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Toronto weekend road closures: Pan Am party shuts down section of Bloor; SRT closed

CityNews | posted Friday, Jul 3rd, 2015

If you didn’t know summer arrived in Toronto, you would know it by the road closures in effect every weekend for events.

This weekend, a Pan Am Games torch relay celebration and street festivals will take over the city. Below is a list of road closures.

Also, keep in mind, there are some subway closures this weekend.

Road closures for events

Pan Am Games Torch Relay Community Celebration
The torch makes its way from Trenton to Toronto on Saturday, on day 35 of the relay. Citytv’s Tracy Moore is expected to arrive carrying the torch at the Bloor viaduct (Prince Edward viaduct) around 7 p.m. and will light the cauldron.

Bloor Street including the viaduct from Parliament Street to Broadview Avenue will be closed from 8 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Motorists won’t be able to access to Castle Frank Road from the Don Valley Parkway and the Bayview extension ramps from 4 p.m. on Saturday to 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Salsa on St. Clair
The street party celebrating Latin culture takes place along St. Clair Avenue this weekend, featuring live music, dance, food, and other events.

St. Clair Avenue will be closed from Winona Drive to Christie Street from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Youth Day
The free event on Sunday will allow young people to showcase their music, fashion, film, photography, and other artistic ventures in front of the masses at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Yonge Street, from Dundas to Queen streets, will be closed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Taste of Lawrence
The three-day food and culture festival takes place in Scarborough from Friday to Sunday.

Lawrence Avenue, from Warden Avenue to Birchmount Road, will be closed from 10 a.m. on Friday to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

TTC closures

Trains won’t be running on Line 3 (SRT) this weekend for TTC track and maintenance work. Regular service will resume at 6 a.m. on Monday.

Shuttle buses will run between McCowan and Kennedy stations. Kennedy, Lawrence East and Scarborough Centre stations will be open for fare purchases.

Also, service on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between St. George and Pape stations starts running at noon instead of 9 a.m. on Sunday due to beam and track work on the Bloor viaduct. Shuttle buses will run along Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue.

5 things to do this weekend: Lego, Salsa dancing & movies in a park

Alanna Kelly | posted Friday, Jul 3rd, 2015

July 3-5, 2015

Summerlicious: The kick-off of Summerlicious this weekend means summer is truly here. The culinary celebration of Summerlicious has arrived to show off the delicious cuisines Toronto has to offer. This year things are going to be a little different with a Pan Am and Parapan Am Games theme. There will be five events inspired by the 41 nations participating in the Games including tapas in Parkdale and a dinner in Peru. For more information and ticket prices click here.

Salsa on St. Clair: Head down to St. Clair West this weekend for a free event celebrating Latin culture that promises to have everyone dancing in the streets. Pulsing drums and fiesta flavored food starts at noon and runs into the night. For more information visit salsaintoronto.com.

Taste of Toronto: This weekend Torontonians will flock to Fort York where chefs from across Toronto will gather to blow your taste buds away. It is literally foodie heaven in Toronto with close to 50 dishes to savor. A few items already revealed on the menu include crispy BBQ pork tacos, true Northern Atlantic salmon, fresh oysters and cheesy slow-cooked lobster. Tickets can be bought at the door or online.

Brickfete: A world made of Lego? It’s a real thing and it is happening this weekend in Toronto. Lego hobbyists have created unique city layouts, trains, historical buildings, castles, pirates and more for you come take part in all weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Don’t worry, it’s not just for children. For more information and ticket prices visit Toronto.brickfete.com

Christie Pits Film Festival: Grab a blanket and sit under the stars while watching a movie at Christie Pits Park. Sunday marks the first movie of the summer and the film starts rolling at sunset. Pay what you can or give the suggested donation of $10. Don’t get spooked but the opening night is a Toronto symphony of horror. For a list of all the movies being played visit christiepitsff.com/films, and don’t forget that its “BYOBlanket.”

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca or submit it online at CityNews.ca,680News.com and via our iPhone and iPad apps.

8 life jacket tips that can save your child’s life

Today's Parent | posted Thursday, Jul 2nd, 2015

Your kids can’t wait to start splashing. They’ve got sunscreen, water toys and goggles—but what about a proper life jacket? Not just reserved for boating, life jackets are crucial around pools and open water, especially for your littlest fish. The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that all infants and toddlers weighing at least nine kilograms should wear a life jacket (or personal floatation device, PFD) when playing in or around water. (There are no life jackets or PFDs approved for use in Canada for infants less than nine kilograms; they should be held by an adult). Kids can drown in as little as one inch of water, and children between one and four years old are considered most at risk. In fact, drowning is the second most common cause of death for children under five years old.

