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    It's been almost three years since legendary singer David Bowie passed away, but his memory is alive and well in Toronto as several events look to celebrate the birth of Ziggy Stardust himself. Film, dance parties and singing all look to honour the legendary star that gave us so much.

    Here are some ways to celebrate David Bowie's birthday in Toronto.

    Events you might want to check out:

    The C!hurch of Bowie (January 8 @ Clinton's)
    Choir! Choir! Choir! is back for the new year with local singers coming together in what has come an annual tradition of honouring David Bowie.
    The Man Who Fell to Earth (January 8 @ The Royal Cinema)
    In the role he was born to play, Bowie plays lonely alien Thomas Jerome Newton trying to navigate life on earth in this 1973 sci-fi cult film.
    David Bowie Birthday Celebration (January 8 @ Cherry Cola's)
    Cherry Cola's is ready to celebrate all things Bowie with a birthday party featuring live covers of his greatest hits, drink specials and lots of dancing.
    Bowie vs. Prince Video Dance Party (January 12 @ Remix Lounge)
    It's rock and pop versus funk and soul as DJ Laraus plays all the best tunes and videos by two super-charged sex symbols that changed music forever.
    A Bowie Celebration (March 1 @ The Danforth Music Hall)
    The folks behind Bowie's iconic music come to the stage for a night of live renditions of his many hits and deep cuts by those that worked with him.

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    A Toronto-based doctorate student is the latest victim in a series of brazen daylight laptop robberies carried out at public cafes and restaurants.

    Sardar Saadi says his wife was eating at Future Bistro in the Annex around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday when a pair of thieves swiped the computer right out of her bag.

    Of course, she didn't know it at the time. Like other couples who've been caught on camera stealing laptops from unaware diners, the man and woman seemed well-coordinated in their efforts.

    Upon learning of Saadi's suspicion, Future Bistro's owner pulled up security footage from inside the store and let him film it with his phone.

    Sure enough, a man is seen reaching his hand into a bag under the chair behind him. After fiddling for a few seconds, he pulls out a shiny new MacBook Pro and quickly slides it under the table to his female companion, who grabs the computer and leaves with it immediately.

    The man waits about 10 seconds before getting up to follow, and then he's gone — along with the laptop containing, among other things, the York University student's PhD project.

    Saadi says they filed a police report within hours of the laptop being stolen, but that nothing came out of it as the matter was not considered an emergency.

    "Please take a look at the footage and advise us what to do," he wrote on Facebook Saturday evening. "Any leads would be greatly appreciated."


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    Ryerson University may not be expanding to Brampton anymore, but the commuter school is definitely still growing its campus downtown.

    According to a recent application to the City, the university wants to turn a giant parking lot at Jarvis and Dundas into a 41-storey tower complete with new student residences, classrooms, a student gallery, and parking space for over 1,000 bicycles.  

    If their re-zoning application goes through, the development at 202 Jarvis Street will cover nearly 550,000 square-feet.

    Designed by Henning Larsen and Zeidler Architects, it will be Ryerson's largest project to date in a string of new buildings. 

    ryerson university toronto

    University Square will be one of two new plazas connecting 202 Jarvis to the main street. Photo from Ryerson University via City of Toronto submission.

    The 11-storey base of the building is slated to have lecture rooms and research spaces, catering specifically to the Faculty of Science. There'll also be offices, along with some retail and administrative services. 

    Towering above will be the new residences, which are expected to have enough dorms to host around 500 students, along with three floors of permanent and temporary storage for 1,192 bikes, both underground and above-ground. 

    There'll also be two new plazas, University Square and the Pocket Garden, that will connect the development's entrances to the major streets adjacent. 

    The best part of it all, however, might be the two rooftop patios, to be located on the fifth floor of the building. 


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    Concrete monsters, a floating statue of King Edward VII, walks with live donkeys and now a massive communal swing: The Don River Valley Park Art Program just keeps on bringing the cool to Toronto.

    New York-based artist Virginia Overton is the latest artist to be featured in Evergreen's curated series of temporary, outdoor public artworks, which in the Lower Don Valley last fall.

    Three pieces from Overton's exhibition Built are currently on display along the Lower Don Trail (with more to come), but one in particular stands out for its sheer size and functionality.

