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    So long goth lattes, hello colour-changing tea. 

    The past few years have seen beverage trends bounce back and forth, between cutesy and dark, from sprinkly unicorn milkshakes (gross) to activated charcoal everything (yawn).

    Recently, however, an ingredient has been making waves in Toronto that somehow strikes the perfect balance. It's pretty, but not cloying; witchy, but not emo; magical, but doesn't involve ingesting actual rocks or ashes.

    That ingredient is butterfly pea — a Southeast Asian flower with chemical properties that prompt it to change colours in the presence of an acidic liquid, such as lemon juice.

    A post shared by QQ (@queenie809) on

    Whether in cocktails, iced beverages, or hot tea, dried butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea) flowers lend a deep indigo blue colour to whatever they're steeped in.

    Adding even a splash of something citrus will turn that liquid, which is also sometimes called Asian pigeonwing tea, into a bright violet colour.

    It's got a subtle, earthy flavour, like green tea, and is said to be chock full of antioxidants— but, more importantly, this stuff is like a magical potion or science experiment you can actually drink.

    The tea is already popular in Thailand, Australia, and in some U.S. cities like New York and L.A., but it hasn't picked up too much traction locally. That was, until this summer, when butterfly pea flower tea started turning heads in and around Toronto at the Night It Up! food market...

    Taste of Lawrence...

    A post shared by Annemarie (@bobagirlto) on

    And at local cafes like Jimmy's Coffee...

    And Cool N2 Nitrogen Ice Cream.

    A Toronto market vendor called NAM WAN (Thai sips n' sweets) has been instrumental in popularizing the drink on Instagram with its unique straw-and-bag presentation.

    Of course, there are mixologists in the city who've been working with this stuff for years — but so too were there restaurants adding charcoal to stuff before "goth ice cream" even entered our lexicon.

    A post shared by Light Cafe (@lightcafecanada) on

    Based on how the trend has evolved in other cities, it might not be long before we see butterfly pea flower powder showing up in food stuff, too — like bread, cake and noodles.

    Purple is the new black, friends; you heard it here first. Maybe.

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    Summer in Toronto wouldn't be the same without food events of all sorts, and the top ones for August truly show off the diverse food offerings of the city. Vegans, meat-eaters, sweet tooths and everyone in between all have something to look forward to this month.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Food Truck Festival (August 3-6 @ Woodbine Park)
    Scattered around the city no more, food trucks from all over will fill Woodbine Park with all kinds of tastes, smells, brews and activities.
    Taste of the Middle East Food Festival (August 4 @ Dundas Square)
    The inaugural Middle Eastern food fest kicks off with favourites like Turkish coffee, Arak and grilled halloumi, plus art, music and dancing.
    Taste of India (August 5 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
    Over 100 different Indian foods are up for the trying at this huge festival, with samples, street performers, activities and a bazaar.
    JerkFest (August 9-12 @ Centennial Park)
    JerkFest is back and grilling up mountains of grilled chicken and other Caribbean favourites alongside games, music and dancing.
    Waterfront Night Market (August 10-12 @ Ontario Place)
    Now at its new home over at Ontario Place, this night market is known for a huge selection of Pan-Asian food, as well as art and lifestyle goods.
    Taste of the Danforth (August 10-12 @ Greektown)
    All things Greek take over the Danforth with patios, street food, music and activities in celebration of Toronto's Hellenic community.
    Vegandale Food Festival (August 11-12 @ Fort York National Historic Site)
    Vegan foodies take over Fort York for two days of vendors serving up food and drinks, and goods and products from non-animal sources.
    Sweetery (August 11-12 @ David Pecaut Square)
    For all the sweet tooths out there, this festival of desserts features local chef, student and artisan creations of the sugary persuasion.
    Toronto Cider Festival (August 24-25 @ Sherbourne Common)
    Ciders from Canada and all over the world are paired alongside a curated selection of food vendors during this annual two-day festival.
    Mac and Cheese Fest (August 31 - September 3 @ Woodbine Park)
    Back again is this huge festival dedicated to all things Mac 'n' cheese with modern twists on the classic—all for a good cause.

