• (Photo via Thinkstock)(Photo via Thinkstock)

    The dogs were kept in a long cement corridor divided into side-by-side barred compartments; Finn Bannerman knew instantly that this was not where they wanted to leave Bruce, their one-and-a-half-year-old German shepherd, border collie mix.

    "My clearest memory is just the noise,” Bannerman says. “There was a lot of barking. There did seem to be a lot of dogs in one room. They each had their own space but it was quite small."

    Having travelled with Bruce from Toronto to Virginia to attend a friend's wedding, Bannerman was not able to visit the kennel prior to leaving him there and because of the hotel's no-dog policy they had no choice but to board him.

    "I found a kennel [online] and it said that they let the dogs play outside quite a bit and it sounded like an okay place. We hadn't left him anywhere prior to this and upon getting to the kennel, we didn't really get to see much of the space."

    They cringe when they recall picking him up the next day. "A concerning outcome after picking

    Read More »from Boarding, pet-sitting or home-visiting: Finding the best care option for your dog while you're on vacation
  • Norman the one-eyed racehorse, who inspired people and children's books, was euthanized Friday after breaking a leg.Norman the one-eyed racehorse, who inspired people and children's books, was euthanized Friday after breaking a leg.

    A one-eyed horse from Ottawa, who inspired several children’s books, is being remembered this week as a gentle giant that leaves behind a legacy of strength and perseverance.

    Norman the one-eyed horse, who died Friday, was once known as Alydeed’s Leader, bred to race like his ancestors.

    The brown beauty came from Canadian racing royalty: his grandfather, Northern Dancer, is considered to be one of the most successful sires of the 20th century, having won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. His father, Alydeed, won the Canadian Queen’s Plate in 1992.

    In his professional career, which took him from Calgary to Fort Erie, Ont., Norman won two races and placed either second or third in 15.

    “He wasn’t very fast but he was a very big racehorse,” his owner Heather Young tells Yahoo Canada News. “He was just this massive animal with the biggest heart and chose to be gentle even though he’d been through a lot.”

    Young first met her beloved companion in 2010. She was visiting the Heaven

    Read More »from Norman the one-eyed racehorse inspired people & children’s books
  • If Toronto is looking for a follow-up party to the Pan Am Games, the city should look at hosting the Commonwealth Games. That’s the advice from a business expert who has studied the economics of the Olympic Games.

    “If you want to have a party, try hosting the Commonwealth Games. It’s a cheaper party,” says Tsur Somerville, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. Affordability is all relative, he tells Yahoo Canada News.

    Toronto and Ontario could, no doubt, find the resources to host the largest athletic competition in the world given the speculation last week about a possible 2024 Olympic bid.

    “The question is whether that’s the best use of resources,” he says. “My advice to Toronto would be Toronto and Ontario have a whole bunch of things that they’re in debt on, that they need to spend money on that strike me as more important. I think I’d get my electrical and transport situation worked out first and then worry about the Olympics.”

    Somerville

    Read More »from Toronto shouldn’t follow-up Pan Am Games with Olympics: expert
  • Reports this past week of car hacking in Missouri and of camera hacking in southwestern Ontario illustrate just how vulnerable users of wirelessly connected devices can be.

    “Anything that goes out over the airwaves can be hacked,” said Chris Menary, a security expert and president of Toronto-based Menary Group Inc. 

    In the car hacking, attackers took control of a Jeep Cherokee on a busy highway killing the engine and bringing it to a sudden halt.

    It was actually an exercise for Wired magazine by two security experts using a laptop and Wi-Fi to send code through a backdoor in the vehicle’s entertainment system forcing the moving Jeep Cherokee to a halt.

    Last year, the same security experts, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, revealed 20 of the “most hackable” vehicles — putting the auto industry on notice.

    The automaker announced Friday a recall of 1.4 million vehicles to ensure owners have updated security. 

    While hackers hijacking our cars is scary — there’s little that frightens

    Read More »from Car and camera hacking illustrate how vulnerable users are
  • Festival goers enjoy the sunshine at Glastonbury Festival on June 25, 2015 in England. (Getty Images)Festival goers enjoy the sunshine at Glastonbury Festival on June 25, 2015 in England. (Getty Images)

    Party animals were acting more like litterbugs at a recent music festival in B.C.

    Dealing with litterbugs and the vast quantities of garbage created at summer events, from music fests to running races, is an ongoing challenge, acknowledge several music festival organizers from around the country.

    A photo posted to Facebook by Keith Harasymiw of the aftermath at the Pemberton Music Festival in late July hit a nerve with Canadians after it was picked up by several media outlets.

    Many festivalgoers had the gall not only to leave their litter scattered around the stunning B.C. Coast Mountain camping area, but also left behind air mattresses, coolers and a red-and-white Canada camping chair. Oh, Canada, indeed.

    #disrgracefulmess

    The atrocious mess inspired Harasymiw to post the photo with this scarcastic comment:

    “Great job on picking up after yourselves at Pembyfest. Glad to see how much you all love your gorgeous BC. #Pembyfest #disgracefulmess”

    He later posted another photo of the

    Read More »from Litterbugs go home: Music festivals pushing for partiers to keep it clean
  • John Oliver took another swipe at Canada on Sunday night. This time his target was Ottawa, where nearly one in five people are members of infidelity website Ashley Madison.

    The hack of the site last week exposed Canada's capital as the country's capital of cuckoldery.

