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Canada Day 2014: The best places to watch fireworks across the country

Cityline | posted Monday, Jun 30th, 2014

No Canada Day celebration is complete without an extravagant fireworks display! We love ending our night with a beautiful set of fireworks, so we’ve rounded up some of the top places to watch fireworks in major cities across the country – where will you be watching?

Victoria: A day filled with performances, family-friendly activities, and lots of food is capped off with a gorgeous fireworks display at Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Be sure to check out their full list of Canadian artists performing on their main stage throughout the event! The fireworks will start at 10:20 p.m.

Vancouver: With 13 hours of free family fun, Vancouver’s Canada Day celebration at Canada Place features live performances, interactive exhibits, and a stunning fireworks display at the end! The fireworks will begin at 10:30 p.m., with best viewing areas from Harbour Green Park, Stanley Park, West Vancouver and North Vancouver.

Calgary: Wherever you are, look up! At 10:45 p.m., the city of Calgary will be setting off fireworks from the Centre Street Bridge. This location will allow the show to be seen from various parts of the city, but any spot along the river will give you a great view.

Edmonton: The river valley is a stunning backdrop for the city’s gorgeous fireworks show over the North Saskatchewan River. Festive celebrations will take place throughout the day at City Hall, the Alberta Legislature, in Mill Woods, and other areas of the city.

Regina: Head to Wascana Park for a day-long celebration of Canada, capped off by fireworks after dark, typically around 10:30 p.m. Although they’re set off from Willow Island, they can be seen throughout all of the park.

Winnipeg: The Forks is home to family-friendly activities all day long on July 1st, including musicians, buskers, crafts, and more. The evening closes with a stunning fireworks display at 11pm.

Toronto: Whether you live in the north end of the city or down by the lake, there are tons of great Canada Day events in the city, and two amazing firework shows. At Mel Lastman Square in North York, the city’s official celebration includes a day filled with music and dance, capped off with a fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. Down by Lake Ontario, fireworks will light up the sky around 9:30 p.m. at Ashbridge’s Bay Park.

Ottawa: What better place to celebrate Canada Day than at the nation’s capital? The city’s biggest celebration is on Parliament Hill, with a day-long concert and a fireworks show over the Ottawa River. Just want to see the fireworks? They’ll start around 10 p.m. and you’ll get a great view at Gatineau’s Jacques-Cartier Park and the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization), as well as Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa and along the Ottawa River.

Montreal: The Old Port hosts a variety of historic and cultural events throughout the day on July 1st, with a stunning fireworks display over the St. Lawrence River to close out the celebrations, starting at 10:15 p.m.

Fredericton: Canada Day fun kicks off at noon in Officer’s Square with kid-friendly activities, live entertainment, food vendors and a huge fireworks display over the St. John River at dusk.

Halifax: Parades, music, and family-friendly activities last all day long at Dartmouth Crossings, and the fireworks show at the Halifax Harbour at 10 p.m. is not to be missed!

St. John’s: A sunrise ceremony, cake, bouncy castles and musical performances all lead up to a fireworks display over Quidi Vidi Lake at Signal Hill.

We also asked our viewers to share their favourite fireworks-watching spots! Here are some of their top picks from our Facebook page:

  • Charlene Mancor said: Harrison Hot Springs Fireworks over the lake.
  • Jackie Morley Soares said: On the Severn River at Lost Channel. Everyone goes out in their boats to watch an amazing display year after year!
  • Pauline De said: Beautiful Barrie Waterfront.
  • Wendy Pike-Lyn said: In my beautiful town of Aurora!
  • Kathy Anderson-Robitaille said: Hastings Ontario where I live. It is a small village but the firework display is amazing!!

Our Twitter followers were eager to share their picks, too! Here are some of their faves:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where will you be watching fireworks this year? Tell us about your favourite places in the comments! Happy Canada Day!

