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Happy Canada Day: Events, fireworks, what’s open/closed

News Staff | posted Friday, Jun 28th, 2019

Events

Toronto Ribfest
Get ready for some finger-licking good BBQ as Toronto Ribfest is back at Centennial Park in Etobicoke for Canada Day weekend. The festival will feature over a dozen bands and a midway to keep the kids busy. It begins on Friday at 3 p.m. and runs until July 1 at 10 p.m.

Celebrate Canada
Canadas Wonderland is celebrating the country’s birthday with a two-week long festival starting on June 29. The celebration will include street performers and the West Cost Lumberjack show, topped off with a spectacular fireworks display on July 1. Entrance to the festival is included with your park admission.

Redpath Waterfront Festival
Head down to Toronto’s waterfront to catch a glimpse of a fleet of majestic tall ships at the Redpath Waterfront Festival. The ships visit every three years and will be open for deck tours. The festival is also welcoming the Canadian Coast Guard for the first time. A Maritime market will also be selling yummy seafood, handmade nautical jewellery, and beauty products inspired by the sea. It runs from Saturday to Monday.

East York Toronto Canada Day Parade & Festival
A Canada Day celebration wouldn’t be complete with a parade and that’s what you will find down in East York on Monday. Toronto’s longest running Canada Day celebration will start with the parade leaving Dieppe Park, followed by a Party in the Park at Stan Wadlow Park. It will be capped off with fireworks at 10 p.m.

Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals
Usually it’s quite difficult to grab tickets to the Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day tickets, but there are still some up for grabs as they close out a four-game series over the weekend against the Kansas City Royals. You can find tickets here.

Fireworks on Canada Day

Start time is around 10 p.m. at most locations.

  • Ashbridges Bay Park
  • Amesbury Park
  • Canada’s Wonderland
  • Centennial Park during Ribfest
  • Downsview Park
  • Mel Lastman Square (10:20 p.m.)
  • Milliken Park
  • Stan Wadlow Park
  • Weston Lions Park

What’s open and closed on Canada Day

Transit

TTC will run on holiday service, while GO Transit will run on a Saturday schedule.

LCBO/Beer stores

LCBO and Beer Store locations will be closed.

Malls

The following will be open:

Bramalea City Centre: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Eaton Centre: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Hillcrest Mall: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Square One: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Promenade: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Toronto Premium Outlets:
Upper Canada Mall: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Vaughan Mills Mall: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tourist attractions

Several tourist spots including the ROM, CN Tower, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will be open.

Toronto-run facilities

The city’s outdoor swimming pools, wading pools, splash pads, and swimming beaches will be open. Two of the city’s 10 historic sites (Fort York National Historic Site and Scarborough Museum) will also be open. Click here for a roundup of activities.

The Toronto Public Library will be closed on Sunday and Monday.

Garbage collection

Residential garbage is not collected on Monday. For multi-residential dwellings, Monday’s collection will take place on Tuesday and Tuesday’s collection will happen on Wednesday. Click here for more information.

Banks, government offices

All banks, government offices and municipal buildings will be closed, and mail won’t be delivered.

Road closures

TD Toronto Jazz Festival: Cumberland Street between Old York Lane and Bellair Street will be closed until midnight Sunday. Hazelton Avenue between Scollard Street to the north side of the Hazelton Hotel lane will be closed until 6 a.m. Monday.

Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market: Parts of Kensington Avenue, Augusta Avenue and Baldwin Street will be closed on Sunday from noon to 10:30 p.m.

Canada Day Celebration at Mel Lastman Square: Yonge Street will be closed between Park Home Avenue and North York Boulevard from 4 p.m. Monday until 1 a.m. Tuesday.

East York Canada Day Parade and Festival: Road closures will be in effect from 8 a.m. to midnight on Monday on Cosburn Avenue between Greenwood to Coxwell avenues, Cosburn between Cedarvale Avenue to Oak Park Avenue, Cedarvale between Rumney Road to Cosburn, Virginia Avenue between Cedarvale to Cosburn, and Gledhill Avenue from Holborne Avenue to Cosburn. Rolling closures will also be in effect between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday as the parade rolls through various streets.

