• Split image of Elton McDonald (via Facebook) and the tunnel in Toronto (Toronto Police Services).Split image of Elton McDonald (via Facebook) and the tunnel in Toronto (Toronto Police Services).

    It really was just the coolest fort ever.

    The architect of a mystery underground tunnel found near the Rexall Centre at York University in Toronto says it was just a fun project for him and some friends.

    Elton McDonald, a 22-year-old construction worker, has come forward to say he meant no harm by building the bunker discovered near the venue for the upcoming Pan-Am Games.

    “It was not meant as a bad thing,” McDonald told the Toronto Sun in an interview.

    “It was just something I always wanted to do,” he said. “When you went down there it was like you don’t even exist. I wanted to make it a place that no one knew about it.”

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    The tunnel – 10 metres long, almost two metres high and less than a metre wide – sparked a great deal of speculation after it was discovered Jan. 14 by a Toronto Region and Conservation

    Read More »from Elton McDonald tells newspaper why he built the mysterious Toronto tunnel
  • Cities like New York, where this Zombie Walk was held, would be vulnerable to a zombie outbreak. (Getty)Cities like New York, where this Zombie Walk was held, would be vulnerable to a zombie outbreak. (Getty)

    In the event of a zombie outbreak, the more isolated you are, the less likely it is you’ll end up snack food for the undead, according to a new study.

    A team of researchers at Cornell University is using an outbreak of the fictional disease to hone their statistical modelling for the spread of disease.

    They ran thousands of simulations of a zombie outbreak and they found highly populated areas are at the greatest risk.

    “It took a while for zombies to make their way out to remote, rural areas,” said Alex Alemi, a graduate student in theoretical physics at Cornell University and the lead author.

    “I can’t speak in specifics to Canada, but the general point is that you want to be as far away from as many people as possible.”

    Which makes most of Canada pretty ideal during an outbreak.

    The undead are going through quite a revival in popular culture, thanks in part to the hit show The Walking Dead. The U.S. Center for Disease Control even uses a zombie apocalypse to promote emergency

    Read More »from Want to avoid the zombie apocalypse? Move to the countryside
  • Margot Bentley (CBC)Margot Bentley (CBC)
    The lawyer for a family that claims their Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother is being fed against her will in a nursing home says there are grounds to take a B.C. Court of Appeal decision on the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Vancouver lawyer Kieran Bridge says 83-year-old Margo Bentley, who lives in an Abbotsford, B.C., care home, left written instructions that if she became terminally incapacitated she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means, including receiving “nourishment or liquids.”

    Bentley is in the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease first diagnosed in 1999. She does not recognize anyone, is unresponsive and requires someone to perform all basic needs.

    As a retired nurse who used to take care of dementia patients, Bentley anticipated this, said Bridge. She told her family verbally and in writing she did not want to be kept alive.

    But her caregivers have been feeding her with a spoon, which her husband and daughter, her legal guardians, argued first in B.C. Supreme

    Read More »from Right to die legal debate takes another turn in B.C.
  • The skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia (Getty Images)The skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia (Getty Images)

    When it comes to quality of life, it seems the West Coast is the best coast.

    Vancouver is the most livable city in North America, according to a new global survey.

    The list by British-based consulting firm Mercer ranks Vancouver No. 5 in the world when it comes to quality of life, after Vienna, Zurich, Auckland and Munich, in that order.

    “This is true for most of the major Canadian cities – they rank highly because of Canada’s favourable political and social environment, as well as medical and health considerations,” Eleana Rodriguez of Mercer Canada told Yahoo Canada News.

    “Vancouver tends to score a little bit higher than some of the other Canadian cities because, of course, of the weather. The weather is a bit more favourable in Vancouver than it is in Toronto… or Ottawa, for example.”

    Vancouver is the only city in North America to break the top 10. Toronto makes the list at 15, Ottawa at 16 and Montreal at 24.

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    Read More »from Vancouver is North America's most liveable city: survey
  • Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is shown in a Twitter photo posted by @ArmedResearch. (CP)Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is shown in a Twitter photo posted by @ArmedResearch. (CP)

    With the controversial release of a killer’s video, Canadians may finally get some answers Friday from the mouth of Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on his motives for his attacks and whether he had an alternate plan or connections to terrorists.

    News of the video comes at a time that Canadians are feeling particularly vulnerable to more terroristattacks, according to a poll released by CBC News.

    Terrorist attacks on home soil became a reality last October when two soldiers were killed in unrelated attacks.

    On Oct. 20, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run down in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. by Martin Couture-Rouleau, who was shot dead by police,. Couture-Rouleau’s passport had been seized in July to prevent him from travelling to Syria to fight with the Islamic State, a terrorist group also known as ISIS.

    Just two days later, Zehaf-Bibeau attacked and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the War Memorial and then stormed Parliament where he died in a hail of gunfire.

