Tuesday December 6th 2016

Cinema under the stars

Why pay to sit in a dark theatre on a warm summer night, when you can see a movie in the great outdoors for free? It’s a summer tradition: When the sun sets in Toronto, open-air movie theatres pop up all over town, from the waterfront to Downsview Park. Here’s where to find them:

Dancing in the Dark

Under the bright lights of Yonge-Dundas Square, see Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) seduce the privileged Baby (Jennifer Grey) with his mambo moves in Dirty Dancing or watch as 11-year-old New York City public school kids learn to foxtrot and tango in the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom. It’s a different dance-related movie every Tuesday night. The first screening is a Pride Week double-header of Paris is Burning and Hairspray. Rain or shine. Free.

Where: Yonge-Dundas Square (10 Dundas St. E.)

Runs: Tuesdays, June 28 to Aug. 30

Longo’s Free Flicks

Sit along the harbour and follow characters on the big screen as they explore a specific urban centre, including Tokyo (Lost in Translation), New Delhi (Amal) and Paris (Paris je t’aime). The festival kicks off with a tour of Toronto in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with local funnyman Michael Cera. Rain or shine. Free.

Where: WestJet Stage at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W.)

Runs: Tuesdays, July 5 to Aug. 9

TIFF in the Park

Sing along to your favourite musical, such as The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, in the heart of downtown at David Pecaut Square. The Aug. 3 showing takes a different spin on classic film, with a screening of the 1956 film Jagte Raho about an Indian peasant’s misadventures in the city when he stumbles into a luxury apartment building in search of a glass of water. The screening is cancelled in case of rain. Free.

Runs: Wednesdays, July 6 to Aug. 31

Where: David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square, next to Roy Thomson Hall)

Open Roof Festival

Watch the sun set over a cold beer and live music at the Amsterdam brewery on Thursday nights before an outdoor cinematic experience. The festival opens with Toronto-band Little Black Dress and a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, a twisting chronicle of some of the world’s top graffiti artists, including the elusive Banksy. Doors at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $15.

Where: Amsterdam Brewing Company (21 Bathurst St.)

Runs: Thursdays, June 16 to Sept. 1

Movies Under the Stars

Kick off the weekend with a family-friendly movie at Downsview Park. Features include the Rapunzel-inspired animated Disney film Tangled, the story of Ontario’s favourite teen heartthrob in Justin Bieber Never Say and the ’90s basketball classic Space Jam that pairs Bugs Bunny with Michael Jordan on the court. There’s a back-up indoor location nearby in case of rain. Free.

Where: At the main entrance of Downsview Park (35 Carl Hall Rd.)

Runs: Fridays, July 9 to Aug. 31

Parkdale Film and Video Showcase

A screening of short films created by Parkdale artists will be showcased under the stars as part of a greater weekend festival of workshops and media installations in the neighbourhood. The event is in its 13th year. Bring your own snacks to the screening. Pay what you can.

Where: Fuller Avenue Parkette (Fuller Ave., north of Queen St. W.)

Runs: Saturday, June 25 at 9 p.m.

Pleasure Dome

The Pleasure Dome, in partnership with the Feminist Art Gallery, will screen the experimental work of German artist Isabell Spengler on July 9. Bring your finished or in-the-works short (10-minute maximum) to the open screening on July 23. Members pay $5, non-members pay $8.

Where: 401 Richmond St. W. courtyard (Rain location: CineCycle, 129 Spadina Ave.)

Movies in the Park

Bring the family to watch PG movies in Riverdale Park East on some Sundays this summer. Each movie screening is sponsored to support one of three local charities: Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs, Broadview Community Youth Group and Art City. Free.

Where: Riverdale Park East (550 Broadview Ave.)

Runs: Sundays on June 19, July 24, Aug. 14 and Aug. 21

IIFA – Bollywood stars arrive in Toronto for Indian ‘Oscars’

TORONTO, Ont. – The best of Bollywood has started arriving in Toronto, all for the International Indian Film Academy Awards happening at Rogers Centre on Saturday.

Around 700-million people around the world are expected to watch India’s version of the Oscars, held for the first time in North America.

Many fans camped out at Pearson International Airport to see their favourite stars, such as Bobby Deol, Anil Kapoor and Dia Mirza.

“Quite exciting to know that there’s such a large community here that loves Indian cinema,” Mirza told CityNews.

