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Man stabbed at apartment building in Etobicoke

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Aug 3rd, 2018

A man in his 20’s is in hospital after a stabbing at an apartment building in Etobicoke overnight.

Emergency crews were called to Mabelle Avenue, near Dundas Street West and Burnhamthopre Road, around 11 p.m. on Thursday.

The victim was rushed to a trauma centre with serious to life-threatening injuries.

No details have been released on the circumstances surrounding the stabbing.

There has been no word on suspects.

Police continue to investigate.

Bar fight in Bloor West Village lands 1 man in hospital, another in custody

News Staff | posted Friday, Aug 3rd, 2018

Toronto police are investigating after a bar fight left one man with serious to life-threatening injuries in Bloor West Village.

Officers say they were called to a stabbing outside a bar on Bloor Street near Jane Street just before midnight on Thursday.

One male in his 20s was rushed to hospital with serious stab wounds.

The other male in his 40s allegedly involved in the fight was arrested.

Police have not indicated if or when they will be laying charges.

Police looking for suspect after child sexually assaulted in Etobicoke home

News Staff | posted Thursday, Aug 2nd, 2018

Toronto police are looking for a suspect in connection with the sexual assault of a child and other suspicious incidents in an Etobicoke neighbourhood.

It has been reported to police that a man entered a home in the Renforth Drive and Burnhamthorpe Road area between 11 p.m. and midnight on Saturday.

He then sexually assaulted a child and fled in an unknown direction.

The next night, around 11 p.m., a man was seen prowling in the backyard of the same home.

The suspect is described as white in his late 20s to 30s. He is approximately 5 foot 8 or 9 inches with short dark hair and wearing a dark jacket.

After canvasing the area, police learned of a number of suspicious incidents in the neighbourhood, including indecent act, exposures and prowling on property. Investigators say at this point there is no evidence linking the incidents to the reported sexual assault.

The other incidents happened in the area boarded by Rathburn Road, The West Mall, Bloor Street West and Renforth.

Anyone with security cameras in the area are asked to contact police.

Community members are asked to remain vigilant and come forward with any information.

Cyclist killed by runaway trailer dislodged from van in Brampton: police

News Staff | posted Thursday, Aug 2nd, 2018

A cyclist has died after being hit by a runaway trailer in Brampton on Wednesday.

Peel police and paramedics were called to Summerlea Road and Walker Drive, near Torbram Road and Steeles Avenue East, around 8 a.m.

The cyclist, a 39-year-old Brampton man, was pronounced dead at the scene.

He has been identified as Paul De Pledge.

A white Nissan NV cargo van captured on security video is believed to be involved.

Peel regional police say the van, which was earlier reported stolen, was found on Wednesday after 4 p.m. near Jefferson Road and Jasper Crescent in Brampton.

No arrests have been made.

Const. Akhil Mooken says police believe the driver of the vehicle is aware of the collision since the trailer attached to the van dislodged and hit the cyclist. It was left at the scene.

Mooken says a preliminary investigation has led police to believe the cyclist was dragged by the vehicle.

The topic of cyclist deaths was covered in the “Big Story” podcast in July.

It seems we can’t go a day without hearing about a cyclist in this country being injured, or killed on the road.

 

Molson Coors Canada latest player to announce new cannabis-infused beer

TINA YAZDANI | posted Thursday, Aug 2nd, 2018

With marijuana legalization right around the corner, some big players are jumping on the chance to create cannabis-infused beer.

Molson announced a joint venture with the Hydropothecary Corporation to develop the non-alcoholic beverages.

“Canada is breaking new ground in the cannabis sector and, as one of the country’s leading beverage companies, Molson Coors Canada has a unique opportunity to participate in this exciting and rapidly expanding consumer segment,” Molson president Frederic Landtmeters said in a press release.

But, Molson isn’t the first company to jump at the burgeoning cannabis market.

In fact, local company Province Brands has already started brewing water, hops and cannabis.

“We knew it was coming, when you have a great idea there’s always going to be people who jump on the bandwagon,” said Province Brands co-founder Jennifer Thomas.

Since cannabis beer would fall under the edibles category, it won’t be legal for at least another year.

So far, the federal government doesn’t have any concrete plans to regulate it – including whether or not the drinks will end up at bars and restaurants, or what labels will look like.

SmartServe, a training program for servers and bartenders, is ready to tackle changes when the time comes.

“We can launch it pretty quickly once we have the information that we need to put into the program,” said SmartServe Ontario’s Executive Director Richard Anderson.

As for what the beer would taste like – Province Brands already has an idea.

“Everyone who tries it loves it,” said Thomas. “It has a nutty flavour, it has a flavour not too far away from Barley but it’s very unique and interesting.”

