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Pearson and Google Maps partner to offer new airport experience

Toronto Pearson International Airport and Google Maps have collaborated to give passengers detailed indoor maps of the terminal. 

Both Google Maps and Google Maps mobile will help passengers find amenities, pre- and post security points, and other points of interest. The map allows passengers to view the floor plan, while also providing zooming capabilities. 

"It's important that we connect with passengers using the technology and platforms that meet their needs and exceed their expectations," Scott Collier, Vice President of Customer and Terminal Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), said in an article that appeared on Future Travel Experience, noting that the implementation of the indoor maps "directly supports our strategic goals of improving our ability to connect with our passengers."

"For thousands of people every day, Pearson is Toronto's gateway," said Aaron Brindle, spokesperson for Google Canada, in a press release. "We are thrilled that Canadians and travellers from around the world can now navigate Toronto Pearson Airport with Google Maps."

Read the full story here
Original source: Future Travel Experience 

Yonge Street wins Community Living Ontario Media Award

Yonge Street is proud to announce we are the recipients of the 2014 Community Living Ontario Media Award. The award was given to a journalist and publication that showed excellence in reporting on issues and innovations surrounding people with intellectual disabilities.

Former civic impact editor Katia Snukal was named as the recipient of the award. Both she and managing editor Sheena Lyonnais attended the awards ceremony in Richmond Hill last week.

Yonge Street is grateful for this opportunity and will remain committed to reporting on the issues that matter to the people of Toronto.  

Sick Kids' geneticist Stephen W. Scherer named as potential Nobel Prize winner

Stephen W. Scherer, senior scientist and director, Centre for Applied Genomics at the Hospital for Sick Children, and professor and director at the McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto, has been named by Science Watch as a potential winner of a Nobel Prize for his ground-breaking research into human genomes. 

Named alongside Charles Lee, professor and scientific director at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT, and Michael H. Wigler, Professor and head, Mammalian Cell Genetics Section, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York State, the three are touted for their work specifically on genomic variation and disease. 

Scherer and Lee worked together, while Wigler worked independently. 

"In 2004, shortly after publication of the human genome, Scherer and Lee showed that the human genome contained what they described as 'large-scale variation,'" an essay on Science Watch says.  "Both groups had found that there are large areas of the genome where long stretches, often encompassing several adjacent genes, are either duplicated or deleted."

The differences between these genomes are called copy number variants (CNVs).

"Scherer and Wigler have both shown an association between CNVs and autism spectrum diseases, and CNVs have also been identified in schizophrenia, systemic lupus erythematosus, some cancers, and even reduced susceptibility to HIV infection. The severity of diseases such as lupus and muscular dystrophy has been linked to differences in the number of copies of the DNA sequences in question."

Their work exploring multiple copies of genomes and what this means for an organism—whether these duplications are harmful or if they can evolve to new kinds of functionality—questions our understanding of genomes entirely. 

"Quite apart from their role in disease and evolution, copy number variants raise another fundamental question. If so much of the genome may differ between two individuals, much of it with no obvious consequences, what does it mean even to refer to the “normal” genome?"

Read the full story here
Original Source: Science Watch

How Thorncliffe Park's Tandoor oven changed the neighbourhood

It's been a year since the Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee's dream of opening the first tandoor oven in a public park was realized, and the impact is now being seen. 

Sabina Ali moved to the neighbourhoodo in 2008 and she quickly became involved in the community, rallying other mothers and founding the TPWC. "It was the most neglected park, I think, in the city of Toronto," she told CityLab. "I couldn't believe that I was in North America."

But the park isn't like that anymore. Located at R.V. Burgess Park, the oven has created a myriad of positive changes for the neighbourhood and the park itself has been given a new life. It has a playground again, a basketball court, a community garden and a splash pad thanks in no small part to the group's lobbying of city officials to improve the park.

Ali's activism impressed CityLab, who revered her accomplishments. 

"The success of Ali and TPWC shows what a few grassroots activists can accomplish in a relatively short time—especially when they have the patience to do the no-fun work like applying for permits, one of Ali's specialties. It also reveals the organizing power of mothers in a neighborhood that's full of young families," the publication writes.  

Read the full story here
Original source: CityLab

Olivia Chow to hold Reddit AMA today at 3 p.m.

Mayoral Candidate Olivia Chow will be on reddit today answering Torontonians' questions about the upcoming election, her campaign, and maybe a question or two about the juiciest burger contest that's been floating around.

The reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) will take place at 3 p.m. and already redditors are warning the candidate to be prepared to answer questions about rental units, property taxes, and a few other qualms.

