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Leaside day camp operator charged in child porn investigation

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Aug 4th, 2017

Christopher MacDonald, who owns and operates AFTERFOUR day camp in Leaside, is facing numerous charges related to an online child porn investigation (Linkedin)
A 32-year-old day camp operator is facing numerous charges in a child pornography investigation.

Police say they searched a home in the Bayview and Moore Avenue area on Thursday following an online investigation into the trading of child sexual abuse material between April 2017 and May 2017.

Christopher MacDonald has been charged with two counts of accessing child pornography, two counts of possessing child pornography and one count each of making child pornography available and making child pornography.

CityNews has learned that MacDonald has owned and operated AFTERFOUR, a day camp in Leaside for children between the ages of 6 and 14 for the last four years. However, police say they have no information at this time that any of the children he works with at the camp are involved in this case.

A statement posted on the camp’s website attributed to Attila “Gabriel” Branyiczky says he intends to keep the camp open and running and any requests for refunds will be dealt with.

The cheapest week to travel this summer

Barry Choi | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

Labour Day is just around the corner, and if you haven’t made any travel plans yet, you might be surprised to learn that there’s still some time to score some wicked deals. KAYAK, the world’s leading travel search engine has analyzed their data and have found that the week of August 28th is the cheapest week for Canadians to travel this summer when prices are 17% lower compared to the rest of the season.

Not only is this week ideal for lower fares, but it’s great since most travellers would have returned home from their trips which mean fewer crowds that you’ll need to deal with. The median prices listed below are based on coach, round trip flights with Canadian origin cities searched on KAYAK. Here’s a look at the top 10 cheapest destinations for Canadians to travel to during the week of Aug. 28:

Washington, DC

Median airfare – $173

Some Canadians may be avoiding Washington, DC for political reasons, but that would be a mistake. The city is one of America’s greatest and features plenty of free attractions including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. If you’re looking to save a bit of money on hotels, stay in Arlington where prices are cheaper and take the train to get into the city.

Victoria, B.C.

Median airfare – $188

With its blend of traditional beauty and modern amenities, Victoria is no hidden gem, but that’s okay. The inner harbour is a great place to get to know the city where gardens and architecture greet you. If you’re lucky, you may run into the city’s most famous local, Darth Fiddler. Yes, that would be Darth Vader yielding a fiddle instead of a lightsaber. For something more serious, head to the B.C. Buildings of Parliament where free guided tours are available.

New York City

Median airfare – $191

It may be cheap to get to New York City, but hotel prices can set you back quite a bit. To help you offset your costs, consider picking up a CityPASS that will give you discounted admission to six attractions. Food can be rather inexpensive with Halal Cart Guys charging $8 for their famous chicken platter while $1 slices at 2 Bros Pizza may be the best deal in the city. Even if you decide to splurge, that’s okay since the Canadian dollar has gone up in value recently.


Median airfare – $191

If you haven’t been to Chicago, what are you waiting for? The city has some of the best architecture in the world that is best viewed from the river. Even though the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise will set you back USD $46, it’ll be worth it since you’ll learn all about the city in 90-minutes. Alternatively, you can book a free tour through the Chicago greeter program that connects you with a local guide.


Median airfare is $197

With history, art, and sports, Boston is a city that is suitable for all. History buffs will want to follow the freedom trail that takes you to 16 historic landmarks. If you’re into art, the Museum of Fine Arts has more than 450,000 works of art, while the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum houses a smaller and more intimate collection. Fenway Park is home to the Red Sox and one of the oldest ballparks in the game.


Median airfare – $199

Montreal is celebrating is 375th birthday this year, and you better believe the city is still celebrating. The best thing to do in the city is to explore the various neighbourhoods. Old Montreal’s historic buildings and horse-drawn carriages will make you think that you’ve stepped back in time. The port area mainly attracts tourists but is still a lot of fun. For something a bit different, head up to Plateau/Mile End where St. Viateur and Fairmount Bagels are found.


Median airfare – $201

Philadelphia may have been made famous by Rocky, but these days the city is known for its food. No, I’m not talking about cheesesteaks, Italian beef sandwiches at the Reading Terminal Market are what the locals prefer. Top Chef contestant, Sylva Senat’s new restaurant, Maison 208 is set to open any day now and is sure to be a popular place. Okay, if you’re a Rocky fan, head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and dash up the stairs.


