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What’s on this weekend: Caribbean-themed run, Brazilian and South Asian street festivals

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND SAMANTHA KNIGHT | posted Friday, Jul 21st, 2017

Dances at the Festival of South Asia in Toronto. Photo credit: facebook.com/festivalofsouthasia
Summer doesn’t last forever, so make the most of the season while you can. This weekend, run or walk to the beat of Caribbean music, or move to the rhythm of Brazilian music. You can also experience the diversity of South Asia at a street festival on Gerrard Street.

Although sunshine is in store for this weekend, there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms. But it will still feel like 30 C with the humidity.

Despite the fun to be had, revellers will still have to contend with road closures and a partial Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) shutdown.


Toronto Carnival Run
The Toronto Carnival Run is taking over Inukshuk Park on Saturday for its second annual event. The park is located along the Martin Goodman Trail, near Lake Shore West and Newfoundland Road. This family fun run aims to encourage wellness and community involvement with a Caribbean carnival theme. It offers a 1K kids run, 5K run/walk and 10K run/walk. Opening ceremonies kick off at 7:45 a.m., with the first race getting underway at 8 a.m. All proceeds go toward the Simunye Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering the African/Caribbean community through artistic, sporting and educational activities. Awards will be given for top male and female finishers.

Toronto Triathlon Festival
One of the largest triathlons in the province takes place on Sunday. The festival raises money for cancer research at Princess Margaret Hospital. The race kicks off at Ontario Place with swimming. Then, participants will bike along a section of the Gardiner Expressway and through downtown Toronto. Those taking part in the Olympic distance race will continue on the Don Valley Parkway and then back west on the Gardiner to Ontario Place. The final leg of the race is the run, which heads along the Martin Goodman Trial and then back east along Lake Shore Boulevard. The race starts just before 7 a.m. with the awards ceremony at 11:30 a.m.

The swimming portion of the Toronto Triathlon Festival. Photo credit: torontotriathlonfestival.com


Festival of South Asia
Now in its 15th year, the free festival takes place along Gerrard Street between Glenside and Coxwell avenues this weekend. Experience the culture and cuisine of various countries in South Asia. There will be tasting tables, sidewalk sales, live music, henna art, and entertainment for kids. The event will also house a cricket open house, a Bollywood pop-up mela (or fair), a yoga studio and a culture alley. Last year, more than 200,000 people attended the event and a large turnout is also expected this time around.

Junction Night Market
Explore the Junction this Saturday night at the Junction Night Market. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Pacific Avenue, just north of Dundas Street West. The evening features live entertainment, local food, craft beer, cider and wine. Tickets cost $5 and will be sold on site. All proceeds help members of the Junction community gain access to fresh and healthy food through local food programs.

Transport yourself to Brazil at Canada’s largest Brazilian cultural event. The 14th annual BrazilFest takes place this Sunday at Earlscourt Park. The 12-hour festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and celebrates the rhythms of Brazil through various performers, dance groups and bands. Attendees will also get a chance to enjoy Brazilian-style foods and the country’s national drink “Caipirinha.” The family-friendly event includes a kids’ zone that is open all day long.

Musicians at BrazilFest in Toronto. Photo credit: brazilfest.ca


Ossington Avenue will be shut down between Queen and Dundas Street West this weekend for Ossfest. The street will be transformed with shopping, dancing, live music, patios, food and drinks. Entry is free and the event kicks off in the morning with the OssCrit urban bike race at 7:30 a.m. There will also be a silk screen workshop, basketball training, a kids zone and giveaways. The day-long street festival runs from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Last weekend of Summerlicious
If you haven’t taken advantage of the annual foodie festival yet, this is last weekend to do so. With more than 200 restaurants offering tasty meals, there is no shortage of local and international cuisine to try out. Click here to check today’s reservation availability. Three-course prix fixe lunch menus are priced at $18, $23 and $28; and dinner menus are priced at $28, $38 and $48. Since 2003, both the winter and summer culinary events have generated around $290 million for the Toronto’s restaurant industry. Click here to read 150 food facts about the city, part of TO Canada with Love that celebrates the country’s 150 birthday.

Kung Pao cauliflower at Lisa Marie, one of the restaurants participating in Summerlicious. Photo credit: City of Toronto

TTC and road closures

Partial Line 2 shutdown
Crews will turn their attention to Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) this weekend, conducting work on the Prince Edward Viaduct and other TTC maintenance. As a result of this work, subways won’t be running between St. George and Broadview stations. Shuttle buses will be running, and Wheel-Trans will be available upon request. Regular service is expected to resume at 6 a.m. on Monday.

Road closures
Big on Bloor: Bloor Street, from Dufferin Street to Lansdowne Avenue, will be closed from 9 a.m. on Saturday to 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 23 at 9 p.m. for the Big on Bloor Festival.

Festival of South Asia: Gerrard Street between Glenside and Coxwell avenues will be closed 8 a.m. on Saturday to 2 a.m. on Monday.

