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Want an extra slice of pizza? Be prepared to walk 43 minutes

CityNews | posted Thursday, Apr 7th, 2016

 A sample food label taken from the Royal Society for Public Health study.

It can be tough to figure out how much exercise you need to do to burn off all the food you eat, but in England, one researcher wants to make it easier.

For example, if you want an extra slice of pizza, you should be prepared to walk an extra 43 minutes. A can of pop, meanwhile, is a 40-minute stroll.

That’s the advice from Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Healthwho is calling for labelling similar to cigarette warnings on food.

Cramer believes many consumers find nutrition labeling confusing, with lots of information that is hard to make sense off, so she came up with the idea of a catchy infographic that shows both the calories in the item and how much exercise it would take to burn it off.

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It’s just a proposed idea for now, but the objective is to encourage people to be more mindful of the calories they consume. According to a piece written by Cramer on the BBC, the infographic would also encourage people to be more physically active.

Advocates say it would be an effective way to help fight rates of obesity and diabetes, while critics worry that it could lead to calorie counting. It could also reinforce the belief that exercise is the key to weight loss.

Click here to read the Royal Society for Public Health study.

Equitable but separate rules coming for Uber and taxis

CityNews | posted Thursday, Apr 7th, 2016

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New regulations dealing with Toronto ground transportation are set to be revealed today.

According to at least one report, the city plans to present separate rules for the taxi industry and ride-sharing services, such as Uber.

The Toronto Star quotes Mayor John Tory as saying the regulations were never going to be exactly the same, noting “you are dealing with two different businesses.”

Tory tells the newspaper that there will be similar rules for the two services when it comes to insurance, safety inspections and criminal background checks. But the two groups will have different regulations when it comes to fares, licensing and which type of customer they can pick up.

Sam Moini of the Toronto Taxi Alliance says he’s not optimistic but will take a wait and see approach.

“I doubt that it’s going to be favourable to the industry,” Moini tells 680News. “We’re going to respect the process and we’re going to see what the report actually does say and move forward from there.”

Moini would not rule out a potential taxi strike in the future.

 

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City seeks advice on how to improve downtown Toronto

CityNews | posted Thursday, Apr 7th, 2016

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If your idea of DT advice is some hair of the dog, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

The effects of alcohol withdrawal weren’t what the city had in mind when it launched its recent #DTadvice campaign. Instead, the city is seeking the public’s input on how to make living, working, and playing in the downtown core better for everybody.

Toronto city planning has created a video that portrays downtown as a person named DT who’s gone through some growing pains, but has emerged with a pimple-free face reflecting diversity and inclusiveness. But of course, there’s still room to grow and improve.

The video begins with a woman staring at a postcard depicting Toronto’s 1970 skyline.

“It feels just like yesterday, now … all grown up, I couldn’t be more proud,” the woman says.

Several different characters proceed to point out DT’s positive features.

Councillor Norm Kelly even makes an appearance.

 

“DT didn’t always take my advice, you know how they are when they’re young. You’ve got a reputation for yourself now, so it’s important that you stay humble,” the popular Kelly says, as though he were speaking about himself.

The video ends with Mayor John Tory outlining some of the admirable things people had to say about DT.

“Hey DT it’s JT, I’ve got some good stuff for you. Keep your Pride, places to play, families really like your parks, bike lanes, something from Drake. Anyway, downtown, your future is looking great…”

Using the #DTadvice hashtag, many tweeted how downtown Toronto can be improved. The city has also set up a website where the public can provide input. Have your say here.

 

Majority of Torontonians support Internet voting, shorter campaigns: poll

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Apr 6th, 2016

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When it comes to municipal elections, the majority of Torontonians want voting to go high tech.

A new Mainstreet poll found that 59 per cent of people are in favour of implementing Internet voting for Toronto municipal elections. That’s nearly double the amount of people opposed (33 per cent).

Over half of the people asked (54 per cent) say Internet voting would be secure.

