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Let’s go to the Ex: Five must-see CNE attractions

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Aug 21st, 2015

1. Food Truck Frenzy

From Friday, Aug. 28 to Sunday, Aug. 30, the Ex will host a fleet of four-wheeled gourmets, including Caplanksy’s Delicatessen, Gorilla Cheese, I Love Churros, and a mouth-watering array of burger, BBQ and bacon options. Also on tap at the Food Truck Frenzy is a craft beer fest, where 11 brewhouses including Steamwhistle, Creemore Springs and Mill Street will offer up samples of their suds.

The Food Truck Frenzy and Craft Beer Fest takes place just inside the Princes’ Gates at the east end of the grounds.

Friday, Aug. 28: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 30: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.


2. Free music!

There are too many performances scheduled over the 18 days of the Ex to just choose one, so here are three acts you might want to check out:

Foghat: Friday, Aug. 28

Tokyo Police Club: Thursday, Sept. 3

Monster Truck: Saturday, Sept. 5

All performances are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

3. Bon Voyage! Aerial Acrobatic & Ice Skating Show

You can cool down after a hot day on the midway with the Bon Voyage! ice skating and aerial acrobatics show, featuring Olympic gold medalist ice dancers Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue. Joining the championship pair are acrobat and aerialist team Karen Goudreault and Dominic Lacasse. With two performances every day of the Exhibition, Bon Voyage! is a great chance to see some amazing on-ice and in-air feats.

Ricoh Coliseum
Sept. 5 to Sept. 7
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


4. HorsePower Live!

This display of trick riding, roping and barrel racing is far from an old-fashioned rodeo. HorsePower Live!is an admission-free performance of equestrian skill set to music, including a “hip hop freestyle” routine. And the four-legged stars will be available for a meet-and-greet after the show. Warning: HorsePower Live! may result in demands that you buy your kids a horse – or at least get them riding lessons.

CNE Horse Palace
Aug. 2 – Aug. 20
11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.


5. The Canadian International Air Show

It’s been a CNE staple for 65 years, but the Air Show never disappoints. This year, in addition to the aerobatic Snowbirds and trick flying by teams from around the world, the Air Show will honour the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Britain, with an appearance by a World War Two’s Spitfire. You can buy tickets for the VIP Guest Enclosure, or enjoy the show for free anywhere on the CNE grounds. Word is the best views are from the southwest waterfront area.

Sept. 5 – Sept. 7
Noon – 3 p.m.


Ready for the weekend? Don’t forget about road, TTC closures

CityNews | posted Friday, Aug 21st, 2015

As summer slowly winds down, Torontonians are making the most of their weekends. But remember, with street festivals come road closures in the city.

There is also a partial subway closure this weekend.

Road closures

Big on Bloor
Bloor Street, from Dufferin Street to Lansdowne Avenue, will be closed from Saturday at 9 a.m. to Sunday at 9 p.m.

Taste of Manila
Bathurst Street will be closed from Wilson Avenue to Laurelcrest Avenue from Saturday at 12:01 a.m. to Sunday at 11 p.m.

Chinatown Festival
The southbound lanes of Spadina Avenue will be closed from St. Andrew to Sullivan streets from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Also, keep in mind if you are heading to The Ex this weekend: the Gardiner Expressway will be reduced to two lanes in each direction from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street to replace the deck on the elevated portion of the Gardiner.

TTC closure

Subways won’t be running on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between Kipling and Jane stations on Saturday and Sunday due to track replacement and maintenance work.

Replacement buses will be running.

5 things to do this weekend: Outdoor movie night, Chinatown Festival, and Big on Bloor

Erin Criger | posted Friday, Aug 21st, 2015

As our regular series continues, we look at events happening in Toronto for a variety of ages and interests.

August 21-23, 2015

Big on Bloor festival: One week after Yonge Street was shut down for pedestrians, Bloor Street gets the same treatment for two days of festivities. Local performers including musicians and buskers will take over the stage, while local Bloordale businesses will set up shop along the street. There’s also games, poetry and theatre, plus a parkette for kids. Up to 80,000 people are expected to attend the festival, now in its eighth year. Bloor Street between Dufferin and Lansdowne avenues. Saturday, 1 p.m to 10 p.m. Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Free. bigonbloorfestival.com

Chinatown Festival: The 15th-annual Chinatown Festival takes over Spadina Avenue, with two stages for performers and dozens of vendors offering street food and special dishes. There will also be lion dances, murals depicting the Forbidden City, and a Kung Fu Village. West side of Spadina between Sullivan and St. Andrew streets. Saturday, noon to 11 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free.chinatowntcf.com

Outdoor movies: There are at least three different options for outdoor movie fans this weekend, running the gamut from kid-friendly to adults-only and from beachfront to park side. Sail-in Cinema, at Sugar Beach, has a salute to the ’80s, with GhostbustersET and The Goonies playing this weekend.Ghostbusters fans in the city’s north end, meanwhile, can watch the film at Shoreham Walkway. The screening is co-hosted by the Toronto International Film Festival and the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre. Finally, Mean Girls will be shown at Christie Pits Park. Times and locations vary. Click event link for more details.

