Archive for the 'information' Category

In Canada Use Smartphones as Credit Cards

contact April 2nd, 2014

Canadians may soon be able to pay for purchases with a quick tap of their smartphones after a major bank and the country’s largest wireless carrier struck a deal to embed credit card information on handsets equipped with a chip to transmit data.

Rogers Communications Inc and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce later this year will launch the so-called mobile wallet on some BlackBerry models from Research In Motion Ltd. Devices from other handset makers are expected to follow.

Read the article at Yahoo

The Gift of Glenn Gould

contact April 1st, 2014

glenn gould complete collection

For the longest time, I couldn’t listen to The Goldberg Variations without thinking about Hannibal (The Cannibal) Lechter from Silence of the Lambs – let alone eat fava beans.

It made me sad because I love this recording by Glenn Gould. Luckily, I did overcome it and disassociated the two. Finally. Yay.

My baggage aside, one of the best things you can do for your life, is to stop everything and JUST listen to beautiful music for a while. You don’t have to spend the entire day doing this; just spend some allotted time to step away from the chaos of life, and just…chill. And chilling with music rules. Some of you are so used to multi-tasking and always doing a million things at the same time. You know I’m talking about you. Your days are filled with a continuous string of tasks back to back to back sans cesse, if you know what I mean. Calm, serenity, quiet, peaceful – well, these words do not exist in your life’s vocabulary.

Cut it out!

Do yourself a favor and find great music, like Glenn Gould: The Complete Original Jacket Collection

So…..WHY am I writing about Glenn Gould on this Toronto blog? I thought you’d never ask. Glenn Gould was born in Toronto on September 25, 1932. Thought you’d like that bit of trivia.

About Glenn Gould: The Complete Original Jacket Collection
Each of the 60 single and 9 double CDs consists of the exact recordings as first issued on vinyl and looks like a miniaturised form of the original disc: the CDs are in cardboard slipcases in the original design, and the CD itself is designed to look like a LP.

Supplemented by two bonus CDs, the limited “Glenn Gould Complete Jacket Collection” comprises 80 CDs mounted in a high-quality display case with a booklet of more than 240 pages. This booklet contains a new, detailed essay by the German Gould specialist Michael Stegemann on Glenn Gould and the LP recording era along with texts and repertoire details to all recordings in the edition, plus a listing and depiction of the records with reissue dates for repertoire that has appeared before.

The bonus CDs include the last great interview that Glenn Gould gave the American journalist Tim Page in 1981 and an essay on Johann Sebastian Bach and the fugue that Gould recorded in 1972 for a bonus LP. They also feature a number of late recordings that never appeared on vinyl: fragments of the “Italian Album” and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll in its orchestral version — Gould’s recording debut as conductor and his last recording of all, made on 8 September 1982 with members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Another rarity is Gould’s own film music to George Roy Hill’s Slaughterhouse Five from 1972.

National Film Board, Toronto Mediatheque

contact March 30th, 2014

This gem is THE place to watch the best in Canadian animated, documentary, short and feature films in the state-of-the-art personal viewing stations. There are always new titles added monthly to a growing database of 1500+ films.

mediateque torontoFree admission.

Weekend animation workshops for kids ages 3-13; $5 per child with guardian. Mon.-Tue. 1-7p.m.; Wed. 10a.m.-7p.m.; Thu.-Sat. 10a.m.-10p.m.; Sun. 12-5p.m.

Mediateque
150 John St (at Richmond St W)
Toronto (Osgoode subway station)
M5V 3C3 Canada
416.973.3012

Hours of Operation
Monday & Tuesday, 1 – 7 pm
Wednesday, 10 am – 7 pm
Thursday – Saturday, 10 am – 10 pm
Sunday, Noon – 5 pm

Fees for Digital Viewing Stations
Unlimited Day Pass – $2
Annual Unlimited Pass – $12
Annual Unlimited Family Pass – $15
Red Carpet Pass – $50

Gems of Hope, Toronto – Supporting Women’s Development

contact March 28th, 2014

This is the best time of year to be thinking about giving to a charity in your area. Gems of Hope is a a Toronto-based charity with a global focus.

gems of hopeGems of Hope is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization whose mandate is to advance the standard of living for marginalized women in developing countries. To that end, Gems, in partnership with local non-profit agencies from various countries, implements women’s initiatives that empower women to break the cycle of poverty for good.

