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    Things are going to get heavy in Toronto this Saturday as duelling rallies simultaneously kick off at Nathan Phillips Square — one of them a white supremacy group arriving to decry Muslims and protest immigration, the other to decry white supremacists and racism in Canada.

    Yeah. It'll be just like Twitter, in real life, but without all the death threats and d*ck pics (I hope).

    Rumblings of a show-down between the two, long-feuding groups started a few weeks ago, when the founders of something called WCAI (Worldwide Coalition Against Islam) Canada announced they'd be visiting Toronto.

    "After seeing how the terrorists took over Nathan Phillips Square and did an evil call to prayer we decided to take action and take Toronto back WCAI style with no mercy, no retreat and no surrender," reads a Facebook event by the Calgary-based group.

    "This will be the first ever WCAI rally in Ontario and we want to make an impact. All other patriot groups are welcome to stand with us."

    Such "patriot" groups are described by The Canadian Anti-Hate Network as "the most physically aggressive far-right groups like the Soldiers of Odin, Proud Boys, and the Northern Guard."

    All of these groups, according to the nonprofit research organization, have extensive ties to Neo-Nazism and are known to initiate violent, unprovoked assaults at rallies like the one planned for Saturday.

    "On August 11th, the Calgary-based Worldwide Coalition Against Islam is holding a rally at Nathan Phillips Square at 2PM," reads a recent post on the Anti-Hate Network's website. "Counter-demonstrators will be at the square at 1PM."

    "In Toronto, counter-demonstrators usually match or outnumber far-right rallies," it continues.

    "When the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam tried to host a rally in Vancouver, they were overwhelmed by 5000 peaceful anti-racist demonstrators. They haven't been back since."

    A Facebook event promoted by human rights activists invites "the anti-racist majority" — citizens, workers, students and anyone else concerned about "the rising tide of anti-Muslim hate in our city" — to join them in opposition to the WCAI gathering at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday.

    "Racists, neo nazis and Islamophobic groups are rallying at Toronto City Hall," it reads, "to spew hatred against Muslims, immigrants and people of colour in our communities."

    "We want to raise our voices to oppose Islamophobia and racism in our community."

    Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam linked to this protest on her website, stressing that no permit has been issued for the WCAI event and that none will be.

    "I stand with Toronto's diverse communities in rejecting hate and division," she wrote. "Corporate Security is working with the Toronto Police Service to ensure that all those who gather at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday are safe and to ensure lawful conduct."

    Posters have been popping up around town for another, similar protest organized by at least seven different anti-racist and anti-fascist groups.

    That rally is called All Out Against Hate Toronto and puts great focus on the timing of WCAI's anti-Muslim rally.

    "August 11th bore a warning we'd never forget — hundreds of white supremacists with lit torches marched through the University of Virginia campus, chanting anti-semitic and racist slogans while moving to encircle a small group of counterprotesters," reads the event, referring to the deadly Charlottesville riots of 2017, where a white nationalist murdered a counterprotestor.

    "If Charlottesville taught us anything, it’s that the power of working-class solidarity through struggle serves as an unending beacon of justice," it continues.

    "So we ask you, friends and comrades, to come out and fight with us on August 11th 2018 to show WCAI that their racism and Islamophobia will not be tolerated!"

    WCAI Canada, for its part, is trying to raise funds for others in their group to travel from Calgary to Toronto for the event. 

    The group's website is currently offline, but they continue to launch GoFundMe campaigns, all of which are being shut down with hours by the platform.

    "The time for action is now," said WCAI Canada president Joey De Luca in a video posted to the group's Facebook page on Tuesday.

    "We're coming out there, because there's just too much bullshit going on with these terrorist attacks and sexual assaults… and, you know, getting political correctness crammed down our throats to the point where we can’t even breathe."

    "There's no more of these soft, anti-Trudeau, Trudeau-must-go rallies and this and that," he continued.

    "We're coming out there with a hard hitting message right in your face, and then we're gunna crush political correctness where we see it, right where they stand."

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    Summer is the time for beer and lots of it, and that's exactly what you can expect at this year's Witchstock ― an all-you-can-drink beer festival happening next month in Toronto.

    Bellwoods Brewery is back with its annual beer festival that will feature a ton of brewers from all over Canada and beyond. Notably, it offers unlimited beer samples throughout each three hour session. 

    This ain't no buck-a-beer-a-thon, though, as tickets are a hefty $120 per session. And unless you can drink 120 beer samples in three hours (don't do that), the price tag has generated some concern over whether it's worth it.

    Aside from the cost, it might be worth it to try beer from almost 30 brewers, including Québec's À la Fût, Bissell Brothers from Portland and Cantillon from Belgium, to name a few, while food and merch will also be available on site.