“This is going to be an eye-opener for Canadians and Torontonians to see the impact of Bollywood globally,” OMNI Television’s Mohit Rajhans said.

About 16,000 tickets for the awards show were sold out in five minutes.

Prior to the big show on Saturday, many events are happening around the city and in Brampton, Markham and Mississauga.

The awards show is a pay-per-view event costing $39.95.

Citytv and Omni Television will have full coverage leading up to the event.

Source: http://www.680news.com/entertainment/article/244191–bollywood-stars-arrive-in-toronto-for-indian-oscars

Canada Post workers rally in Toronto

Canada Post workers are gathering in the heart of Toronto’s downtown to rally against the federal government’s attempt to force them to go back to work if a contract agreement can’t be struck.

John Cartwright, the president of Toronto and York region labour council, said he expects hundreds to gather at the rally Wednesday morning at the intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets in front of Canada Post’s legal offices.

In addition to postal workers, workers from every sector of the economy are expected to attend the rush-hour rally at one of the busiest corners in the city.

Those people, Cartwright said, are standing up for the next generation of Canadian workers who deserve the same wages and benefits his generation received. As of about 9:30 a.m., more than 100 workers had assembled at Yonge and Dundas, carrying placards emblazoned with slogans like “negotiate not legislate.”

Some of those who gathered said they hoped a negotiated settlement could be reached instead of Ottawa intervening.

The rally comes two days after the Conservative government in Ottawa tabled back-to-work legislation. Parliament spent much of the day Tuesday debating the legislation, which would force workers to go back to work should the union, CUPW, and management fail to reach a deal on a new contract.

The government hopes to vote on the legislation Thursday.

Canada Post locked out workers on June 14, after 12 days of rotating strikes launched by the union. The two sides met for talks on Tuesday

The Crown corporation has said the main sticking point in the dispute is the union’s demand for staffing levels beyond the capability of Canada Post, adding that wages were not the key disagreement.

CUPW, the union representing the thousands of striking workers, has been emphasizing working conditions and safety issues, as well as decrying the corporation’s push to have new employees receive substantially inferior wages and pensions. CUPW also says Canada Post turned a profit in each of the last 16 years

With files from CBC’s Kimberly Gale

Rogers vs. Bell – Which is better?

Bell services versus Rogers services in Toronto

When moving into the Greater Toronto Area, your main two options for Internet, Phone, and Cable Television is Rogers and Bell.  Although many perceive both to be on the same level, others may disagree.  So the question remains: Is Rogers service better than Bell? or does Bell provide better services?

Based on my discussions with various customers, here are some points to consider:

  • Bell outsources many calls to India
  • Rogers uses Canadian Call Centres
  • Bell home phone is regulated by CRTC.
    This results in many mandatory charges.
  • Rogers home phone is not regulated
  • Rogers provides on-demand services
  • Bell is starting to provide on-demand services
  • Both Bell and Rogers have rude customer service
  • Bell takes longer to resolve issues

Bell’s new fibre optic lines to the node are exciting. But they are known to have rude customer service and incorrect monthly billing.

Rogers lowers download limits as Netflix looms

Rogers reduces download limits

Rogers Communications, the country’s second-biggest internet provider, is lowering the usage limits on some of its plans, just days after online video service Netflix announced it was expanding into Canada.

The company lowered the limits Wednesday on several of its service plans in Ontario, its main market. Users who signed up for the cable company’s “Extreme” service after July 21 will be allowed 80 gigabytes of monthly usage, versus 90 GB for those who signed up before.


Do usage limits affect how you use the internet? Take our poll.

Customers who sign up for the “Lite” service will now get 15 GB, versus 25 GB before.

Rogers also simultaneously boosted the speed of the Extreme plan to 15 megabits per second from 10, while the Lite plan’s speed was unchanged.

The company, which has 1.6 million internet subscribers — second only to Bell Canada — did not explain the changes and a spokesperson did not have a comment.

The lower usage limits came two days after Netflix announced its plans to enter Canada this fall. Netflix has become popular in the United States by providing unlimited movies and television shows for a monthly subscription fee of $8.99 U.S.

Streamed to TV

The videos can be streamed to the subscriber’s television through a choice of internet-connected devices, such as game consoles and Blu-ray DVD players.

Netflix also has a mail service in which DVDs are sent to the subscriber’s home, but the company has no plans to offer that option in Canada.

