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January 2012 Archives

Winter Cycling

How cold is too cold for an avid winter cyclist? Never, it would seem. Today, 150 cyclists gathered outside of City Hall to celebrate winter biking. Laura heard from Andrea Garcia, the Director of Advocacy for the Toronto Cyclists Union. Listen audio (runs 5:15)

You can check out "365 Days of Cycling: An Evening of Art and Cycling" this Thursday at 7 PM, at 720 Bathurst Street.


Toronto Sound Map

For many people, the hum and buzz of the city is just noise pollution. But it's music to the ears of some Ryerson researchers. They're using the sounds of the streets to compose an ode to Toronto that paints a unique portrait of the city. The staff at the sound lab have spent the last two years recording Toronto. And they demonstrate that idea with the Toronto Sound Map, which has over 500 soundscapes of different areas. Here and Now contributor Lily Ames caught up with Frank Russo, the head of the Toronto Sound Map to hear what Toronto sounds like. Listen audio (runs 3:27)


A Question of Multiculturalism?

The verdict in the Shafia murder cases is making global news, but here at home, Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress says this case should force all of us to re-examine multiculturalism. Laura spoke to him to find out why. Listen audio (runs 7:37)


Moving into Regent Park

Residents are moving into new, affordable housing at 40 Oak Street. It's part of the revitalization that's underway at Regent Park. Laura spoke with Debra Dineen, Executive Director of the Christian Resource Centre about their involvement in helping people move in. Listen audio (runs 5:36)


Hume and Levy: A Mayor's Powers

Is the mayor really just another vote on council? Or do his rights and responsibilities go beyond that? Those are just two of the questions Laura posed to The Toronto Star's Christopher Hume and The Toronto Sun's Sue-Ann Levy in light of a new legal decision stating Mayor Rob Ford had no authority to cancel Transit City. Listen audio (runs 8:49)


Health Column: Goldman on Psychiatry

When you lose a loved one, it's normal to grieve. Or, is it? A new report suggests bereavement should be labeled a psychiatric disorder. House doctor Brian Goldman joined Laura with the details. Listen audio (runs 7:32)


Toronto Reads: "On A Cold Road"

We're wrapping up our series of conversations with people who have a personal connection to the Canada Reads Top Five. Today, Laura spoke with musician and Toronto Star columnist Greg Quill about the book "On a Cold Road" and share his adventures of life on the road as a musician. Listen audio (runs 6:48)


Campbell House Cocktails

Campbell House is mixing up the drinks for Winterlicious, and we dropped by for a taste. We heard from Stacy Turner, who is the curatorial assistant and bartender who invented the 1972 Cocktail. And Liz Driver is Campbell House's director/curator, mixmaster, and creator of the 1812 Cocktail. Listen audio (runs 6:02)


Independence for The Ex

The CNE is celebrating its 133th birthday this year... by seeking independence from the city. Laura spoke to Brian Ashton, president of The Canadian National Exhibition Association to find out what it means for you, when you go to The Ex. Listen audio (runs 6:22)


Popular Teen Fiction

Young adult novels have been getting a lot of attention. Many have also transitioned into films and television series. So what's all the hype about? We'll talk with a young adult fiction writer, Lesley Livingston, the author of "Once Every Never" to find out. Listen audio (runs 6:49)


Private Online Lives

How much are you revealing through your computer screen? More than you know, says Jennifer Stoddart, Canada's privacy commissioner. She joined Laura to talk about the need for a discreet online life. Listen audio (runs 6:54)


Toronto Reads: "The Tiger"

All this week on Here and Now we're previewing this year's Canada Read nominees with people who have a connection to the five books. Today, Laura heard from the host of "The Current", Anna-Maria Tremonti about her fondness for "The Tiger." Listen audio (runs 5:27)


Flying The Coop for University

Does leaving home to go college or university turn teenagers into responsible adults or can new pressures lead to serious problems. As Ontario teens look to submit their post-secondary applications, Parenting Expert Jennifer Kolari weighed in. Listen audio (runs 6:22)


Wall of Silence Hindering Murder Investigations

In less than a week this city has seen two murders. Both victims were killed by gunshots...both happened in Scarborough...and in BOTH cases, investigators are having a VERY hard time convincing witnesses to come forward. Laura Di Battista spoke with Toronto police homicide detetctive Dan Nielsen about breaking the wall of silence.