Median airfare – $201

Dallas is a huge city, so there are two things to keep in mind. Get familiar with public transportation or ride sharing and book a hotel that’s central such as the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. When you’re ready to see the city, head to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science that is both impressive on the inside and out. For 360-degree views of the city, head over to the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck. CityPASS is also available in Dallas which will help you save on attraction tickets.


Median airfare – $209

The CN Tower may be Toronto’s most recognizable attraction, but the Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square is easily more popular. Head to the sign at any hour, and you’ll find people snapping pictures among the letters. One could argue that food has now also become a popular attraction in the city. How could you not enjoy a bowl of bibimbap in Koreatown or have some gelato in Little Italy? Need a break from the city? Take a ferry to the Toronto islands and relax for the day.


Median airfare – $213

Many people fly to Calgary just as a means to get to the Canadian Rockies, but spend some time in the city, and you won’t be disappointed. The recently opened Studio Bell at the National Music Centre has been getting rave reviews and stands out in the East Village. Down the street from the Studio Bell is the Glenbow Museum where you can learn about Canadian history. Foodies will be happy to hear that Calgary’s food scene has exploded over the years with tasty food available all over the city.

This originally appeared on MoneyWeHave.com and has been republished with permission.

Barry Choi is a personal finance and budget travel expert at Moneywehave.com.

Toronto home sales drop 40% compared with a year ago

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

A ‘For Sale’ sign sits in front of a house in Toronto on April 20, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

The Toronto Real Estate Board says property sales tanked 40.4 per cent last month compared with July 2016.

The drop was led by the detached home market both in City of Toronto and the surrounding areas.

The board says the Multiple Listing Service composite benchmark price was up 18 per cent on a year-over-year basis. However, the benchmark was down 4.6 per cent compared with June.

The latest data follows moves by the Ontario government earlier this year to rein in the real estate market.

Home prices have been on a decline since April, when the province introduced more than a dozen changes – including a 15 per cent tax on foreigners purchasing property – aimed at cooling the Greater Toronto Area’s real estate market.

The board says foreign buyers represent a small part of the real estate market and the decline has more to do with potential homebuyers waiting to see how market conditions evolve.

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse out of world championships with injury

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

Canada’s Andre De Grasse celebrates bronze in the men’s 100-metre final during the athletics competition at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 14, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse will miss the upcoming world championships due to a torn right hamstring.

De Grasse suffered the injury on Monday during a training session at Mile End Stadium in London. An initial ultrasound revealed a hamstring strain and a further evaluation in Munich revealed a more severe diagnosis and competition in London to be ruled out.

De Grasse said that the 100-metre race in London was the focus of his entire year.

“Injuries are a part of the sport, and the timing of this one is especially unfortunate,” De Grasse said in a statement on his Facebook page. “While I’m in the best shape of my life and extremely disappointed that I will not have the chance to compete for my country in London, I can’t forget or be ungrateful for the successes that I’ve been blessed with up to this point in my career.”

De Grasse adds: “I’ll be back stronger and faster than ever.”

The 22-year-old from Markham, Ont., was due to race against Usain Bolt in the 100 metre final at London Olympic Stadium. Bolt, an 11-time world champion, plans to retire after the worlds. De Grasse was supposed to open the worlds with the 100 heats on Friday before the final on Saturday.

The injury is a big blow to the Canadian team which was relying on De Grasse for medals at the worlds. He was a medal threat in both the 100 and 200 metres and also served as the anchor on Canada’s 4×100 relay team.

“I really feel for Andre, I know he really wanted to make a mark here at the world championships,” Athletics Canada head coach Glenroy Gilbert said in a statement. “Injuries are part of the sport, obviously, the timing is terrible.

“As a team the focus doesn’t change, we need to be ready to compete starting Friday. We’ve been talking about the depth of the program, now is a chance for some of our other stars to shine, and have some of our up and coming athletes step up.”

De Grasse has had a strong season in the Diamond League and was atop the standings in both the 100 and 200 events.

