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Woodbridge cafe partially collapses after explosion; man arrested

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Jun 30th, 2017

An explosion caused a Woodbridge cafe – one that was raided for illegal gaming last year – to partially collapse, sending bricks onto the street and burying a car.

A 33-year-old man is in custody.

The City of Vaughan has since told CityNews that the cafe does not have a valid municipal business licence.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the cafe in a partial state of collapse. They also confirmed that an explosion occurred. Police called Vaughan fire to the area and firefighters put out an oven fire inside the cafe.

Police also found an injured man nearby. He was arrested and then taken to hospital. His injuries are not life-threatening.

One of the cafe’s walls was blown out and fell onto a car. No one was in the car at the time.

The Ontario Fire Marshal has been called in and police are investigating.

“We do believe the fire [explosion] is suspicious,” Const. Andy Pattenden said.

At the scene, deputy fire chief Deryn Rizzi said the roof is unstable, so firefighters cannot do a full search of the building.

Vaughan Fire District Chief Grant Moffat said there are at least 10 businesses in the building. For the time being, no one is being allowed into the building.

Police are asking who was in the area at the time, or who may have surveillance and dashcam video at the time of the incident, to contact them.

Van driver facing charges after TTC bus crash in Etobicoke, injuring 8

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Jun 30th, 2017

A minivan and a TTC bus collided at The West Mall and Rathburn Road in Etobicoke on June 29, 2017. CITYNEWS/David Misener
At least eight people have been taken to hospital after a collision between a TTC bus and minivan near The West Mall and Rathburn Road in Etobicoke.

Emergency crews were called to the scene around 6 p.m. on Thursday. The area was closed off for hours while police investigated, and reopened around 11 p.m.

Paramedics said one person suffered serious head injuries. At least seven other people had minor injuries.

The driver of the van is facing charges, Toronto police said early on Friday morning, but did not say what those charges are.

Suspect in shooting, police chase charged with attempted murder

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Jun 30th, 2017

Kristian Jarvis, 31, appears in a Toronto court on June 29, 2017, to face 34 charges in connection with a shooting and car chase that began in Toronto. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher
A man accused of shooting his brother, trying to steal several cars, then successfully hijacking a car – shooting a woman and injuring a man in the process – all before leading police on a chase from Toronto to Orillia, is now facing 34 charges.

Three of those charges are for attempted murder: One in the shooting of his brother, and two more for shooting at Toronto police officers.

Kristian Jarvis, 31, appeared in court on Thursday, the day after Wednesday’s wild chase.

He’s facing a slew of gun-related charges, including possessing a loaded gun, using a gun in a robbery, and assaulting a person with a gun. He’s also charged with assault.

The alleged crime spree began around 2 a.m. Jarvis fired a shot at his brother at a home on Herzberg Gardens, near Keele Street and Finch Avenue West.

On the fourth attempt, he allegedly approached the foreman at an auto business near Norfinch Drive and Steeles Avenue West, pistol-whipped him and demanded money and the keys.

Jarvis abandoned the vehicle, because he couldn’t drive standard, and moved on to a silver Honda Civic with a woman inside.

Police said he shot the 53-year-old woman, and she was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jarvis then took off, heading north on the nearby 400. He shot at the officers pursuing him, police said, but none of those officers were hurt.

During the chase, the suspect crashed into another vehicle. OPP Sgt. Peter Leon said there was a number of collisions, with significant property damage, but no serious injuries.

Jarvis stopped somewhere on Highway 400 near Rutherford Road and, as officers approached, again allegedly opened fire on them before taking off.

Police from Toronto and other areas used spike strips which deflated the getaway car’s tires. Jarvis was surrounded on Highway 400 near Highway 11, ran into the bushes, and eventually surrendered.

Insp. Colin Greenaway said Jarvis showed “absolutely no remorse” during the arrest and was “angered and belligerent.”

#Canada150 in Toronto: fireworks, what’s open, and events

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND SAMANTHA KNIGHT | posted Thursday, Jun 29th, 2017

A sign celebrating the 150th birthday of Canada in Toronto. GETTY IMAGES/Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto
Our nation has been gearing up for this moment for a long time, and it has finally arrived. Bring on the fireworks.

Canada turns 150 on Saturday and celebrations are being held in every community in the country. In Toronto, the four-day party starts on Friday and runs until Monday.

You will be happy to know that there are no subway closures this weekend – what a sweet birthday gift.

If you are staying in town on Canada Day, below is a list of fireworks, events, and what’s open and closed over the long weekend. There are also some road closures for events.

Related stories:

Canada 150: We the True North

Decade of the Day



Several light shows are being held in Toronto and beyond on Canada Day.

