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Michael Buble says son Noah, 3, has cancer

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 4th, 2016

Michael Buble’s three-year-old son Noah has cancer.

Buble said he and his wife Luisana Lopilato are “devastated” by the diagnosis.

Buble confirmed the news, previously reported in an Argentinean newspaper, in a post on his Facebook page.

Noah is currently undergoing treatment in the United States.

“We have always been very vocal about the importance of family and the love we have for our children. Luisana and I have put our careers on hold in order to devote all our time and attention to helping Noah get well,” the statement read.

“At this difficult time, we ask only for your prayers and respect for our privacy. We have a long journey in front of us and hope that with the support of family, friends and fans around the world, we will win this battle, God willing.”

Newspaper La Nacion reported that Noah came down with what the family thought was a case of the mumps. Noah was taken to a U.S. hospital, where he was diagnosed with cancer.


Time change this weekend gives you an extra hour of fun, or sleep

Patricia D'Cunha and Samantha Knight | posted Friday, Nov 4th, 2016

“If I could turn back time.” Well, you can this weekend as clocks fall back an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time.

That means an extra hour to enjoy all the things you have planned for the weekend, or if you prefer, to get an extra hour of sleep.

The time change means it will be dark by early evening, so drivers and pedestrians are advised to take extra care when getting behind the wheel or crossing the street.

There is also a partial subway closure on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) this weekend, so plan your travel route ahead of time.

25-hour gaming marathon supporting SickKids
There will be nothing but gaming for 25 hours straight this weekend at Raiders ESports Centre on St. Clair West. The gaming marathon is in support of the Hospital for Sick Children, and will include everything from video games to board games to computer games.

In the middle of his Extra Life for Kids campaign, a grandfather carries his sick grandson at Children's Hospital Colorado. FACEBOOK/ExtraLife4Kids
In the middle of his Extra Life for Kids campaign, a grandfather carries his sick grandson at Children’s Hospital Colorado. FACEBOOK/ExtraLife4Kids


The event will also include a 50/50 raffle, prizes and giveaways, as well as special guests. A $5 donation is suggested at the door. Last year, Extra Life Toronto raised more than $8 million for SickKids.

The gaming begins at 12 p.m. on Saturday and wraps up at 12 p.m. on Sunday. The event is 25 hours long, as the clocks get turned back one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Behind the scenes at the Toronto Zoo
Have you ever wondered what it takes to raise a panda cub? If you’re a member at the Toronto Zoo, this weekend is your chance to find out.

In celebration of the first birthday of the giant panda cubs, the Toronto Zoo is giving guests a rare behind-the-scenes opportunity to learn more about its work with the giant panda conservation program.

Panda cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue play in an enclosure at the Toronto Zoo on March 7, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Panda cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue play in an enclosure at the Toronto Zoo on March 7, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young


Each session is 15 minutes long and includes meeting a panda keeper, peeking inside the bamboo cooler and stepping into the Giant Panda House to see where Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue were raised.

Sessions cost $10 per person and run between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each weekend in the month of November. All proceeds go toward the Giant Panda Conservation Fund.

Toronto Antiquarian Book Fair
This is not your average book sale. The top book sellers across Canada will converge at the Art Gallery of Ontario this weekend for this one-of-a-kind antiquarian book fair.

The Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair in 2014. Photo via torontoantiquarianbookfair.com.
The Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair in 2014. Photo via torontoantiquarianbookfair.com.

If you are collector, librarian, scholar or just love books and historic documents, the fair will be a treasure trove of all things in print form. That includes everything from books and maps to ephemera and manuscripts. Some of the books will be early prints from before 1501.

The fair is being held at Baillie Court from Friday to Sunday. Click here for hours. Entrance is free is AGO general admission ($19.50).

EcoFair at the Barns
Make greener choices this weekend at the eighth annual EcoFair at the Barns. The family event includes vendors, children’s activities, interactive workshops, electric car testing and a clothing “repair-a-thon.”

Food items for sale at EcoFair at the Barns. INSTAGRAM/ecofairatthebarns/
Food items for sale at EcoFair at the Barns. INSTAGRAM/ecofairatthebarns/


At the EcoFair guests are encouraged to explore new ideas, and share green tips and tricks. It runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Artscape Wychwood Barns on Christie Street.

Last year, over 1,000 people attended the event to learn more about green initiatives and achievements in the neighbourhood and the city.

Mendelssohn’s Elijah
Listen and feel the power of Felix Mendelssohn’s epic ‘Elijah’ performed by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

The oratorio tells the story of the prophet Elijah, as depicted in the 1 Kings and 2 Kings of the Old Testament. One of several powerful movements is ‘Lift Thine Eyes.’


The performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Koerner Hall on Bloor Street West near Avenue Road. Tickets range in price from $20 to $87.

TTC closure

Partial Line 2 closure
Track work will once again shut down a portion of the TTC this weekend. This time, subways won’t be running between Pape and St. George stations on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth).

During the closure shuttle buses are running, but keep in mind Presto is not yet available on all shuttle buses. Customers are asked to carry tokens, tickets or cash just in case. Wheel-Trans buses will also operate between Pape and St. George upon request. Regular service is set to resume at 6 a.m. on Monday.

Next weekend, subway service is shut down between St. George and Lawrence West stations on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) due to signal work.

Mariah Carey in Toronto for unveiling of holiday windows

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 4th, 2016

Crowds are expected to gather outside the Eaton Centre on Thursday evening when pop star Mariah Carey arrives to spread holiday cheer.

Carey will be on hand to unveil the annual Christmas display windows at Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue on Queen Street, at Yonge.

The event will start at 6:30 p.m.

According to TMZ, Carey will be paid about $1 million to sing two songs, including her holiday hit All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Queen will be closed from Bay to Yonge from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday evening.

The 501 Queen streetcars will divert in both directions via Church, King and Shaw streets for the event.

The TTC says that 501/301 Queen shuttle buses will also be diverting.

  • Eastbound: East on King Street, south on Strachan Avenue, west on Douro Street, north on Shaw Street, east on Queen Street, south on University Avenue, west on Adelaide Street, north on Church Street, east on Queen Street to Jarvis Street.
  • Westbound: South on Jarvis Street, west on King Street, north on York Street, west on Queen Street, south on Shaw Street

Presto may not be available on shuttle buses.

Anti-sex-ed activists form Ontario political party

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Nov 4th, 2016

Anti-sex-ed activists in Ontario have formed a new political party and are running candidates in the province’s two ongoing byelections.

Queenie Yu, who ran as an independent candidate in the recent Scarborough-Rouge River byelection on a platform opposing the Liberal government’s updated sex-ed curriculum, is behind the new party.

She is running as the Stop the New Sex Ed Agenda candidate in Niagara West-Glanbrook, while Elizabeth de Viel Castel is running as the party’s candidate in Ottawa-Vanier.

The sex-ed issue dominated the Scarborough-Rouge River campaign after Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown’s office released a letter promising that he would scrap the curriculum, then backtracked on it days later.

Brown angered social conservatives by eventually saying he supported the curriculum and the public split has left them looking for a new political home.

In Niagara West-Glanbrook, social conservatives are accusing Brown of muzzling the party’s 19-year-old candidate, who campaigned on a socially conservative platform, but Brown now says the teen supports his position.

Ontario bill would ban some door-to-door sales, license home inspectors

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Nov 4th, 2016

Ontario has introduced legislation that would regulate home inspectors, ban certain door-to-door sales and strengthen payday loan rules.

The changes would all fall under the Putting Consumers First Act, which the government said is aimed at protecting people in transactions involving common household and financial services.

The bill would ban unsolicited door-to-door sales of water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and water filters, to protect against what the government calls “aggressive” and “high-pressure” sales tactics.

All consumer-initiated contracts, such as for roofing or home renovations, would also have a 10-day “cooling-off period” during which a consumer can change their mind and cancel the contract without any reason.

Home inspectors would have to be licensed if the bill passes, and it would create an administrative authority to oversee them, with complaint and enforcement processes, including discipline and appeal committees.

The regulatory body would establish a code of ethics for home inspectors, standardize home inspection reports and contracts, define what must be inspected to ensure consistency, and set out insurance requirements.

Home inspectors are currently the only professionals involved in real estate transactions in Ontario that are not regulated. The Ontario Real Estate Association applauded the introduction of the bill.

“When buying a home, people have a right to expect high professional standards and government oversight of all professionals involved in a real estate transaction,” said Tim Hudak, the former Progressive Conservative leader and CEO Designate of OREA.

“High standards and a clear legal framework in the home inspection industry will ensure home buyers and sellers receive reliable, informative and professional advice when making one of the largest decisions of their lives.”

The not-for-profit corporation would be funded by licensing fees.

The bill would also give the registrar of payday loans the ability to restrict high-frequency borrowing, create standards that lenders must consider when determining a borrower’s ability to repay and give repeat borrowers an extended payment plan option.

It would also come with more enforcement powers to address unlicensed lenders. And municipalities would be allowed to regulate the number and location of payday lenders.

Debt collection rules would be changed under the bill, making firms that purchase debt for the purpose of collecting it subject to the same rules as collection agencies.