It’s a trend that appears to be on the rise. Compared to a similar poll conducted last year, both support for online voting and confidence in online security rose four per cent.

The majority of Torontonians would also approve of a shorter campaign period.

Seventy-one per cent of those asked said they would approve of a shorter campaign period. Only 21 per cent disapproved of the idea with eight per cent not sure.

This comes after a nearly year-long mayoral campaign in 2014 in which John Tory defeated Doug Ford and Olivia Chow. Registration for that election began in January and lasted until September, with the actual election taking place in October.

During the election, Chow voiced her concerns over the length of the campaign and said that if elected she would take steps to make it shorter.

“Torontonians are now saying Internet voting is more secure and a large majority would support shorter campaign periods,” Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research, said in a statement. “With council potentially re-visiting these topics again we thought we would as well.”

The Mainstreet poll was conducted as Ontario said it would allow ranked ballots in municipal elections. Ranked balloting, also known as preferential voting, is a voting system in which you select your first choice on the ballot, then your second choice and so on.

Fifty-nine per cent said they would approved of a change in the voting system while 29 per cent disapproved. Twelve per cent was not sure.

“Most Torontonians would support ranked balloting even if City Council doesn’t,” Maggi said. “In the past Council has supported the initiative, now it may be getting cold feet.”

“The ward boundary review process has the potential to displace councillors from their pre-existing constituencies. Adding in ranked ballots may make some councillors very nervous about their chances for re-election. Nevertheless, ranked balloting has strong support from Torontonians,” finished Maggi.

When it comes to the actual size of city council, Torontonians appear to be split. Of those asked, 48 per cent said that there were too many councillors while 43 per cent said the number was just right. Only nine per cent said there were not enough.

Currently there are 44 members of council.

Mainstreet surveyed a random sample of 2,062 Toronto Residents on April 3. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.16 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

New rule on double-play slides gives Rays win over Blue Jays

Mark Didtler, The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 6th, 2016

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After a disputed defeat Tuesday night, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is certainly no fan of baseball’s new rule on breaking up double plays.

“Maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow,” Gibbons said. “Maybe that’s what everybody’s looking for.”

The recent change took all of three days to undoubtedly swing the outcome of a game this season, giving Logan Forsythe and the Tampa Bay Rays a 3-2 victory over Toronto that left Gibbons fuming.

With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion hit a grounder to third. After taking a throw from Evan Longoria for the force at second, Forsythe made an errant relay to first that appeared to allow the go-ahead run to score for Toronto.

Rays manager Kevin Cash asked for a replay review, claiming Jose Bautista violated the new “Chase Utley Rule” governing slides on potential double plays.

Replay umpires in New York ruled Bautista’s slide was not directly into the bag and it illegally hindered Forsythe. The call was changed to a game-ending double play that preserved Tampa Bay’s victory.

“It turned the game into a joke,” Gibbons said. “That’s flat embarrassing. That cost us a chance to win a major league game.”

The call was overturned after a delay of one minute, 30 seconds. An announcement in the press box explained that the replay umpire definitively determined the runner violated rule 6.01 (j), that the runner’s actions hindered and impeded the fielder. It was also determined that Bautista did not engage in a bona fide slide, as he did not attempt to remain on the base.

“I feel like I respect the rule, that it was an absolutely clean slide,” Bautista said. “And it’s just disappointing to lose a major league baseball game, with so much at stake every day here. We put a lot into the game since we were little kids and then to all of a sudden have everything taken away like that is just strange.”

Major League Baseball recently changed the rule on such slides, hoping to prevent a repeat of the takeout by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley that broke the leg of New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during last year’s playoffs.

“It might be the first game that was a ‘W’ because of the double-play rule that’s in effect,” Forsythe said. “It was wild.”

