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How Canada Goose parkas became the Range Rovers of outerwear

Coats by Toronto-based winterwear powerhouse Canada Goose have become a must-wear for hip New Yorkers weathering the cold.

The New York Post reports on how the parkas emerged as a luxury commodity (and how they might be approaching ubiquity fatigue):
Canada Goose is part of the booming “premium-down” category, along with its main competitor, Moncler, and a handful of outdoor brands like the North Face and Patagonia.

“The trend of these parkas continues to gain in momentum,” says Colleen Sherin, senior fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue. “Canada Goose is an important brand for us. It’s quality, it’s an investment piece, and it’s practical.”

Bob Gilman, COO of Paragon Sports, the company’s primary dealer in New York, added that Canada Goose is a “great seller.”

But the label is so ubiquitous that many trendsetters feel the Goose — as with Uggs, another former winter “must-have” — is finally cooked.

Time will tell. 
Read the full story here
Source: New York Post
Photo: Alexander Tuma/startraksphoto; John Connor/startraksphoto; 247paps.tv/startraksphoto


Calling Elizabeth Gallaghers (Part Two)

Jordan Axani, the Toronto real estate developer who needed to find a travel companion with his ex-girlfriend's name to redeem a round-the-world plane ticket, found his Elizabeth Gallagher. The two returned to Toronto from their holiday on Monday. Alas, to the disappointment of journalists and armchair romantics worldwide, the two aren't headed arm-in-arm for Lovers' Lane anytime soon. 

Axani told The Guardian:
“This was never a romantic endeavour. It was strictly platonic. I do not think of Quinn in a romantic light in the least. There is no future for us romantically. She is a good friend. I think of her as a little sister, but that will be it. And her feelings are entirely mutual in that regard.”

Read the full story here
Source: The Guardian

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

Hark! Kate Beaton returns

Toronto cartoonist Kate Beaton is following 2011's “Hark! A Vagrant,” based on her improbably charming web comic, with a similarly wry historical ode, “Step Aside, Pops.”

She told the Los Angeles Times:
I try to have a mix of things, with the comics about history and literature that made my name, to the pop culture comics that are always fun and bring in a wider audience. Sometimes I think I have a formula for it, but really when it comes down to it, “Hark” and “Pops” are made up of ideas that struck me as funny, or interesting. Wherever my head is at the moment. For a while I was doing a bunch of research on medieval life for a separate project, and so I think there are more medieval-flavored strips than others, and that sticks out. But it was what I was reading! So naturally it shows up.

Until its release, we eagerly wait.

Read the full story here
Source: Los Angeles Times

Toronto study shows correlation between premature death and low-income landmarks

 A new study from the Centre for Research on Inner City Health out of St. Michael's Hospital suggests that there could be a link between the density of both cheque-cashing establishments and stores that sell alcohol and the risk of premature death in people aged 20 to 59. While the study, published in BMJ Open, doesn't directly link alcohol sellers/payday loan providers with early death, it does draw a correlate.

PsychCentral reports:

Their survey of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods found that men had a 1.25 times greater risk of premature death in areas with high densities of check-cashing places. Men also had a 1.36 times greater risk of premature death in areas with high densities of alcohol outlets, including alcohol and beer stores and bars.

The study found the premature mortality rate was 96.3 for every 10,000 males and 55.9 for every 10,000 females between the ages of 20 and 59.

Intentional self-harm, accidental poisoning, and liver disease are among the top five causes of premature death among men ages 20-59, and many of these deaths are highly preventable, according to the researchers.

The researchers also pointed out that check-cashing establishments tend to be located in economically challenged neighbourhoods which may also be areas where “mental illness and self-neglect are more prevalent.”

Read the full article here. 
Source: PsychCentral

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

Toronto ranked among world's best cities for investors and developers

We've been going on and on about how Toronto's great for startups, but don't take our word for it. According to Forbes, Toronto is a great destination for startup investors and developers.

The site reports:

The big 4 locations for startups (San Francisco and the Bay Area, New York, LA, and London) are by far the best locations for developers. Other cities in Europe (Paris, Berlin, and Moscow), the US (Chicago, Austin, and Las Vegas) and Canada (Toronto) also look like lucrative job markets for talented developers.

Because of this, the high volume of startups makes the city of particular interest to investors.

Forbes adds: “Not everyone has to move to the Bay Area to be a successful tech startup entrepreneur, investor or worker.”

