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Festival action this weekend in Toronto, but remember the subway closure

AMBER LEBLANC AND PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Friday, Aug 5th, 2016

From food, song and dance to yoga salutations and celebrating multiculturalism, there is a festival in every part of the city this weekend.

If you are driving in town this weekend, a section of Danforth Avenue is closed for Taste of the Danforth. Other road closures are also in place due to construction.

There is also a partial subway closure on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) on Saturday.


Taste of the Danforth
Canada’s largest food festival is back for its 23rd year.

Taste of the Danforth welcomes over a million food-and-fun lovers each year. Organizers say this year’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever before with dozens of free activities for people of all ages.

Dancers and musicians celebrate the Taste of the Danforth on Aug. 7, 2015. CITYNEWS
Dancers and musicians celebrate the Taste of the Danforth on Aug. 7, 2015. CITYNEWS


Celebrating multiculturalism
It’s a big party in Scarborough this weekend, as the Community Multicultural Festival returns for a second year. It takes place Friday through Sunday at the Albert Campbell Square at Ellesmere and McCowan roads.

It includes three days of song, dance and cultural presentations, art vendors, food and a beer tent. There will also be some emotional moments with a Canadian citizenship ceremony and re-affirmation ceremony.

Party on the lakefront
Come rain or shine, the waterfront festival along the Humber Bay Shores on Saturday is sure to be tons of fun.

Marine Parade Drive, a street nestled by the lake, will turn into a family-friendly party zone with live music, talent shows, artisan booths, and more.

Jerk Festival
The annual Jerk Festival is taking place from Friday through Sunday at Centennial Park in Etobicoke.

People gather at JerkFest in Toronto. Photo via Facebook/JerkFestCanada
People gather at JerkFest in Toronto. Photo via Facebook/JerkFestCanada


Along with delicious food, there’s a VIP garden, a hot and spicy eating competition, a So You Think You Can Jerk contest and a domino challenge. Some big names will be taking the stage too including Jully Black and Ruben Studdard. Tickets are available here.

The annual outdoor yoga festival returns to the Harbourfront Centre this weekend, with classes held on the mainstage and in the community garden.

COURTESY: Festival of India


On Saturday and Sunday, yoga enthusiasts can take part in various types of yoga, from hatha and “laughter” yoga to moksha and meditation. There will also be classes set to live music and children’s yoga.

Road and TTC closures

Line 1 closure
Subway closures continue this Saturday after a break over the August long weekend.

Riders will not be able to access Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) between St. George and Union stations due to track work. Shuttle buses will be running.

Next weekend: Subways won’t be running on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) from Pape to St. George stations due to bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct. Shuttle buses will be in use.

Road closures for events
Danforth Avenue from Broadview to Jones avenues will be closed from 11 a.m. on Friday until 1 p.m. on Monday. All intersections that are 30 metres north and south of the area will also be closed.

Road work

Drivers will encounter lane reductions on Bayview Avenue from Rosedale Valley Road to Pottery Road to build a multi-use trail and for other road work. The closure is expected to last until Nov. 30.

The intersection of Jarvis and Gerrard street will be off-limits to drivers from 7 p.m. on Friday to 7 a.m. on Monday. Crews will be replacing watermains, resurfacing roads, and upgrading bike lanes and sidewalks.

Ongoing work

The intersection of College Street and Lansdowne Avenue is closed in all directions until Aug. 8 for streetcar track replacement, sidewalk repairs and road work. Click here for traffic detours. TTC vehicles will also be on diversion, click here for details.

Gerrard Street, from University Avenue to Elizabeth Street, is reduced to one lane until Oct. 15 for watermain and other road work.

Richmond Street West is reduced to one lane of traffic between Church and York streets until Nov. 30 for TTC track work, watermain replacement, and road and sidewalk repairs.

One lane of Queen Street West between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street is closed in both directions for watermain replacement and reconstruction work until around Oct. 8.

Rio Olympics opening ceremony highlights Brazil, environment

Mauricio Savarese, The Associated Press | posted Friday, Aug 5th, 2016

There’s nothing like the unique Brazilian vibe – and the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will see no shortage of samba, culture, diversity and history as the South American nation proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders.

Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil.

Since the event won’t able to avoid the issues that are gripping Brazil – a president facing impeachment, a deep recession and environmental threats – organizers made sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country’s magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the Olympic opening ceremony.

“The world is very tense and so is Brazil. We are also willing to tell the world to stop attacking our home. The world is threatened because of global warming. We are calling for action,” said Fernando Meirelles, one of the directors of the show.

Samba and pop music singers are expected to perform, including Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand.

But the climax of the show, the lighting of the cauldron, depends on whether Brazil’s most famous athlete – soccer star Pele – appears. He said this week he was invited to take part, but business deals were stopping him from doing it.

The cauldron was designed by American sculptor Anthony Howe, who told The Associated Press he was inspired by life in the tropics. There will be two cauldrons in Rio, one at the Maracana soccer stadium that is hosting the opening ceremony and another open to the public in downtown Rio.

The cauldron in central Rio is expected to be lit by a runner after the opening ceremony is finished, Howe said.

Related stories:

Gold medal trampolinist Rosie MacLennan to carry flag in Rio

Milos Raonic pulls out of Rio Olympics over Zika virus health concerns

Expert to Rio athletes: ‘Don’t put your head under water’

Video: Security concerns ahead of Rio Olympics

The floor of the stadium will be a vast stage for projections, a substitute for more expensive structures in a nod to Brazil’s economic troubles.

In all, 4,800 performers and volunteers will be involved in the show, which is built on three basic pillars of life in Brazil. Those are sustainability, particularly re-forestation; finding joy in life and in being Brazilian; and the idea of “gambiarra,” the quirky Brazilian art of improvising repairs using whatever parts are available.

