday.

MacLean will host Game 1 on Saturday nights with Amber hosting Game 2.

MacLean will continue to host Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry in the first intermission of Game 1. Following his hosting duties on Saturday nights, MacLean will head out to 24 communities across the country to host Rogers Hometown Hockey on Sundays throughout the season.

“The impact (MacLean) has had on the game and in communities across the country is immeasurable. Hockey fans, young and old, have a deep connection with him,” said Scott Moore, President of Sportsnet & NHL Properties, Rogers.

Amber has been a reporter with Hockey Night in Canada for the past five years. He has nearly 20 years of sports broadcast experience, including eight years as anchor and reporter with ESPN, as well as covering four Olympic Games and a two-year stint hosting NHL On The Fly. He will also contribute to Saturday’s pre-game show.

“(Amber) is one of the top sports broadcasters in North America, with a long and impressive resume from both sides of the border.” said Moore. “He’s earned this coveted role. With Ron and David at the helm, it’s the perfect mix for hockey’s biggest night.”

After hosting Hockey Night in Canada for the past two seasons, George Stroumboulopoulos will depart the company to explore new creative opportunities.

“(Stroumboulopoulos) is an extremely versatile and creative broadcaster and we value the contributions he made to Hockey Night in Canada. We look forward to seeing what his next great project will be,” said Moore. “We are continually evaluating and evolving our broadcasts to deliver the best experience for fans.”

Panelists Elliotte Friedman, Kelly Hrudey, and Nick Kypreos join MacLean and Amber in-studio Saturday nights. Daren Millard continues to hostScotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey, alongside panelists Friedman and Doug MacLean.

“As part of our evolution, we will deliver more consistency each night of the week for our national NHL broadcasts. When fans tune in, they will know who they are going to see,” said Moore.

More details regarding Sportsnet’s 2016-17 NHL coverage will be announced in the coming weeks.

Fire breaks out on Toronto Islands, no injuries

CityNews | posted Monday, Jun 27th, 2016

Fire crews responded to a fire on the Toronto Islands and said no injuries were reported.

Crews received a call for the fire around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The blaze was said to be near the Mermaid Cafe and about 400 metres south of Hanlan’s Ferry dock.

It is not known how the fire started at this time.

Fire crews responded to a blaze on Toronto Island. REDDIT/User

Changes to controversial autism plan in the works, new minister says

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jun 27th, 2016

Ontario’s new minister in charge of the autism file says changes are in the works following the controversial revamp of the treatment program announced earlier this year.

Michael Coteau was brought in to put a fresh face on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services after his predecessor, Tracy MacCharles, was moved out of the portfolio – the only major demotion in the recent cabinet shuffle.

MacCharles and Premier Kathleen Wynne had hinted that they were considering tweaking the transition to the new program, but Coteau is signalling that he is looking even more broadly, to not just the transition plan, but the program itself.

“I hope to be in a place quite shortly where we can come forward with several recommendations for changes,” he said in an interview. “I think that there will be elements of both areas that I’d like to focus on.”

The Liberal government has announced, as part of a new Ontario Autism Program rolling out in 2018, that it will stop funding Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) for kids five and older, instead transitioning them to “enhanced Applied Behavioural Analysis” (ABA) treatment.

Related stories:

Video: Government stance on autism changes contradicted

Wynne leaves door open to changing implementation of autism program

Reduction in autism treatments putting children at risk, critics say

Changes in IBI autism funding doubly destructive for Toronto family

In the meantime, families of the 835 children removed from the wait list were given $8,000 to pay for private treatment, but parents say that will only pay for, at most, a few months of intensive therapy.

The changes have angered parents, whose children spent years on the IBI waiting list, only to be abruptly removed.

They have protested at the legislature four times in as many months, and have waged a relentless social media campaign. Coteau already had hundreds of tweets directed at him by the end of the day he was named as minister.

“It’s their children…so they’re very passionate, very concerned,” he said. “Anything that’s mentioned on Twitter or Facebook, it’s just going to help us land in a better place because you can understand where their concerns are and what’s driving the challenges they face.”

The parents’ main demand is for the government to reverse the age five cut-off. The Liberals’ messaging has been that the new program will deliver a flexible amount of service to kids since they are at various places on the autism spectrum, and will end what they say is an artificial distinction between IBI and ABA – one is a more intensive form of the other.

Communicating the changes to parents has been one of the main issues, Coteau said.

“I believe half of the challenge that we’ve had in the past is that parents didn’t know what the next step was,” he said. “We need to be very clear on, ‘This is what’s going to happen next.”‘

Coteau also said the length of the transition to the new program is a “big problem.”

“It was quite easy to identify at the very beginning that two years is too long,” he said. “I am 100 per cent convinced that we can get to a place where people can be happy.”

Montreal dad enlists squirrels to help pull daughter’s loose tooth

John Marchesan | posted Monday, Jun 27th, 2016

When I was 12-years-old, my mother used some dental floss and a bathroom door to help me pull a stubborn tooth.