Listen audio (runs 7:00)


A Brimful of Asha

The conflict between parents and children is common in every culture. Now, it's the focus of a play that opens tonight at Tarragon Theatre. It's about the true-life struggle between a mom and her son, but playwright Ravi Jain didn't just write about his mother, he brought her right up on stage with him. Ravi and Asha Jain. Listen audio (runs 7:25)

A Brimful of Asha is now on at the Tarragon Theatre's Extra space until February 19th.


Time Capsule Reveals Leafs' Hidden History - and Mystery

Maple Leaf Gardens' walls talked earlier today.
Last summer, crews renovating the Leafs former home stumbled across a metal box that had been buried within the walls, back in 1931, while the arena was being built.
That box - it turned out - was a time capsule, put there by the Leafs' legendary former owner Conn Smythe.
And today, the time capsule was opened.
Joining me now to talk about what was inside is Sheldon Levy, the president of Ryerson University which is now a co-owner of the building.

Listen audio (runs 6:41)


Laurel Broten on All-Day Kindergarten

If you're the parent of a pre-schooler, now's the time to start thinking about kindergarten. Specifically, getting your son or daughter registered for full-day kindergarten. Education minister Laural Broten told Laura why. Listen audio (runs 5:13)


No More Freedom 55

Freedom 55? How about Slogging to 70? Welcome to the new reality of pension funding. According to two McMaster University professors, younger workers will have to stay on the job longer. Byron Spencer, who co-authored a new report on pension eligibility, spoke with Laura. Listen audio (runs 5:59)


Toronto Reads: "Prisoner of Tehran"

This week, we're featuring conversations with people who have a personal connection to each of the five books selected for this year's Canada Reads. Lily Pourzand's family fled Iran in 1999. She now works for Amnesty International Canada. She shared her perspective of "Prisoner of Tehran" with Laura. Listen audio (runs 6:43)


A Pike, A Pub and Robbie Burns

A hundred year old pike has been christened just in time for Robbie Burns Day. Donna Wolff is the owner of The Caledonian Scottish pub. She told Laura about the connection between her, the fish and Robbie Burns. Listen audio (runs 5:19)


Partnering with Attawapiskat

With a yurt in tow, a gourmet chef and a handful of sewing machines, people from Toronto's business community are going on a mission to Attawapiskat. Tim Gilbert is principal partner with Gilbert's Law Firm and the leader of Design Points North. He spoke with Laura about why he wants to help. Listen audio (runs 7:05)


Public Help to Lose Weight

Obesity specialists from York University have written a new article, calling upon the public healthcare system to pay for obese people to receive weight management treatments. Dr. Sean Wharton is an adjunct professor in York's Faculty of Health and Director of Wharton Medical Clinic. He explained why he's making the argument. Listen audio (runs 7:24)


Canada Reads: Terry Fallis on "The Tiger"

For the past several weeks, Terry Fallis, our resident expert on CBC's battle of the book, Canada Reads, has dropped by to discuss this year's titles, one by one. Today, he talked about, "The Tiger". Listen audio (runs 7:13)


Councillors Defer Backyard Chicken Issue

City councillors chickened out earlier today, when they were asked to approve a new sort of urban farming. At the Licensing and Standards Committee councillors were considering a request for a feasability study on chicken farming in the city's backyards. In the end though, they decided to put the matter off indefinitely. And that's ruffled some feathers on council, including those of Joe Mihevc, the councillor who brought the request to the licensing committee. He spoke with Laura Di Battista. Listen audio (runs 6:10)


OPP Releases Details of Summit Study

It'll be a long time before Toronto forgets the mayhem that erupted during the G-20 Summit, two summers ago.
The same cannot be said though of the G-8 meetings.
They were held in Muskoka, just days before the g-20.
And they went off without ANY major problems.
That summit was policed largely by the OPP.
And earlier today, they released a report that outlines THEIR experience policing the summit. Insp. Dave Ross, an OPP spokesperson, spoke with Laura about those findings.

