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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.

Stocks crash after UK vote to quit EU shocks investors


Financial traders react to the European Union (EU) referendum vote at ETX Capital in London, U.K., on June 24, 2016. GETTY IMAGES/Bloomberg/Jason Alden 
For the latest updates on the Brexit vote and market reaction, follow 680 NEWS business editors Mike Eppel and Richard Southern.

Stock markets crashed, oil prices tumbled and the pound fell to a 31-year low on Friday as Britain’s unprecedented vote to leave the European Union shocked investors and dragged the region, the world’s largest economic bloc, into a new era of uncertainty.

Investors rushed to dump European shares as soon as markets opened, following earlier drops in Asia, and Wall Street was set to fall sharply amid concerns about the economic consequences of the vote. The move could drain confidence among companies and business in Britain and the wider EU, which some fear could even face more defections.

Britain’s FTSE 100 plunged about 8 per cent but recovered slightly for a five per cent loss. The German index tanked 10 per cent, which would be its biggest one-day decline ever, and France’s index tumbled about 7 per cent. Wall Street was due to open sharply lower, with Dow and S&P 500 futures down 2.4 per cent and 3.2 per cent.

The pound hit its lowest level since 1985, diving as much as 11 per cent before recovering slightly to trade six per cent lower at $1.3917. Oil prices crashed, with the U.S. benchmark diving $1.95 to $48.16 a barrel. The Nikkei 225 plummeted about eight per cent, its biggest fall since 2008.

The result of the vote, which trickled in when Asian markets were trading, caught investors by surprise. Markets had rallied on Thursday on hopes for a “remain” vote and bookies had given such an outcome a high probability of success.

“You can see people are running for cover,” said Ken Courtis, chairman of Starfort Investment Holdings in Tokyo. Investors were betting on a victory for the “remain” side, but “what you’re seeing now in markets is an adjustment in the other direction, as everyone tries to get through a tiny door at the same time,” he said.

Britain’s decision to leave the EU launches what will be years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with the EU, which will shrink to a 27-nation bloc. Above all, it creates uncertainty, which is toxic to businesses looking to making investments or consumers looking to make purchases.

It could also threaten London’s position as one of the world’s pre-eminent financial centres as professionals could lose the right to work across the EU. The U.K. hosts more headquarters of non-EU firms than Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands put together.

Related stories:

Britain votes to leave EU: Cameron to resign, markets rocked

The Bank of England said it had made contingency plans for a “leave” vote and promised to take action to maintain stability. It noted that it has 250 billion pounds ($342 billion) in liquidity available for banks. “We are well prepared for this,” the bank’s governor, Mark Carney, said in a televised statement.

That seemed to help confidence somewhat, particularly in financial stocks, which were among the hardest hit. Shares in Barclays bank in London had tanked as much as 30 per cent before settling for a 14 per cent drop.

Banks have the most to lose in Britain’s departure from the EU as they do a lot of cross-border activity, which is facilitated in the EU, which has no borders, tariffs, or limits on the movement money and people.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished the wild day at 14,952.02 down 7.9 per cent while South Korea’s Kospi sank 3.1 per cent to 1,925.24, its biggest fall in four years. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index tumbled 4.4 per cent to 19,942.90 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 3.2 per cent to 5,113.20. Stocks in Shanghai, Taiwan, Sydney, Mumbai and Southeast Asian countries were sharply lower.

“Financial markets throughout the night have been chaotic to say the least,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda in London. “All eyes will now be on central banks around the world to see how they respond to these market developments, particularly the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan.”

In other currencies, the dollar fell to 102.98 yen from 104.80 yen while the euro weakened to $1.1123 from $1.1320.

Kirka reported from London. Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong also contributed to this report.

Britain votes to leave EU: Cameron to resign, markets rocked


A teller counts ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after polls closed in the EU referendum on June 23, 2016. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/PA/Liam McBurney

For the latest updates on the Brexit vote and market reaction, follow 680 NEWS business editors Mike Eppel and Richard Southern.

Britain voted to leave the European Union after a bitterly divisive referendum campaign, toppling the government Friday, sending global markets plunging and shattering the stability of a project in continental unity designed half a century ago to prevent World War III.