Thomas expects the product will have the same effects as beer.

“The same warm and familiar feeling, but guess what, you won’t have the hangover,” she said.

They also hope it will follow the same nomenclature as regular alcohol.

“Our beverages will give you a similar lexicon that will tell you this is comparable to a beverage that has this amount of alcohol,” said Thomas.

Accessibility request turns into personal attack online

GINELLA MASSA | posted Thursday, Aug 2nd, 2018

A Toronto restaurant goer says she was left stunned after her suggestion for a wheelchair ramp at downtown establishment turned into a personal attack online.

On Sunday night, Tessa Vaskas and her father tried to get a seat inside Victory Cafe on Bloor Street West, where she had been many times before.

“I was with my father who is a stroke survivor, and sometimes he uses his wheelchair, sometimes he uses his cane,” Vaskas explained to CityNews.

Her father was using his cane Sunday, and with limited mobility, couldn’t get up onto the seats at the restaurant’s high top tables. Vaskas said the patio wasn’t an option either because of the two steps leading outside.

“I made a suggestion maybe he should consider getting a ramp there because it’s actually street level,” she said of her conversation with a man working at the restaurant who was helping get them seated.

“He went on to argue that ramps are fire hazards, and you need a permit to be wheelchair accessible, which is absolutely not true.”

Vaskas said she and her father ended up going around the outside of the café to get seated, but that wasn’t the end of the interaction.

Vaskas, who also volunteers for the StopGap Foundation — a charity that provides wheelchair ramps to businesses — decided to leave a one-star review on the restaurant’s Facebook page recounting her experience.

“I was a frequent Victory Cafe customer until I came with my dad who has a mobile disability,” she wrote.

“I politely mentioned to the owner that he should consider a ramp instead of stairs to the patio, allowing a more accessible entrance. He got very defensive and continued to argue with me that it’s a fire hazard and you need a permit to be wheelchair accessible. This is absolutely not true and ramps are not a fire hazard. I was extremely disappointed and will not be returning.”

But it was the response from the man she believes to be the same person she interacted in the restaurant that left her stunned.

A user named Knick Kndreka replied to her comment.

“I opened the side door for your father and helped him way more than you did,” he wrote.

“I think you as a daughter should do more for your father in helping him way more please don’t be shy he’s your dad and stop being around him for his pension that’s all you’re about.”

The reply has since been deleted from the restaurant’s Facebook page but an image of the interaction can be seen below.

“That’s just not how you respond to someone,” said Vaskas.

“He didn’t acknowledge the issue in any way. It’s just a personal attack.”

CityNews reached out to the restaurant and a spokesperson sent us a statement which reads in part: “the Victory Café would like to make clear that Mr. Ndreka does not own the Victory Café and he is not the operator of the establishment. The views of Mr. Ndreka do not represent the sentiments and ethos of the Victory Café, its ownership and staff.”

CityNews asked for clarity on how Ndreka is related to the restaurant, but did not receive a response.

However, Vaskas said during her visit he appeared to be a staff member, and when CityNews inquired about him at the café, staff referred to him as their “boss.”

The restaurant’s statement goes on to read, “The Victory Café prides itself on its open and welcoming environment to all people. The Victory Café and its ownership sincerely regrets and apologizes for the comment made.”

Vaskas said she accepts the apology but is disappointed the cafe still hasn’t committed to making their establishment more accessible. It’s something she hopes more Toronto businesses will consider.

“It’s hard enough for my dad to enjoy the city with barriers like steps to the bathroom, steps to the patio that aren’t necessary,” she said.

“Its just about understanding that its really hard (for people like him) and we need to speak up.”

August long weekend in Toronto: Events, what’s open and closed, road closures

PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Thursday, Aug 2nd, 2018

When the last long weekend came to an end, you sighed and wondered how quickly the next one would arrive. Well, the August long weekend has arrived, so you can do your happy dance.

And while you are celebrating your day off on Monday, you may also wonder why Civic Day has different names provincially and in different cities in Ontario.

In Toronto, the day is known as Simcoe Day — named in honour of Maj.-Gen. John Graves Simcoe, the founder of York (later known as Toronto) and the first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada.

Now that you’ve had your brief history lesson, it is time to party. Some revelers will be heading to the cottage or out of town, but if you are staying in town below are some events to check out. Monday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario, so most stores and malls will be be open.


What’s open and closed

Open

  • 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 (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Erin Mills Town Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Fairview Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Hillcrest Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Scarborough Town Centre 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Sherway Gardens (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Square One (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.),Toronto Premium Outlets (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 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, and historic museums
  • Garbage collection: Curbside pickup is not provided on any Monday, but other solid waste collection will be affected. Click here for details.

