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Toronto ranks best place for women in Ontario, sixth overall in Canada

A new report recognizes Toronto as the best city to be a woman in Ontario, and the sixth in Canada overall.

The report, entitled the Best and Worst Places to Be A Woman in Canada, was issued by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and provides an Index of Gender Equality in Canada’s Twenty Largest Metropolitan Areas. It takes "a closer look at how women are faring in their communities," the report says, focusing on the gap between men and women. 

Toronto's positioning as sixth overall shines both a positive and negative light on the discrepancies between women and men in Ontario's largest metropolitan area. 

Where we shine the brightest is in the realm of education. Both women and men were found equally likely to hold high school or university degrees. When it comes to the trades and apprenticeships, however, men outnumbered women two to one. 

When it comes to employment, our employment rates were consistent with national averages, at 66 per cent for men and 58 per cent for women. However, women's access to full-time employment was significantly lower than men's, and 44 per cent versus 58 per cent respectively. The report indicates that the wage gap is smaller than average, but still it women were found to earn 77 cents on the male dollar. 

And when it comes to women in leadership, there's nothing we didn't already know. Men outnumbered women, with three out of four positions held by men. We fare slightly better in municipal politics, with women representing one in three elected city councillors.  

Some good news for the city: Torontonians were found to have higher than average life expectancies regardless of sex, and men and women were equally likely to perceive their health as good or excellent. 

Read the full report here
Original Source: Policy Alternatives

Toronto is "so cool, it might not even know it is"

In an article entitled When Did Toronto Get So Cool?, the BBC comes to a realization: Toronto is cool. 

"After all, the definitive, if circular logic of coolness is that cool things don’t need to convince anyone. They don’t even care. Because they’re cool.

"That’s why Toronto is cool: it has been for a long time, and since it doesn’t feel the need to advertise the fact, most of the world doesn’t even know. Canada in general is understated in this way; it’s not very Canadian to point out one’s own awesomeness. Toronto is so cool, it might not even know it is," the article says. 

Our coolness is realized by many factors. Reporter David G. Allan first started to notice it when he visited Monkey's Paw, one of Toronto's most unique bookstores, specializing in rare books. Then it was in the "Wes Anderson aesthetic" of the Drake. Furthermore in the "exceptional local [coffee] franchises."

"At the bright and airy Dark Horse Espresso Bars you’re as likely to find small groups playing cards as typing on laptops. Then there is Balzac’s, a small chain located in unique, at times historic, locations around town. The one I visited was housed inside a 1800s pump house in the Distillery District, where I sipped a bowl-sized café au lait from a balcony overlooking an enormous chandelier…My favourite coffeehouse was Kensington Market’s Café Panemar, with its retro-meets-industrial steampunk style, including track lighting of copper plumbing tubes."

The tubes fascinated the writer so much he makes a nod to Metropolis Living, the Junction-based furniture collective. 

The author's desire to visit Toronto was in part sparked by viewing Take This Waltz, the film by local native Sarah Polley. "…we kept asking ourselves, 'What city is that? It looks so cool. I want to go there!'" He romanticized the movie, and while staying at the Gladstone in West Queen West he "used the iPad supplied in [his] motorcycle-themed room" to look up the exact address. In true Toronto fashion, he walked there and could only think of one word to describe the experience: cool. 

Read the full story here
Original Source: BBC

Paris newspaper calls "Toronto-Mania"

"La ville a donné naissance à un nombre incroyable d’artistes," Paris-based newspaper Libération writes of Toronto, which translates to, "The city has given birth to an incredible number of artists."

It describes neighbourhoods—Kensington, Ossington, Parkdale, and Queen West—and how they are seducing young people.

"Avant que l’ouest de Queen Street West ne lui vole la vedette, Kensington Market était le quartier alternatif de Toronto," the newspaper goes on.

