Raptors 905: Making the Cut

Coach with basketball team.

Posted: December 2nd, 2016
Negus Webster-Chan joins fellow Canadian and Burlington native, Brady Heslip as the only two Canadians on the Raptors 905 roster for 2016-2017.


The 2016 World Cup of Hockey: from the fans’ point of view

Scotiabank Fan Village at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto 2016 (Austin Owens/Toronto Observer)

Posted: October 19th, 2016
The World Cup of Hockey 2016 tournament garnered mixed reviews and inconsistent attendance. Some fans enjoyed themselves at the free viewing parties outside the Air Canada Centre, while some within the hockey community, including amateur players who might be expected to feel a deeper connection to the event, were lukewarm.


Succeed in the LSAT: Prep Courses or Solo Study?

LSAT in session at York University on Saturday, September 24th.

Posted: October 17th, 2016
The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is a key hurdle for anyone who wants to apply to a North American law school, and is just the first step in an anxiety ridden and expensive few months for tens of thousands of young Canadians every year. Many students take formal preparatory courses, shelling out hundreds of dollars to do so. There are so many private prep courses, public information sessions and study options, how can prospective Canadian students know which is the best path towards acing the LSAT?


Where Hollywood gets its cop cars. Hint? Ontario

A decommisioned Toronto Police Services car at MK Picture Cars in Etobicoke, Ontario. These cars are used as props in the film industry. (Sadiah Rahman/Toronto Observer)

Posted: October 13th, 2016
When people think of police cars, they immediately think of flashing lights, high speed-chases, and uniformed police officers catching bad guys. This is what police cruisers are meant to do, but what happens when the car has too much mileage, or isn't worth fixing? When law enforcement vehicles are put out for retirement, they often find second careers. They turn into someone else's private car, or maybe even turn up as a prop in a blockbuster movie.


2016 federal budget: transit, housing, seniors, Bombardier

Pape subway station platform

Posted: March 23rd, 2016
On March 22, the new federal Liberal government released its first budget. The Toronto Observer’s Bradley Dobson, Daniel McKenzie, Cherry (Changhong) Liu and Amy McNeill take a look at what’s in store for Ontario’s public transit, social housing, old age security and Bombardier.


Families spring to Dunedin to bond over Blue Jays

Hannah Carver/Toronto Observer

Posted: March 10th, 2016
For some, baseball is just a game, but for others it capsulizes decades of family tradition. Two seasoned Blue Jays fans were having a bite to eat at Marguerite’s, a fan hotspot outside the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, before the team hosted the Atlanta Braves. John McKague reminisced about his ongoing tradition at Blue Jays spring training with his wife, Jenny. “It was a sad story,” he said. “My wife’s father died and my brother died about two weeks later. We said, ‘I need a holiday, let’s get the hell out of here.’ We came down here, and we have come down here ever since. That was 25 years ago.


The G-Word on Danforth East: Who has a say in gentrification?

Danforth East Mural

Posted: December 11th, 2015
Gentrification. Most people agree it's a loaded word. Depending on where you sit on the property ladder, it could mean enjoying the boon of higher property values, or the fear of being displaced by them. The latest neighbourhood in Toronto's east end to see this kind of change is the strip of the Danforth from Greenwood Avenue to Main Street, sometimes referred to as Danforth East.


Brave the Winter: Upcoming Toronto Festivals

Photo: Rick Clifford/Long Winter

Posted: December 10th, 2015
With a bevy of festivals quickly approaching, a chilly Canadian winter won't be a strong enough deterrent to keep Torontonians within the confines of their homes. From genre-specific music festivals to art exhibits and three-course dinners, locals have plenty of reasons to brave the cold this season. The Observer samples some of Toronto's ongoing and upcoming winter festivals.


Rising UFC Fighter Still Calling Toronto Home

UFC fighter Elias Theodorou taking a short break between striking rounds. Photo: Themistoklis Alexis

Posted: December 9th, 2015
Mixed martial artist and Mississauga native Elias Theodorou is riding a three-fight win streak in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), his sport's most reputable promotion. But despite a steadily rising stock, Theodorou is keeping his camp at home.


Vinyl stories: Inside 5 Toronto record shops


Posted: December 3rd, 2015
The emergence of iPods and mp3 players may have caused the near demise of the CD, but Toronto's dozens of record stores are proof that vinyl is still alive and well. From the Danforth to Little Italy, one would be hard-pressed to venture into a neighborhood without its own purveyor of LPs, 45s and 12-inch singles.


From raw to roasted: The journey of a coffee bean

Pilot's barista is always ready to serve up their coffee, roasted on-site.

Posted: November 29th, 2015
From raw to roasted, the path of the humble coffee bean is a marriage of both art and science. The Observer visited Pilot Coffee Roasters in Toronto's east end to discover how to create the perfect roast profile every time.


Looking for love beyond The keyboard

Photo Cred/

Posted: November 23rd, 2015
Modern dating has become a minefield of options: Tinder, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish,, eHarmony, and the list goes on. All of them are digital, happening from behind a screen. What does meeting someone even mean anymore? Two young journalists decided it was time to find out by experiencing dating the old-fashioned way and actually meeting like-minded singles face-to-face.


Swimming in Canada: A new pool and a bright future


Posted: November 9th, 2015
With the 2015 Pan American Games in the past, the pool at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Scarborough has turned its focus to the future of swimming in Canada. Coming off the most successful summer muti-sport event in the country’s history, the goal is to continue to grow the sport not only for the 2016 Olympics, but for the next few cycles. However, the first step is Rio, and improving on the two medals won at London 2012.