Development projects of Gems of Hope provide impoverished women with the following:

* Access to micro-credit for initiation or expansion of their small enterprises
* Skills development
* Human Development
* Basic health services
* Education on health and sanitation

With the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and our generous donors, we have helped over tens of thousands of women to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Donate online now

You can also donate with a cheque. Please make your cheque payable to Gems of Hope and mail to:
675 King Street West
Suite 304, Toronto, ON,
Canada, M5V 1M9.

Post-dated cheques are also accepted. A receipt will be issued after your funds have been deposited.

Canada Considers the U.S. to be Unsafe

contact March 27th, 2014

From rabble:

“The U.S. does not meet the Refugee Convention requirements nor the Convention Against Torture prohibition.”

In a surprise ruling the Federal Court of Canada has overturned the “Canada United States Safe Third Country Agreement” in a judgment issued on November 29, 2007.

In a 124-page decision Mr. Justice Michael Phelan ruled that the Safe Third Country Agreement, which came into effect on Dec. 29, 2004 and regulated refugee movement between Canada and the U.S., violates refugee rights and that the United States did not meet the conditions required to be considered a “Safe Country” under the terms of the Agreement.

The Agreement was also held to be contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “The interest at stake is highly important to an individual’s life, safety and dignity,” wrote Justice Phelan.

The Judge stated, “I would therefore conclude that the designation of the U.S. as a safe third country leads to a discriminatory result, in that it has a much more severe impact on persons who fall into the areas where the U.S. is not compliant with the Refugee Convention or CAT (Convention Against Torture), as well as discriminating and exposing such people to risk based solely on the method of arrival in Canada.”

“For the reasons outlined in this judgment, the United States’ policies and practices do not meet the conditions set down for authorizing Canada to enter into a Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA),” Justice Phelan stated.

“The U.S. does not meet the Refugee Convention requirements nor the Convention Against Torture prohibition (the Maher Arar case being one example.) Further, the STCA does not comply with the relevant provisions of the Charter.”

The court ruled that a one-year deadline to file refugee claims in the U.S. was inconsistent with the international conventions because it increased the risk claimants would be sent back to countries where they faced danger or torture.

Justice Phelan also noted that the U.S. definition of terrorist activities can…

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Time Lapse Video of Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum’s Crystal

contact March 25th, 2014

From May 2003 to November 2007 this time lapse video was produced through a series of still images taken at 1pm every day during the construction of The Michael Lee Chin Crystal at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. Later images were captured every 10 minutes during the building’s opening week.

It is amazing.

Watch the video

[via]

Speak Easy

contact March 22nd, 2014

speak easy toronto
SpeakEasy is a Toronto gathering event, a way for students, creative pros, curious onlookers, well, just about everyone is welcome. Eight times a year, meet new people, mingle and exhibit some of your creations. This is a great way to get some exposure for your art, crafts, jewelry if you are trying to become a creative professional.

Where and When?
SpeakEasy
8 times a year on the first Thursday of the month
from 8pm-Midnight
The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen West, Toronto
Admission is “Pay What You Can” ($4 Suggested)

Toronto’s Best Bars: Melody Bar

contact March 21st, 2014

melody bar torontoSpeaking of the Gladstone Hotel, I want to expound a bit on their awesome bar, The Melody Bar.

It was voted among The Top 10 Bars List in the World ’07 by Conde Nast. This is what they had to say about Melody Bar:

With walls paneled in rich wood, alabaster lamps hanging from the 10-foot ceilings, fat Romanesque pillars, and an original 1930s wooden bar, the Melody Bar isn’t so much nouveau retro as a rollicking saloon. Weekend karaoke nights have become the stuff of legend, with the host brandishing a giant APPLAUSE sign to stoke the crowd—an interesting hodgepodge of expertly coiffed hipsters, ad execs, pixie punk girls, and dust-caked construction workers.

Could it be their fabulous burgers? Maybe their rockin’ karaoke (Thursday through Saturday)? Or their famous Hump Day Bump Wednesday night party? Go there and tell me about it!

Open 11am – 2am Daily. No Cover.

To Note: Holiday Hours
Dec 24 Cafe open until 4pm – Brunch Menu | Melody Bar closed
Dec 25 Cafe + Melody Bar Closed
Dec 26 Cafe open at 8am – Brunch Menu | Melody Bar open at 5pm
Dec 31 Serving bubbly till 3am
Jan 1 Cafe open at 8am – Brunch Menu | Melody Bar normal hours

Melody Bar
Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M6J 1J6
416 531 4635

Gladstone Hotel

contact March 20th, 2014

gladstone hotel
The Gladstone is more than just a boutique hotel; It’s a unique hotel that, in essence, is an ongoing experiment in melding cultural entrepreneurship and urban development. They even have a Green Policy. Yay them!