At the time, I thought that was the craziest thing ever attempted to pull a tooth.

That was until I saw what David Freiheit recently did to extract a tooth from the mouth of his six-year-old daughter.

As captured on YouTube, Freiheit took his daughter Mila to Montreal’s Westmount Park last Wednesday to see if he could coax a squirrel into playing dentist for a day.

Armed with dental floss, some granola and a box of tissues, Freiheit tied the floss to his daughter’s tooth while tying the other end to a piece of granola. He turned on the camera and the rest is nothing short of dental extraction history.

The video has had close to 130,000 views since being posted.

This is not the first time Freiheit has attempted a unique way to pull teeth. In August of 2015, he used a drone to perform a similar extraction on his daughter’s loose tooth.

Can’t wait to see what Freiheit has planned when his daughter has to have her wisdom teeth pulled!

Mother stands up for son in heartfelt Facebook letter

Betty Wondimu | posted Monday, Jun 27th, 2016

A B.C. mother penned a sincere open letter to parents everywhere on Facebook on behalf of her son Sawyer.

Jennifer Engele, of Langley, posted to Facebook Thursday after she learned Sawyer was the only child in his class who didn’t receive an invitation to a classmate’s birthday party.

I want you to know that we don’t have an expectation of being invited to every birthday party,” she wrote. “I know if you knew more about Down Syndrome you wouldn’t have made this decision. I am not mad at you. Rather, I think this is an opportunity for you to get to know my son better.

Engele’s letter, which has been shared over 2500 times, continues on to delicately explain her son’s condition. She even wrote she was also once “scared, uncertain and misinformed” about Down Syndrome before having her son.

“I’m really proud that my letter has reached so many people because it’s not just this birthday party and it’s not just Sawyer. There are so many kids with special needs (and without of course) that just don’t make the cut.

“Maybe you are struggling with the words to say to your child because your child did not want my son at their birthday party. Maybe you let your child decide that it was OK to single someone out. I know it can be difficult to teach our children about something we may not understand ourselves. I struggle with this as well. But this is a great opportunity and life lesson to have with your child,” Engele wrote.

“As parents, we want our children to be liked, to have friends, and to not be left behind. And how we do this is by setting examples ourselves and encouraging them to make choices that they might not be old enough to fully comprehend.”

Fortunately, the unfortunate exclusion was resolved the next day. The parent of the child hosting the birthday party reconsidered their decision, spoke to their son or daughter about Sawyer and decided to create a special invitation for him. Engele wrote Sawyer has been beaming ever since.

“I’m really proud that my letter has reached so many people because it’s not just this birthday party and its not just Sawyer. There are so many kids with special needs (and without of course) that just don’t make the cut. I think as parents we all need to do a better job of fostering these relationships, myself included,” she wrote.

East-end Toronto house catches fire after van crashes through it

CityNews | posted Friday, Jun 24th, 2016

A house in Toronto’s east end caught on fire after a van crashed through it early on Friday morning.

An alleged drunk driver was reportedly speeding when he lost control and crashed into the house at Ellesmere and Kennedy roads just before 4 a.m.

The house, which somehow caught fire, has extensive damage.

A family was inside but they were not injured.

Police found the driver hiding in a nearby mall’s garbage area.

He has minor injuries.

Jazz and a light parade brightens the weekend, but plan ahead for TTC closures

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND AMBER LEBLANC | posted Friday, Jun 24th, 2016

Jazz, a light parade and all-night art, High Park zen, and movies in a park. These are just some of the things to do this weekend in Toronto.

There are road closures for events and construction, and two service impacts to the TTC this weekend. But, think about how much fun you will have once you get where you need to go.

Nuit Rose 
Pride Month continues in Toronto with a spin on Nuit Blanche. For the third year, Nuit Rose is being held on Saturday.

An art installation at Nuit Rose in 2015. Photo via Facebook.com/nuitrosetoronto
An art installation at Nuit Rose in 2015. Photo via Facebook.com/nuitrosetoronto

At sunset, everyone is welcome to march in a parade and are asked to bring along a light-emitting object. The parade starts at Norman Jewison Park east of Yonge Street, eventually making its way onto Church Street. There will also be free lantern-making workshops beforehand.

Then, there will be a number of all-night art installations in both indoor and outdoor venues in the Church/Wellesley Village and in Parkdale. Click here for a full list.

TD Toronto Jazz Festival
“I’ve got rhythm. I’ve got music.” Music just makes everyone happy, and jazz resonates jubilance. There is no right or wrong string of notes that defines jazz. It is a feeling, one that takes you to places that only reside in your dreams.

Over 10 days, the annual jazz festival will colour the town in jazz. From vocal standards and be-bop to soul and fusion, the event will be swinging with every style of jazz you want to hear. You will be tapping your feet and dancing in your seats.

File photo of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.
File photo of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

The festival, now in its 30th year, kicks off on Friday with Grammy and Juno award winner Sarah McLachlan performing an acoustic set at the Sony Centre. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are still available.

