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Features

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Jennifer Pan’s Revenge: the inside story of a golden child, the killers she hired, and the parents she wanted dead

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a-daughters-revenge

Bich Ha and Huei Hann Pan were classic examples of the Canadian immigrant success story. Hann was raised and educated in Vietnam and moved to Canada as a political refugee in 1979. Bich (pronounced “Bick”) came separately, also a refugee. They married in Toronto and lived in Scarborough. They had two kids, Jennifer, in 1986, and Felix, three years later, and found jobs at the Aurora-based auto parts manufacturer Magna International, Hann as a tool and die maker and Bich making car parts. They lived frugally. By 2004, Bich and Hann had saved enough to buy a large home with a two-car garage on a quiet residential street in Markham. He drove a Mercedes-Benz and she a Lexus ES 300, and they accumulated $200,000 in the bank.

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The Informer

Features

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女儿的复仇

Jennifer Pan曾是个好孩子,她聪明、刻苦、听话。可后来,她却雇了三个人去杀害自己的父母。谋杀行动一切按计划进行,唯一意外的是她的父亲没有死。Karen K. Ho讲述……

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a-daughters-revenge

Bich Ha和Huei Hann Pan曾是亚裔加拿大移民的成功典范。Hann在越南长大,也是在越南受的教育,1979年作为政治难民来到加拿大。Bich也是作为难民来到的加拿大,但不是跟Hann一起来的。他们在多伦多结婚,住在士嘉堡。1986年,两人有了第一个孩子Jennifer,三年后又有了第二个孩子Felix。他们在位于加拿大奥罗拉的麦格纳汽车配件制造公司上班,Hann是工具模具制造工人,Bich做汽车配件。他们过着节俭的生活。到2004年,Bich和Hann终于积攒了足够的存款,在万锦市一条安静的住宅街区买下一栋带两个车位车库的大房子。Hann开一辆奔驰,Bich开一辆雷克萨斯ES 300,他们在银行还有20万加元的存款。

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The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: $3.1 million for a century-old mansion in Rosedale with a serious wine cellar

toronto-house-of-the-week-65-highland-avenue-intro

Address: 65 Highland Avenue
Neighbourhood: Rosedale
Agent: Janet Lindsay, Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage
Price: $3,095,000

The Place: A six-bedroom, six-bathroom brick Rosedale mansion, about halfway between Bloor and St. Clair and steps from Rosedale Park.

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The Informer

Columns

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Memoir: I was addicted to starving myself

memoir-the-hunger-games

I grew up in an upper-middle-class Toronto neighbourhood, with a loving family and supportive friends. Despite my privileges, I was always stunted by negative self-esteem. I thought I was too awkward, too cerebral, too different from everyone else. I never believed that my friends genuinely cared about me, and I internalized that insecurity: most nights, I’d lie awake staring at the wall, wishing I could learn to like myself.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Cottage of the Week: $2.6 million for a bungalow with a double-decker boathouse on Lake Muskoka

(Image: Bob Clarke Team)

(Image: Bob Clarke Team)

Address: 1090 Sunset Bay Road, Unit 4
Neighbourhood: Bala
Agent: Bob Clarke, Royal Lepage Lakes of Muskoka Realty, Brokerage
Price: $2,575,000

The Place: A handsome bungalow with tons of deck space and luxurious upgrades on Lake Muskoka Point in Bala.

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Best Bets

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See Kanye at the Pan Am closing ceremonies, go to the WayHome festival and eight other things to do this week

(Images, clockwise from top left: Betroffenheit, courtesy of Panamania; Kanye West, courtesy of the Pan Am Games; Cirque Alfonse, by Luce Tremblay-Gaudette; Night It Up, courtesy of Night It Up)

(Images, clockwise from top left: Betroffenheit, courtesy of Panamania; Kanye West, courtesy of the Pan Am Games; Cirque Alfonse, by Luce Tremblay-Gaudette; Night It Up, courtesy of Night It Up)

Watch the Pan Am Games’ controversial closing ceremony
Despite a petition protesting his performance, Kanye West will close out the Pan Am Games. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: whatever your thoughts on Yeezus, he puts on an incredible show. He’ll be joined onstage by Floridian novelty rapper Pitbull, Canadian folk-rocker Serena Ryder, and a dazzling complement of dancers and confetti. Sunday, July 26. $50–$205. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, ticketmaster.ca.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $1.2-million King West house that proves there are still detached homes in condoland

(Image: Caralyn Ing Photography)

(Image: Caralyn Ing Photography)

Address: 122 Niagara Street
Neighbourhood: Niagara
Agent: Amar Tamber and Andrea Davidson, Re/Max Vision Realty Inc., Brokerage

The Property: This home’s loft-like interior seems fitting for a pad located just off King West, as does all the exposed brick. A stone patio area to the side of the property doubles as parking for up to two cars.