U.S. technology blogs have estimated that a typical two-hour movie from Netflix uses about 1.8 GB of data, while a high-definition version consumes about 3 GB. Users on Rogers’s new Lite plan could therefore view about 10 hours a month of HD video a month if they didn’t use their internet connection for anything else, while Extreme subscribers could view about 53 hours, or less than two hours a day.

Rogers Communications’ highest usage plan is its Ultimate service, which allows for 175 GB for $99 a month. Earlier this year, the company raised its maximum overage fee — extra charges that are incurred when monthly usage is exceeded — to $50 from $25.

John Lawford, a lawyer with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre consumer watchdog, said the move is both a cash grab by Rogers on its internet customers, and a defensive measure to protect its video services. The company is Canada’s biggest cable television provider and it operates a video streaming service similar to Netflix called On Demand Online.

“It’s easier to make money from overage charges because those aren’t really advertised rates. You’re going to make more money from those overages, eventually, than your regular monthly rates,” Lawford said. “It also kind of wrecks [Netflix's] business model if the cost to the end user goes up after they’ve subscribed and then they cancel it a month later because they can’t afford it.”

Rogers usage limits are similar to those offered by most large Canadian internet service providers. Bell, for example, offers 25 GB on its Performance service and 75 GB on its Fibe 16 plan.

The offerings are minuscule, compared with what ISPs give customers in the United States. Cable provider Comcast, for example, has a limit of 250 GB on all plans while customers pay more for higher speeds.

Some smaller Canadian providers who rent portions of phone and cable companies’ networks to provide their own internet services offer high-usage plans for lower fees. Chatham, Ont.-based TekSavvy, for example, leases network access from both Rogers and Bell and sells services with unlimited usage.

A spokesperson for Netflix said it was too early to comment on whether the low usage limits from major ISPs would affect the company’s prospects in Canada.

Arts and Crafts parties for kids

If you need to plan a fun filled day for your family, the following list may help get the ball rolling.  These are local organizations/companies that provide services that cater to kids needs.  The activities are geared toward arts and crafts for your kids.  They are in no particular order so please feel free to browse and check them out.

Tel: 416-488-CLAY (2529)

Let Wanda share her whimsical FIMO/Sculpey projects with your child. NO mess…clay you make and bake. It’s fun & easy, and kids of all ages will love the projects that they create and take home! Parties and classes can be done in our fabulous studio, or in your home. Afterschool & camp programs available too. Look for our coupon in the 2010 print edition. Book available for purchase on Help! home page.

Tel: 416-650-5060

Active Kids Zone offers a variety of exciting Birthday Parties, Holiday Camps and Weekly Summer Camps.  Activities offered: Sports, Organized Games, Crafts, Ceramics, Karaoke, Cooking, Bear stuffing and the Fun Zone (indoor playground). Also available for sale: Loot bags, Tableware, and Balloons.

Tel: 416-233-5512

8 Brentwood Rd N
M8X 2B5

Your paint-your-own ceramics studio! Come on in and paint with us! No appointment, talent or experience required! DROP-INS! BIRTHDAY PARTY PACKAGES! SCHOOL PROGRAMS! BABY PRINTS! BRIDAL SHOWERS! GREAT GIFT IDEAS! ART CAMPS! GLASS FUSING CLASSES! FUN FOR EVERYONE!

Family Day in Canada

Family Day is observed in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan on the third Monday of February. This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities.

What do people do?

On Family Day, many people plan and take part in activities aimed at the whole family. These include visiting art exhibitions, watching movies, skating on outdoor ice rinks, playing board games and taking part in craft activities. Some communities plan special public events, and art galleries and museums may have reduced price or free entry.

As the weather is usually very cold in February, hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies are popular snacks. Other people use the long weekend as an opportunity for a short winter break or to travel to visit family members or friends. As Family Day falls on the same date as National Heritage Day, some people use the day to explore their personal heritage and family history.

Public life

In the provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, many people have a day off work and schools are generally closed on Family Day. Many businesses and organizations are closed, but post offices may be open. Public transport services may run to their usual or reduced timetables.

In the province of Manitoba, the third Monday of February is a general holiday, known as Louis Riel Day. Many people have a day off work and school and many businesses, organizations and stores are closed. In some communities, stores are open after noon. Public transport services may run to Sunday or holiday timetables. In rural areas, there may be no services.