Canadian National Exhibition: The surest sign that summer is unofficially over: The Ex opens this weekend. Take in the midway, sample ridiculous food, try out the new rides (maybe not in that order). There’s also concerts at the band shell, an ice-skating and an acrobat show, and of course, the air show. Exhibition Place grounds, north of Lake Shore Boulevard West between Strachan and Dufferin streets. Aug. 21 – Sept. 7. Hours vary. $15-$18 for admission, plus the cost of rides. TheEx.com

Port Credit Buskerfest: Looking to get outside the city this weekend? Check out the Port Credit Buskerfest, where amateur street performers show off their stunts for the crowd. Acts range from comedians and contortionists to sword-swallowers and human statures. The three-day event will take place all across Port Credit, with over 40 performers expected. The Sunday finale, where dozens of buskers will take the stage together, will take over Memorial Park. Port Credit. Friday-Sunday. Times vary. Admission is free but donations to buskers are expected. portcreditbuskerfest.com

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.

Public high school teachers reach tentative agreement with province

CityNews | posted Thursday, Aug 20th, 2015

After months of negotiations, there is hope for Ontario’s public high school students.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has reached a tentative agreement with the province and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA), the union said Thursday.

The news was posted on the OSSTF Facebook page.

The deal must be endorsed by the union’s local leaders before it is presented to all members for ratification. The union said that meeting will take place later this week, but the exact day has not been revealed.

The province’s 60,000 public high school teachers were in talks with the province on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The OSSTF is not the only union in negotiations with the province. Ontario is also negotiating with its public elementary teachers’ union and the union representing Catholic elementary and high school teachers. The contracts for all Ontario teachers expired last August and there has been no resolution, with classes set to start on Sept. 8.

Province should brace for ‘fight of your lives,’ teachers’ union warns

The head of the province’s public elementary teachers’ union is expected to reveal the next steps in its work-to-rule campaign on Thursday morning.

Sam Hammond is scheduled to address more than 800 delegates during the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario’s (ETFO) annual meeting in Toronto.

ETFO, which represents 76,000 teachers, is set to return to the bargaining table on Sept. 1. By that time, union members will have been without a contract for a year.

The union has been in a legal strike position since May 10.

Earlier this week, Hammond warned that the province and schools boards should prepare for the fight of their lives when negotiations resume.

If serious bargaining “doesn’t happen, then I say to the government and OPSBA, ‘you are in for the fight of your lives,’” Hammond said.

Last week, Education Minister Liz Sandals warned the four big teachers’ unions that they can’t unilaterally decide what job actions they’ll take if there are no deals when school resumes and call it a work-to-rule campaign.

Meanwhile, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), which was in a legal strike position as of Monday, is expected to resume bargaining on Thursday, and continue into Friday, and Monday and Tuesday of next week.

OECTA officials said work-to-rule action will begin on the teachers’ first paid date back to work, which is this week for teachers in some northern regions. There’s no word yet on what that action will be or if it will take place despite the negotiations.

Members of OECTA, which represents 50,000 teachers, have been without a contract for more than a year.

With files from The Canadian Press

Save money on back-to-school shopping

Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Special to MoneySense | posted Tuesday, Aug 18th, 2015


Shop the sales

Make your dollar go a lot further by gathering up the flyers and doing a little prep work. Involve the kids by giving them a budget for their school supplies and having them figure out how they’ll spend their money for pens, paper and all the other stuff they’ll need.

Do an inventory 
Make a list of what your child has and what he needs before you head out to the stores. If last year’s jacket still fits that’s one less expense.

Stick to your guns about what you can afford to spend
Even if she HAS to have those jeans, you can say “No.” She won’t break. You could, of course, allow her to upgrade using her own money to make up the difference between what you’re prepared to spend and the brand she absolutely has to have.

Budget for extra-curricular expenses
The extras such as sports equipment, music books and the like often get left off the list. You’ll likely have to come up with extra money during those first few weeks of school to cover all sorts of activities so don’t spend it all when you’re shopping.