The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto is an urban hotel providing both travelers and Torontonians with a truly authentic experience of the local creative culture. Our historic landmark hotel features artist designed hotel rooms and suites, affordable short-term artist studios, exhibition spaces, and versatile event and conference venues. The hotel also offers great food and drink in the Ballroom Cafe and Melody Bar. Visitors can experience Toronto from within the comforts of the hotel’s thirty-seven artist designed guest rooms, eat, drink, attend art related, social, or corporate events held within the historic landmark architecture, and then step out into the heart of the city’s vibrant art and design neighbourhood.

This isn’t just a place to stay overnight. The Gladstone is more than a hotel. It is a place where local artists exhibit their work and perform and more importantly a place where artists and regular neighbourhood patrons come just to hang out. From cabaret performances to film screenings, art exhibitions to wedding parties the Gladstone hosts events for a vast range of artists, community groups, businesses and individuals.

Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON Canada M6J 1J6
Canada
416.531.4635

The Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto

contact March 19th, 2014

the bata shoe museum toronto
Ok, so I’m classifying this post as a “must see” but some of you might not agree with that. I must clarify. Shoe people, and I know there are a lot of you out there, will absolutely love this museum because afterall, it’s all about shoes. Some fanatics I know will die for shoes. I know, that’s kind of scary but hey tolerance is key to living a pretty good life and judging is never a good thing – but I digress.

The museum features at least 10,000 pairs of shoes. I know that description alone is enough to make you want to go.

The Bata Shoe Museum
27 Bloor St. West, Toronto
(south–west corner of Bloor St. W. and St. George)
St. George Subway Station.
Telephone: (416) 979-7799

A Tip: Go on a Thursday between 5pm and 8pm to get in for free! Otherwise, you’ll be paying a whopping $12 entrance fee. That’s still a fraction of the cost of your latest Manolo purchase but hey, it’s good to take a discount when available.

Nearly Half of Toronto Area Residents Are Immigrants

contact March 18th, 2014

From CBC:

The Toronto region has experienced substantial growth in its immigrant population over the last five years, according to new census data released Tuesday.

Statistics Canada released information from the 2006 census that gives a snapshot of people who came from other countries to live here. It reveals that most people moving to Canada are flocking to large urban centres, especially Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Demographic experts have predicted that Canada’s population growth will be almost entirely dependent on immigration by 2030 and communities that don’t attract new Canadians may see steady declines in population.

A shrinking population can have a host of economic and social consequences, including a fragile local economy starved for workers that, in turn, discourages much-needed investment. Business and school closures can result, and as the declining population ages the delivery of social services such as health care becomes strained.

Some communities find it difficult to attract immigrants because new Canadians tend to choose large cities where their families have already settled and where they can obtain the services they will need.

The latest census statistics show that immigrants make up 45.7 per cent of the Toronto area population. Five years earlier, immigrants represented 43.7 per cent of the population. In terms of recent immigration, the number of immigrants who lived in the region increased to 2,320,160 from 2,032,960 between 2001 and 2006.

During the same five-year period since the 2001 census, the overall population of Toronto region increased by 9.2 per cent — compared to a provincial gain of 6.6 per cent and a national growth rate of 5.4 per cent.

The immigration figures shows that about one out of every five Canadians was born in another country. In the Toronto region the ratio is almost one out of every two, while for Ontario, it’s more than one out of every four.

The national figures are skewed by the concentration of immigrants in the metropolitan regions of Toronto, Vancouver (39.6 per cent) and Montreal (20.6).

In terms of the country of origin for foreign-born people in the Toronto area, the highest proportion came from…

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Secret Toronto: The Unique Guidebook to Toronto’s Hidden Sites, Sounds and Tastes

contact March 17th, 2014

secret toronto guidebookFor the traveler in search of something completely different when visiting Toronto. This detailed guide leads travelers far from the beaten path to uncover Toronto’s best-kept secrets. From obscure museums and overlooked neighborhood treasures to tucked-away green spaces and exotic ethnic cuisine, these little-known destinations yield big rewards for the more adventurous traveler. The soul of this cosmopolitan city is highlighted by hotspots where visitors can learn Latin dancing at night, disco after hours, and rent a private dungeon at an S&M bed-and breakfast.