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  • 07/30/18--11:38: The Best Gelato in Toronto
  • The best gelato in Toronto showcases the the smoother Italian version of regular ice cream. For a treat that’s less fatty than a typical icy cone, head to any of these spots for a huge array of gelato types ranging from classics like Straciatella to futuristic fruity flavours.

    Here is the best gelato in Toronto.

    9 - La Paloma

    You’ll definitely get a nostalgic feeling when you walk into this old-timey spot. This ice creamery on St.Clair West has been offering up to 50 flavours of their delicious house-made gelato at a time since 1967, so you know they’re good.
    8 - Dolce Gelato

    When in Little Italy, do as the Italians do and grab a cone of gelato (or do the same on the <a href="">Danforth</a>, or in <a href="">Kensington</a>). Their cups come in three sizes of delicious―albeit pricier―flavours ranging from watermelon to strawberry cheesecake.
    3 - Bar Ape

    Gelato soft serve and bars are the order of choice at this sweet little St. Clair West counter. Flavours are on constant rotation here so expect something new every time you stop by.
    4 - Kekou Gelato (Queen West)

    Always busy, this Queen West ice creamery is the place to go for house-made gelato on sticks, cups, or cones with rare Asian flavours like Vietnamese coffee, taro, and even durian. You can visit their <a href="">Baldwin Village location</a> for a less busy affair.
    5 - SanRemo Bakery

    This institution on Royal York Road is the go-to spot for all things Italian, and as such, has an impressive selection of homemade gelato flavours available during the summer months. The best move here is getting a huge scoop of gelato pressed between their donut panini.
    6 - Death in Venice Gelato

    There's definitely some fascinating flavours on display at this Queen West cafe, like Mexican chocolate mole, saffron vanilla ginger, and – probably most adventurous – a pad thai-flavoured gelato. They also have quite a few vegan and dairy-free options.
    7 - Hollywood Gelato

    A Leaside classic, this family-run spot on Bayview has been scooping up housemade gelato since 2001. They serve up all the favourites like hazelnut and lemon, but their specialty is the signature Quantum Gelato, which has been developed over the years to be high in protein and low in fat, and it comes in chocolate or cappuccino.
    10 - Ed's Real Scoop (Roncesvalles)

    A Toronto favourite for all things ice cream-related, Ed’s gelato is made with a similar custard base as its ice cream, just churned slower. The result is a denser, richer product full of natural flavours. You can try it at their original Beaches location, in <a href="">Leslieville</a> or in Mimico or <a href="">Roncy</a>.
    11 - Futura Granita + Gelato

    This sleek ice creamery on St. Clair West is the product of two Gelato University grads (yes, that’s a real school in Bologna), meaning the all-natural goods here are really quite phenomenal. They’ve also got super cute funghetto: mini chocolate-dipped gelato cones.

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    Canadian actor Seth Rogen is in Toronto right now, hanging with TTC spokesperson Brad Ross, wearing a hat that says "Bloor-Yonge" on it, in some sort of recording booth.

    This much we know for certain, thanks to a photo shared by Ross on Twitter early Monday afternoon. The rest of the story's a little less clear, but all signs point to something so great I'm almost afraid to jinx it right now.

    Either Ross just landed a role in Sausage Party 2, or Rogen is making good on his offer to voice transit announcements for the TTC.

    Hey, he just did it for Vancouver.

    Rogen, an accomplished voice actor, producer and writer, initially offered to do voiceovers on public transit vehicles "for the whole country!" after Vancouver's Translink public transit system showed interest.

    The celebrity's offer was made, seemingly in jest, after Translink was forced to pull announcements featuring Morgan Freeman.

    Freeman, 80, had been meant to voice intercom announcements across the city all summer long, but was promptly dropped by the promotion's sponsor, Visa, after CNN revealed that at least eight woman had come forward with accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct against him.

    Being that messages featuring Rogen's voice are already live on Vancouver public transit vehicles, the not-so-cryptic tweet from Ross this morning all but confirmed that Toronto was next.

    "What is fellow Canadian and public transit user Seth Rogen doing posing for a selfie with me?" asked Ross in his tweet today, sharing in a photo of himself and Rogen in TTC-branded garb behind a microphone.

