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Canada Day 2014: The best places to watch fireworks across the country

Cityline | posted Monday, Jun 30th, 2014

No Canada Day celebration is complete without an extravagant fireworks display! We love ending our night with a beautiful set of fireworks, so we’ve rounded up some of the top places to watch fireworks in major cities across the country – where will you be watching?

Victoria: A day filled with performances, family-friendly activities, and lots of food is capped off with a gorgeous fireworks display at Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Be sure to check out their full list of Canadian artists performing on their main stage throughout the event! The fireworks will start at 10:20 p.m.

Vancouver: With 13 hours of free family fun, Vancouver’s Canada Day celebration at Canada Place features live performances, interactive exhibits, and a stunning fireworks display at the end! The fireworks will begin at 10:30 p.m., with best viewing areas from Harbour Green Park, Stanley Park, West Vancouver and North Vancouver.

Calgary: Wherever you are, look up! At 10:45 p.m., the city of Calgary will be setting off fireworks from the Centre Street Bridge. This location will allow the show to be seen from various parts of the city, but any spot along the river will give you a great view.

Edmonton: The river valley is a stunning backdrop for the city’s gorgeous fireworks show over the North Saskatchewan River. Festive celebrations will take place throughout the day at City Hall, the Alberta Legislature, in Mill Woods, and other areas of the city.

Regina: Head to Wascana Park for a day-long celebration of Canada, capped off by fireworks after dark, typically around 10:30 p.m. Although they’re set off from Willow Island, they can be seen throughout all of the park.

Winnipeg: The Forks is home to family-friendly activities all day long on July 1st, including musicians, buskers, crafts, and more. The evening closes with a stunning fireworks display at 11pm.

Toronto: Whether you live in the north end of the city or down by the lake, there are tons of great Canada Day events in the city, and two amazing firework shows. At Mel Lastman Square in North York, the city’s official celebration includes a day filled with music and dance, capped off with a fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. Down by Lake Ontario, fireworks will light up the sky around 9:30 p.m. at Ashbridge’s Bay Park.

Ottawa: What better place to celebrate Canada Day than at the nation’s capital? The city’s biggest celebration is on Parliament Hill, with a day-long concert and a fireworks show over the Ottawa River. Just want to see the fireworks? They’ll start around 10 p.m. and you’ll get a great view at Gatineau’s Jacques-Cartier Park and the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization), as well as Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa and along the Ottawa River.

Montreal: The Old Port hosts a variety of historic and cultural events throughout the day on July 1st, with a stunning fireworks display over the St. Lawrence River to close out the celebrations, starting at 10:15 p.m.

Fredericton: Canada Day fun kicks off at noon in Officer’s Square with kid-friendly activities, live entertainment, food vendors and a huge fireworks display over the St. John River at dusk.

Halifax: Parades, music, and family-friendly activities last all day long at Dartmouth Crossings, and the fireworks show at the Halifax Harbour at 10 p.m. is not to be missed!

St. John’s: A sunrise ceremony, cake, bouncy castles and musical performances all lead up to a fireworks display over Quidi Vidi Lake at Signal Hill.

We also asked our viewers to share their favourite fireworks-watching spots! Here are some of their top picks from our Facebook page:

  • Charlene Mancor said: Harrison Hot Springs Fireworks over the lake.
  • Jackie Morley Soares said: On the Severn River at Lost Channel. Everyone goes out in their boats to watch an amazing display year after year!
  • Pauline De said: Beautiful Barrie Waterfront.
  • Wendy Pike-Lyn said: In my beautiful town of Aurora!
  • Kathy Anderson-Robitaille said: Hastings Ontario where I live. It is a small village but the firework display is amazing!!

Our Twitter followers were eager to share their picks, too! Here are some of their faves:







Where will you be watching fireworks this year? Tell us about your favourite places in the comments! Happy Canada Day!

With files from Suzanne Gardner, Cityline.ca

Can’t pay your bills this month? Here’s what to do

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Jun 26th, 2014

We Canadians owe a ton of money — a collective $1.4 trillion of it in fact. It’s money we’ve spent at the mall, the car dealership, at the local pizzeria. Trying to keep up with all the payments can be pretty tough if you’ve overspent, or if you suddenly find yourself unemployed.

Having to face bill payments when you know you don’t have the funds, can be stressful. But the worst thing you could do is shove those unpaid bills in a drawer and hope there’ll be money next month. Instead, take these steps to empower yourself and turn things around.

