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    This home looks like a Restoration Hardware show home. It combines industrial, modern and rustic features beautifully.19 evergreen gardens torontoThe ultra-modern home has an open concept main floor. It’s bright and airy thanks to the large windows and high ceilings. I also love the rustic plant wall in the living room and the exposed beam that divides the living room and dining room.

    19 evergreen gardens torontoThe kitchen is industrial in nature with concrete counters and dark finishes. The mirrored backsplash reminds me of a disco ball, so kitchen dance parties could definitely be a thing.

    19 evergreen gardens torontoThere are five bedrooms and five bathrooms in this spacious house. The master suite has lots of natural light and gorgeous hardwood floors.

    19 evergreen gardens torontoThe bathroom is minimalist and modern with a huge soaker tub. Again, I love the plant wall integrated into the marble. It adds a pop of colour and nature in the space.

    19 evergreen gardens torontoThere’s plenty of outdoor space with this home as well. There are two balconies. The rooftop one even has a Jacuzzi and an irrigated vegetable garden. The backyard has lots of room for seating and a pool.19 evergreen gardens toronto

    Specs
    Good For

    Green thumbs. With all the built-in plant walls and the vegetable garden on the rooftop terrace, there’s plenty of gardening opportunities to keep you busy.19 evergreen gardens toronto

    Move On If

    You don’t like the boxy house look. The exterior of the house has a bunker look and feel to it, with the lack of windows and the sheet metal wall. It’s definitely not for everyone.19 evergreen gardens toronto


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    Popular beauty and home decor retailer Crabtree & Evelyn has officially announced that it is filing for bankruptcy amid "significant losses." 

    Of the brand's 19 stores, 11 are in Ontario. All stores will be closed nationally. 

    Like many companies that have gone under in recent years, Crabtree & Evelyn blames online shopping and changing consumer habits for the the decline in sales. 

    According to the company, it has about $1.3 million left in inventory, which it plans to liquidate, and approximately $300,000 in its wholesale accounts receivable. 

    Seems brand loyalists will have to find a new spot to pick up that Golden Fig Body Butter next Christmas. 


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    Attention betting enthusiasts, Metrolinx has some good news for you. 

    The regional transit agency has determined that a station near Woodbine Racetrack could attract thousands of riders, due to its future as a major development hub. 

    The new station would be on the GO Kitchener Line, and be located right next to Highway 27. It would replace the existing Etobicoke North stop, which is located east by about two kilometres and has fairly low ridership. 

    Projected employment and population growth around where the new station would be are also on the lower side, but the report has determined that it is set to be a new neighbourhood on the rise as it develops. 

    It is projected that about 14,700 daily riders would make use of the station, which is definitely an improvement over Etobicoke North's 625. 

    However, according to the Star, these ridership projections might not be entirely accurate, as they are reliant on fares for the TTC and GO being completely equalized, which is something that the provincial government has not yet made official. 

    Another agency report has said that Metrolinx should switch to more "market-driven" fundraising, rather than fund the construction of new projects through public money. 


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    The TTC has decided to give Toronto an early Christmas gift it would seem. 

    Announced yesterday by TTC spokesperson Brad Ross, there will be no more subway closures for the remainder of 2018.

    This is all thanks to the new signal upgrades, which have been the cause of many of the closures.

    The new ATC (Automatic Train Control) system is now up and running in every station from Vaughan Metropolitan Centre to Dupont, meaning no more signal upgrade closures will be necessary in this stretch of Line 1. 

    The scheduled closures of Line 1 in December (Lawrence to St. Clair this weekend and on December 15 and 16) are now cancelled as well. 

    However, there will be a closure December 8 on Line 2, from Victoria Park to Kennedy. So, it can't all be paradise. 


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    Decked-out ice cream from Sweet Jesus is already all over Instagram, but the popular Toronto-based brand is about to get even more pervasive.

    Prepare for birthday cake cones to become a part of the same empire that oversees Yogen Fruz, Yogurty’s, and Pinkberry, the considerably less fun-sounding International Franchising Inc. 