    "Stay tuned!"

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    One week after the Danforth shooting that left two people dead, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come to Toronto to offer his condolences. 

    A post shared by Howard Rideout (@howard.rideout) on

    Trudeau arrived earlier this afternoon and visited a funeral service for Reese Fallon, the 18-year-old victim of the shooting. 

    The Prime Minister also laid flowers and gave a brief speech in front of the Alexander the Great parkette, where the shooting memorial is located.

    In the speech, Trudeau noted the need for solidarity. He was interrupted by a heckler in the crowd, who was quickly removed by security. 

    After being asked a question about a potential handgun ban, he said the government has "a lot of things we're looking at right now." 

    Trudeau has been under some scrutiny for not visiting sooner. When asked about it, the Prime Minister somewhat dodged the question, instead opting to tell a story about his brother, who died 20 years ago in an avalanche. 

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    Sun's out, buns out, Toronto. Get ready for a scorcher of an August long weekend in the city, with temperatures expected to feel like 40 degrees Celsius over the three day period.

    The Weather Network is forecasting a hot one for this upcoming August long weekend (Does this holiday even have a name? Nevermind. I'll take it). 

    Toronto weather forecast

    Some like it hot. Image courtesy of The Weather Network.

    Summer sunshine comes with a feeling roughly the equivalent of any one of the nine circles of Hell, with highs of 30 degrees Celsius on Sunday and 29 on the holiday Monday.

    Some relief comes during the evenings when things cool down to as low as 22 on Friday and Sunday. Chances of rain on Monday also signal a break from the heat as temperatures are expected to drop ever so slightly throughout the rest of the week.

    (Ohh, it's Simcoe Day. Okay, nice.)

    If you're heading to the beach or the nearby pool, remember to wear sunscreen, a hat and drink plenty of water.

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    Another shocking incident of racially-motivated harassment was filmed in Toronto this weekend. This time, it was on a moving subway near Eglinton West Station.

    Video footage of the altercation, uploaded to YouTube by a witness on Sunday, begins with a young woman wearing a black Toronto Blue Jays t-shirt repeatedly screaming "GO BACK TO CHINA!" at someone who cannot yet be seen.

    About half-way through the roughly one-minute-long clip, the young woman runs toward where the witness is filming, followed by an older woman wearing what appear to be pink medical scrubs.

    "Give me my cellphone!" pleads the woman in pink while trying to pry something from the girl's hand.

    "I'll give it to you if you take the video off of it," says the younger woman while both struggle to get control of the silver smartphone.

    Bystanders, including the person filming, are quick to jump in and yell things like "Stop assaulting her! Leave her alone! Don't touch her!" and "You're telling her to go back to China? You're wrong... you're racist!"

    It isn't long before the girl manages to snatch the phone anyway and run off the train, which had just stopped at Eglinton West Station.

    Both a man and the woman in pink run after her at a good clip, but the video stops short as they exit the platform.

    "I'm on the TTC heading southbound on Line 1," wrote witness Margaret Anthony in the description field of her YouTube post. "This young woman was yelling at a commuter to go back to China."

    "I pulled the emergency alarm, confronted the culprit mugging this women and waited for the police to arrive," she continued. "This is unacceptable!"

    ttc racist video

    An intense video posted to YouTube on Sunday shows a woman trying to steal another woman's cellphone while screaming at her to "delete the video" and "go back to China." Screenshot by Lauren O'Neil

    "The TTC condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the use of racially-charged language on the system," said TTC spokesperson Stuart Green of the video.

    "With respect to this incident, we are sharing whatever information we have, including video from the train, with Toronto Police for their investigation."

    Toronto Police have yet to comment on the incident, but it's worth noting that a man was arrested last week after videos surfaced of him hurling racial slurs at a family near the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

    Footage from one of those videos went viral on Monday. Fifty-year-old Lombray Ball of Toronto was charged on Thursday with two counts of assault and one of threatening death as part of "a suspected hate-motivated crime investigation."

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    Today in "people who flew too close to the sun," a Mississauga motorist tried to haul home some extra-long slats of plywood in the backseat of a Nissan Sentra this weekend.

