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What’s open and closed over New Year’s Eve and Day

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Dec 31st, 2013

It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be the busiest on the roads and at the malls. Here’s a look at all of the information you need to know about what’s open and closed during the New Year’s period.


Bramalea City Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Eaton Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: noon – 5 p.m.

Dufferin Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Fairview Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Pacific Mall
The mall is open 365 days a year.

The Promenade
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Scarborough Town Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Sherway Gardens
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Shops at Don Mills
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Square One
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Vaughan Mills
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Yorkdale Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

LCBO/Beer Stores

Dec. 31: Closed at 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

The Beer Store:
Dec. 31: Closed at 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Government offices:
Dec. 31: Most banks and other government offices open until the early afternoon
Jan. 1: Closed

Dec. 31: Most libraries open until 1 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Toronto garbage collection:
Click here for more information on local pickup schedules.


Jan. 1: Sunday service schedule

Click here for more.

GO Transit:
On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, holidays known for shorter work days, some regular afternoon train and bus trips will be replaced by earlier ones.

And on Dec. 31, GO service will be free after 8 p.m. Jan. 1 will operate as a Sunday schedule.

Click here for more.

Click on the following links for more information on other GTA transit systems:

Mississauga Transit

Brampton Transit

Durham Transit

Halton Transit

‘Significant winter weather’ tracking towards GTA: Environment Canada

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Dec 18th, 2013

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for southern and eastern Ontario, including Toronto and the GTA, warning of “significant winter weather” expected late this week and over the weekend.

According to the weather agency, two storms are tracking towards the lower Great Lake. One is expected to arrive Friday morning and depending on the temperature will include rain, freezing rain, ice pellets or snow.

680News meteorologist Harold Hosein said storm number two on Sunday will be much worse.

“That is going to produce a very gusty wind, along with the possibility of 15-25 centimetres of snow, if not more, if it all comes as snow,” Hosein said.

It’s certainly bad timing for the second storm as it’s the first travel weekend of the Christmas season.

Winter officially arrives at 12:11 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The statement is in effect for:

  • City of Toronto
  • Halton – Peel
  • York – Durham
  • Huron – Perth
  • Dufferin – Innisfil
  • Grey – Bruce
  • Barrie – Orillia – Midland
  • City of Hamilton
  • Windsor – Essex – Chatham-Kent
  • Sarnia – Lambton
  • Elgin
  • London – Middlesex
  • Simcoe – Delhi – Norfolk
  • Dunnville – Caledonia – Haldimand
  • Oxford – Brant
  • Niagara
  • Waterloo – Wellington
  • Belleville – Quinte – Northumberland
  • Kingston – Prince Edward
  • Peterborough – Kawartha Lakes
  • Stirling – Tweed – South Frontenac
  • Bancroft – Bon Echo Park
  • Brockville – Leeds and Grenville
  • City of Ottawa
  • Gatineau
  • Prescott and Russell
  • Cornwall – Morrisburg
  • Smiths Falls – Lanark – Sharbot Lake
  • Parry Sound – Muskoka
  • Haliburton
  • Renfrew – Pembroke – Barry’s Bay
  • Algonquin
  • Burk’s Falls – Bayfield Inlet

Former South African leader Nelson Mandela dies at 95

CityNews | posted Thursday, Dec 5th, 2013

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically-elected president after decades of apartheid rule, has died, South African president Jacob Zuma says. He was 95.

“He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20:50 on the fifth of December 2013,” Zuma said on national TV. “He is now resting. He’s now at peace. Our nation has lost his greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”

The health of Mandela, who was freed from prison in 1990 and became president in 1994, had deteriorated in recent months after being hospitalized a fourth time since last December.

Reaction to his death from world leaders was swift. Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted, “All of Canada mourns with the family of Nelson Mandela and the citizens of South Africa. The world has lost one of its great moral leaders.”

“A precious light has gone out in the world,” former prime minister Brian Mulroney said in a statement. “Mila and I join with Graca Machel, his devoted family, and the millions who loved him in every corner of our world, in mourning this giant of our times.

“It is hard to imagine how much poorer the world would be, were we not to have been blessed by the power of the life of Mandela — the teacher of his people, a model for leadership everywhere.”

Mulroney hosted Mandela’s first visit to Canada in June 1990 and set up a $5-million fund to help relocate South African exiles.

In the United States, President Barack Obama said, “He achieved more than can be expected of any man. Today he’s gone home. We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings…He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”

Obama said he was among millions who drew inspiration from Mandela’s life and said his first political action was to protest against apartheid.

“The day he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears,” Obama said.

Overseas, British Prime Minister David Cameron posted on Twitter, “A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I’ve asked for the flag at No10 to be flown at half mast.”

Born in 1912 to the Thembu royal family, Mandela studied law and moved to Johannesburg where he became a part of the anti-colonial movement.

In 1961 he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe and led a bombing campaign against government targets. The next year Mandela was arrested and convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

He served 27 years in prison before an international campaign lobbying for his release was successful in February 1990.

His release was broadcast live around the world and would become a quintessential moment in the end of apartheid.

Mandela was married three times, had six children and 17 grandchildren.

Click here to view the comments of world leaders as they react to the death of Nelson Mandela.

CityNews’ Gord Martineau takes a look back at Mandela’s life in the report below.

Actor Paul Walker killed in car crash

CityNews | posted Saturday, Nov 30th, 2013

Fast and Furious star Paul Walker has died in a car accident in California.

He was 40.

His death was first reported by online gossip website TMZ and then confirmed on the actor’s verified Twitter account Saturday evening.

A statement posted on the actor’s Facebook page said Walker was attending a charity event and was a passenger in a friend’s car at the time of the crash.