Oss Fest: Ossington Avenue, from Dundas to Queen streets, will be closed from 5 a.m. on Saturday to 3 a.m. on Sunday. There will also be partial road closures in the area, click here for the list.

Toronto Triathlon Festival: The eastbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway from the Humber Bridge to Carlaw Avenue and the northbound lanes of the Don Valley Parkway from the Gardiner Expressway to Eglinton Avenue, including all ramps, will be closed from 2 a.m. to noon on Sunday. One eastbound lane of Lake Shore Boulevard, from Windermere Avenue to New Brunswick Way/Remembrance Drive, will be closed from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Toronto Caribbean Junior Carnival: McLevin Avenue, from Sewells Road to Neilson Road, will be closed from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Neilson, from McLevin to Finch Avenue, will be closed from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Youth Day: Yonge Street, from Dundas Street to Queen Street, will be closed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Toronto man charged, other animals seized after puppy tossed in garbage

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Jul 21st, 2017

Security image of a suspect wanted in an animal cruelty investigation, July 18, 2017, TORONTO POLICE SERVICE/Handout
A 35-year-old man is facing charges and several animals have allegedly been seized by animal services after a puppy was found wrapped in a plastic bag and left in a garbage can.

Security images were released on Wednesday of a suspect, seen near Lawrence Avenue West and Dufferin Street around 3:40 p.m. on July 11.

Police say a Toronto Animal Services employee recognized the man and contacted police.

According to authorities, in the security footage the man was seen walking on Dane Avenue, towards Lawrence Square shopping centre, carrying a dark bag. He then walked towards the northwest doors of the plaza, discarded the bag in the garbage can and then entered the plaza.

Police said the man made a few stops in the plaza and then exited through the same doors he had entered from. He continued west on Dane and out of view of the security camera.

Shortly after, a passerby walked past the garbage can and heard yelps coming from inside. When he looked inside he discovered sealed plastic bags which contained a three-month-old puppy.

He ripped open the bag to rescue the puppy and then took the animal to a nearby veterinarian.

On Thursday, Quang (Andrew) Tieu of Toronto surrendered to police and has been charged with wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal, as well as having custody of control of an abandoned or wilfully neglected animal.

As a result of the arrest, police said Toronto Animal Services conducted various search warrants and it is alleged that 23 adult dogs and 14 puppies were seized.

Police are advising the public to use a reputable source to either find a dog for their family or find an alternative home for their pet, if required.

Police say if residents become aware of someone who is keeping animals in unsafe conditions — such as a garage — to contact 311 and the City will investigate.

10 TTC employees face charges in health benefit fraud case

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Jul 21st, 2017

Ten current or former TTC employees are facing criminal charges in connection with what’s being called a multi-million dollar insurance scheme.

The charges were annonced Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation by Toronto police and the TTC that started back in 2014.

The transit agency says 150 employees have either been fired, retired or resigned in order to avoid being dismissed since the investigation began.

All 10 people charged face one count of fraud over $5,000.

The TTC says of the 10 people charged, nine are former employees while one remains an employee on medical leave.

Police allege a Toronto orthotics store Healthy Fit provided fraudulent receipts and invoices to the TTC’s insurance provider at the time, Manulife Financial, totalling more than $5-million. The insurance payouts where then allegedly shared with TTC employees.

Health Fit was also the same establishment at the centre of a fraud investigation involving City of Toronto employees that resulted in $96,000 in false claims being made.

Adam Smith of Mississauga, the owner of Healthy Fit, faces four charges including two counts of fraud over $5,000.

Savath Nget of Toronto, an employee of Healthy Fit, faces two charges including fraud over $5,000.

1 person dead in multi-vehicle crash on Hwy. 400

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Jul 21st, 2017

One person died after a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 400 near Rutherford Road on July 20, 2017. CITYNEWS
One person died Thursday following a serious multi-vehicle crash on Highway 400 southbound near Rutherford Road.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said police were responding to a call for a vehicle blocking a live lane around 7:45 p.m. when they were notified that a two car crash had occurred.

The vehicle that struck the disabled car burst into flames. The driver managed to escape with minor injuries.

The driver of the vehicle which was struck suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

It’s the second major incident affecting Highway 400. A toxic cargo spill following a collision involving a tractor-trailer near Bradford closed both the north and southbound lanes of the highway from Highway 9 to 88. The lanes have since reopened.

Burst tire just the start of travel nightmare for Air Canada passengers

GINELLA MASSA AND NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Jul 20th, 2017

After a nearly two-day ordeal, passengers on an Air Canada flight are finally returning to Toronto.

On Monday, Air Canada flight RV1925 burst a tire during take-off from Gatwick Airport. Officials closed the runway for inspection and passengers were taken back to the airport while the plane was towed away.

Air Canada apologized for the inconvenience and said it was working to provide hotel rooms for the passengers.

That should have been the end of the story, but for several passengers, it was only the beginning.

