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36 Church & Wellesley - Yorkville - Annex Articles | Page: | Show All

U of T researchers land on genome diet

The future of dietary recommendations might come down to a person's DNA, University of Toronto researchers found. The lead researcher, professor Ahmed El-Sohemy, has launched the nutritional genomics firm, Nutrigenomix, that sets out to do just that.

The Independent reports:
The researchers found that subjects who were told that they carry a version of the gene associated with salt intake and high blood pressure significantly reduced their salt intake compared with the group that received the standard advice for salt intake. No significant changes were found for the other dietary components: caffeine, vitamin C and sugar. The authors of the study believe that this is because most of the 138 people in the study were already meeting the recommendations for these dietary components at the start of the study.


At $300 per genetic test, compliance is not without its financial incentive, either. 


Read the full story here. 
Source: The Independent

Toronto deemed a "special and unusual place to visit"

Multicultural Toronto has been lauded as a top travel destination whose “rich blend of immigrant neighbourhoods and authentic ethnic restaurants” makes it “a great town for dining and exploring on foot.”

The Seattle Times writes:

Some of the neighborhoods are known for their architectural beauty: the charming Victorian houses along the tree-lined streets of Cabbagetown, originally a working-class Irish enclave; the equally attractive brick mansions and neo-Gothic cottages of the Annex, a district of artists, professors and students who attend the nearby University of Toronto; the brick row houses and manicured lawns of Roncesvalles and the mansions of Forest Hill.

But when Toronto natives talk about their neighborhoods, or when I rave on about the areas in which I most like to spend time, we’re more often referring to those places populated by a particular immigrant group, or districts in which very different populations live side by side.
 
The writer also observes that Toronto, perhaps more than other North American cities, truly relishes its multicultural heritage. We're inclined to agree.

Read the full article here
Source: Seattle Times

U of T doctoral student helps land on a potential key to corporate innovation

A University of Toronto PhD student has co-authored a study which argues that it's possible to pay employees to be innovative. According to the report, it all comes down to encouraging collaboration.

Bruce Curran, who along with the University of Saskatchewan's Scott Walsworth analyzed seven years of corporate survey data from some 3,000 Canadian workplaces, found that individual salaries and bonuses did little to spark creative performance. Instead, group or team bonuses, profit-sharing plans, and indirect pay were the most effective proverbial carrots employers could dangle in hopes of getting forward-thinking work done.

“Innovation is in many respects collaborative, and these incentives are encouraging collaboration,” Curran explained to the Wall Street Journal last week.

Curran also pointed out that rewarding teams could prompt workers to take more short-term risks, knowing their own pay or job security wasn't at stake. “If you go down a blind alley, you aren’t going to be punished for that,” Curran said.

Employers would be wise to take note.


Read the full article here.
Source: Wall Street Journal 

Don Tapscott reflects on 20 years of The Digital Economy

As the 20th anniversary approaches for the publication of The Digital Economy, Toronto-based information and business theorist Don Tapscott's groundbreaking 1995 book about, as the Irish Times describes it, the “mass disruption by digital technologies of business, media, society, the working world, entertainment, government, privacy, [and] education,” the author-speaker-thinker spoke with the paper from his Toronto office about the genesis of the book and what's changed since.

One key nugget: “I think the digital economy for me was separate from the real economy 20 years ago but now the economy IS a digital economy. So this is changing every aspect of how we orchestrate capability, to innovate, to create good services, to manage, for companies to engage with their customers or the rest of the world.”

And, on looking forward: “We’re on a trajectory here towards massive social dislocation, unrest or worse. It is time now for thoughtful people to sit up and realise this digital economy thing is really happening. It’s not going to go away and it’s penetrating ever more into every aspect of our society and our lives. We need to start to think about what needs to be done.”

Read the full article here.
Source: Irish Times

 

New York Times shouts out Toronto's housing market

Housing affordability is on the verge of full-out crisis in Toronto, but that's of little concern to the New York Times

The tony publication accurately pointed out this week that, for deep-pocketed investors, Toronto's real estate market is worth a trip across the border. 

The article explains that a lack of inventory in the Greater Toronto Area has driven the price of an average detached single-family home significantly over the past decade, leading to a predicted 3.6 percent increase to 870,000 Canadian dollars, or about $766,000, by 2015.

The report continues: 
The Toronto Real Estate Board reported in October that the average number of days on the market for houses this year was down to 25 from 27 in 2013, and brokers report that houses regularly sell for more than asking price.