With files from Suzanne Gardner, Cityline.ca

Can’t pay your bills this month? Here’s what to do

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Jun 26th, 2014

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We Canadians owe a ton of money — a collective $1.4 trillion of it in fact. It’s money we’ve spent at the mall, the car dealership, at the local pizzeria. Trying to keep up with all the payments can be pretty tough if you’ve overspent, or if you suddenly find yourself unemployed.

Having to face bill payments when you know you don’t have the funds, can be stressful. But the worst thing you could do is shove those unpaid bills in a drawer and hope there’ll be money next month. Instead, take these steps to empower yourself and turn things around.

1. Don’t wait for the problem to go away

If you don’t have enough money to cover all your bills this month, don’t just avoid the stack of bills  and tell yourself you’ll deal with it next month. Face the situation head on and make a plan to get back on track now.

2. Lay it all out

Take all your bills and lay them out in front of you. Write down how much money you owe on each bill (is there a minimum payment you can make?) and when the payment is due.

3. Figure out which to pay first

Now that you’ve figured out what needs to be paid, consider the consequences of missed payments for each one. If you miss a phone bill payment, you’ll likely rack up a late charge; miss a rent payment and your landlord could possibly use it against you in eviction proceedings. There’s also your credit score to consider — missing more than one credit card payment can affect your score and make it harder for you to get credit down the road. While missed utility bills aren’t reported to rating agencies, according to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

4. Consider those interest rates

If you’re paying high interest rates on your debt, then you might want to consider moving those payments up the list. A credit card with a 19.5 percent interest rate is going to cost you big time if you miss payments. And those interest charges will make your bill harder to pay next month…and the month after that.

5. Pick up the phone

If there’s absolutely no way you can pay a particular bill on time, call up the company and explain what’s going on. A nice proactive phone call is a lot better than remaining silent. In the case of your mortgage, for example, your lender might be okay with you missing a payment, as long as they know when they can expect the next payment.

6. Do not avoid collection agencies

If you don’t pay your bills for awhile then pretty soon the company that lent you money might hire a collection agency to get the money back. If you’re getting calls from a collection agency make sure you don’t ignore them! Here’s a good article from the Globe and Mail that gives tips on how to talk to a collection agency.

7. Get better at budgeting

If you’re coming up short every month, it might be time to revisit (or make!) a budget to help you stay on top of your spending. Especially if you’ve had a change in your finances, such as a job loss or a big unexpected expense like a health crisis, then you need to adjust your budget to reflect your new reality a bit better.

8. Consider counselling

If it’s looking next to impossible to pay all your bills back, then you might want to consider credit counselling. That’s where you sit down with a credit counseling bureau to figure out how to pay your creditors back. They can lend you their expertise and help you get a grip on the problem with your creditors. Here’s some more on that topic to get you started.

With files from Caroline Cakebread, Chatelaine

Oh, Canada! 30 uniquely Canadian activities to show your patriotic pride

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 24th, 2014

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Nothing screams “True North Strong and Free” like us Canadians doing what Canadians do best. Here is a roundup of the most Canadian things to do in Canada. Warning: may contain stereotypes… and lots of food-related items.