    So the host of the satirical news program “Last Week Tonight” produced a public service announcement to encourage Ottawans to be faithful to their own partners, calling affairs "downright un-Canadian."

    “If you live in Ottawa, look to your left, look to your right — both of those people are on AshleyMadison.com and SO ARE YOU,” Oliver said, citing a CTV report that the city has 189,810 registered users of Ashley Madison — out of a population of about 985,000.

    "Ottawa, you cannot let this skeezy website destroy your marriages…The City of Ottawa needs to fight back — and perhaps we can help."

    The narrator of a mock tourism video, in a comically bad attempt at a hoser voice, suggests a stroll along the Rideau Canal. “Did you

    Read More »from John Oliver tells Ottawans not to let Ashley Madison ‘destroy your marriages’
  • Need some classy wine tips to show-up your fancy schmancy friends?  Understanding and enjoying wine isn’t as complicated as it seems. The List’s Ariel Wesler takes us through wine facts, that even your friends who just can’t stop talking aboutNeed some classy wine tips to show-up your fancy schmancy friends? Understanding and enjoying wine isn’t as complicated as it seems. The List’s Ariel Wesler takes us through wine facts, that even your friends who just can’t stop talking about

    A Canadian legal charity that works on cases pro-bono is crowdfunding Canadians for the cause of free beer.

    The Indiegogo campaign launched by the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is aiming to raise $20,000 for the legal defence for a New Brunswick man who was charged with illegally importing liquor into his home province from Quebec in 2012. Gerard Comeau, a retired steelworker, was fined $292.50 after buying 17 cases of his favourite beer from a Quebec liquor store.

    New Brunswick’s liquor law prohibits importing more than one bottle of wine or 12 pints of beer from another province.

    The CCF intends to challenge the outdated law, saying it goes against section 121 of the Constitution Act of 1867, which protects the free flow of goods from one province into another.

    “We’re not planning to give away free beer,” Karen Selick, CCF’s litigation director tells Yahoo Canada News. “We’re trying to free up the inter-provincial transportation of beer.”

    Mark Hicken is a lawyer with the

    Read More »from Ban on importing alcohol inter-provincially being challenged
  • Adults can head back to camp and play games like tug-of-war, just like they did as kids. (Thinkstock)Adults can head back to camp and play games like tug-of-war, just like they did as kids. (Thinkstock)

    An increasing number of Canadian grown-ups are seeking fun and frivolity at adult-only summer camps, where tapping into your inner child takes place without fear of reprimand, time outs or the dreaded stink eye.

    That’s a big part of the appeal for those 18 and over who are signing up and paying, in some cases, several hundred dollars for weekend and week-long camp vacations. Essentially, these organized camps give adults a free pass to goof off unabashedly.

    “It’s a way to shed your professional self and be a kid again,” says Danielle Goldfinger, founder of Two Islands Weekend, a camp that mixes alcohol and food with canoeing, beach volleyball and yoga. “When kids go to camp they meet the best pals of their lives and this is a way to facilitate that kind of bonding.”

    Nostalgia for creating tie-dyed t-shirts and joining in sing-alongs around a bonfire prompted Goldfinger, a seasoned camper as a child, to establish her grown-up version in Haliburton two summers ago. To assess interest,

    Read More »from Psychologists see value in adults making the return to summer camp
  • Why the secrecy? That’s what a lot of Torontonians are asking about the police response to a double shooting at a city McDonald’s last February. The public has been told very little about the incident, except that a private security guard who was working near the fast food restaurant stopped in to grab a bite when he became engaged in a significant confrontation with two young men whom he subsequently shot and killed.

    The public doesn’t know exactly why the guard shot the men, what triggered the altercation or how it escalated, though there’s speculation that the guard felt his life was in danger. The public also doesn’t know the guard’s name, nor where he was working before he stopped into McDonald’s; only the name of the company that employs him has been released. Finally, surveillance video of the event has not been viewed outside of police offices.

    There is a huge difference between the public interest and what the public is interested in.
    Mark Pugash, Toronto Police

    In a

    Read More »from Why won't police share information after a public incident?
  • A water bomber returns to Okanagan Lake during efforts to fight the wildfire in Kelowna, B.C. (Reuters)A water bomber returns to Okanagan Lake during efforts to fight the wildfire in Kelowna, B.C. (Reuters)

    If you like your wine to have a smoky flavour, having the grapes ripen in the midst of a raging wildfire is not how you get it.

    The Okanagan region of southern British Columbia once again is threatened by fires racing through the tinder-dry forests near the postcard-pretty lake shore. Some of the area’s flourishing wineries are getting ready to again protect their vineyards and buildings.

    It’s just one of the sectors of B.C.’s agriculture industry that has to worry about wildfires, whose damaging effects aren’t limited to blackened strands of timber. Cattle ranchers, pork and chicken operators and orchard-fruit growers can all find themselves scrambling if fire threatens to encroach on them.

    Memories of 2003’s Summer of Fire aren’t buried very deeply around Okanagan Lake. That year, the Okanagan Mountain Park fire ate into the grapevines at Oak Bay Vineyards and destroyed the first winery building at adjacent St. Hubertus Estate winery, as well as co-founder Leo Gebert’s home.

    “It was

    Read More »from Smoky grapes, scorched beef: ‘Agri-threats’ posed by B.C. wildfires

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