 

Closed

  • 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

Top events

Grand parade to take over Lake Shore
Colourful costumes, music, dancing, and merriment come together on Saturday for the Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s Grand Parade. The parade starts at 8:30 a.m. at Exhibition Place. Masqueraders and steel pan drums will travel along Lake Shore Boulevard and then make their way back to Exhibition grounds. For those attending the parade, a general admission ticket gets you into Exhibition grounds where you can watch the parade from seats in the bleachers or bring your own folding chair. GO will be offering extra train service on the Milton, Kitchener and Stouffville lines.

Remembering Toronto’s past at Fort York
Back in the early 1790s, John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, wanted to build a garrison on the grounds now known as Fort York. On Monday, go back in time by walking the historic grounds, tour the buildings, visit the working kitchen in the 1815 Officers’ Brick Barracks, and watch artillery and music demonstrations. The open house runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

No one says no to food trucks
Woodbine Park is the place to be this weekend if you love food trucks and exploring the outdoors. The Toronto Food Truck Festival features the best in food and local entertainment, but also a meeting point for nature lovers. Stroll along the boardwalk in the 28-acre park and check out the wildlife and birds in the area. There is also a water play area and a playground for the children to enjoy. Money raised from the food truck festival goes to the SickKids Foundation. The festival starts on Friday and runs until Monday.

Block party in a laneway
The laneway south of Queen Street West, known as Graffiti Alley, will be the pathway to a free pop-up party, complete with art, wine, music, and games. The party is part of the Laneway Project, which promotes the idea of laneways being vibrant public spaces. The event runs from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, and admission is free. Go ahead, have fun.

Shakespeare in the park
If you weren’t a fan of reading Shakespeare in high school, you will enjoy seeing the plays unfold on stage. This season’s productions of Shakespeare in High Park include Romeo and Juliet, which is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is on at 8 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices are pay what you can for general seating or $25 for a reserved seat. Performances run until September 2.

Tennis, anyone?
The top players in tennis will be in Toronto and Montreal starting this weekend for the Rogers Cup. Canadian players Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic will be in the spotlight at the men’s competition, which takes place at the Aviva Centre on the York University campus, alongside last year’s champion Alexander Zverev, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal. The women’s competition in Montreal will feature Serena Williams, last year’s winner Elina Svitolina, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, and Angelique Kerber. The competition runs until August 12.

Road closures

Toronto Caribbean Carnival
Lake Shore Boulevard West from Colborne Lodge Drive to Bathurst Street, and Strachan Avenue between Lake Shore and Fleet Street/Manitoba Drive, will be closed from 2 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday. There will be no access to the Gardiner Expressway’s Jameson/Dunn on-ramps and the off-ramp exits will be closed.

Senhor da Pedra Festival
Grace Street from Mansfield Avenue to Dundas Street West will be closed from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, and from 1:30 p.m. to midnight Sunday.

Ontario Tories announce changes to welfare programs

PAOLA LORIGGIO, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Aug 1st, 2018

Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government ushered in the first of what it promised would be major reforms to social assistance on Tuesday, reducing a planned increase in support rates and cancelling a pilot program that provided payments to low-income people in certain communities.

In an afternoon news conference, Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod said the government would come up with a plan within 100 days to overhaul the “disjointed patchwork system” left by the previous Liberal regime.

The Liberals, she said, spent money the province didn’t have on “handouts that actually do little if anything to break the cycle of poverty.”

The province’s first steps will be to cancel the previous government’s plan to raise Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works rates by three per cent and raise them by 1.5 per cent instead, said MacLeod, adding the decision was made “on compassionate grounds.”

“What I’m announcing today is about restoring dignity to Ontarians,” she said.

“But let me be clear: the best social program is a job, for those who can get one,” she said. “So I’ll be working with my colleagues… in making sure that we have an ability to integrate people back into the workforce where they can and making sure that they keep more money in their pockets.”

The minister would not say how much the change was expected to cost. “This decision isn’t about saving money, this decision is about fixing a broken system,” she said.

The province will also wind down Ontario’s basic income pilot project, which provided payments to 4,000 low-income people in communities including Hamilton, Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay. Single participants receive up to $16,989 a year while couples receive up to $24,027, less 50 per cent of any earned income.

Asked how the government determined the pilot was ineffective before it was over, MacLeod simply said the program was “not doing what it’s intended to do and it’s quite expensive.”

The announcement was panned by Green party Leader Mike Schreiner, who said assistance rates were too low even with the increase promised by the Liberals.

“They certainly seem more interested in tearing things down than building things up,” he said.

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