Demand for homes in downtown Toronto has never been higher, with neighborhoods like Rosedale, Forest Hill, Trinity-Bellwoods, West Queen West and Yorkville having grown exceedingly popular, said Paul Johnston, a real estate agent with Right at Home Realty in Toronto.

 
Bad news for almost everyone in the city itself but, hey, at least we made the Times. 

Read the full article here.
Source: New York Times
Photo: rfzappala via Compfight cc

A University of Toronto study might be the answer to a Kentucky town's fungus

Kentucky whiskey distilleries are behind a nasty "whiskey fungus" that's covering houses, cars, and street signs in the Louisville suburb of Shively, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage.

Munchies reports:
 

For years, the residents of Shively took this black soot as a given. They didn’t know it was a preventable fungus caused by the nearby whiskey distilleries and they didn’t make much of a fuss about it. It was just another neighborhood complaint that wasn’t getting addressed by the local councilmen.
 
That changed in 2007, when University of Toronto mycologist James Scott published an academic paper about the fungus, which got attention not only for re-naming and re-classifying it based on DNA analysis, but also for pinning it on the whiskey industry. Dr. Scott discovered that this fungus—which he named Baudoinia, after the man who first studied it in 1872, Anton Baudoin—feeds on the ethanol vapor released by liquor as it ages. (Not surprisingly, you’ll find Baudoinia near scotch, brandy, and rum distilleries as well, since they also off-gas ethanol.) 
 

Scott's findings have led to a class-action lawsuit filed against the three major distilleries in the area – and possibly, as the piece points out, the booze industry's answer to the Erin Brokovich story



Read the full story here
Source: Munchies

 

Good news for bad guts

A local biotech startup, Encycle Therapeutics, is the recipient of a generous grant to further research its development of an oral treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD--the first of its kind.

Encycle was founded by Dr. Andrei Yudin of the University of Toronto in partnership with MaRS Innovation, who are working from a $4 million public-private funding partnership with Merck Canada. 

As Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation, told Drug Discovery and Development: "Encycle Therapeutics has spent the last 18 months demonstrating the significant potential of its innovative macrocyle chemistry platform to generate small-cell permeable systems. This achievement has resulted in multiple partnership opportunities, affirming its position as one of Canada's emerging biotechnology companies to watch."



Read more here.
Source: Drug Discovery and Development magazine

Toronto "the Great White North's gay mecca"

As Toronto prepares for World Pride, taking place across the city from June 20-29, international media is beginning to turn attention to the details that make the city such a valuable and appropriate host.
 
"What’s true of Toronto as a whole is doubly so when it comes to the city’s vibrant gay community. This nexus of queer Canadian culture and history is the place to be, not only for the hometown gays but for the millions of visitors who flock here annually," says a new article that appeared in New Now Next, a New York-based gay pop culture and entertainment blog. 
 
The article names nine things that contribute to the city's liveliness. Among them: the Village, an obvious choice. "The streets are lined with an assortment of gay-owned-and-operated restaurants, stores and bars like Woody’s, Sky Yard at the Drake, Pegasus and Zipperz/Cellblock," the article says.

It also celebrates West Queen West, including shopping along the strip and hanging out in the Gladstone and Drake hotels, appropriate considering the area's branding as "Queer Street West" and its plan to be a social hub during World Pride. 
 
But perhaps most enticing about Toronto's gay community is the support offered by services such as the 519 Church Street Community Centre, the article says. 
 
"The 519 Church Street Community Centre is the beating heart of the Village. With dozens of programs aimed at the complete extent of LGBT life– meet-ups for teens, seniors and everyone in between, queer parenting resources, 12-step programs, support groups, various arts and entertainment options– there’s something for everyone at the center. They even run the Fabernak, a full-scale restaurant that also serves as a training ground for employees (queer and otherwise) to gain both work experience and on-the-job training. If only every city had a 519 Center!"
 
Read the full story here
Original Source: New Now Next 
 

How did Toronto area schools measure in Macleans' 2014 university rankings?

Macleans has released its annual university rankings pitting the country's schools against each other and ranking them based on an intense methodology that places 49 of Canada's universities in three categories: comprehensive universities, primary undergraduate universities, and medical doctoral universities. 
 
Universities are ranked on six broad areas based on performance indicators: students and classes (20 per cent), faculty (20 per cent), resources (12 per cent), student support (13 per cent), library (15 per cent), and reputation (20 per cent).  These indicators are broken down into 13 performance measures for primary undergraduate and comprehensive universities, and 14 for medical doctoral universities.
 