Listen audio (runs 5:25)


Toronto Reads: Kevin Sylvester

What is it about Ken Dryden's book "The Game" that still has people talking nearly thirty years after it was first published. Laura spoke to goalie and broadcaster Kevin Sylvester for his take. Listen audio (runs 5:46)


Preserving Toronto's History

You've probably walked past 197 Yonge Street at Queen hundreds of times, but never really paid attention to it. But a condominium developer is hoping his plan for a makeover will have everyone stopping for a closer glance. Gary Switzer is president of MOD Developments. He shared his plans with Laura. Listen audio (runs 5:50)


Canada Reads: "Something Fierce"

The memoir "Something Fierce" is the coming-of-age tale of a young revolutionary in South America and one of the books in this year's Canada Reads competition. Laura spoke with author Carmen Aguirre about her story. Listen audio (runs 6:48)


Vying for Oscar

It's one of the most highly anticipated lists in Hollywood. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed its annual Oscar nominations earlier today. Our pop culture maven Lisha Hassanali came by to share her thoughts on this year's Oscar race.
Listen audio (runs 6:21)


Making EMS an Essential Service

Paramedics want to trade in their right to strike. Laura heard from paramedic Roberta Scott to find out why and how City Hall feels about the idea.
Listen audio (runs 6:45)


Children and On-line Privacy

Social media can help kids connect with their friends, but according to Canada's Privacy Commissioner, teaching them how to maintain their privacy is a must. Laura spoke with Jennifer Stoddart. Listen audio (runs 6:45)

Here are some tip sheet to help you speak to your children about on-line privacy.


Toronto Reads: Hearing From Readers

We're launching a new series today. We're hearing from people who are readers of the Top Five Canada Reads books and share a connection to the stories. Like the main character in "Something Fierce, Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter" , Magdalena Diaz and her family fled Chile after the coup of Augusto Pinochet. Laura spoke with her. Listen audio (runs 8:30)


The Year of The Dragon

Happy Lunar New Year. It's the year of a dragon, and that means change is in the air. Paul Ng is a geomancer, astrologer and feng shui master. He made his predictions of what a dragon year could bring. Listen audio (runs 5:43)


LRT vs. Subways

Subway or LRT? The crosstown transit plan seem to - once again - be having an identity crisis, with the TTC chair now suggesting PART of the route should be an LRT, rather than subway, route after all. Laura heard from fellow commissioner John Parker had to say about the idea. Listen audio (runs 6:29)


Dino Babies

They have footprints only a mother -- or a paleontologist could love. Today, The Royal Ontario Museum unveiled a new site that's been uncovered in South Africa. New discoveries there could shed new light on early dinosaur development. David Evans is the Associate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the ROM. He spoke to Laura about their findings. Listen audio (runs 5:26)


RIM Reset

RIM hopes to reset its future with a change at the top. Eamon Hoey is a telecom expert and management consultant with Hoey Associates. And he talked to Laura about this latest move by the Canadian tech giant to get the company back on track. Listen audio (runs 6:07)


Health Column: Dr. Goldman on Insomnia

Sleepless in the city? A Canadian expert warns that the toll of insomnia on our health could be much worse than you think. House doctor Brian Goldman joined Laura to share the details. Listen audio (runs 6:04)


New Kind of Wall Art? Or Just Billboards?