    As for Bellwoods, they're encouraging folks to drink responsibly and to eat plenty of food. They've also outlined that servers will be keeping an eye on everyone and cannot legally serve "anyone visibly intoxicated."

    It's all going down September 29 at Bellwoods Brewery's location on Hafis Road.

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    Tuesday night's vicious rain storm in Toronto brought with it yet another reminder that everyone should stay the heck away from Lower Simcoe Street when it rains. 

    The underpass between Front Street and Bremner Boulevard, right next to Union Station, is well known for turning into its own mini version of Lake Ontario (Little Lake Simcoe?) whenever things get floody in The 6ix.

    One of the most famous cases of this happening took place all the way back in July of 2013, roughly four years after the tunnel had opened, when a local lawyer abandoned his $200,000+ Ferrari in the waters of Lower Simcoe Street.

    Howard Levitt bailed into sewage-filled waters at the time, as he was going to be late for a flight, and became a viral sensation in the process.

    He's far from the only person ever to have done so, however. Cars continue to get stuck on the depressed roadway during storms with some regularity, because people like to tempt fate, forget about the flooding, or are just tourists.

    Whatever the case, it happened again last night when the city was pelted with a full month's worth of rain in just two hours, much of it hitting the downtown core.

    The occupants of no less than four vehicles had to be rescued by Toronto Police Marine Unit officers on Tuesday night after getting stuck in the water on Lower Simcoe Street.

    And yet, cars just kept on driving into the tunnel...

    Even as the water level rose up past the tops of their wheel wells.

    "Did someone lose their car in Lower Simcoe underpass flooding AGAIN?!?" remarked someone on Twitter as footage from the scene spread online.

    The answer to that question is "no." Someone didn't lose their car in the Lower Simcoe underpass due to flooding again. Four people lost their cars in the Lower Simcoe underpass due to flooding. Again.

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    We may have a new contender for the weirdest thing to ride a local public transit vehicle in recent years — or the grossest thing, at least.

    TTC officials confirmed on Wednesday that "a quantity of human waste" was found on a streetcar after Tuesday night's heavy rain storm in Toronto.

    The streetcar in question, captured submerged on camera by multiple onlookers near King Street West and Sudbury Street, was seriously damaged by floods that ripped through the downtown core, forcing people to evacuate the vehicle and swim to safety at one point.

    Apparently, they were swimming through sewage.

    Toronto Star reporter Ben Spurr wrote on Twitter today the streetcar had sustained significant damage on account of both rainwater and "backed up storm sewer" liquid.

    Meanwhile, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper — a local charity dedicated to the protection of Lake Ontario — reported on Wednesday afternoon that last night's heavy rainfall had also caused a "sewage spill" in Toronto's Inner Harbour.

    The organization advises that Toronto waterfront users avoid contact with the lake for at least 48 hours, due to a heightened risk of exposure to bacteria and waterborne illnesses.

    "Toronto hit with huge rain storm last night," wrote Swim Drink Fish Canada President Mark Mattson similarly on Twitter this afternoon. "Be wary around Lake today. City still has CSO’s which means substantial sewage escaped untreated."

    Basically, if outside smells like crap today... it probably is. Ditto for things that look like human waste.

    See you anywhere outside my shower, never again! Never!

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    It was total chaos last night when a flash flood overwhelmed Toronto streets. One Jays fan leaving the game at the Rogers Centre captured her nightmare on camera as she and her daughter struggled in knee deep water to get to her car.

    Across the city at King and Sudbury, a TTC streetcar became submerged in water forcing the operator and six passengers to abandon ship. When the streetcar was recovered this morning it was found covered in human feces. 

    In the latest episode of the Only in Toronto podcast, the TTC's Stuart Green explains how the streetcar got into so much trouble while Sandra Grise relives her harrowing predicament after the game.

    Watch the videos
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    You can also listen to the Only in Toronto podcast on Alexa. Just ask Alexa to play the podcast Only in Toronto.