Show your children your budget 
You want them to have realistic expectations before you head to the stores. Many parents hate to talk about money with their kids. And they’re dead set against disclosing the realities of their financial circumstances. Then they get ticked when their children don’t show sufficient appreciation for how hard they have had to work to provide those no-name jeans.

Well, if you don’t tell ‘em, how are they supposed to know? Being smart about money isn’t intuitive. It’s learned. And you are your children’s most influential teachers … of both good habits and bad.

Canadian company gets patent for 20-kilometre-high space elevator

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Aug 18th, 2015

PEMBROKE, Ont. – Blasting off into space may never look the same if one Canadian company has its way.

Thoth Technology of Pembroke, Ont., is developing a 20-kilometre-high free-standing space elevator that would allow astronauts to launch into space from a platform high above the Earth.

In July, Thoth was granted a U.S. patent for the technology.

“From the top of the structure you would be able to launch using a single stage space plane directly into low Earth orbit, and the return to the top of the structure and you wouldn’t need any expendable rockets that would come off during the flight,” inventor Dr. Brendan Quine said from the Algonquin Radio Observatory in Pembroke, Ont.

“The whole thing would be like a passenger jet.”

Quine says the structure would be pneumatically pressurized and guided over its base to allow it to stand freely.

“The centre of the patent is how to control such a huge and slender structure,” Quine said. “We basically null out the external forces on the tower using pneumatic pressure and actually lean the tower, actively guide the centre of gravity towards things like hurricanes so that the tower won’t fall down.”

He said the company intends to use pneumatic cells composed of materials like polyethylene and kevlar and leverage the power of gas pressure to create a strong, rigid structure capable of holding up the immense mass.

The advantages of launching into space from the elevator are numerous, according to Quine. But most significantly, launching into space vertically would not be necessary, saving more than 30 per cent of the fuel of a conventional rocket.

“You don’t have to go through the vertical ascent phase. Most rockets fly vertically upwards for 15 kilometres and then they bank in order to gain the kinetic energy of low-Earth orbit,” Quine said. “But the ascent phase is extremely energy intensive and very inefficient.”

Quine says the next step is to build a demonstration tower approximately 1.5 kilometres tall to test the concept. He says the company wants to license the technology “to a wide range of interested companies” in order to make the space elevator a reality as soon as possible.

In addition to space flight, the company says the space elevator could be used for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism.

Quine says the project will cost between US$5 billion and US10 billion and could take three to five years to complete the demonstration tower, and another three years to finish the full version.

About a dozen people have been working on the concept since February 2007, Quine said.

— By Matt Ingram in Toronto @Mattingram984

Goodbye Pan Am HOV lanes, hello Gardiner construction

Patricia D'Cunha | posted Tuesday, Aug 18th, 2015

It’s the last morning commute of watching buses and taxis zoom by in the temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

The HOV lanes, which have been in place since July 29, will come to an end at 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

But many drivers are asking why the enforcement is continuing until Tuesday night, considering the Parapan Am Games ended on Saturday.

Toronto police Const. Craig Brister said the lanes were still in place to get the athletes to the airport on time.

The lanes accomplished “what we need to do in getting the athletes from the Athletes Village up to the airport on time so they can get their outgoing flights,” Brister said on Monday.

The HOV lanes were added to highways 401, 404, and 427, as well as the Don Valley Parkway, Gardiner Expressway, and Queen Elizabeth Way.

During the Pan Am Games, the 235-kilometre stretch of HOV lanes were open to vehicles with three or more people, public transit, taxis, emergency vehicles, and accredited games vehicles. For the Parapan Am Games, the HOV lanes were open to vehicles travelling with two or more people.

Ministry of Transportation officials say while the enforcement ends at 11 p.m., it will take days to remove the lane markings and signs. The work will be done during low traffic times so that it has a minimum affect on traffic.

“We will be doing it during off-peak hours, which means overnight lane reductions,” Astrid Poei, spokesperson with the ministry, said on Monday.

However, the HOV lanes could return to torment drivers in the form of toll lanes. Last month, Premier Kathleen Wynne said toll lanes will eventually be a reality and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

The premier said when and where the toll lanes will be placed has yet to be decided, but that her government wants to apply the lessons learned from the HOV lanes to create them.

And while the 235-kilometre stretch of HOV lanes will soon be gone, work on the Gardiner Expressway is set to resume on Wednesday, just in time for the Canadian National Exhibition.

The expressway will be reduced to two lanes in each direction from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street to replace the deck on the elevated portion of the Gardiner. The work, which was halted to ease traffic congestion during the Games, is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2016.

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