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Easter weekend: what’s open/closed, road closures, events

Samantha Knight and News Staff | posted Thursday, Apr 18th, 2019

The last long weekend was in February, so everyone has been looking forward to this three-day stretch.

Although it will be a weekend of relaxation, many will also be marking a holy time. For those of the Jewish faith, Passover starts on Friday evening and ends the following week, on the evening of April 27. This is a Holy Week for Christians, with culminates with Good Friday and Holy Saturday — the day before Easter Sunday.

As you plan your Easter gatherings or head around town, scroll below for a list of what’s open and closed on Friday and Sunday. There are also road closures to keep in mind.

And if you are looking for something to do this weekend, below are some event suggestions — some of which include Easter-egg-bunny fun.

What’s open and closed

The TTC is running on holiday service on Good Friday and Sunday service on Easter Sunday.

GO Transit is on a Sunday schedule on Good Friday and a weekend schedule on Easter Sunday.

Government offices and other services
Government offices, including municipal buildings like Toronto City Hall, are closed from Friday to Easter Monday. Also, mail won’t be delivered on Good Friday and Monday.

Banks will be closed on Good Friday and for the branches that are open on Sunday, they will be closed on Easter Sunday.

All Toronto Public Library branches will be closed Friday, Sunday and Monday, but are open on Saturday.

In Toronto, daytime curbside residential collection will take place on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Click here for more details.

Food and drink
All LCBO and Beer Store locations will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Most grocery stores will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but some are open. Call ahead for hours.

Shopping centres
Most malls will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Below is a list of the open ones:

  • Eaton Centre: Open on Good Friday (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Easter Sunday (noon to 5 p.m.)
  • Promenade: Open on Good Friday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and closed Easter Sunday
  • Toronto Premium Outlets: Open on Good Friday (9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Easter Sunday (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Upper Canada Mall: Open on Good Friday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and closed Easter Sunday


Tourist attractions
Several tourist attractions will be open over the Easter weekend, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Casa Loma, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Toronto Zoo.


Easter EGGstravaganza
Hop on over to Centreville Amusement Park this long weekend for the annual Easter EGGstravaganza. The egg-citing pre-season event includes Beasley Bear and his special guest the Easter Bunny, face painting, farm animals, and of course an Easter egg hunt! The brightly coloured eggs can be redeemed for prizes, and if you find an exclusive Pokémon Detective Pikachu egg, you will win passes to see the movie, or a movie prize pack. Several of the amusement park’s rides will be open during the event, including Rockin Ferry, Mine Coaster, Antique Carousel and Kermitt’s Bouncing Bog. The EGGstravaganza runs Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Toronto Beaches Easter Events
The Beaches neighbourhood will be the place to be this weekend, with a Good Friday Easter Egg Hunt and the Toronto Beaches Lions Easter Parade, on Easter Sunday. The second annual Easter egg hunt will be held in Kew Gardens, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., offering three dedicated hunt zones, organized by age group. Each child is asked to bring their own basket, find three eggs and bring them to the redemption tent to receive a special Easter treat. The parade will hit the streets Sunday afternoon, beginning at 2 p.m. on Queen Street at Munro Park. It runs about two hours and will end at Woodbine Avenue.

Easter at the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is getting into the Easter spirit, with special programming running throughout the long weekend. The Easter Bunny will be making appearances on Friday and Saturday at the zoo’s Special Events Centre, where families can plant a spring flower and decorate cookies. There will be special African Penguin Chick viewings, and Easter-themed enrichment treats for the animals. In addition to the Easter events, the zoo will also be celebrating Earth Day all weekend, with fun earth facts at its Meet the Keeper Talks.

International Fan Festival
The International Fan Festival is coming to the city this weekend. The show is being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre — it kicks off on Friday and wraps up on Sunday. The Japanese focused event celebrates anime, music, comics, gaming and novels. There will be various special guests, including Canadian Sugar Lyn Beard, who has voiced several roles, like Mini Moon in the Cloverway adaptation of Sailor Moon, Wish Bear in the Care Bears movies and Ming Ming in Beyblade G-Revolution.

Canadian Pet Expo
Spend your Easter weekend with some bunnies and other furry friends at the Canadian Pet Expo. The event is taking over the International Centre from Friday to Sunday, with over 300 vendor booths that are all about pets. Guests are encouraged to bring their pets to join in on the fun, just make sure you bring your waiver. Some of the highlights of the weekend include the WoofJocks Xtreme show, AquaDogs dock diving competition, a bird zone and grooming demonstrations.