Canada Day Parade in Scarborough: Brimley Road between Progress Avenue and Lawrence Avenue East, and Triton Road between Brimley Road and Borough Drive will be closed on Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

With school done in most boards, OPP launch long weekend blitz

News Staff | posted Friday, Jun 28th, 2019

With the last day of school on Thursday, the Canada Day long weekend — the first one of the summer — is within reach.

It is the final day of classes for elementary students in Toronto, York, and Durham regions before two months of vacation. In Halton, the last day of school for high school students is Thursday but for elementary students it is Friday.

The last day of school for students in Peel was on Wednesday. High school students in most boards were done either Tuesday or Wednesday.

As the long weekend approaches, highways out of the city will be filled up with family cars loaded with coolers, camp chairs and canoes, which is why Ontario provincial police are launching their safety blitz on Thursday.

Police will be focusing on distracted and impaired driving, speeding, and lack of seatbelt use — deemed the “Big 4” causes of death on OPP-patrolled roads.

The OPP said speed-related deaths hit a six-year high last year, and more than 40 per cent of traffic offences were related to speed.

Crown to seek life sentence for Eaton Centre shooter convicted of manslaughter

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Jun 28th, 2019

Prosecutors say they will seek a life sentence for a man convicted of manslaughter in a shooting at Toronto’s Eaton Centre that claimed the lives of two people seven years ago.

Crown attorneys say while Christopher Husbands was acquitted of second-degree murder and found guilty on lesser charges in the mall shooting, the killings should be considered “near murder” and sentenced as such.

Defence lawyers say they will seek a fixed sentence but note they are waiting for pre-sentencing risk assessments to inform their submissions.

Both sides are expected to make submissions on a sentence next month.

Manslaughter carries no minimum sentence, except in cases involving a firearm, where the minimum is four years behind bars. The maximum sentence is life in prison.

Husbands was also found guilty of five counts of aggravated assault and one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and reckless discharge of a firearm in the June 2, 2012 mall shooting.

He admitted at trial that he was the shooter but his lawyers argued he should be found not criminally responsible due to mental illness.

The defence team argued Husbands was in a dissociative state due to post-traumatic stress disorder and, as a result, did not have control over his actions. They told the court his PTSD was triggered when he unexpectedly crossed paths with some of the men who had brutally attacked him and left him for dead months earlier.

The Crown acknowledged Husbands suffered from PTSD but said he knew what he was doing at the time – exacting revenge on his attackers.

Ahmed Hassan, 24, died on the floor of the mall’s food court and Nixon Nirmalendran, 22, died in hospital nine days later, court heard.

Six others were hurt, including a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head and survived, and a pregnant woman who was trampled by fleeing shoppers.

It was Husbands’s second trial in connection with the shooting. In the first trial, he was convicted of second-degree murder after being charged with first-degree.

Ontario’s highest court then overturned the ruling and ordered a new trial, finding the judge had made an error in law regarding jury selection.

Prosecutors are now appealing the latest outcome and seeking a third trial, alleging the judge in the second trial made several mistakes related to evidence.

They allege Ontario Superior Court Justice Brian O’Mara erred in requiring them to introduce the evidence of three Crown witnesses through an agreed statement of fact.

They say O’Mara also erred in excluding evidence related to Husbands’s criminal record and his being on bail at the time of the shooting, as well as evidence from eyewitnesses “that the accused was engaged in a targeted shooting.”

Ontario Teachers’ makes first innovation platform investment in SpaceX

The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Jun 28th, 2019

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan says it has invested in Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), a designer, manufacturer and operator of advanced rockets and spacecraft.

The pension fund manager did not disclose the size of the investment, the first done through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) that it launched in April.