    It didn't exactly work out as planned — but things could have turned out worse.

    Peel Regional Police shared a photo of the car in question on Twitter Sunday afternoon, noting that the driver had been fined $160 for an "insecure load."

    Said load was enough wood sticking out from one side of the car that it looked about ready to topple right over, either onto the road or another vehicle, maybe even taking the driver with it, like when the Flinstones got those dinosaur ribs at the dinosaur rib drive-thru place.

    Fortunately, that didn't happen.

    "You can tell it's just been stuffed into the car," said Peel Regional Police media officer Const. Danny Marttini to CBC on Monday, calling it "a whole new way of transporting wood."

    Marttini said that, while people commonly tie heavy items to the backs of their cars with the trunk open, she'd never seen huge wood planks sticking up into the air in such a way before.

    She warned that what the driver did was dangerous, and encouraged others to tie a flag on anything poking out of their vehicle to alert other drivers.

    That, or you could just pay for delivery. Even renting a truck has gotta be less than $160, and you won't run the risk of demerit points.

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    The provincial government has just released the legislation it promised would cut back Toronto's city council to almost half its size

    The Better Local Government Act 2018 solidifies Premier Doug Ford's new policies, aligning Toronto's municipal ward boundaries with the provincial ridings. 

    The Act, which makes amendments and repeals to the City of Toronto Act (2006), the Municipal Act (2001), and the Municipal Elections Act (1996), also states that the regional chairs of York, Niagara, and Peel will be appointed, rather than elected. 

    The new legislation does not contain any surprises. That is, only the changes promised by Ford last week are present. 

    Some expected term limits for city councillors to be a new addition, but they were not. It looks like Toronto's councillors can continue to serve for life for now. 

    During the meeting at Queen's Park earlier today, official opposition leader Andrea Horwath grilled Ford on several aspects of the bill, including calling the premier a "dictator" and asking if he plans to use the new shakeup to rig the city elections. 

    Ford replied that the new cutbacks to council would "save 500,000 pieces of paper."

    However, some analysts are already beginning to examine the legislation to see if it will hold up in court, should it end up there. 

    Toronto City Council itself called for a referendum on the topic at a special meeting this afternoon. Mayor John Tory suggested a referendum was the only way to get "the views of the people" and engage in a "full debate."

    The bill could also be subject to a number of legal challenges. Should it proceed, the bill must then receive Royal Assent before becoming law. 

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    Roberto Osuna was traded to the Houston Astros today for Ken Giles and a pair of minor league pitchers. It was a move that many said the Toronto Blue Jays had to make.

    According to reports, Jays ownership made the decision earlier this season in the wake of Osuna's arrest on assault charges.

    By trading Osuna now, Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications is mitigating any risks of consumer and shareholder backlash should they have welcomed him back to the roster once his suspension concluded this weekend.

    Roberto Osuna himself has released a statement saying he's "excited to join the Houston Astros and move forward with a fresh start to my career."

    Fans have both applauded and lamented the trade, both commending the spirit of it while expressing frustration at the quality of players it brought back.

    Meanwhile, Osuna is expected back at Rogers Centre on September 24. That's when his new team starts a 3-game series to mark the final Jays' homestand of the regular season.

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    If you've ever wondered what it would be like to live through a trade war with our country's closest ally, now's the time to be alive. But, a new website wants to help you through it. 

    As Canada and the U.S. start to enforce newly-imposed tariffs against one another, prices for imported goods (everything from jam to coffee to metal and mayonnaise) are increasing. 

    As a result, many Canadians are looking to start shopping at more local businesses, buying Canadian-made goods, and keeping the cash flowing at home. 

    But, shopping local isn't always easy, especially when you don't know what's Canadian-made and what isn't. Luckily, is on the case. 

    This new site, started by 17-year-old Tyler Campbell, is working to compile a list of everything you can buy—and where to get it locally. 

    "We know it can be hard to find Canadian-made products, and even harder to find Canadian-made products from a Canadian-owned company. So we’re making a list," reads the info page. 

    Users can browse by category to find what they're looking for, including Automotive, Food, Kitchen, Sports, Furniture, and more. You can also search directly to check a company or product to see if it's Canadian. 