Chow is not the first mayoral candidate to do an AMA. She follows in the footsteps of David Soknacki, who dropped out of the race last week but held an AMA six months ago, and Ari Goldkind, who held one earlier this month.  

No word at this time on whether Mayoral Candidates Doug Ford or John Tory will also hold AMAs. 

Check out the forum here
Original source: Reddit

Little India gets some love from the Big Apple

Little India is changing, and the New York Times has noticed.

"Sari shops and curry emporiums still dot Gerrard Street, the main artery in Toronto’s Little India. But over the last decade, much of the city’s South Asian population has decamped for suburbs like Brampton and Rexdale," the publication writes.

"Now, as artists and young families move into the neighborhood’s neat single-family homes, Gerrard Street’s affordable storefronts are attracting creative entrepreneurs priced out of trendier districts. The fresh crop of businesses is giving this east-end enclave a vibe that’s both edgy and homey. And with a wave of Irish immigrants settling nearby side streets, a distinctive lilt can now be heard on the strip."

Coffee house and gallery Flying Pony gets top nods for its "bold works by emerging Canadian artists like Gilles Arsenault and David Irvine," while The Swag Sisters, a "tiny toy shop where Legos share shelves with duct-tape wallets from MarinaRocksToronto – a.k.a. the 15-year-old Toronto designer Marina Wilson," receives additional praise. 

Eateries Tea n Bannock and Lazy Daisy's Café are applauded for traditional cuisine and local-faire, respectably. 

And lastly, Gerrard Art Space gets a write up for its "multimedia exhibits, Sunday afternoon concerts, ukulele classes and children’s art workshops."

Read the full story here
Original Source: The New York Times

Aga Khan Museum opens this Thursday

The Aga Khan Museum is set to open to the public this Thursday and already international press is taking note. 

"Almost 20 years in the making, the Toronto site is the work of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture which, like a mini Unesco, runs an impressive programme of historic conservation of Islamic architecture around the world and a respected triennial architecture award. The 10,000-square-metre building is the new home for the Aga Khan’s spectacular hoard of Islamic art, more than 1,000 artefacts spanning three continents over 10 centuries, and is the first museum in North America dedicated to the subject," writes the Guardian

The Guardian offers a review and history of the Aga Khan Museum and the neighbouring Ismaili Centre. Both were unveiled last week. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and 77-year-old spiritual leader Aga Khan attended.

The account is quite descriptive.

"The museum is a monolithic shed, its canted walls giving it the look of a gigantic packing box that has been flipped open, with sharply chiselled skylights sliced into its crisp limestone skin. Across a vast pond-studded courtyard, the Ismaili Centre is a cluster of low-slung sandstone buildings, from which emerges a translucent pyramidal roof, ramping up at an angle as if pointing towards the stars. Together, they form an enigmatic complex that has the look of a cosmic observatory, or some mysterious lunar fortress." 

Read the full story here.
Original Source: The Guardian

Vogue names West Queen West world's second coolest neighbourhood

Vogue has named West Queen West the second hippest neighbourhood in the world in part thanks to its street style, arts and culture scene, and prominent indie shops and designers. 

Here's what they said: 

"Toronto is currently enjoying newfound prominence—and desirability—amongst globe-trotting tastemakers. Queen Street West is a verifiable artery of indie patisseries, homegrown labels, and hidden-from-view galleries—hallmarks of hipness, if ever they existed. It’s also the home of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, well-established “art” hotels The Drake and the Gladstone, and the charming Bicyclette, a local clothing boutique and lifestyle brand whose owners love “glitter, DIY projects, treasure hunts and details.” Soho House Toronto is nearby, as is Graffiti Alley, a block where street art is both 100 percent legal and lauded."

Toronto followed only Tokyo's Shimokitazawa. The report was surprisingly refreshing. Here is the full list of the world's hippest neighbourhoods.

1. Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan
2. West Queen West, Toronto, Canada
3. Sodermalm, Stockholm, Sweden
4. Tiong Bahru, Singapore
5. Centro, Sao Paulo, Brazil
6. Canal Saint-Martin, Paris, France
7. Bushwick, New York City, U.S.
8. Brera, Milan, Italy
9. Wynwood, Miami, U.S.
10. Zona Rosa & La Condesa, Mexico City, Mexico
11. Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia
12. Silver Lake, Los Angeles, U.S.
13. Hackney, London, U.K.
14. Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
15. Dashanzi Art District, Beijing, China

Read the full story here
Original Source: Vogue 

Toronto (once again) named world's fourth most livable city

The Economist's annual "livability index" has once again ranked Toronto as one of the top five most livable cities in the world, maintaining its fourth place position. Cities are ranked on 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

Toronto scored an overall rating of 97.2 out of 100, falling just behind Vancouver (97.3), Vienna (97.4), and Melbourne (97.5), but beating Adelaide (96.6). All of the top five cities had scores of 100 when it comes to healthcare and education, but Toronto was the only city to get a perfect grade on stability.