    0 0

    Events in Toronto today give you lots of options. Jerkfest kicks off another year of juicy chicken delights and Manifesto takes over the city. Summerworks is on and there's a new, all-female comedy show to see.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Dirty Dancing (August 9 @ Revue Cinema)
    Hva the time of your life at this screening of the 1987 classic that starred a dashing Patrick Swayze and refused to put Baby in corner.
    Paris, Taxas (August 9 @ The Royal Cinema)
    Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski star in this exploration in to small town rural American life and the characters that occupy it.
    The Gaslight Anthem (August 9 @ REBEL)
    Folk, punk and heartland rock all come together for what these New Jersey rockers have dubbed "the '59 sound."
    Locales (August 9 @ The Black Cat)
    Artist Cam Champ shows his Basquiat-inspired works that are a "pilgrimage through areas of concealed emotion, desire, struggle and memory."
    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.
    Third World (August 9-13 @ The Theatre Centre - Franco Boni Theatre)
    Performance artist Fly Lady Di takes us on a journey into the human condition by mixing modern musical genres with Filipino folk dance.
    Summerworks Festival (August 9-19 @ Multiple Venues)
    New and experimental works take the spotlight with performers trying out different material, pushing boundaries and creating new audience experiences.
    Manifesto (August 9-19 @ Multiple Venues)
    Ten days of arts, culture, and community kicks off with performances, workshops and competitions. It all ends with a free concert at City Hall.
    Free Outdoor Movies at Parkway Forest Park (August 9-30 @ Parkway Forest Park)
    New this year is the arrival of free outdoor movies in parkway Forest Park, beginning with a screening of the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters.
    She The People (August 9 - November 25 @ Second City)
    A new all-female sketch comedy show looks to tackle the hassles of daily life as a woman under the oppression of the patriarchy.

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    If you’re sick and tired of the outrageously-priced condos in the downtown core, may I suggest moving a bit west? 300 manitoba street torontoThis stunning two bedroom, two bathroom condo in Mimico is listed for under $700,000.

    300 manitoba street torontoLocated in the Mystic Pointe warehouse lofts, this condo is flooded with natural light, thanks to the two walls of windows. The soaring 17-foot ceilings, gorgeous hardwood floors and modern interior make this place spacious and airy.

    300 manitoba street torontoThe kitchen is beautiful with the waterfall quartz counter and stainless steel appliances.

    300 manitoba street toronto While the living room isn’t the roomiest, the current owners turned one of the bedrooms into a family room area.

    300 manitoba street torontoUnlike most lofts, you actually have a master bedroom with a door. If your partner wakes up early or stays up late, you don’t have to listen to them shuffle around the apartment.

    300 manitoba street torontoThere isn’t any private outdoor space but the building has a nice rooftop patio as well as some lush grounds. You’re also super close to Lake Ontario.   

    300 manitoba street torontoSpecs
    • Address: #318 - 300 Manitoba St.
    • Price: $679,900
    • Bedrooms: 2 + 1
    • Bathrooms: 2
    • Parking: 2
    • Walk Score: 45
    • Transit Score: 71
    • Maintenance Fees: $849.65 monthly
    • Listing agent: Desmond Caissie
    • Listing ID: W4202574
    300 manitoba street torontoGood For

    A couple who don’t like the price or chaos of downtown but still aren't ready for a starter home.

    300 manitoba street torontoMove On If

    You want to live downtown. While this place may look and feel like a downtown condo, you’ll still have a commute.

    300 manitoba street toronto

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    Once again, there will be no subway service on Line 1 between Lawrence and St. Clair stations this weekend.

    This time it's going down on August 11 and 12, and it's due to Metrolinx's Eglinton Crosstown LRT work at Yonge and Eglinton. The TTC will use of this closure to conduct track work in the area as well.

    Regular scheduled subway service will resume on Monday morning. The next scheduled closure will halt weekend service on Line 1 again between Lawrence and St Clair stations on August 18 and 19 to continue Metrolinx's Eglinton Crosstown LRT work at Yonge and Eglinton.

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    Toronto Restaurant Openings highlights the latest food news in Toronto and gives a preview of what's coming soon. Find us here every Thursday morning.

    Open now
    • Mexican Quetzal is finally open at 419 College Street (at Bathurst).
    • Clay, the restaurant at the Gardiner Museum in partnership with The Food Dudes, is currently in soft opening mode at 111 Queens Park.
    • Born-in-Toronto veggie/vegan chain Fresh has opened Fresh on Front, a beautiful, Instagram-ready location with a bar menu featuring healthy-ish cocktails. The new spot is at 47 Front Street East (west of Church).
    • Lick It Gelato has opened a second location, this one at 1934 Queen Street East in the Beaches.
    • Sticky Rice Kitchen and Bar, a Thai spot boasting a bamboo-covered storefront, is now open at 1489 Gerrard Street East (by Rhodes Avenue).
    • Urban Hakka has opened by Yonge & Lawrence at 3305 Yonge Street.
    • Korean lunch spot Gogi Bap is now open at 946 Yonge Street in Rosedale.
    Recently reviewed
    Opening soon

    Have you seen restaurants opening or closing in your neighbourhood? Email tips to

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    Coming soon to every Instagram feed near you: A brand new mass of artfully-arranged driftwood on the rocks of Humber Bay Shores.

