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Drivers cope with slippery and slushy GTA commute

news staff | posted Monday, Dec 12th, 2016

A snowfall warning remains in effect for some areas of southern Ontario, including Toronto, York and Durham, on Monday.

Toronto and the GTA can expect up to 15 centimetres of snow by the time the system is over. Snow tapered off near dawn but commuters can expect a slow go of it as roads are expected to be snow-covered, or slushy, or both.

680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said the snow will end early Monday morning in most areas. There will be some blowing snow with wind gusts of 40 km/h. The high will be 2 C.


Snowplows clearing away snow in the GTA on Dec. 12, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy


The winter weather led to slick driving conditions on several roadways, contributing to a spike in collisions.

Ontario provincial police reported more than 260 crashes in the GTA and surrounding area on Sunday – twice the usual amount. Toronto police said they received 70 calls for crashes from noon until around 5 p.m.

Several crashes were reported early Monday morning and weather appears to be factor. All lanes of the southbound Highway 410 remain closed at Highway 401 due to a jackknifed tractor-trailer.

The eastbound lanes of Highway 403 are also closed at Dundas Street after a tractor-trailer went into the ditch. A tractor-trailer also went into the ditch on the southbound 410 near Derry Road.

In Toronto, a TTC bus slid off the road and slammed into a hydro pole near Dundas Street and Scarlett Road around 11 p.m. on Sunday. No injuries were reported. It doesn’t look like any passengers were on board at the time.

The snowfall has also lead to around 110 flights cancelled at Pearson International Airport. Check your flight status before heading to the airport.

‘Significant snowfall’ warning issued for Toronto, Southern Ontario

CityNews | posted Sunday, Dec 11th, 2016


Environment Canada has upgraded its special weather statement to a snowfall warning for the city of Toronto, saying “significant snowfall” of 15 centimetres is expected.

The snow currently falling across Southern Ontario is expected to intensify into Sunday night and become heavy at times well after midnight.

The national weather service says the snow will taper off near dawn but commuters can expect a slow go of it as roads are expected to be snow-covered and/or slushy.

The weather is likely to cause problems with some schedule flights in and out of Toronto. Officials at Pearson International Airport are advising travellers to check their flight status for any updates.

Toronto Winter Operations says a second round of salting has been applied to arterial roads and salting will continue until 5 cms has accumulated, then the plows will be sent out to clear the roads.

To find out when or if your street has been salted or plowed, you can refer to the City of Toronto’s interactive map.

TFC fans feeling betrayed by MLS Cup ticket sales

FAIZA AMIN | posted Friday, Dec 9th, 2016

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore celebrates scoring his team’s second goal against the Montreal Impact during first half Eastern Conference final MLS action in Toronto on Wednesday November 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

This weekend’s MLS cup final is one for the history books, and a decade in the making for the thousands of loyal season ticket holders.

When Toronto FC faces of against the Seattle Sounders this Saturday at BMO field, they’ll be the first Canadian team to play in the finals in MLS history.

So for TFC fans, this is the big one. But what should be a game of a lifetime for the club’s loyal fans, has quickly turned into disappointment with some supporters feeling left out in the cold.

“We’ve been there so long, to have this happen, so it’s a little bittersweet,” said Deren Hasip, who’s held regular season tickets since the team set foot onto the field. “We’re excited for the team but disappointed in how it all played out.”

Hasip and other fans are disappointed they won’t be able to cheer in the same seats and along with the same fans they have been since the team was founded.

Several season ticket holders tell CityNews that when they were given first dibs to purchase tickets to Saturday’s game, some of the seats they had been cheering from for years and years, were suddenly unavailable.

“To not be sitting where you were as a season ticket holder, our experiences are about sharing in that excitement for people who’ve been around you for such a long time,” Hasip explains.

CityNews has been receiving multiple calls and emails to our newsroom from numerous fans across Ontario, who say they feel jilted by this experience.

“Unfortunately the loyal season seat holders were the ones who ended up paying the price,” Hasip said.

Joseph Walker’s regular season seats were right on the field, but that’s not where he and his family will be watching the game from this weekend.