1. Don’t wait for the problem to go away

If you don’t have enough money to cover all your bills this month, don’t just avoid the stack of bills  and tell yourself you’ll deal with it next month. Face the situation head on and make a plan to get back on track now.

2. Lay it all out

Take all your bills and lay them out in front of you. Write down how much money you owe on each bill (is there a minimum payment you can make?) and when the payment is due.

3. Figure out which to pay first

Now that you’ve figured out what needs to be paid, consider the consequences of missed payments for each one. If you miss a phone bill payment, you’ll likely rack up a late charge; miss a rent payment and your landlord could possibly use it against you in eviction proceedings. There’s also your credit score to consider — missing more than one credit card payment can affect your score and make it harder for you to get credit down the road. While missed utility bills aren’t reported to rating agencies, according to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

4. Consider those interest rates

If you’re paying high interest rates on your debt, then you might want to consider moving those payments up the list. A credit card with a 19.5 percent interest rate is going to cost you big time if you miss payments. And those interest charges will make your bill harder to pay next month…and the month after that.

5. Pick up the phone

If there’s absolutely no way you can pay a particular bill on time, call up the company and explain what’s going on. A nice proactive phone call is a lot better than remaining silent. In the case of your mortgage, for example, your lender might be okay with you missing a payment, as long as they know when they can expect the next payment.

6. Do not avoid collection agencies

If you don’t pay your bills for awhile then pretty soon the company that lent you money might hire a collection agency to get the money back. If you’re getting calls from a collection agency make sure you don’t ignore them! Here’s a good article from the Globe and Mail that gives tips on how to talk to a collection agency.

7. Get better at budgeting

If you’re coming up short every month, it might be time to revisit (or make!) a budget to help you stay on top of your spending. Especially if you’ve had a change in your finances, such as a job loss or a big unexpected expense like a health crisis, then you need to adjust your budget to reflect your new reality a bit better.

8. Consider counselling

If it’s looking next to impossible to pay all your bills back, then you might want to consider credit counselling. That’s where you sit down with a credit counseling bureau to figure out how to pay your creditors back. They can lend you their expertise and help you get a grip on the problem with your creditors. Here’s some more on that topic to get you started.

With files from Caroline Cakebread, Chatelaine

Oh, Canada! 30 uniquely Canadian activities to show your patriotic pride

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 24th, 2014

Nothing screams “True North Strong and Free” like us Canadians doing what Canadians do best. Here is a roundup of the most Canadian things to do in Canada. Warning: may contain stereotypes… and lots of food-related items.

  1. Grab a double-double from Timmies. This one was a given, but an extremely important ingredient in our Canadian culture. Oh, and pay for it with a Toonie!
  2. Jam out to Sam Roberts, Drake, J-Biebs, Céline Dion, Michael Bublé, or any other talented musicians born in our land.
  3. Crack open some Canadian nectar (and by this we mean beer) from your two-four.
  4. Crack open more nectar (this time we mean maple syrup) and smother it over some flapjacks.
  5. Go ice fishing.
  6. Say you’re sorry (sorry, this was just a stereotype, sorry again).
  7. Watch the Canada Day fireworks on Parliament Hill.
  8. Play a couple games of hockey (or road hockey if you’re in the one season when Canada isn’t a nationwide blizzard).
  9. Canoe along Lake Louise and bask in all its glory.
  10. Munch on some Smarties, enjoy a Crispy Crunch, or snack on ketchup chips. Sorry, America…we’ve got you beat on this one!
  11. Get down to Old Montreal and try a Montreal smoked meat sandwich. (Can you hear the heavenly choir singing after you read that? We can.)
  12. Eat a beloved Canadian dessert: a Beaver Tail — and slap on some maple syrup ‘cause you’re CANADIAN and CAN! (Just for the non-Canadians reading this, no it’s not a real beaver’s tail.)
  13. Eat some Canadian bacon atop a bowl of poutine while sipping from a milk BAG (because we’re not about jugs  in the Great White North).
  14. Visit Peggy and her Cove.
  15. Get down and dirty at the Calgary Stampede.
  16. Wear copious amounts of flannel.
  17. Spend 2 hours shovelling your driveway only to have it snow immediately after you kick off your boots. Don’t worry though, you can use a snow blower because WE INVENTED IT.
  18. Watch the Grey Cup and cheer on your province.
  19. Go get a check-up (free health care, woo!).
  20. Ryan Gosling. This doesn’t make sense but it had to go in anyway.
  21. Make some Nanaimo bars and butter tarts — because we invented those, too!
  22. Watch some Hockey Night in Canada with Don Cherry and his amazingly outrageous suits.
  23. Do the Terry Fox run.
  24. Go visit Niagara Falls (Maid of the Mist, anyone?).
  25. Visit Lord Stanley’s cup.
  26. Make a big pot of Kraft Dinner because that’s Canadian as well! (And because you probably have about 4 different boxes of assorted flavours in your cupboard raring to be cooked.)
  27. Rock some Hudson’s Bay stripes.
  28. Go “oot and aboot”!
  29. Ski the beautiful Rockies.
  30. Proudly sew our flag on your backpack because apparently that’s what we DO when we travel outside our great nation. But as the saying goes, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it, eh?” Okay, the “Eh” was an addition.