The decision launches a yearslong process to renegotiate trade, business and political links between the United Kingdom and what will become a 27-nation bloc, an unprecedented divorce that could take decades to complete.

“The dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” said Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party. “Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day!”

Prime Minister David Cameron, who had led the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, said he would resign by October and left it to his successor to decide when to invoke Article 50, which triggers a departure from European Union.

“I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months,” he said, “but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers the country to its next destination.”

The electoral commission said 52 per cent of voters opted to leave the EU. Turnout was high: 72 per cent of the more than 46 million registered voters cast ballots.

Polls ahead of the vote had shown a close race, but the momentum had increasingly appeared to be on the “remain” side over the last week. The result shocked investors, and stock markets plummeted around the world, with key indexes dropping 10 per cent in Germany and about 8 per cent in Japan and Britain.

The euro fell against the dollar and the pound dropped to its lowest level since 1985, plunging more than 10 per cent from about $1.50 to $1.35 before a slight recovery, on concerns that severing ties with the single market will hurt the U.K. economy and undermine London’s position as a global financial centre. Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney sought to reassure the markets.

“We are well prepared for this,” Carney said. “The Treasury and the Bank of England have engaged in extensive contingency planning. … We have taken all the necessary steps to prepare for today’s events.”

Related stories:

Stocks crash after UK vote to quit EU shocks investors

The U.K. would be the first major country to leave the EU, which was born from the ashes of World War II as European leaders sought to build links and avert future hostility. With no precedent, the impact on the single market of 500 million people – the world’s largest economy – is unclear.

Germany called top diplomats from the EU’s six founding nations to a meeting Saturday, and the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said the bloc will meet without Britain at a summit next week to assess its future. Tusk vowed not to let the vote derail the European project.

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” he said.

But already, far-right leaders in France and the Netherlands were calling for a similar anti-EU vote.

The referendum showed Britain to be a sharply divided nation: Strong pro-EU votes in the economic and cultural powerhouse of London and semi-autonomous Scotland were countered by sweeping anti-Establishment sentiment for an exit across the rest of England, from southern seaside towns to rust-belt former industrial powerhouses in the north.

“It’s a vindication of 1,000 years of British democracy,” commuter Jonathan Campbell James declared at the train station in Richmond, southwest London. “From Magna Carta all the way through to now we’ve had a slow evolution of democracy, and this vote has vindicated the maturity and depth of the democracy in our country.”

Others expressed anger and frustration. Olivia Sangster-Bullers, 24, called the result “absolutely disgusting.”

“Good luck to all of us, I say, especially those trying to build a future with our children,” she said.

Cameron called the referendum largely to silence voices to his right, then staked his reputation on keeping Britain in the EU. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is from the same party, was the most prominent supporter of the “leave” campaign and now becomes a leading contender to replace Cameron. The vote also dealt a blow to the main opposition Labour Party, which threw its weight behind the “remain” campaign.

“A lot of people’s grievances are coming out and we have got to start listening to them,” said deputy Labour Party leader John McDonnell.

Indeed, the vote constituted a rebellion against the political, economic and social Establishment. All manner of groups – CEOs, scientists, soldiers – had written open letters warning of the consequences of an exit. Farage called the result “a victory for ordinary people against the big banks, big business and big politics.”

After winning a majority in Parliament in the last election, Cameron negotiated a package of reforms that he said would protect Britain’s sovereignty and prevent EU migrants from moving to the U.K. to claim generous public benefits.

Critics charged that those reforms were hollow, leaving Britain at the mercy of bureaucrats in Brussels and doing nothing to stem the tide of European immigrants who have come to the U.K. since the EU expanded eastward in 2004. The “leave” campaign accuses the immigrants of taxing Britain’s housing market, public services and employment rolls.

Those concerns were magnified by the refugee crisis of the past year that saw more than 1 million people from the Middle East and Africa flood into the EU as the continent’s leaders struggled to come up with a unified response.

Cameron’s efforts to find a slogan to counter the “leave” campaign’s emotive “take back control” settled on “Brits don’t quit.” But the appeal to a Churchillian bulldog spirit and stoicism proved too little, too late.