Secret Toronto: The Unique Guidebook to Toronto’s Hidden Sites

Celebs Born in Toronto

contact March 16th, 2014

mike meyers austin powersLots of celebrities were born in Canada, and in particular, in our great city of Toronto. I thought you’d like to see which celebs are from Toronto, so the next time you see them in-person (yeah, like when?) you can say, “Hey you Canuck!” They’d appreciate that, eh? Ok. Maybe not. Here they are, anyway, fyi:
Dave Foley (1963) – Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 1/4/1963
Mike Myers (1963) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 5/25/1963
Jim Carrey (1962) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 1/17/1962
Rick Moranis (1954) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 4/18/1954
John Candy (b. 1950 – d. 1994) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 10/31/1950
Lorne Michaels (1946) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 11/17/1946
Neil Young (1945) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 11/12/1945
Robbie Robertson (1944) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 7/5/1944
David Cronenberg (1943) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 3/15/1943
Christopher Plummer (1927) Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 12/13/1927

Better Quality of Life in Canada than in America? Me Thinks So!

contact March 15th, 2014

From Macleans:

They came from China and England, from India and Mexico — 94 people of every age and race, from 13 countries in all. They arrived this crisp autumn morning at an imposing new office complex in Surrey, B.C., filling neat rows of folding chairs in a second-floor courtroom, Citizenship Judge Shinder Purewal presiding. The judge is a cheerful man in a happy job. He told them about some of his own experiences: the murder of his father when he was an infant, and how he arrived in Canada from India as a 17-year-old because his mother wanted to raise her family in a land of peace and security. Purewal, also a political science professor, told them how difficult it is to move to a country where you don’t speak the language or understand the culture. Give it time, he urged them, and Canada will exceed your expectations. He told them how he built a new life in Canada and earned a Ph.D., and how this country — ranked best in the world, he said — has much to offer them as well. “What makes this country great,” he said, “is your presence.”

They stood and raised their right hands — a little girl with bouncing pigtails and a pink coat, a dignified older man with a flowing white beard and a saffron turban, and all the rest — and they recited the oath of citizenship in halting French. “Now you are 50 per cent Canadian,” joked the judge. Then they recited the pledge again in English. Now you are 100 per cent Canadian, he said. They applauded. Friends took photos. And just before 10 a.m. on Nov. 13, the country gained 94 new citizens, with 94 sets of hopes and dreams and plans.

It was a beautiful thing to see. A visitor to the ceremony couldn’t help thinking this roomful of concentrated optimism and potential is a tonic that would benefit his fellow citizens, for a malaise seems to have settled upon the nation. Maclean’s, for the second year in a row, has asked Angus Reid Strategies to ask the world what it thinks of Canada. The pollster also asked 1,000 Canadians for a self-assessment. The results contain more than a few surprises. The world likes Canada, a lot: not the reality of Canada, perhaps, but the ideal of Canada, the idea of Canada. Canadians, however, have a host of misgivings about their country: its lack of independence from America’s influence, the compromised integrity of its government systems, its limited impact on world affairs. Simply put, the world is in love with a country that doubts its own worth. “To me, that’s one of those observations that come off the psychiatrist’s couch,” says Reid of the dichotomy. “I suppose we could spend a lot of time thinking what that means.”

Reid and his global partners surveyed a sample of eight countries — China, England, India, Israel, Italy, Turkey, Russia and the United States — quizzing them in late October about their knowledge of Canadian issues, asking their opinions about Canada at home and its impact on foreign affairs, and taking their assessment of Stephen Harper and other national leaders. Canadians were asked some of the same questions, generally, with less…

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Shopping in Toronto: Roots

contact March 12th, 2014

roots
Remember the store, “Roots”? It’s actually still around! It’s a Canadian company with many of the most popular items we all remember but even better. Really high quality stuff. There is something for everyone: for Men, Women, & Children. When in downtown Toronto, you will be able to find several stores but the shop which can easily be reached is at Roots Central along Yonge Street and within Eaton’s Centre.

You will be able to purchase Roots products: Graphic T-Shirts, Short Sleeve T-Shirts, Long Sleeve T-Shirts, Sweats & Jackets, Hoodies, Pants, Hats & Accessories, Watches, Athletic Watches, Backpacks & Bags, Leather Bags, Leather iPod Cases, & Travel Gear & Bags – and more.

Love that store!

Some trivia: Guess who was hanging out at the Roots Lounge. YES, they have a lounge!!! Give up? Wyclef Jean. Love him!

Roots
220 Yonge Street, Unit B006 Level 2 Toronto
416 593 9640
Location: Yonge & Queen Streets, Inside Eaton’s Centre

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