What Does a CTC/CIE Deposit to My Bank Account Come From?

September 19th, 2017

CTC/CIE is one of the more unusual acronyms you’ll come across when it comes to identifying the source of various deposits and withdrawals in your Canadian bank account.

CTC/CIE stands for the Child Tax Credit, which is a federal program for families with children under the age of 18. (This used to be called the “Baby Bonus” back your mom’s day…)

You’ll likely see the CTC/CIE deposit monthly. Now you know! And if, like the rest of us you’re wondering what the Canada PRO payment is, we’ve got info about that too.


         

Fairmount Park and Bowmore Field Closed Until December 2017

September 17th, 2017

Fairmount Park neighbours will be interested to know that the resodding undertaken at Fairmount Park in early September 2017 requires 12 weeks to settle before locals can begin using the park. The busy park is located at Upper Gerrard street adjacent to Bowmore Public School just east of Coxwell avenue.

Fairmount Park Community Centre sign with the centre in teh background

This means, the fences erected around the park adjacent to Bowmore School will be up until early December, according to the timeline shared by the admin at Bowmore Public School.

The outdoor landscaping project also involved removing an extraneous baseball diamond (it was located too close to an adjacent baseball diamond, so two games could never be played at the same time, which renders the second diamond meaningless) and replacing old fencing.

The field at Fairmount Park is popular with dog walkers, local families and baseball teams. Everyone is looking forward to playing on the new leveled field – which should be open in time to accommodate the free local outdoor skating rink, maintained by local families.

Telus Shares Great Videos About Online Safety for Kids

September 16th, 2017

A series of online safety videos for kids and teens shared by Telus starring the kids from Degrassi Next Generation are a helpful tool for parents trying to navigate a trickyy online world with their children.

The video series covers topics like cyber bullying, sexting and identity theft – and does so in depth, with more than one video on each topic.

Parents are encouraged to keep an open channel of communication with their kids, and to just simply pay attention. This is something police recommend too. A recent Toronto Star article about human trafficking (which is a terrible problem in the greater GTA than most parents may know) quoted police officers as saying that busy parents feel that teenagers are old enough to navigate relationships themselves – when in fact, a watchful eye and a closer monitoring of who your teens hang out with and talk to can help prevent them from getting entangled with dangerous people. It sounds simple and obvious, but if you’re a parent, you likely understand the tendency to back off from your teen’s social life. Police aren’t recommending hovering or helicoptering – but they do recommend knowing who your kids know and who they talk to. This simple act could keep them safe.

 

Buca Osteria at King and Portland in Toronto is Wonderful

September 16th, 2017

Buca Osteria is a must-visit Toronto restaurant for people who love authentic Italian food. The large, open concept dining room with exposed brick walls is trendy and inviting and the hot spot is also a magnet for visiting celebrities.

With a group of friends, I tried the special chefs menu that Buca had prepared for us.

Dishes included deep fried olives stuffed with salami, homemade gnocci stuffed with pesto, crusted and pan fried. Branzino fish that melted in your mouth. A grilled prime rib Fred Flintstone would be happy to bite into. Homemade pizza with fresh ricotta and basil leaves. I could go on.

This is the kind of place where you can taste the fresh tomatoes, the garlic and the lemon on your tongue. It’s the kind of cooking I try to do at home and sometimes succeed, but rarely with this kind of flair.

Buca is totally recommended.

Godspeed is Best New Microbrewery in Toronto

September 13th, 2017

Craft beer lovers are flocking to Toronto’s east end Little India neighbourhood to check out the city’s newest, coolest, micro-brewery: Godspeed.

Godspeed is a large, modern, open-concept restaurant brewery housed in a huge old retail space on Coxwell Avenue, just south of Gerrard Street east, home of Little India.

Brewmaster Luc “Bim” Lafontaine – a beer superstar in his native Quebec – can usually be seen chatting with guests and even helping a bit with table service in the resto, which features large, open seating tables. (Kind of like pic nic tables – that means if you are a party of two, you might be seated together with another party of four.)

Godspeed serves up Japanese comfort food (not sushi!) along with custom brews made onsite to a packed restaurant each night. The mushroom salad and rice balls, ordered on a recent visit, are outstanding. And the rest looks mighty fine too.

Check it out if you love craft beer and want to visit a great Toronto neighbourhood.

How to Hire a Fee for Service Lawyer without a Retainer in Toronto

January 26th, 2017

Unbundled services, A la carte services and Limited Scope reatainer are the three search terms you need to know if you are trying to hire a lawyer to help you with only certain parts of a legal matter, without a hefty retainer.

This is a common way of doing business in the US and is slowly, and I mean slowly, gaining popularity in Canada.

If you’re like me, you might have a need for these services, but don’t know what to search for. I searched for days and days trying to find help, using the best terms I could muster. I tried; Lawyers who work a la carte, fee for service lawyers and probably “No retainer lawyer”.

I’m here to tell you: the search terms are “unbundled legal services” and “limited scope retainer” and it means that you will be self-represented, but a lawyer will help you – for a pre-determined fee, usually payable up front – draft a letter, craft a defence, strategize for trial etc…You pick the service. You agree on a price. It’s revolutionary.

Here’s a good article: http://www.slaw.ca/2016/02/05/diy-a2j-4-unbundle-your-services-reinvent-your-billing-model/comment-page-1/

And here’s a good guy: http://www.litigationgarage.ca/Self_Service_Litigation_Garage.html

You’re welcome! Spread the word.

