19 Aug 2011

New aquarium construction begins in Toronto

Fans of sea life in Toronto will get to see a variety of creatures in person, as construction of a new aquarium recently commenced.According to reports, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, located in front of the CN Tower, began construction this month. The $130 million project is expected to create roughly 600 jobs and $50 million in revenues, CityNews reports.Also, more than 13,000 fresh and salt water creatures will reside at the aquarium, which will have roughly 5.7-million litres of water."There are two things that are good" about the aquarium, Jim Pattison, President of Ripley's Entertainment, told the source. "It's a good tourist opportunity, certainly. But I think even more importantly it's a really nice asset for the families of the GTA."While this construction project is underway, crews may need public storage space to keep on-site items, such as tools, helmets and other related items. Storage containers might be the ideal means to store required work materials.

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18 Aug 2011

Balloon artists, clowns, dances and other festivities recently took place at the fifth annual BuskerFest Children's Picnic in Toronto, at which more than 500 children from area camps spent the day, the Toronto Sun reports.Additionally, the kids, their parents and other guests were treated to free food from St. Lawrenece Market, according to the newspaper."This is a fun assignment because you get to meet all the kids and I love this neighbourhood," auxilary officer Terry Birkett, who patrolled the event, told the paper. "It is so interesting and dynamic."The picnic is a precursor to the 12th Annual BunkerFest – the largest North American festival, according to event entertainment director Mackenzie Muldoon – which runs in the city from August 25…

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17 Aug 2011

With public exposure to food trucks increasing throughout North America, it was only a matter of time before the craze for the movable feasts came to the Toronto area and other major Canadian metros, reports say.According to Yahoo Canada, many residents of Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton, among other Canadian cities, have shown they are content with the limited number of food trucks conducting business in their communities.Zane Caplansky, a food truck owner who does business in Toronto, told the National Post that people all over the city enjoy his food – and at all times of the day."The licence is restrictive and arbitrary, but when we showed up on Ossington at two in the morning and people started clapping, you…

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16 Aug 2011

Homebuying activity in Toronto last month mimicked the national trend, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. In other words, home sales were stable in July when compared to June.According to the CREA, the July national sales-to-new listings ratio was 51.8 percent, a moderate change compared to 52.3 percent in June.On a year-over-year basis, actual sales activity rose 12.3 percent in July. Through the first seven months of the year, approximately 284,537 homes have changed hands, which is 1.6 percent lower through the same period in 2010.Gary Morse, CREA president, said the report indicates real estate is a worthwhile investment for Canadians."Mortgage interest rates are low and keeping home affordability within reach, making it an excellent time for buyers to…

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16 Aug 2011

Some of Canada's major corporations are expected to see revenues fall in the second half of the year, according to the latest report issued by the Conference Board of Canada.Based on the CBC's Leading Indicator of Industry Profitability index, earnings will falll for the first time in more than a year.Lin Ai, an economist with with the CBC, said Canadian businesses are being affected by global instability in countries' financial markets."The dismal economic recovery south of the border, as well as supply-chain disruptions linked to the Japanese earthquake and the dampening effects of rising inflation on consumer spending have all contributed to the deteriorating profitability outlook," said Ai.While most of the losses are believed to affect the manufacturing sector, the…

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15 Aug 2011

At Jiffy Self-Storage, we put a premium on making sure our renters' belongings are secure. And we do it to avoid what happened to the tenants of two storage unit facilities in the U.S.According to the Gaylord Herald Times, 60 storage units were broken into by thieves on August 10 in Gaylord, Michigan.In an interview with the paper, Joe FitzGerald, the town's police chief, said he and his fellow officers have been trying to get in touch with the owners of the units to get an idea of what's been stolen.Robert Krupa, a state trooper investigating the break-in of a separate storage facility, told the source jewelry and a Moped had been taken from one of the units.Officers believe the…

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12 Aug 2011

Due to rising gas prices and the popularity of bike sharing programs, more Torontonians are driving to various destinations on two wheels instead of four. But according to the Ontario Medical Association, the province isn't as bicycle-friendly as it should be.The OMA is urging the provincial government to enact policies that will help make cycling safer for everyone, as it will encourage more people to take advantage of an ideal form of exercise."Two-thirds of Canadians are inactive, putting them at greater risk of chronic disease," said Stewart Kennedy, president of the OMA. "Cycling is a great a way to stay fit and a way for people of all ages to add essential physical activity to their daily lives and improve…

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12 Aug 2011

Christmas may be more than four months away, but it's never too early to start thinking about how to deck the halls. Thus, if Torontonians are thinking about heading to the western half of the country for a visit, or to go on vacation, they may want to consider stopping at one of Canada's largest gift shows.The Canadian Gift and Tableware Association recently announced there will be 530 craft exhibitors at the Alberta Gift Show, which will be held at the Edmonton Expo Centre. Expecting more than 13,000 people to be in attendance, the CGTA says visitors will have the upper hand on decorating, as the latest furnishings will be on display. There will also be a number of innovative…

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11 Aug 2011

A new study is detailing the amenities Canadian business owners and travellers prefer when deciding on what hotel to stay in.According to the Canadian Hotel Food and Beverage Consumer Trend Report, having a wide variety of dining and food service options at a hotel is a particular draw for long-distance Canadian commuters."Darren Tristano, executive vice-president for the company that performed the study, Technomic, said Canadians put a premium on practicality and expedience."Many consumers are looking for a convenient and relaxing dining experience after a day of travel or before a day of meetings," said Tristano. "Providing them with a variety of quality food service options on premise drives traffic and enhances the guest experience.The survey also detailed what food service…

