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‘This year will be my last one’: Peter Mansbridge to leave The National

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Sep 6th, 2016

After almost 30 years as anchor of CBC’s flagship news program, Peter Mansbridge will leave the The National next summer.

Mansbridge told viewers during Monday night’s broadcast that he will step down after anchoring the network’s Canada Day coverage next July 1, when the country will mark its 150th birthday.

“This next year will mark 30 years since I was named chief correspondent and anchor of the National … a position that’s an honour and a privilege to occupy,” Mansbridge said.

“It’s been an amazing time to help chronicle our history, but I’ve decided that this year will be my last one.”


Mansbridge’s career has spanned nearly five decades, including 28 years at the helm of The National as anchor and chief correspondent.

The network notes he has covered every federal election since 1972 and anchored all 10 since 1984. He has also hosted eight Olympic ceremonies, won 12 Gemini Awards and was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.

Mansbridge, 68, began his career in journalism at the age of 19 when he was offered a job at a local CBC radio station in Churchill, Man., after the station manager heard his voice over the intercom at the airport.

He went on to help develop CBC Radio’s news service for Northern Canada before moving to Winnipeg as a radio reporter in 1971 and then joining CBC Television in 1972.

Mansbridge, who was born in London, England and lives in Stratford, Ont., became chief correspondent and anchor 16 years later, taking over from Knowlton Nash.

“As someone who believes strongly in public broadcasting, leaving the CBC’s flagship will not be easy,” Mansbridge told viewers. “But what’s important is that ‘The National’ of the future will continue to reflect our world, our country and our people.”

“There will be more to say about the future in the days to come, but now it’s time to focus on the new season and here at the National we will be doing just that.”

Earlier this year, Mansbridge was named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame and was given a lifetime achievement award by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

Traffic blitz for first day back to school

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 6th, 2016

Students are heading back to school on Tuesday but it’s not just parents, children and teachers that need to get back to their old routines.

Toronto police are reminding drivers to be aware of school zones, including speed limits, no parking, and no stopping restrictions.

Officers as well as Toronto District School Board staff will be at Second Street Junior Middle School from Tuesday until Friday for the traffic campaign.

Parents and children will receive back-to-school safety tips, including how to handle school zones, while officers will be cracking down on drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who aren’t following the rules.

That includes people crossing midblock, drivers speeding for crossovers, and cyclists rolling through stop signs.

Police are also going after aggressive driving offences, prohibited turns, and distracted driving behaviour.

Police to ticket, tow vehicles blocking rush-hour routes

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 6th, 2016

If you are thinking of stopping at the side of the road and popping in for a quick coffee Tuesday morning, you might want to think again.

Toronto police are launching a week-long traffic campaign to target gridlock on rush-hour routes in the downtown core.

The ‘rush-hour-route enforcement campaign’ starts on Tuesday morning and ends on Friday.

Police warn there will be zero tolerance for vehicles found blocking and congesting rush hour routes. They will be ticketing and towing vehicles that block rush-hour routes.

This week’s campaign will be focused on a area bounded by Bloor to Front streets and Parliament to Dufferin streets.

Having a car towed comes at a hefty price tag. The penalties for having a vehicle towed include a towing fee of $200 and daily storage of $80.

A $150 fine applies for standing, stopping or parking illegally on rush-hour roads between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Related stories:

Tag and tow time for drivers parked illegally during downtown rush hour

Toronto police issued nearly 700 tickets, towed 100 vehicles during tag and tow blitz

Toronto students turned away from neighbourhood schools

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 6th, 2016

With the start of a new school year approaching, Toronto parents could have to relocate their children to a different school, outside of their neighbourhood, if their local schools are full.

The Toronto District School Board has posted warning signs at construction sites saying children moving into newly developed areas may not be allowed to attend their local school because of enrollment pressures.

Over 100 warning signs were posted by the TDSB in 2015 that read:

The Toronto District School Board makes every effort to accommodate students at local schools. However, due to residential growth, sufficient accommodation may not be available for all students. Students may be accommodated in schools outside this area until space in local schools becomes available.

Madison Onaroto, 16, and her family moved from Florida to Leslieville this summer and when her mother, Tina, called TDSB she was told that her home school was Riverdale Collegiate Institute, which was located just one kilometre from their home.

But when Tina went to register her daughter, she was told she wouldn’t be able to attend because it was a closed school, meaning she would have had to enrol back in Grade 9.

“I was shocked,” Tina said.

TDSB spokesperson Zoya McGroarty says the board currently has restrictions on Riverdale to help keep enrollment in check and ensure the school has sufficient space. Only students who attended an area school for Grade 8 can enter into Grade 9 at Riverdale.

“Students who move into the area and apply for admission to the school in Grades 10 to 12 are not allowed in,” McGroarty said.

McGroarty adds students will still have a ‘home school’ assigned to them, such as Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, located less than two kilometres away.

“For us it worked out well because we found a good alternative school not far away, but people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars extra [on housing] to be in the ‘right school district’ and there’s no warning that they won’t be allowed in,” Tina said.