“Our seats weren’t available, there were different sections, but none of the tickets we usually have during the season,” he said.

Walker sent CityNews a photo of his seats. They are the blue seats seen below.

Jospeh Walker says the blue seats are where he sits during the regular TFC season. Image credit: Joseph Walker

Jospeh Walker says the blue seats are where he sits during the regular TFC season. Image credit: Joseph Walker
Jospeh Walker says that during the post-season, he was unable to purchase the seats he purchased as a season-ticket holder. Instead, those seats were much higher. Image credit: Joseph Walker

Jospeh Walker says that during the post-season, he was unable to purchase the seats he purchased as a season-ticket holder. Instead, those seats were much higher. Image credit: Joseph Walker

Another season ticket holder of nine years tells CityNews, after being unable to purchase his regular seats for Saturday’s game, he found them online on StubHub, where prices listed have more than tripled. The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, says the seat he would normally pay $120 for, is now being auctioned off for $475 on the site.

He and other season ticket holders are now asking if they were denied their seats simply so that others could make a quick buck.

“Why are the tickets being sold on these third party sites for five times the value of what the ticket is really worth,” asked Walker.

A rep from Major League Soccer declined to appear on camera, but tells CityNews, the organization doesn’t post tickets on third party sites like Stubhub. In a statement, MLS said that 18,000 season ticket holders purchased 20,000 tickets for this weekend’s game, and MLS kept 5,000 tickets for sponsors.

Sports Marketing Instructor at York University says this isn’t an uncommon practice for sports leagues.

“The league has to fulfill its requirements, and fans need to understand that,” Vijay Setlur explains. “If fans weren’t able to get tickets at all, then that’s another matter.”

The TFC fan community has been growing in the last few years, and to be amongst the diehard supporters, is part of that ultimate fan experience.

“When they’ve gone to games, they’ve enjoyed the games with other fans around them, that’s what contributed to the atmosphere” Setlur said. “So now to have to cheer and support the team in a different atmosphere, it kind of dampens their experience.”

Setlur doesn’t expect this to impact the number of season ticket holders for next year. In fact, with the team’s success this year alone, he expects the fan base for TFC to grow even bigger in 2017.

Meanwhile, Hasip, who was able to secure other seats a few rows higher, says this experience hasn’t changed his feelings about the reds.

“I’m not going to hold this against them, I want to continue supporting them,” he said. “But you still worry.”

Winter weather is here: Blowing snow, windchill in GTA

news staff | posted Friday, Dec 9th, 2016


A special weather statement has ended for Toronto, but a snow squall watch is in effect for parts of the GTA on Friday.

Environment Canada issued the statement for the city on Thursday, calling for flurries and blowing snow as a cold front moved through the region. It was lifted for Toronto and parts of the GTA just before 5 a.m. on Friday.

Up to two centimetres of snow fell in a short period of time on Thursday evening, making roadways slick and leading to a number of minor fender benders as cars slid into ditches.

A light dusting of snow was still seen on the roads and sidewalks on Friday morning.

A snow squall watch remains in effect for some areas of the GTA including Newmarket, Georgina, northern York Region and northern Durham Region. Police are asking motorists to slow down and drive according to the conditions.

680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said Toronto and GTA will see a mix of sun and cloud on Friday with a chance of flurries. The high will be -1 C but the windchill will make it feel like -6 C. It will be a chilly night with a windchill near -11.

For the big Toronto FC championship game on Saturday, soccer fans at BMO Field will need to bundle up with a possibility of scattered flurries around game time and a windchill near -10 C.

And then, get ready for this: snow is expected to arrive in the GTA on Sunday afternoon with a potential for around five centimetres of snow.

Man arrested after double stabbing in East York

news staff | posted Friday, Dec 9th, 2016

One man has been taken to hospital in serious condition following a double stabbing in East York.

Police say they were called to Gamble and Pape avenues, south of O’Connor Drive, just before 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.

They discovered two men in their 20s with stab wounds. One had a life-threatening stab wound in his upper leg. The second was victim taken to a local hospital.