  1. Grab a double-double from Timmies. This one was a given, but an extremely important ingredient in our Canadian culture. Oh, and pay for it with a Toonie!
  2. Jam out to Sam Roberts, Drake, J-Biebs, Céline Dion, Michael Bublé, or any other talented musicians born in our land.
  3. Crack open some Canadian nectar (and by this we mean beer) from your two-four.
  4. Crack open more nectar (this time we mean maple syrup) and smother it over some flapjacks.
  5. Go ice fishing.
  6. Say you’re sorry (sorry, this was just a stereotype, sorry again).
  7. Watch the Canada Day fireworks on Parliament Hill.
  8. Play a couple games of hockey (or road hockey if you’re in the one season when Canada isn’t a nationwide blizzard).
  9. Canoe along Lake Louise and bask in all its glory.
  10. Munch on some Smarties, enjoy a Crispy Crunch, or snack on ketchup chips. Sorry, America…we’ve got you beat on this one!
  11. Get down to Old Montreal and try a Montreal smoked meat sandwich. (Can you hear the heavenly choir singing after you read that? We can.)
  12. Eat a beloved Canadian dessert: a Beaver Tail — and slap on some maple syrup ‘cause you’re CANADIAN and CAN! (Just for the non-Canadians reading this, no it’s not a real beaver’s tail.)
  13. Eat some Canadian bacon atop a bowl of poutine while sipping from a milk BAG (because we’re not about jugs  in the Great White North).
  14. Visit Peggy and her Cove.
  15. Get down and dirty at the Calgary Stampede.
  16. Wear copious amounts of flannel.
  17. Spend 2 hours shovelling your driveway only to have it snow immediately after you kick off your boots. Don’t worry though, you can use a snow blower because WE INVENTED IT.
  18. Watch the Grey Cup and cheer on your province.
  19. Go get a check-up (free health care, woo!).
  20. Ryan Gosling. This doesn’t make sense but it had to go in anyway.
  21. Make some Nanaimo bars and butter tarts — because we invented those, too!
  22. Watch some Hockey Night in Canada with Don Cherry and his amazingly outrageous suits.
  23. Do the Terry Fox run.
  24. Go visit Niagara Falls (Maid of the Mist, anyone?).
  25. Visit Lord Stanley’s cup.
  26. Make a big pot of Kraft Dinner because that’s Canadian as well! (And because you probably have about 4 different boxes of assorted flavours in your cupboard raring to be cooked.)
  27. Rock some Hudson’s Bay stripes.
  28. Go “oot and aboot”!
  29. Ski the beautiful Rockies.
  30. Proudly sew our flag on your backpack because apparently that’s what we DO when we travel outside our great nation. But as the saying goes, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it, eh?” Okay, the “Eh” was an addition.

Go CANADA Go!

With files from Alexandra Davies, Cityline.ca

Barbequing basics: A guide for grilling newbies

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 17th, 2014

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While I love to cook and bake, and feel completely comfortable with any kitchen appliance or tool you can name, the barbeque has always made me a bit nervous. The gas, the flames, the possibility of singed eyebrows…

But this year, I’m determined to conquer my fears because I absolutely adore grilled food — is there anything better than barbequed sausages, burgers, corn on the cob, or a great steak? The hubby bought a Big Green Egg last year, and the food that’s come off of it has been incredibly delicious. Plus the smell of charcoal is absolutely addicting. Needless to say, I want to get in on the action!

So as a way to get myself — and hopefully all you fellow barbequing newbies out there — more comfortable with the BBQ, I’ve assembled this handy guide for the uninitiated. Let’s get our grill on!

Click here for the full guide.

Get grilling! Here are a few great recipes for BBQing amateurs

Hamburgers – try this delicious two-ingredient version!

Grilled tri-tip steak

Chicken breasts – these delicious ones have fresh Greek flavours of lemon, garlic and oregano.

Grilled sirloin kebobs

Grilled shrimp salad

Once you’re comfortable with the basics, you’re ready to try something more advanced: 

Smoked chicken and sweet corn BBQ pizza

Classic pork back ribs

Cedar-planked nachos

And find tons more recipes, tips, and advice in our Cityline.ca Grill Guide!

With files from Suzanne Ellis, Cityline.ca

Summer toy ideas for kids

BT Calgary | posted Thursday, Jun 12th, 2014

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We asked 12-year old Chief Play Officer for Toys “R” Us Canada, Alex Thorne, for summer toy ideas and he did not disappoint!

Nerf – Super Soaker – Tri Strike Crossbow Soaker
By HasbrO
Soak like a champ with this incredibly versatile Tri Strike Crossbow soaker! It’s shaped like a crossbow and its arms deploy for two different modes of soakage. When the arms are in, you can fire a single stream of water at targets up to 38 feet away! But if you’re going for a bigger soaking at closer range, deploy the arms for a triple stream of water! This large-capacity soaker holds up to 40 ounces of water, so you’ll be the top drencher with the Tri Strike Crossbow!