Yes, before Queen Street West stole the spotlight, Kensington Market was the alternative district of Toronto. The article likens Kensington and it's Carribean-style houses and Bahamas' inspired street names (Nassau) as distinct charms that beam like rays of sun. The writer is in the know of our locales, referring to Parkdale as P-dale and mentioning the area's growing number of cafes, vintage stores and restaurants, alongside wandering raccoons. The article praises the culture, the creativity of the neighbourhoods, and the sheer star power that has come out of the city. 

"C’est ce qui fait la force des Torontois, cette capacité à conjuguer les talent," the article says.

Or, roughly, "This is what makes Toronto strong, this ability to combine talents."

Read the full story here
Original Source: Libération

TEDxToronto applications now open

TEDxToronto has announced the theme of its 2014 conference: relentless pursuit, "of not just ideas worth spreading," which is TED's motto, "but ideas worth doing," a press release said. 

And, as of Monday, the organization is now seeking applications and nominations for its October 2nd conference at Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music. 

TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, and its offshoot TEDx events have captured the imaginations of viewers and attendees for years. TEDx events are independently organized, with Toronto's annual TEDx conference being the largest in Canada. The conference is currently seeking speakers, performers, and technology demonstrations to take part in the event.

More diverse than one would think, TEDx events combine talks with innovative musical experiences, novel technologies, and imaginative presentations. This year's theme will likely be no exception. 

"We are driven by our pursuits," the press release states. "They are the ideas, goals and dreams in our lives that we commit to which are greater than ourselves, fuelled by a passion, dedication and the burning desire to achieve. Our relentless pursuits are what engage us and provide us with intense focus to improve the experience of tomorrow. They are the manifestation of our ideas in action and give us the uncompromising determination to venture into the unknown. Relentless pursuits feed our curiosity of the world, and present worthwhile challenges that bring meaning to our lives."

Applications are now open. They will close on June 30, 2014.

For those interested in applying, you can learn more here
Original Source: TEDxToronto

York University among top MBA programs in North America

Economist magazine has named York University's Schulich School of Business one of the top 20 MBA programs in North America.

The school ranked the 15th top school in North America and the 22nd top school overall. The Economist reports that the size and history of American schools offer big advantages, but York managed to make the cut for its top rankings in the diversity of its recruiters (first), percentage increase on pre-MBA salaries (third), internationalism of alumni (fourth), and education experience (fifth), overall.

It also fared well in percentage of students who found jobs through careers services, faculty quality, and potential to network.

York was the only Canadian institution to make the list. 

Read the full report here.
Original Source: The Economist 

IBM to open mobile lab in Toronto

IBM has announced plans to open 18 new mobile application development studios internationally, including one here in Toronto. 

The company made the announcement at its Impact conference, which took place in Las Vegas last week. 

"The mobile lab will be part of the new Interactive Experience Lab for creating apps for the Web, kiosks and other multi-channel outlets in downtown Toronto and expected to open in a few months, said Warren Tomlin, IBM's North American labs leader. It will focus helping customers creating mobile applications based on industry-specific, pre-configured Ready Apps created by IBM," Computer Dealer News reports. 

The MobileFirst studios are designed, in part, to widen IBM's consumer base and attract new business—including startups—that are looking to move into or further develop their mobile platforms.

For IBM, one of the goals of launching the portfolio is to widen its customer base and to appeal to companies both large and small.

"We are transforming ourselves in the context of where the market is going," Nancy Pearson, vice-president of IBM’s cloud category marketing, is quoted as saying in the article. "It's the whole channel of IBM as a service."

Although IBM has announced the studio will open within the next few months, details on the location of the studio and the number of jobs this will create was not yet available.