    Last July, local artists Thelia Sanders-Shelton and Julie Ryan delighted the people of Toronto by building their own, unique version of the lettered Nathan Phillips Square sign on the shores of Lake Ontario.

    The "Toronto Driftwood Sign," as it came to be known, was an instant hit — as was a giant driftwood sunbather (El Corazon) the same artists constructed nearby in September.

    A post shared by Tamara Marsh (@tamaramarsh) on

    Sadly, neither sculpture survived the harsh wind storms of this past winter. El Corazon washed away in April and the original driftwood Toronto sign had fallen apart, bit by bit, by the end of 2017.

    Nothing lasts forever. I guess that's kind of the point. Plus, if the old sign were still in place, nobody would be able to enjoy the new, modified driftwood Toronto sign that rose last night where the old one used to be.

    Behold, the TOStrong sign — inspired, one would assume, by the #TOStrong or "Toronto Strong" movements of support and grieving that swept the city this year following a rash of violent tragedies.

    The term is most associated with the aftermath of a deadly van ramming attack that killed 10 people and injured 16 more on Yonge Street in Toronto this past April.

    It has also been used in relation to the horrifying case of alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur, July's deadly shooting on the Danforth, and an atypically high number of homicide and gun violence victims in the city this year overall.

    A post shared by Valerie Weddell (@valw_photo) on

    Fitted with a peace sign inside the first "O," the sign is similar in style to last year's, which had a heart at the end, though Sanders-Shelton and Ryan have yet to take credit for the work.

    People who were in the area on Wednesday night report that they saw the artists building the new sculpture, and those who've stumble upon it this morning are delighted by the new addition to Humber Bay Park.

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    Horror movie lovers, rejoice! TIFF has just announced the slate of films that will be screening at the annual Midnight Madness showcase, which premieres a new thriller or horror nightly.

    Among the films this year, two highly-anticipated reboots will be getting their world premieres.

    David Gordon Green's Halloween, the eleventh instalment in the popular slasher series will be shown for the first time. It will star Jamie Lee Curtis.

    The Predator, a reboot of the original Predator series, will also get a premiere at TIFF, and will be the opening film of Midnight Madness 2018.

    Films from around the world will satisfy every horror-lovers taste.

    American-based films getting a screening here this year include Assassination Nation, The Standoff at Sparrow Creek, and The Wind.

    International showings include Nekrotronic, from Australian director Kiah Roache-Turner; the UK's In FabricDiamantino, by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt; and French director Gaspar Noe's Climax.

    Most interestingly, Vasan Bala's The Man who Feels No Pain will become Midnight Madness' first Indian film. 

    Midnight Madness starts September 6 and runs for ten nights. Full film descriptions are available on TIFF's website now.

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    TIFF news is coming in fast as the festival approaches, and film lovers are eating it up. 

    Alongside the announcement of this year's lineup for Midnight Madness, TIFF has also announced the documentary films slated for premiere this year. 

    Twenty-seven documentary films are listed for TIFF's non-fiction lineup. One of the most highly-anticipated docs is Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9.

    The title is a play on Moore's 2004 doc Farenheit 9/11. This time, he explores the rise of Donald Trump and his presidency. The newly-released trailer for the film shows Moore hosing down Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's lawn with Flint's still-toxic, unclean water. 

    Three Canadian filmmakers are also featured in the documentary lineup. Previously announced, Carmine Street Guitars, Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, and What is Democracy? will all premiere at TIFF.

    Other notable films premiering at the festival in the documentary genre include Rashida Jones' feature doc about her father, Quincy Jones, Werner Herzog and Andre Singer's Meeting Gorbachev, and This Changes Everything, a Tom Donahue doc about gender roles in Hollywood, produced by legendary actress and activist Geena Davis. 

    One particular standout in contrast to Michael Moore's Trump exposé is Putin's Witnesses, an investigative doc by Vitaly Mansky that explores Russian President Vladimir Putin's rise to and control on power. 

    The full lineup, ticket sales, and film descriptions are all available on TIFF's website now. It may be time to start planning out your festival schedule if you plan to get in a few of these flicks. 

