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October arrives this weekend with Nuit Blanche, Oktoberfest, cancer run

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND SAMANTHA KNIGHT | posted Friday, Sep 30th, 2016

Intergalactic Garden Supply from Nuit Blanche in 2015. NUIT BLANCHE

Oktoberfest, vibrant fall foliage, Thanksgiving and Halloween: that’s just a few of the things in store for October.

The first weekend of this month will be a busy one with a dusk-to-dawn art festival, a charity run for cancer, poutine at Yonge-Dundas Square, a CUPE rally at Queen’s Park, and more. Thankfully, there are no subway closures to deal with this weekend.

Nuit Blanche

The all-night arts festival transforms the city this weekend with nearly 90 contemporary art projects curated by more than 300 artists.

From 6:58 p.m. on Saturday until sunrise on Sunday, art lovers and outdoor festival enthusiasts will roam the streets with a coffee in one hand and an event map in the other, checking out as many exhibits as they can.

The event, which is in its 11th year, will feature 33 exhibits produced by the City of Toronto, 55 independent projects by the arts community, and event-inspired talks. Some of the exhibitswill run until Oct. 11. Click here to search by artist, project or venue.

If you need help navigating the festival, view an interactive map online or print a handy guide here.


Ocean by Philip Beesley will be featured at Nuit Blanche 2016. NUIT BLANCHE 


TTC/GO Transit

Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) will run all night from Downsview to Finch stations and on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) from Kipling to Kennedy stations. Trains will run every 10 minutes from 1:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Sunday.

Streetcar service will also be increased on the following routes: 509 Harbourfront, 510 Spadina, 307 Bathurst, 29 Dufferin, and 196 York University Rocket. The 501 Queen streetcar will be diverted onto King Street between Spadina Avenue and Church Street.

The GO Transit is also running extra trains to and from Union Station, while GO buses will run late into the night on most routes from Union. Click here for details and click here to find your schedule on GOTransit.com.

CIBC Run for the Cure

Twenty-four years ago, around 1,500 people gathered in High Park to raise awareness and research money for breast cancer. Today, the annual event brings together more than 100,000 people across the country, as they run and walk for a cure.


CIBC Run for the Cure in 2014. Photo via facebook.com/CanadianBreastCancerFoundation



The event raises money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, a charitable organization that funds money towards research, prevention, treatment, and patient support. There are several runs talking place across Canada, including at the Toronto Zoo and the University of Toronto’s downtown campus.

CUPE Rally at Queen’s Park

Members of CUPE 4207 will be rallying at Queen’s Park this Saturday, fighting for decent work for all.

The Rally for Decent Work will call for safe working conditions, decent hours, paid sick days and vacation, access to a union, $15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to the gender/racialized wage gap. Organizers say they want the Ontario government to implement strong labour laws for more than seven million working people across the province.

The rally is family-friendly and there will be music, activities and special guests. Organizers expect 10,000 people to attend.

World Poutine Eating Championship

People will be stuffing their faces this weekend at the seventh annual Smoke’s Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship. The event takes place at Yonge-Dundas Square from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Members of ‘Plaid Nation’ (anyone at the event) can enjoy free poutine all day.


World Poutine Eating Championship at Yonge-Dundas Square. Photo via facebook.com/poutinerie

There will be three eating competitions: one for amateurs, one for professionals and the first-ever Friends of We Care Charity Eat Off Challenge.

A KISS tribute band will be performing, and there will be interactive games and giveaways throughout the day. All ages are welcome.

Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

Vintage lovers, rejoice. Canada’s largest sale of vintage clothing returns to Exhibition Place this weekend.

The Toronto Vintage Clothing Show has everything from streetwear to Chanel. Guests will find a vast inventory of classic styles, designs and fabrics. You can try on retro clothing, model accessories and handbags and lust after designer vintages and jewelry.