    Sweet Jesus was founded in 2015 by Toronto restaurant group Monarch & Misfits, and over the past three years has become one of the fastest-growing ice cream chains.

    Not only does Scarborough Town Centre have a location, there are now outposts in the US, and even in the Middle East under the name Sweet Salvation. 

    The chain owes much of its success to smart aesthetic-forward branding that incorporates street art influences and a provoking concept. So provoking, in fact, that the chain with items with names like Hella Nutella and Red Rapture has even come under fire from Christian groups.

    This just means it’ll now be that much easier to get down with an over-the-top hot chocolate.


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    Once upon a time, back when the mention of Toronto's soon-to-be-standard fare payment system PRESTO inspired more curious optimism than exasperated eyerolls, the TTC announced that riders would soon be able to use debit and credit cards aboard the streetcar.

    Torontonians were thrilled to learn that their city's public transit provider was finally getting with the times. It was 2011, after all. Who even used cash anymore?

    A lot has happened since then in the world of cashless payment systems. So much so, it seems, that the fare machines on TTC streetcars can no longer handle debit or credit cards without breaking.

    TTC users have been able to pay for single rides with their debit and credit cards since 2014, when Toronto started rolling out its new low-floor streetcars—but only when the on-board Fares and Transfers Machines were actually up and running.

    Now, in December of 2018, PRESTO is modifying those notoriously unreliable machines in an effort to make them work more often.

    The regional transit agency says it hopes to do this by removing the debit and credit card payment options altogether.

    "Between now and December 20, the debit/credit payment options are being removed from the Fares and Transfers Machines on our low floor streetcars as they were causing the machines to be unreliable," reads a Monday evening announcement from the TTC. 

    "Customers are encouraged to switch to PRESTO or pay their fare by cash, ticket or token," continued the transit commission, which has said it will stop accepting these forms of payment by the end of next year.

    This means that, by 2019, the only card you'll be able to use aboard a Toronto streetcar is a PRESTO card. You can still use debit and credit at PRESTO's self-serve reload machines, however, as well as at collector booths in TTC subway stations (while they still exist).

    TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said that this "difficult decision" was made by both the TTC and Metrolinx after looking at various options and conducting tests.

    Contractors for PRESTO will be working to modify the machines on-board over next few weeks, he says, as they own the devices and infrastructure.

    PRESTO will also "be working up the long-term solutions" to this problem, according to Green, so... be prepared for some hiccups... and start hoarding your coins for the TTC if you don't have a Presto card.

    It's not like you need change for say, vending machines, or to buy hot dogs from remote concession stands on the Islands or anything these days. Not when you can simply tap your debit card against a tiny box.


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    If you missed out on the CNE this year, then you're in luck, as the annual event is making sure you come next year. 

    The CNE announced today that it is offering huge price discounts for tickets to the 2019 event via special gift cards for admission, specifically as a Christmas promotion. 

    The regular admission pass is down to $12 from $19.99, while the Ride-All-Day pass is down about $28, discounted to $37 from $65.99.

    The new gift card discounts are available on the CNE's website, and will only last until the end of December. 

    Exhibition Place, which is the venue for the CNE, faced an ongoing labour dispute that disrupted much of the CNE's regular attendance. As a result, the CNE lost some serious cash this past summer.

    Organizers at the time said losses were expected to meet $1.5 million.

    The total amount of losses for the venue or the event are not currently known, but the new discounts may be an attempt to regain some of the revenue, or at least get people into the park. No word is out yet on whether the gold burger will make a return, however. 


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    Police are looking for information in the case of a man who knocked someone else unconscious with a single punch at a fast food restaurant in Toronto last month.

    Video footage from a security camera, released by police on Tuesday, reveals the scene of the crime to be an A&W—specifically the A&W at Lansdowne Avenue and Queen Street West in Parkdale.

    Police say that the incident, which they're investigating as an assault, took place around 1:19 a.m. on Monday, November 12.