Read the full article here
Source: Forbes

Startup hub that took partial root in Toronto announces its 150th global location

Startup Grind, the global startup support hub that originated as a Silicon Valley tech meetup in 2010, has just announced the opening of its 150th local chapter. Along with Singapore and Sydney, Toronto was among the first cities outside of California's tech epicentre to raise its hand for an outpost. It makes sense: as we've mentioned a lot over here, Toronto is something of an enterprise node. 

The organization now spans 65 countries; attendees from around the world are scheduled to present at 2015's Startup Grind meetup in Silicon Valley. Some are based in Toronto, including Startup Grind CTO, Joel Fernandes.

“It really just solved a personal need. I was disenfranchised by the events that I attended and the attitude of the people organizing and sitting in the audience,” Startup Grind founder Derek Andersen told Forbes. “We decided that it was better to create a small group of smart people with similar values than to go to a huge event and get your brains pitched out by everyone.”

Read the full article here
Source: Forbes

Toronto's restaurant grading system a potential model for Seattle

King County, Washington—which seats the city of Seattle—is looking to establish a restaurant safety grading system. Toronto, which for 12 years has held the DineSafe stoplight colour-coded system to indicate a pass, conditional pass or restaurant closure, is being looked at as one example of how these indexes can work.

This is hardly a new development. According to the CBC, DineSafe has become a model for restaurant grading programs around the world. In 2011, Toronto became the first city outside the US to be awarded the prestigious Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for excellence in food protection.

The Seattle Times reports: “The goal is to help prevent foodborne illness, which sickened nearly 400 people in Washington state last year, including 15 probable or confirmed illnesses in King County. Nationwide, some 48 million people get sick from food poisoning each year and 3,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Here's hoping the county lands on a solution that sticks. In Toronto, at least, the compliance rate is estimated at over 92 percent.

Read the full story here.
Source: Seattle Times


U of T prof weighs in on US's growing gun rights movement

The BBC reports that a narrow majority of Americans are now in favour of upholding gun rights over gun control, and among the scholars weighing in on this phenomenon is University of Toronto sociologist Dr. Jennifer Dawn Carlson.

Dr. Carlson told the BBC that as familiarity with guns increases across the US, more states are passing so-called “shall issue” laws that make licensing less discretionary. As Carlson puts it, this means that “gun ownership is increasingly seen as part of what it means to be a responsible citizen,” beyond just “a right to self-defence but a duty to protect your family and community.”

Carlson also told the BBC that “the idea that guns make sense because police won't always be there is pervasive across pro-gun discourse.”

Read the full article here
Source: BBC 

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


GoodFood Market catches attention for its social justice-infused food truck savvy

Toronto's Mobile Good Food Market (which we wrote about when it launched last year) is getting buzz for putting a healthy and accessible twist on the food truck trend to wheel fresh produce to underserved neighbourhoods.

The project is the brainchild of FoodShare Toronto, in partnership with the City of Toronto and United Way. The donated truck—which is really more like a small bus—was converted into a mini grocery store by LGA Architectural Partners. Oh, and the bus interior is wheelchair accessible, too.

“Good food is beautiful when displayed well,” says Dean Goodman of LGA in VisualNews, “so when we decided we wanted this to be a feature we worked out the mechanism so one person could fold out the shelves, restock as necessary and display the food so it was attractive.”

(Healthy) food for thought.

Read the full article here.
Source: VisualNews

Toronto to be the site of North America's first Yuan trading hub

Toronto is poised to be North America's first trading hub for China's yuan currency, allowing for direct exchange and trade operations between the Canadian dollar and yuan. The deal, announced last week, is being predicted to save Canadian companies up to $6.2 billion over the next decade.  

"TD analyst Diarra Sourang said in a report that the arrangement will likely mean an increase in Canadian exports to China, and especially benefit small and medium-sized companies trying to expand into the world's second largest economy," reports Reuters, adding that a TD report has predicted that financial institutions and the province of British Columbia will likely benefit most from the arrangement. 

Read the full article here. 
Source: Reuters


Anticipatory Art Basel buzz mounts for Toronto's Kris Knight

Art Basel Miami Beach kicks off on Thursday through the weekend, but Toronto portrait artist Kris Knight has already gotten his fair share of name-checking in the pre-fest press for his forthcoming solo exhibition, "Smell the Magic." 

The Miami New Times writes:

"The show, based firmly in a contemporary take on classical portraiture, has all of Knight's signatures: young men, dreamy pastels, and oozing sexuality. Knight fully embraces 18th-century aesthetics and applies them to his work. (If Knight had been born in the time of Marie Antoinette, he would most certainly have been the royal portrait painter.)"

The festival is considered one of the world's most influential showcases of international contemporary art. 

Read the full story here. 
Source: Miami New Times
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