De Grasse won bronze in the 100, silver in the 200 and bronze in the 4×100-metres relay at last summer’s Rio Olympics. He won bronze at the 2015 worlds in the 100 metres while also capturing a bronze with the 4×100-metres relay team.

Skin burns force Health Canada to recall 16 models of iPhone glitter gel cases

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

Several models of iPhone liquid gel glitter cases which have been recalled by Health Canada.
Health Canada has joined in a worldwide recall of several styles of Liquid Glitter iPhone Cases after reports the cases leaked and caused skin burns.

MixBin Electronics makes the cases for the popular iPhone 6, 6s and 7 models which were manufactured in China and imported into the United States.

MixBin says the liquid and glitter can leak out of the case if it breaks or cracks and can cause irritation, blisters or burns if it comes into contact with the skin.

Health Canada says so far there have been no reports of injuries or incidents reported in Canada. Four reports of chemical burns, itching, redness, and blisters due to leaks have been reported in England while another 19 reports of leakage causing skin irritation were received from consumers in the U.S.

Approximately 11,400 of the 267,000 units worldwide were sold in Canada at Victoria’s Secret stores, online and airport duty-free shops from October 2015 to June 2017.

16 models of these iPhone cases sold in Canada have been recalled by Health Canada

August long weekend need to know: Caribbean Carnival style; what’s open/closed

SAMANTHA KNIGHT AND PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

A masquerader performs on Lakeshore Boulevard during the Grand Parade at the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Aug. 4, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu
Good news: The August long weekend is upon us. Bad news: It is the second-last long weekend of the summer. But let’s not dwell on the negative. Instead, put all your energy into planning your much-needed three-day weekend. That’s three days of fun in the sun.

The highlight of the weekend is the Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade, which dances its way along a stretch of Lake Shore Boulevard on Saturday. Road closures will be in effect.

Civic Day goes by different names in other provinces and even in different cities in Ontario. In Toronto, the day is known as Simcoe Day. Since Monday is a civic holiday, most stores and malls will be open. Below is a list of what’s open and closed.

If you plan on exploring the city this long weekend, the TTC is extending its weekend day pass, allowing individuals or groups to have unlimited travel for $12.50. The pass can be purchased between this Saturday and Simcoe Day on Monday. Children under 12 ride for free. Another bit of good news: no subway closures this weekend.


Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade
As the Caribbean Carnival prepares to come to an end this weekend, the party is ramping up for the annual Grand Parade on Saturday. The parade is the largest event of the Caribbean Carnival, bringing out thousands of masqueraders in colourful, striking costumes, along with steel pan bands. Those taking part will start at Exhibition Place and travel east along a 3.5-kilometre stretch of Lake Shore before returning back to Exhibition Place. Festivities run from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto.

Paraders march down Lakeshore Boulevard at the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Aug. 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu


Rogers Cup
The world’s best in women’s tennis will be taking over the Aviva Centre at York University for the Rogers Cup. The tournament runs from Aug. 5 to 13 and features Canadian Genie Bouchard, Serena and Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep and many more. Qualifying rounds kick off on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and the first round of play gets underway Monday morning at 10 a.m. During the first two days of Rogers Cup, families can also take part in the free community weekend, which offers various activities and entertainment.

American Serena Williams celebrates a point during the final of the Rogers Cup against Romanian Sorana Cirstea at Rexall Centre in Toronto on Aug. 11, 2013. AFP/Getty Images/Geoff Robins



Veld Music Festival
Electronic music fans will be flocking to Downsview Park for the 6th annual Veld Music Festivalthis weekend. The two-day event features over 30 dance music and hip-hop acts, with headliners Future, Major Lazer, Tiësto, Zedd, Migos and Tory Lanez. Ink Entertainment announced new safety measures for this year’s festival, including a designated space for women who may feel unsafe, a strong medical presence, man-made shade areas and accessible washrooms. Naloxone, which acts as an antidote to the opioid fentanyl, will also be permitted. Saturday’s show gets underway at noon and the show on Sunday is set for 1 p.m.

Toronto Food Truck Festival
Woodbine Park will be bursting with flavour this Civic holiday long weekend. The annual Toronto Food Truck Festival is taking over the park from Thursday to Monday. It features some must-eats, including 32 Below, the Apple Fritter Factory, Canadian Corn Roasters, Eva’s Original Chimneys, Smoke’s Poutinerie and Hogtown Smoke. There will also be local talent Friday through Monday and live-eating challenges. Admission is free.