    Initially, officers sent out a press release featuring only a photo of the suspect, noting that he had exchanged "hostile comments" with another man who he later punched unconscious. 

    "He then kicked and stomped on the man's motionless body," wrote police on November 15, though this part of the encounter appears to have been edited out of the security camera video.

    "It is further alleged that the suspect then approached one of the employees of the restaurant, pushed him and demanded to have the video erased," wrote police. "The suspect fled on foot, eastbound from the location."

    a&w punch

    Toronto Police have released two different photos of an A&W patron they believe knocked another man unconscious in Parkdale last month. Image via Toronto Police Services. 

    In the video, a woman is also seen arguing with the man who ended up getting punched. They exchange words for a few minutes until the suspect takes over.

    At one point, the 44-year-old punchee gestures toward this woman, prompting the suspect to throw the brutal punch. The man who got punched was later taken to hospital and treated for his injuries, though police did not say what happened to the A&W worker who got pushed.

    The suspect is described as approximately 30 to 40 years old and of medium build with a beard. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police at 416-808-1100 or Crime Stoppers anonymously online.


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    From the same great minds behind a wall calendar filled entirely with pictures of Toronto raccoons, comes a new book that lets anyone search for our city's unofficial mascot (without the fear of getting hissed at in an alleyway).

    Find Toronto Raccoons is a newly-published puzzle book that artfully hides tiny nightbois in some of Toronto's most iconic neighbourhoods for you to discover.

    It's like a cuter, locally-focused version of Where's Waldo (or, as the British call him, "Wally").

    Toronto raccoons book"We worked with this great illustrator to draw different Toronto neighbourhoods," says Ken Gruber, who launched TorontoRaccoons.ca with Berta Mascarenhas in 2017. "The Beaches, Little Italy, Chinatown, Kensington Market, etc."

    toronto raccoons bookOther neighbourhoods and landmarks found in the book include the Toronto Islands...toronto raccoons bookLittle Italy...

    Toronto raccoons bookThe Distillery District...

    Toronto raccoons bookHigh Park...

    toronto raccoons book...and you can even find raccoons around chichi Yorkville, both in the book and in real life.

    Toronto raccoons bookThe hardcover book is currently available to purchase online and from a number of different retail stores in Toronto, including the Spacing Store, ROM boutique, AGO, Midoco, Outer Layer and the Drake General Store.

    "Little did I ever think my first book would be an illustrated one about Raccoons," joked Gruber in an email. "At any event, our calendar has been accepted with open arms, so this seemed like a fun and natural extension of our line."


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    It's really happening—Yayoi Kusama's world-famous Infinity Mirror Room is officially getting a permanent home at the AGO. 

    After just over a month of fundraising, it appears the art gallery has reached its original goal of raising $1.3 million to finally purchase and install the highly Instagrammable piece of art by the Japanese visionary with the iconic bob. 

    It didn't originally look like the AGO was going to pull the whole thing off: by last Friday, the #InfinityAGO campaign was still $700,000 short of its goal. 

    The gallery—which had already committed $1 million to the project through the David Yuile & Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund—decided to extend the deadline from Friday to today.

    Coupled with the $651,183-worth of donations from the public, the gallery was finally able to complete the campaign by reaching back in to the Hodgson Fund to finalize the permanent exhibit: INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM - LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER.

    When the temporary exhibit first opened up last spring, more than 169,000 people visited, with lineups for the installation running down the street. 

    By spring next year, Torontonians will be able to see a new and larger version of the room ever seen in Canada, complete with mirrored orbs hanging from the ceilings.


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    New restaurants on Dundas West only add to an already vibrant food scene along the street, which means they have to be especially impressive to stand out. These spots for Korean, Chinese, Italian, and of course, great drinks that opened this year are already commanding attention.

    Here are my picks for the top new restaurants on Dundas West.

    Mezu

    Small Korean sharing plates with modern twists like ssam lettuce wraps, bulgogi steak and crudo have proven popular at this spot at the corner of Dundas and Beaconsfield.