    There is also an option for others to submit companies not listed, which is good, as the database is far from complete. At the moment, almost 250 Canadian choices have been listed, and that number is growing. 

    So if you're looking to buy some new cereal this week, check out how you can keep that money at home this time around (hint―it's not Corn Flakes). 

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    There's lots going on in Toronto, and events today include a performance by St. Vincent and a free outdoor movie screening. There's a a big soca party in celebration of Caribana week and a free concert by Shy Kids.

    Events you might want to check out:

    St. Vincent (July 31 @ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
    Everyone's favourite avant-pop electro queen St. Vincent is in Toronto for the night, playing hits off her most recent album, Masseduction.
    20 Feet From Stardom (July 31 @ Yonge-Dundas Square)
    Backup singers for Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger and Sting tell their stories at this outdoor screening in the heart of downtown.
    416 Light Up The Night (July 31 @ Withrow Park)
    Individuals representing theatre, film and TV are looking to pay their respects to the victims of the Danforth Shooting with a candlelight vigil.
    Sylvan Esso (July 31 @ Danforth Music Hall)
    Heavy on the synth, light on the pop; Sylvan Esso have been making waves after the release of their second album What Now.
    Them (July 31 @ The Royal Cinema)
    This edition of Queer Fear looks to enjoy, challenge and examine this 1954 sci-fi thriller's ideas of a 'nuclear family.'
    Lonely Parade (July 31 @ The Baby G)
    Montreal's Lonely Parade is quickly gaining a reputation for quality punk rock pop, and they're here with T-Rextasy and Mother Tongues.
    Tuesday on the Rocks (July 31 @ Rebel)
    Tuesday are for soca and there's a big party featuring Kes the Band going down in celebration of Caribana week in Toronto.
    Rated PG (July 31 @ Smiling Buddha)
    It's a night for emerging artists to show their stuff at this party for all genres, plus dance, music, visual art and more.
    Find Her Tonight (July 31 @ Burdock)
    A night of mixed theatre and performances written by young Canadians is on, touching on topics like dating and relationships.
    Shy Kids (July 31 @ Sir John A. MacDonald Plaza - Union Station)
    Toronto's own Shy Kids are performing their quirky, upbeat tunes during this free outdoor concert as part of Union Summer.

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    Just once I wish a listing would say a house is a “hermit's dream.” You know, everything you need without ever having to interact with the outside world? This place may be advertised as “an entertainer's dream,” but I think it could work equally well for a recluse.

    687 woburn avenue toronto The modern six-bedroom, seven-bathroom home is sensational. There’s plenty of room with 6,600 square feet of bright airy living space. It also has Smart Home automation and security cameras so you can make sure you’re only opening the door for Amazon deliveries.

    687 woburn avenue toronto On the main floor you'll find the kitchen, living and dining areas. They’re contemporary and minimalist, with gorgeous marble and walnut floors throughout.

    687 woburn avenue torontoThe glass and floating staircases make the home uncluttered and fresh.

    687 woburn avenue toronto The kitchen is ultra-sleek with high-tech appliances, and there’s even a built-in espresso machine, so forget going to fancy coffee shops!

    687 woburn avenue toronto The walnut office is perfect for working from home.

    687 woburn avenue torontoUpstairs are the spacious bedrooms. 

    687 woburn avenue toronto The only exception being the random bedroom that’s on the in-between floor. It’s just a bed at the top of a staircase that leads nowhere… I think this space could be better utilized for literally anything else.

    687 woburn avenue toronto The master bedroom is filled with natural light, has a walk-in closet and a huge en suite.

    687 woburn avenue torontoIn the basement, there’s a massive rec room as well as a spa with both a dry and steam sauna. Fancy!

    687 woburn avenue torontoAlso downstairs is a wine cellar and the entertainment room, which comes equipped with a high-def projector and surround sound.