    Behold the swing: A sixteen-foot salvaged pine beam suspended from a found steel gantry and incorporating other raw or recycled materials.

    giant swing toronto

    You could fit an entire family on that swing, grandparents and cousins included. It's huge, and it would definitely require everyone to cooperate in order to move as intended. But that's not the point of this project.

    "In her work, Overton re-purposes the ubiquitous industrial and natural material found in cities and rural environments across North America; the rusted I-beams, wooden joists, salvaged metal pipes, gantries, motors and pick-up trucks that make up the built environments of cities like Toronto and New York," reads the Don Valley River Park's website.

    These materials are said to resonate specifically with the industrial landscape of Toronto's Lower Don Valley, and are meant to "offer potent reflections on issues of circulation and reuse, and encourage a close look at the material language of cities, and the economic systems that shape the built environment."where rural and urban, industrial and post-industrial converge."

    Nearby lies an eight-foot-tall set of rusted steel girders holding dozens of colourful, cut metal pipes from the artist's own studio.

    "Together the pipes act as impromptu lenses, framing and focusing in on the Lower Don Valley," reads a description of that work in its new Canadian context.

    This spring, the art program will add yer another sculpture made by Overton during her time in Toronto. That piece is being made from a discarded glass carrier found in the Toronto's west end, inlaid with cut marble from the artist's studio in Brooklyn.

    You can see it all for yourself on the Lower Don Trail, a short walk south of the its Pottery Road entrance. You can also simply head north from Riverdale Park to find the giant swing—and let's be real, you want to find that swing.

    It'll look awesome in photos when winter is gone and also "weee!"


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    We're nowhere near the weekend but we're in this together with events in Toronto today including two ways to celebrate David Bowie's birthday while many are gathering in downtown in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en First Nations in British Columbia.

    Events you might want to check out:

    David Bowie Birthday Celebration (January 8 @ Cherry Cola's)
    Cherry Cola's is ready to celebrate all things Bowie with a birthday party featuring live covers of his greatest hits, drink specials and lots of dancing.
    Toronto Solidarity with Wet'suwet'en (January 8 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
    Hundreds are gathering to stand in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en to protest the Transcanada Pipline with a rally, round dance and march.
    Citizenfour (January 8 @ Ryerson Image Arts Centre)
    This documentary looks at how Edward Snowden uncovered a massive government surveillance program, in a move that's made him both a hero and villain.
    Parks and Recreation Trivia (January 8 @ Hemingway's)
    Treat Yo'self to a night of laughter, tears, goofiness and miniature ponies as Hemingway's hosts the first edition of Parks and Rec trivia
    Working Women Comedy (January 8 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    The girls are back with a night of hilarious comedy from local queer comedians ready to have you feeling the new year, new you vibes.
    The Man Who Fell to Earth (January 8 @ The Royal Cinema)
    In the role he was born to play, Bowie plays lonely alien Thomas Jerome Newton trying to navigate life on earth in this 1973 sci-fi cult film.
    Indie Night (January 8 @ The Piston)
    Catch some live tunes by local indie bands Future Lovely and Mercy Flight as they drop by The Piston for a no cover/PWYC night of music.
    Vacant Nobodies (January 8 @ The Ossington)
    A night of literature and poetry to fuel the soul is on with artists reading their works live and sharing stories, opening themselves up to the audience.
    Vyle (January 8 @ The Beaver)
    Selena Vyle is taking over The Beaver with a new one-woman drag show beginning today. Hot looks, lip-syching, comedy and more are all part of the fun.
    Grace (January 8-26 @ Streetcar Crowsnest)
    A new production by writer Jane Doe explores the complications and pressures that arise when a woman discloses childhood sexual assault.

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    There’s something so soothing about these modern homes. The clean crisp lines, the minimalist decor and bright, airy spaces give the home an almost spa-like zen feel.435 valermo drive toronto

    Situated in Etobicoke is this custom open concept home. The main floor is open plan with lots of natural light thanks to the large windows and the skylights.

    435 valermo drive torontoThe kitchen is large enough that the whole family can fit without being on top of one another, plus the fact that it opens into the living room means it’s ideal for dinner parties.

    435 valermo drive torontoMy favourite parts of the house are the floating wood staircase and the eight-foot gas fireplace in the living room. Both are stunning.