    Read More »from Release of Zehaf-Bibeau video coming as fear of terrorism on the rise in Canada
  • (Photo: Thinkstock)(Photo: Thinkstock)

    You’ve probably never heard of Karl Ove Knausgaard, unless you happened on the flap he caused in the last few days by trashing the eating habits of Newfoundlanders in a New York Times Magazine article.

    Knausgaard is a Norwegian author best known for a six-part, 3,500-page memoir entitled Min Kamp (My Struggle), which should not be connected in any way with an identically titled book by a certain political leader in Germany in the 1920s.

    Social media is still rippling with reaction to Knausgaard’s observation that almost everyone he encountered in a restaurant in St. Anthony, N.L., during a trip to visit abandoned Viking settlements at L’Anse aux Meadows was fat, and apparently proud of it.

    “Everyone in the place, except the waiter, was fat, some of them so fat that I kept having to look at them,” Knausgaard said, recalling his dinner at a place called Jungle Jim’s.

    “I had never seen people that fat before. The strange thing was that none of them looked as if they were trying to hide

    Read More »from Norwegian author's fat comment hits Canadians' self-esteem
  • Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: Thinkstock
    A controversial decision involving a First Nations girl refusing chemotherapy may not be final just yet, as the ministers from the Ontario auditor general's office are still in talks discussing the best way to resolve the matter.

    Provincial justice officials asked the parties involved to agree to extend the deadline for filing an appeal.

    “I can confirm that the appeal period for the Hamilton Health Sciences matter has been extended by agreement to March 13. The family and the Government of Ontario are continuing to discuss the most respectful and effective ways to provide for this child’s health care,” Christine Burke, spokeswoman for the minister, said in an emailed statement.

    “As the matter may be before the courts, and out of respect for the family’s privacy, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

    J.J.’s case is dishearteningly similar to that of Makayla Sault, the 11-year-old from the New Credit First Nation who died of a stroke in January, after quitting chemotherapy in

    Read More »from Ontario AG seeks steps into case of First Nations girl who quit chemo
  • Donny Ouimette was identified as one of the men killed in the shooting at a Toronto McDonald's. (Facebook)Donny Ouimette was identified as one of the men killed in the shooting at a Toronto McDonald's. (Facebook)

    The security guard at the centre of the double-fatal shooting at a Toronto McDonald’s is assisting police in their investigation, but faces intense scrutiny and possible criminal charges surrounding the use of his firearm.

    The guard, whose name has not been released, stopped for food at the east end McDonald’s on Danforth Avenue near Coxwell Avenue at about 3 a.m. on Sunday when an altercation broke out and two men were fatally wounded. The guard suffered a gunshot injury to his hand.

    Security expert Chris Menary, author of The Canadian Security Professionals Guide, said police will examine every aspect of the shooting, including whether the guard was following the strict rules that govern the use of firearms by licensed security workers.

    “Unless he was dropping cash there, he is going to have a real hard sell as to why he pulled his firearm unless the men tried to get his firearm or pulled a knife on him, because Ontario has strict rules for storage and use,” Menary said in an

    Read More »from Security guard's use of firearm in fatal McDonald's shooting draws police scrutiny
  • York University cancels classes amid strike (CBC)York University cancels classes amid strike (CBC)

    With classes out at York University and picket lines up at the University of Toronto, post-secondary students in Toronto officially have more to worry about this school year than their grade point average.

    So far, any bad blood being spilled in the dispute has beencontained to the striking teaching assistants (members of the Canadian Union ofPublic Employees) and their university employers.

    Many of those whose education, and, some say, potential future employment, has been impacted are taking it pretty well.

    “Everyone has a right to fight for a better life,” a University of Toronto student, identified as Svetlana Davidchuk, told CBC News.

    Then again, it’s no longer unusual to see picket lines up at schools, as well as other public institutions.

    Strikes resulting from severe austerity measures feature heavily in the headlines we read about Greece’s struggling economy. But Canadians in various industries aren’t immune from similar problems as budgets shrink and concerns rise over

    Read More »from University students out of classrooms again as Toronto teaching assistants strike
  • It’s not unusual to find a surprise inside a box of cereal. Often it’s good, like a coupon or a little toy. Sometimes it’s something nasty, which warrants a stern letter to the manufacturer of said cereal.

    And sometimes it's poignant, like the surprise high school teacher Stephane Gaudette got when he opened a box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes on Monday morning. The wax paper package inside contained this message:

    “This is the very last bag of Canadian cereal for the Canadian market from Kellogg’s London Ontario plant. Fri. Dec. 5, 2014.”

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    The bag was signed by three workers who’d been employed at the nine-decade-old plant between 24 and 29 years.

    According to the London Free Press, Kellogg’s London plant shut down for good on Dec. 21, putting 500 people out of work. It made 27 cereals, including Corn Flakes, Frosted

    Read More »from Farewell message on Frosted Flakes also a fitting epitaph for branch plants


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