The University of Toronto ranked third in the country for medical doctoral universities, maintaining its position last year. Macleans says the school used to "dominate" the charts, but this year's results suggest capital is shifting. McGill was ranked the number one spot in this category, followed by the University of British Columbia. 
 
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology, located in Oshawa, ranked 13th place in the primary undergraduate category, which focuses on schools that provide predominantly undergraduate education. The institution was up two spots from last year. 
 
As for the comprehensive category, which measures programs based on the amount of research activity as well as a wide range of both undergraduate and graduate level programs, including professional degrees. Ryerson places 10th in the country, up to places from 12th last year.
 
Full results and descriptions can be read in the official Macleans guide, currently on newsstands. 
 
Read the full story here.
Original source: Macleans
 

Two new cycling companies to launch custom Toronto bikes

Post City is reporting that two new cycling companies with an emphasis on locally produced urban-minded bicycles are preparing to launch in Toronto.
 
The first is Gallant Bicycles, which focuses on "the end-to-end production of a Toronto city bike." Frames are constructed in China, but everything else is conducted out of their Annex shop at 678 Bloor St. W. Launching this month, shop owners Jason Wood and Tony Mammoliti told Post City the bikes are made to order. “We are bringing in the frames raw, painting here and assembling just the way you like," Wood said.
 
Gallant Bicycles will offer two frames with various add-ons starting at $699. 
 
The second is Simcoe Bikes, which is "taking the design side a step further by creating a bike with T.O. riding in mind: think extra-strong wheels for streetcar tracks and increased rustproofing for Canuck winters."
 
This shop is set to launch later this summer, but co-owner Eric Kamphof told Post City they're already running behind in part because their Taiwan manufacturer is behind schedule. 
 
“There is a need for this in North America, even globally,” Kamphof says in the article. “In the city, bikes are now people’s primary transport,” he explains. “Like owning a car, it’s a design and fashion thing, too. It is very important to our market.”
Simcoe Bikes will come in three- or seven-speed versions retailing for $899 and $1,150.
 
Read the full story here
Original Source: Post City
 

New Four Seasons already turning heads... before it opens

Toronto's new Four Seasons hotel is attracting global attention—and it's not even open yet.
 
"Toronto's über-luxe Four Seasons Hotel in the former hippie haven—now ch-chi neighbourhood— of Yorkville, has announced it is taking reservations for October 1 and beyond," writes Hotelchatter.com.
 
"Designed by the Canadian interior design team of George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, the hotel is full of soothing grays with accent colors of Wedgewood blue and butter cream yellow. Floor-to-ceiling windows and Toronto's largest spa are only two of the items that set it apart from the crowd."
 
The old Four Seasons is also in the news. Or, at least its old stuff is.
 
"The contents from the original Four Season Hotel Toronto are going up for auction to make room for the new Four Seasons Hotel," writes blogger Melanie Nayer on Boston.com about the auction which closed June 2.
 
"Everything from window dressings to table accents and custom furnishings from the luxury hotel will be auctioned off," writes Nayer. "According to reports, you'll be able to bid on everything from the 400 luxury guest suites to the hotel's kitchenware and spa adornments. Hosting a dinner party soon? Bid on banquet tables, buffet trays, and champagne buckets from the hotel. Grand pianos, crystal chandeliers, designer lamps, and marble flooring will also be auctioned off, as well as bedding, spa robes, antique desks and kitchenware."
 
Read the full stories here and here
 
Original sources: Hotelchatter.com & Boston.com

New Ryerson residence employs unique public-private approach

Ryerson University continues to transform Toronto's downtown; the school recently announced a partnership with MPI Group to develop a new, 500-bed residence at 186-188 Jarvis St (currently occupied by a parking lot). As reported by the National Post,  construction on the new residences—estimated to be about 20-storeys high—is set to begin in 2014.
 
"Ryerson University is once again turning to the private sector as it expands in downtown Toronto. The university announced on Monday it will be partnering with MPI Group to develop a new, 500-bed residence."
 
"This is the first public-private partnership in student-housing development for the university, but the school partnered with the private sector in the construction of the Ted Rogers School of Business Management. It also sold airspace above the AMC movie theatres in return for the use of the theatres for day-time lectures."
 
