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Owner of Swiss Chalet buying St-Hubert for $537 million

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Mar 31st, 2016

St-Hubert logo. Photo via Facebook/StHubert.

The Quebec-based St-Hubert restaurant business has agreed to be acquired by the owner of the Swiss Chalet chain for $537 million.

In addition to 117 restaurants, Cara Operations Ltd. will acquire two food manufacturing plants, two distribution centres and a real estate portfolio.

Cara says St-Hubert will fit strategically with its business, which includes numerous restaurant brands including Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s and Milestones.

Cara currently has 1,010 franchised and corporate restaurants, including 37 located internationally.

The Toronto-area company, based in Vaughan, says it has a limited retail presence in Quebec and will use St-Hubert’s head office in Laval as its Quebec base.

Cara also sees St-Hubert’s food manufacturing business – which makes two-thirds of its sales through external customers such as Sobeys, Loblaw, Costco and Metro – as a major growth opportunity.

“The acquisition of St-Hubert is an excellent strategic fit for both companies,” Cara chair and CEO Bill Gregson said in a joint statement.

“This transaction gives St-Hubert the opportunity to drive its restaurant growth through the addition of Cara brands in Quebec and to drive a national retail food program for Cara, based in Québec, utilizing the existing manufacturing facilities and supplier base.”

Jean-Pierre Leger, St-Hubert chairman and CEO, said the will provides its employees with career opportunities in Quebec “since it will enable us to carry out major expansions of our food manufacturing programs and sales throughout Canada.”

Raptors hold off Hawks for franchise-best 50th win

Eric Koreen, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Mar 31st, 2016

Every time the Toronto Raptors have reached a new high during their improbable run over the last three seasons, DeMar DeRozan has been forced into reflection mode. He is the last major link with the Raptors’ previous run of futility, a five-year stretch outside of the playoffs. He was a Raptor for four of those years, and knew the pain of playing meaningless games in March and April all too well.

Another peak came on Wednesday night. Following their 105-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, the Raptors reached 50 wins for the first time in franchise history. While some might see the accomplishment as merely an arbitrary round number, DeRozan could not possibly agree.

“It means everything to me,” DeRozan said. “This is where I’ve been my whole career. I’ve been through the tough times. Now to be, what do you call it, the winningest Raptor of all time and now to break the franchise record three years in a row, it definitely means a lot to me.

“You can never take that away. When (reporters) bring up things that I’ve done here, reality really hits me, honestly, because you really don’t think about all of the things you’ve (done) or things you’ve accomplished.”

DeRozan was stellar against the Hawks, scoring a game-high 26 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds. With the victory, the Raptors surpassed their previous high for wins in a season, set last season at 49.

It was DeRozan’s fellow all-star in the Raptors’ backcourt that was more in the spotlight, however. Despite a persistent elbow injury, Kyle Lowry played in Wednesday’s game. Lowry had his right elbow drained after Monday’s blowout loss against Oklahoma City, and had been enduring a shooting slump over the last few games. He played a game-high 40-minutes against Atlanta.

Lowry played most of the game with a protective sleeve on his elbow, before ditching it in the fourth quarter. He was moved to swearing when describing what it was like to play with the sleeve.

“Yeah, it’s really annoying,” Lowry said.

Lowry shot just 4 for 19 from the field, but improved from the free-throw line, where he made seven of his eight attempts.

“Anything you do to make a shot…hit your head, slap your butt, prayer hands, pray to God, anything,” Lowry said, describing his state of mind. ” At the end of the day, I’ll be all right. This is five games, whatever. I’ve been in a funk before earlier this season so I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

Lowry did manage 11 assists, many of which set up Jonas Valanciunas. The smaller Hawks did not seem to have an answer for Valanciunas, who scored 19 points on just 13 field-goal attempts.

“One thing about Kyle, he’s going to figure out a way, no matter what,” DeRozan said. “He can go 1 for 40, and it wouldn’t seem like it because he does everything else.”

It was the Raptors’ third win in as many games against Atlanta this season. While the Raptors are all but locked into second place in the Eastern Conference, every win seems to matter to the team.

“Pretty good progression,” said Lowry, after recounting the team’s journey during his four years in Toronto. ” I think everyone in this organization that’s been here has built it up to be a winning organization. I think we’ve been on the right track and continuing to grow. We’re not just satisfied with 50 wins. It’s a great benchmark to get, but at the end of the day we still want to be playing as long as possible: as close as possible to the end of the whole NBA season.”

Scary ride on the TTC: Woman sets passenger’s hair on fire

CityNews | posted Thursday, Mar 31st, 2016

Two separate incidents turned the “better way” into a scary ride for TTC passengers on Wednesday.

In a tweet, police said one rider set another person’s hair on fire during the afternoon rush hour. The alleged incident happened in The Queensway and Southport Street area around 4 p.m.

“Passenger’s hair set on fire by another […] with a lighter,” police tweeted.

According to the Toronto Sun, the woman responsible fled the scene and eluded police.

No serious injuries were reported.

Around the same time, police said a woman riding a TTC bus in the Finch Avenue and Alness Street area was sprayed in the face with perfume.

Police were called to the scene, but in a tweet said the woman did not want to press charges.

Mississauga decides to rename Marco Muzzo Park

CityNews | posted Thursday, Mar 31st, 2016

Mississauga city council has voted to rename Marco Muzzo Memorial Woods and Park, citing concerns from the community.

