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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

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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

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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.

Go CANADA Go!

With files from Alexandra Davies, Cityline.ca

Barbequing basics: A guide for grilling newbies

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 17th, 2014

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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

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