To keep your little ones safe, it’s important that life jackets or PFDs fit properly and include the right features. Keep these tips in mind when choosing a life jacket:

1. Make sure it meets safety standards

The life jacket or PFD you use should meet Canadian safety regulations (check for a label from Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, or Fisheries and Oceans Canada). Life jackets and PFDs are similar in that they both strap around the torso; however, life jackets are designed to flip a person from face-down to face-up in the water, while PFDs do not have this feature. Remember that pool and swim toys (noodles, inflatable rings, water wings or bathing suits with floats in them) are not considered standard water safety gear and should not replace a life jacket.

2. Choose the size based on your kid’s current weight

Kids’ life jackets are sized by weight, starting at nine kilograms or more—in Canada, there are no safety approved life jackets or PFDs for infants who weigh less than nine kilograms. Do not purchase a bigger life jacket for your child to “grow into”—make sure your child is the correct weight for the life jacket you buy. It should be snug, but not so tight that you can’t do up the zipper and buckles. You should not be able to lift the life jacket up to your child’s ears or over their head.

3. Go bright

The brighter, the better. Vivid colours like orange and yellow ensure that your child is clearly visible in and around the water.

4. Get all the right features

The Canadian Red Cross recommends the following features in kids’ life jackets and PFDs:

  • A large collar to support your child’s head
  • A looped grab strap on the collar for easy grabbing
  • Durable, functioning, rust-proof (plastic) buckles and zippers, waist-ties with snug-fitting drawstrings or elastic in front and back, and a safety strap that fastens between your child’s legs to keep the jacket in place.
  • Add reflective tape to increase visibility and a plastic whistle for emergencies. (And teach him how to blow it—your kid likely won’t mind practicing).

5. Put life jackets on, not just near your child

Life jackets and PFDs are meant to be worn, not just near a child or in a boat with a child.

6. Don’t let life jackets replace adult supervision

Toddlers should always be supervised and within arms reach when in or near water, and infants less than 9 kilograms should be held by an adult (as there are no safety-approved infant life jackets). Transport Canada recommends that infants and toddlers should be at least nine kilograms and able to wear a life jacket before boarding a boat.

7. Don’t use life jackets as cushions or toys

Sitting on a life jacket or using it for another purpose can squish the inner material, making it less effective and no longer up to safety standards. Store life jackets in a dry area to ensure they stay in good working condition.

8. Test it out

Every time you zip your kid into it, check the life jacket over for wear and tear, such as broken fasteners, buckles, straps or zippers, and make sure all are in good condition. Replace the life jacket if you find rips. Every summer, ensure your child’s life jacket fits properly and that he can freely move his arms and easily breathe, move, bend over and sit in it. Also make sure he can walk and see the ground without tripping.

In the water, test the life jacket by wading in with your child until he’s at chest level. Assist him as he brings his knees up and floats on his back. Make sure the life jacket keeps your child’s head safely above water and that he can breathe. While beside your child, have him practice swimming in the life jacket on his back and tummy.

Fore more on Life jacket tips click here

Maclean’s: What it feels like to be Canadian

Maclean's | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015

To celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday, Maclean’s has produced 148 short videos that showcase the vibrancy and breadth of Canadian experiences from coast-to-coast. “What it feels like to be Canadian” bring audiences closer to the action.

From joining the Sourtoe Cocktail Club in Dawson City and climbing an ice-covered Niagara Falls to an intimate concert with the Barenaked Ladies, the diversity of content reflects the lives of Canadians from across our nation.

Categories include sports, outdoors, heritage, experience, adventure, and arts.

Click here to watch the series of 148 videos.

Canada Day in Toronto: Fireworks, what’s open/closed

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015

The maple leaf is forever, and so is Canadian pride as the country marks its 148th birthday on Wednesday.

There are plenty of events taking place in Toronto to show off and celebrate your patriotism, with fireworks being the main highlight. Below is a list of fireworks displays in Toronto.

But, since Canada Day is also a statutory holiday, there will be closures in effect, which are posted below.

And, with all these events come road closures across the city, so pack your patience and the nice character Canadians are known for around the world. Click here for a list.

Fireworks in the Toronto area

Please note, the fireworks are dependent on the weather. The city is also reminding residents setting off their own fireworks in public parks is illegal.

Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay W., Toronto

As part of the its Canada Day Extravaganza, which runs now until July 1, the Canada Eve Fireworks on Tuesday will light up the sky along the waterfront in a 20-minute, two-barge free show choreographed to music from 10:40 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Mel Lastman Square
5100 Yonge St., Toronto

Celebrate Canada Day with live music, including Juno-award-nominated reggae artist Jay Douglas and the Allstars, dance, aerial acrobats, family fun, and of course, fireworks set to music. The free event runs from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with the light show at 10:15 p.m.

Downsview Park
35 Carl Hall Rd., Toronto

The free fireworks show, which has the best views from The Meadow or the Festival Terrace, takes place around 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Ashbridges Bay Park
1675 Lake Shore Blvd E., Toronto

The annual fireworks display in the Beach starts at 10 p.m., and can also be viewed along the boardwalk from Coxwell to Victoria Park avenues.

With around 30,000 people expected to attend, drivers can expect traffic congestion in the area. Police will also be issuing tickets to drivers who illegally park their vehicles, and warn they will be towed away.

Scarborough celebrations
Partake in a free pancake breakfast, revel in buskers, enjoy a craft sale and more in Thomson Memorial Park (1005 Brimley Rd.), being held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From 4 p.m. to around 5:30 p.m., a Canada Day parade will make its way from Brimley Road, west of the Scarborough Civic Centre, and end at Lawrence Avenue East.

The day will cap off with a free fireworks show at Milliken Park (4325 McCowan Rd.) at dusk.

Centennial Park
256 Centennial Park Rd., Etobicoke

What better way to spend Canada Day than by devouring barbecue ribs while listening to live music, and then relaxing with a fireworks display at 10 p.m.

East York celebrations
A Canada Day parade with marching bands will make its way at 10 a.m. from Dieppe Park (455 Cosburn Ave.) to Stan Wadlow Park (373 Cedarvale Ave.), where revellers can check out live entertainment and other activities from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. A fireworks show will top off the night at 10:15 p.m.

Weston Lions Park
2125 Lawrence Ave. W., North York

The Canada Day party featuring live entertainment, food and family fun, runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and ends with fireworks.

Amesbury Park
1507 Lawrence Ave. W., North York

Barbecue goodies, live entertainment, a marketplace and a strongman competition await funmeisters at the annual event, plus a fireworks show at 10 p.m.

Canada’s Wonderland
9580 Jane St., Vaughan

Spend the day enjoying the thrilling rides and then catch the music-filled fireworks show over Wonder Mountain at 10 p.m. New this year, fire divers will create a starry sky as they jump off the mountain and into the Royal Fountain.

What’s open and closed in Toronto

Closed on Canada Day

    • LCBO locations but some agency stores will be open on July 1
    • Beer stores
    • Libraries
    • Government offices
    • No mail delivery

Most grocery stores are closed, but some are open. Please call the store nearest you.

  • Banks

Open on Canada Day

  • TTC will run on a holiday schedule
  • GO Transit will run on a Saturday schedule
  • Garbage collection
  • Most malls, including Eaton Centre (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills (10 a.m. – 7 p.m.), Square One Shopping Centre (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.), but Yorkdale mall is closed
  • Tourist sites and attractions, including historic sites
  • Toronto-run golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, wading pools and splash pads

Canada Day in Toronto: Road closures for events

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015

Celebrating our nation’s most patriotic holiday comes at a price — road closures.

From parades to lavish fireworks displays, several special events are happening across Toronto on July 1. And, below is a list of events and the road closures that go with them:

Canada Day celebration at Queen’s Park
Queen’s Park/Queen’s Park Circle from College Street to Bloor Street will be closed on Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Canada Day celebration at Mel Lastman Square
The southbound lanes of Yonge Street between North York Boulevard and Park Home Avenue will be closed on Wednesday from noon to 11 p.m. The full closure of Yonge Street in that block will be in effect from 7 to 11 p.m.

East York’s Canada Day

The following road closures will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday:

  • Cosburn Avenue from Cedarvale Avenue to Oak Park Road
  • Virginia Avenue from Cedarvale Avenue to Cosburn Avenue
  • Gledhill Avenue from Holborne Avenue to Cosburn Avenue

Canada Day parade in Scarborough

Brimley Road will be closed from Progress Avenue to Ellesmere Road from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and from Ellesmere Road to Lawrence Avenue from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Ellesmere Road will be closed from Midland Avenue to McCowan Road from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.


In addition to road closures related to special events, a significant amount of road work is taking place in the city. Officials are encouraging people to take public transit if they’re heading out on Canada Day.