    435 valermo drive torontoUpstairs are the three main bedrooms. The master bedroom is spacious but plain. It has a walk-in closet, a Juliette balcony and an en suite bathroom.

    435 valermo drive torontoThe only downside with the en suite is there’s no bathtub, which could be a deal breaker for bubble bath enthusiasts.

    435 valermo drive torontoThere’s more living space in the basement and the backyard has a large deck and lots of lawn space. No word on whether the trampoline comes with the house though.435 valermo drive toronto

    Specs
    • Address: 435 Valermo Drive
    • Price: $1,499,000
    • Lot Size: 24.11 x 138.16 feet
    • Bedrooms: 3 + 1
    • Bathrooms: 4
    • Parking: 4
    • Walk Score: 61
    • Transit Score: 58
    • Listing agent: Victoria Bekris
    • Listing ID: W4297200435 valermo drive toronto
    Good For

    Shopping. This house is right between Sherway Gardens and Dixie Outlet Mall, so you can have both premium and discount shopping just a stone’s throw away.435 valermo drive toronto

    Move On If

    You want something with a little more character. While modern homes are nice for fresh starts they certainly don’t have the charm of an old home.435 valermo drive toronto


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    Yorkdale and Lawrence West stations have joined a growing list of subway stations in Toronto with no fare collectors. 

    The total list of unattended stations now comes to about 10, including Sheppard West, Wilson, and every station on the Line 1 extension.

    Customers and travellers must now use Presto or other fare types, including exact change, as they will no longer be able to purchase anything from a human behind a window. 

    The move comes as a controversial one, adding to the growing frustration of commuters who cannot afford a Presto card, or who did not arrive with exact change.

    Metrolinx and the TTC ensure that a single-fare Presto ticket is being tested, however, and that it should arrive soon.


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    The Toronto Parking Authority is making some changes to the way it rents out spaces, scrapping daily maximums at many downtown locations and jacking up rates by as much as 50 cents per half hour.

    But it's not all bad news for Green P parkers—especially those who only use the spots sporadically.

    New rates will take effect at hundreds of what TPA calls "uncontrolled facilities" across the city as of January 14. Spots near Adelaide and Spadina, for instance, will rise from $3.00 to $3.50 per half hour, while the lot at 110 Dovercourt will go from $1.25 to $1.50.

    Lots in which daily maximums are being removed, however, will actually see half-hourly rates go down in most cases (at least initially).

    The lot at Chester and Danforth, for example, will decrease  from $2.00 to just $1.50 per half hour next Monday, but drivers will no longer be able to get a flat rate of $10 per day. The city-owned parking corporation says this is meant to "deter all-day parkers" in lots known to have a high occupancy, freeing up more space for short-stay patrons.

    At least 25 lots are affected by the removal of daily maximums, including those at Queen and Augusta, Richmond and Walnut, Bloor and Clinton and Yonge and St. Clair.

    Most "controlled" facilities (like the parking garages in St. Lawrence Market and Yorkville) will simply see their daily maximum rates go up by $2 or $3 as of February 11.

    For those lucky enough to have monthly parking passes, your rates will be going up across the board on February 1. The cost of monthly parking at Yonge-Dundas Square will rise from $400 to $425, for instance, though many lots in the city will only see prices go up by $10 or $15 per month.

    You can see the full list of affected Green P parking lots (and some tentative plans for the next price increase) on the parking authority's website now.


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    Shoppers Drug Mart is now officially selling medical marijuana online.

    The retail pharmacy chain, which is owned by Loblaw Companies Limited, was granted permission for sales of the prescription drug a few months ago. Sales are permitted in Ontario at first, before they can expand to the rest of the country. 

    Those with a prescription can bring it to a pharmacist, who will then initiate the process for online registration. 

    Hopefully the system works better than the government's own Ontario Cannabis Store, which is still the only legal option for recreational weed in the province.  


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    The owner of a popular Toronto-based greeting card line is tired of watching huge corporations profit from her work without getting anything in return—and there's little she's been able to do to stop it, she says, despite spending over $15,000 in copyright, trademark and legal fees.

    Queenie Best started selling cute cartoon cards as a side hustle in 2008, but had become so successful by 2014 that she decided to quit her day job and focus on Queenie's Cards full time.