“Smile is the approach the Brazilians have toward life,” said Marco Balich, the executive producer. “Brazil is not a grand nation. They’re saying in this ceremony, we are who we are, with a lot of social problems, a lot of crises in the political system, etc.”

Space limitations in the Maracana also curbed the creative possibilities for the show. The stadium does not have typical Olympic dimensions – there is no track. The only Olympic events it is hosting are soccer matches.

Unpopular interim Brazilian President Michel Temer is expected to attend the opening ceremony. He will be replacing his ally-turned-enemy, suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

Fewer heads of state are expected than usual Friday night because of Brazil’s current political crisis. Rousseff’s impeachment trial is expected to end after the Olympics ends on Aug. 21, which leaves the country with two presidents until then.

New charge for officer accused of doing nothing to stop teen’s suicide

CityNews | posted Friday, Aug 5th, 2016

A Toronto police officer accused of doing nothing to prevent the suicide of a 19-year-old man in High Park now faces a third charge: breach of trust by a public officer.

A man told CityNews he had gone to the park on the afternoon of Feb. 2 after his wife told him there was a young man looping a rope on a tree branch.

When the man arrived at the entrance to the park, he saw an officer, Const. Kyle Upjohn, and begged him for help. But Upjohn allegedly told the man to call 911 because he was busy on another call.

The man said he then ran to the tree and used a knife to cut the teen down. He tried CPR, but it was too late.

The Special Investigations Unit originally charged Upjohn with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life. But on Thursday, they added a new charge of breach of trust by a public officer.

Upjohn failed to show up for his court appearance on Thursday to answer to the charges. The judge issued a discretionary bench warrant for his arrest if he doesn’t show up for his next court date in September.

Upjohn has been suspended with pay.

Related stories:

New details in case of officer charged in connection with teen’s suicide

Police officer let man commit suicide, complainant says in SIU case

Toronto police officer facing two charges in relation to teen’s suicide

Tourist follows GPS onto St. Clair streetcar tracks, slams into pole

CityNews | posted Friday, Aug 5th, 2016

An early-morning crash on the streetcar tracks on St. Clair West is to blame on a driver who had his eyes of the road, and on his GPS instead.

A man from out of town was in a rental car en route to the airport and instead of turning onto the street, he followed his GPS right onto the streetcar tracks, slamming into a pole holding up TTC wires.

Police have ruled out impaired driving but will be laying careless driving charges.

OPP charge man with driving 190 km/h with two kids in car

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Aug 5th, 2016

Provincial police say a man who was allegedly driving 90 kilometres an hour over the limit with two young children in the vehicle is facing charges.

Police say officers stopped a car on Highway 400 north of Toronto on Sunday that had allegedly been travelling 190 km/h in a posted 100 km/h zone.

They say the 41-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of impaired driving and registered a warn range suspension when breath tests were conducted.

The man is charged with stunt driving and careless driving and his driver’s licence was suspended and the vehicle impounded for seven days.

Internship opportunity at Breakfast Television – Fall 2016

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Aug 4th, 2016

Passionate about breaking news, lifestyle content, social media, and producing creative and engaging stories for television and online?

Breakfast Television is a three-and-a-half hour LIVE television news and lifestyle production and is looking for a full-time digital intern for its Fall 2016 term (September through December). The successful applicant must be studying a relevant program, and the internship must be part of their school curriculum.

We’re looking for an individual who’s bright, creative, and energetic, with a passion for news- and lifestyle-themed content, plus the ability to hunt down the latest trends before they go viral! Knowledge of video production and editing would be considered a strong asset.

The position is a full-time, five-day-a-week program, running from 6 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday in our downtown Toronto studios.

Should you fulfill the requirements and wish to apply for the position, please forward your resume and cover letter, along with your placement officer’s name and contact info, to:

Please include ‘Internship‘ in the subject line.

Alternately, send a hard copy to:

City – Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
Breakfast Television Internship Program
33 Dundas Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1B8

If we are interested in following up with you, we will be in touch to set up an interview.

Mayor Tory takes tough stand against TTC management

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Aug 4th, 2016

Toronto Mayor John Tory is asking TTC management to trim its budget, otherwise he will bring in a task force to do it.

The Toronto Sun reports his comments comes after CEO Andy byford sent a memo to the city, in response to the mayor’s demand of a 2.6 per cent budget reduction in all city departments.

According to the Sun, Byford told the city’s chief financial officer that even though the TTC has cut $82 million from its budget, it still faces a $149-million shortfall.

However, Tory told Breakfast Television on Thursday he has asked the TTC to go back to the drawing board.

“We have said to them nothing different than what we [have] said to every other organization … [they have] to go through an exercise where they review their budget,” Tory said.

“When they wrote me a letter that said […] we found a bit of stuff but we can’t do the rest, I just said ‘no, I’m sorry,’ you’ve got to do the same exercise.”

“In a $1.7-billion organization, you’d have trouble convincing me given my business experience, that there aren’t more things to find. I said please go back – they’ve got a great management team – [and] find more, and if you need some help, let me know.”

Tory said he would consider bringing in help to sort it all out, but that he would much rather have “Byford and his team, who are capable people, do it.”

Toronto police report to gun call, find Terminator cutout

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Aug 4th, 2016

A movie character made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger caused a gun scare in Toronto on Wednesday night.

Police tweeted at about 9 p.m. that they were responding to a call about a man seen with a gun in a neighbourhood near the downtown core.

After scouring the area, police discovered that the man with a gun was actually a cutout of the actor’s character in ‘The Terminator.’

The police tweet read: “Police on scene have located a Terminator cutout holding a gun.”

The tweet also included a nod to Schwarzenegger’s famous catchphrase with the added hashtag “IllBeBack.”

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