“The real estate agent didn’t tell us, there was no warning on the website and the TDSB person I spoke to didn’t seem to be aware either.”

Riverdale Collegiate Institute is the only Toronto school currently operating this way.

McGroarty said that Earl Haig Secondary School also has enrollment restrictions but they are not the same as Riverdale.

Labour Day long weekend: Air show, what’s open and closed, TTC closure

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND AMBER LEBLANC | posted Friday, Sep 2nd, 2016

It’s the last long weekend of the summer, and with that in mind, it’s time to make the most of every moment of it.

The Labour Day long weekend is a busy one for many families as children head back to school on Tuesday, but there are plenty of ways to mix errands with fun. The CNE air show is among the top events as the annual exhibition winds down for another season.

If you are taking the TTC into Toronto, a portion of Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) is closed for TTC work.

For those planning to do any last-minute back-to-school shopping, several malls will be open on the holiday Monday. Scroll below to scan a list of what’s open and closed.


CNE air show
There will be some amazing sights in the sky this weekend over Lake Ontario as the 67th annualCanadian International Air Show is set to fly high.

Performing this year will be the Breitling Jet Team, CF-18 Hornets and of course, the world famous Snowbirds. The air show takes place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Reminder: The CNE closes on Monday, marking the unofficial end of summer. Click here for tickets.

Canada’s Wonderland fireworks
As summer winds down, don’t miss your chance to catch the last fireworks of the season. On Sunday, Canada’s Wonderland will be putting on a light show set to music, set to start at 10 p.m. weather permitting.

Fireworks display in the sky. GETTY IMAGES/Eye Em/Syilvana Grabski-Wawer
Fireworks display in the sky. GETTY IMAGES/Eye Em/Syilvana Grabski-Wawer


Downsview Park Ribfest
One of the last rib fests of the summer will be taking over Downsview Park this long weekend, and it has something for everyone – even those who aren’t meat lovers.

Organizers say there will be non-stop music including U2 and AC/DC cover bands, a beer tent, a wrestling display, and a midway with lots of events for kids. Admission is $2, but $5 after 7 p.m. Children 12 and under are free.

Organizers of Buskerfest say this year’s show is full of surprises that will make your jaw hit the floor.

The festival moves from downtown to Woodbine Park from Friday through Labour Day. Along with some of the most talented performers from around the world, it also features a brand new car show event on Saturday, and a beer garden.

Money donated at the gates goes towards Epilepsy Toronto.

Philippines Festival
Mabuhay Philippines Festival, one of the biggest celebrations of the year in the Filipino community, is taking place at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday and Sunday.

This year’s theme is “Sining” or “Art,” which means artists will be out in full force, showcasing dance, spoken word, painters and chefs showing off their skills.

Organizers say the highlight of this year’s event is a fashion show on Saturday night featuring two new designers: Jaki Peñalosa from Iloilo, Philippines and Kenneth Barlis from San Diego. There will also be parade downtown on Saturday.

Fan Expo
Don’t be surprised if you see people dressed up as their favourite superhero or sci-fi character downtown this weekend. It’s all part of the annual Fan Expo, which runs through Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Three cosplayers at Fan Expo on Sept. 4, 2015. CITYNEWS/Christine Chubb
Three cosplayers at Fan Expo on Sept. 4, 2015. CITYNEWS/Christine Chubb


Some of the celebrities you can see include Mark Hamill of Star Wars, William Shatner, Kevin Smith, Adam West and Burt Ward (the original Batman and Robin), Anne Heche, and Linda Blair. You can get tickets here.

Soundbites Festival
A huge party in Mississauga’s Celebration Square will be held on Saturday.

The third annual Soundbites Festival features food trucks galore and a free concert by DJ Jazzy Jeff, followed by a big fireworks display. Admission is free.

What’s open and closed on Labour Day

A closed sign on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/Steve Goodwin
A closed sign on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/Steve Goodwin



  • TTC will run on holiday service
  • GO will run on a Sunday schedule
  • Tourist attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada’s Wonderland, Casa Loma, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo
  • Several malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), The Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Hillcrest Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and Yorkville Village (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)



  • All LCBO and Beer stores will be closed
  • Most grocery stores (select ones are open but call ahead)
  • Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
  • Government offices, municipal buildings, and banks
  • All Toronto Public Library branches are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • Garbage collection: Curbside collection is not provided on any Monday
  • No mail delivery

TTC and road closures

Subway closure
As you make your long weekend plans, keep in mind that Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) will be closed between St. George to Pape stations on all three days due to bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct. Shuttle buses will be running.

Next weekend, Line 1 (Yonge-University) will be closed from Wilson to Downsview stations because of track work. Shuttle buses will be running.

Road closures for events

Fan Expo Canada: Front Street West’s south curb lane between John Street and Simcoe Street, Bremner Boulevard’s north curb lane between Simcoe Street and the Metro Convention Centre, and Simcoe Street’s west curb lane from the InterContinental Hotel to Bremner Boulevard will be closed at the following times: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Buskerfest: Coxwell Avenue’s northbound curb lane between Eastern Avenue to Lake Shore Boulevard will be closed from 6 p.m. on Saturday to 11:59 p.m. on Monday.