    Last May, she opened up her own brick and mortar store in the Danforth and Coxwell area, expanding her wares to offer plushies, enamel pins, keychains, tote bags, phone cases, socks and all kinds of other cute gift items, as well as her own subscription box service.

    You can now find punny products designed by Best in literally hundreds of stores around the world, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox, AGO, Juxtapose and many of Toronto's other top gift shops.

    Unfortunately, you can also find unauthorized products based on her copyrighted works at places like Forever 21, Michael's, Top Shop, and, most recently, Indigo, Chapters and Coles.

    Best called out the latter three businesses (all owned by the same company) on Friday after discovering a mug bearing the phrase "Let's Avocuddle" on Indigo's website.

    "Come onnn Indigo, Chapters and Coles," she wrote in a post on Facebook Friday afternoon. "We've worked together before too! I have trademark on 'Let's Avocuddle' and you can find it on the Canadian Copyright Registry."

    A spokesperson for Indigo replied to our request for comment on the post almost immediately to say that the company is taking this matter "very seriously" and that they're currently conducting a review.

    Best says Indigo's director of PR reached out to her as well with similar information—which she's glad for, but apprehensive given how big companies have treated her in the past.

    "This isn't the first time it's happened," she says of the Avocuddle situation. "Forever 21, Top Shop in the UK, Michael's, Children's Place, the list goes on… they've all copied this phrase and refused to own up to it."

    "Forever 21 was extremely rude and disappointing," she continued, explaining that the fast-fashion store once carried her actual cards.

    A pair of "Let's Avocuddle" pajamas appeared on the company's website last summer, but have since been taken down. That said, you can still purchase socks bearing the trademarked phrase on forever21.com.

    forever 21 avocuddle

    Forever 21 is still selling socks that bear a phrase recently trademarked by Toronto designer Queenie Best. Screenshot of forever21.com.

    "At the time, my U.S. trademark was still pending so they took that as a free pass," says Best of Forever 21. "My cards were up on their website a few years ago so it's not like they didn't know about my work. They featured me on social media!"

    In terms of other big companies, she may have valid legal claims—but suing a juggernaut doesn't come cheap.

    "Every communication to my lawyers cost a few hundred dollars, and to rattle more cages could cost me in the tens of thousands," says Best. "Numerous times people would tell me 'JUST SUE THEM' but it actually takes a lot of money to even get to that point, IF the case even goes to trial."

    "I'm a sole proprietor who is just trying to pay the bills in my little Toronto home, making sure my daughter has a good life," she continues. "I can't compete even if I'm in the right."

    And therein lies the rub: It's hard for independent artists and proprietors to even challenge companies with millions of dollars at their disposal in the first place.

    "I've spent over $15,000 in copyright, trademark and legal fees but it just proves that small businesses have no pull when it comes to securing and protecting our artwork," says Best. "Independent designers don’t stand a chance against the big guys."

    Still, she's holding out hope that Indigo—the first big Canadian company to violate her trademark—will do the right thing.

    "If they cooperate, it could be a great positive example of how big companies can actually work with independent designers instead of hiring freelancers to copy artwork that is already available," she said.

    "If they don't cooperate, this exposes more of what artists go through on the daily, how we struggle to make a buck and how it's impossible to protect what’s ours even having copyright and trademark registries. "


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    The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is far from finished, but now we know what the new transit line's cars are going to look like when the project is finally finished in 2021 (hopefully).

    The first Crosstown car made its way into Toronto from Bombardier's manufacturing plant near Kingston today.

    The Flexity Freedom light rail vehicle, as its called, is nearly identical to the streetcars that we've been riding since they first rolled out downtown in 2014. 

    That is, except for one major distinction: unlike the Flexity Outlook streetcars, which are red and white, the new LRT vehicles have eschewed the traditional TTC colours for a more monochromatic look.

    The black and white vehicles will also be wider than the streetcars, and faster. Otherwise, the functions of both cars are pretty much the same.

    It's a relief to see an actual vehicle coming from Bombardier after they missed their deadline in October in a string of contract violations that have strained the relationship between the equipment manufacturer and the TTC. 

    Whether we'll be getting the other five required from Bombardier before the end of the month has yet to be seen.