To read the full article, click here
Original Source:  Computer Dealer News

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 

Tech MBA entrepreneurs thrive in Toronto

The Rotman School of Management's Creative Destruction Lab has received praise from a publication dedicated to trends in the business school world because of its "scores of start-ups, mostly tech-based, [that] have been accelerate this year."
Among them: Bionym, a wearable technology company that has grown to 27 employees and raised $1.4 million in funding since entering the lab.
"These are not hobby start-ups," Karl Martin, who co-founded Bionym in 2011, says BusinessBecause. "People come here to help turn your company into a billion dollar company…The mentality is unique and I can tell you it's been hugely instrumental to the kind of success and growth we have achieved."
The Creative Destruction Lab provides free working space and access to fellows "whom are established, successful entrepreneurs," the article says, with the intention of increasing "the probability of venture success." The program has additional opportunities for current, final-year MBA students to help "identify and solve business problems faced by the start-up."
The core of the program is what's called "the G7," a group of entrepreneurs and investors that act as mentors. Five of the initial seven invested $1 million in Bionym's seed round funding. In its first year alone, the Creative Destruction Lab "produced eight successful ventures and generated over $65M in equity value," the article reports. These donations are key to making the lab a reality. 
"The lab pulls together people with significant successes; exits in the region of hundreds of millions of dollars. There is not better teacher than somebody that can lead by example," Martin says. 
Fifteen new ventures have been accepted into the lab this year, several are alumni from Rotman's MBA program. A range of industries has been accepted. 
Read the full story here
Original Source: BusinessBecause

Toronto named world's most resilient city

Toronto has been named the best city for real estate investment because of its ability to "bounce back from an adverse event," according to a new report issued by the London-based Grosvenor.
Resilient cities are defined by their abilities to "thrive as centres of human habitation, production and cultural development, despite the challenges posed by climate change, population growth and globalization." Resilience, the report says, urgently needs to be rethought due to the pressures placed on cities by economic and population growth.
The report ranked the top 50 cities internationally according to their vulnerabilities (climate, environment, resources, infrastructure, and community), as well as their "adaptive capacity" (governance, institutions, technical and learning, planning systems, and funding structures). 
Toronto came out on top, followed by two other Canadian cities: Vancouver and Calgary. "Canadian cities have a strong combination of low vulnerability and high adaptive capacity. There is a high level of resource availability, and Canadian cities are well governed and well planned," the report says. 
Although Toronto received top rankings, it was not issued a case study as other cities, including Vancouver and New York City, were. "Toronto is no stranger to the importance of resiliency, having endured natural disasters such as the 1998 ice storm and even Hurricane Hazel, in 1954," Richard Barkham, Grosvenor’s Group research director, instead said in a press release.
"The investment of city leaders in infrastructure and its commitment to upgrading it over the decades has put Toronto at the top of Grosvenor’s list of the world’s most resilient cities. Canada, as a whole, is doing exceptionally well in developing resiliency."
Read the full report here
Original Source: Grosvenor

York U team among finalists for $1M global social enterprise prize

Six business students from York University’s Schulich School of Business are among six teams from four countries competing for the Hult Prize global case challenge for social enterprise startups, valued at $1 million (US). This is the second year in a row a Canadian team has advanced to the finals, The Globe and Mail reports.
The prize "challenges business students to devise affordable solutions to global problems, put its spotlight this year on the issue of non-communicable chronic diseases in urban slums," the article reports. "For example, according to Hult prize organizers, an estimated 74 million slum-dwellers suffer from diabetes that goes mostly untreated and, as a result, leads to early mortality."
The Schulich students pitched the idea of REACH Diagnostics "to develop a patent-pending detection test for diabetes that can be produced on an ordinary printer for two cents," according to a press release from Schulich.
For placing first regionally, the team won a two-month stay at the Hult Prize Accelerator in Boston, which incubates social entrepreneurship startups, as well as a one-year membership in the Clinton Global Initiative, which was established by former U.S. president Bill Clinton in 2005.
The York students will compete against two teams from the United States and one each from France, India and Spain.
McGill students took home the prize last year for "a project that promotes cricket farming as a low-cost source of nutrition in poor countries," the Globe and Mail reports.
Read the full story here
Original Source: The Globe and Mail

Invest Toronto appoints new Board of Directors

Invest Toronto, the division of the City of Toronto that, among other things, advises businesses looking to set up shop in Toronto or use Toronto as a homestead to further service in the North American government, announced its new Board of Directors.