Labour Day Parade: University Avenue between Queen Street West and Armoury Street, and Queen Street West between Dufferin Street and the Exhibition Place, will be closed from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday.

Road work

Ongoing work

Shuter Street, from Yonge to Sherbourne streets, will be reduced to one lane in both directions until Oct. 28 for watermain replacement and 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.

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.

Teen shot at Queensway and Windermere

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 2nd, 2016

A 15-year-old boy is in hospital after he was shot in the city’s west end on Friday.

The shooting happened at Swansea Mews, a Toronto community housing complex near The Queensway and Windermere Avenue, around 2:40 a.m.

He was shot in the hip area.

The teen was rushed to hospital in serious condition. However, police now say his injuries are not life-threatening.

There is no word yet on any arrests or a possible motive.

Conservatives upend Liberals in Scarborough byelection

NEWS STAFF AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Sep 2nd, 2016

Ontario PC staff put up campaign signage before PC Leader Patrick Brown and Scarborough-Rouge River candidate Raymond Cho THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The Progressive Conservatives have won a provincial byelection in northeast Toronto.

Raymond Cho, a Toronto city councillor, won the Scarborough-Rouge River riding in what polls had suggested was a tight race between his Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals.

With all 234 polls reporting, Cho had garnered 38.5 per cent of the vote while Liberal Piragal Thiru had 28.9 per cent in a byelection that saw just 28 per cent of those eligible to vote turn out.

In 2014, Liberal Bas Balkissoon – whose surprised resignation triggered the byelection – won with about 39 per cent of the vote, but Neethan Shan wasn’t far behind with 31 per cent for the NDP and Raymond Cho garnered 28 per cent for the Tories.

Shan ended up third on Thursday night.

The riding had been a Liberal stronghold with Balkissoon holding the seat since 2005. Before that Alvin Curling had represented the area for the Liberals since 1985.

The win is a gain for the Conservatives and new leader Patrick Brown in the Ontario legislature. However, it will not tip the balance of power at Queen’s Park as the Liberals enjoy a healthy majority.

The win, though, may have come at a cost for Brown and the Conservatives.

The race was dominated in the last week by a Tory flip-flop on sex education. A letter distributed under Brown’s name promised that a PC government would “scrap” updates to the sex-ed curriculum.

It would have been a popular promise, Brown acknowledged, saying there was deep opposition to the curriculum in that riding.

But Brown disavowed the letter days later, saying he didn’t know about it and actually won’t scrap the curriculum despite what he calls a lack of parental consultation.

The Liberals seized on the chance to brand Brown a flip-flopper. But they also say questions remain about where the letter originated, whether it really was with the local campaign as Brown has implied.

Doug Ford, the campaign co-manager, said he did not write the letter.

“The hydro rates, the jobs, these pieces of literature, came out of here,” he said Thursday night at campaign headquarters.

The Liberals have also questioned why Brown only retracted the sex-ed opposition in English media, when the letter was distributed in other languages spoken widely in the riding.

“Once again Patrick Brown demonstrated his unprincipled leadership by pandering to anti-sex ed activists a week before a byelection concludes, proving once again that he will say anything to anybody if he thinks that it is politically expedient,” the Liberals charged.

Editorials from both left- and right-leaning media outlets roundly criticized Brown, saying the incident either shows he can’t control his team, he can’t pick a lane on a relatively straightforward issue or was just telling voters what they wanted to hear.

The controversy comes at a time when Brown is trying to rebuild a party after successive electoral losses and take it in a new, modern direction and sex-ed opposition did not fit with that message.

The curriculum was updated last year for the first time since 1998, but complaints from some parents ranged from not being consulted enough to the lessons being age inappropriate to anger over mentions of same-sex relationships, gender identities and masturbation.

Opposing the curriculum could hurt Brown provincially, though it would have played well in the riding, said Chris Cochrane, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus.

Starting Thursday, it will cost more to renew your licence plate

CityNews | posted Thursday, Sep 1st, 2016

As of Thursday, Ontario drivers will be paying more to renew their licence plate – and other fees are increasing in January.

The driver’s licence fee will change from $81.50 to $90. Vehicle licence validation in northern Ontario will change from $54 to $60, and vehicle licence validation in southern Ontario will change from $108 to $120.

The increase comes just three years after the last price hike.

The Ministry of Transportation says these fees are being increased to help cover the costs of maintaining provincial roads, bridges and highways.

On Jan. 1, 2017, the cost to have your driver’s licence reinstated after a suspension will increase from $180 to $198. The driving instructor’s licence replacement will increase from $28 to $31.

The oversize/overweight (O/O) permit replacement will change from $28 to $31.

The original and replacement plate/permit fee for manufacturer motor vehicle and motorcycle and dealer plate will change from $20 to $25, while the original and replacement plate/permit fee for manufacturer motor vehicle and motorcycle and dealer permit will change from $10 to $32.

Click here for the Ministry of Transportation website.

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