The slaying of pro-Europe lawmaker Jo Cox a week before the vote brought a shocked pause to both campaigns and appeared to shift momentum away from the “leave” camp. While it isn’t clear whether her killer was influenced by the EU debate, her death aroused fears that the referendum had stirred demons it would be difficult to subdue.

The result triggers a new series of negotiations that is expected to last two years or more as Britain and the EU search for a way to separate economies that have become intertwined since the U.K. joined the bloc on Jan. 1, 1973. Until those talks are completed, Britain will remain a member of the EU.

Exiting the EU involves taking the unprecedented step of invoking Article 50 of the EU’s governing treaty. While Greenland left an earlier, more limited version of the bloc in 1985, no country has ever invoked Article 50, so there is no roadmap for how the process will work.

Authorities ranging from the International Monetary Fund to the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have warned that a British exit will reverberate through a world economy that is only slowly recovering from the global economic crisis. The European Union is the world’s biggest economy and the U.K.’s most important trading partner, accounting for 45 per cent of exports and 53 per cent of imports.

In addition, the complex nature of Britain’s integration with the EU means that breaking up will be hard to do. The negotiations will go far beyond tariffs, including issues such as cross-border security, foreign policy co-operation and a common fisheries policy.

It will also affect the ability of professionals such as investment managers, accountants and lawyers to work in the EU, threatening London’s position as one of the world’s pre-eminent financial centres. The U.K. hosts more headquarters of non-EU firms than Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands put together.

“We believe this outcome has serious implications for the City and many of our clients’ businesses with exposure to the U.K. and the EU,” said Malcolm Sweeting, senior partner of law firm Clifford Chance. “We are working alongside our clients to help them as they anticipate, plan for and manage the challenges the coming political and trade negotiations will bring.”

Associated Press writers Raphael Satter and Frank Jordans in London and Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin contributed to this report.

Bowmanville Zoo will close down at the end of 2016 season

CityNews | posted Thursday, Jun 23rd, 2016

The Bowmanville Zoo is closing down at the end of the 2016 season because attendance is down “catastrophically” following charges being laid against the zoo’s owner earlier this year, a spokesman announced Thursday.

“Zoo attendance is down quite dramatically … catastrophically,” Angus Carroll said. “People are staying away in droves and we can’t afford to operate the zoo.”

Carroll estimates attendance is down 65 per cent since last summer. The zoo season traditionally runs until Thanksgiving.

Earlier this year, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) charged zoo owner Michael Hackenberger with four counts of causing an animal distress and one of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for an animal.

The OSPCA investigation was launched after video footage surfaced that appeared to show Hackenberger hitting a tiger with a whip during a training session. The video was circulated by the animal rights group PETA.

“The PR campaign being carried on by PETA is very effective,” Carroll said. “We’ve been run over by a bus.”

Related stories:

Owner of Bowmanville Zoo, charged with animal cruelty, back in court next month

Bowmanville Zoo director steps down after animal cruelty charges

New PETA video allegedly shows Bowmanville Zoo owner explaining tactics

Bowmanville Zoo owner refutes PETA video showing him whipping tiger

If Hackenberger is found guilty, he could face a maximum of a $60,000 fine, two years in jail and a lifetime prohibition from owning animals. But he says the backlash in social media and the press has persuaded customers to stop visiting the zoo.

“We feel this is a tragic example of being tried in the public court before being tried in the real court,” Carroll said.

Carroll said the zoo is already working on finding the animals at the zoo new homes, though he does not believe discussions have taken place with the Toronto Zoo.

“Not all of them can just be released,” he said. “We have already begun finding new homes for the animals. We believe we will find new homes for all the animals.”

Carroll says the zoo employs “dozens of staff” in maintenance, food services and animal care capacities who will lose their jobs. However, some keepers and trainers will continue to work as long as it takes to adopt out all the animals.

“Many are heartbroken, to say the least,” he said.

Carroll emphasized that closing the zoo means more children will never have the ability to see real animals.

“The digital world is great,” he said, “but it cannot replace the real world.”

More cameras necessary to improve traffic in Toronto: Tory

CityNews | posted Thursday, Jun 23rd, 2016

More cameras to monitor the flow of traffic are necessary to improve congestion in Toronto, Mayor John Tory said Thursday.