Related stories:

Mississauga firm facing 100 charges for violating Consumer Protection Act

Etobicoke MPP wants to ban some door-to-door sales

Ontario to introduce bill that would regulate home inspectors

Poll finds Canada’s veterans should be honoured beyond Remembrance Day

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Nov 4th, 2016

A new poll suggests Canadians would like to see efforts to honour fallen soldiers extend well beyond Remembrance Day.

The study commissioned by Historica Canada found a vast majority of respondents would like to see a national monument to soldiers who died in combat in modern times.

About 76 per cent of them said they’d like to see a memorial similar to the United States’ Vietnam Wall, which lists the names of those who have died while serving in their country’s military.

The poll also found 86 per cent of those surveyed felt creating some sort of national monument should be part of Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday celebrations.

Survey respondents also emphasized the need for ongoing education on Canada’s military accomplishments, with 62 per cent saying Canada’s students are not learning enough about the country’s war-time efforts.

The finding comes despite a growing number of Canadian provinces emphasizing Canadian history as part of the middle or high school curriculum.

Historica Canada Chief Executive Anthony Wilson-Smith said the poll results, prepared by Ipsos, carry on a trend that’s emerged in recent years.

“We continue to see very strong support that transcends political divisions or even philosophical difference for the principle of honouring veterans,” he said in a telephone interview.

The desire for a single, comprehensive monument has been a consistent theme in all of the company’s research and on-the-ground outreach efforts, he said.

While people appreciate the hundreds of individual cenotaphs and memorials that exist, Wilson-Smith said there is a clear appetite for a single point at which to congregate and pay tribute to soldiers who fell in conflicts spanning the First World War to the more recent mission in Afghanistan.

A desire for more comprehensive education has also remained consistent, he said, despite recent efforts to beef up performance in that area.

Earlier this year Historica Canada released a report card ranking Canada’s provinces and territories on the quality of their history instruction in their middle and high school curricula.

Four provinces and one territory earned A grades, up sharply from 2009 when four provinces were assigned an “F” and none received an “A.”

The survey results highlight a long-held belief that people learn best from those who were directly involved in war, with 89 per cent of respondents saying words from veterans are the most powerful way to teach youth about the historical events they took part in.

Wilson-Smith said the number of veterans who took part in major conflicts like the Second World War are dwindling, making it more urgent to document their experiences and share them widely.

Canada also lacks the sort of physical reminders that can keep war-time memories alive across generations, he said, adding this fact highlights the need for more active instruction.

“We have never had conflict in our lifetimes on these shores. When you go to Europe…you go to a town and you see the pock-marked buildings from bullet holes from street fighting, you see the places where the bombs landed,” he said. “Here there’s a much more distant sense. Here we’re much more reliant on actually being taught…than would be the case elsewhere where it’s literally part of your upbringing.”

The poll also found that 26 per cent of participants plan to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony, down six points from 2015.

More people plan to either wear a poppy or observe two minutes of silence on November 11th, the survey found, citing 77 per cent and 73 per cent of participants respectively.

The Ipsos online poll surveyed 1,004 participants between Oct. 20 and Oct. 24, then weighted the results to best reflect Canada’s adult population.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

School bus driver strike averted

CityNews | posted Thursday, Nov 3rd, 2016

A school bus driver strike has been averted.

A tentative agreement was reached between the union representing drivers and operator First Student Inc. just before 6 a.m. on Thursday.

Talks aimed at avoiding the strike, or lockout, had continued well past the midnight deadline, offering some hope that a solution was close at hand.

If a strike or lockout had occurred, parents of some 18,000 children would have had to come up with alternate transportation.

After the two sides resumed talks Wednesday night, Unifor Local 4268 president Deb Montgomery said First Student was examining the latest offer from the union.

Earlier, she said the main issues are job security and wages for drivers.

“We are looking for recognition of the important work and responsibilities taken on by drivers, day in and day out,” she said.

“We cannot continue to have hours a week go unpaid and unrecognized. All hours worked need to be compensated, with these hours EI eligible.”

The terms of the new deal have not been made public.

Humber Loop cleared after driver ends up on streetcar tracks

CityNews | posted Thursday, Nov 3rd, 2016

The Humber Loop is now clear after a driver ended up on the streetcar tracks early Thursday morning.

Toronto police were called to the Lake Shore Boulevard entrance to the streetcar loop around 3:55 a.m.

There was a black car stuck on the tracks. The driver was not there when police arrived, but a wallet, including ID, was still inside the vehicle.

Streetcars could not pass through with the car blocking the tracks. The Queen streetcar was turning back at Roncesvalles Avenue.

After a tow truck was brought in to remove the car, streetcars are now back to normal service.

It’s not yet known if charges will be laid.

A driver ended up on the Humber Streetcar Loop on Nov. 3, 2016. CITYNEWS
A driver ended up on the Humber Streetcar Loop on Nov. 3, 2016. CITYNEWS
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