In the other provinces and territories of Canada, Family Day is not observed and the third Monday in February is not a holiday. Businesses, organizations, schools and post offices are open as usual and public transport services run to their normal timetables.


Family Day was first held in Canada in the province of Alberta in 1990. It is supposed to reflect the values of family and home that were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta, and give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008. One of the reasons for introducing Family Day was that there was a long period when there were no holidays from New Year’s Day until Good Friday.

Holidays to celebrate families are also held in other places around the globe. In the Australian Capital Territory, the first Tuesday of November is known as Family and Community Day. In South Africa, the day after Easter Sunday is Family Day.

Weekday Date Year Name Where?
Mon Feb 19 1990 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 18 1991 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 17 1992 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 15 1993 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 21 1994 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 20 1995 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 19 1996 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 17 1997 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 16 1998 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 15 1999 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 21 2000 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 19 2001 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 18 2002 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 17 2003 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 16 2004 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 21 2005 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 20 2006 Family Day AB
Mon Feb 19 2007 Family Day AB, SK
Mon Feb 18 2008 Family Day AB, ON, SK
Mon Feb 16 2009 Family Day AB, ON, SK
Mon Feb 15 2010 Family Day AB, ON, SK
Mon Feb 21 2011 Family Day AB, ON, SK
Mon Feb 20 2012 Family Day AB, ON, SK
Mon Feb 18 2013 Family Day AB, ON, SK
Mon Feb 17 2014 Family Day AB, ON, SK
Mon Feb 16 2015 Family Day AB, ON, SK

Dates of Public Holidays in Canada 2010 – 2015

Public holidays in Canada are set at the national level countrywide as well as by each of the 10 provinces and three territories.

See table below for a listing all the national public holidays in Canada until 2015.

Public Holidays in Canada

Public Holiday 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
New Year’s Day Fri, Jan 1 Sat, Jan 1 Sun, Jan 1 Tues, Jan 1 Wed, Jan 1 Tues, Jan 1
Family Day (3rd Mon of Feb. in ALTA, SASK. & ON) Feb 15 Feb 21 Feb 20 Feb 18 Feb 17 Feb 16
Good Friday April 2 April 22 April 6 March 29 April 18 April 3
Easter Monday Schools and gov. offices closed, many businesses and banks open. April 5 April 25 April 9 April 1 April 21 April 6
Victoria Day (the Monday before May 25) May 24 May 23 May 21 May 20 May 19 May 18
Canada Day Thurs, July 1 Fri, July 1 Sun, July 1 Mon, July 1 Tues, July 1 Wed, July 1
First Monday of August Civic Holiday:celebrated by most provinces. Aug 2 Aug 1 Aug 6 Aug 5 Aug 6 Aug 3
Labour Day (first Mon. of Sept.) Sept 6 Sept 5 Sept 3 Sept 2 Sept 1 Sept 7
Thanksgiving Day (2nd Mon of Oct) Oct 11 Oct 10 Oct 8 Oct 14 Oct 13 Oct 12
Remembrance Day (banks and gov. offices closed, but most business & schools open) Thurs, Nov 11 Fri, Nov 11 Wed, Nov 11 Thurs, Nov 11 Fri, Nov 11 Wed, Nov 11
Christmas Day Sat, Dec 25 Sun, Dec 25 Tues, Dec 25 Wed, Dec 25 Thurs, Dec 25 Fri, Dec 25
Boxing Day (most stores open) Sun, Dec 26 Mon, Dec 26 Wed, Dec 26 Thurs, Dec 26 Fri, Dec 26 Sat, Dec 26

10 great places to eat in Toronto

When it comes to Toronto’s culinary scene, it’s amazing how one guy leaving town can cause such a commotion.

I’m as sorry as the next foodie that Susur Lee headed to Manhattan, but there are still so many opportunities for good eating in this city that I won’t be shedding too many tears.

Here’s a list of 10 of my favourite places scattered throughout the GTA. These are not the 10 “best” restaurants. Only one or two are even what you’d call expensive. They’re just 10 places that serve a particular dish or style of food I really like. And that’s the main reason to go to a restaurant, right?


Allen’s, 143 Danforth Ave.

(416) 463-3086

It’s a great pub with a beautiful backyard to dine in during the warm months, but I come here for the best burger in the GTA. Freshly-ground, high-quality beef served as rare as you like it with superb sweet potato fries and a beer list to die for. Heaven.