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    It's a marquee event weekend in Toronto with a lot of big-name things going on. Taste of the Danforth is finally here while the Waterfront Night Market takes over Ontario Place. Sail-In Cinema arrives on the water and Electric Island is back for a full day of thumping beats.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Sail-In Cinema (August 10 @ Sugar Beach)
    Arrive via boat or foot to this two-day outdoor film festival, viewable from the shore or on the water, featuring the world’s first two-sided floating screen
    Taste of the Danforth (August 10-12 @ Greektown)
    One of the biggest events of the year is back with patios, street food, music and activities in celebration of Toronto's Hellenic community.
    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.
    Electric Island (August 11 @ Hanlan's Point Stadium)
    The second edition of Electric Island has a new lineup of electro/EDM stars, including Green Velvet, Shiba San and Sydney Blu.
    Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival (August 11-12 @ Roundhouse Park)
    Steam Whistle's Roundhouse Park gets a two-day extravaganza of samples and food trucks. Picnic blankets are encouraged!
    Zine Dream (August 12 @ Polish Combatants' Hall (SPK))
    Browse through hundreds of unique books, comics, music, zines, hand-made crafts, and prints at this all day exhibition, featuring over 95 vendors.
    Manifesto (August 9-19 @ Multiple Venues)
    There's lots to check out during this ten-day, city-wide festival of arts, culture, performances, workshops and competitions.
    Summerworks Festival (August 9-19 @ Multiple Venues)
    Lots of new and experimental works are on, with performers trying out different material, pushing boundaries and creating new audience experiences.
    Toronto Anime Matsuri (August 10-12 @ Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre)
    A whole weekend of Japanese contemporary pop culture is going down, with screenings, music, cosplay, panels, a marketplace, gaming and food.
    GhanaFest (August 11 @ Earl Bales Park)
    A huge celebration of Ghanaian arts and culture is on, with traditional food, cultural showcases and performances from local and international artists.
    Paws in the Park (August 11 @ Woodbine Park)
    This pooch party, which is also a fundraiser, offers free admission, food, drinks, exhibitions, free training sessions and yes, free doggy pats.
    Sunday Social (August 12 @ The Bentway)
    The last Sunday Social is upon us and this beer garden is going out with a final round of food, games and music by KyVITa and Amai Kuda et les Bois.
    JerkFest (August 9-12 @ Centennial Park)
    JerkFest continues this weekend, grilling up mountains of chicken and other Caribbean favourites alongside games, music and dancing.
    Feast of St. Lawrence (August 10-11 @ St Lawrence Market)
    St. Lawrence Market is getting into the summer spirit with a two-day festival, including a dinner under the stars and street party.
    Rosé Picnic (August 11 @ Stanley Barracks)
    Back again is this huge garden party worth dressing up for. Food and drinks are on while DJs spin the tunes inside the historic Stanley Barracks.
    Sweetery (August 11-12 @ David Pecaut Square)
    For all the sweet tooths out there, this festival of desserts features local chefs, students and artisan creations of the sugary persuasion.
    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, drinks, goods and products from non-animal sources.
    Indie Fridays (August 10 @ Yonge–Dundas Square)
    Another night of free music is happening in the Square, with performances by Johnson Crook, Texas King and more, plus a beer garden on all evening.
    Stranded Fest (August 11 @ Opera House)
    It's the classics with a twist at this big cover band festival, which features local bands playing the hits by Weezer, The Killers, Fall Out Boy and more.
    Lady Donli (August 12 @ Adelaide Hall)
    Nigeria's Lady Donli arrives in Toronto for the first time to keep the vibes hot with for her soulful grooves that mix R&B with dancehall and electro.
    The Miseducation of Cameron Post (August 10 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    Desiree Akhavan's new film explores the understated and often silent trauma of gay conversion therapy when Cameron Post is sent off to boarding school.
    Downsview Park Friday Night Lights (August 10 @ Downsview Park)
    Take a break from the city lights and get snuggled for an outdoor screening of the superhero blockbuster Black Panther.
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? (August 10-16 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Better pack some tissues for this documentray about the life of Mr. Rogers, who taught us all to love each other and to love ourselves.
    Mulan International Film Festival (August 10-17 @ Multiple Venues)
    Films from and about China that are meant to show off the country's rich and vibrant culture take the spotlight for this annual film festival.
    Before Sunrise (August 12 @ Christie Pits)
    It's Vienna, and when tourists Jesse and Céline meet, adventure ensues during the second last instalment of this year's Christie Pits Film Festival.
    90s Video Dance Party (August 10 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    If you're not living in the 90s, where are you? Jenco jeans, yellow goggles and baby rib tee's are all you need to feel the vibe at this video dance party.
    Everything Is Love (August 11 @ Sneaky Dee's)
    It may not be the Louvre but you can get down to The Carter's sound during this big Jay-Z and Beyoncé dance party.
    Latin Heat (August 11 @ Rebel)
    Latin heat is the only heat worth feeling this summer, and big party features performances by Black Mohawk and music by Jed Harper.
    Parkdale Flea (August 11-12 @ Northern Contemporary Gallery)
    Back is this dog-friendly flea market that's teaming up with Save Our Scruff to feature some pups in need of a new home, among lots of shopping and food.
    Second Cousin Vintage Pop-Up (August 11-12 @ The Drake General Store)
    For the fashion-forward, SCV is offering unique and expressive vintage clothing and accessories over two days during this specially-curated pop-up.
    The Leslieville Flea (August 12 @ Ashbridge Estate)
    Collectibles, hand-crafted goods, vintage, salvage and antique items are all available at this neighbourhood flea market.
    Etsy Summer Market (August 12 @ The Great Hall)
    Makers from all over the city show off their crafts, lifestyle items and one-of-a-kind goods during the summer edition of this big market.

