14 Jun 2011

Toronto postal workers go on strike

On June 13, 15,000 employees for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers declared they were going on strike, affecting thousands of residents and businesses in the GTA.As a result of the strike, homeowners and businesses will receive their mail on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.Reports indicate the issue that's led to the strike has to do with several things, such as the number of hours postal employees are working, the number of sick days they get and a two-tiered wage system that Canada Post has recently implemented, which the CUPW is opposed to.Megan Whitfield, shop steward of the CUPW, told the Toronto Sun they would stop the strike if the Canada Post would re-instate the collective bargaining agreement that was in place, but Whitfield said Canada Post refused."This provocation has motivated us to go out on the picket lines again," said Jacques Valiquette, national director of the Montreal bureau of CUPW, which is also striking.With more mail coming over a shorter…

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10 Jun 2011

As the school year comes to an end for high school and university students across Toronto, they may be wondering if they'll be able to find a summer job. But the government of Canada is implementing a program that should help make the search easier.Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development, recently announced that 36,000 jobs had been created under the Canada Summer Jobs program."Our government has received a strong mandate from Canadians to continue creating jobs and economic growth, said Finley. "That's why, starting in 2011, we have permanently increased the budget for Canada Summer Jobs by $10 million."Finley went on to say that the program benefits students as it gives them some spending money for the…

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18 May 2011

Typically, when one's desk or office space is constantly piled with paperwork, the user just considers themselves a less-than-tidy person. But a new study indicates it may reveal much more about someone's personality.According to TechNewsDaily, Hunch.com – an internet company that provides its users with an array of website recommendations – conducted a poll of 700,000 of its members and found people with messy desks tended to be educated, career-minded and skilled at math.In an interview with the source, Amanda Green, lead author of the report, said people tend to mess their desks for one of two reasons."Someone may be messy because they use the computer for various endeavors, which could explain why CEOs are more likely to have messy…

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13 May 2011

A new magazine is hitting news stands in the GTA, and best of all, it's free.According to the Star Media Group, the publishing company is launching The Grid magazine, a periodical that's devoted to the all the city's happenings and written with twenty and thirtysomethings in mind."The Grid is a mash-up – visually and editorially – of a newspaper a magazine and a coffee-table book," said Laas Turnbull publisher and editor-in-chief.The publishing company said every issue will feature regular contributors, all of whom will focus on their own individual beat, such as politics, social issues, beer, restaurants, style, fashion, parenting, visual arts, real estate and music.Food connoisseurs may be especially inclined to purchase the inaugural issue, as the source said…

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11 May 2011

A report on how Toronto's high school students are doing is in, and by the looks of it, teenagers' grades are on the way up.According to the Fraser Institute's annual report card on Ontario's secondary schools, high schoolers are performing better on standardized testing than they have been, with 26.9 percent scoring below average, a marked improvement from the 30 percent underperforming in the 2005-2006 school year.Michael Thomas, associate director for the Fraser Institute, projected confidence for the future of Ontario's students."This is a promising trend for Ontario schools," said Thomas. "But with more than a quarter of exams still falling below the provincial standard, there is room for academic improvement across the province."The study looked at test scores from…

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9 May 2011

People who viewed the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William have the memory of a moment that they likely won't soon forget. But for people who want a keepsake of the historic event, a Canadian periodical is making one available.Hello! Canada, the country's most widely-read celebrity magazine, is publishing a commemorative issue of the matrimony of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The magazine says the special edition features 132 pages of photography from noted photojournalist Hugo Burnand and all of the moments that captured the world's attention, such as the the procession to Buckingham Palace, the "I do's," a panoramic view of Middleton's gown and the couple's first kiss as husband and wife on the palace balcony.The magazine says…

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28 Apr 2011

Due to the rise of the internet and the increasing popularity of tablets and iPads, many libraries across North America aren't frequented quite as much as they used to be. But that's not the case in Toronto. In fact, attendance there is so good, they're expanding yet again.The Toronto Public Library recently announced that it's planning to build a brand new 15,000-square-foot branch that will be built in the Trinity Spadina community, offering all the services that the main building provides.Among the amenities, the Trinity Spadina branch will house several meeting and study spaces and be fully furnished with internet technology, which will enable students, professionals and visitors to research, work and learn.The branch, which will become the Toronto Public…

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19 Apr 2011

With the deadline to file taxes looming, Canadians from coast to coast are getting all their paperwork prepared so that they can report their income to the government. And if Canadian taxpayers are anything like Americans, they'd rather do almost anything else.According to the results of a recent U.S.-based OfficeMax study called "Tax it to Me," 45 percent of respondents said procrastination was the biggest hurdle to overcome when it comes to filing taxes on time. In fact, 40 percent of respondents said they would rather cut their own hair than do their own taxes.As a result, the survey found that nearly half – 48 percent – relied on someone else to file their taxes.But even when someone else does…

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14 Apr 2011

Expect to see a decline in available storage units in Toronto in the coming months. After all, with so many businesses moving to the Greater Toronto area recently, where else are they going to file their documents?According to a semi-annual report released by Colliers International, a global real estate services company, the vacancy rate for office space in the GTA has dropped 6.4 percent over the past six months and the availability rate in the downtown area of Toronto has dipped to 9 percent after peaking in 2009 at over 10 percent."These are signs of solid recovery and the resiliency of the Toronto office market," John Arnoldi, Colliers International's managing director in Toronto told the Globe and Mail. "There was…

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24 Mar 2011

Now that spring has finally arrived, many Torontonians are ringing the season in with one its rites of passage: spring cleaning. But just as people are de-cluttering by putting important documents into storage units, never-ending bills, phone books and magazines muddle one's organization efforts.Perhaps with these people in mind, the Yellow Pages group is reminding Toronto residents that they can opt out of receiving the print version of its directory if they so choose.Consumers and businesses are taking advantage of the internet by going paper-less and the same seems to be happening with the Yellow Pages."While print directories remain consulted by 1 in 2 Canadians each month to find a business, it is only one of the search platforms we…

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25 Feb 2011

If there's overlap between the United States and Canada when it comes to trends, then Torontonians with an eye for organization should rent their storage units now while they're still available.According to an OfficeMax survey, a high percentage of people are adversely affected by their unorganized nature and are determined to seek out improvement.Included among the findings was that while 32 percent say they're very organized, a whopping 60 percent said they're only somewhat organized and wanted to improve.A high number of respondents also said their messy habits adversely affected their everyday living, as 77 percent said it decreased their productivity, 65 percent said it impacted their state of mind and 40 percent said it negatively impacted their happiness.One of…

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