Monthly Archives: March 2019

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Tap water safe to drink after ‘chemical’ taste reported in east-end Toronto: officials

City officials are advising residents in east-end Toronto that their tap water is safe to drink after a number of residents complained of a chemical taste Thursday night.

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“There are no issues with the safety of the drinking water. In some parts of the east end, there was a slight increase in chlorine levels but tests have shown the water is safe and the levels are within MOECC regulatory ranges,” city spokeswoman Jackie DeSouza said in a statement on Friday.

DeSouza said crews are continuing to monitor the water supply and have put a message on 311 for people who are calling to inquire.

READ MORE: Unsafe levels of lead in Toronto tap water: report

City officials said the strange odour and taste were attributed to system upgrades at the R.C. Harris Treatment Plant.

“As part of the normal water treatment process, Toronto Water uses aluminum sulphate (alum).  The alum generated a gas called hydrogen sulphide (H2S) that resembles the smell of boiled eggs,” Toronto Water said in a media release.

“This gas entered into some of the treated drinking water when the basin was put back into operation. Toronto Water has taken the settling basin out of operation this morning and the taste and odour will dissipate by the end of today.”

Resident Ely Lyonblum said he and his family noticed something was “a little off” at around 9 p.m.

“We could taste something that was maybe a little salty or there was a bit of chlorine or something like that and we immediately looked online,” he said, adding he went online to check east-end community Facebook groups that he is apart of and found other families were talking about the water quality.

“All of the parent groups were chiming in with, ‘Something’s off with the water. We’ll call 311.’”

Complaints about the chemical-tasting water began to flood Toronto’s 311 桑拿会所 account throughout the evening as residents noticed the water smelling like chlorine.

“Within half an hour or 45 minutes, there were a lot of people who had reached 311 and it said either, ‘Don’t drink the water’ or, ‘Just take caution and we’ll let you know more as soon as we can,’” Lyonblum said.

“There was a bit of uncertainly so we did something that we hate to do. We had a little bit of bottled water and we used that sparingly.”

In addition to east-end Toronto, reports of the bad taste and smell of the tap water have also come from the Bloor Street West and Bathurst Street area, as well as near Church and Isabella streets.

According to the city’s website, chlorine and aluminum are two chemicals regularly used in the water treatment process.

“Before the water is pumped into homes, sulphur dioxide is added to reduce the level of chlorine to 0.9 milligrams per litre,” the city said.

Meanwhile, aluminum sulphate is used to remove harmful micro-organisms and particles by making them clump together into larger particles so they can be filtered out of the water supply.

Mark McAllister and Nick Westoll contributed to this report.

Saskatoon Transit routes disrupted Friday by ATU 615 job action

Saskatoon Transit has cancelled over 30 buses for Friday afternoon service due to job action by members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 615.

Three of those buses are on high school routes:

Route 311 – servicing Holy Cross, Aden Bowman and Walter Murray leaving at 3:33 p.m. Students will have to catch Route 81.Route 331 – servicing Holy Cross, Aden Bowman and Walter Murray leaving at 3:30 p.m. Students will have to catch Route 81.Route 352 – servicing St. Joseph High School leaving at 3:25 p.m. Students will have to catch Route 45 and transfer at 104 Street and Central Avenue to Route 18.

READ MORE: Both sides stand firm in Saskatoon Transit contract dispute

At least 30 buses on regular routes have been cancelled:

Route 10 – Pleasant Hill leaving downtown at 1:31 p.m., 2:31 p.m., 3:31 p.m., 4:31 p.m. and 5:31 p.m.Route 10 – City Centre leaving Confederation Mall at 2:01 p.m., 3:01 p.m., 4:01 p.m., 5:01 p.m. and 6:01 p.m.Route 20 – South Industrial Special from Melville Street and Brand Road to downtown at 5:06 p.m.Route 22 – Montgomery from Confederation Mall to Montgomery at 3:29 p.m.Route 22 – Montgomery via Confederation from the Downtown Terminal to Montgomery at 3:31 p.m., 4:01 p.m. and 5:01 p.m.Route 23 – from Shaw Centre to Confederation Mall leaving at 3:15 p.m., 3:25 p.m., 3:35 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 3:55 p.m., 3:57 p.m., 4:35 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 5:05 p.m.Route 23 – Blairmore from Confederation Mall to Shaw Centre leaving at 3:47 p.m., 4:24 p.m. and 4:54 p.m.Route 101 – University Direct from Campus Drive and College Drive to Lakeview at 2:40 p.m.Route 102 – University Direct from Campus Drive and College Drive to Lakeview at 2:35 p.m.Route Abilities Special #1 – from Abilities Council to downtown at 4:15 p.m.