    687 woburn avenue torontoOutside is a pool that looks especially inviting at this time of year. The pool, combined with the landscaped backyard, makes this the perfect spot to spend your entire summer.687 woburn avenue toronto

    • Address: 687 Woburn Ave.
    • Price: $4,397,000
    • Lot Size: 60 x 133 feet
    • Bedrooms: 5 + 1
    • Bathrooms: 7
    • Parking: 8
    • Walk Score: 72
    • Transit Score: 63
    • Listing agent: Assaf Sinai
    • Listing ID: C4199359
    687 woburn avenue torontoGood For

    A homebody. This house has everything you could possibly want or need. From the pool to the wine cellar, it’s perfect for someone who feels most comfortable at home. Also when you don't want to use the stairs, there’s always the elevator.  

    687 woburn avenue torontoMove On If

    You’re not a fan of the contemporary design. While gorgeous for a clean, crisp, minimalism lifestyle, it can be somewhat devoid of character.687 woburn avenue toronto

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    Prince Edward County has become a summer staple for thousands of Torontonians, being known as one of the best wine regions in the province. With countless beaches, hiking trails, breweries and wineries, it's the ideal spot for a day-trip or weekend getaway.

    A post shared by S t é p h ⚽ n e (@stephraza) on

    Less than two hours from Toronto, nestled right in the middle of the region, is the picturesque Prince Edward County Lavender Farm, where you can do more than just gaze at the lavender fields - you can spend the night!

    The farm has three different suites inside the main house, which was built in 1835. The historic building is surrounded by fields of purple and green. Imagine waking up to the smell of lavender while enjoying a morning coffee on your private veranda. 

    At less than $200 per night, per suite, it won't hurt your wallet either, which is a bonus to be sure.

    A post shared by Jill Lenarcic (@jilenarcic) on

    If a weekend away isn't in the cards for you, you can always just stop by the farm for a day visit too. The seemingly-endless rows of lavender and other herbs serve as the perfect backdrop for those Instagram photos you know you're dying to take. 

    A post shared by The June (@thejunemotel) on

    Right now, access to the lavender fields is completely free. Inside the boutique you'll find a plethora of amazing fresh goods, such as soaps, oils, local foods, and of course, lavender bundles. 

    A post shared by Ontario Travel (@ontariotravel) on

    Be sure to plan your visit before the end of the the summer to see the lavender in it's peak state. The farm is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to  5 p.m.

    A post shared by ImAHelloBird (@imahellobird) on

    If you need a yellow door with your lavender farm and are looking for a slightly shorter drive, Terre Bleu might still be the one for you. Or, check one of the many others that dot the region.

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    It seems every day there is a new city ranking, and every day Toronto is near the top of the list. Today is not one of those days.  

    The city is great at being livable on a world scale, having a high quality of life, and being home to a large financial sector, but, it seems compared to our Canadian neighbours, we may not be number one in every category. 

    A new MoneySense ranking has found Toronto to be the 16th-best place to live in the country. We aren't the worst, but we're definitely lower than what we can proud of.  

    Here are the cities who took the top twenty spots:

    • 1. Oakville, ON
    • 2. Ottawa, ON
    • 3. Russell, ON
    • 4. Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC
    • 5. Lacombe, AB
    • 6. Milton, ON
    • 7. Canmore, AB
    • 8. Westmount, QC
    • 9. Saint-Lambert, QC
    • 10. Halton Hills, ON
    • 11. Camrose, AB
    • 12. Red Deer, AB
    • 13. Mont-Royal, QC
    • 14. Saugeen Shores, QC
    • 15. Fort St. John, BC
    • 16. Toronto, ON
    • 17. Lévis, QC
    • 18. King, ON
    • 19. St. Albert, AB
    • 20. Whistler, BC

    The methodology consisted of various elements that make a city a great place to live, including economy, affordability, demographics, taxes, weather, health, amenities, and culture.

    Some of these factors, like economy and affordability, were given more weight than others, like amenities. 

    However, the rankings page includes sliders that allow you to redistribute the cities based on the factors you personally find important.

    If you lower the priority of "low-crime" and "housing affordability," suddenly Toronto moves to the top spot. 

    So, in summary, Toronto is still number one (kind of). 

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    A towering red oak tree that pre-dates Canada itself by more than 100 years will continue to live out its days in peace, thanks to Toronto City Council.

    All that's left to do is buy the estimated $750,000 property it sits on.