“We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time,” the statement read.

TMZ reported that the vehicle burst into flames after the collision.

Walker also appeared in such films as Varsity BluesShe’s All That and Pleasantville.

He was currently shooting Fast & Furious 7 at the time of his death.

With files from Christine Chubb, CityNews.ca

Donations bleak for Toronto Police toy drive

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Nov 27th, 2013

Toronto Police are hoping that the holiday spirit will encourage donations to their annual Auxiliary toy drive.

Since the drive began on Monday, police say donations have been “nonexistent.”

Five locations are accepting new unwrapped toys to help approximately 3,000 children and youth in need from the Scarborough area.

Police say that while all toy donations are welcome they are desperately in need for toys for both girls and boys age 10 to 14.

Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • 41 Division: 2222 Eglinton Avenue East
  • 42 Division: 242 Milner Avenue
  • 43 Division: 4331 Lawrence Avenue East
  • 33 Division: 50 Upjohn Road
  • TD Canada Trust Bank: 2561 Victoria Park Avenue

Toys will be distributed on Dec. 8.

With files from Christine Chubb, CityNews.ca

Bring a toy to the Breakfast Television Tree Sale and hang out with your favourite on- and off-air personalities!

Councillors to hold 2 special meetings to limit Ford’s powers

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 15th, 2013

Toronto city council has passed two motions that will limit Mayor Rob Ford’s powers.

In the first of two special sessions on Friday, councillors voted 39-3 in favour of a motion that limits Ford’s power on committees.

He can no longer remove the deputy mayor or take councillors off committees, including members of the executive committee.

Ford said Friday he will challenge the ruling in court.

Responding to questions about a legal challenge that arose during the city hall debate, the city solicitor said that, while “one never knows what a judge will do…we feel confident in our ability to defend council’s decision in this circumstance.”

While council has had this power, it is first time it has taken such an action, Anna Kinastowski said.

Ford, his brother Coun. Doug Ford, and Coun. David Shiner were the only three who voted against the motion.

The motion was proposed by councillors John Filion and Paul Ainslie.

The second motion, to strip Ford of emergency powers, passed 41-2. Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will now assume responsibility in the face of an emergency.

The mayor and his brother voted against the motion.

During the debate, Doug Ford fought back against the proposal, saying that “folks here don’t have the moral authority to be doing…what they’re doing here today.”

He later added that there will be two courts that will be looking at Friday’s decisions: The legal court and the court of public opinion.

In contrast to his brother, Rob Ford said he had to defend himself, but understood why councillors were taking action to strip him of powers during an emergency.

“I’m not mad at anybody,” adding if another mayor did what he did, he would support councillors.

The second motion was also proposed by Filion.

Both motions will remain in effect for the rest of Ford’s term.

The proposals come a day after Ford used graphic language on live TV and admitted he may have driven drunk. In the past weeks, he has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, refused to speak to Toronto police about an ongoing investigation, and a swarm of media – both international and local – descended on city hall.

Ford’s locker room vulgarity also drew wide condemnation from fellow councillors, who literally turned their backs when he spoke during the day’s various debates.

And Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she could intervene if council made it clear it could not function as a result of the Ford scandal, but would consult opposition parties before doing so.

The crush of media clamouring for news of Ford prompted city staff to declare city hall unsafe for children on Thursday.

School tours next Monday and Tuesday will be going to the Toronto Archives instead, a spokeswoman said.

A third motion to be debated on Monday would see Ford’s office essentially moved to the control of the deputy mayor.

With files from The Canadian Press

EXCLUSIVE: Broker of Rob Ford crack video breaks silence in CityNews interview

CityNews | posted Saturday, Nov 9th, 2013

The man who says he attempted to broker the sale of the Rob Ford crack video ended up fearing for his life and lying low for months when the scandal exploded in the media.

In an interview with CityNews reporter Avery Haines, Mohamed Farah, 33, said he was approached by a friend in the Somali community who asked him to help sell the video — hoping initially to garner $1 million for the damning footage.

Farah said the friend wanted to use the money to move out of Toronto and start a new life with his girlfriend.

“It’s not personal (against Mayor Ford),” he said. “It was a video that had monetary value.”

Farah agreed to help, but says he personally didn’t stand to make any money off the potential sale.

“Originally he thought he was gonna get a million dollars,” Farah said.

“I told him, ‘Look, you won’t even get $10,000 for the video.’ But I said, ‘Look, I’ll try my best.’”

Farah said The Toronto Star offered him $40,000 and later contemplated going as high as $80,000. Gawker offered $15,000 before eventually raising $200,000 through crowd-funding efforts.

By the time the money was raised, however, the story was making international headlines, and the source went underground.

Farah followed suit, realizing that Ford’s political career wasn’t the only thing on the line — so was his life.

“There was a lot of threats related to the (video) and I didn’t know who to trust,” he said.

Farah said he’s seen the video and it contained what was described in the media. He also adds that multiple copies were made.

“The mayor is kind of leaning back, smoking crack from a crack pipe,” he said.

Farah said the video also shows Ford talking about the conflict-of-interest case involving his football charity and making “derogatory” comments about Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau.

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with broker of alleged Rob Ford crack video

CityNews | posted Friday, Nov 8th, 2013

In a CityNews exclusive, the man who says he attempted to broker the sale of the alleged Rob Ford crack video breaks his silence.

In a sit-down interview with Avery Haines, Mohamed Farah, 33, reveals what he has seen, why he got involved in the proposed sale, and the potentially dangerous repercussions it has had.

Watch the extended interview on City at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Catch the live stream at www.citynews.ca/live or on the CityNews app for iPhone and iPad.

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