Canada Day fireworks in Toronto on July 1, 2016. GETTY IMAGES/LightRocket/Roberto Machado Noa


June 30 to July 3

  • Nightly fireworks at Nathan Phillips Square, 10:55 p.m.


July 1

  • Amesbury Park, 10 p.m.
  • Ashbridges Bay Park, after 9:30 p.m.
  • Canada’s Wonderland, 10 p.m.
  • Centennial Park during Ribfest, 10 p.m.
  • CN Tower, 10:30 p.m.
  • Downsview Park, 10 p.m.
  • Harbourfont Centre, 10:45 p.m.
  • Humber Bay Park West, 10:55 p.m.
  • Mel Lastman Square, 10:55 p.m.
  • Scarborough Civic Centre, 10:55 p.m.
  • Stan Wadlow Park, after dark


Around the GTA

  • Celebration Square in Mississauga, 10 p.m.
  • Chinguacousy Park in Brampton, 10 p.m.


What’s open and closed

Since Canada Day falls on a Saturday, transit, government offices and banks will observe the statutory holiday on Monday.


  • TTC will run on Saturday service on Saturday and holiday service on Monday
  • GO Transit will run on a Saturday schedule on Monday
  • Tourist attractions: ROM (free admission on Saturday), CN Tower, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Most malls will be open on Saturday: 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 9 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 9 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Hillcrest Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Curbside garbage collection: Green bin and blue bin collection will take place on Monday night. Click here to view the schedule.



  • LCBO stores will be closed on Saturday but will be open on Monday.
  • Beer Store locations will be closed on Saturday, except for some in the Ottawa area. A few stores will have extended hours on Friday. Click here for a list of stores.
  • The Toronto Public Library will be closed on Saturday
  • Some bank branches will be closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while others will be closed on Saturday and Monday. Check your bank for hours.
  • Government offices and municipal buildings will be closed on Monday, and mail won’t be delivered
  • Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
    Most grocery stores are closed on Saturday, except for Bloor Street Market (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Bloor HBC (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)



Canada Days
Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday for four days straight at Canada Days. The city-wide event is taking over four locations. Festivities kick off at Nathan Phillips Square on Friday at 5 p.m. and run until Monday. There will be music, dancing, circus arts, food and live entertainment – including the Barenaked Ladies and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra – and fireworks on each night. On July 1, the celebration will also be held at Humber Bay Park West, Mel Lastman Square and Scarborough Civic Centre.

Heritage Ontario Festival
Delve into Canada’s past and gaze into its future at the Heritage Ontario Festival this long weekend. The event runs from Friday to Monday at Ontario Place. Admission is free and guests can take part in a citizenship ceremony, cultural arts and crafts, and Indigenous programming. On Canada’s birthday, Canadian indie folk band Reuben and the Dark will take the stage. Two drone light shows will brighten the sky on Saturday and Sunday at 11 p.m.

Redpath Waterfront Festival
See the world’s largest rubber duck this weekend at the Redpath Waterfront Festival. The three-day event is part of Canada 150 celebrations and runs from Canada’s birthday to July 3. The festival offers music, food, nautical programs and entertainment. Aside from the duck at HTO Park, highlights include the Royal Canadian Navy, with a 440-foot Naval Frigate, and a host of on-land activities, the Waterfront Artisan Market and ‘Canuck It Up!’ shows.

The World's Largest Rubber Duck is coming to Toronto for the Redpath Waterfront Festival on July 1-3, 2017. FACEBOOK


Brewer’s Backyard
Wish Canada a happy 150th birthday in style at Lester P. ‘Beerson’ Day at Evergreen Brickworks. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Koerner Gardens and CRH Gallery areas of the site. Lester P. Beerson Day has a lot to celebrate this year, as it is also the 30th anniversary of Great Lakes Brewery. The company will be doing a “tap takeover” of the entire event, offering more than 15 beers. There will also be a delicious food line up, including FeasTO, Delite Bite and Royale Popcorn Co.

Toronto Ribfest
Centennial Park is the place to be this Canada Day long weekend, with the return of Toronto Ribfest. The event is in its 18th year, and in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday it will include a ‘Proud to Pledge Ceremony,’ a formal citizenship induction ceremony and Canadian heritage featured events. This year’s rib lineup includes Billy Bones BBQ, Hawgs Gone Wild BBQ, The Hogfather and Uncle Sam’s BBQ.

TD Salsa in Toronto
One of the largest Latin-themed cultural celebrations in Canada – the TD Salsa in Toronto – kicks off on Monday. The event spans a three-week period at various locations across the city. It includes the 12th annual Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival, cultural events, salsa parties, Latin art exhibitions, free dance lessons, brunches and live music. Thousands are expected to take part.