Panda Bears and Prime Ministers

October 19th, 2016
a tale of two prime ministers

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vs former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper holding pandas.

Mexico City Launches Video Web Series With Celebrity Designer Genevieve Gorder

April 16th, 2016

Travelers today demand rich, authentic cultural experiences rather than simply ticking landmarks off their sightseeing checklist. To showcase the city’s flourishing design scene and breadth of offerings available to sophisticated, culture seeking travelers, the Mexico City Tourism Trust (Fondo Mixto de Promoción Turística del Distrito Federal) partnered with celebrity designer Genevieve Gorder to launch a video series highlighting her picks for design tips, trends and treasures in Mexico City.

The six-part series immerses viewers in local cultural vignettes as Gorder shares her favorite places to shop, stay, find inspiration and source authentic design pieces in the Mexican Capital. Viewers follow along on the HGTV star’s journey as she meets with up-and-coming designers and brings her interior designer’s eye to the artisan creations available in shopping hotspots.

Her onsite interviews and expert tips educate viewers on the products, places and experiences that are both distinctive to the destination as well as position the capital city as a forward-thinking international design hub. From colorful, open air markets abundant with traditional Mexican creations, to upscale boutiques offering the latest international trends, Mexico City is truly a top design city.

Engaging with consumers around their passions, like design, is an important way for Mexico City to ignite the curiosity that ultimately leads travelers to the destination. The series is hosted on MXCity.mx/en, the official Tourism Promotion Partner website, as well as the @MexicoCityLive YouTube and social media channels. To view the videos, visit MXCity.mx/en/video.

Through her videos, Gorder educates viewers on experiences available to travelers of varying interests, including:

La Ciudadela
This open air market in the heart of Mexico City brings together traditional tourist souvenirs and artisanal products from all over Mexico. Here, Gorder expertly navigates the treasure trove to find eclectic decorative items that demand a story. Zeroing in on hand-painted figures and hammocks, Gorder provides viewers with a bit of history, a dash of geology, and some practical design tips. For more information visit laciudadela.com.mx.

Onora Casa
Located in Polanco, the heart of upscale designer and home décor shopping, Onora Casa brings centuries-old techniques to high end home design. Gorder talks with New York City transplant and Co-Founder Maggie Galton about her vision for rescuing traditional methods, and reveals the true craftsmanship behind the sophisticated textiles and housewares. For more information visit onoracasa.com.

La Metropolitana
Gorder takes viewers behind the scenes at La Metropolitana, a burgeoning furniture design firm that is transforming Mexican design and redefining what “Made in Mexico” means. At the factory, the young owners discuss their process before heading to the showroom where visitors can find a piece to take home with them. For more information visit lametropolitana.com.mx.

Blend Concept Store
Blend is a concept store and designer showroom dedicated to selling the latest designs from Mexico. Viewers follow Gorder as she shops her favorite trends and Mexican designers. For more information visit blendmexico.com.

Hotel Carlota
This design hotel is one of the newest hot spots in the city. Gorder explores the property’s distinct architectural and decorative elements with Javier Sanchez, the architect behind the project, who has led the design with his firm, JSa Architects, from inception to creation. For more information visit hotelcarlota.com.

Claudia Fernández Vintage Furniture
An artist, philanthropist and vintage furniture dealer, Fernandez is an expert of all things midcentury modern design. Gorder gives viewers VIP access into her appointment-only showroom filled with treasures from this iconic period, from intricate light fixtures to bar carts.

Mexico City is the country’s premier tourism destination, welcoming more than 12.5 million visitors a year. As the number one destination on The New York Times “52 Places to Go in 2016” list, there’s never been a better time to visit. The ancient capital offers a vibrant, contemporary culture that combines pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern influences that span nearly seven centuries. With more than 150 museums, 100 contemporary local art galleries and 30 distinct architectural and historic sites, the city is a mecca of fine art and treasures that speak to its vast history. The Mexico City Tourism Promotion Fund (Fondo Mixto de Promoción Turística del Distrito Federal) supports and enhances city tourism. For more information, news and updates on travel to Mexico City, visit Mxcity.mx/en and follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/MexicoCityLive), Twitter (@MexicoCityLive) and Instagram (@MexicoCityLive).

Simple Guacamole Recipe

April 16th, 2016
guacamoli-and-chips

Guacamoli recipe

Ingredients:

4 avocados
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. garlic
1 medium tomato – seeded and diced
Directions:

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits.
Remove the pulp with a spoon and put into a mixing bowl.
With a fork, mash the pulp until it has a coarse texture.
Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, mix well.
Stir in tomato.

Best Cornbread Muffin Recipe

April 16th, 2016
Cornbread muffin recipe

Cornbread muffin recipe

3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cups (level) all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp honey
3/4 cup milk (whole preferred, low fat works) – I used buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)
2. Line muffin pan with liners or use non-stick spray
3. In large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt
4. In separate bowl, break up eggs with a whisk. Whisk in honey then milk. Add milk mixture and melted butter to dry ingredients. Stir until just blended. Do not over mix (a couple of lumps are ok).
5. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan – filling each cup almost full. Bake 17-20 minutes or until tops are set and golden. Cool muffins for a few minutes in the pan and serve warm.