The Toronto Vintage Clothing Show. Photo via Instagram/vintageclothingshow

Organizers also encourage everyone to check out the Toronto Antique and Vintage Market while they are at the show – it’s included with admission. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Camp Spooky

It’s the 50th anniversary of ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ and Canada’s Wonderland is celebrating with what they like to call ‘Camp Spooky.’

The ultimate fall festival kicks off this weekend and is held every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the month of October. The event is family-friendly and includes Halloween-themed entertainment, three mazes and of course, trick-or-treating.

Your favourite Canada’s Wonderland rides will be open during the day, including KidZville and Planet Snoopy kids’ areas. Entrance is included with park admission.

Oktoberfest at Ontario Place

Celebrate the arrival of autumn and October at Ontario Place this weekend.

Put on your dirndls and lederhosen and join around 5,000 others at the Bavarian festival, which is being held inside a huge Festhalle tent and at an outdoor village. There will be lots of regional food and beer on hand as well as polka music and dancing.


Revellers gather under a tent at Oktoberfest in Toronto. TORONTO OKTOBERFEST

Road closures for events

Nuit Blanche

  • John Street will be closed between Stephanie Street and Wellington Avenue from 5 p.m. on Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday
  • Queen Street West from Yonge Street to Spadina Avenue will be closed from 5 p.m. on Saturday until 8 a.m. on Sunday
  • Bay Street between Dundas Street West and Queens Quay West will be closed from noon on Saturday to 10 a.m. on Sunday
  • Southbound lanes of McCaul Street from Dundas Street West to Queen Street West will be closed from 6 p.m. on Saturday until 8 a.m. on Sunday


CIBC Run for the Cure

  • Wellesley Street West from Queen’s Park Crescent East to Queen’s Park Crescent West will be closed as of 6 a.m. on Sunday
  • Hoskin Avenue from Queen’s Park Crescent West to St. George Street will be closed at 7 a.m.
  • There will also be other road closures bounded by University Avenue/Queen’s Park Circle, Bloor Street West, St. George Street and College Street starting at 6 a.m.


The closures are expected to end around 12:30 p.m. Streetcar and bus routes will be diverting in the area.

Ontario Fire Fighters Memorial

The northbound lanes of Queen’s Park/Queen’s Park Crescent East will be closed from College to Wellesley streets from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Woman cut out of car after west-end crash

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 30th, 2016

Firefighters cut a woman out of her car after a crash on Sept. 30, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bahaa Attia

A woman is in hospital with serious injuries after a car crash in the west end.

The two-car crash happened on Dundas Street west of Lansdowne Avenue around 12:50 a.m. on Friday.

Firefighters had to cut the woman out of her car after the collision.

The woman, believed to be in her 30s, had a serious leg injury.

It’s not yet known what caused the crash. There’s no word on any charges.

A woman is loaded into an ambulance after a car crash on Sept. 30, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bahaa Attia

A woman is loaded into an ambulance after a car crash on Sept. 30, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bahaa Attia

Firefighter rescued in Hamilton fire

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 30th, 2016

Seven people are homeless after a townhouse fire on Upper Gage Avenue, near the Lincoln Alexander Expressway, on Sept. 30, 2016. Image credit: Dave Ritchie

A firefighter was rescued from a dangerous situation while battling a house fire in Hamilton.

The firefighter had his foot stuck in a ladder as flames raged nearby. He issued a Mayday call and was quickly freed. He was not injured.

The townhouse fire began on Upper Gage Avenue, near the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, around 1:15 a.m. on Friday.

A family of seven people and their pets made it out of the house safely.

One of the neighbouring homes was also damaged.

The cost of the damage is estimated at $500,000. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

More road closures as Blue Jays battle for wild card spot

CityNews | posted Thursday, Sep 29th, 2016

If you are heading to the Toronto Blue Jays game or the World Cup of Hockey game on Thursday night, be prepared for traffic disruptions.

Police say they may close roads around the Rogers Centre at the end of the baseball game to ensure pedestrians and motorists can leave the area safely.
The Blue Jays post-season hopes are on the line as they face the Baltimore Orioles at 7:07 p.m. Around 50,000 people are expected to attend the game.