Road closures


Several roads will be closed near Nathan Philips Square, Humber Bay Park West, Mel Lastman Square, Scarborough Civic Centre and Humber Bay Park West for Canada Day events. The closures starts on Friday and continue into Monday. Click here for a full list.

There are also road closures for other Canada Day celebrations around the city, including at Queen’s Park and in East York. Click here for a full list.

Trump’s revised travel ban goes into effect Thursday

MATTHEW LEE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Thursday, Jun 29th, 2017

Travelers wait in line near an Emirates ticket counter at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Seattle. The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that President Donald Trump’s travel ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” and that justices will hear full arguments in October 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.

Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but instructions issued by the State Department Wednesday said that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations that are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.

Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships, according to the guidelines that were issued in a cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late on Wednesday. The new rules take effect at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday, according to the cable, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

As far as business or professional links are concerned, the State Department said a legitimate relationship must be “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the ban.

Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempt from the ban. The exemption does not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules, the cable said. A hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if it was pre-paid, would also not count, it said.

Consular officers may grant other exemptions to applicants from the six nations if they have “previously established significant contacts with the United States;” “significant business or professional obligations” in the U.S.; if they are an infant, adopted child or in need of urgent medical care; if they are travelling for business with a recognized international organization or the U.S. government or if they are a legal resident of Canada who applies for a visa in Canada, according to the cable.

On Monday, the Supreme Court partially lifted lower court injunctions against Trump’s executive order that had temporarily banned visas for citizens of the six countries. The justices’ ruling exempted applicants from the ban if they could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, but the court offered only broad guidelines – suggesting they would include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the U.S. – as to how that should be defined.

Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security had laboured since the decision to clarify the ruling and Wednesday’s instructions were the result. The new guidance will remain in place until the Supreme Court issues a final ruling on the matter. Arguments before the justices will not be held until at least October, so the interim rules will remain in place at least until the fall.

Shortly after taking office, Trump ordered the refugee ban and a travel ban affecting the six countries, plus Iraq. He said it was needed to protect the U.S. from terrorists, but opponents said it was unfairly harsh and was intended to meet his campaign promise to keep Muslims out of the United States.

After a federal judge struck down the bans, Trump signed a revised order intended to overcome legal hurdles. That was also struck down by lower courts, but the Supreme Court’s action Monday partially reinstated it.

The initial travel ban led to chaos at airports around the world, but because the guidelines exempt previously issued visas, similar problems are not expected. After a judge blocked the original ban, Trump issued a scaled-down order and the court’s action Monday further reduced the number of people who would be covered by it. Also, while the initial order took effect immediately, adding to the confusion, this one was delayed 72 hours after the court’s ruling.

Under the new rules, would-be immigrants from the six countries who won a coveted visa in the government’s diversity lottery – a program that randomly awards 50,000 green cards annually to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States – will also have to prove they have a “bona fide relationship” with in the U.S. or are eligible for another waiver or face being banned for at least 90 days. That hurdle may be a difficult one for those immigrants to overcome, as many visa lottery winners don’t have relatives in the U.S. or jobs in advance of arriving in the country.

Generally, winners in the diversity lottery only need prove they were born in an eligible county and have completed high school or have at least two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two other years of training or experience.

The Associated Press’ Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to the story.

Conditional discharge, community service for Jays beer can tosser

JESSICA SMITH CROSS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jun 29th, 2017

Ken Pagan, who admitted to throwing a beer can onto the Rogers Centre field during a Toronto Blue Jays game, appears in court on June 28, 2017. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher
A man who threw a beer can onto the field during a dramatic Blue Jays playoff game last fall was given a conditional discharge Wednesday, after his lawyer argued the public humiliation he suffered since being charged in the incident should be taken into account.

Ken Pagan pleaded guilty to mischief last month, admitting he tossed a can of beer on the field last October as a Baltimore Orioles player was about to catch a fly ball during the seventh inning of the pivotal wild card game in Toronto.

The conditional discharge means Pagan avoids a conviction if he complies with certain conditions for a year, his lawyer said. Those conditions include 100 hours of community service, an order to stay away from the Rogers Centre, where the Blue Jays play, and a ban on attending all Major League Baseball games.

Before the discharge was granted, Pagan offered an apology in court to the Blue Jays, the Orioles, the player he nearly hit – Hyun Soo Kim – and to baseball fans in general.

“My emotions got the best of me in an exciting moment and my reaction is a deeply regrettable mistake, something I’ve been torn about since the moment it happened,” he said. “I am fully aware of the disgrace I brought to the game.”

Kim, who was in Toronto for a game against the Jays on Wednesday night, said though a translator that he received a personal apology from Pagan.

“I read it and I definitely accept his apology,” Kim said. “People make mistakes so, you know, I’m sure it’s not going to happen again.”