Comprised of 12 citizens, the Board is responsible for providing “input and vision to the agency’s efforts to sell the City of Toronto as an ideal location for Foreign Direct Investment,” a press release said.
The new citizen appointees, as selected through the City of Toronto's Public Appointments Policy, include, with descriptions from the press release:
Robert Howard Lane, Vice-Chair, Managing partner of Robert H. Lane and Associates Inc., business advisors.
Steve Bower, Director, Director and Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee of Parkinson Society Canada and Vice-President, Programs at Financial Executives International Canada.
Matthew Corrin, Director, Founder and CEO of Freshii.
Tyler Currie, Director, Director, International Affairs for the National Hockey League Players' Association.
Keith DeGrace, Director, Vice-President of Marketing at Red Bull Canada Ltd.
Graham Henderson, Director, President of Music Canada.
Gregory Hewitt, Director, President of DHL Express (Canada) Ltd.
Aleem Kanji, Director, Manager of Government Affairs and Stakeholder Relations with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and joins Invest Toronto's Board of Directors for a second term.
Kim Koster, Director, Principal and Brand Strategy Consultant, Koster Consulting.
Jason Leung, Director, Business Advisor on China-based development and marketing projects. He is the former Head of Audience Marketing for Microsoft Advertising.
Patricia McQuillan, Director, President and Owner of Brand Matters Inc.
Lida Preyma, Director, Director, Capital Markets Research, Global Finance, G8/G20 Research Group, PLP Group.
Board members are required to server on the Board for two years, plus a renewal term of two years or until their successor is appointed. Invest Toronto is chaired by Mayor Rob Ford. 
"I am personally delighted that we have recruited a passionate and capable group of professionals to provide Invest Toronto with their vision and guidance as we work to attract new Foreign Direct Investment into the City of Toronto," said Renato Discenza, President and CEO of Invest Toronto, in a press release. "I am very excited to have a group of dedicated volunteers steward us on our mission to sell Toronto as a business destination of choice."
Full profiles of the Board can be read here
Original Source: Invest Toronto

City to spend $215M on road work this summer

Tired of construction yet? The city has announced it will spend $215-million on road work this summer, including major projects expected on the Gardiner Expressway and other major routes, 680 News reports.
At a news conference on Monday, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the public works and infrastructure committee, is reported as saying more than 185 kilometres of road will be resurfaced. As per the artcle in Metro, these include:

  • Markham Road from Kingston Road to Lawrence Road
  • Victoria Park Avenue from Eglinton Avenue to Lawrence Avenue
  • Wilson Avenue from Bathurst Street to Dufferin Street
  • Finch Avenue from Kipling Avenue to Highway 27
  • Kipling Avenue from Bloor Street to Dixon Road
Even with this construction, not all roads will be repaired this summer.
"If the backlog is somewhere around $300 million and it costs $1 million a kilometre to resurface a road, that’s 300 kilometres of road that we aren’t getting to this year," says Councillor Minnan-Wong in the article.
Work on the Gardiner will begin in three weeks, closing the weeking of April 26 for its annual spring maintenance. “After that, three reconstruction projects begin on the western portion of the Gardiner which will cause lane closures between the Humber River and Bathurst Street throughout the summer. Some of that work won’t end until December 2016,” the article reports.
"We don’t have a choice of the Gardiner Expressway. It has to be fixed," Minnan-Wong is quoted as saying in the article.
Some projects have been moved ahead to prepare for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
To read the full article and for an interactive map of the planned road work, click here
Original source: 680 News

TO 3 For All: Vaughan Film Festival, Toronto in 7 years, International Space Apps Challenge