  • Price: $32.99
  • Ages: 6 – 14 years

Rebelle Dolphina Bow Soaker
By Hasbro
Step up with strength and style and bow-blasting soakage with the Dolphina Bow Blaster! It’s easy to load this stylish soaker with up to 25 ounces of water. Pull the handle back and push it forward to fire a blast of water at your target.

  • Price: $24.99
  • Ages: 6 – 14 years

Fisher-Price – Double Bubble Mower XLT
By Fisher-Price
The Bubble Mower XLT is the first bubble mower ready for an outdoor adventure. Updated styling allows for improved ground clearance, all-terrain traction on the tires, and a deeper well for the bubble solution so there’s less spillage.
It even includes play features kids love including a realistic electric start key and lever to control your speed. Filling it up is a breeze now too thanks to a special cap for the solution bottle. The cap includes a valve which allows just the right amount of solution to be dispensed into the well. When the solution needs to be “re-charged,” kids just push down on the bottle again.

  • Price: $29.99
  • Ages: 4 – 5 years

Phlat Ball V3
by Goliath Toys
Throw a disc, catch a ball! Phlat Ball is a unique toy that transforms from a 9″ flying disc to a 6″ diameter ball when thrown. Its soft plastic, flexible material provides a comfortable grip for active play.

  • Price: $12.99
  • Ages: 5 years and up

Rawlings – 8 Piece Badminton Set
By Gillyboo
This Rawlings 8-Piece Badminton Set includes a 20 foot net, 4 Badminton Rackets, 2 Birdies and a Rawlings Carry Bag. It’s perfect for backyard use or on the go at the park or beach.

  • Price: $29.99
  • Ages: 5 years and up

Digital LCD Metal Detector
By Edu-Science
Find coins, lost items and hidden treasures with this fantastic digital metal detector that detects most metals.
· Digital LCD display
· 15cm diameter sensor coil provides excellent coverage
· Adjustable sensitivity for various soil conditions
· Audio alert features with volume control

  • Price: $29.99
  • Ages: 6 – 10 years

Glitter Sidewalk Chalk
By Crayola
Add a little sparkle to your big outdoor art with Crayola Glitter Sidewalk Chalk! These colorful sidewalk chalk sticks create bold lines with cool, glittery effects that catch the sunlight.
Includes 6 sticks of Glitter Sidewalk Chalk.

  • Price: $3.99
  • Ages: 3 – 11 years

Doodlezz – Lockerboard – Monster High
By Stoneridge Cycle
Fun and creative Doodlezz lockerboard skateboard! You can erase and change your colour design. Personalize your own board so that no one will have the same as you!
You can draw, spray, erase and start all over – it won’t smudge!

  • Price: $27.99
  • Ages: 5 – 8 years

Raskullz – Hulk Helmet
By Stoneridge Cycle
Wow – what a cool helmet! Not only can kids channel their inner hulk, but they’ll look pretty awesome doing it!
This Raskullz helmet has a unique design, adjustable straps and is a protective helmet which features a molded and shock absorbing inner shell that includes aerodynamic cooling vents.

  • Price: $34.99
  • Ages: 5 – 8 years

Lil Miss Matched – 3 Wheel Scooter Combo
By Stoneridge Cycle
This combo set comes with everything your little one needs to get on a scooter, be safe and have fun at the same time. The scooter features 3 PVC wheels, a wide platform deck, colourful streamers, a front plate and a durable steel frame.

  • Price: $69.99
  • Ages: 3 – 6 years

Disney Fairies: Flutterby Tinkerbell
By Spinmaster
A world of enchantment is in your hands with the Disney Fairies Flutterbye Tinkerbell.
Simply press the button on the stand to set the fairy’s wings in motion. Watch her dance through the air as you guide her flight using only your hand. Place your hand beneath her and raise or lower it to make her fly higher or lower. There’s never been a more magical experience!