With files from Alexandra Davies, Cityline.ca

Voice Care

Leah Sarich | posted Tuesday, Jun 24th, 2014


Most of us take our voices for granted. We don’t even think about our voice, until it’s gone thanks to a cold, a sinus infection or  too much fun one night at Stampede!!

I spoke with Katherine Ardo from the Canadian Voice Care Foundation about preserving our voices. She says our voices are our main tool of communication. The voice lets people know what we want, how we feel and who we are as a person. So we need to be mindful about taking care of our voices.

Ardo says the most important thing we can do for our voices, particularly in Calgary, and especially during Stampede is to stay hydrated. She explains, “if you’ve had a beer, have a glass of water…alcohol dehydrates and parched vocal chords are more easily injured when shouting, partying and having a good time.”

Other simple strategies include not shouting unless you use your entire body to deliver the sound and not just the throat, avoid whispering which pushes too much air through the vocal chords and avoid clearing the throat or coughing regularly which can irritate the voice.

Ardo also says we should be aware that our voices take longer to recover as we get older. A twenty five year old may recover their voice after a night of Stampeding in a few hours, for the rest of us it could take a few days!

We should also consider that our emotions have a major impact on how we use our voice. For example, country superstar Shania Twain made headlines a few years ago when she talked about how she lost her voice after her divorce. She speaks often of how vocal rehabilitation and therapy helped her return to performing.

In fact, the Canadian Voice Care Foundation has tickets to the sold-out Shania Twain performance on July 10th at Stampede. You can purchase tickets in support of the Foundation and receive a charitable receipt.

For more dos and don’ts to protect your voice and to find out how to get tickets for Shania, visit the Foundation’s website.

Heart Failure

Leah Sarich | posted Thursday, Jun 19th, 2014


Heart failure affects twenty thousand Calgarians and it is one of the leading causes of hospitalization in the country. And the number of Canadians with this condition is expected to double by 2030.

I spoke with Dr. Jonathan Howlett, the Director of Heart Failure at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. He says many people still confuse a heart attack with heart failure. A heart attack occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked and part of the brain dies. Heart failure occurs when there is any kind of a damage to the heart. Only about half of people with heart failure have actually had a heart attack. And the prognosis for someone with heart failure is more serious than that of someone who’s had a heart attack.

The first sign of heart failure is usually shortness of breath, then difficulty exercising and swelling in the legs or abdomen.

The good news is many people are living longer and better with heart failure due to advances in treatment. Medical therapy usually starts with blood pressure control, then fluid pills to get rid of the excess water then there are therapies to interrupt the normal progression of the disease. For end stage heart failure, patients are looking at mechanical heart support or transplant.

In fact, Dr. Howlett says in about one year, new medicines to treat heart failure will be available which will be very exciting.

In the meantime, Dr. Howlett encourages people to know their risks for the disease which include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. He says if people can take care of their health concerns, they have a good chance of preventing or at least delaying the onset of heart failure.

Go here for more information about heart failure.

Barbequing basics: A guide for grilling newbies

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 17th, 2014

While I love to cook and bake, and feel completely comfortable with any kitchen appliance or tool you can name, the barbeque has always made me a bit nervous. The gas, the flames, the possibility of singed eyebrows…

But this year, I’m determined to conquer my fears because I absolutely adore grilled food — is there anything better than barbequed sausages, burgers, corn on the cob, or a great steak? The hubby bought a Big Green Egg last year, and the food that’s come off of it has been incredibly delicious. Plus the smell of charcoal is absolutely addicting. Needless to say, I want to get in on the action!