Vaughan Film Festival
April 2-4, 2014
Colossus Vaughan Cinemas
3555 Hwy 7 West
The annual Vaughan Film Festival takes kicks off tonight and features up and coming filmmakers from around the world. Each block will screen a number of short films ranging in length from one minute and up, while the event itself is a celebration of arts and entertainment. The festival will culminate in an awards ceremony hosted by Rick Campanelli that highlights artists and actors while also supporting students. 
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here
Toronto: This City in Seven Years
Friday April 4, 2014
Fleck Atrium, Rotman School of Management
105 St. George Street
7:00 p.m. 
$15 general admission/$10 students
Join former Yonge Street managing editor Shawn Micallef as he moderates a panel imagining what Toronto will look like in seven years, turning attention the architectural and community possibilities of Toronto's distinctive laneways. The panel discussion will feature Fortune editor Leigh Gallagher (author of The End of Suburbs) and professor and architect Brigitte Shim, while also featuring the work of illustrator Michael Cho, author of Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes.
The event is part of the Spur Festival, which discussions notions of politics, art and ideas as a catalyst for change. 
For more information, please visit the Spur Festival's website here
NASA International Space Apps Challenge
April 11-13, 2014
Ontario Science Centre
770 Don Mills Rd.
NASA's International Space Apps Challenge returns to Toronto next weekend and it's not too late to sign up to participate. The event celebrates open data by encouraging participants to reimagine the role of space and space technology to find solutions to a series of diverse NASA-designed challenges ranging from visualizing asteroid data to piloting an orbiting satellite. The hackathon event will feature 150 participants in Toronto (and more than 9,000 globally) and is designed to unite people around the world to enhance life in space and on earth. 
The winning local solution will win a semi-permanent home at the Ontario Science Centre. 
There are four ways to get involved in the event. You can register to participate for the adult event, you can register a youth to participate in a special youth (ages nine to 15) version taking place on Saturday April 12, become a mentor, or volunteer to assist. 
A pre-event for participants featuring beer, pizza and ideation will take place on April 4 at the Toronto Reference Library at 6:30 p.m. 

Want your event listed in Yonge Street? Email [email protected]

A new appreciation for Toronto's oldest restaurant

Toronto's oldest restaurant the Senator has long been celebrated as a throwback to old times when the world was a simpler, gentler place. And until recently its menu was a reflection of this as well, maintaining classic dishes such as house made meat loaf and liver and onions. Now the Senator could be considered a leader in the local restaurant scene having placed local ingredients at the threshold of enhancing the customer experience. 
"Typically, restaurants have one or two suppliers," says Peter Moscone, the Senator's manager, in an article that appeared in the New York Times. "We now have 40."
A favourite of people attending the nearby Pantages Theatre, the Senator opened in 1929 on Victoria Street just south of Dundas. Bob Sniderman, who saved the restaurant from demolition and took over as owner in 1984, called in help from Andrew Taylor, "the chef at Langdon Hall, an acclaimed restaurant in a Relais & Châteaux hotel in nearby Cambridge, Ontario, to revamp the Senator’s menu," the Times reports. 
"The vision was to make this not just a diner, but a destination," Taylor says in the article. "We wanted to get a little artistic, but still keep it simple."
Together they overhauled the menu and did what Toronto restaurants do best: embraced the community. They added in a "gleaming La Marzocco machine that’s cranking out superb espresso drinks using a custom roast from a local microroaster, Dark City." Additional suppliers include Spirit Tree Cidery, Beau's All Natural Brewery, produce from Kensington Market's Sanci's, and Sheldon Creek Dairy, which provides organic milk and cream. 

Read the full story here
Original Source: New York Times

From tombs to tunnels: Doors Open Toronto promises access to secret spaces

The 15th annual Doors Open Toronto promises access to some of the city's most secret spaces next month, giving architectural enthusiasts and urban explorers alike an opportunity to experience firsthand Toronto's hidden gems. 
This year's them is "Secrets and Spirits: Exploring the mysteries behind the door" and will offer participants the opportunity to explore an underground bowling alley, supposedly haunted tunnels, bank vaults, and a secret tomb hidden within a Toronto church, Global News reports reports in an article. 
Toronto's event has brought in more than two millions visitors to hundreds of buildings since its inception in 2000, making it one of the three largest in the world. 
"New to the schedule this year are paranormal walking tours of Hogtown’s 'ghostly' haunts, including a tour of the Historic Distillery District, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse (Toronto’s oldest landmark) and 'paranormal hotspots' at Exhibition Place," the article says. 
The event takes place May 24 and 25 and features 155 locations across the city. 
Read the full story here
Original Source: Global News 
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