Transit officials said higher passenger volumes can be expected on a number of routes, including some from the University of Saskatchewan, which could result in full buses:

Route 2 – Meadowgreen from downtown between 3:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.Route 4 – Willowgrove Square from the U of S between 3:20 p.m. and 5:20 p.m.Route 6 – Market Mall from the U of S between 3:07 p.m. and 5:07 p.m.Route 17 – Stonebridge from the U of S between 3:11 p.m. and 5:41 p.m.Route 18 – College Park from the U of S between 3:07 p.m. and 5:37 p.m.Route 40 – Evergreen from the U of S between 3:17 p.m. and 5:17 p.m.Route 45 – Kenderdine from the U of S between 3:02 p.m. and 5:02 p.m.Route 50 – Lakeview from the U of S between 3:20 p.m. and 5:20 p.m.Route 55 – Lakeridge from the U of S between 3:05 p.m. and 5:35 p.m.Route 60 – Confederation from downtown between 3:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.Route 65 – Kensington from downtown between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.Route 82 – Centre Mall via Main Street from the U of S between 3:14 p.m. and 5:44 p.m.Route 81 – Centre Mall via Taylor Street from U of S between 3:05 p.m. and 5:35 p.m.

City officials said drivers are refusing to work overtime and with the current work to rule campaign, delays, cancellations and overcrowding on other buses is possible.

READ MORE: Sick calls during Saskatoon Transit labour dispute force major cancellations

Transit officials said they are reducing bus frequencies on some routes in response to the refusal of transit drivers to work overtime.

Riders can see service alerts on both the Saskatoon Transit and the city’s websites, using the transit app and by following Saskatoon Transit on 桑拿会所.

Access Transit is not affected as it is an essential service.

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Related

  • Saskatoon Transit job action: 5 things you need to know

  • Saskatoon Transit union job action the latest in city’s history of labour disputes

Average price for detached home in Toronto hits $1.35M as prices soar: real estate board

TORONTO – The Toronto-area real estate market continued to see strong sales volumes and higher prices in November.

The Toronto Real Estate Board says there were 8,547 sales through its system last month, up 16.5 per cent from November 2015.

The average selling price for all types of housing was $776,684, up 22.7 per cent over the same time last year, while the industry association’s home price index was up 20.3 per cent.

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READ MORE: Toronto real estate prices continue to soar, while suburbs work to catch up

Prices in the 416 area code, which includes the City of Toronto, were generally higher than in the 905 area code for surrounding areas served by GTA realtors.

The average price for full-detached house in the 416 area was nearly $1.35 million, up 32.3 per cent from the same time last year while the comparable type of house in the 905 area had an average price of $957,517 – up 25.5 per cent.

READ MORE: Price of new homes continue to edge up on strength of Toronto, Vancouver markets

TREB says a chronic shortage of property listings contributed to higher prices and frustrated some would-be buyers.

The strength in Toronto came as sales in Vancouver told a different story.

Home sales in the Vancouver region totalled 2,214 in November, down 0.9 per cent 2,233 sales recorded in October and 37.2 per cent lower than November 2015 when 3,524 homes sold.

READ MORE: Toronto home sales stay hot in October despite soaring prices: TREB

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said sales in November were 7.6 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

“While 2016 has been anything but a normal year for the Metro Vancouver housing market, supply and demand totals have returned to more historically normal levels over the last few months,” Vancouver board president Dan Morrison said.

Toronto FC no longer wasteland for players as club just one win away from MLS Cup glory

TORONTO – Bill Manning remembers having to sell defender Drew Moor on Toronto FC while trying to recruit him as a free agent last winter.