So as a way to get myself — and hopefully all you fellow barbequing newbies out there — more comfortable with the BBQ, I’ve assembled this handy guide for the uninitiated. Let’s get our grill on!

Click here for the full guide.

Get grilling! Here are a few great recipes for BBQing amateurs

Hamburgers – try this delicious two-ingredient version!

Grilled tri-tip steak

Chicken breasts – these delicious ones have fresh Greek flavours of lemon, garlic and oregano.

Grilled sirloin kebobs

Grilled shrimp salad

Once you’re comfortable with the basics, you’re ready to try something more advanced: 

Smoked chicken and sweet corn BBQ pizza

Classic pork back ribs

Cedar-planked nachos

And find tons more recipes, tips, and advice in our Cityline.ca Grill Guide!

With files from Suzanne Ellis, Cityline.ca

Stroke Care in Alberta

Leah Sarich | posted Thursday, Jun 12th, 2014


In Canada a stroke happens every ten minutes. And strokes are occurring in younger and younger people, but the good news is fewer people are dying of strokes, particularly here in Alberta.

June is Stroke Awareness Month and a new report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation shows Alberta has the lowest death rate in the country for stroke.

I spoke with Dr. Michael Hill the Director of the Stroke Unit at Foothills Medical Centre who says it’s all about relationships and speed in Calgary. He says in order do well with stroke you need the right care and you need it fast.

That’s why it’s important for everyone to recognize the symptoms of stroke. We must realize the person having the stroke won’t be able to call for help, so we all need to know what we’re seeing. Dr. Hill explains the three most important symptoms of stroke are:

– sudden loss of speech

– sudden paralysis on one side of the body

– sudden loss of vision – usually on one side

Other symptoms include a sudden and severe headache and a sudden loss of balance.

So, if you recognize these symptoms, you need to call 911 immediately. Dr. Hill says the brain does not tolerate blockages well or for long. If you can get to the hospital within one hour of the onset of symptoms, there’s a good chance you’ll walk out of the hospital. If you don’t get there for four or five hours, you’ll likely end up with severe disability or you may not even survive.

Dr. Hill says in Calgary, there’s an excellent stroke pathway. That means the neurologists have a great relationship with the paramedics bringing in the patients, they have a great relationship with the radiologists and technicians doing the imaging and this allows the patient to receive the care they need more quickly. And Dr. Hill says this is why medical centres all over the world are looking to Calgary as the best care model.

Now that said, Dr. Hill says he doesn’t want anyone to have a stroke so we should look at prevention. The biggest risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure. So, Dr. Hill says we all need to watch our blood pressure, exercise and watch our salt intake. And hopefully these steps will help us to avoid seeing him in hospital.

For more information on stroke and the latest stroke report visit this website.

New Diabetes Treatment

Leah Sarich | posted Tuesday, Jun 10th, 2014


More than nine million Canadians are living with diabetes or are at risk of developing it. And this number is expected to double in the next decade. So it’s critical to have many ways to treat the disease.

In Canada, Endocrinologist Dr. David Lau explains there is now a brand new medication available to treat Type 2 diabetes that works in a whole new way. Invokana has just been approved by Health Canada. It works by increasing the excretion of sugar into the urine, so it works on the kidneys to help them get rid of sugar in the body. No other diabetes pill works like this. This medication also has a couple of desirable side effects… it tends to lower blood pressure and helps patients lose a small amount of weight. On the negative side, because this medication uses the kidneys, it can cause small infections like yeast or urinary tract infections in rare cases. Invokana can also be used in combination with other medications.

That said, Dr. Lau says this is just one treatment option among many. In fact, Dr. Lau encourages all people with Type 2 diabetes to make the lifestyle changes that can reduce or eliminate the amount of medication patients may have to take. He says exercising and losing weight makes a huge difference when it comes to Type 2 diabetes. And Dr. Lau says patients do not have to go and join a gym. He says simply walking and taking the stairs can help, even the loss of just two or three pounds can make a big difference in the severity of the disease.

Dr. Lau reminds us that diabetes is a very serious disease. Uncontrolled sugars can lead to serious complications like blindness, nerve damage, an increase in the risk for heart disease and stroke as well as amputation.

There are many ways to keep your sugars in check and, in the case of Type 2 diabetes, avoid the disease altogether.

For more information about Invokana visit this website. For more information about diabetes go to the Canadian Diabetes Association.

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