Olivia Steedman, TIP’s senior managing director, says the Teachers are excited to work with the company as it rolls out its Starlink satellite network capable of connecting the globe with reliable and affordable broadband internet services.

The Teachers identified SpaceX as a compelling investment opportunity because of its proven track record and significant future growth potential in the satellite broadband market. TIP focuses on late-stage venture capital and growth equity investments in companies that use technology to disrupt incumbents and create new sectors.

Founded in 2002 by the force behind Tesla electric vehicles, SpaceX has completed 75 successful launches.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with $191.1 billion in net assets as of Dec. 31.

Diplomatic tensions ramp up as two Chinese fighter jets reportedly buzz Canadian warship

Cormac MacSweeny | posted Friday, Jun 28th, 2019

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The tensions between Canada and China are ratcheting up.

Just as the prime minister arrives in Japan for the G20 summit, there are reports of Chinese fighter jets buzzing a Canadian warship.

The close fly-past is said to have happened on Monday in international waters east of Shanghai.

Adam MacDonald, a retired naval officers who studies Canada-China relations, says this is China making their presence known.

“It’s increasing a little bit more,” says MacDonald. “Assertive and posturing, maybe not entirely dangerous.”

A reporter and fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute was aboard the HMCS Regina when it happened. He reports two Chinese fighter jets flew past, just 300 metres above the ship.

The noisy buzz came after days after the Canadian navy observed other Chinese jets flying kilometres away.

The captain of the HMCS Regina says this was not a dangerous scenario, but it’s one he is paying close attention to. He refused to characterize the intent of the Chinese military.

MacDonald says that while this was not dangerous, China is sending a message.

“Political gesturing moves that, in this case, China’s using to demonstrate not just capability, but also telling Canada that they are aware of their presence,” says MacDonald.

This comes as tensions between Beijing and Ottawa are at a high. Officials in China are furious with Canada for arresting the CFO of telecom giant, Huawei, at the request of the Americans.

Since Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in December, two Canadians have been arbitrary detained and China has barred several Canadian imports, including all meat products.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be sitting next to the Chinese president at the G20 summit, the two do not have a meeting scheduled.

Toronto police release video of violent gas station robbery

News Staff | posted Thursday, Jun 27th, 2019

Toronto police have released surveillance video of a violent gas station robbery that saw a suspect stomp on a cashier’s head several times, leaving him bleeding and unconscious with a fractured skull.

Police said the “unprovoked attack” happened on June 13 just after 4 a.m. when a man, disguised with a baseball hat and hoodie pulled tight around his face, walked into a gas station at Front Street East and Sherbourne Street.

The suspect, brandishing a knife, immediately jumped over the counter and demanded that the employee open the cash register and lay on the floor.

The employee complied and the suspect began clearing money out of the register.

The suspect then started stomping on the employee’s head several times before running out of the store.

A customer later found the employee unconscious on the ground and called police.

The victim suffered serious injuries including a fractured skull and orbital bone as well as cuts and bruising to his face.

“This victim is just a hard-working individual working the night shift trying to put himself through school, and the level of violence seen in this particular robbery is extremely disturbing,” Hold Up Squad Insp. Lauren Pogue said at news conference from police headquarters on Wednesday.

Pogue said the victim was “entirely compliant with the suspect’s demands.”

“He is not doing very well,” Pogue said of his current condition. “He has been released from hospital but he is in a rehab hospital now and is anticipated to be there for several weeks with head injuries.”

Police are hoping the video will help lead to the suspect’s arrest.

The suspect is described as a black male in his mid-20s, five feet eight to five feet 10 inches tall with a muscular build. He was wearing a dark hoodie with a silver zipper, black “Chuck Taylor” style running shoes and black gloves.

If you know anything contact police.

Motorcyclist seriously injured in Mississauga crash

News Staff | posted Thursday, Jun 27th, 2019

A motorcyclist has been airlifted to hospital following a crash in Mississauga.