    SoSo Food Club

    A pastel environment and Hong Kong influences (plus dishes like lobster mapo tofu and tons of cool wines and beers) make this hangout at Ossington the new place to be. Also, there’s dancing at night.

    Paris Paris

    This skylit venue at Dundas and Ossington is awash in light wood and festooned with lots of plant life, which all serves as the ideal setting for enjoying a fun wine list and equally fun finger foods, like house sourdough, meats, cheeses, and even rotisserie chicken and fries.

    The Six Brewing Co.

    The neighbourhood now has its own brewery in this spot at Bathurst that has a bottle shop and a full restaurant that does brunch.

    Viaggio

    Steakhouse Branca at the intersection where Lansdowne, College, and Dundas all meet has turned into this charming Italian place, serving sophisticated plates and even a mocktail or two.


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    If you love Baroque art and large, glorious paintings of crowds of people piled on top of each other, the AGO has good news for you. 

    A huge exhibition of works by famous Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, titled Early Rubens, is coming to the Art Gallery of Ontario.

    The exhibit will feature 30 of Rubens' largest paintings and several other smaller works, including some of his most famous, like Daniel and the Lions' Den and Massacre of the Innocents. Many of the works are on-loan from other museums around the U.S. and Europe. 

    Rubens was active in the Baroque period, specifically in the early 1600s. Much of his work featured religious figures and themes, vivid colours and strong dynamic scenes. 

    The Early Rubens exhibit will be visiting the AGO starting October 19 of next year, and it'll hang around until January 5, 2020. 

    This news comes on the heels of another announcement from the AGO, in which it was revealed that one of Yayoi Kasuma's Infinity Mirror rooms will be permanently calling the gallery home. 


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    Is an Academy Award-winning love song from 1944 "too rapey" for Christmas in 2018?

    This is the question behind a raging online debate this week as North American radio stations pull the classic holiday tune "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from their rotations.

    The controversial call-and-response duet, which includes lyrics like "I ought to say no, no, no," and "baby don't hold out," has been coming under fire around this time of year with some regularity over the past decade.

    Critics have blasted the song using such terms as "date rape anthem," "undeniably, unquestionably predatory" and "unforgivable" in recent years, arguing that it should be considered a relic of a less inclusive era.

    Others, like Canadian actor William Shatner for some reason, say it's much ado about nothing.

    After all, the song is a holiday classic. It won an Oscar for best original song after appearing in the 1949 romantic comeday Neptune's Daughterand has since been covered by everyone from Louis Armstrong and Dean Martin to Anne Murray and Michael Bublé.

    This year, it was a radio host from Ohio that sparked the blaze of hate on Twitter with a blog post explaining why his station, Star 102 in Cleveland, would no longer play the song.

    "I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time," wrote Glenn Andersen in a post on the station's website last week. "But now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong."

    "The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended," he continued. "In a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place."

    Today, three of Canada's largest radio broadcasters (Rogers Media, Bell Media and the CBC) confirmed that they, too, had decided to pull the carol from their holiday playlists.

    "The song wasn't scheduled for airplay on any Bell Media Radio stations and there are no plans to play it in the future," said Bell Media spokesman Scott Henderson to the Canadian Press.

    Rogers, which runs the all-Christmas music 98.1 CHFI-FM in Toronto, said similarly that it would not be playing "Baby It's Cold Outside" this year.

    Some are applauding the move online, while others are holding it up as a symptom of political correctness gone too far.

    Others still, like comedian and noted feminist Jen Kirkman, say the lyrics are being misinterpreted by those living in the age of outrage.

    "The song has a lot to teach us about how society views women’s sexuality. But the lesson of this song is NOT that it's about forcing a woman into sex," said Kirkman on Twitter this weekend in response to the debate.

    "If you want to be outraged, be outraged about what the song is actually about," she continued.

    "The double standard in regards to sex that women face and how nothing much has changed. And then enjoy the song. It's a delight."


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    The winners for Toronto's third annual Ice Breakers challenge have just been announced, meaning the city's waterfront will soon be home to a handful of wacky installations.