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    Toronto's recent penchant for food halls has seen a number of these fancy food courts popping up around the city, and it looks like the Annex is about to get one of its own this fall. 

    A new project called The Annex Food Hall is taking over the 24-hour neighbourhood market Bloor Superfresh at 384 Bloor St. West., and they've got a pretty exciting lineup of vendors on board to serve up some quick eats as early as September. 

    You can expect Bangkok-style street food from the North York Thai fave Eat BKK, fresh pasta in a box from Dal Moro's, and those famous fried chicken sammies from PG Clucks coming out of this project near Bloor and Spadina. 

    You'll also find bite-sized Asian buns from Mean Bao up for sale, delicious tacos from El Nahual (so you don't have to head all the way to Keele to get them) and Montreal smoked meat sandwiches from the Vaughan shop, Smoked Up Meats

    annex food hall toronto

    Boxed pasta from Dal Moro's will be one of the food options at Annex Food Hall. Photo by Hector Vasquez. 

    A seventh vendor has yet to be determined, but food products and other retail items will also be for sale, and there should be booze available for purchase by the end of the year. 

    Judging by the property's size, Annex Food Hall will be a much cozier endeavour than the ever-popular Assembly Food Hallin the Financial District. 

    "The smaller size of the food hall will still stay true to the friendly, neighbourhood vibe of the establishments that already exist in the area," said an Annex Food Hall rep. 

    Most other food halls — in existence or in construction — are located south of Queen Street (think Campo Food Hall or The Well) so it's nice to see that the Annex is getting a fancy communal eatery of its own. 

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    Ontario Premier Doug Ford has come out against a full handgun ban in the province, following an announcement of funding for gun safety.

    Toronto City Council filed the ban request to the federal government after the deadly Danforth shooting.  

    Ford cited Chicago as a case study of where a handgun ban supposedly doesn't work. However, Chicago scrapped those laws almost ten years ago. In fact, almost every major study conducted on the subject has found gun restrictions do work. 

    In an attempt to argue against the ban, Ford spelled out that the government shouldn't prosecute "good guys" with legal guns, and should instead go after "bad guys." 

    Earlier today, the province announced $25 million in funding to combat gun violence and gangs, most of which will be put toward tools for the Toronto Police Service to fight gun crime. 

    A significant portion of the funding―about $7.6 million―will go toward creating "legal SWAT teams" that will be stationed at the six provincial courthouses to "keep criminals behind bars and away from bail," the premier said. 

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    The fallout from Tuesday night's torrential downpour will likely continue into the weekend, according to data from Toronto Public Health — especially if you have waterfront plans.

    All 11 of the city's official beaches were marked as "swimming not recommended due to heavy rainfall" on Wednesday in light of reported sewage spills.

    "The public should not swim during and after storms, floods, or heavy rainfall," reads the City of Toronto's SwimSafe website. "Cloudy water can be an indicator of high levels of bacteria that may pose a risk to human health."

    Beach water samples taken over the past 24 hours and published on Thursday afternoon show that E. coli levels are still dangerously high at five of those beaches: Centre Island Beach, Ward's Island Beach, Sunnyside Beach, Marie Curtis Park East Beach and Rouge Beach.

    While the latter three beaches are known to have less-than-stellar bacteria count records, it's quite rare for any of the Toronto Island beaches to get red-flagged.

    Centre Island has only exceeded the provincially-established safety limit twice in as many years. Ward's Island has been shut down eight times since 2016 and Hanlan's Point four times.

    toronto e. coli

    With an E. coli count of 895, Marie Curtis Park East Beach in Etobicoke is not safe to swim at following Tuesday night's intense rain storm. Screenshot via City of Toronto.

    So, it's a good idea to stay out of the water if you're going to the islands (though you should check Toronto Public Health's website for the most recent numbers).

    It's an even better idea to stay far away from Marie Curtis Park East Beach, where the E. Coli level skyrocketed from 15 to 895 over a span of just 48 hours.

    Same thing goes for Sunnyside, which currently boats an E. Coli level of 722.

    That's a whole lot of pink eye just waiting to happen.