Police say the closures will depend on traffic and pedestrian volume in the area. The following roads may be closed if needed:

  • Blue Jays Way will be partially closed to southbound traffic from Front Street West to Navy Wharf
  • Bremner Boulevard will be partially closed to eastbound traffic from Spadina Avenue to Rees Street
  • Bremner Boulevard will be fully closed to eastbound traffic from Rees Street to Lower Simcoe
  • Bremner Boulevard will be fully closed to westbound traffic from Lower Simcoe to Navy Wharf
  • Spadina Avenue will be fully closed to southbound traffic from Front Street West to Fort York Boulevard

In an effort to alleviate traffic congestion, police suggest taking public transit, carpooling, and to consider avoiding the Rogers Centre area if you are not attending the game. Police are also asking taxi and ride-sharing drivers to pick up and drop off passengers on Front Street West, east of Blue Jays Way.

The Blue Jays showed momentum leading up to Wednesday night’s game against the Orioles. They won three out of four games against the New York Yankees and the first game in their three-game series with the Orioles.

But, that momentum came to a disappointing halt on Wednesday. The Blue Jays seemed on the verge of claiming victory in the game but the bullpen blew the lead, giving the Orioles the win. The good news is that Toronto still holds the top wild card spot but is only one game ahead of Baltimore.

GO Train to compensate passengers $100 for lengthy delay on Tuesday

CityNews | posted Thursday, Sep 29th, 2016

Compensation is on the way for Go Train passengers left stranded for hours on a sweltering train after major problems developed on the Lakeshore East lines Tuesday afternoon.

A Metrolinx spokesperson tells CityNews, people stranded on the train just outside Ajax for more than three hours will be getting $100 each. That is on top of a refund for the trip.

Anne Marie Aikins says emails have started going out to customers Wednesday night, outlining the compensation they would receive for their inconvenience.

The compensation is similar to what customers were offered in 2013 when heavy rains left some passengers stranded on flooded train cars.

Passengers on the Lakeshore East line were delayed more than three hours after a train broke down and lost power around 4:30 p.m. near Ajax and triggered significant delays along the line.

Many riders were forced to sit or stand for hours without air conditioning as GO worked to get a tow train to push the disabled train to the nearest station.

CityNews viewer Chris Pang said the wait on the overcrowded Lakeshore East train was unbearable.

“The conditions on the train during this … delay were atrocious,” he said.

“Since this train was crowded as usual, for over four hours many people stood, although we all tried to take turns sharing seats … The temperature aboard was gradually becoming unbearable. Many people seemed flush, and a pregnant lady started to feel faint.”

One person dead, parts of Hwy. 401 shut down, after two collisions

CityNews | posted Thursday, Sep 29th, 2016

Parts of Highway 401 are shut down after two separate and serious collisions on Thursday morning.

At least one person has died.

The first crash happened in the westbound lanes of the highway near Highway 400 around 12:30 a.m.

It appears one vehicle rear-ended another and both vehicles ended up hitting the wall.

Paramedics tell CityNews a woman was killed and a second person was taken to hospital.

The westbound lanes of the 401 are closed at Allen Road.

Police investigate a crash on Highway 401 near Highway 6 on Sept. 29, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy
Police investigate a crash on Highway 401 near Highway 6 on Sept. 29, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy

The second crash happened near Highway 6 in Cambridge around the same time.

A truck and a car collided, and an air ambulance was called in.

It’s not known how many people were hurt or what caused the crash.

Two lanes of the eastbound 401 approaching Hwy. 6 remain closed.

BlackBerry to end internal hardware development

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Sep 28th, 2016

BlackBerry says it plans to end all internal hardware development — signalling a strategic shift for a company that built its reputation on innovative smartphone technology created at its base in Waterloo.

The move was announced by BlackBerry chairman and CEO John Chen as the company issued its latest financial report this morning.

More to come

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