    The theme for this year's design competition—a project by Ports Toronto in collaboration with the Waterfront BIA and Winter Stations—is "Signal Transmission."

    ice breakers waterfront toronto

    This year's installations along the Waterfront include Stella Spectra by a Toronto-based designer duo. Rendering from PortsToronto.

    The temporary exhibits this year feature a number of shiny, twinkly pieces, including two works from international designers, two local groups, and one creation by students from Ryerson University. 

    An interesting installation to look forward to is a giant ball made of orange cables called The Connector, designed by a duo from Hamburg, Germany. Visitors will be able speak into the cables, while people on the other side will have to figure out which cable to listen in to. 

    ice breakers waterfront toronto

    Twenty-five wooden buoys floating in the water make up the installation Chroma Key. Rendering from PortsToronto.

    Other cool works of art you can catch starting Jan. 19 include the Chroma Key Protest by Andrew Edmundson of Solve Architects Inc., which will see 25 wood buoys sticking out of Lake Ontario. 

    ice breakers waterfront toronto

    The Tweeta-Gate is a walkway strung with tinkling bells. Rendering from PortsToronto.

    A piece by a team of Greek designers includes a walkway of yellow gates called Tweeta-Gate, which will come decked out with bells for a tinkling walk.

    Stellar Spectra by a Toronto-based duo Rob Shostak and Dionisios Vriniotis will see two lighthouse columns that you can step into for a show of lights and colours.

    ice breakers waterfront toronto

    Ryerson students designed a kaleidoscopic structure called Tripix for Ice Breakers. Rendering fromPortsToronto.

    And Ryerson students are bringing an interesting kaleidoscopic structure made of mirrors called Tripix. 

    Ice Breakers will run until February 24 along Queens Quay West.


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    A Kensington Market neighbourhood group is up in arms over the news that a local bar is trying to expand their liquor license. 

    The Facebook community page Friends of Kensington Market posted a message yesterday morning encouraging its members to protest a liquor license application filed by Beer2Beer, a bar on Augusta that serves local beers and brunch. 

    The bar, which replaced Templeton's in 2017, is currently applying for an extension of its already existing liquor license with the AGCO

    If approved, that extension would cover the bar's back room, which was was recently converted from a storage room into a large event space that will host live performances and movie nights. 

    But the admin of the Friends of Kensington Market group evidently doesn't like the idea of a new live venue space in the neighbourhood.

    Whoever's running the group is telling its members to file official objections against the extension before the deadline on December 12. 

    "We're objecting to an expansion of a liquor license in an area of the market that has become wall to wall bars, which affects residents in all kinds of ways (from noise to vomit on their front steps)," wrote a Friends of Kensington Market admin.

    "Unfortunately, if we don't get objections in, we have no room to negotiate conditions. If something great is going in there, they should notify residents and smooth the course before putting in for the license expansion." 

    Responses from members have been divided: while some have taken the opportunity to bash the bar ("Don't worry, soon it'll be Closed2Closed," somebody wrote), others don't quite see what all the fuss is about.  

    "Genuinely would like to know what it is you're objecting to," wrote member Heather Meegs.

    "Have you actually asked B2B what their plans are vs. what you interpret on the posted sign? How about instead of posting a link on how to oppose it, you post about relevant information and stop NIMBYing." 

    It looks like Kensington locals will have to decide whether or not they can agree over the issue of nightlife venues entering and expanding in the Market.

    Either way, it's the AGCO's decision on whether Beer2Beer will get its liquor license or not. 