  • Price: $42.99
  • Ages: 5 years and up

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Zipline Playset – Fire Escape
By Spinmaster
Ninja Turtles are in the zone, zig-zagging their way down their high flying zip lines as they coordinate their Zen-like attacks to unleash the final foot free fall! Easily stick the Fire Escape Free Fall Play Set on your wall and connect the zip lines for instant Turtle action. Use the incoming and escape Zip Lines to send the Foot Clan flying. Collect all Z-line Play Sets to create an interconnected world of Zip Line action.

  • Price: $29.99
  • Ages: 6 – 9 years

LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Mutation Chamber Unleashed
By LEGO
Uh-oh, it’s Turtle trouble! Raphael has infiltrated Kraang’s lab and
discovered the Mutation Chamber which can turn humans into mutant creatures. Climb the ladder with Victor, spin the electrodes and knock him into the mutation tank. Turn the knob to activate the mutation. When the transformation is complete, open the doors and unleash the fearsome Spider Bytez. Help Raphael to outwit the giant creature and escape before it grabs him with the huge claws on its head.
Includes 2 minifigures with weapons and accessories: Victor and Raphael, and a Spider Bytez figure,

  • Price: $29.99
  • Ages: 6 – 12 years

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Mega Blaster Web Shooter with Glove
By Hasbro
Imagine Spider-Man adventures at a whole new level with this incredible Mega Blaster Web Shooter set! This realistic-looking glove looks like it came from Spider-Man’s costume, and when you pull it on you’ll feel just like your web-slinging hero. But you’ll feel even more like him when you attach the Mega Blaster Web Shooter to it! Load the shooter with the water cartridge or the can of Spidey Shot Web Fluid. Then you can blast a web or water at the bad guys, using your 2 middle fingers, just like your favorite web-crawling hero.
Evil doesn’t stand a chance when you’ve got your Mega Blaster Web Shooter and Glove!

  • Price: $24.99
  • Ages: 5 – 11 years old

Stop everything you’re doing and look at this shoe closet

Cityline | posted Monday, Jun 9th, 2014

Every once in a while we come across something that makes us stop dead in our tracks. Sometimes it’s over diamonds and sometimes it’s over a killer outfit, but most of the time it’s over shoes. We’re sure everyone has imagined their dream house, and if we guess correctly, it probably comes with its very own shoe closet. Now picture a closet filled with all your favourite shoes and the most organized storage system known to mankind. Sound too good to be true? Jennifer Valentyne takes us into her self-made shoe closet to share her jaw-dropping collection of 140 pairs — all boxed and numbered. Her storage technique includes a shoe book (yes, a picture book of all her shoes!) that she is able to look through every morning to select the perfect pair to finish off her outfit.

If you don’t believe us, take a look into Jennifer’s closet and see the beauty for yourself. Just be sure to keep breathing because this is ah-mazing!

City unveils 2014/15 fall TV lineup

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Jun 3rd, 2014

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A comedy starring Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne is among four new primetime series headed to City this fall, while weekend nights will be packed with hockey.

Black-ish features Anderson as a father who starts to worry his family has forgotten their black heritage while living in the suburbs.

City’s weekends will be filled with Hockey Night in Canada and Hometown Hockey after Rogers secured the exclusive rights to NHL broadcasts last November. There will be two NHL games each week – Hockey Night in Canada on Saturdays and Hometown Hockey on Sundays.

“I’m excited for City to join in a time-honoured Canadian tradition this year with the addition of Hockey Night in Canada and Hometown Hockey,” Hayden Mindell, Vice President of Television Programming & Content, Rogers Media, said.

“Hockey is the most coveted content in Canada, and we have PVR-proofed Saturday and Sunday nights on City to become must-see TV for all Canadians.”