Manning, who joined Toronto as president in October 2015, knew where Moor was coming from. He had watched the ups and many downs of Toronto FC from afar during his eight seasons as president of Real Salt Lake.

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“I’ll tell you TFC had a bad reputation with players for many, many years,” Manning said. “Guys didn’t want to come here. … I remember when we were recruiting Drew Moor, he had a lot of questions about what this club used to represent and we sold him on a vision of what we wanted to be and where we wanted to go.”

With help from Moor and others, Manning, GM Tim Bezbatchenko and coach Greg Vanney are delivering on that vision.

READ MORE: Toronto FC top Montreal Impact in OT thriller to advance to MLS Cup final

On Wednesday, Toronto dispatched the Montreal Impact 5-2 on the night and 7-5 on aggregate to complete a memorable Eastern Conference final. The series, a showcase for exciting soccer, drew 97,004 fans over the two games, as well as a an average TV audience of 1.4 million for the final leg according to TSN.

One win from the MLS championship, Toronto is now a very desirable soccer landing pad.

“Nights like this is what I was hoping for when I visited here almost a year ago,” said Moor, a 12-year-MLS veteran. “Obviously having been in the league as long as TFC’s been around, I know their history well and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of what we’re doing this season.

“We’ll enjoy this tonight but we’ve got bigger fish to fry as well.”

That would be upstart Seattle, on Dec. 10 at BMO Field. Toronto gets to host the MLS Cup final by virtue of finishing five points ahead of the Western Conference playoff winner.

READ MORE: Concerns raised over capacity of Exhibition GO station tunnel due to BMO Field events

The Sounders have come a long way from July 26 when they parted ways with longtime coach Sigi Schmid. At the time the team was 6-12-2 in ninth place in the 10-team Western Conference. Seattle has gone 12-3-4 since with Brian Schmetzer at the helm.

Toronto, meanwhile, is 12-3-5 since July 16.

Michael Bradley calls Toronto an ‘unbelievable’ sports city

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Michael Bradley calls Toronto an ‘unbelievable’ sports city

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Michael Bradley not concerned about cold weather in the MLS Cup

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Greg Vanney says MLS Cup final is the culmination of his journey



The teams drew 1-1 when they met July 2 at BMO Field in a game that saw Toronto field a lineup that featured perhaps just four starters due to injuries and a crowded schedule. Seattle was without striker Clint Dempsey, who remains out injured, and had not yet signed Uruguayan playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro.

The Sounders are 7-2-2 all time against Toronto FC, including a 3-1-1 record at BMO Field.

The two teams share some common ties.

READ MORE: Montreal Impact-Toronto FC playoff game delayed by penalty box marking snafu

Goalkeeper Stefan Frei spent his first five seasons in Toronto before joining Seattle in 2014. Defender Eriq Zavaleta was drafted by the Sounders in 2013 and appeared in five games before being traded to Toronto in January 2015. Seattle midfielder Nathan Sturgis (14 games in 2011) and forward Herculez Gomez (seven games in 2015) also spent time in a Toronto uniform.

Unlike the past, the current Reds are happy right were they are.

“Just about across the board, every single guy who’s at this club has chosen to be at this club,” said captain Michael Bradley. “And we’ve chosen to be here for a reason.

“Because we look around and we see unbelievable potential in terms of a city, a market, a fan base, a stadium, a training ground – every box gets checked. You look around the league and there are other clubs that check a lot of boxes. I’m not sure there’s another club that checks every box. This club checks every box.”

But “the stuff on the field – ultimately the most important thing- up until recently hasn’t been right,” Bradley acknowledged.

It is now.

READ MORE: Toronto FC beats NYCFC setting up Eastern Conference final with Montreal Impact

Under former boss Tim Leiweke and current CEO Michael Friisdahl, owner Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has spared no expense in turning the franchise around. TFC is the best team money can buy in Major League Soccer.

Star striker Sebastian Giovinco’s US$7.12-million salary this season is more than the entire Montreal team combined.

Credit Vanney, who took over with 10 games remaining in the 2014 season after Ryan Nelsen was fired, for helping right the ship and keep all the talent happy – although the ultra-focused Bradley clearly plays a huge part in keeping the players on point.