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    The Toronto Reference Library is the place to be today for events as Indigenous singer-songwriter Jeremy Dutcher is in to chat. New York's Parquet Courts are playing a show and there's film, comedy, wine tasting and storytelling on as well.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Jeremy Dutcher (December 5 @ Toronto Reference Library)
    Indigenous singer-songwriter and musicologist Jeremy Dutcher is on hand to discuss blending his heritage with classical techniques.
    Parquet Courts (December 5 @ The Danforth Music Hall)
    New York's Parquet Courts have amassed a loyal following this side of the border, in part for their indie rock tunes that embody a classic sound.
    Confabulation (December 5 @ Burdock)
    Local storytellers are on hand to share tales about family, good and bad, all true and all inherited from generations past, just in time for the holidays.
    Dizzy Mystics (December 5 @ Bovine Sex Club)
    From Winnipeg comes psychedelic prog rockers Dizzy Mystics and their upbeat and funky sound, played alongside Juniper Hollow and more.
    Building the AGO Collection (December 5 @ Art Gallery of Ontario)
    Ever wondered how the AGO formed its collection? This drop-in lets visitors into the innerworkings of the gallery archives and the work that goes into it.
    Laughspoitation (December 5 @ Eyesore Cinema)
    The laughs are on inside the video store, with local comedians performing stand up, followed by a screening of the 1981 flick Savage Harvest.
    In The Making (December 5 @ Super Wonder Gallery)
    Acoustic musician Charmie is celebrating a birthday alongside the release of a new EP that explores the pain, self doubt and fear through music.
    Big Reds Wine Tasting (December 5 @ D.W. Alexander)
    Winter is all about big-bodied red and the Toronto Wine Club is leading a tour through a selection of wines to keep you warm all season long.
    Thunder Moons (December 5 @ The Piston)
    Indie folk with pep; Toronto's Thunder Moons keep it light alongside poet Sebastien Wen, Newfoundland electro dream pop band Galaa and more.
    All the Wild Horses (December 5-6 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Author and journalist Rachel Giese is on hand to host a Q&A that follows the screening of this documentary about the Mongol Derby.

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    If you’ve ever wanted to live a completely indoor life, I think this might be the place where it’s achievable. The building has a gym and indoor access to Loblaws and Winners. So, with an unseasonable cold winter predicted, this place is sounding dreamy.156 Portland Street torontoThe fully furnished one-bedroom penthouse condo in the heart of the Fashion District is move-in ready. Everything from linens to WiFi and cleaning services is taken care of. The only thing you’d need to do here is stock the fridge and hang up your clothes.

    156 Portland Street torontoThe condo has about 570-square-feet of living space. The living, dining and kitchen area are open concept and the floor-to-ceiling windows provide lots of natural light.

    156 Portland Street torontoThe kitchen has a large island and is stocked with a dishwasher, Nespresso and Vitamix—all the necessities for a busy young professional.

    156 Portland Street torontoThe bedroom has queen-size bed and entire wall of custom closets, so you’ll have plenty of room to store that wardrobe. There’s also a closet in the hall for extra storage space.

    156 Portland Street torontoThe bathroom is pretty basic but bright, and has a large soaker tub.156 Portland Street toronto

    Specs
    • Address: #703 - 156 Portland Street
    • Type: Apartment
    • Rent: $3,400/ month
    • Listing agent: Pete Dode, Home Leader Realty Inc.
    • Furnished? Yes
    • Utilities: Yes (plus WiFi, cable and cleaning services)
    • Air conditioning? Yes
    • Bedrooms: 1
    • Bathrooms: 1
    • Parking: No
    • Laundry? In-suite
    • Outdoor space? Balcony
    • Pet friendly? No156 Portland Street toronto
    Good For

    Someone who’s in denial about winter. With this place, it doesn’t matter if the weather outside is frightful.156 Portland Street toronto

    Move On If

    You need parking. While the parking can be rented for an additional fee from the building, it’s not included in the rent, which is kind of a bummer.156 Portland Street toronto


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    Several dozen protestors with large black banners blocked off a downtown intersection this morning, giving commuters a bit of a headache. 

    A rally was held by The Collective of Child Welfare Survivors, in response to the provincial government slashing the Ontario Child Advocate's Office

    The department is an independent ombudsman that works to protect children in the welfare system.

    Protestors blocked off Queen and Bay streets. Their signs said things like "Keep children alive" and "Keep OCA open."