Road closures

Good Friday procession: A portion of College and Dundas streets, as well as other roads will be closed on Friday, from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday for the procession. Streetcars on College and buses on Dundas will be on diversion. Click here for full details on the closures and diversions.

Pastrnak powers Bruins past Maple Leafs in Game 4

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Apr 18th, 2019

David Pastrnak scored twice in quick succession, Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists, and the Boston Bruins survived a late Toronto surge to beat the Maple Leafs 6-4 on Wednesday to even their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal at two games apiece.

Charlie McAvoy, with a goal and an assist, Zdeno Chara and Joakim Nordstrom, into an empty net, provided the rest of the offence for Boston, which got 38 stops from Tuukka Rask.

Auston Matthews, with two, Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott replied for Toronto. Frederik Andersen made 25 saves, Morgan Rielly added two assists.

With the victory, the Bruins restored home-ice advantage in the series. Game 5 is set for Friday at Boston’s TD Garden. Game 6 goes Sunday back at Scotiabank Arena.

After the Leafs stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to tie things early in the second period, Pastrnak put Boston back in front at 3:16 when he redirected a pass from Marchand on a 2-on-1 for his first goal of the series.

The Bruins then got a power play when Matthews went off for roughing, and Marchand whipped a backhand pass to a wide-open Pastrnak, who snapped the puck shortside on Andersen for his second goal in 1:35, and Boston’s second with the man advantage.

Coming into these playoffs, Pastrnak had registered 27 points his last 15 games against Toronto, but put up just one assist through the first three contests of the series.

Rask, who didn’t look good on the Leafs’ equalizer earlier in the period, made up for that gaffe with a great toe save on Connor Brown at the lip of the crease.

Matthews hit the post early in the third, but the Bruins put the game out of reach at 5:39 when Chara fired a shot through a terrific Patrice Bergeron screen to make it 5-2. At 42 years, 30 days, Boston’s captain became the second-oldest player in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs.

Matthews scored on the power play with 8:08 left in regulation on a tap-in off a pass from Mitch Marner as Toronto started to make its push before Dermott made it 5-4 through traffic with 6:33 remaining inside a boisterous Scotiabank Arena.

Marchand hit the post with just over two minutes to go on a shot that would have sealed it, but the Bruins managed to hold on late before Nordstrom scored into an empty net as Boston evened the series.

Down 2-1 after 20 minutes, the Leafs got level just 67 seconds into the middle period when Matthews grabbed a pass in the neutral zone with his glove and fired a shot that squeezed between Rask’s left arm and body for his second in as many games after being held off the scoresheet in Boston.

The Leafs and Bruins traded convincing 4-1 victories in Games 1 and 2 in Boston before the teams played a tight contest Monday that saw Toronto squeeze out a 3-2 victory that was accented by two blocked shots by Marner in the dying seconds.

Marner, Hyman and John Tavares, along with defencemen Jake Muzzin and Nikita Zaitsev, did a good job shutting down the Bruins’ top line of Marchand, Pastrnak and Bergeron – who combined for 30 points in Boston’s seven-game victory over Toronto last spring – through the first nine periods of the series, limiting the trio to just two points at 5 on 5.

That prompted head coach Bruce Cassidy to split up his dynamic trio, promoting Danton Heinen from the third unit and bumping Pastrnak further down the roster, although the triumvirate was reunited on the visitors’ go-ahead goal early in the second.

Boston jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the power play at 3:03 of the first when McAvoy started and finished a three-way passing sequence with Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie Coyle before wiring a shot blocker side on Andersen to silence the crowd of 19,638 that had been in full voice moments earlier.

The Bruins new first line then connected when Heinen fed a pass in front to Marchand, who scored his second of the series with Zaitsev caught puck-watching at 6:38.

Andersen made a great save on Coyle in the slot to keep his team down by two before Toronto started to find its legs, with Rask stopping William Nylander from in tight on a good opportunity.

The Leafs couldn’t do much of anything on consecutive power plays, but Hyman got his team on the board just after the second penalty expired, tipping Rielly’s point shot while battling with Bruins defenceman John Moore in front with 2:05 left in the period.

Notes: Chris Chelios is the oldest player in NHL history to score a playoff goal at 45 years, 86 days. … Game 7, if necessary, would be Tuesday at TD Garden. … Canadian hip hop artist Drake, Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip were in attendance.

Niagara cop charged with shooting fellow officer to appear in court

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Apr 18th, 2019

A Niagara regional police officer accused of shooting a fellow officer will make his first court appearance Thursday in St. Catharines.