Peel police say they were called to the collision between a motorcycle and a vehicle at Glen Erin Drive and Folkway Drive just before 5 p.m.

One man was originally taken to a local hospital before being airlifted to a trauma centre with potentially life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the other vehicle remained on the scene.

Regulator seeks to revoke licence of doctor who showed naked photos to patients

Poala Loriggio, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Jun 27th, 2019

Ontario’s medical regulator is seeking to revoke the licence of a doctor who showed naked photos of himself to 11 patients and three staff members.

Last year, the discipline committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario found Dr. Nigel Mark Phipps committed professional misconduct when he displayed the nude pictures of himself to patients, made remarks of a sexual nature to others and touched at least one patient in a sexual manner.

It also found the family physician’s behaviour in showing similar photos to staff members “rose well above the level of unacceptable into disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct.”

Phipps’s case was adjourned for months while he sought treatment for medical issues, but in a hearing Wednesday, lawyers for the college asked the committee to impose the most severe penalty available.

The college’s lawyer, Elizabeth Widner, argued the doctor’s actions did not amount to a momentary lapse of judgment – rather, they spanned weeks and affected several patients, some of them dealing with serious physical or emotional issues.

“This physician sexualized physician-patient appointments,” she told the committee. “He did so by showing photographs of himself in a semi-erect state. He was sexually aroused in two appointments with two patients.”

Defence lawyers, meanwhile, have said Phipps should instead be suspended from practising medicine for more than a year.

They have argued that the fact that Phipps, 59, was suffering from depression at the time of the incidents should be considered a mitigating factor.

Testifying before the committee earlier this week, Phipps said he was “profoundly depressed” in the summer of 2014. He recalled feeling unmotivated and lethargic and losing interest in favourite activities such as golf and exercise.

Phipps said his behaviour left him feeling “sad and ashamed.”

Widner acknowledged Wednesday that the Georgetown, Ont., physician has lived with depression for a long time but said there was no evidence to suggest the condition would have contributed to his actions.

“The causal link is not there,” she said.

Some of the patients, whose identities cannot be revealed, have said they grew mistrustful of health professionals after the incidents.

One described feeling betrayed by the doctor she had been seeing since 2004.

“His action … has reopened some personal wounds and broken me emotionally,” she said in an impact statement presented to the committee earlier this week.

“Dr. Phipps has turned my life upside down and I’m having a harder time now trusting males and people in general,” she said. “I need to stop him so he won’t do this to other women.”

Another said the violation of trust has taken an emotional and physical toll. “There are days when I cannot get out of bed. There are days that I cannot stop crying,” the patient said.

Another patient, however, described Phipps as a good, attentive doctor who made an “inappropriate” and disturbing joke.

“I see him as a person who started to go sideways, if you will – and while he absolutely needs to be held accountable, there should be some room for him to redeem himself,” the patient said.

In a summary of its decision last year, committee said Phipps had shown the photos to women who were long-term patients, often under the pretext of discussing a golf trip he had taken two years earlier.

It ruled his conduct constituted sexual abuse and noted the doctor became sexually aroused after showing the photos to two of the patients.

The committee said Phipps acknowledged making comments to two patients along the lines of “I’ve seen yours, now you’ve seen mine.” Another patient also testified he showed her a photo of his genitals and asked, “Ain’t I well endowed for a man my age,” the committee said.

As for his actions towards three staff members, the committee said Phipps abused his position of authority.

“Boundaries in a physician’s workplace are essential so as to provide an atmosphere of safety and respect for all. They help control and address issues of workplace harassment, workplace safety, and power imbalance in settings that are often fast-paced, intense, and stressful,” the committee wrote.

“Dr. Phipps’s conduct crossed such boundaries and constitutes disgraceful, dishonourable, and unprofessional conduct. It cannot be tolerated.”

The college is also asking that Phipps be ordered to pay more than $16,000 for each patient to help pay for their therapy, as well as more than $15,000 to the regulator to cover costs of the proceedings.

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