Peak Top, 3255 Rutherford Rd.

Concord, (905) 738-0838

For me, Chinese food means barbecue and there’s none better than what you can find here. This location in Vaughan Mills Plaza looks elegant, but it’s the meat you’ll remember: the crunchiest duck, crackling pork and chicken so crisp-skinned you’ll cry.


Centre Street Deli, 1136 Centre St. Thornhill, (905) 731-8037

My childhood deli memories are from Manhattan, not Montreal, but I find this place the real thing, as do many who grew up swearing by Schwartz’s. Smoked meat is king here, hand-carved and spicy with the authentic peppery tang that keeps you coming back.


Splendido, 88 Harbord St.

(416) 929-7788

You’ve got to have one place for special dining occasions and – now that Susur is closed – there’s no need to choose. This is, hands down, the class act in town. Perfect service, exquisite presentation and – of course – magnificent food. Best of all, there’s not a whiff of snobbery about the place; they make you feel at home.


Batifole, 744 Gerrard St. E.

(416) 462-9965

I may be prejudiced because it’s near my home, but many people besides me hail this as the best French bistro in town. The room is small and the tables are rickety, but the prices are low and the food is superb. If Beef Cheeks are on the menu, order them!


Il Gelaterie Artigianale

647 Mt. Pleasant Rd.

(416) 488-2663

Strictly speaking, gelato isn’t ice cream, but sweet frozen eating in this city doesn’t come any better than here. They’ve usually got more than 30 flavours and it’s the best I’ve tasted outside of Florence. Chocolato al Peperoncini (with red pepper) is a killer.


Tutti Matti, 364 Adelaide St. W. (416) 597-8839

Convivial at lunchtime, romantic in the evening, this Tuscan dining room is true to its school: no pizza and hardly a tomato in sight. But there’s pastas and polentas you won’t forget and heady game dishes (like their wild boar ragu) you won’t find anywhere else.


JK Wine Bar, 9 Church St., JK at the Gardiner, 111 Queen’s Park, Gilead Café, 4 Gilead Pl.

(416) 362-1957 for all venues

Okay, if I have a favourite chef now that Susur is gone, it’s Jamie Kennedy. He saw where dining was going in other cities and led the way in Toronto. Small plates, lots of wines by the glass and an atmosphere that is relaxed, yet classy.

Best of all, his new casual Gilead Café lets you bop in anytime and get the best fries in town ($4) or a deluxe poutine that changes every day ($8). Lots of yummy takeout, too.


Sushi Kaji, 860 The Queensway

(416) 252-2166

This ain’t your daddy’s sushi joint. Don’t come here looking for California rolls, but an experience that approaches pure art. No à la carte, but exquisite tasting menus at $80 to $120. Sit at the bar to watch Mitsuhiro Kaji make magic out of raw fish. Unforgettable.


Burrito Boyz, 120 Peter St., (416) 593-9191

218 Adelaide St. W., (647) 439-4065

9 Stavebank Rd. N., Mississauga, (905) 891-2699

Purists will tell you it isn’t real Mexican. All you need to know is that it’s delicious, cheap and high quality, with their Halibut Burrito one of tastiest things in the city. But avoid the downtown locations after the clubs close. Drunk people eating burritos. Not pretty.

Source: http://www.thestar.com/travel/article/448664

Earthquake in Canada – Magnitude-5.5 Toronto Earthquake Reported Today, Tremors Felt in Cleveland, Michigan

UK Today News: Earthquake in Canada – Magnitude-5.5 Toronto Earthquake Reported Today, Tremors Felt in Cleveland, Michigan

Canada Earthquake 2010: A magnitude-5.0 earthquake hit Canada’s Ontario-Quebec border region on Wednesday at around 1:41 p.m. EDT (1741 GMT), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake was felt in Ottawa, the city of Toronto
and parts of New York and Vermont as well as up to Cleveland, Michigan and Cincinnati in Ohio.

As of now there were no reports of injuries or damage.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake took place at a depth of about 12 miles (19.2 kilometers) and the epicenter of the quake was said to be in Quebec, north of Ottawa. It was initially of 5.5 magnitude, but it was reduced to a magnitude-5.0. , the USGS said.

AP reports: “The tremors, which lasted about 30 seconds, rattled buildings in Ottawa and Toronto, as well as government offices across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec.”