More than 350 shows will be held at the 10-day festival, including performances by Wynton Marsalis, Heather Bambrick, Chick Correa Trio, and Gregory Porter. Click here to see a list of artists.

Recently, CityNews did a 60-Second Challenge with Porter, who was in town to promote his latest album and upcoming performance at the jazz festival on June 28. Watch it below or click here to view it.

Free yoga in High Park
Surround yourself with nature as you practice your downward dog and sun salutation in High Park – the best park on earth.

COURTESY: Festival of India

The free sessions, which start on Sunday and run until Sept. 18, are offered by local yoga studios in collaboration with Flow-active. Classes are held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. near the Chess House, close to the High Park subway station on Bloor Street West.

A donation of $5 is suggested with all proceeds going to StepStones for Youth, an organization that helps disadvantaged young people.

Pedestrian Sundays
The streets of Kensington Market are yours the last Sunday of each month until Oct. 30.

The car-free street party takes place from noon to 7 p.m. You can check out live music, watch street performers, stroll through an outdoor art fair, and browse various stores.

Artist Scott McDermid's piece, "Kensington Car-Free Day," part of the Open Field Collective's Street Projects in Toronto. OPEN FIELD COLLECTIVE/Scott McDermid.
Artist Scott McDermid’s piece, “Kensington Car-Free Day,” part of the Open Field Collective’s Street Projects in Toronto. OPEN FIELD COLLECTIVE/Scott McDermid.

Annex Festival on Bloor
Expect lots of family fun on Sunday in the Annex, during a festival on Bloor Street between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue.

The 20th annual Annex Family Festival takes place between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Local businesses will be celebrating the unique heritage of the community with different activities for all ages. Expect music, a children’s village and even a pirate ship with real live pirates.

Christie Pits Film Festival
It’s the sixth summer for outdoor movies at the Christie Pits Film Festival, which starts on Sunday night with ‘Gravity,’ starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

Movies will be shown every Sunday through the end of August, starting around 9 p.m.

People watching a movie at Christie Pits Park. Photo via Facebook.com/ChristiePitsFilmFestival
People watching a movie at Christie Pits Park. Photo via Facebook.com/ChristiePitsFilmFestival

Heroes Run for Huntington’s
This Sunday, hundreds of people will be running to try to find a cure for Huntington’s disease.

It takes place at the Wilket Creek Park Picnic Site 2 at Leslie Street and Eglinton Avenue between 9 a.m. and noon. You have the choice of a 5/10K run or a 5K walk/hike.

All funds raised support the Huntingon Society of Canada’s programs and services. Click here to register.

American sculptor Dale Chihuly is renowned for his impressive feats of blown glass that are colourful and creatively play with light, creating a magical world you will not want to leave.

An exhibition of his work will be featured at the Royal Ontario Museum from Saturday until Jan. 2, 2017.

A blown glass sculpture at the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Wash. Photo via Facebook.com/chihulygg
A blown glass sculpture at the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Wash. Photo via Facebook.com/chihulygg

Earl Bales Art and Music Fest
Celebrate the arts and culture of North York and Toronto on Sunday at Earl Bales Park, located at the corner of Bathurst Street and Sheppard Avenue.

It will feature performances by local musicians, artwork, lots of stuff for children and food booths from local restaurants.

TTC and road closures

Line 1 closure
Trains won’t be running on Line 3 (Scarborough RT) this weekend due to track work. Shuttle buses will stop at all stations.

Line 2 late opening
Bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct will force subway service to start later than usual on Line 2(Bloor-Danforth) between St. George and Pape stations. The TTC has not determined the exact time yet. Shuttle buses will be running.

Road closures for events
Toronto Waterfront 10K: University Avenue, from Dundas to Front streets, and York Street, from Front to Bremner Boulevard, will be closed from 4:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday. And from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., a series of rolling road closures will also be in effect in the area bounded by Parkside Drive, Lake Shore Boulevard, York Street/University Avenue and Dundas Street.

The Village Festival: Church Street, from Wood to Gloucester streets, will be closed from 9 a.m. on Saturday to 2 a.m. on Monday.

Port Union Village Waterfront Festival: Port Union Road will be closed from south of Shoalhaven Drive to Bridgend Street on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bridgend Street will be closed in both directions from Port Union Road to the east part of Vessel Crescent.

Fairbank Village BIA Multicultural Celebration: Eglinton Avenue, from Dufferin Street to Ronald Avenue, will be closed from 2 a.m. on Saturday to 5 a.m. on Monday.

Some smaller streets in this area will also be partially closed.

Annex Family Festival: Bloor Street, from Spadina Avenue to Bathurst Street, will be closed on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Road work
The entire intersection of College and Bathurst will be closed for TTC work until July 12.

Also, Queen Street West between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street is reduced to one lane in either direction for watermain replacement and and reconstruction work. The construction is expected to last until Oct. 8.

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