“I felt something on the slide,” the second baseman added. “When I first saw him coming in, I thought he was going over the bag, but then I didn’t know if he kicked his foot out to try and catch a back foot. He kind of swung me around a little bit, the throw went a little left.”

Umpire crew chief Mike Everitt said to a pool reporter that he was told to limit his comments to what replay officials sent him. It was the same information announced in the press box.

“That’s it,” said Everitt, who declined to discuss the original call. “That’s what we got. It went to replay and that’s what it is.”

Forsythe hit an opposite-field, two-run homer in the eighth inning.

His drive off Brett Cecil (0-1) ended the reliever’s run of 38 straight appearances without allowing an earned run, dating to June 24. The left-hander’s stretch was tied with Craig Kimbrel (2011 with Atlanta) for the longest in the majors since earned runs became an official stat in 1912 in the National League and one year later in the American League.

Corey Dickerson homered for the Rays, who avoided their second 0-3 start (2011). Alex Colome (1-0) went the final two innings to get the win.

Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez, making his first start since June 5 and 12th overall, allowed one run, five hits and struck out eight over seven innings. He began 2015 in the rotation but went on the disabled list June 15 with a right lat strain. The right-hander moved into the bullpen after returning in July.

Bautista had been 0 for 13 against Jake Odorizzi before hitting a leadoff triple in the fourth. He scored when Odorizzi was charged with an error for a bad throw to the plate on Encarnacion’s grounder.

Encarnacion took second on the play and later scored to put Toronto up 2-0 on Michael Saunders’ single.

Odorizzi gave up two runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out 10 and walked two.

Dickerson pulled the Rays to 2-1 on his second homer this season in the fourth.

Steve Geltz got a fly ball from Encarnacion with the bases loaded to end the seventh.

CAA’s annual worst roads campaign begins

Erin Criger | posted Wednesday, Apr 6th, 2016

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My vote is for Dufferin Street, and its potholes that can loosen fillings.

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is once again asking for Ontario’s input as it prepares its list of the worst roads in the province.

The annual poll is a sure sign of spring, with the results to be released next month.

Last year, Dufferin was the worst road in Toronto, but the top Ontario ‘honours’ went to Algonquin Boulevard West (No. 1) and Algonquin Boulevard East (No. 2) in Timmins.

Polls are expected to open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Last year’s results can be seen below.

Ontario’s top 10 worst roads for 2015:

  1. Algonquin Boulevard West, Timmins
  2. Algonquin Boulevard East, Timmins
  3. Dufferin Street, Toronto
  4. Highway 144, Greater Sudbury
  5. Carling Avenue, Ottawa
  6. Radical Road, Port Dover
  7. Burlington Street East, Hamilton
  8. Riverside Drive, Timmins
  9. Dominion Road, Fort Erie
  10. Bayview Avenue, Toronto

Toronto’s top 5 worst roads for 2015:

  1. Dufferin Street
  2. Bayview Avenue
  3. Markham Road
  4. Kipling Avenue
  5. Lawrence Avenue East

Tow truck protest at Queen’s Park to snarl traffic into downtown

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Apr 5th, 2016

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More than 1,000 tow trucks are set to converge upon Queen’s Park on Tuesday, tying up traffic to protest the province’s auto insurance law.

The protest will be similar to a 2014 demonstration over the same legislation, Bill 15, which MPPs passed back in November of that year. It goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

Ontario said the new auto insurance legislation will regulate the tow truck industry and reduce auto insurance rates by 15 per cent.

However, tow truck industry officials said the new rules, which limit the number of hours operators can work and require drivers to provide a list of charges to customers, will put more restrictions on drivers, affect their bottom line and may ultimately raise prices.

Under the new act, drivers are under the authority of the Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration, which would limit their workdays to 13 hours, and a maximum of 60 hours a week. Drivers said this will limit their ability to serve customers and create longer response times, especially during the winter.

Starting at 7 a.m., tow trucks are expected to make their way from about eight different locations outside the downtown core using highways 400, 401, 403, 410, 427, the Gardiner Expressway, and the Don Valley Parkway.