    Councillors finally voted on Monday to move forward with a plan to acquire 76 Coral Gable Drive in North York. The decision comes after years of discussion and research into the property, which holds a tree that experts believe to be between 250 and 350 years old.

    "Due to its size, age and cultural significance, the red oak tree at 76 Coral Gable Drive is recognized as a heritage tree under Forests Ontario's Heritage Tree Program," reads a report that went before the city's government management committee last month.

    "The City is now in contact with the homeowner and has undertaken its due diligence regarding the structural and botanical condition of the red oak tree," it continues, noting that an independent arborist's analysis revealed that, "despite its age, the tree is in fair to good condition, based upon its structure and health."

    The issue first came to light in 2015, when the property was sold to a private citizen who, in turn, put it back up for sale a few years later.

    Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti put forth a motion at the time for the city to "initiate acquisition of the property," and source a report on "providing increased levels of protection for significant trees."

    The report back recommended that, because the city has no authority over privately-owned trees, Toronto purchase the Emery Village home from its owner. A third party organization would raise funds to maintain the tree (as well as 26 other historically significant trees in the city, if the owners of properties they sit on decide to sell.)

    Fans of the tree (yes, the tree has fans) have been fighting for the city to move forward with plans to save it ever since and, as of this week, they can officially rest easy.

    Council has granted staffers authority to negotiate the acquisition of 76 Coral Gable Drive, with "at least 50 percent of the determined market value being funded from private donations."

    Terms and conditions for the sale are outlined in a confidential attachment, so it is not yet publicly known how much money has been raised by private donors, or how much will be spent on buying the property.

    Still, this is good news for the historic red oak tree and those who want to see it stick around. Oaks can live for up to 1,000 years, after all, if humans don't cut them down first.

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    A spectacular sunflower bloom has drawn thousands upon thousands of people to a country farm near Hamilton in recent weeks to capture photos of... well, mostly of themselves, but with big yellow flowers in the background.

    bogle seeds tourists

    If you don't get someone to take a picture of you touching the sunflowers, did they ever really happen? Screenshot of Instagram.

    Bogle Seeds, a 250-acre grain and seed farm in Flamborough, Ontario, announced earlier this year that it would be opening up a field containing approximately 1.5 million sunflowers to the public for a few weeks in late July and early August.

    The idea was for interested visitors to come witness the annual two-week-long bloom amidst a "quiet country setting" while learning about how wild bird-feed is processed (and maybe even buy some food for their local feathered friends).

    What happened was complete chaos, according to the Hamilton Spectator, as "hordes of plant paparazzi jockeyed to get the perfect shot of bursting bright yellow sunflowers."

    A post shared by Jess (@fashion_intervention) on

    I'm talking people running across multiple lanes of live highway traffic with children in tow. I'm talking cars stopping in the middle of roads and completely jamming up the highway.

    I'm talking people urinating in the bushes of neighbouring properties.

    Brad Bogle, whose family has been operating the seed farm since 1874, told CHCH that more than 7,000 people showed up to his home on Saturday, some of them from as far away as B.C.

    A post shared by Anthony Lee (@leeanthony23) on

    Hamilton Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the province's Ministry of Transportation were all notified of the situation and, by Sunday, the fields were officially closed to the public.

    "Unfortunately, with the POLICE involved, we have had to close the photo opportunities due to the traffic jam which occurred on Saturday July 28!" reads a message currently posted at the top of Bogle's website.

    "PLEASE NOTE: Although photo opportunities have ceased on the farm, we are still open for bird seed and other product sales during our regular hours."

    Bogle said to CHCH that his family is frustrated, overwhelmed, and that he doubts they'll ever permit tourists to come and photograph the sunflowers again.

    Unfortunately for the farm's neighbours, a lack of permission hasn't stopped aggressive Instagram users from flooding local streets in the past.

    This was only the second time that Bogle Seeds invited the public to view their 75-acre sunflower field, but trespassing's been a problem for years.

    A post shared by Flavia Rohden (@flaviarohden) on

    "We are sorry that we cannot allow any visitation or photographs to be taken in the fields this year as they are again on rented land for 2017," reads a post on the farm's website from last year.