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    Staffers in the provincial legislature at Queen's Park in Toronto have apparently adopted a new strategy for dodging questions—clapping loudly while reporters talk.

    While the government denied last week when this was happening that it was coordinated, it's pretty clear that it begins in unison and on cue. After a speaker finishes speaking, the staffers begin clapping louder and louder over top of reporters asking questions. 

    Cynthia Mulligan, a CityNews journalist, posted a video to Twitter this morning where she grilled the staff on the clapping strategy.

    In it, one member of the clapping team admits they are being paid to be there. Mulligan then asks "you're being paid for it, by taxpayers, to clap?" She is ignored. 

    In the video, the staffers can be seen grinning and laughing at Mulligan and the other reporters present as they continue the applause.

    Critics and other members of the public are calling the strategy "anti-democratic," and an attack on the press. 

    The strategy of drowning out genuine media, although apparently uncoordinated, seems to pair well with the PC party's new propaganda "news" channel, Ontario News Now.

    In it, a staff member named Lyndsey Vanstone lists Doug Ford's achievements on camera. 

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    New research on how people allocate their attention while driving suggests that more than half of Toronto motorists fail to properly look out for pedestrians— and the more familiar they are with any given road, the less likely they are to see someone they could potentially hit.

    Researchers from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering set out earlier this summer to track the eye movements of drivers following a rash of fatal cyclist and pedestrian collisions on Toronto streets.

    Using state-of-the-art eye-tracking equipment, researchers say they were able to "accurately assess where drivers were looking" when turning onto a busy city road.

    All 19 of the participants studied had more than three years of driving experience, were between the ages of 35 and 54, and completed right turns at Palmerston Avenue from Bloor Street, and at Major Street from Bloor Street.

    "Both locations required drivers to safely turn right across a dedicated cycling lane along Bloor Street," reads a press release issued by U of T on Thursday.

    "Eleven of the 19 drivers failed to gaze at an area of importance, where cyclists or pedestrians would be located, before turning," the release notes. "Attentional failures were more likely for those who drove more frequently in downtown Toronto."

    The sample size was small, to be certain, but the results of the study suggest that — as many in the city have noted— changes to traffic infrastructure are needed to improve traffic safety.

    "I don't think it’s an education issue," said U of T's Birsen Donmez, who supervised the research and is Canada Research Chair in Human Factors and Transportation.

    "When you look at the bike lanes in the city – they appear over here, but disappear there – the more unpredictable the road rules are, the more challenging it is."

    She noted that drivers should be careful to make frequent over-the-shoulder checks until infrastructure can catch up with how citizens use our roads today.

    “The takeaway for pedestrians and cyclists: Drivers aren't seeing you. Not necessarily because they're bad drivers, but that their attention is too divided," she said.

    "When crossing a street, your assumption should be that the car doesn't see you."

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    How many people and cars can you stuff into a long, narrow strip of land at the same time before everyone goes absolutely berserk? 

    Liberty Village is well on track to find out every day at rush hour.

    Love it or hate it, the Toronto neighbourhood has exploded over the past decade, going from sprawling industrial wasteland to bustling residential and commercial enclave— a place where thousands upon thousands of yupsters come and go, work and play, clogging the streets up on the reg.

    liberty village sidewalksIt has long been hell to drive through Liberty, with only a handful of exits that aren't blocked by train tracks, and one viable east-west route between Dufferin and Strachan.

    That link is Liberty Street: A 10.6-metre-wide, two-way collector roadway with a posted speed limit of 40 km/h.

    It is a perfect case study in what happens when infrastructure can't keep up with population growth.

    Recent Statistics Canada census profile data shows that the population of Niagara (the official name of the neighbourhood encompassing most of Liberty Village) rose nearly 47 per cent between 2011 and 2016, to roughly 31,180 people.

    That's a big hike for just five years, and much of it can be attributed to developers who keep ramming more condos in the already condo-stuffed district, as well as businesses relocating their operations to Liberty's hip old industrial buildings.

    liberty village sidewalksGridlock was inevitable, in terms of car traffic, but what one might not have expected five years ago is how hard it would become just to walk through the neighbourhood in 2018.

    The sidewalks along Liberty Street — where they exist — are broken and narrow for such a highly-trafficked route, hence the presence of trampled grass, pretty much everywhere.

    liberty village sidewalks

    Pedestrian congestion is both annoying and dangerous when the neighbourhood is bumping, particularly on the west side of Liberty Street, closer to Dufferin, where angled parking is allowed in front of most commercial buildings.

    liberty village sidewalksPrivate parking spots can be found against buildings both north and south of the arterial road, sometimes with nothing but curb running between car bumpers and the street.

