Kids help the Anglican food bank

These young volunteers are busy delivering the left over bread and buns from COBS on South Bayview to the Anglican Church Flemingdon Park Food Bank. Elizabeth 7, Sarah 13 and Kamal 12 are part of a large group from St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church who regularly pick up food from COBS and Epi Breads and with their parents, deliver it to the food bank. On this occasion, Steve and Diane were at the wheels of their SUVs for the job. They are the parents of Sarah and Elizabeth. Sarah and Kamal are students at Hodgson Senior Public School. Diane Goldie is Co-Chair with Indra Prashad of the school council.

Loud commercials — have your say

The government regulator has picked up the challenge of loud TV commercials again. It’s a perennial complaint but, unlike in the U.S., has never resulted in legislation in Canada. For decades broadcasters have fudged the issue by saying the peak loudness of programming and commercials was the same. It was merely that the commercials had more peaks. Uh-huh. Anyway, you can have your say by gong to the CRTC online. Read about how.

CMHC calls for moderate house market

Another forecaster has called for a moderate housing market in 20011, as the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) calls for prices to remain in line with inflation over the next two years. In its first quarter market outlook CMHC says existing home sales will be in the range of 398,500 to 485,500 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 441,500 units. In 2012, MLS sales will move up and are expected to be in the range of 406,300 to 519,700 units, with a point forecast of 462,900 units. “Modest economic growth will continue to push employment levels higher this year and next. This, in conjunction with relatively low mortgage rates, will continue to support demand for new homes. Housing starts will remain in line with long term demographic fundamentals over the course of 2011 and 2012,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist for CMHC. Housing starts will be in the range of 157,300 to 192,900 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 177,600 units. In 2012, housing starts will be in the range of 154,600 to 211,200 units, with a point forecast of 183,800 units.

Thanks for the pothole fix-up guys

These two workers were busy at the corner of Moore and Mallory today filling potholes and fixing the sidewalk, recently broken by a gas repair crew.

Zellers Thorncliffe on tenterhooks

Employees of Zellers in the Thorncliffe Park Shopping Mall are hanging on for any bit of information which will tell them of their fate and that of their store. Zellers parent Hudson Bay, has sold rights to the leases of as many as 220 Zellers stores to the U.S. retailer Target. It will spend more than $1-billion to convert 100 to 150 of them to its own banner within the next two to three years. In the meantime, employees wait and wonder. They do know that as part of the deal, the store will continue to operate through 2011. A Bay spokesperson said: “During this time, Target will be determining which locations will open as a Target store, which locations may be sold to another retailer and which will remain as Zellers. We will continue to operate a portfolio of Zellers stores in some communities in Canada. No decisions have been made on specific locations at this time.” In other words, the Zellers name may live on in cut down form. The Thorncliffe store is a sad reflection of its former self. The coming months are not likely to see any upgrades.

All over the lot at 140 Hanna Avenue

The arching contraption stretching from one end of the lot to the other at 140 Hanna Ave. is — what? Why, a concrete delivery system of course. It’s sending wet cement from the mixer out front (left) all the way to the rear (right) where a guy is directing it into forms for the foundation. Quite a show.

Recall of Hoover WindTunnel vacuums

Sears Canada says it has been advised by Hoover Inc. of a potential safety hazard relating to certain WindTunnel Bagless Canister Vacuums. It has been discovered that the power cord between the powered nozzle and the wand can short-circuit posing a fire and shock hazard. This can occur even if the vacuum has been turned off but left plugged in. The silver coloured vacuums were sold through Sears Canada retail stores, online at, and through the Sears Canada catalogue between January 2007 and December 2010. The affected model number is S3755. CNW Release

Tight squeeze at Millwood and Sutherland

A noon-hour tussle Tuesday between a bus and car at Millwood Rd and Sutherland slowed things down a bit. The 88 bus was apparently making a left onto Sutherland. No one hurt.

800,000 Dorel car seats recalled

As many as 800,000 childrens car seats by Dorel Juvenile Group are being voluntarily recalled Transport Canada received 10 complaints that the design’s harness system could loosen during normal use.

Re-visiting Joey and Dakota

Many months ago when the weather was really nice, Joey the Yorkshire Terrier (left) ran into Dakota the Golden Lab on South Bayview. We recalled Joey’s winning way of saying hello as we pondered this winter weather. Hope you like the flashback.

George Shearing dead at age 91

Greatly loved piano artist who turned his blindness into an asset at the keyboard. To hear him again in vintage form GO HERE. George Shearing’s obituary from the BBC may be found by clicking the headline.

Nearly half local cell owners lose them

According to a survey by the computer security software maker Norton, Toronto and Missisauga are have the highest per capita loss or theft of cell phones in the country. The figure is 48%. Remarkable. Nationally, the survey shows 33% of Canadian consumers have either lost or had their phone stolen. The survey of 1,508 Canadian adults was conducted between September 24 and October 7, 2010 and found the following cities to have the highest Cell Phone Loss/Theft:

Toronto (Mississauga) – 48%
Montreal (Laval) – 32%
Vancouver (Surrey, Burnaby) – 31%
Calgary – 23%
Halifax – 17%

The survey does not break out stolen versus lost. The former figure would be of interest to Torontonians who hear daily of young people having their phone stolen on the street or in the subway.