When is an ad NOT an ad? That's ONE of the questions that'll be dealt with at a public meeting tonight at City Hall. At issue here is a new, high-tech kind of sign. No lights...No paint...Just a an image that's projected on a wall. And some people say that since they're not permanent, they should not be subjected to the same regulations that traditional billboards are. Councillor Adam Vaughan begs to differ though.
Listen audio (runs 6:46)


Textbooks Going Digital

Apple believes it's on the verge of revolutionizing the way your children learn...and their teachers teach. The company has announced it's just struck a deal with three of the biggest textbook publishers in the US to transfer those books into interactive e-books.
And that COULD mean children will be carrying a simple iPad to school, instead of a knapsack full of textbooks. But here in Canada, that revolution could be a long way off, according to Greg Nordal, the president and CEO of Nelson Education, the country's largest textbook publisher. Listen audio (runs 6:08)


Rob Ford: The Opera

Jerry Springer, Anna Nicole Smith and Diana, Princess of Wales are all contemporary public figures who've been the subject of an opera. Now, it's Toronto mayor, Rob Ford's turn. Here and Now's Dagna Pielaszkiewicz attended a rehearsal of Rob Ford: The Opera to speak to librettist, Michael Patrick Albano. He is the resident stage director of Opera Studies at University of Toronto's Faculty of Music. And Andrew Haji, the U of T student who will be playing Rob Ford. Listen audio (runs 5:07)

The one-time performance will be happening this Sunday at 2:30 PM.


Skirting a Controversy

This summer, women's boxing will be part of the Olympics for the first time. But right now, the focus isn't on what they'll be doing in the ring, it's on what they'll be wearing. Savoy Howe is the founder of Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club. It's a female-only boxing club here in the city. Listen audio (runs 5:55)


Teaching the Life of Music

Music has been called the universal language. Now, it's tranforming the lives of low income children. Naiomi Weis is the writer and producer of Teaching the Life of Music. It's new documentary that examines the impact of an international movement called El Sistema and how it teaches children to do more than read music notes.
Listen audio (runs 7:45)

"Teaching the Life of Music" airs Sunday night at 9 o'clock on OMNI Television.


Increasing Mandatory Vaccinations

The Toronto Board of Health wants to expand the number of vaccines children are required to have, before being allowed into school. Laura spoke to John Filion. He is the chair of the board and he explained why he thinks this is a good idea. Listen audio (runs 6:13)


The Golden Dragon

Toronto's getting served -- by The Golden Dragon. This new play has premiered just in time for the Lunar New Year of the Dragon. Laura met Anusree Roy, who is one of the performers in the production. Listen audio (runs 6:57)

The Golden Dragon opened this week at the Tarragon Theatre and runs till February 19th.


Culture Column: Hassanli on Popular Older Women

In show business, being older isn't always seen an advantage, specially if you're a woman. But more and more perfomers are bucking that trend. Our pop culture critic Lisha Hassanali discussed the secret behind their success with Laura. Listen audio (runs 6:27)


Losing Parkdale

Parkdale has long been a home for artists, but as the neighbourhood becomes more expensive, some of them feel like they're being pushed out. Now, they're speaking out... through craft. Joel Robson curated the new exhibit, "Losing Parkdale." He shared this thoughts with Laura. Listen audio (runs 6:40)

"Losing Parkdale" on now at the Ontario Craft Council until February 26.


Kim's Convenience

The breakout play from this summer's Fringe Festival is getting a bigger stage. "Kim's Convenience" is the story of a family who run a corner store in Regent Park. Paul Sun-Hyung Lee is the play's lead actor. He spoke with Laura.

Listen audio (runs 7:59)

"Kim's Convenience" opens tonight at Soulpepper and runs till February 11.


Judging Moms

A mom learns the hard way why it's not nice to judge other moms' parenting skills. Nicole McIntyre is The Hamilton Spectator's parenting columnist. She explained why and gave some suggestions on how to help moms judge less.
Listen audio (runs 6:25)


Inclusion of Children with Disabilities

There's an old saying that we should share the sandbox with everyone, but some kids are being excluded -- because of a lack of accessibility. Dr. Anne Snowdon spoke about her study that looks at how children with disabilities participate in their communities. She is the chair of The University of Western Ontario's International Centre for Health Innovation. Listen audio (runs 6:55)


Healthcare Hilarity with Terry Jones

What's so funny about diabetes and obesity? Terry Jones of Monty Python fame can tell you. He's been inspired by the late Toronto doctor, Robert Buckman to find the lighter side of some heavy subjects. He spoke with Laura. Listen audio (runs 8:03)


