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Royals release adorable photos of Princess Charlotte

CityNews | posted Monday, Nov 30th, 2015

New photographs were released on Sunday of six-month-old Princess Charlotte giggling with toys, taken by her parents Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

The photos were posted on Twitter and show the princess at her home.

Princess Charlotte was born on May 2  and is a sister to Prince George.

Christmas wonderland: Toronto lights up for the holiday season this weekend

Patricia D’Cunha and Patrick Luciani | posted Friday, Nov 27th, 2015

The spirit of the Christmas season is all around us, whether we want to believe it or not.

Aside from the aesthetics of lights and decorations, shoppers scurrying to get their gifts, planning the family feast and going to parties, people across the GTA are reaching out to those in need and spreading Christmas cheer wherever they go.

Torontonians will be bringing their holiday spirit to the annual Cavalcade of lights this weekend. You can expect plenty of merriment and positive vibes as the city celebrates the season.

There are also two Santa Claus parades, with one of them taking place under the stars.


Cavalcade of Lights
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This Saturday it will begin to look a lot like Christmas as the city lights up its official tree at Nathan Phillips Square.

The 60-foot Christmas tree, which is decorated with 700 ornaments and 3,810 metres of LED lights, illuminates the city’s 49th annual Cavalcade of Lights celebration.

File photo of the Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto.
File photo of the Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto.

Surrounded by the glow of 525,000 lights, revellers can skate to their heart’s content while singing along to Let it Go, listen to and watch live music, and get dazzled by a fireworks show.

Some of the live musical performances include Juno Award-winning country artist Crystal Shawanda, Sloan, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and Sean Jones. The party starts at 6 p.m. with the tree lighting at 7:15 a.m. Click here for the schedule.

Santa Under the Stars Parade
Santa Claus will be back in the GTA on Saturday for a parade being held in his honour. This time, his sleigh will be guided by the bright stars in the sky.

The parade, which starts at 6 p.m. in Aurora, is the largest one in York Region with 30,000 people attending last year.

As with any event, there are road closures to contend with. Click here for a list.

Whole Life Expo
If you are looking to quell stress and boost your energy (who isn’t?), head over to the Whole Life Expo – Canada’s largest exhibition of natural health, alternative medicine, and green living.

More than 275 exhibitors will be on-hand to showcase their natural health products and services. Those who attend can also get expert advice on making the best health choices.

The event runs from Friday to Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Ticket prices are $10-15.

Markham Santa
Don’t worry, Santa Claus has not forgotten about Markham. So mark your calendar: he’s on his way to your town on Saturday afternoon.

The 43rd annual Markham Santa Claus Parade starts at 11 a.m. at Highway 7 and Markham Road, where it will march north to the Markham Museum.

St. Nick at the Markham Santa Claus Parade. Photo via markhamsantaclausparade.com.
St. Nick at the Markham Santa Claus Parade. Photo via markhamsantaclausparade.com.

To make room for Santa’s sleigh and his entourage, there are road closures: Highway 7 will be closed from Markham Road to Wooten Way at 8 a.m. Markham Road will close from Highway 7 to Bur Oak Avenue starting at 9 a.m.

Spectacle of Lights
Toronto’s waterfront gets transformed into a Christmas wonderland on Saturday, with four illuminated installations lighting up the night sky.

The displays, which use 39,250 energy efficient bulbs, include a spiral tree at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, a fire truck and snowflake motif at the Fire Hall, animated music notes, harps and a canopy at the Toronto Music Garden, and a tall ship on the Amsterdam Bridge at Harbourfront Centre.

The Tall Ship on the Amsterdam Bridge at Harbourfront Centre decorated with lights. Photo via blog.waterfrontoronto.ca.
The Tall Ship on the Amsterdam Bridge at Harbourfront Centre decorated with lights. Photo via blog.waterfrontoronto.ca.

The displays will be up until Jan. 1, 2016.

The waterfront will also be taking part in the national “Shop the Neighbourhood” event. On Saturday, local businesses will be offering exclusive event deals to help raise awareness of the importance they play in communities.

One of a Kind Show
If you’re looking for a one of a kind Christmas gift for that special someone, then this event is a must-see.

Aimed at providing a unique shopping experience for the best in handmade gifts, the One of Kind Show features a collection of finds from photographer Caitlin Cornenberg, stylist Tiffany Pratt, chef Corey Vitiello and business owner Hana James. It also features DIY workshops, seminars, fashion shows and a wreath competition.

People shopping at the One of a Kind Christmas Show. Photo via facebook.com/oneofakindtoronto.
People shopping at the One of a Kind Christmas Show. Photo via facebook.com/oneofakindtoronto.

The show, which runs until Dec. 6 at Exhibition Place’s Enercare Centre, is open weekdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Black Friday frenzy spreads to Toronto

Diana Pereira | posted Friday, Nov 27th, 2015

Black Friday fever has spread north of the U.S. border to Toronto, with bargain hunters spending their waking hours lining up for deals.

At the Eaton Centre, shoppers lined up outside H&M not starting on Friday — starting but 9 p.m. on Thursday. Seriously.

Those waiting for doors to open told CityNews they were there for special giveaways up for grabs for the first people in line.