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    Advocates for the embattled Wet'suwet'en people are gathered in full force at Nathan Phillips Square today to express support for the First Nation's fight to keep natural gas pipelines out of their traditional territory.

    It's just one of many coordinated actions taking place across the country right now in response to yesterday's armed RCMP raids of the Unist'ot'en camp in B.C.

    Police officers arrested 14 people on Monday afternoon at a checkpoint Indigenous leaders had set up to protect their unceded lands from pipeline construction.

    Many following the story were shocked to see Canada's national police force destroying homemade barriers and removing the protesters from their own land, especially given the UN's declaration that "Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their land or territories."

    The RCMP officers were enforcing a Dec. 14 court injunction giving Coastal GasLink access to a road leading through the Wet'suwet'en territory in order to build a new $6.2-billion pipeline.

    Chiefs have been firm in their support for Unist'ot'en, who started campaigning against pipelines back in 2007 and have been blocking juggernauts like Trans-Canada, Enbridge and Pacific Trails ever since.

    "The proposed pipelines are a threat to the watershed, as well as the plants, animals and communities that depend on them," reads the Unist'ot'en camp's website.

    "The Unist'ot'en are fighting for the future health of the land. They are protecting the traditional hunting, trapping, and fishing territories to ensure that the natural beauty and bounty of the earth will be enjoyed for generations to come."

    Those who were arrested yesterday for violating the injunction order were taken to police stations as far as four hours away for processing and then released, according to APTN.

    "I'm proud to have been arrested," said 72-year-old Carmen Nikal to the television network. "The only thing I could do was try to block the path between the bus and the bridge. I'm not a big person but I was big enough to stand and they had asked me to move and I said 'No I'm not moving’ and he said, 'Well, we can arrest you,'."

    Clashes are expected to continue as Wet'suwet'en leaders vow to continue protecting their land.

    As of 2 p.m. in Toronto, protesters had walked from City Hall over to the busy intersection of King and University for more anti-pipeline demonstrations.


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    A 21-year-old Aritzia staffer from Toronto is getting a taste of instant fame this week after publishing some truly excellent dance videos on Instagram.

    You see, Dontè Colley doesn't just dance—he sends a message. Literally. His videos are filled with dynamic text and graphics to help tell an actual story, and the one he made to express his intended 2019 energy seems to be resonating.

    "Keep on working towards your dreams," he spells out in spins, dance punches and booty pops. "You can do anything."

    Well-placed and timed emojis fly all over the screen in coordination with his moves, injecting both comedy and wonder into what would otherwise be one of a zillion dance videos on Instagram.

    The video above, published on New Year's Eve, has been viewed 2.5 million times in just four days on 9GAG's Facebook page, while his original Instagram clip racked up more than half a million views by itself.

    "It makes it feel worth doing, and that's all I could ever ask for," he said of the hit on his hands in an interview with Buzzfeed published Monday.

    "To make people feel better especially because we all go through lows in our lives and we all have our own struggles that we deal with on a day to day, so just being able to bring some light or joy to somebody, it makes it feel worth doing," he continued. "It definitely recharges me and motivates me more to keep going."


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    Crime has plagued residents in the St. Clair West area for months in what locals are calling an "epidemic."  

    Since September, the homes around St. Clair West and Vaughan Road have been hit with at least 80 attempted and successful vehicle break-ins, with dozens more unreported to the police. 

    On top of that, people have been stealing packages from residents as well: a problem which Toronto Police's 13 Division calls an "ongoing issue."

    st clair west crime toronto

    There have been more than 80 incidents of vehicle break-ins around St. Clair West and Vaughan in the last four months. This car was one of three on Arlington Ave. hit on the same day. Photo by Matey Matev.

    From smashed car windows and multiple break-ins on the same vehicles to parcels stolen right off of doorsteps, combating the attacks by at least several individuals (including one car scrounger referred to as 'flashlight guy') has become a daily—and costly—struggle for those targeted. 

    It’s come to the point where many residents have resigned themselves to the fact that their cars might be hit next.

    Despite being advised by police not to, some consider leaving their cars completely unlocked: as long as they don't leave any valuables in the car, nothing will get stolen, and hopefully no windows destroyed. 

