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Prince Harry in Toronto setting stage for Invictus Games

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 22nd, 2017

The royal founder of the Invictus Games will be in Toronto on Friday to set the stage for the multi-sport competition.

Prince Harry is slated to take part in events in the city the day before the games for wounded and sick soldiers get underway on Saturday.

The competition, which includes current and veteran members of the forces, runs until Sept. 30 and marks the first time Canada hosts the event.

Harry will take part in a symposium this morning before spending the afternoon with athletes training for the Games.



On Saturday, Harry will tour Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health before meeting with Prime Minster Justin Trudeau in the hours before the opening ceremony.

That takes place at the Air Canada Centre and is set to feature performances from Sarah McLachlan, Alessia Cara and the Tenors.

Road closures have already started for the arrival of the games this weekend. Click here for a list of the closures.

Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014 as a way to inspire and motivate wounded soldiers on their paths to recovery.

At least 550 competitors from 17 countries are slated to compete in 12 sports, including track and field, swimming and, in a first for the Invictus Games, golf.

Sporting event tickets cost $25 and both opening and closing ceremony tickets start at $60.

Closing ceremony performers include the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Kelly Clarkson.

The first Invictus Games were held in London, England, in 2014.

Glass falls from Four Seasons hotel again

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 22nd, 2017

A pane of glass fell from the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto and shattered on the ground below on Thursday afternoon.

Toronto Fire Services said the glass fell from the 19th floor of the hotel at Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue.

No one was injured, but a witness said the glass narrowly missed people in the area.

Engineers have been called in to repair the window.

Glass has fallen four other times from the same hotel since August 2013, including last May.

Yorkville Avenue is closed from Bay to Yonge.


Police board passes Mayor Tory’s plan for civilian traffic wardens

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 22nd, 2017

Civilian traffic wardens will be coming to congestion hot spots around the city.

The Toronto Police Services Board passed the plan, brought forth by Mayor John Tory, on Thursday.

The goal of the full-time civilian traffic wardens is to clear problems quickly at some of the city’s highest congestion intersections.

In 2016, the city launched a traffic warden pilot program using paid-duty officers who were placed at key intersections across the city to help keep traffic moving.

“The pilot project worked,” Tory said earlier this week. “When officers were actively engaged managing vehicles and pedestrians, we found a minimum of 90 per cent reduction in intersection blockage by vehicles and a 70 per cent reduction in intersection blockage by pedestrians.”

Tory said the city and the province have been able to determine a way, under the Highway Traffic Act, to allow non-police personnel to direct traffic at a number of key intersections next year. The wardens will be traffic management officers.

This is all a part of Tory’s new traffic measures which he says will make it easier for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to get around the city.

Tory is also working to ban utility trucks from doing non-emergency work during daytime hours.

Starting next month, the city and the traffic app Waze will be sharing their traffic data with each other. Tory also said in a few weeks, the first smart signal traffic light will be installed in the city. The new lights will respond to traffic conditions, meaning drivers will get “more green lights when the lights should be green,” according to Tory.

Tory also said he will request city staff to review a possible increase in fines for traffic-blocking offences.

Boy, 15, seriously injured in stabbing at Toronto high school

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 22nd, 2017

A student is in serious condition after a stabbing at a Toronto high school on Thursday afternoon.

The 15-year-old boy was stabbed in the torso outside Central Toronto Academy, near Ossington Avenue and Harbord Street, shortly before 12:45 p.m.

Paramedics said they took him to SickKids Hospital in serious condition.

Police said officers also located a second victim who may have been Tasered.

The school was under lockdown, but it has since been lifted.

Toronto police said three people are in custody.

The investigation is ongoing.


Babysitter facing charges after child found in car dies in hospital

CityNews | posted Friday, Sep 22nd, 2017

A female babysitter is facing chargers after a young child in her care died in hospital.

The child, a four-year-old boy, was found in a car in Etobicoke on Thursday afternoon. He was taken to a Trillium Health Partners hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead.

The boy had just turned four, police told 680 NEWS. As of Friday morning, a memorial was growing outside the building where he lived.

The car was behind an apartment building on Mill Road, near Burnhamthorpe, around 1 p.m.

The vehicle’s windows were smashed and a child car seat was sitting on the sidewalk.

The babysitter will appear in court on Friday. She’s expected to be charged with criminal negligence causing death.



Apple TV refresh brings 4K, City to streaming platform

Winston Sih | posted Thursday, Sep 21st, 2017

Amidst the iPhone announcements in Apple’s annual September event in Cupertino, Calif., brings a few other surprises including an update to Apple TV—finally embracing 4K technology in the living room. But is the market finally ready, or is it a little too late?



Physically, the device is the same in size. But it does pack a punch with new technology to bring your TV viewing experience to life. Leveraging the A10X Fusion chip—the previous-model chip in iPhone 7—the tech giant hopes that will provide the needed computing power to stream 4K-resolution content. Quadruple the pixels of high definition, quadruple the crispness, and you notice it from the get-go when you power the unit on. Caveat is, of course, that you need a 4K television—something many households don’t currently have.

If you are an owner one a 4K television set, the colours and depths of the pictures are stunning. Colours are more vibrant, blacks are deeper, and whites are brighter. This is all thanks to the high-definition range that adapts to your television set, finds the optimal performance, and scales the content up or down to fit your display environment. Apple TV 4K follows two leading formats on the market, Dolby Vision and HDR10, and the engineering shines through when streaming content.