Pagan’s lawyer, Tyler Smith, argued that the public humiliation and intense media scrutiny his client experienced since the can tossing incident serve the court’s requirement for a deterrent to prevent others from repeating such a crime.

“He no longer enjoys the relative anonymity that most of us do,” said Smith. “He’s become known … as the beer can guy.”

Pagan has become the butt of jokes and been subjected to online harassment, Smith added.

Court also heard that Pagan lost his job with Postmedia Network Inc. after the incident and has had to find other, less satisfying work, including delivering pizza.

“He’s in counselling, he has significant anxiety issues. He’s afraid that everyone he meets will know who is already and have formed an idea in their minds that he is a jerk,” Smith said outside court. “He’s suffered with respect to the shame that he feels and the shame that he has brought on to his family and his friends.”

Crown lawyer Rebecca Edward had argued that a conviction was a necessary deterrent in the case, but the judge presiding over the matter disagreed.

Justice Robert Bigelow said a conditional discharge would be sufficient.

“Not being able to follow the sports team he loves has had a significant impact on him,” Bigelow added, noting that Pagan would have to continue to stay away from Jays games in Toronto for a year.

After the beer can toss last fall, police and stadium security immediately converged on the stands at the Rogers Centre in an effort to locate the person who threw the can, but were unable to identify a suspect.

The incident triggered a social media frenzy as many analysed photographs and video footage from the game to figure out where the can had come from.

After reviewing video surveillance, television footage of the event, as well as video and photographs taken by the public, Toronto police released an image of a suspect they described as an “unsportsmanlike fan.”

Pagan confirmed to The Canadian Press at the time that he was the person in the picture distributed by authorities and turned himself in on Oct. 6.

The tallboy toss also had repercussions for beer drinkers at the Rogers Centre, as the Jays announced they would not serve beer in cans for the rest of the post-season.

CityNews reporter Marianne Boucher and 680 NEWS reporter Momin Qureshi were in court for the sentencing. Here are their updates.

With files from News Staff

Ontario pauses school closure reviews, but 124 schools still on chopping block

ALLISON JONES, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jun 29th, 2017

Ontario school boards will not be able to put any more schools up for closure as the government overhauls the process THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Ontario school boards will not be able to put any more schools up for closure as the government overhauls the process, though any schools currently on the chopping block will remain there.

Education Minister Mitzie Hunter announced Wednesday in Bridgenorth, near Peterborough, that Ontario will be changing the way school boards consider schools for potential closure, saying it’s intended to strengthen rural and northern education.

In the meantime, she said, school boards won’t be allowed to begin any new such reviews, except for those for the purpose of student safety or for joint use between school boards.

But the announcement doesn’t affect schools for which the process is already underway. An official said five schools are currently under consideration and 124 have already been recommended for closure – 40 of which are in rural communities.

The Progressive Conservatives have been pushing the government to bring in a moratorium on school closures, and said Wednesday’s announcement falls short.

“Today’s announcement does nothing for schools in cities throughout the province that remain on the chopping block, including schools that service students with special needs and schools that are operating at nearly 100 per cent capacity,” Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said in a statement.

“Rural and northern Ontario have been nothing but an afterthought to this government.”

NDP education critic Peggy Sattler said the announcement is “cold comfort” to communities already affected by school closures.

“Premier (Kathleen) Wynne doesn’t understand that closing schools hurts students, their families and our communities,” she said in a statement.

The provincial review of school closure processes will look at the impact on communities, student well-being, bringing in longer timelines, introducing more accommodation options and clearer roles for students, staff and elected officials.

In addition, Hunter announced a new, $20-million Rural and Northern Education Fund that will help to continue the operation of those schools, and provide those schools with better programming such as French immersion, arts education and guidance counselling.

GO Transit, UP Express fares set to rise in September

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Jun 29th, 2017

An UP Express train is shown in an undated file photo. METROLINX/Rick Radell
Metrolinx is raising fares this fall on longer-distance GO Transit and UP Express trips.

At its regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday, the provincial transit agency proposed fare hikes of up to three per cent for trips costing above $5.65 starting Sept. 2.

Fares for users of the Presto card will also go up however the loyalty discounts for using the pre-loaded fare payment system will remain unchanged.

Passengers on the Union-to-Barrie trip will see the largest increase, with fares rising 40 cents to $13.95. The Presto fare will rise 32 cents to $12.35, as the loyalty discounts for using the card remain unchanged.

UP Express riders going from Union to Pearson will see a 35-cent increase to $12.35. Presto users will see fares go up 25 cents to $9.25.

Metrolinx says the fare increases will result in $8.5 million of additional revenue which they say is necessary to support and fund current and planned services.

Proposed Metrolinx fare increases for Go Transit and UP Express users (Metrolinx)

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