Gurbux Tehar was one of the approximately 300 passengers on the flight.

Tehar said she and other passengers spent hours at the airport only to be shuttled to a hotel that didn’t have the space to accommodate them.

“First they were saying they got the hotels for us near Gatwick, but at the end they didn’t have the hotels for us there and they had to send us to Heathrow,” she explained.

Tehar said they were then shuttled to Heathrow, but were taken to the wrong hotel.

“They dropped us off at the Hilton hotel. We waited there an hour and then they said, ‘We don’t have any bookings for you guys,’” she said.

The group then had to walk to another hotel, dragging their suitcases behind them.

An Air Canada spokesperson said the delay and cancellations caused by the burst tire meant thousands of people were stranded at Gatwick and scrambling for hotel rooms.

“Due to the high number of flights cancelled yesterday at Gatwick there were thousands of travelers at the airport during the day also looking for hotel rooms and we are sorry if some passengers arrived at hotels that were already full,” the airline said in a statement to CityNews.

“We informed them to keep all receipts so that we can refund them of any expenses.”

Tehar said she’ll think twice next time about flying with Air Canada.

“I have to travel, but it might not be (with) Air Canada; it might be a different flight,” she said. “Two days. I wasted two days down there, running around,” she said.

Ontario auto insurance rates rise for the second quarter in a row

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jul 20th, 2017

File photo of car insurance paperwork. GETTY IMAGES/Peter Dazeley.
Auto insurance rates in Ontario rose again in the second quarter of 2017.

Approved rates posted by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario show an average increase of 0.76 per cent.

Last quarter, rates went up by an average of 1.24 per cent.

In 2013, the Liberals promised to reduce car insurance premiums by an average of 15 per cent by August 2015, but after the self-imposed deadline passed, Premier Kathleen Wynne admitted that was what she called a “stretch goal.”

In April, a report by Ontario’s auto insurance adviser found that the province has the most expensive auto insurance premiums in Canada despite also having one of the lowest levels of accidents and fatalities.

David Marshall found that the average auto insurance premium in Ontario is $1,458, which is almost 55 per cent higher than the average of all other Canadian jurisdictions.

Related stories:

Ontario auto insurance rates increase as report slams system
Auto insurance rates rise in Ontario despite Liberal pledge to cut by 15%
Ontario’s auto insurance system ‘one of the least effective’ in Canada

Dude, where’s my car: Syracuse teen loses car at Toronto concert

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Jul 20th, 2017

We’ve all been to concerts and lost something – phone, lighter, your ticket. But what about your car?

Gavin Strickland, 19, drove up from Syracuse to Toronto for Sunday’s Metallica concert. He says after the concert ended, sheer terror hit him – he couldn’t remember where he had parked his blue-green Nissan Versa sedan.

Strickland says he recalls it was on the first floor of an underground garage and within an eight dollar cab ride to the Rogers Centre.

Stickland’s parents took to Craigslist to help in the search. Their ad reads in part, ‘Our doofy son parked the car in an indoor parking garage, in the first floor (slightly lower / basement level) but that garage cannot be located. …Please respond with photos of the car and specific location instructions.’

According to his father Eric, the garage was near a Starbucks, some construction, a strange spiral statue and a bank, possibly an RBC branch. The car has Florida license plates, a small Canadian flag affixed to the door frame, and a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker.

The Strickland’s are offering a $100 reward for photos of the car and specific location instructions.

In the meantime, Gavin doesn’t seem too broken up about the missing car. He was apparently at Korn concert in Syracuse on Wednesday night. His parents say he took an Uber to get there.

Update: As of Thursday morning, the car has been found.

A missing Nissan Versa was found after a man drove it from Syracuse to Toronto for a concert, but forgot where he parked. CRAIGSLIST

Plastic may be in yogurt, Yoplait Minigo and Liberte items recalled

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jul 20th, 2017

Liberte Greek yogurt is seen in this undated handout photo. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has added the Yoplait Minigo and Liberte brands of yogurt to a recall over concerns that pieces of plastic may be in the product. THE CANADIAN PRESS/GENERAL MILLS CANADA CORP
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has added the Yoplait Minigo and Liberte brands of yogurt to a recall over concerns that pieces of plastic may be in the product.

The national recall of General Mills Canada Corp. products includes some batches of Yoplait Minigo strawberry and raspberry yogurt in 90-gram pouches, as well as Liberte Greek yogurt in raspberry and coconut flavours in the 120-gram size.

The recall follows a similar one by Ultima Foods last month over concerns about the potential of plastic pieces in seven Iogo yogurt products.

The Iogo recall included 93-millilitre Iogo Nano strawberry, raspberry, vanilla and banana drinkable yogurt products sold in packages of six, and one-litre Iogo smoothie protein products with mango, strawberry-raspberry and strawberry flavours.

Editor’s note: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Yoplait Minigo strawberry and raspberry yogurt sold in 90-gram containers were recalled.

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