Reaction to an Unapologetic Smoker

Our colleague and resident smoker Mike Smee's spirited defense of his right to light up had smoke coming out of your ears. He joined Laura in our smoke-free studio to share some of your comments. Listen audio (runs 6:22)


Privacy Ruling

Privacy just got a bit more sacred, here in Ontario. And if you invade someone else's you COULD wind up in court, thanks to a new ruling. Chris Du Vernet spoke with Laura about the decision. He's the Toronto lawyer who successfully argued the precedent setting case. Listen audio (runs 6:25)


The Kimchi Diaries

Three intrepid diners will try every single restaurant on Bloor Street between Christie and Bathurst. Beth Palmer, A.J. Bond and Dan Werb told Laura what's behind this culinary adventure they're calling, "The Kimchi Diaries".
Listen audio (runs 7:31)


Weedless Wednesday

Today is Weedless Wednesday when smokers are encouraged to give up cigarettes. Quitting is never easy, so to find out just how hard it is, Laura braved the cold to speak with our colleague and resident smoker, Mike Smee. Listen audio (runs 5:44)


Food Column: Elton on Local Winter Eating

This week, we asked our food columnist Sarah Elton to come in and share with us the secrets of eating local in the winter. Sarah also happens to be the author of the national bestseller, Locavore: From Farmers' Fields to Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat.

Listen audio (runs 7:24)

Here's her Eat Local Toronto resource list:

What to look for at this time of year:

Choose the long lasters: Roots vegetables grown in Ontario like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, garlic, onions as well as cold seller vegetables such as winter squashes, cabbages, leeks and fruit like apples and pears are plentiful at this time of year. If your supermarket sells American-grown carrots, tell them you want to buy carrots grown in the Holland Marsh instead.

Greenhouses grow all year round: There are greenhouses that produce vegetables all year round including lettuces, greens, sprouts, and cucumbers. Ontario greenhouse tomatoes and peppers will start growing in March and then after that, St. David's greenhouses grow lovely greenhouse eggplants!

Mushrooms don't care about low sun levels: Ontario is home to half of Canada's mushroom farms that produce more than 200 million pounds of mushrooms a year. You can find the standard button mushrooms grown here but also King, Shiitake and Enokis too. But don't forget to read the label because many mushrooms are imported, including from as far away as Korea.

That's grown in Ontario?: You can find Ontario peanuts , organic tofu made from locally grown soy beans, as well as Ontario greenhouse bitter melon . Most of the world's honey comes from China, but we produce a lot here too so again, read the label.

The Taste of Place: If you are looking for a taste of place in your dairy products, watch out for yoghurt, ice cream and cheese made with modified milk ingredients. This is a processed milk product that likely comes from far away.

Prepare ahead: Take the time to stock your freezer in the summer with produce such as peaches, tomatoes, rhubarb and green beans. If you have a cold corner, onions store really well too and you'll save a lot of money if you buy all the onions you need for the year for around $10.

Menu planning: Skip the long distance lettuce from California and choose to make a salad from what we have here. Grate some parsnips raw, beets, carrots and dress with either a creamy salad dressing or a vinegary one or chop add some cabbage and make a great slaw. Sarah's favourite salad these days is thinly sliced raw cabbage with Ontario peanuts and a fish sauce and lemon (don't forget to add sugar and a little water to taste) salad dressing.

Visit a Farmers' Market: There are nine indoor farmers markets open all year round. They are:

Appletree Market
Indoors in winter at the North Toronto Community Centre, 200 Eglinton West, 2nd Floor
Thursdays, 11-7 pm, Winter markets 3-7 pm Nov.10, 24, Dec. 8, 22, Jan.5, 19, Feb. 2, 16, Mar. 1, 15, 29, Apr.12, 26

Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market
873 Dufferin St. (in Dufferin Grove Park)
Thursdays, 3 - 7 pm, In the rink house during winter

Evergreen Brick Works Farmers' Market
550 Bayview Ave (between Prince Edward Viaduct (Bloor/Danforth) & Pottery Road)
Winter markets, Saturdays, 9 am - 1 pm

Montgomery's Inn Farmers' Market
4709 Dundas West, Etobicoke
Winter markets 3-6 pm

St. Lawrence North Farmers' Market
92 Front Street East (at Jarvis)
Saturdays, 5 am - 5 pm, Open all year!