    "There are attempts at least three times a week," says Suzanne Lejeune, whose home security cameras have caught thieves tampering with her vehicles behind her home at Kenwood and Maplewood multiple times.

    st clair crime toronto

    Footage from a St. Clair West resident's home security camera captures a man known to residents as Flashlight Guy peering into her vehicles with a flashlight. Photo via Suzanne Lejeune.

    Lejeune says she and her husband bought a camera system two summers ago during the "first wave" of car break-ins, but upgraded recently to get better pictures of the latest string of incidents.

    So far, she says they've spent about $2,000 on cameras, data usage, and monthly subscription fees for programs that let them save the video from their camera—footage that her husband goes through every morning, in what's become "a full time job" for him.

    They've never had their windows shattered, but plenty of others have, with a record of 10 cars damaged in the area in one night. 

    st clair west crime toronto

    One resident left a note for stating there was nothing of value in her car, but the perpetrators broke her window anyway. Photo by Sarah James.

    Residents have even resorted to leaving notes to thieves in their window. "There's nothing of value kept in this car," read one note left in a car. But it didn't work: the driver's seat window of her vehicle was broken on Sunday. 

    Division 13 of the TPS stated yesterday that a 45-year-old man had been arrested on Friday in relation to the vehicle break-ins around St. Clair, which might help to curb the incidents for now. 

    As to the handful of incidents where nearby residents have had packages stolen right off their property since early December, Toronto Police Service commented on Facebook today that they'd continue to investigate the issue. 

    st clair west crime toronto

    Home security camera footage captured someone stealing a package from the doorstep of a home on Arlington Ave. this week. Photo by Tanya Marie.

    But until the slew of criminal activity cools down, residents are continuing to keep each other informed through Facebook groups like the St. Clair West Residents Group and Humewood-Cedarvale pages. 

    One resident, Simon Strauss, has even documented the vehicular incidents in a shareable map, compiling data through a survey he sent out in late December. 

    Though the data is limited to users active in certain community Facebook groups, Strauss had residents document details like what was stolen, where their cars were parked, and what time their cars were tampered with on a Google Sheets document. 

    st clair west toronto

    A map compiled by local resident Simon Strauss shows there have been at least 79 break-ins in the area. 

    According to the latest stats, which were updated on January 4, of the 79 recorded in the spreadsheet, only 57 percent or residents reported it to police. With no end to the destruction in sight, some locals feel like they're running out of options. 

    "It is frustrating but I know that [police] can't see into every driveway and back alley," said one resident, Mark Vedramini, whose car was broken into before Christmas. 

    "Even if they are caught they can't be held long. It is petty crime. They will be out doing it again in days."


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    Who's ready for some theatre? Events in Toronto today kick off the Next Stage Theatre Festival with productions looking to tackle the issues of today. Elsewhere, you can hit the floor to some hot beats, listen to poetry, catch a film or see what the Keto diet is all about.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Brockton Writers Series (January 9 @ Glad Day Bookshop (Church))
    Poets, activists, educators, writers and artists arrives for a night of curated readings with a special focus on representation for marginalized communities.
    Tough Guys Don't Dance (January 9 @ The Royal Cinema)
    Campy and raunchy, this comedy-thriller works to capture the complexities of Norman Mailer's novel into a single, weird parody of tough-guy flicks.
    War on Carbs (January 9 @ Station Cafe & Kitchen)
    The Keto diet is all the rage and Station Cafe is throwing a bash to launch its speciality menu, taking aim at all things carbohydrate.
    F. Scott (January 9 @ Horseshoe Tavern)
    It's a night for local musical talent with genre-bending indie rockers F. Scott playing alongside Buffalo Bill and a handful of other emerging artists.
    The C!hurch of Bowie (January 9 @ Clinton's Tavern)
    In case you didn't get your fill of Bowie celebrations yesterday, Choir! Choir! Choir! is back with another night of Bowie hits sung by local singers.
    Funny Dads (January 9 @ Comedy Bar)
    Dad jokes are in right now (also Dad Rock, Dad shoes, etc) and three funny fathers are hitting the stage for a night of laughs and lots of paternal guidance.
    Secret Society (January 9 @ Pacific Junction Hotel)
    Secret Society is broadcasting its weekly livestream of deep grooves, trance and house beats live with the help of Toronto DJ duo Immigrant Muscle.
    Night Shift (January 9 @ Eden Hall)
    Night Shift is back for all those not ready to for bed with sounds of special guests Aeryn Pfaff and Jules Bangsworth playing deep cuts late into the night.
    Finding Hygge (January 9-10 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    What is happiness? The people of Denmark seem to have the answer as this doc explores the apparent "secret to happiness": hygge.
    Next Stage Theatre Festival (January 9-20 @ The Factory Theatre)
    Twelve new and independent productions take to the stage with shows by local and national companies looking to challenge and inspire audiences.