"According Monday’s press release, the university has more applications for available residence spots than any other university in Ontario. Due to the high demand, this building represents just the first of 2,000 new spaces the university plan to add by 2020."

read full story here
original source National Post

Queering up the wedding industrial complex at Toronto’s gay wedding show

The AV Club writes on Toronto's first large scale Gay Wedding Show (GWS). Held at Toronto's Delta Chelsea Hotel on Oct. 16, the GWS featured more than 50 local business ready to help gay- and queer-identified couples tie the knot. 

"There were tulle-wrapped columns, shiny bridal gowns on headless dress forms, and an abundance of tiny, intricately iced cakes. Couples dawdled, hand-in-hand, pausing to peer at hand-printed invitations or admire an eruption of baby’s breath and peach roses. Amidst it all, Naomi Nadea shimmied down the fashion show runway sporting a feathered headdress, a bejeweled bra, and an extremely small white thong."
 
"This being Toronto’s first large-scale gay wedding show (GWS), the audience politely applauded the statuesque St. Lucian drag queen’s gyrations, then turned its attention to models sporting the latest in Goth and Trans wedding fashions."
 
"[TV show host Deb] Pearce, who married last year without the benefit of a GWS, succinctly summed up why one is necessary. 'It is essential for gay- and queer-identified couples to go to an event where vendors don’t assume they are marrying a partner of a different.'"

read full story here
original source AV Club
 


Ryerson U considers new athletic facilities a game changer

The Globe & Mail looks at what Ryerson University's Maple Leaf Gardens renovation could mean for sports in the city. The $60-million construction project, which will include, among other things, an ice rink, basketball court, and training rooms is expected to bring top athletes to Toronto and re-active city interest in university sports. 

""Dressed in a hard hat, work boots and an orange construction vest, Ivan Joseph is walking through the site of what he hopes will be his university's rebirth."
 
"'It's starting to take shape for us,' says Mr. Joseph, Ryerson University's director of athletics."
 
"Maple Leaf Gardens has sat dormant for a decade. And while the yellow brick facade may make it seem as if nothing has changed, an ambitious $60-million construction project inside is nearing its completion. The new ice rink, basketball court, training rooms and other elements won't just provide the school with many much needed facilities, they also put a bold face on the school's equally bold ambition of becoming the pre-eminent Canadian Interuniversity Sport school in the country, one that will attract top players and, it is hoped, get Torontonians excited about university sport."
 
"'I would be willing to bet within five years we will have a CIS championship in one of the major sports,' says Ryerson president Sheldon Levy."
 
read full story here
original source Globe & Mail
 


Stuart Henderson's tells Yorkville's stories

PopMatters raves about Torontonian Stuart Henderson's newest book "Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s". Yorkville in the 60s was Toronto's preeminent (counter)culture hub -- the hangout place of, among others, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Gordon Lightfoot. In "Making the Scene", Hederson examines the hippies and hipsters who once made Yorkville their stomping ground and who helped redefine what it meant to be "cool" in Toronto.


"In fact, this book astutely charts the transformative effect of Yorkville as a community, revealing it be a place that was greatly changed over the course of a few scant years. In the '50s, the area was a bit of a no-man's land of cheap row houses that attracted both an artistic clientele that would go on to open high-end boutiques in the area, and a displaced immigrant working class, which brought the concept of the coffee house to the region. While Yorkville would eventually be home to literally a couple dozen of these coffee houses by the mid-'60s, when they started to crop up they became home to quiet, intimate folk performances and to a youth market looking for somewhere to hang out. (The legal drinking age in Toronto at the time was 21; it is now 19.)"

"The book serves as a preserver of heritage, considering that the Yorkville of today looks absolutely nothing like the Village of the '60s. That, perhaps, is Making the Scene's greatest strength: offering a detached, non-sentimental and objective account of one of Canada's most lively countercultures and the impact that resonates to this day, despite the fact that the only coffee house you might find near the area today would be a Starbucks. And even though Henderson's observations about what constitutes hip culture might be heady, it's an appropriate examination as one comes to realize through the reading of this book that Yorkville was, in many ways, an act: a place to perform (not only as a musician, but as an individual searching for identity and an authentic experience) and a place to see or be seen. Yorkville, then, is a metaphor for any hip community in the world today, a place that made and remade itself over a turbulent decade of radical change. That, and the take-away of the historical and cultural importance of this little strip of downtown Toronto, is the conduit for some essential reading – no matter if you were there during Yorkville's heyday or not."


read full story here
original source Pop Matters
36 Church & Wellesley - Yorkville - Annex Articles | Page: | Show All
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