Tow truck drivers are expected to arrive at the Ontario legislature around 9:30 a.m.

Police are warning the protest will disrupt the morning and afternoon rush hour commutes along local roads and highways and as the tow trucks make their way into downtown Toronto.

Tow truck drivers are expected to travel along two routes. One involves trucks heading south on the DVP, exiting at the Richmond Street East off-ramp, continuing along Richmond Street to University Avenue, then north on University Avenue and arriving at Queen’s Park Crescent.

With the second route, drivers will travel east on the Gardiner, to the York/Bay/Yonge Street off-ramp, head north on University Avenue and to Queen’s Park

Drivers involved in the protest will arrive at Queen’s Park from various staging routes around the GTA. They include:

  • Brock Road and Highway 401
  • Woodbine Avenue, north of Steeles Avenue East
  • Northeast corner of Keele Street and Wilson Avenue
  • Highway 7 and Highway 410
  • Dixie Road and Queen Elizabeth Way
  • Winston Churchill Boulevard and Argentia Road
  • Mavis Road and Highway 401
  • King City Side Road and Highway 400
  • Evergreen Brick Works at 550 Bayview Ave

The tow trucks, along with their drivers, are expected to surround Queen’s Park Crescent using three lanes, leaving the fourth one free for motorists and emergency vehicles.

They are expected to converge on the south lawn between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Donaldson homers as Blue Jays beat Rays 5-3

Fred Goodall, The Associated Press | posted Tuesday, Apr 5th, 2016

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Josh Donaldson, Michael Saunders and Josh Thole homered to help R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Monday night.

All three of the home runs were hit off Drew Smyly, with Donaldson connecting for a solo shot in the fifth inning, Saunders delivering a two-run homer in the fourth and Thole going deep on a third-inning drive that umpires initially ruled was a double after a fan interfered by catching the ball before it reached the stands.

The call was reversed after a replay review, erasing a 1-0 Tampa Bay lead.

Roberto Osuna, the fifth Blue Jays pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his second save.

Smyly, limited to 12 starts a year ago when he spent much of the season on the disabled list due to left shoulder tendinitis, allowed five runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. The left-hander walked one and struck out five.

Donaldson hit .297 with 41 homers and 123 RBIs in 2015. The reigning AL MVP helped the Blue Jays win 93 games and advance to the AL Championship Series in their first playoff appearance since 1993.

Troy Tulowitzki had a sacrifice fly after homering during the Blue Jays’ 5-3 victory on opening day. Monday night’s game drew a crowd of 15,116 to Tropicana Field, a little less than half Sunday’s announced sellout of 31,042.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (back) pitched in a minor league game in Dunedin, Florida, and remains on schedule to pitch Sunday’s game in Toronto against Cleveland. … Manager John Gibbons said Thole will work most of Dickey’s starts because it will help regular C Russell Martin physically to avoid the stress of handling knuckleballs.

NICE GRAB

Toronto centre fielder Kevin Pillar made a nice running catch on pinch hitter Steve Pearce’s drive to left-centre, extending his glove fully before leaping to make the catch and falling headfirst into the wall.

GOING RIGHT

The Blue Jays’ lineup featured six straight right-handed hitters at the top of the order against Smyly. Gibbons finished it with three lefties, even though the manager acknowledged constructing the lineup that way figured to make it easier for the Rays to set up their bullpen “with us going right-right-right.”

FOR NAUGHT

Rays ace Chris Archer is one four pitchers to strike out 12 or more batters on opening day and lose. He was the first do it since Bob Gibson fanned 12 for St. Louis against Montreal in 1975.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays RHP Aaron Sanchez, 7-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 2015, starts Tuesday in the third game of the four-game series between the AL East rivals. The Rays counter with RHP Jake Odorizzi, who was 9-9 with a 3.35 ERA last season.

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