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    Part of me wants to say this is an outdated basement that’s been advertised as an apartment but the other part of me wants to say this is where child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang put those kids.orchard park drive toronto

    There’s something about this place that looks creepy right? Is it the wood panelling, the weird medieval arches, the pleather wet bar, or the outdoor street lights that are being used as indoor lighting?  

    orchard park drive torontoOr is it the not so secret, secret door? Seriously, what’s behind it?!? A creepy doll collection? A shrine to Danny Devito? A dead body? Multiple dead bodies!?!

    orchard park drive torontoThe only thing that looks like it’s been updated since the 70’s are the washing machines. But, it’s hard to focus on that with the nauseating lime green slat cupboards combined with the faded neon plaid wallpaper.

    orchard park drive torontoThe bathroom stresses me out more than a bathroom should. That shelf does not look secure and threatens to give you a concussion if you put anything on it.

    orchard park drive torontoOn top of all the other unattractive qualities of this dungeon, it’s also located deep into eastern Scarborough and it costs more than $1,000 a month to rent. Do they think they can charge that much because there’s exposed brick?

    I mean sure, hipsters love to pay outrageous prices for retro stuff, that's how Urban Outfitters stays in business, but this just seems a step too far. 

    orchard park drive torontoAlso I’m really not even sure there’s actually a kitchen. I think you might have to make do with a hotplate and the wet bar sink…orchard park drive toronto

    Specs
    • Address: Orchard Park Drive
    • Type: Basement (I refuse to call this an apartment)
    • Rent: $1,250/ month
    • Furnished? No
    • Utilities: No
    • Air conditioning? No
    • Bedrooms: 1  
    • Bathrooms: 1
    • Parking: Maybe the driveway?
    • Laundry? In-unit
    • Outdoor space? Nope
    • Pet friendly? Noorchard park drive toronto
    Good For

    Feeling like you’re living in a 70’s medieval themed bar.orchard park drive toronto

    Move On If

    You don’t want to live in a 70’s medieval themed bar.


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    One Toronto business is going into 2019 with the mission to eliminate packaging and waste from grocery shopping.

    Called Unboxed Market, the 1,500 sq. ft. store is slated to open in February on Dundas West, containing a cafe, produce section, butcher counter, dry goods, bakery, grab-and-go table, smokehouse and charcuterie room.

    And yes, it’s all sold without packaging. Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable mugs, containers and bags to the shop, but there will be biodegradable paper packaging available if you drop the ball.

    Other stores in Toronto like Token already embrace a reduction in packaging with fill stations for common items like lotion and shampoo. Organic Garage has cold brew and sparkling water on tap for your refillable jugs, and employs a bring-your-own container system.

    So, Toronto, can you go totally waste-free when you shop for groceries? Head to Unboxed when it opens next month to find out.


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    The best new cafes in Toronto showcase the best of influences from around the world and artisan goods made locally here at home. We can now find not only representations of Australian, Vietnamese and Greek cafe culture here in Toronto, but also locally made chocolate, smoked meats and gelato bars at these places.

    Here are the best new cafes in Toronto.