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People

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A guide to the city slickers of Prince Edward County

Everyone wants a piece of Prince Edward County, and Torontonians have been colonizing by the boatload. Here, a handful of high-profile homesteaders who’ve embraced county life—to varying degrees

Andy StronachTHE COWBOY
Andy Stronach, son of Magna tycoon Frank

County cred: Medium

Andy (Belinda’s younger brother) owns three lots along the southern end of the county that he purchased for a total of roughly $600,000. He also raises grass-fed black Angus cattle nearby. For a time, he entered in Marysburgh’s Milford Fair, an agricultural event that includes tractor pulls, cow pie bingo and a sawing competition.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $650,000 for a Wallace-Emerson loft with plenty of office space

toronto-condo-of-the-week-692-st-clarens-avenue-intro

Address: 692 St. Clarens Ave., Unit 7
Neighbourhood: Wallace-Emerson
Agent: Liz Bak Durocher, Royal LePage York North Realty, Brokerage
Price: $649,900

The Place: This three-storey live-work loft has an office and living room on the ground floor, a big dining room and kitchen on the second floor and a bedroom with an en suite bathroom up top.

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The Informer

People

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What’s inside John Tory’s surprisingly non-boring office

For at least the next three and a half years, John Tory’s second home will be the mayor’s office, a light-filled space on the second floor of city hall with a ribbon of windows overlooking Nathan Phillips Square. Judging by the interior—with its minimal decorations and perfectly curated coffee table books—Tory is busy delivering on his campaign promise to make city hall boring again. “I’ve never been a person who focuses a lot on doing anything in particular with my office,” he says. “I view it as a workspace.” (Rob Ford, by contrast, liked to plaster his walls with editorial cartoons about himself.) On closer inspection, Tory’s domain isn’t quite as dull as it first appears.

(Images: Giordano Ciampini)

The Informer

Columns

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Dear Urban Diplomat: should I have to pay for my neighbour’s tree maintenance?

cut tree branch

(Image: martinak15/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,

There’s a huge maple tree in the backyard next to mine. Its branches spread over my yard, where they get tangled in my clothesline and block all the sun from my herb garden. When I kindly asked the owner to trim the offending branches, he said fine, hired a pro to do it and then dropped a $400 invoice in my mailbox! I shouldn’t pay, should I?

—Branch Manager, Leaside

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Real Estate

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House of the Week: $5.2 million for a freshly renovated, window-lined row house in Yorkville

toronto-house-of-the-week-114-hazelton-avenue-intro

Address: 114 Hazelton Avenue
Neighbourhood: Yorkville
Agent: Sarah Choi and James Martin Molloy, Chestnut Park Real Estate
Price: $5,200,000

The Place: A four-bedroom, four-bathroom newly renovated Yorvkille row house with some serious architectural cred.

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The Informer

Culture

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The Joker and Will Smith hang out at the Eaton Centre: a breakdown of the Suicide Squad trailer

 
A few days ago at San Diego Comic-Con, Suicide Squad, a new Warner Bros. action movie that was shot in Toronto, debuted its first trailer before a select group of nerds. Yesterday, Warners caved and released the three-minute video online. In it, Hogtown is covered in grit and darkness and beset upon by what looks to be at least nine thousand unrecognizable supervillains (and also, Jared Leto’s Joker).

We’ve given the trailer an extra-close look, in part to get to the bottom of what a “Suicide Squad” even is in the first place, and also to get a bead on how prominently Toronto features in this movie. Turns out, not very prominently! (Though we assume they’re saving the big Joker vs. Batman vs. Superman fight along the CN Tower’s Edgewalk for the theatrical debut. Why tip your hand, you know?)

0:04: The trailer begins, as trailers do, with a voiceover. “It’s taken some work,” says Viola Davis’ character, “but I finally have ‘em.” Have whom?! Tell us! Is it Pachi, the delightful Pan Am Games mascot? It’s Pachi, isn’t it.

0:07: “The worst of the worst.” Yep. It’s for sure Pachi the Pan American Porcupine.

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The Informer

Culture

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Cringe Benefits: Nathan Fielder’s brand of gonzo comedy is surreal, squirm-inducing and surprisingly human

Nathan Fielder of Comedy Central’s Nathan for You

Nathan Fielder, the adorkable star of Comedy Central’s Nathan for You. (Image: Courtesy of Comedy Central)

Nathan Fielder will do anything for a laugh. On his Comedy Central show, Nathan for You, whose third season debuts later this year, he travels around Los Angeles offering advice to struggling small businesses and presenting outlandish marketing schemes to entrepreneurs willing to try them out on camera. He suggests that a clothing store allow pretty people to shoplift, for instance, and tries to make a fledgling caricature artist famous by encouraging him to sketch racist images. The business owners think they’re part of a reality show that follows a legitimate marketing consultant, and Fielder plays the straight man with disarming exactitude, never breaking from his deadpan character despite the preposterous plots he pitches and executes. He’s a wiry, adorkable 32-year-old with a boyishly cropped haircut and a nasal voice, and he comes across as eminently reasonable. It’s that nebbish quality that his targets respond to: they want to make his ideas work for their own success, but they also want to help out this earnest, socially awkward person.

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Real Estate

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Cottage of the Week: $4.9 million for a modern retreat on Jack Lake

toronto-cottage-of-the-week-465-white-tail-drive-intro

Address: 465 White Tail Drive
Neighbourhood: Apsley
Agent: Anthony Peter Halcovitch, Bowes and Cocks Limited, Brokerage
Price: $4,900,000

The Place: A massive and modern five-acre property beside the Peterborough Crown Game Reserve on Jack Lake.

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