A more complete list of events and road work is available attoronto.ca/torontostreets and more information about the City’s planned capital construction work is available at toronto.ca/inview.

10 Canadian movies to watch this Canada Day

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015

Ok, we’re not suggesting you sit and watch 10 movies back-to-back this Canada Day — particularly if it’s sunny outside! But once you’re home from that Canada Day party and ready to kick back for a few, toss on one of these Canadian flicks for a little entertainment.

We’ve selected some older movies, some newer, and a few from our favourite Canadian directors. We think it’s a good mix of light-hearted, and more dramatic fare. Hope you agree!

Goon (2011): We admit, we weren’t the biggest Seann William Scott fans until we saw him in this surprisingly sweet comedy about a bar bouncer with a heart of gold who’s hired to be the resident goon on his town’s minor-league hockey team, despite the fact that he can’t skate. Doug Glatt (Scott) soon finds himself at odds with both his team’s star player (Marc-Andre Grondin) and the league’s top goon (Liev Schreiber). Will this unlikely hero lead his team to victory? You’ll certainly be rooting for him to!

Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006): When the body of a hockey league executive is discovered on the Ontario-Quebec border, the police forces from both provinces are forced to work together on the case. Enter strait-laced Martin Ward (the always excellent Colm Feore) representing the Ontario Provincial Police, and wildcard David Bouchard (Patrick Huard) of the Surete de Quebec, and you have the makings of a classic buddy cop film.

Canadian Bacon (1995): *Family-friendly!* Michael Moore directed this satirical John Candy vehicle about a low-in-the-polls U.S. President (Alan Alda) who tries to up his approval rating by starting a cold war against Canada. While this hilarious film is rife with talented comedy actors, among them Alda, Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollak and Wallace Shawn, this film belongs to the late Candy, playing a sheriff who takes the U.S.’s new stance very seriously.

Les triplettes de Belleville/The Triplets of Belleville (2003): *Family-friendly!*Nominated for two Oscars, this animated film is as beautiful to watch as it is to listen to. The story revolves around Madame Souza and her dog Bruno, who team up with the Belleville Sisters to find her missing grandson Champion, who disappears during the Tour de France.

One Week (2008): Michael McGowan’s film about a young man (Joshua Jackson) who takes a motorcycle trip from Toronto to Tofino following a devastating medical diagnosis is a true love letter to Canada and all its beauty and eccentricity. Given its at-times heartbreaking subject matter, this is a wonderfully uplifting and funny film. We also adore Campbell Scott’s narration.

Goin’ Down The Road (1970): Doug McGrath and Paul Bradley star as two friends who move from Nova Scotia to the big city, Toronto, in the hopes of finding jobs and a better life. This classic Canadian film was subsequently parodied on SCTV. It’s interesting to see how much Yonge St. has changed since the film was made.

Juno (2007): Starring Canadians Ellen Page and Michael Cera, and directed by Canadian Jason Reitman, we’re claiming this film as one of our own! Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, 16-year-old Juno MacGuff (Page) makes the controversial decision to carry her child to term so that she can place it with an adoptive couple. Diablo Cody won an Oscar for her smart script.

Away From Her (2006): Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie turn in wonderful performances as an aging couple dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Sarah Polley proves she’s as talented behind the director’s chair as she is in front of the camera in this heart-rending film.

Eastern Promises (2007): David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen follow up the excellent A History of Violence with this equally powerful and disturbing film about a midwife (Naomi Watts) who becomes entangled with the Russian mafia while investigating the death of a pregnant teenager. Mortensen is fantastic as mafia driver Nikolai, but it’s Armin Mueller-Stahl who steals the show as the outwardly warm, but secretly brutal and cold-hearted, restaurant owner/mob boss Semyon. Not for the faint at heart, this film has scenes of brutal violence.

Barney’s Version (2010): Based on the acclaimed Mordecai Richler novel, Paul Giamatti is perfectly cast as the irascible Barney Panofsky, who falls in love with a woman (Rosamund Pike) at his second wedding. This touching drama also stars Dustin Hoffman as Izzy, Barney’s father, and Minnie Driver as Barney’s second wife. A film that proves how important good writing is to good moviemaking.

Happy Canada Day! Share your favourite Canadian films (or films directed by Canadians) in the comments below!

Week of June 29, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Jun 28th, 2015

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

Tune into BT Monday as Autumn Hill will perform on BT Stage.

On Thursday, Frankie Flowers will be joining us.

And to end off the week Friday, Mairilyn Smith teaches us how to get invited back to the cottage.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

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