5 Things To Know Today
Toronto under multiple weather warnings as temperature plummets. Sun News Network Shuts Down. Canadian International Auto Show kick off in Toronto today. City plans to borrow from capital reserves to fill $86M budget hole. Toronto breaks tourism record.
TORONTO UNDER MULTIPLE WEATHER WARNINGS AS TEMPERATURE PLUMMETS
It’s nearly as cold this morning as it has ever been on a February 13th in Toronto. We’re under an Extreme Cold Warning from Environment Canada and an Extreme Cold Weather alert from the city. The temperature is sitting right now at -22°C, inching close to the coldest ever, -23.2°C. The arctic air will be with us right through the Family Day weekend. The cold isn’t just a strain on people but on cars too. Leaving your car idling, unattended, just to warm it up isn’t a good idea, with police warning that thieves will be targeting vehicles. Also, it is illegal to idle your vehicle for more than a minute.
(Photo: The Canadian Press/Mark Blinch)
SUN NEWS NETWORK SHUTSDOWN
Sun News Network is off the air. The struggling TV station shut down at 5am this morning after negotiations to sell the troubled television channel were unsuccessful. The plug was pulled on the channel after just four years on the air, a move that has claimed 150 jobs, as well as work for 50 freelancers. The network took to the airwaves back in April 2011 and was dubbed ‘ Fox News North ‘ at the time. Its supporters blamed the CRTC for not allowing the network the same access enjoyed by news channels operated by CBC and CTV.
INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW KICKS OFF IN TORONTO TODAY
The International Auto Show opens in Toronto today. The car show can be a big deal for people who spend much of their time waiting to jump into their favourite vehicle’s newest model. The 2015 Canadian International Auto Show is the biggest auto show of the year. The event takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and runs from Friday, February 13th to Sunday, February 22nd. Doors will open to the public at noon on February 13th and run until 10 p.m. Daily show times will be 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. until the show’s last day on February 22nd when it opens from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parents can feel free to attend with their children as free professional daycare service will be made available.
CITY TO BORROW FROM CAPITAL RESERVE TO FILL $86M BUDGET HOLE
In an effort to balance the budget, Mayor John Tory says the City of Toronto will be borrowing from its capital reserves. “We will do so by temporarily reducing capital contributions from the operating budget by $130 million dollars, spread over a period of three years, and borrowing that money from our own reserves to make up for that capital fund,” said Tory on Thursday. Toronto will be scaling back on services, adds the mayor. “[It] proposes immediate city budget adjustments of $25 million dollars for the 2015 budget to begin addressing the provincial cutback on a permanent basis.” Tory says they will reduce the Toronto Transit Commission and Toronto Police Service’s budget. However, he urges the cutbacks will have no impact on service levels. Critics, like Councillor Gord Perks, argue “instead of dealing with the problem it (mostly) puts it off for a couple of years” — which was shared via Twitter. In January, the city decided not to take the province up on its loan offer to cover an $86 million dollar shortfall in the proposed city budget.
TORONTO BREAKS TOURISM RECORD
By the droves, people from around the world continue to find themselves with Big Smoke Fever. Travelers from both the United States and abroad came to Toronto in droves in 2014, breaking a tourism record with 14.3 million visits. an increase of more than half a million. Counting Americans alone, the increase was 3.7% over 2013, while from the overseas market, residents of China represented the largest figure, with a 27% increase. Toronto, while being a hot spot for travelers, also weighed in as the most visited destination in Canada.
It really is a special weekend for Canadians. Today is Friday the 13th, marked by bikers with a ride and party in Port Dover, although not many will be braving today’s icy temperatures. Tomorrow is Valentine’s day, Sunday marks the 50th birthday of the Canadian maple leaf flag and Monday is Family day, which has been a stat holiday since 2008.