Ryerson Rams on verge of unlikely transformation


Posted: November 5th, 2015
Canadian basketball was on the cusp of something special back in 2008. Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson – years away from their NBA debuts – silently pioneered a youth movement to one of best prep schools in the U.S., opening the doors for their fellow countrymen. The high school talent was exploding with two basketball titans – Eastern Commerce and Pickering High – taking centre stage and showcasing a record number of future National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Canadian ballers. And an off-season deal for the hotly touted Hedo Turkoglu had the Toronto Raptors’ fanbase delirious for the upcoming season. But in the middle of it all the Ryerson Rams basketball program stood oddly still.


Danforth area cafe crawl

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Posted: November 4th, 2015
East York residents are starting to appreciate the complexity of high-end quality coffee blends. Typically, Canadians are known for their reputation of consuming cup after cup of Tim Hortons brew. However, the quick convenience of the daily double double is being pushed to the side with the emergence of many artisan cafes throughout the East York community. These cafes provide a quality cup of joe, meticulously brewed specific to the customer’s preferences.


Bring on the Summer: Toronto’s Hottest Music Festivals


Posted: May 20th, 2015
What event? Riot Fest When is it happening? September 19-20 Where is it? Downsview Park What’s it sound like? Punk, hardcore, metal and rock How much does it cost? Tickets are not currently up for sale. Early Bird tickets were available through the Riot Fest website. The two packages included the following: 2-day general admission as well as […]


No snow tires on TTC buses: Riders at risk?


Posted: March 1st, 2015
Imagine being on your way somewhere and the TTC bus you’re in is not moving, because it can’t get up the hill in the snow. That is exactly what happened to many passengers on Monday February 2, when at least one bus on York Mills Road east of Yonge Street was struggling to get up the hill, due to the 22 centimetres of snow that walloped Southern Ontario overnight Sunday and into the morning commute. The TTC buses do not use snow tires.

Toronto politics: Stuck in the past

Toronto’s new council: white, again


Posted: November 24th, 2014
First-time candidate Randy Bucao never thought the colour of his olive skin was going to be a problem in his campaign during the recent 2014 Toronto municipal election. A mechanical engineer who moved to Canada in 1994, he’s been heavily involved with the city’s Catholic school board, and his Filipino-Canadian organizations in Toronto. Bucao knew he would face a challenge campaigning for a council seat in a heavily ethnic area, Ward 10, York-Centre, but not blatant racism from some residents.

Women's Hockey

Women’s pro hockey moves to a bigger media pond

Sami Jo Small

Posted: November 8th, 2014
The Canadian Women's Hockey League has signed a four-year deal with Sportsnet to broadcast the Clarkson Cup every March. The partnership will provide young female Canadians with a more visible goal to aspire to.

Toronto politics: Stuck in the past

Councillor for life: Toronto’s incumbency problem


Posted: November 7th, 2014
Four years ago, Jon Burnside came up just short in his bid to defeat long-time incumbent councillor John Parker in the Toronto municipal election. This fall, Burnside got his revenge. He surged past Parker Oct. 27, and became the only challenger to beat an incumbent.


Two decades of misery: A guide to Toronto’s losing generation

Leafs fans gather in Maple Leaf Square to watch the infamous Leafs-Bruins playoff series in May 2013. Katie Thebeau/Flickr Creative Commons

Posted: November 6th, 2014
In many ways Toronto is a great city. But for all of its merits there is one way Toronto is a cesspool and arguably the worst city in North America: the quality of its professional sports teams. Over the last two decades this town has put on a clinic in sporting ineptitude, leaving an entire generation with no recollection of a major North American championship.

Alzheimer's and dementia

Providence Healthcare has a drop-off program for Alzheimer’s patients and their families

Providence Healthcare has a drop-off program for Alzheimer’s patients and their families

Posted: October 24th, 2014
Though some people diagnosed with dementia may be apprehensive about joining, Elizabeth Davison and her staff employ a variety of techniques to help patients decide to give the program a try. “Sometimes to get them in there we’ll say ‘Why don’t you come for a cup of tea and we’ll see if you like it?’… We really try and promote that club atmosphere”

Alzheimer's and dementia

Technology can keep wandering Alzheimer’s patients safer


Posted: October 24th, 2014
Technological innovation is helping some families in the GTA keep track of where their loved ones with Alzheimer’s are, from a GPS wristband in York Region called Project Lifesaver, to a special colour-coded MedicAlert bracelet. They are also using smartphones that incorporate geofencing, which is a software that administers and alerts the families of the individual when the tracked person leaves his or her arranged boundaries.

Alzheimer's and dementia

Some GTA police forces using Project Lifesaver to track wandering dementia patients


Posted: October 24th, 2014
More cases of wandering Alzheimer’s patients are appearing in the news. And experts are predicting the number of people in Ontario with Alzheimer’s to rise dramatically soon. Now a police department in the GTA is offering a new program to keep these at risk people safer. Observer TV News’ Jennifer Lee reports.

Alzheimer's and dementia

Why Ontario’s new Alzheimer’s strategy is stalled


Posted: October 24th, 2014
One day before the federal health minister's Oct. 1 announcement that Canada is working on a national strategy on dementia, a high-profile Ontario politician said government is “acting far too slowly.”

Alzheimer's and dementia

Wandering elderly: 1,200 Alzheimer’s and dementia patients lost in Toronto


Posted: October 24th, 2014
The federal government announced on Wednesday, Oct. 1 that it is in the “early stages” of developing a national strategy for dementia. But with no definitive money pledged, no allocation of funds, and no timeline provided, the announcement by the federal Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, is too little, too late for the Basdeo family of Vaughan, Ontario.