From the previous-generation model, Apple says its 4K older sibling is two-times faster, and graphics performance is up to four times faster, though unless you’re streaming 12 things at once, you won’t notice a massive difference. However for 4K content, it will benefit from the spec bump.

Surfacing the TV content you want

Through the new tvOS update, Canadians now get access to the Apple TV app—one of a seven countries this is rolling out to outside of the United States.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 4.36.17 PM

Canadian broadcasters, including City and FX, have joined onto this new platform to unify on-demand offerings in one easy-to-find location for binge-watchers. Users can subscribe and sign into their favourite services, and titles are synced and streamed across Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. HD movies from iTunes are upgraded to 4K HDR at no additional cost.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 4.35.23 PM

There’s an app for that

Thousands of apps are being added on an on-going basis, allowing users to do everything from play games, control your smart home devices, to edit your family photos from iCloud. Selection isn’t as robust as the likes of App Store on iOS devices, and the remote experience simplifies what you can (and can’t) do on Apple TV.

Siri is integrated into the physical remote itself, and for those looking to type on a traditional keyboard, you can do so via the Remote app on your iOS device.

Final thoughts

For those looking to invest in a streaming player, Apple TV is a good choice. It won’t replace your cable subscription or PVR, but it’ll give you plenty of options to compliment your viewing experience—especially if you’re into streaming. The computing power will make using interactive apps a breeze, and while the selection of programs isn’t as robust as it could be, developers will take advantage as more users adopt.

The 4K HDR 32GB variant ($229) is a great option only if you have the display to go with it, otherwise the fourth-generation non-4K model ($199) will suffice—the price difference only being about $30.

EXCLUSIVE: Fire captain charged with several weapons offences

CityNews | posted Thursday, Sep 21st, 2017

A Toronto Fire Services captain who works out of Scarborough is under investigation by Toronto’s organized crime unit — and facing several gun-related charges.

Capt. Kar-Wing Lai, 46, was arrested after police executed search warrants last Thursday at two separate GTA locations and allegedly found more than 30 weapons, sources told CityNews.

He faces charges of careless storage of a firearm, importing and exporting knowing it is unauthorized, weapons dangerous, and possession of a firearm knowing it’s unauthorized.

He had a bail hearing at a Finch Avenue East courthouse Tuesday and was released under strict conditions.

He is not allowed to enter any fire hall in the city for two weeks or access any Toronto Fire Services computers because police are still executing search warrants and looking for more evidence.

Furthermore, he must live with a surety at his Richmond Hill home and stay in his house 24 hours a day unless he is with his surety or going to court appearances or work.

Lai — a fire prevention captain who works with children to promote fire safety — is on the Sunshine List and makes $122,000 a year.

He has been employed by the City of Toronto for 20 years and has never worked as a firefighter. He’s now on leave.

A spokesperson said the city is taking the charges seriously and cooperating with investigators.


City tells Toronto landlords to turn heat off during soaring temperatures

CityNews | posted Thursday, Sep 21st, 2017

We are just days away from the start of fall but summer temperatures seem to be lingering, and it’s expected to get even warmer this weekend. Despite the unseasonably warm weather, some buildings across Toronto have already turned the air conditioning off and turned heat on.

That’s because a city bylaw mandates that landlords maintain a minimum temperature of 21 C as of Sept. 15.

On Wednesday, city councillors Josh Matlow and Joe Mihavc held a joint news conference at CityHall urging landlords to turn their heating systems off, after their offices have been inundated with calls from residents saying the conditions were unbearable.

“If your tenants are baking inside and if you have air conditioning turn it on,” Coun. Matlow said. “Turn off the heat and use common sense. You will be in compliance with the bylaw.”

Many landlords across the city turn the heat on, on or before Sept. 15, per the city heat by-law. That bylaw states “A landlord is responsible for providing heat to a residential dwelling that is rented or leased, to a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1.”

Matlow, who is also the chair of the Tenant Issues Committee, says the bylaw sometimes gets misinterpreted, saying it requires the unit to be no colder than 21 degrees – not that the heating system is on.

“It speaks to the temperature, not when you need to turn on your boilers,” said the St.Paul’s councillor. “There’s nothing in there that says flick the switch.”

One of the buildings in Matlow’s riding is 44 Jackes Ave., located in the Yonge Street and St.Clair Avenue area. There are 274 units in that building, and one woman tells CityNews her apartment hit 31 degrees.

“It’s annoying that they can’t turn it off,” said Geoff, a resident of the building. “I understand they eventually have to turn the heat on, but it’s not appropriate for right now.”

Councillor Mihevc is the chair of the Board of Health, and he says he’s received complaints from tenants at three buildings and at least one person has been hospitalized as a result, but still, not all landlords are complying with their pleas.

“There’s certainly those landlords that are refusing to budge and there are just too many of them in our city,” said the St.Paul’s West Councillor.

Residents at 44 Jackes Ave. say they were told it takes five days for the systems to switch over. CityNews has reached out to Bentall Kennedy and the property manager, but has not yet heard back.

Councillor Matlow says the city is now looking at reviewing the heat by-law, since these pleas to landlords are becoming a biannual event. He says Mayor John Tory is committed to change the bylaw by this spring to accommodate years when the temperatures aren’t seasonal.

“One of the suggestions that we’ve been looking at is perhaps even allowing the Chief Medical Officer of Health to have flexibility to announce to landlords when the date might change to turn the heat on,” Matlow explains.

Any landlords who have concerns or questions about the heat by-law are told to contact the city or their local councillors.

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