People hanging out at the Toronto Food Truck Festival. Photo credit: torontofoodtruckfestival.com


Art & Music Ontario Festival
Celebrate creativity this long weekend at the Art & Music Ontario festival. The four-day event showcases the province’s artsy side with activities, entertainment, food and beverages. Programming includes Martk’d, which uses art and sneakers as an engagement tool to connect with contemporary culture, a pop-up art competition, and a DIY art and music zone. Some of the musical artists on hand will be Lowell and The Johnnys. The free festival runs Thursday through Monday on the West Island of Ontario Place.

What’s open and closed


  • TTC will run on holiday service.
  • GO will run on a Saturday schedule.
  • Tourist attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada’s Wonderland, Casa Loma, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo
  • Major malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Dufferin Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Fairview Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Square One (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Hillcrest Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Scarborough Town Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Sherway Gardens (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and Yorkdale Shopping Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Select Beer Store locations will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for a list.
  • Several LCBO stores will be open. Click here to search your store.
  • Select grocery stores, call ahead for your local store hours
  • City-run facilities like outdoor pools, splash pads, golf courses, historic museums, High Park Zoo, and the Toronto Island Park. Click here for more information.
  • Garbage collection: Curbside pickup is not provided on any Monday, but other solid waste collection will be afffected. Click here for details.



  • Government offices, municipal buildings and banks
  • All Toronto Public Library branches are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • No mail delivery in several provinces including Ontario

Road closures

Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade: Lake Shore Boulevard West from Strachan Avenue to Colborne Lodge Drive will be closed from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday. The on-ramp to the eastbound Gardiner Expressway from Lake Shore will also be closed.

Missing man located Wednesday morning in critical condition

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

Domingos ‘Branca’ Martins
An elderly man who went missing from his west-end neighbourhood last week and spent several days without food or shelter is in hospital in critical condition.

Domingos Martins, 83, disappeared five days ago.

His family said he went for a walk in a park near Pelmo Park Public School, in the Lawrence Avenue West and Jane Street area, just before 4:30 p.m. on July 28, but did not return. On Tuesday, the family offered a $5,000 reward for any information on his whereabouts.

Dozens of officers and hundreds of volunteers searched the surrounding area to try to find the man — who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has trouble walking and only speaks Portuguese.

Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner said Martins was found around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, stuck against a fence in an industrial area near Weston Road and Highway 401.

“I can’t say enough about how relieved we are that we were able to find Mr. Martins alive and be able to get him to hospital,” he said.

“This man has been out there since last Friday, (an) extremely long period of time in this very hot weather.”

Taverner said it was the hard work of his officers, along with the help of the public, that made this search successful.

“I have to credit our officers for continuing with the hard work — viewing videos from all kinds of sources and finally being able to track where Mr. Martins walked,” he said.

Martins survived five days with no food and no shelter.

“One of our female officers was the first officer to approach him and he grabbed her hand and squeezed her hand … very emotional for the officer as well. A great, great outcome to what could have been a very tragic story,” said Taverner.

Martins’ daughter Samantha said she is very thankful he was found alive.

“Very thankful, very relieved that he was able to survive this heat, cold, rain, thunderstorm … just everything. Very thankful to God, to our friends, to the police, to everyone who helped,” she said.

Video released after violent robbery of woman, 81, at Aurora bank

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

Police have released video and photos of a man wanted in connection with the violent robbery of an 81-year-old woman at a bank in Aurora.

It happened shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday, after the woman withdrew cash from an ATM near Yonge and Wellington streets.

It’s alleged a man approached her and tried to grab her money. When she resisted, he reportedly pushed her to the ground and took the cash. He then left the area on foot.

The woman was treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

“You’re not getting the money for nothing,” the feisty senior tells CityNews in an exclusive interview.

“I thought of the cameras and I wanted to try and get a picture of his face because it’s no good if I don’t get his face.”

The man is white, five-foot-seven, with dark hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt, dark-coloured cargo shorts and black sunglasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call York Regional Police or Crime Stoppers.

Click here for the video.


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