The park was named after Marco Muzzo Sr., who was responsible for building most of the community which now surrounds the recreation area. It was dedicated in 2007 by then-mayor Hazel McCallion, two years after the death of Muzzo Sr.

The motion, put forward by Ward 10 councilor Sue McFadden, calls for the park to be renamed “Marco Muzzo Senior Memorial Woods and Park” to avoid any confusion with Muzzo’s grandson, who was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in jail for killing four people, including three children, in a drunk driving crash.

The name change will take effect immediately, after council waived the required 30-day waiting period and community notification process.

#Fordfarewell: Live coverage of Rob Ford procession and funeral

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Mar 30th, 2016

Members of the Toronto Police Chief’s Ceremonial Unit stand on guard by Rob Ford’s casket at City Hall on March 28, 2016. 680 NEWS/Momin Qureshi.

Reporters Momin Qureshi, Kevin Misener, Pam Seatle, and Cynthia Mulligan will attend the procession and funeral for former mayor and city councillor Rob Ford. See their tweets below as the day unfolds.

Toronto parking fines tripling on Thursday

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Mar 30th, 2016

Multiple signs attached to a post in Toronto indicating the times drivers can and cannot park on a city street. CITYNEWS

In some cases, fines will triple, all in an effort to keep Toronto’s streets moving, Mayor John Tory said.

As of Thursday, parking ticket fines will rise to $150 for the following infractions:

  • blocking sidewalks
  • engaging in double parking
  • standing in TTC zones
  • blocking high-occupancy/reserved vehicle lanes (HOV lanes)

 Right now, the penalties range from $40 to $60.

“By attaching a real price to blocking lanes of traffic with illegal parking, we will reduce congestion,” Tory said in a statement.

“This is just one more step that we are taking to keep Toronto moving and keep pedestrians safe.”

Tory has made cutting congestion one of his platforms.

However, last fall, the City said it had withdrawn over 880,000 parking tickets, because ticket-holders had been awaiting trial for more than a year.

These infractions are less than three per cent of all parking tickets issued between 2002 and 2014, and even include ones for which a trial request had been submitted or ones where a retrial had been ordered but not scheduled.

The tickets withdrawn represent an estimated $20 million in potential revenue for Toronto – but had trials been conducted for them, the cost to the city for hearing them in court would have exceeded $23 million.

Toronto says goodbye to former mayor Rob Ford

The Canadian Press and News staff | posted Wednesday, Mar 30th, 2016

Mourners and the city will have one last chance to say goodbye to former Toronto mayor Rob Ford before he is laid to rest on Wednesday.

Ford’s casket will be taken in a procession from city hall to St. James Cathedral at King and Church streets downtown for a funeral service. Ford’s brother Doug has invited members of the public to walk along.

The procession begins at 11 a.m. at City Hall and the funeral is expected to start at noon. Both will be streamed live on CityNews.ca and 680NEWS.com. View a detailed timeline below.

The larger-than-life politician died from cancer last week at age 46, and has been lying in repose at City Hall – an honour only granted a few times in the past.


Related stories:

Video: Mourners gather at visitation to remember Rob Ford

Visitors line up around City Hall to pay respects to Rob Ford

Should the city erect a statue to memorialize Rob Ford?


Among those scheduled to attend Ford’s funeral are Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and current Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Rob Ford’s children, Doug Ford, and former Ontario premier Mike Harris are expected to speak at the funeral. The pallbearers are Doug, Randy Ford, Michael Ford, Dom Sgambelluri, Amin Massoudi and Dan Jacobs.

The family is planning a celebration in the evening at a west-end hall that has been the site of huge Ford rallies in the past.

On Tuesday, around 3,000 people lined up around City Hall for Ford’s visitation at City Hall, some waiting as long as two hours. Around 5,000 people are believed to have passed through the rotunda to pay their respects to the former mayor and his family at the two-day visitation.

Timeline and route details

  • Around 10 a.m. – Ford family will be received at City Hall
  • 11 a.m. – Ford’s casket will be taken from City Hall, accompanied by Honour Guard and ceremonial bagpipes
  • Around 11:15 a.m. – Procession from City Hall will begin on Queen Street and proceed east on Queen to Yonge Street, south on Yonge to King Street, and east on King to Church Street, stopping in front of the cathedral on King, east of Church
  • 11:30 a.m. – Final call for invited guests to enter the church, and members of the public will then be admitted based on availability
  • Around 11:35 a.m. – Procession to arrive at the cathedral, and honour guard to escort the casket into the cathedral
  • Noon – Funeral service to start and expected to last 90 minutes

Road closures

The following roads will be closed starting at 9 a.m. and are expected to last until around 3 p.m.

  • King Street East, from Jarvis to Church streets
  • Adelaide Street East, from Church to Jarvis streets
  • Church Street, from Wellington Street East to Adelaide Street east

Muzzo sentenced to 10 years in Vaughan drunk-driving crash

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Mar 29th, 2016

A drunk driver who killed three children and their grandfather in a horrific crash north of Toronto has been sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by a 12-year driving ban.

Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst says the victims’ family will forever be suffering from the “life sentence” imposed by Marco Muzzo’s drunk driving.

Muzzo, 29, had pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly and the children’s 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville, died last September after the van they were in was hit by a speeding Muzzo, who was driving an SUV.

Muzzo told the court last month that he would forever be haunted by the grief and pain he has caused the Neville-Lake family.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 10 to 12 years behind bars and a ban on driving for eight to 10, but the defence had argued an eight-year sentence would be enough.

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