Canadian Tire rolls into Forzani sports deal

Canadian Tire Corp is moving into the sports store business as it moves to take control of the Forzani Group Ltd for 771 million in cash. It’s all about concern that U.S. retailewrs will eat CTC’s lunch. Today CTC is crowing however. “Canadian Tire is on offence,” Chief Executive Stephen Wetmore said. Forzani Group operates more than 500 retail outlets under banners such as Sport Chek, Atmosphere and National Sport and has annual revenue of about C$1.4 billion.

53 Division sees huge drop in car injuries

The monthly report on community affairs from the TPS says personal injury accidents in 53 Division (which includes South Bayview and area) have dropped a rather staggering 41%. That’s compared to the same period last year — presumably the Spring of 2010. Property damage accidents are said to have increased some 3%. There’s no explanation for this remarkable drop other than happenstance. Good luck perhaps. Of course the police are urging everyone to be careful and keep up the good work. Police also warn that the division is experiencing a rash of break-ins related solely to the theft of keys, which are then used to the steal the vehicle outside.

Camel Smoking Zones a culture shock

While Canada grapples with illegal tobacco (see post below) the European acceptance of cigarettes has resulted in things like the Camel Smoking Zone. There’s one or more in most German airports. The supervised Plexiglas smoking rooms sport interesting Camel “art” (centre) and offer users high quality music audio (right).

Illegal tobacco hurts legitimate businesses

The scourge of illegal tobacco is just getting worse, according to the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco. This is a body of groups such as convenience store operators and legal tobacco manufacturers, who as much as anything else, rankle at the huge tax evasion represented by this illegal industry. NCAT says more than 50 factories manufacture illegal cigarettes within Canada’s borders, and more than 300 so-called smoke shacks sell tobacco outside of any regulatory framework. Profits from the sale of contraband tobacco are used to finance the activities of more than 175 organized criminal gangs, providing a high-profit, low-risk source funding for some of Canada’s most disreputable elements. The group says that illegal cigarettes similarly make a mockery of Canada’s efforts to curb youth smoking, as kids use the black market to circumvent government age restrictions. It notes that the Conservatives campaigned on a platform of being much tougher on illegal tobacco activities.

Bob Rae touted as interim Liberal leader

Bob Rae, former Premier of Ontario and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, is being put forward as interim Liberal Party leader. Jean Chretien is urging Liberals to support the Toronto MP as interim leader. “Sources” tell the Canadian Press, former prime minister has been phoning dozens of defeated and re-elected MPs since the Liberal party’s historic defeat in Monday’s election. The once-mighty party was reduced to third place with only 34 MPs. Even Leader Michael Ignatieff lost his seat. Since then, MPs say Chretien has been calling around, promoting the idea that Rae should be interim leader for up to two years. That would give the party time to pick itself up off the mat before launching into a contest to choose a permanent successor to Ignatieff. It’s not surprising “sources” told CP because any strategy to do this would involve getting people to talk about it.

Health Canada recalls bunk beds

Health Canada has announced a recall of two models of wooden bunk beds because there is a risk they could collapse. Dorel Asia models WM1848R2 and WM1848R2C are affected by the joint recall between Health Canada, Dorel Distribution Canada, Dorel Asia, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Health Canada said the recalled models pose a “fall hazard” because the wooden side rails that hold the bunk bed’s mattress can split and cause the bunk bed to collapse.

Royal LePage sale for abused women

Next Saturday, May 14, 2011, will see this year’s edition of the giant garage sale in the Royal LePage parking lot at 1391 Bayview Ave and Macrae Drive. It’s part of a national endeavor to support women mpacted by family violence. The project is known as the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation (RLSF). Household articles are welcome for donation to the sale. Call 416-424-4900. This picture is from last year’s event.

South Bayview Blockbuster facing end

A shadow hangs over tbne Blockbuster location on South Bayview south of Millwood today after the national chain was placed in receivership. The ominous turn for Blockbuster Canada comes some six momnths after its U.S. parent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice appointed consulting and accounting firm Grant Thornton Ltd. as receiver, according to documents empowering it to “take possession of and exercise control over” Blockbuster Canada’s assets, Grant Thornton has effectively been given control over the film and video game rental chain’s more than 400 locations across Canada. Those with jobs at the Leaside branch will keep them “until such time as the receiver, on the debtor’s behalf, may terminate the employment of such employees.”

Will Ford march in Pride event — or not?

Mayor Rob Ford has said he will not commit to marching in the Pride parade this summer. There appears to be continuing suspicion at City Hall about the anti-Israel group whose presence stunned many people last year. There was considerable concern about the judgement used to permit a previously non-political event to be exploited this way. Councillors are expected to discuss forcing Pride to promise it won’t let the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid participate in the parade or any part of the festival as a condition of receiving city funding

Girls, Candies and Comics needs translation

Vienna — Until you remember that you’re outside the Albertina Museum in Vienna, the pin-up, pop art poster might throw you. For those who know, and those who don’t, it isn’t a Calvin Klein type ad for Del Monte Catsup. It’s an example of the work of California-born pop artist Mel Ramos. His show is called Girls, Candies and Comics. Inside are many more pieces, familiar no doubt to his followers. Here’s the Wikipedia skinny on Ramos, 76. “Along with other artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and James Rosenquist, Ramos produced art works that celebrated aspects of popular culture as represented in mass media. His paintings have been shown in major exhibitions of Pop Art in the U.S. and in Europe, and reproduced in books, catalogs, and periodicals throughout the world.”

Carmichael a long time waiting to be elected

This is a slightly delayed link to an election night assessment of the Don Valley West victory by Conservative John Carmichael. It was a very tight race and the outcome awaits a further look at a breakdown of polling station results to see where the support for each party sourced.

South Bayview is not Austria (duh)

Don’t say you heard it here, but this story can’t be told wihout using the word Eskimo. As we know, it doesn’t exist in the Toronto dictionary anymore, the Edmonton CFL team notwithstanding. So unlike Austria (lower right) and most of Europe ice cream bars and other such treats are no longer Eskimo Pies etc. Top, exotic ads for a cigarette brand decorate storefronts. Memphis Blue ciggies seem to have something to do with a low-flying Mustang. Lower left, is an ad for a chocolate bar from the Zotter company. It certainly seems to compare the high you get from the chocolate to an injection of something. Zotter in fact has ads dealing with skin colour which aren”t going to be shown. Not surprising perhaps. but proof again that South Bayview standards are very much a hometown thing.