Det.-Sgt. Shane Donovan has been charged with one count each of attempt murder, aggravated assault, and assault with a weapon, in the shooting of Const. Nathan Parker.

The incident happened in the area of Effingham Street and Roland Road in Pelham, near Welland, on Nov. 29, 2018.

Police were investigating a crash that occurred days earlier, when two of the officers became involved in an altercation.

The Special Investigations Unit said the accused discharged his firearm multiple times, and the other officer was struck.

Parker suffered serious injuries but his condition improved and he was discharged from hospital about two weeks later.

Pope celebrates Holy Thursday ahead of foot-washing ritual

The Associated Press | posted Thursday, Apr 18th, 2019

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is ushering in the most solemn period in the Catholic liturgical calendar by celebrating a Holy Thursday Mass, made more poignant this year following the devastation of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral.

The Crism Mass celebrates the unity of priests with their bishops. During Thursday’s service, Francis blesses the holy oils that will be used over the course of the year in the administration of various sacraments.

In his homily, Francis stressed that when priests use the oil, they are distributing their vocation and heart to the people of God.

This year, Holy Week — which for Catholics commemorates Christ’s crucifixion, death and resurrection — has taken on particular meaning following the fire at Notre Dame, a symbol of French Catholicism.

Francis has offered his condolences repeatedly to the French faithful.

The Associated Press

What the Alberta election means for the Carbon Tax

Kyle Mack | posted Wednesday, Apr 17th, 2019

Premier Doug Ford congratulated Jason Kenney’s United Conservative party for winning the Alberta election, positioning him as a great ally to fight the carbon tax.

Kenney has been vocal with his promise to kill the Alberta carbon tax and to fight the federal carbon tax in court. In conjunction with the anti-carbon tax support of allying provinces (Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and premiere Scott Moe of Saskatchewan, and Brian Pallister of Manitoba) the backing of Jason Kenney adds additional power to the federal anti-carbon tax case.

Today, the Ontario government released an anti-carbon tax radio ad featuring a female voice speaking to cost increases on families. In addition to the radio ads, Ford has proposed big-brother legislation that requires all retail gasoline pumps to showcase a sticker indicating tax increases from now until 2022.

With all of the negative conversation surrounding the financial burden on Canadian families, no advertising has been placed on the tax incentives. As an incentive to lower carbon emissions, the federal government has indicated that Ontario residents will receive a tax-free climate action incentive payment (estimated by the federal government to be about $300 for an average Ontario household) after filing their 2018 tax return. Under the proposed approach, most of the proceeds collected from Ontarian’s through the fuel charge will be returned directly to Ontario’s individuals and families through Climate Action Incentive Payment.

British Columbia was the first in North America to implement a broad-based carbon tax. B.C. has proven that it is possible to grow the economy while reducing emissions; From 2007 and 2015, the provincial GDP increased more than 17% while their net emissions declined by 4.7%. In April 2018 the B.C. carbon tax rose from $30 to $35 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. The tax rate is expected to increase by $5 each year until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2021. The revenue taken from the tax would then be used to provide carbon tax relief and protect affordability, maintain industry competitiveness, and encourage new green initiatives.

Federal environment and climate change minister Catherine McKenna was not convinced by Ontario’s plan. “Now because Ontario is being less ambitious—at a time when we need to be more ambitious—that means the whole country needs to make up and has to reduce more emissions,” she told CBC

Leafs look to go up 3-1 in playoff series against Bruins

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Apr 17th, 2019

The Toronto Maple Leafs are hoping some of the Raptors’ luck at Scotiabank Arena rubs off on them Wednesday night when they return to home ice, looking to take a commanding lead in their first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins.

You can listen to the game starting at 7 p.m. on 680 NEWS but regular programming can be heard online and on the apps.

The Leafs have a 2-1 series lead thanks in part to Mitch Marner blocking two shots in the dying minutes of Game 3. Auston Matthews also had a goal and an assist for his first points of the playoffs.

The Leafs downed the Bruins 4-1 in the series opener at TD Garden before falling by the same score in Game 2 on a night where Boston dominated, especially on the physical side.

Boston’s David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron combined for 30 points in Boston’s seven-game victory over Toronto last spring, but only have six at even strength so far in this series — including just two at 5-on-5.

The Leafs have held the Bruins’ big guns to 40 shots attempts at even strength, with just 17 having hit the target.

The Eastern Conference quarterfinal series switches back to Boston on Friday for Game 5. Game 6, if necessary, would be back in Toronto on Sunday.