The cameras will allow for better timing of traffic lights, one of six pillars in Tory’s plan to improve traffic in the gridlocked city.

“There’s a huge and increasing amount of technology being deployed to get the city moving,” Tory said at Toronto’s traffic control centre, known as the Consolidated Communications Command Centre.

Better-timed traffic lights, which allow drivers to travel longer without stopping and also stay green when no opposing traffic is coming, are a “low-cost way to get traffic moving,” he added.

Tory said that while the city was trying to “provide options” for people to get out of their cars, “the bottom line is people still use cars,” and better traffic management would remain a focus for Toronto.

The six-point plan was first unveiled nearly two years ago, with Tory vowing to crack down on drivers parked in no-parking zones and to complete construction projects more quickly.

At the time, Tory said he would work with city staff to accelerate the traffic signal re-timing plan to have 350 signals, instead of 250, coordinated by 2015.

“This will allow traffic to move better. We will also move faster to test and pilot the new Smart Traffic Signal technology that can sense traffic flows and respond in real time,” he said in December of 2014.

Tory said Thursday that 337 traffic lights were re-timed in 2015, resulting in an eight per cent reduction in delays. This year, the city will change 350 more traffic signals, on 17 key routes.

It costs between $4,000 and $5,000 for each light.

By the end of 2017, approximately 1,500 traffic signals – about 60 per cent of the city’s traffic signals – will be retimed.

Bolthouse Farms protein drinks recalled over possible spoilage

CityNews | posted Thursday, Jun 23rd, 2016

Bolthouse Farms is recalling several types of protein shakes due to possible spoilage. CFIA

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall for Bolthouse Farms protein drinks because they may be spoiled.

The drinks may appear lumpy, taste unpleasant and have an “off” odour. Consumers should not consume the recalled products. The details are below:

Bolthouse Farms is recalling several types of protein shakes due to possible spoilage.
Bolthouse Farms is recalling several types of protein shakes due to possible spoilage.

Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

No illnesses have been reported.

Voters decide in Britain’s historic EU referendum


Voters in Britain are deciding Thursday whether the country should remain in the European Union – a historic vote that has exposed deep divisions over issues of sovereignty and national identity.

More than 46 million people are registered to vote in the referendum, which asks: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” The heated campaign saw the nation take stock of its place in the modern world, even as it questioned the direction it wanted to take in the future.

“This is, I’d say, the most important day in the past 20 years, at least for the U.K., and the economic consequences of a vote out are huge,” said investment banker Hasan Naqvi outside a London polling station.

“Leave” campaigners claim that only a British exit can restore power to Parliament and control immigration. The “remain” campaign led by Prime Minister David Cameron argues that Britain is safer and richer inside the 28-nation EU.

Financial markets have been volatile ahead of the vote, with opinion polls suggesting a tight race. The pound has surged over the week amid market optimism that uncertainty over the vote would end with a vote to stay. The pound briefly hit $1.48 in overnight trading, the highest level since the beginning of the year.

Turnout is considered critical in the vote, as polling suggested there were a number of undecided voters. A large turnout will favour the “remain” campaign as those who waver at the end tend to go for the status quo.

It was raining heavily in some parts of the country, which could reduce turnout. Downpours and flooding swamped parts of London and southeastern Britain. London’s Fire Brigade received hundreds of calls of weather-related incidents early Thursday, including some reports of flooding and lightning strikes.

Polls are open until 10 p.m. local time, with results due early Friday.

Woman spat on, has hijab pulled in London, Ont., supermarket

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Jun 22nd, 2016

Police are looking for a woman after another woman was punched, spat on and had her hijab pulled in a London, Ont., supermarket.

Investigators say the alleged victim was shopping with her four-month-old son late Monday afternoon at the Superking Supermarket when they were approached by a woman who began yelling at them.

They say the unidentified woman then spat on the woman, and punched her several times.

Police say the assailant then grabbed the woman’s hijab and attempted to pull it off her head before pulling her hair.

They say the woman suffered minor injuries in the incident.

The suspect is five-feet five-inches tall, 30 to 40 years old, around 150 pounds, with long black hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was wearing a red “Canada” T-shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the London police at 519-661-5670 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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