Toronto police said Friday that both men are expected to survive. A third man is in custody, and facing numerous assault charges.


Teen threatened attack on school on anniversary of Montreal Massacre: police

CityNews | posted Thursday, Dec 8th, 2016


Toronto police say they’ve seized a frightening arsenal of weapons from the home of a teen who was allegedly threatening an attack at Oakwood Collegiate Institute on the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

Police say they became aware of a threat towards the school at 991 St. Clair Ave. W. last Thursday.

A 17-year-old male suspect was identified and a search warrant was executed at his home early Tuesday. Police say they seized a machete, a hatchet, two swords, four knives and arrows.

“Some sort of attack was to take place on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, the 27th anniversary of the massacre at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal,” police said in a release.

The teen, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, appeared in court on Tuesday. He’s been charged with uttering threats of bodily harm and uttering threats of death.

He was released on bail under strict conditions and is being monitored by police.

A source tells CityNews the teen was taken to hospital upon release. It’s not clear if he’s still in hospital or staying with family.

Police tell CityNews they became aware of the threat through an American internet service provider. According to police, a blog post was updated from a Toronto District School Board server. Someone on the U.S. west coast noticed the threat and called authorities.

A source close to the case tells CityNews the FBI was alerted and that led to the teen’s arrest.

Det. Len Nicholson said the blog post made mention of the Montreal Massacre, but wouldn’t elaborate.

“I do believe this was a serious threat,” Nicholson said on Wednesday night. “In the thread he makes reference to the massacre in Montreal, that made our urgency even greater. We were concerned that he would act on that date.”

Despite the chilling reference to the Montreal Massacre, Nicholson said the threats did not target a specific gender and a motive is still unclear.

He added that the suspect was not cooperative and said he believed the teen acted alone, although the investigation is ongoing.

“He got a lawyer and he wouldn’t speak to us,” he said.

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) spokesperson Ryan Bird said Toronto police informed the school of the threat on Monday after school hours.

“Early Tuesday morning, well before school had started, we were then informed by police that a person had indeed been apprehended. With that in mind no additional precautions were required at the school,” he said.

Bird couldn’t say if the suspect was a student at Oakwood, but confirmed that he’s a TDSB student.

“A letter has gone home gone home with students to parents this afternoon to inform them, as well an announcement was made at school this afternoon so students were kept up to date on the situation,” he said.

Central bank, feds to announce first Canadian woman on front of banknote

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Dec 8th, 2016


The Bank of Canada and the federal finance minister will announce later Wednesday which Canadian woman will grace the front of the country’s next banknote.

The five women in contention for the honour are activist Viola Desmond, poet Emily Pauline Johnson, engineer Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill, athlete Fanny (Bobbie) Rosenfeld and suffragette Idola Saint-Jean.

There were more than 26,000 submissions from the public, which was later whittled down to 461 eligible nominees who had Canadian citizenship and had been dead for at least 25 years.

An advisory council that included Merna Forster, the woman who spearheaded the call to feature a woman on the front of Canada’s currency, later reduced that to a long list of 12 before coming up with the short list.

The selected woman will be featured on the front of the next note in the Bank of Canada’s new series of bills in 2018.

Mom seriously hurt as teens fight in Oshawa

News staff | posted Thursday, Dec 8th, 2016


A woman is in hospital with serious injuries after a fight between two groups of teenagers in Oshawa.

The woman, the mother of one of the teens involved, was hit with a baseball bat.

The fight began on Taunton Road east of Simcoe Street just after midnight on Thursday morning.

Durham police say two groups of teens were fighting about an incident that happened in June. Police don’t have any details about the June incident, but said it was not related to any particular school.

Two people are in custody. One of them is a young offender who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and a 19-year-old man. Both of them are charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Last week, a father was involved in a fight between two students near Aurora. Police believe a student from Cardinal Carter and a student from St. Theresa Lisieux Catholic High School were involved in the fight.

York Catholic District School Board spokesperson Sonia Gallo said Tuesday that the parent involved in the fight is the father of a Cardinal Carter student, and his son is one of four students who have been asked to stay home.

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