The winner of the Boston-Toronto series will go on to play the Columbus Blue Jackets.

With files from Sportsnet and The Canadian Press

Jason Kenney voted Alberta’s new premier

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 17th, 2019

Jason Kenney’s fight is over. Let the fight begin.

The 50-year-old United Conservative Party leader, known for saying he can’t help but march to the sound of rhetorical gunfire, soundly defeated Rachel Notley’s NDP with a majority in Tuesday’s Alberta election.

The former federal cabinet minister now takes his fight to Ottawa as Alberta’s 18th premier. He has promised to challenge the federal government on everything from the carbon tax to proposed energy regulations and equalization payments.

It’s a new to-do list for Kenney after checking off the final box on a plan he announced three years ago to unite Alberta’s warring right-of-centre Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose Party and take them to the summit.

“I had zero inkling to do it,” Kenney said in a pre-campaign interview.

“But as I got further into the spring and then summer of 2016, I just realized that somebody with the relevant profile, network and experience had to step forward with a plan.”

Kenney was born in Oakville, Ont., raised in Saskatchewan, and spent his adult years based in Alberta.

He said he was just 10 years old, sitting on a couch and minding his own business at a Saskatchewan school fundraiser, when politics first found him.

John Diefenbaker, well over a decade removed from being prime minister, came up to young Kenney, asked him his name, and struck up a conversation: Do you know the mythical story of Jason and the Argonauts? What’s your favourite subject at school? What are your future plans?

“That 10-minute conversation made an indelible impression on me,” remembered Kenney.

“That a former prime minister would spend 10 minutes talking to a 10-year-old boy was remarkable to me. I never forgot the kindness that he showed. And that maybe gave me sort of my initial interest in politics and public service.”

He has lived much in the public eye as he has fought for conservative principles and the concept of ordered liberty, first as an anti-tax crusader and later as a key lieutenant in former prime minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet in portfolios that included  immigration, employment and defence.

He is not married and happily recounts a life committed to public service. A day’s politicking is followed by late-night reading from a stack of philosophy books at the bedside. He is partial to Aristotle and Edmund Burke.

He is schooled in the ground game of politics and had legendary campaign war chests as a Calgary MP.

Some credit him with moving Harper’s government into majority territory by reaching out to ethnic newcomers, breaking the shibboleth that they vote Liberal, so much so he gained the nickname “minister for curry in a hurry.”

He is a Catholic and has spoken out against gay marriage and abortion in the past, but promises not to act on those issues if he becomes premier.

Critics say he can’t be trusted. They note he has promised, as premier, to roll back some protections for students in gay-straight alliances in schools.

He won the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives, then the new United Conservatives and finally the provincial election, illuminating his drive, populist instincts, and nose for the political jugular.

In a province where the unemployment rate is above seven per cent in Edmonton and Calgary, he campaigned against Notley on “jobs, jobs, jobs,” tapping into latent discontent over the federal government’s failure to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project underway.

To win the UCP leadership, he drove back and forth across Alberta in a blue pickup truck to meet and greet thousands of supporters and fence-sitters. Then, in less than two years, he got 87 constituency associations and candidates running.

It was also about doing whatever it takes. When Kenney ran for the PC leadership, he was fined by the party for setting up a hospitality booth beside a voting station.

Last month, campaign documents and emails revealed that his UCP leadership team worked in lockstep with another candidate to have him attack Kenney’s chief rival while Kenney stayed above the fray.

Mounties are investigating the UCP leadership race for possible fraud.

Kenney has said his next step is to get back on the campaign trail, this time to get the federal Liberals defeated in the fall.

“It is in the vital economic interests of Alberta that the Trudeau government be replaced this October,” he said earlier this week.

For Kenney, one campaign is over. Let another campaign begin.

Nearly $1 billion raised to rebuild Paris’ Notre-Dame after fire

The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 17th, 2019

PARIS — Nearly $1 billion has already poured in from ordinary worshippers and high-powered magnates around the world to restore Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris after a massive fire.

Construction teams brought in a huge crane and a delivery of planks of wood to the site Wednesday morning.

French President Emmanuel Macron ratcheted up the pressure by setting a five-year deadline to restore the 12th-century landmark. Macron is holding a special Cabinet meeting Wednesday dedicated to the Notre-Dame disaster.

Presidential cultural heritage envoy Stephane Bern told broadcaster France-Info on Wednesday that €880 million (US$995 million) has been raised so far. Contributors include Apple and magnates who own L’Oreal, Chanel and Dior, as well as Catholics and others from around France and the world.

Authorities consider the fire an accident.

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