When it comes to culture and environment, Toronto had the second highest score at 97.2. What seems to have brought out score down ever so slightly, however, is our ranking in infrastructure, 89.3, the lowest of the five. 

"There does appear to be a correlation between the types of cities that sit right at the very top of the ranking," the report said. "Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. This can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure. Eight of the top ten scoring cities are in Australia and Canada, with population densities of 2.88 and 3.40 people per sq km respectively."

Read the full story here
Original Source: Economist

Toronto now has more Bitcoin machines than anywhere else on the planet

A new partnership between Calgary-based startup CAVIRTEX, Ottawa's BitAccess, and Gateway Newstands brings six new Bitcoin Teller Machines (BTMs) to Toronto and the GTA, making the city the "global leader in BTM accessibility."

Developed by BitAccess, the machines work by connecting with CAVIRTEX's online trading exchange to help "ensure users are getting the best price available," a release stated. Customers can purchase Bitcoins directly from the machine using any mobile phone that accepts text messages either by scanning a QR Code or by getting a paper printed wallet from the machine itself. The machines are capable of buying and selling up to $3,000 worth of Bitcoin.

There are more than 500 Gateway Newstand locations. So far, locations with Bitcoin machines have seen an increase in customer traffic. 

BitAccess has installed BTMs in most major Canadian cities, but Toronto takes the cake with 30 machines. 

Read the full story here
Original Source: Venture Beat

Toronto ties with LA and San Francisco Bay for world's 10th most influential city

Toronto has been named the World's 10th Most Influential City, sharing the title with Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay. 

Cities were graded in eight categories: "the amount of foreign direct investment they have attracted; the concentration of corporate  headquarters; how many particular business niches they dominate; air connectivity (ease of travel to other global cities); strength of producer services; financial services; technology and media power; and racial diversity," Forbes reports.

Urban development expert Joel Kotkin, urban geographer Ali Modarres, former Accenture analyst Aaron Renn, and demographer Wendell Cox conducted the report.

"Toronto, as the economic capital of Canada, has becomes a focus for international investment into that stable and resource rich country. It is also among the most diverse cities on the planet — 46 per cent of its population is foreign born," wrote Kotkin in a column for Forbes

However, according to the full report, Toronto is considered a "rising star" in these matters. "For the most part, Toronto’s place is largely as Canada’s premier financial and corporate centre. It dominates no global industry and generally ranks in the middle in terms of technology and foreign investment, but easily beats Canada’s former premier city, Montreal, which manages a relatively weak 41st."

Still, our top 10 spot again positions Toronto as a city quickly climbing the global ranks. 

The world's top 10 Most Influential Cities are as follows:

1. London
2. New York
3. Paris
4. Singapore
5. Tokyo
6. Hong Kong
7. Dubai
8. Beijng (tie)
8. Sydney (tie)
10. Los Angeles (tie)
10. San Francisco Bay (tie)
10. Toronto (tie)

Read the full report here
Original Source: Forbes

Calgary's Big Rock Brewery expands to Toronto, set to open brew pub in Liberty Village

Liberty Village is getting a brew pub. Unlike the slew of brew pubs and breweries that have been popping up around the city in recent years, this one isn't part of Toronto's growing locavore movement. Instead, it marks an expansion for Calgary-based Big Rock Brewery as the 30-year-old beer company branches out into new markets. 

The pub and restaurant will operate out of the former Artscape heritage building at Liberty and Atlantic and is expected to open by March 2015, when renovations to the century old building (and the securing of municipal permits) is complete, the London Community News reports. 

“Over the past two years, we have produced over 40 unique and different beers, but very few have found their way into Ontario,” chief executive Bob Sartor told the publication, noting that the expansion “will provide a great opportunity to share our beers and demonstrate our beer innovation."

Liberty Village's pedestrian traffic, historical and contemporary components, and ample patio space opportunity made it an ideal location for the expansion. 

Presently, Big Rock is available at some Beer Store outlets and restaurants in Toronto, but the cost of shipping beer from Alberta has been a hindrance. The company hopes the brew pub is only the beginning, with a goal of opening a full-fledged brewery in Ontario down the line.