    "These land owners will NOT ALLOW any exceptions to this rule. The POLICE have been called in past years to deal with TRESPASSERS."

    The police may have to be called yet again this year as well, it seems, as Bogle says some people failed to acknowledge the closure this weekend.

    "People can't get into their homes," he said of his neighbours on Sunday.

    "I've had people telling me people are going through their mailboxes and one neighbour tell me that he saw people going to the bathroom in the bushes in his front yard."


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    It hasn't been their day, their week, their month, or even their year... but the Toronto Raptors are there for you, just like Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Monica, Pheobe, Ross and sometimes Gunther.

    A creative fan of Toronto's recently-modified NBA team has taken the liberty of inserting Raptors players into the intro theme for NBC's long-running hit sitcom, Friends.

    The resulting video is both heartwarming and hilarious (cue laugh track.) David Crane & Marta Kauffman would be proud, if they were cool with Masai Ujiri's name replacing theirs in the credits.

    Called "Toronto Raptors — F.R.I.E.N.D.S," the work was produced by a Redditor who goes by dragonballa and posted to the r/torontoraptors subreddit on Monday.

    It features members of the team's 2018-2019 roster, including Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

    "It killed me that I couldn't put DeMar [DeRozan] in this video :(" wrote dragonballa in response to a comment on his post, noting that he was inspired by a similar video in which someone mashed up the Raptors with The Office.

    toronto raptors theme song

    NBA All-Star Kyle Lowry gets first billing in the reworked Friends intro, making him the group's Rachel, while Jonas Valanciunas and Delon Wright are clearly Joey and Chandler. Image via TensPeak.

    The Raptors version of the Friends intro theme uses a slightly longer version of the song we're used to seeing ahead of reruns, as NBA teams have more than six people on them.

    Not a second of that time goes to waste, though. Dragonballa is masterful in his choice of footage from basketball games, media coverage and the personal feeds of players.

    He even managed to get a clip of Serge Ibaka wearing a white turtleneck á la Matt LeBlanc in the 1994 original. 

    toronto raptors friends

    Raptors power forward Serge Ibaka is both both talented and fashionable. Image via Tenspeak.

    Beautiful work.

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    Actor, comedian, producer, director, writer and fine Canadian human Seth Rogen — he of the unmistakable laugh — has officially "lent his voice" to the TTC for a series of public service announcements.

    The announcements, which were themselves announced today, are already playing in subway stations around Toronto alongside the usual delay notices and ding-dang-dongs.

    "The TTC thanks Seth for his time and generosity in this fun and unique project," reads a notice on the public transit agency's website. "We also thank our customers for doing their part in making riding the TTC a more positive experience for everyone."

    A total of 12 different messages will be played across the system, all of them meant to "promote courtesy on public transit."

    "Hello TTC users, Seth Rogen here," says Rogen in one of the audio PSAs. "Backpacks are super efficient, I get it, they carry all your stuff, they hang on your back, they’re fantastic! But when you wear your backpack instead of taking it off it very much annoys everyone around you on the subway."

    "Don't be a backpack hunchback," he continues. "That's not a thing, but it is now. Anyway, don't do it. Thank you so much."

    All of the announcements are around 20 seconds long and touch on such matters as priority seating, fare evasion, holding train doors, the use of cell phones and — yes — "personal grooming."

    "I can't believe I'm actually going to say this, but stop clipping your fingernails on the TTC," says Rogen in that PSA. "It's gross!"

    You can hear all 12 of the clips right here, or over the intercom next time you ride the red rocket. See, Toronto? Dreams really do come true.

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    It looks like the city has come through in the name of all things chicken abobo.

    City officials have stepped in to revive Taste of Manila, one of Toronto's biggest Filipino food and culture festivals, originally set for next month. 

    The giant annual street festival had announced recently that it would not be returning this year due to financial constraints and rising fees that made it too difficult to cover the base cost of the festival.

    But after the city sat down with organizers to lay out a plan to keep the halo halo on deck this summer, it appears that the festival is back on and set for August 18 and 19.

    Not everything has been completely finalized, however, as vendor logistics are still being sorted out. But it seems likely that the festival will be back to serve up lechon and more in a few short weeks.

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