Vanney finished the 2014 season with a 2-6-2 mark but his coaching record in Toronto now stands at 35-33-17. To put that in context, Toronto’s all-time record is 95-146-89.

The 42-year-old American admits he has learned on the job. Today, he is an astute tactician who is good with people.

Vanney showed that on the pitch Wednesday and then after when he made a point of thanking his entire roster, including those who didn’t make the matchday 18.

“I give a lot of credit to the guys who weren’t in the 18 because they played like crazy this week to get these guys ready,” said Vanney as Bradley, sitting next to him, nodded in agreement. “They were excellent all week in training and really gave us things to think about to help us get prepared.”

WWII survivor accused in wife’s death mentally unfit to stand trial: psychiatrist

Loved ones of an 85-year-old man accused of murdering his wife of 56 years say they are relieved Siegfried van Zuiden has been deemed unfit to stand trial.

But close family friends said Friday they won’t feel fully at ease until they know where the senior —; who they say has long suffered from dementia —; will spend the rest of his life and what quality of care he’ll receive.

READ MORE: Memorial held Monday for Audrey van Zuiden: ‘none of her family bears ill feeling towards Fred’

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner told the court that psychiatrist Ken Hashman, with the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre, has determined van Zuiden is mentally unfit to stand trial. A letter from the doctor was presented as an exhibit.

Van Zuiden, a WWII survivor, was charged with second-degree murder on Oct. 4 after he called 911 and police officers found his 80-year-old wife, Audrey, dead in their home. Van Zuiden underwent two months of tests to assess his mental state and whether he understood the legal process.

Watch below from Nov. 4: Fred van Zuiden ordered to undergo more psychological testing

A fitness determination can be reversed if at any point the patient improves with treatment.

A psychiatrist told court in October that he believed van Zuiden had a moderate to severe case of dementia.

FILE: Fred van Zuiden promoting his book, Call Me Mom.

Obtained by Global News

Van Zuiden’s case is due back in court on Dec. 13.

Vince Walker, the van Zuidens’ godson, said he doesn’t have closure yet.

“We’re really interested in what facility he’ll be in or what level of security he requires, what our visitation’s going to be like, what is his quality of life going to be like,” he said outside court.

At the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre, where van Zuiden has spent the past two months, visitors are separated by a pane of glass and must speak through a phone, said Walker.

“It’s not the ideal way to go visit somebody and I know it frustrates him on occasion.”

READ MORE: Court hears WWII survivor charged with wife’s murder ‘likely suffering from dementia’

He, and another close family friend, Gordon van Gunst, said they’d like van Zuiden to be in a facility where it’s possible for visitors to play a game of chess or listen to music with him.

Van Gunst said van Zuiden has good days and bad days where he is now.

“He’s loved by everybody in the facility. He’s well taken care of, but we always like a little bit more. He’s doing well, considering.”

Watch below from Oct. 5: The tragic case of 85-year-old Siegfried van Zuiden is raising questions about dementia, and the care available. Bindu Suri spoke to one family personally touched by the story.

Van Zuiden, who goes by the first name Fred, was born in the Netherlands to a Jewish family. He chronicled his flight from the Nazis during the Second World War in his book “Call me Mom: A Dutch Boy’s WWII Survival Story.”

He came to Canada in 1952 and later settled with his wife in Calgary, where he founded a sailboat business.

Loved ones have said the couple did everything together in their marriage and were soulmates.

Walker said he’d like to see the Crown drop the charge.

“You don’t want someone with the legacy that Fred has, living with an outstanding criminal charge. It would be wonderful if we could make that go away.”

The victim’s siblings, who live in the United Kingdom, have said they bear no ill feeling toward van Zuiden and blame a hideous disease for their sister’s death.

The couple had no children. Audrey van Zuiden had been caring for her husband in their home as his condition deteriorated.

Related

  • WWII survivor charged with wife’s murder appears in Calgary court

  • Loved ones of WWII survivor accused of murdering his wife fear for his future

  • WWII survivor charged with murder after wife found dead in Calgary home

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