Read the full story here
Original Source: London Community News

Toronto has 15th most millionaires in the world

A new survey ranks Toronto 15th globally when it comes to the city’s concentration of millionaires, with one in 44 people—or just over two per cent of our population—considered having net assets of at least $1-million. The figure, the director of the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute Richard Florida told the Toronto Star, points to Toronto’s place among world class cities such as New York and London. 

“This is just another indication that Toronto is in the ranks of the most affluent global cities in the world,” he said.

Conducted by WealthInsight, a British think-tank, the survey considered net assets, “excluding the value of one’s primary residence,” the Toronto Star reported. Toronto placed above Venice (16th) and Brussels (17th). At the top was Monaco, followed by Zurich and Geneva. 

But, says Florida, whose work focuses on social and economic theory, this report does not paint a full picture of Toronto as it stands right now. 

“It’s good that Toronto’s developing, it’s good that there’s more millionaires, but we have to take care of the bottom not just the top,” he says. “That’s where we’re not putting enough effort.”

The Toronto Star also interviewed Les Jacobs, director of the Institute for Social Research at York University, who echoed the sentiments. 

“I think that having that wealth is important in terms of competing in the global economy. The real question I guess . . . is the reason that you, the provocative policy issue is really about redistribution and the sharing of that wealth. That’s a trickier question,” he said. 

Still, Jacobs said, the report is indicative of Toronto’s wealth of opportunities and its strength as a city. 

Read the full story here.
Original source:  Toronto Star

Jennifer Keesmaat brings lessons from Toronto to Perth, Australia

Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat delivered a keynote speech at the Planning Institute Australia WA State Conference at the end of July to highlight Toronto’s “shift” to public transit and its mission to improve congestion, all while challenging the constraints of urban sprawl.

Perth and Toronto have different challenges. While Perth expands outward, Toronto’s challenge is to improve conditions within the boundaries of a city that has reached its growth boundary.  Still, Keesmaat said, Australia’s largest city with a population of just under two million could learn a thing or two from Toronto. 

“There might be some interesting lessons learned with respect to how you begin to transform to an advanced form of urbanism once you move away from that approach of continuing to develop in a very suburban way,” she said. 

“We’ve been there and gone down that trajectory over the course of the past 30 years and we’re now at a moment where we are beginning to urbanise our suburbs by focusing on adding mid-rise development along our corridors and by ensuring we have the density we need in order to make transit a real option.”

Toronto and Perth are both maturing cities, Keesmaat said, and as cities mature limits need to be put in place. She told Perth about Toronto’s protected greenbelt which caused a “fundamentally shift the land economics of the region and forced many suburban developers to become urban developers — they changed their game.” But beyond this, the focus of her speech remained on transportation and congestion, and its direct ties to population growth. 

She said planning high-density communities makes transit options more sustainable, the key to reducing traffic congestion in the long run. 

“It’s a zero-sum gain, that if you continue to plan low density communities there will never be environments that can successfully sustain public transit because there simply isn’t the critical mass to make high-frequency transit use work,” she said. 

For more from her speech, read the full story here
Original source: Perth Now

Watch: Paralympic video debuts one year ahead of Pan Am/Parapan Am Games

In one year, Toronto and the surrounding region will become home to the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and to celebrate the Canadian Paralympic Committee has released a moving video showing three Canadian medal hopefuls practicing for the games.

Featuring 17-year-old swimmer Danielle Kisser, bronze medal winner of the 100 metres breaststoke at the 2011 Games; cyclist Jaye Milley; and wheelchair basketball player David Eng, who was part of the gold medal team at the 2012 London Paralympics; the video harnesses the power of training, hope and passion and turns it into fuel for the forthcoming games. 

Entitled, “Are You Ready?”, the slickly edited video focuses on Parapan athletes as the Toronto Games will feature qualification positions for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. 

"I am hugely confident that Toronto will deliver the best ever Parapan American Games in one year's time," Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) President Jose Luis Campo is quoted as saying. 

"Two years ago, I witnessed how successful the London 2012 Paralympic Games were in Great Britain,” he continues. “I really believe that the Parapan American Games can have a similar impact in Canada in terms of raising the profile of Para-sport and changing perceptions of people with an impairment."

The Pan Am and Parapan Am Games will kick off on August 7, 2015 and will feature 1,600 atheletes from 28 countries and territories. 

Watch the video below.

Read the full story here
Original Source: Inside the Games
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