Burlington

The Informer

Features

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Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 2, because we’re pumped for gold

The posse of Torontonians who’ll invade this summer’s London Olympics is determined to return with more medals than ever. Here, five of our top-calibre athletes assess the sacrifices they’ve made on the climb to the podium.

Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 2, Because we’re pumped for gold

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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New Food Classics, the company behind the E. coli recalls, in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings 

Lost in much of the talk about E. coli-laced burgers (and confusion over what, exactly, a steakette is), was the news that New Food Classics, the Burlington meat processor behind the recall, is in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings. While many of the company’s products have been flagged for potential contamination, that’s only a small portion of what they’re struggling with. The Hamilton Spectator reports that the company has closed an office in Calgary and plants in St. Catharines and Saskatoon, and sought creditor protection before looking for a buyer to bail it out. Of the 22 would-be bidders, only one actually made an offer after seeing the company’s statements. So is it just the bad meat that’s dragging the company down? Hardly. The Spectator says bankruptcy documents indicate that “the company was hobbling as its beef and energy costs climbed in 2010 and 2011 while it was locked into price contracts with customers such as Loblaw, Metro, Sobeys, Walmart and food supply giant Sysco Canada.” In case that doesn’t make the situation clear enough, when the Spec sought comment from NFC yesterday, they didn’t hear back. The phones lines might have been busy all day—but they might have simply been disconnected. Read the entire story [The Hamilton Spectator] »

The Informer

Features

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Exodus to the burbs: why diehard downtowners are giving up on the city

The reasons to abandon the overcrowded, overpriced, not-so-livable city are beginning to outnumber the reasons to stay. More and more of us are tempted by the 905 and beyond. Screw Jane Jacobs. We’re outta here

The New Suburbanites

Brian Porter and Carrie Low thought they’d hatched the perfect plan to avoid the eight-lane gridlock they faced every week on their drive to the family cottage in the Kawarthas. Porter, a soft-spoken 41-year-old Toronto firefighter, would arrange his work schedule to be home on Friday. He’d pack the car at noon and pick up his daughters, Lily and Amelia, from daycare shortly after lunch. Then, rather than head from their home in the Beach to pick up Low downtown, he’d drive to a strategic pit stop in Oshawa. Low, a slim 41-year-old redhead, works as a lawyer with RBC in the financial district, her days and nights packed, respectively, with meetings and paperwork. Her role in the escape plan was to get off work early and catch the GO train to Oshawa Station. Often, she’d end up working a pressure-packed day until 5 p.m. anyway, leaving Porter and the girls waiting at the station for hours. In the end they never gained that much time—it could still be a challenge to get to the cottage before nightfall. But at least they’d avoided the worst hours on the DVP and the 401.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Pier-less Burlington still waiting for its promised—but seemingly doomed—downtown waterfront attraction

A shot of the bay in Burlington (Image: Brie79)

Standing proof that mismanaged construction projects that drag on for years aren’t just the stuff of the 4-1-6, more than eight years and millions upon millions of dollars later Burlington residents are still waiting for what was supposed to be a landmark waterfront attraction to be complete. The Brant Street pier, an extension of Burlington’s main drag designed to curve outwards more than 130 metres into Lake Ontario, has seen its construction marred with unexpected costs, huge delays and freak accidents, including an incident where—seriously—a crane toppled over back in 2008.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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NHL fans break from playoffs to discuss gay marriage—because, apparently, it’s still 2006

Normally, “Canadian athlete supports existing Canadian law” wouldn’t be a big story—but the fact that New York Rangers forward Sean Avery (born in North York) supports equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians not only in Canada, but also in New York (cue Canadian smugness over progressive values), changes everything. All of a sudden, we have a case of “famous person makes political statement” on our hands. Throw in that Todd Reynolds, the vice-president of Burlington-based Uptown Sports Management, decided to weigh in on Twitter last night with his own brand of idiotic bigotry, and the story proved too juicy to let it pass us by.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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“Cancer faker” story comes to an appropriately weird close