    The protest is one in a a series of many after the it was announced that OCA would be cut.

    The cut was made as part of the provincial government's fiscal plan for the next year, which also slashed many other government services. 


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    One of Toronto's local breweries has been hit hard by a supplier's financial problems this week. 

    Indie Alehouse, one of the Junction's hottest spots, recently posted on various social media channels that they were in a bit of trouble after their equipment supplier, DME, closed for good. 

    DME is based in Prince Edward Island and provides equipment and other tools to over 1,600 breweries around the world. The company merged with another, NSI, and were bought out by a Toronto-based corporation called Clearspring.

    Jason Fisher, owner of Indie Alehouse, had just ordered a ton of new equipment and machinery from NSI before learning that the merged companies were in receivership. 

    Indie and Fisher are now out $800,000, which was already spent on new equipment the brewery will never see.

    According to a social media post, others have stepped in to help provide used equipment and other assistance. But, as Fisher points out, smaller breweries without suh a safety net will suffer harder and may even need to close. 

    Indie Alehouse is staying open, but will most likely be struggling for some time. 

    Fisher writes, "Large companies get bailouts, banks always get their money, but small businesses have to rely on each other and their strong local community to survive." 


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    Queer activists are livid this morning in the wake of a chaotic Pride Toronto meeting that was effectively shut down as members tried to debate whether or not uniformed police officers should be allowed to participate in this year's parade.

    Pride's recent decision to allow police officers, police cruisers and police floats back into the parade after a two-year ban has proven incredibly controversial.

    Many present at last night's annual general meeting at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre found it odd that there was no mention of the issue on the agenda. Journalists were also banned from attending for the first time.

    Toronto's Pride Parade hasn't had a visible police presence since 2016, when members of Black Lives Matter halted the procession with a list of demands that included banning police floats from future parades.

    The relationship between Pride Toronto and Toronto Police Services had been strained for years, and how police handled the investigation into alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur who targeted gay men in the Church and Wellesley area, further increased tensions between police and the gay community earlier this year.

    "The relationship cannot be mended through a parade," said Pride Toronto itself ahead of 2018's celebrations in a statement co-signed by the executive directors of The 519, The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Toronto People With AIDS Foundation, and Sherbourne Health Centre.

    And yet, in October, Pride Toronto executive director, Olivia Nuamah, openly welcomed Toronto Police Services back for 2019.

    Members of the non-profit organization want to know why — and say that Nuamah's refusal to discuss the issue at last night's annual general meeting is unacceptable.

    Present at the meeting last night were members of a group organized by Queer Ontario with input from Black Lives Matter and other community activists called the No Pride In Policing Coalition.

    No Pride in Policing asserts that Pride Toronto's decision to invite police to join 2019's parade is "clearly undemocratic" and that it "threatens to create further tensions in the Queer and Trans communities."

    "Of great concern is that this decision was undertaken without transparency or accountability," reads a statement published by the group, which is calling upon Nuamah to step down from her post.

    "We of the No Pride in Policing Coalition believe that Pride Toronto, as it currently exists, cannot be trusted as an official voice of LGBTQ people in this city or beyond."

    The controversy came to a head at last night's meeting in Toronto when general members of Pride tried to raise their concerns.

    "The Pride Toronto AGM was adjourned by the chair tonight once it became clear that the majority of members in the room would vote to keep the police as an institutional and official force out of Pride," wrote veteran activist and author Gary Kinsman on Twitter Tuesday evening.

    "This was an undemocratic move."

    Pride, which started as a grassroots political movement, has grown into one of Toronto's most culturally and economically important annual events.

    With so much money from government agencies and corporate sponsors in the mix, some are questioning the motives of Pride Toronto's current board of directors—and wondering if it might be smart to scale things back.

    After last might's meeting was abruptly adjourned, a sign up sheet was put out to call for an emergency membership meeting about the police issue, specifically.  

    With just 10 per cent of the total 255 members required to be on board for the meeting to proceed, it is expected to take place in early 2019.


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