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11 Aug 2011

As Canadian parents and students prepare for back-to-school shopping, a new report from the accountancy firm Ernst and Young says retailers likely won't see profits rise in what is typically a busy time for them."Back to school is the second most important season on the retail calendar," said Daneil Baer, who heads Ernst and Young's retail and wholesale industry division. "Although lower than their peak levels, higher gas and grocery bills have reduced consumers' disposal income, as inflation continues to outpace salary increases."Another reason why sales will likely be lower this year, according to the source, has to do with higher commodity prices for materials like cotton.Despite the anticipated slowdown in back-to-school purchases, the firm says losses won't be significant,…

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10 Aug 2011

While most Canadians think obtaining a college education is crucial to future success, individuals living in the eastern portion of the country are particularly resolute in this belief. According to a new survey conducted by TD Canada Trust, Atlantic Canadians are the most convinced a post-secondary degree helps people land a job when they enter the employment hunting market. Despite this belief, many of these same people admit to worrying about the cost of student loans, as 71 percent report feeling either anxious or stressed about paying off what they owe in tuition bills. "We know that managing finances on your own can be stressful or even intimidating," said Michelle Snow, group manager for the banking organization. "Financial literacy is…

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10 Aug 2011

The Certified General Accounts Association of Canada says the country's tax system is too complex and needs to be simplified.CGA-Canada recently released its study, titled "The Need for Tax Simplification – A Challenge and an Opportunity." In it, the study's authors say little has been done to make the filing system more streamlined, which is ultimately affecting Canada's status in the world, as other countries have simpler systems."Canada's tax system is among the most complex in the world, which hurts our economy and adversely affects small and medium size enterprises and individual taxpayers," said Anthony Ariganello, president and CEO of CGA-Canada. "We believe tax simplification is good for taxpayers, businesses, governments and our economy."Ariganello added the only way Canadians will…

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9 Aug 2011

One of the worst things Canadian consumers can do is to buy a product or service without being aware of all it has to offer. And according to a new poll, many Canadians are doing just that when they purchase various insurance plans.According to Allstate Canada, a whopping 71 percent of Canadians admitted to being unclear about what their insurance policies included. For instance, one in four said they weren't sure if their auto insurance plan covered them should they be involved in a traffic accident. All standard Canadian auto insurance policies include collision coverage."While we understand insurance policies may not offer the most entertaining read, if people are not fully aware of what their coverage entitles them to or…

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8 Aug 2011

A new poll conducted by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce finds that Ontarians have a higher level of debt when compared to others living in the country.The CIBC survey indicates approximately 74 percent of Ontario residents have some type of significant payment they have yet to take care of, compared to 72 percent nationwide.Despite this high number, however, 63 percent report making "good progress" on lowering their debt, doing such things as making a lump sum payment, implementing a household budget or making a significant sacrifice in their typical spending behavior."Managing debt as part of their overall financial plan is top of mind for Ontario residents in 2011, and these latest poll results show that some progress is being…

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5 Aug 2011

With gas prices at record levels and few indications they will come down any time soon, bicycle use has taken off, according to the Canadian Press. Toronto resident Robert Lendvai is one such bicycle rider, who told the paper he has taken one of his family's cars off the road, opting to take his bike to work instead. Other residents told the paper they are taking advantage of the city's bike sharing program, Bixi, which was launched in May. Susan Shaheen, who heads the Innovative Mobility Program at the University of California, told the source Toronto's trending away from car ownership and toward alternative sources of travel are a growing theme throughout North America. "I definitely sense some sort of…

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5 Aug 2011

A new study is indicating Canadian parents may not be as vigilant as they should be when giving their kids toys to play with.According to a recent survey conducted by retailing giant Toys "R" Us, more than half – 52 percent – of Canadian parents with children do not check to see if a toy has been subject to any manufacturers' recalls before handing it over to their kids.The survey was conducted to promote the toy retailer's "Great Trade-In" event, which will be held through August 21st. Toronto parents who bring in toys, strollers, cribs, car seats or other products that may be defective or hazardous to children may be eligible to receive 20 percent off a child-centered product from…

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5 Aug 2011

Movie subscription service Netflix has been in Canada for less than a year, and already, more than 1 million members have signed up.To celebrate the occasion, Netflix awarded the country's one-millionth member, Amanda James, with a lifetime membership."I'm excited to be the millionth Canadian member," said James, who's originally from Manitoba. "Netflix is something I enjoy with my family and I look forward to continue watching our favorite movies and TV shows via Netflix in the future."Reed Hastings, CEO and co-founder of the company, said he couldn't be happier that his subscription-based movie service has taken off the way it has."We're thrilled that Canadians have embraced Netflix so rapidly," said Hastings. "Our focus remains on building up the breadth and…

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4 Aug 2011

Toronto's real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down, as a recent report from the Toronto Real Estate Board makes plain.According to the TREB, there were more than 7,920 transactions last month, an increase of nearly 25 percent when compared to the same 30-day period last year. The average selling price for a Toronto home was $459,112 – up 10 percent year-over-year.Based on July's results, the real estate organization projects 90,000 homes will be sold in 2011."Strong home sales continued in July, with a substantial rebound over last summer’s slow-down brought about by higher mortgage rates [and] new lending guidelines," said Richard Silver, TREB president. "If the current pace of sales holds up, we could see the second…

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3 Aug 2011

A disorderly workstation may not only diminish someone's ability to work in a productive fashion, but it may also prevent them from advancing in their company, according to a new CareerBuilder.ca survey.The job search website polled 230 managers and 420 workers between May and June, and found that one-third of employers said they'd be less likely to promote their employees if they had a disorganized desk."While chaos on your desk space can indicate a busy workload, it can also imply a lack of organization," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "The good news is that workers can fix this problem quickly and reverse any negative perceptions of their performance."Haefner offered several solutions to paper-piling problems, including…

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