Sick Kids Hospital Farmers' Market
555 University Avenue
Tuesdays, 9 am - 2 pm, June 7 to October 25, 2011, some vendors indoors for the winter

Sorauren Farmers' Market
40 Wabash Ave. at Sorauren
Mondays, 3-7 pm, in the Field house all winter long

The Stop's Green Barn Farmers' Market
The Green Arts Barn, 601 Christie Ave. (entrance from Wychwood)
In the barns November-April

University of Toronto Scarborough Farmers' Market
Parking Lot 4, 1265 Military Trail (Morningside and Ellesmere)
Winter markets first Wednesday of the month November to April, 11-3

Order a Food Box:

FoodShare offers
Mama Earth Organics
Front Door Organics
Fresh City Farms

Winter Share CSAs and Food Co-ops:
Kawartha Ecological Growers
Plan B Organics
Karma Food Coop

Check out your local food stores: There are a number of stores in the city that specialize in local food, including butcher shops and cheese shops.

Bon Appetit!


Canada Reads: Terry Fallis on "Prisoner of Tehran"

Each week, Canada Reads blogger and last year's winner Terry Fallis joins Laura to talk about each of the five contenders. Today, he profiled "Prisoner of Tehran" which is being defended by Dragon's Den star, Arlene Dickinson. Listen audio (runs 7:14)


Budget Chief Mike Del Grande

Budget Chief Mike Del Grande joined Laura to talk about the budget that city council passed yesterday - a document that was somewhat more expensive than the one he would have preferred. Listen audio (runs 7:01)


York Region Transit Strike Continues

The York Region Transit strike has dragged on for over three months now... and now it appears it will drag on a little longer. Today, Viva drivers voted against the latest contract offer from their management. Laura spoke with Bob Kinnear, president of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 to find out what happens now. Listen audio (runs 6:15)


Canada Reads: John Vaillant on "The Tiger"

The "true stories" edition of Canada Reads is edging closer...
And today, Laura spoke with John Vaillant, one of the authors of the five non-fiction contenders. His bestseller, "The Tiger" , is being championed by Quebec litigator Anne-France Goldwater. It's the intense tale of a man-eating tiger that terrorizes a remote Russian village. It's also about the team tasked with hunting down the endangered animal in the middle of a frigid Siberian winter. Listen audio (runs 5:55)


Debating the Budget

Mayor Rob Ford's blueprint for spending in 2012 came under serious fire at City Council this afternoon. To find out whether it can survive some of the mayor's opponents on council, Laura spoke with our City Hall watchers, Sue-Ann Levy of the Toronto Sun, and The Toronto Star's Christopher Hume. Listen audio (runs 9:17)


No Sex Selection

The Canadian Medical Association Journal says soon-to-be parents should NOT be told the sex of their baby until the last trimester. Dr. Rajendra Kale is the editor of the Journal. He told Laura why. Listen audio (runs 7:25)


The Tipping Point

News that two west end restaurants are encouraging patrons to tip at least 20 percent is raising eyebrows. What's the tipping point when it comes to handing out tips? Chris Nuttall-Smith a food writer with The Globe and Mail shared some answers. Listen audio (runs 7:40)


Cutting The Waist

Mayor Rob Ford is vowing to cut out the gravy - and lose some weight. Oshawa Mayor John Henry spoke to Laura about the challenges of juggling political life while trying to live more healthfully. Listen audio (runs 5:51)


Gentrification and Small Business

Growing pains at Queen and Broadview may be behind the decision to evict The Real Jerk restaurant. Councillor Paula Fletcher spoke with Laura about how a once lower-income neighborhood is blossoming - and some of the collateral damage that sometimes goes with it. Listen audio (runs 6:56)


A Bargain Basement Mortgage

A 2.99 percent mortgage rate for a limited time only, by the Bank of Montreal. Laura heard from a financial expert who says we might want to think about this offer. Jean Freed gave her two cents on the deal. Listen audio (runs 5:15)


Winter Fun in Toronto

Winter has finally arrived in Toronto, which means it's time to take part in snowy day activities. Laura spoke with Terry Hickingbottom. He's supervisor of the Centennial Ski and Snowboard Centre. She also heard from Matthew Blackett, publisher of Spacing Magazine and Philip Cheong, the program officer at Colborne Lodge. Listen audio (runs 9:48)


A Wage Freeze for City Workers?