Early Friday morning about a dozen people were lined up outside the Footlocker near Eaton Centre on Yonge Street, south of Dundas Street, looking to get their hands on some new Air Jordans. (We didn’t know that was still a thing.)

Once a traditional American phenomenon, landing on the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving, Black Friday is now being embraced by retailers here in Canada.

The flyers are loaded with discounts on our side of the border.

Canadian Tire is promoting sales on everything from Christmas trees to pots and pans. The price of a robotic vacuum is slashed by more than $200. And there’s a treadmill that’s marked down by more than $700. If books are more your thing, Indigo has some for up to 70 per cent off and you can save $30 on a Kobo.

Go wild. And if you’re wondering, we’re bookish kind of people and are accepting gifts.

They’re still adorable: Toronto Zoo releases new video of baby pandas

Diana Pereira | posted Friday, Nov 27th, 2015

The Toronto Zoo has released adorable new videos of its growing panda cubs.

Click here for a mobile-friendly link to the video.

Officials say the fluffy babies have been moved to a larger incubator.

Their mother Er Shun continues to be a great mom and is spending one-on-one time with each cub.

However, officials say it’s still a critical time for the babies, and they’ll have to stay in the maternity den and not in public view.

How to simplify your holiday wrapping

Cityline | posted Thursday, Nov 26th, 2015

Love holiday shopping but dread the wrapping part? Chatelaine‘s design expert Samantha Pynn helps us make gift wrapping easy!

Before you get started, Samantha says you need to have 5 key things to make a simple yet elegant wrapped gift:

  1. Neutral wrapping paper
  2. Ribbon
  3. Tags
  4. Stamp
  5. Accessories

Got your essentials? Now watch Samantha’s video below for all of her wrapping tips!

RCMP looking for two ‘suspicious’ men seen near Rogers Centre

CityNews | posted Thursday, Nov 26th, 2015

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be holding a news conference Thursday to discuss a suspicious incident they say happened in August near the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Investigators are asking for help identifying two men they say were “exhibiting suspicious behaviour” on the John Street bridge at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

The Toronto Blue Jays were hosting a game that day against the Cleveland Indians.

Police say a passerby saw the two men and reported the incident via a suspicious incident report (SIR) to the RCMP’s National Critical Infrastructure Team.

Police are releasing few details but have indicated the investigation could be related to national security.

The SIR is a system that is used to collect information on suspicious incidents that may be related to national security, police said in a release.

The man on the left is described as having brown skin, 20-30 years old and with a medium build. He was wearing a green and white striped shirt with a red trim, blue jeans, blue Adidas shoes with yellow laces, and a watch. He was also carrying a backpack and sunglasses.

The man on the right is described as having brown skin, 20-30 years old and with a medium build. He was wearing a blue and yellow striped shirt with some purple stripes, dark blue jeans, blue Puma shoes with yellow laces and a watch. His sunglasses were hanging on his shirt buttons.

Anyone with information is being asked to call the RCMP at 1-800-387-0020, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800- 222-TIPS (8477).

Ontario to allow use of medical marijuana in public places

CityNews | posted Thursday, Nov 26th, 2015

Instead of popping two aspirins, you can now light up a joint at work – if you have a medical marijuana prescription.

Medical marijuana users with a doctor’s prescription are exempt from the laws that prohibit cigarette smoking and e-cigarette vaping in most public places in Ontario, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dipika Damerla, explained on Wednesday.

“The law allows for an exemption because someone needs it for a medical purpose … It’s about negotiating. It’s about balancing the rights,” she said.

But Damerla said the legislation that allows for the exemption also permits business owners and employers to “override the exemption.”

“As an employer and a restaurant owner, you can say that there is no vaping, no smoking of medical marijuana,” she said.

CityNews has learned that the exemption doesn’t apply to establishes with liquor licences.

There was some confusion over whether the exemption applied only to vaping, and not smoking, but Damerla made it clear that both are permitted with a doctor’s approval.

“They are consistent with each other,” she said.

Patrick Brown, Ontario PC Leader, expressed concerns that the new provincial rules would contradict with respective municipal guidelines.

“The conversation they should have is with municipalities to make sure that the provincial regulations are in line with what municipalities have already established,” he said. “And in some cases they have their own regulations that prohibit smoking in places like parks.”

When asked about concerns that marijuana could be smoked in the presence of children, Brown said he didn’t think there was going to be “an overwhelming amount of people in Ontario running out to parks to have their medical marijuana.”

Toronto Public Health, which has taken a hard stance on cigarette smoking, and has called for e-cigarette and hookah bans, refused to comment when reached by CityNews.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said her party would take a hard look at the rules surrounding medical marijuana smoking and vaping.

“We know that Health Canada has issued some warnings about exposure of young people to the smoke and vapor of medical marijuana and that’s something we have to keep in mind,” she said.

When asked how she would react if someone lit up a joint while she was enjoying dinner, she quipped, “I’ll probably eat more.”

Medical marijuana advocates applauded the exemptions.

In a release, Jonathan Zaid, Founder and Executive Director of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) stated: “This is another important milestone in the recognition of the legitimacy of the use of cannabis as a medicine. Ontario has taken a huge step forward by exempting medical cannabis patients and their use of vaporizers.”

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