    5 - Cafe Serano

    Find loukamades topped with gelato as well as breads and traditional Greek pastries at this extension of Serano Bakery in Pape Village.
    3 - Rustle & Still

    This atmospheric new cafe has won over Koreatown with banh mi and purple sweet potato lattes.
    8 - Coffee Dak Lak

    Vietnamese egg coffee is the order of the day at this new Chinatown shop that also does a mean sandwich.
    10 - The Maker Bean Cafe

    Toronto’s first maker cafe, not only does this place at Dufferin and Bloor sell snacks and coffee, they also run workshops and day camps, or you can just make whatever laser cut or 3D printed item you can dream up.
    7 - Lion Coffee

    Chocolat de Kat has a home at this St. Clair West cafe, making it easy to pick up a sweet treat for a gift along with a cup of joe.
    9 - Hunter Coffee Shop

    This minimalist but funky cafe brightened up a sleepy strip along Vaughan Road, with delicious beverage offerings and Bar Ape gelato bars.
    11 - The Sydney Grind

    Australian-inspired baked goods like fairy cakes, hummingbirds and Lamingtons can now be found at this cafe in New Toronto.
    4 - The Library Specialty Coffee

    This Aussie-style coffee pocket near OCAD has minimalist seating and tables like milk crates and stumps, the pour over is second to none and the latte art is inspiring.
    6 - Plaxton Coffee

    The folks behind Adamson Barbecue and Bakery are at it again with this East York cafe at the corner of Plaxton. Find their smoked meats in sandwiches and their bakery items here, as well as de Mello Palheta coffee and quiches.

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    Less than 24 hours after a Toronto woman died inside a clothing donation bin, another person was spotted breaking into one across the city, highlighting a dangerous design flaw that has now claimed the lives of eight people in Canada since 2015.

    One Toronto citizen recorded this self-shot footage of a woman wrestling to remove bags from a blue donation bin near King and Strachan at around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.

    The woman can be heard screaming at points throughout the video, attracting the attention of bystanders. At one point, she puts an entire leg inside the deposit vestibule to hold it down while pulling on items. Later, she uses a long stick to complete the job instead.

    The woman emerged safely from the incident, but not all people who've attempted to access donation boxes have been so lucky.

    A 35-year-old woman just died in Toronto's Bloorcourt Village after getting trapped in a clothing donation box behind a building near Bloor and Dovercourt.

    Police say witnesses heard the woman screaming for help around 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning and that half her body was sticking out of the box when emergency crews arrived. The woman was without vital signs when firefighters managed to extricate her from the bin, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The death is not considered suspicious, according to police, but advocates for people experiencing homelessness say it could have been prevented.

    "They have inadvertently become death traps," said Vancouver mission worker Jeremy Hunka of the boxes last week after a 34-year-old B.C. man died in similar fashion. "It boggles my mind that they're still in operation."

    The woman who lost her life in Toronto early Tuesday morning is the eighth person to have died in a "mailbox-style" donation bin since 2015 across Canada.

    Hunka says that homeless people often turn to such bins for clothing or even shelter without knowing about their potentially deadly anti-theft features (metal bars that create a "pinch point" when activated, essentially).

    "Part of you gets stuck in there, say it be your neck or a fragile part of you," said Toronto Police Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu to the Canadian Press of the Tuesday morning incident. "That would be painful, and it would not be quick."

    In light of this week's tragic death, Toronto Mayor John Tory says he has asked staff to review the city's donation boxes and the rules surrounding them.

    "I think it is extremely important, in light of what's happened now, that we should examine the safety implications of these boxes" he said to reporters on Tuesday.

    "They're set up in a way to make it difficult to have access to the box, to the inside of the box, but obviously not safe enough."


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    Get ready to be "sister snatched:" internet personality and make up maven James Charles will be at Square One this Saturday, and fans are going bonkers for the chance to meet him. 

    The 19-year-old Instagram and Youtube sensation will be at the Mississauga mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the grand opening of the American cosmetics brand Morphe.

    While the store has actually been open in Square One since early December, it seems the brand wants to celebrate its first foray into Canada with an appearance from Charles, who has his own Morphe eyeshadow palette and brush set. 

    Fans of James are sister shook that the first ever male ambassador for CoverGirl will soon be in the city.

    If the event is anything like the Morphe opening in New York, it's going to be pure insanity.

    Tons of people have registered for the meet and greet: now they just have to wait and see if they managed to snag a spot sometime today.

    There's also a wristband contest running until tomorrow at 12 p.m. for the chance to meet the make up guru in the flesh.

    Some people have given up on the chance of winning any type of contest completely, and have taken to social media to see if they can connect with Charles there.

    Even those who aren't stans are reaching out on behalf of those who are sister sad they can't make the meet and greet.


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