Screen shot from a Facebook group page for Demanding Ashley Anne Kirilow Be Held Accountable (Image: Facebook)

Last year, Toronto’s press was all over the bizarre story of Ashley Anne Kirilow, the young woman from Burlington who shaved her head and eyebrows to fake the appearance of someone undergoing intense chemotherapy, and who managed to bilk around $12,000 from well-wishers. That story came to a close yesterday as Kirilow pleaded guilty to the last counts against her in court. The conditions of her sentence are, appropriately enough, as “interesting” as the crime itself.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: an 1880 Aldershot triplex for under $1 million

ADDRESS: 327 Townsend Avenue

NEIGHBOURHOOD:  Aldershot, Burlington

AGENT: Dan Cooper and Sheela Dombkowski, Royal LePage Real Estate Services

PRICE: $995,000

THE PLACE: A towering triplex in the charming former downtown neighbourhood of Aldershot (now the heart of Burlington), this classic three-storey Victorian is all about getting historical bang for your buck. Sure, it has an in-ground solar-heated pool and parking for eight, but it also has the original 10-foot ceilings, wood trim, doors, hardware and staircase. The house is divided into three units, meaning an investor could get a financial boost in addition to the historical one.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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Cats now prisoners in their own Oakville homes

Toronto city hall has a reputation—deserved or not—for passing more regulations than its suburban counterparts. But while Hogtown thinks about scrapping its pet licensing requirement to save money, the 905 is cracking down on those vicious, sociopathic animals who butcher fowl and furniture alike: house cats.

The Toronto Star reports:

Oakville has joined neighbours Milton, Burlington and Hamilton in prohibiting cats from roaming free. The town has already banned dogs from running loose, but added cats to the list when it consolidated all animal bylaws last month.

Owners whose loose cats repeatedly end up at the Oakville shelter can be fined $105, plus a $30 town surcharge, a return fee of $25 and $15 for each day the cat stays at the shelter.

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The Informer

People

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Spotted! Ryan Gosling getting his Canuck Christmas on in Burlington

Ryan Gosling: Burlington or bust (Image: friskytuna)

Do we really need more reasons to love Ryan Gosling? Yeah, yeah, we know he’s dating a Gossip Girl, but let’s just put that unfortunate match out of our minds for a minute and swoon over the ukulele scene in Blue Valentine. Then there was the recent interview in which, when asked to sing whatever song came into his head, Gosling broke into the My Little Pony theme (Blake Lively probably doesn’t even know what a My Little Pony is). So we hardly need another reason to crush on Canada’s hunk with a heart, but here it is anyway: the Goz spent the holidays not at Chateau Marmont and not on some Lohanian coke bender but back home with his mom in Burlington, Ontario.

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The Goods

Shopping

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The $65,000 summer home: inside four Florida houses that these Toronto couples got for a steal

When the North American housing market collapsed in 2008, Florida turned into foreclosure alley. With the loonie riding high against the U.S. dollar, housing prices in free fall and Canadian bank branches blooming all over the Sunshine State, real estate–savvy, vitamin D–deprived Torontonians smelled opportunity. Great bargains and warm weather aren’t the only reasons Florida is turning into Toronto South: the recent buyers we talked to discovered there’s much more to the state than strip malls, track suits and theme parks.

The Informer

Business

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Burlington woman develops fictional cancer to get attention, Internet grants her wish

A photo from the Change for a Cure Facebook page simply titled "$20.63 :)"

The Internet is like a 21st-century monkey’s paw: sure, it will grant you a wish, just not in the way you think—you never know what innocent googling will result in dirtiness. So when Ashley Anne Kirilow of Burlington decided that an awesome way to get attention (and make some cash) would be to start an innovative charity, she probably didn’t realize what was coming her way. People who felt bad for the young lady who said she had cancer would give her small amounts of money, which is why the charity was called Change for a Cure. Just one problem: Kirilow’s charity, and her cancer, were entirely made up. Donated money went straight into her pockets.

Now, the Internet has turned on her, proving for the second day in a row just how much power it wields.

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