The two new dramas include a Homeland-esque show Scorpion and Backstorm.

City will also air a new reality show called Utopia, where 15 contestants will get one year to build an entirely new society on a secluded piece of land.

Returning shows include the hits New Girl and Modern Family.

Other shows returning are The Bachelor, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Hell’s Kitchen, The Middle, Mike & Molly, Parks and Recreation, Revenge, and Scandal.

The Grammys will also return to the network and it’s also picked up NBC’s live musical Peter Pan!

Fall premiere dates will be announced in the coming months.

The fall schedule is:

All times ET/PT; s = simulcast

Monday
8 p.m.              2 Broke Girls (s)
8:30 p.m.         Mom (s)
9 p.m.              Scorpion (s) *NEW*

Tuesday
8 p.m.              Utopia (s) *NEW*
9 p.m.              New Girl (s)
9:30 p.m.         The Mindy Project (s)

Wednesday
8 p.m.              Hell’s Kitchen (s)
9 p.m.              Modern Family (s)
9:30 p.m.         Black-ish (s) *NEW*

Thursday
8 p.m.              The Bachelor Canada
9 p.m.              Scandal (s)

Friday
8 p.m.              Package Deal
8:30 p.m.         The Middle
9 p.m.              Utopia (s) *NEW*

Saturday
7-10 p.m.         NHL: Hockey Night in Canada *NEW to City*

Sunday
7-10 p.m.         NHL: Hometown Hockey *NEW to City*
10 p.m.            Revenge (s)

The air dates and times for the Grammys, Country Music Awards, and Peter Pan Live! will be announced at a later time.

Rogers is the parent owner of this website.

With files from The Canadian Press

Planting 101 with Frankie Flowers

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 3rd, 2014

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After one of Canada’s most brutal winters, summer has finally arrived and we bet that your garden is in dire need of a little (or a lot of) TLC. Whether you are a newbie or an expert, it’s time to brush up on those basics. Frankie Flowers is here to give us his expert tips and tricks to plant your favourite flowers from the ground up — without all the hassle.

Soil:
If you are planting in a container, make sure to use potting soil that contains perlite for easy drainage. If you’re planting in the ground, use garden soil and mix it with the native soil for best results.

Plant selection:
It is important that you know which plants require the most sun, deadheading, and water maintenance. If some plants are neglected long enough, they will rot and create long-term diseases during the summer season. Tip: Talk to your gardening centre before you purchase anything. They will be able to tell you exactly which plants suit your garden best.

Pre- and post-planting:
Water your plants immediately before and after planting. Watering before will allow your plants to easily slide out of the pot and will prevent shocking its root system.

Planting:
To begin, remove the pot from your plant and rip its root system down in order to spread them apart. Healthy and happy roots should appear white while rotting roots will appear brown. Next, firmly press down on the outer sides to fasten the roots inside the soil.

Deadheading:
This is a crucial maintenance technique that simply means removing existing bloomed flowers. Plants are always putting energy to the bloom, so by removing the flower, the energy that was put into the flower is now transferred into the foliage to create more buds. If your plant requires deadheading, make sure to pluck the flower and fill the vacant space with fertilizer for quick regrowth.

Recommended plants:

Full sun gardens
Choose a plant that is able to sustain itself under the hot sun with lowest maintenance. Frankie suggests a Geranium for its foolproof growth tolerance. Another great option is Lobelia Hot. Usually known for drying out from the sun, the Hot version of this plant is not only self-cleaning, but is also able to withstand the summer heat.

Shaded gardens
Frankie suggests a Torenia plant as it is known for creating a trail over the edge of the pot. Though it is not as well known as other shade plants, the beautiful blue flower with a bell shape will complement any garden and needs little maintenance.

For more tips from Frankie, watch him demonstrate this process below:

Courtesy Frank Ferragine

www.frankieflowers.com

@frankferragine