Mark Ferguson, the head of CUPE 416 made an offer today, he hopes the city can't refuse. He's willing to agree to freeze employee wages for three years, in exchange for other concessions. Laura heard from Doug Holyday. He's deputy mayor, and chair of the labour relations committee to find out what he makes of the proposal. Listen audio (runs 6:25)


Taste Canada: The Food Writing Awards

The Giller Award raises the profile and fortunes of the author who wins the prestigious prize. Now, cookbook authors hope a revamp to their most prestigious prize will do the same for them. Karen Gelbart is the new, national chair of Taste Canada: The Food Writing Awards. She spoke with Laura about the revamp. Listen audio (runs 6:09)


Culture Column: Hassanali on The Golden Globes

An unpredictable host and celebrities known for their thin skins... The combination could make Sunday's Golden Globe awards one unforgettable night. Laura got the inside scoop from our pop culture critic Lisha Hassanali. Listen audio (runs 6:29)


Same-Sex Divorce

Imagine filing for divorce, only to find you were never married in the first place. That is what happened to one same-sex couple who came to Canada to marry, and recently traveled back here to get divorced. For a better understanding of the law, Laura spoke with Karen Busby, a professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba.
Listen audio (runs 6:51)


NHL Players Vote in Secret Poll

Is Dion Phaneuf really the most overrated player in the NHL? Apparently some of his fellow NHLers think so - anonymously of course. These NHL players voted in a secret Sports Illustrated poll. Adam Proteau is a columnist with the Hockey News. He talked to Laura about his take on the poll.
Listen audio (runs 7:15)


Pan Am Update

Ever wonder about that construction project at the bottom of the Don Valley Parkway? It's the 2015 Pan Am Games athletes' village and today, we get a glimpse of what it will look like. Charles Sousa is the provincial minister responsible for the Games.
Listen audio (runs 6:42)


Toronto Hydro Layoffs

Hundreds of Toronto Hydro contract staff will be laid off this week. And the local utility's officials say, it's just the beginning. Tom Adams is an independent energy consultant. He talked to Laura about why Toronto Hydro is making the cuts and what it means for our energy supply. Listen audio (runs 7:39)


Terry Fallis on Something Fierce

Canada Reads' resident blogger, Terry Fallis, is joining us each week with a peak into the five books up for the top prize. Last week, we got into "The Game" by Ken Dryden. This week, he spoke with Laura about "Something Fierce" by Carmen Aguirre.
Listen audio (runs 7:03)


The Social Feed

Your mother may have told you to never talk to strangers, but a new event in the city is asking you to dine with them. Social Feed launches tonight. Reggie Milligan developed the dining experience. Laura spoke with him and Karon Liu, who writes about food for The Grid, to learn more about the communal dining trend. Listen audio (runs 9:46)


A Map of Budget Cuts

Proposed city budget cuts will disproportionately affect the poorest in Toronto, according to Social Planning Toronto. Laura spoke to Beth Wilson. She's senior researcher with the organization. She talked about their findings. Listen audio (runs 6:00)


Losing Weight in the Public Eye

Mayor Rob Ford and his councillor brother, Doug are making a New Year's resolution. They're trimming the fat... from their waistlines. Today, they announced they're going on a weight-loss regimen and invited people who want to lose weight, to join them. Laura heard from Dr. Ali Zentner, an obesity specialist who appeared on CBC TV's "Village on a Diet" to find out her advice for the Fords. Listen audio (runs 6:29)