    People who walk this route are forced to either cross Liberty Street, which is never a picnic, or slide along the bottom of what amounts to a long, narrow parking lot as best they can.

    liberty village sidewalksAgain, not a picnic when things get busy or you're neck-and-neck with a cement truck.

    liberty village sidewalksSome parts of the strip provide a wider berth for walkers, and maybe cyclists too? Nobody really knows, so it's kind of treated like a "whatever" zone by all.

    liberty village sidewalksEven when there are full city sidewalks between the parking lots and street, pedestrians have to walk directly in front of vehicles (and make way from those pulling in and and out) to get where they're going.

    You'd best believe that gets crazy dangerous and confusing come 5 p.m., when office execs duck out for the day.

    liberty village sidewalks

    There's nothing illegal about the angled (or "boulevard") parking spots. They're just inconvenient.

    Parking is fully allowed on boulevards in industrial or commercial areas "where the owner in possession or the occupant of the ground floor of property" applies for a license and displays a "suitable number of official signs."

    "The owner or occupant may provide parking on so much of the boulevard or any part of it that abuts on the property," reads the Streets and Sidewalks portion of Toronto's Municipal Code, "exclusive of any portion of the street between the curb or sidewalk, for any class of vehicles specified in the licence."

    liberty village sidewalksDon't like walking in front of cars?

    You can cross the street or take a side road, but sometimes the walk isn't very much better thanks to construction (and motorists who have the same idea).

    liberty village sidewalksThat is, if you're lucky enough to have sidewalks available at all.

    On the south side of East Liberty Street, just west of Strachan, is a long strip of dirt that residents have been pounding down with their shoes for at least five years. 

    There's no sidewalk here, as evidenced by how muddy, icy and rocky this little dirt path gets when the weather's not fair. It's pounded down, but it's straight up mud and it's trafficked by thousands every morning and night,

    liberty village sidewalks

    The city has taken measures to make things flow a bit more smoothly along Liberty Street, like removing street parking between Lynn Williams and Pirandello back in 2014 (though Uber drivers somehow can't seem to read the "no standing" signs).

    A new relief road running along the southern edge of Liberty Village — fittingly called "Liberty New Street" has been in the works for years, but the city has yet to make it happen.

    liberty village sidewalks"Sidewalks are currently not provided on both sides of Liberty Street along sections between Dufferin Street and Atlantic Avenue," reads part of a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment completed for the Liberty New Street project.

    "The construction of new sidewalks can serve to complete the existing discontinuous pedestrian connections but will result in a loss of existing onstreet parking spaces."

    A loss of spaces for people who live in the suburbs to park their cars? Whatever is a downtown neighbourhood to do?

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    You've made it through another week, and events in Toronto today are here to celebrate with you. Taste of the Danforth, Waterfront Night Market and Sail-In Cinema all begin today. Elsewhere, there's a big video dance party and a free concert at Yonge–Dundas Square.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Sail-In Cinema (August 10 @ Sugar Beach)
    Swim, walk or kayak up to the first of two nights for Sail-In Cinema, featuring the 1986 classic Labyrinth starring David Bowie.
    Gaza Surf Club (August 10 @ Christie Pits Park)
    The Toronto Palestine Film Festival is showing a very special, free outdoor screening of Gaza Surf Club alongside food trucks and a marketplace.
    Indie Fridays (August 10 @ Yonge–Dundas Square)
    Another night of free music is happening in the Square, with performances by Johnson Crook, Texas King and more, plus a beer garden on all evening.
    90s Video Dance Party (August 10 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    If you're not living in the 90s, where are you? Jenco jeans, yellow goggles and baby rib tee's are all you need to feel the vibe at this video dance party.
    Feast of St. Lawrence (August 10-11 @ St Lawrence Market)
    St. Lawrence Market is getting into the summer spirit with a two-day festival, including a dinner under the stars and street party.
    Taste of the Danforth (August 10-12 @ Greektown)
    One of the biggest events of the year is back with patios, street food, music and activities in celebration of Toronto's Hellenic community.
    Waterfront Night Market (August 10-12 @ Ontario Place)
    The highly anticipated return of this big Pan-Asian market features food, activities and entertainment at its new spot at Ontario Place.
    Toronto Anime Matsuri (August 10-12 @ Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre)
    A whole weekend of Japanese contemporary pop culture is going down, with screenings, music, cosplay, panels, a marketplace, gaming and food.
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? (August 10-16 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Better pack some tissues for this documentray about the life of Mr. Rogers, who taught us all to love each other and to love ourselves.
    Mulan International Film Festival (August 10-17 @ Multiple Venues)
    Films from and about China that are meant to show off the country's rich and vibrant culture take the spotlight for this annual film festival.

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