It's easy to conclude that a favourite part about summer is heading to the beach - to swim, tan, relax and of course, people watch. Whether it's Toronto's Cherry Beach or Vancouver's English Bay Beach, beachgoers are always hoping to spot some unique individuals to make the day. While the weather here is getting colder, this doesn't mean our favourite activity should stop.
Vacations are the perfect time to relax, refresh and recharge the mind, body and soul. But for many of us, finding our Zen can mean different things. For some an escape to the beach is all that's needed while others seek activities that release endorphins. Whatever your preference, there is no better destination to zen-out than the city that has it all -- Los Angeles.
With housing prices on the rise in both Canada and the United States, the next few years will be very interesting for those who are in or thinking about entering the real estate market. Traditionally the real estate market in Canada and the United States has moved in similar directions, but in recent years, the situation has changed.
In Los Angeles County alone, there are 35,000 youth in foster care right now. At age 18 or 21, state and federal support abruptly ends and the youth who aren't adopted are ejected out of the foster system, many without the support of family or any community networks to help them make a successful transition into adulthood. Many of these young people are smart, driven, kind and articulate, determined to lead fulfilling, productive lives. Something as simple as the kindness of strangers getting together to set up their first pad can go a long way in helping these kids realize their potential.
"Research shows the earlier and longer youth spend in the system, the worse the outcomes are," says Peter Leone, a professor at the University of Maryland who has studied juvenile justice measures around the world for more than 20 years. It costs approximately $100,000 a year to incarcerate one young person in Canada. If that individual becomes a hardened life-long criminal, the amount will exceed a staggering $2 million, according to a Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
Los Angeles is a sprawling city full of low strip malls, palmed avenues, film studios and over-crowded attractions, BUT that SoCal living is still so sweet. The city's full of beautiful parks, kid-friendly hikes, beaches (oh so many beaches!) and hip vegan restaurants with high chairs -- A great destination for the adventuring family.
They recently swirled into Eastern Canada with a grand opening at Square One Mall in Mississauga. I was present for the star-studded opening and ribbon cutting ceremony which included Former Mayor Hazel McCallion and current Mayor Bonnie Crombie. Even fashion maven Jeanne Becker made an appearance, who asserted herself to be a "Pinkberry virgin."
Discussions about the 2024 bid were supposed to take place soon after the conclusion of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games on August 15th. The Games have passed, the September 15th deadline is looming, and the trio of organizers -- Bob Richardson, Marcel Aubut, and Mayor John Tory -- have gone commando silent. They haven't offered a peep about procedures or timelines. We don't know with whom or how these discussions will take place. Why the secrecy? Where is the transparency and accountability in the Toronto 2024 bid process?
To say that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) "shook things up" with Agenda 2020 is a gross understatement. Agenda 2020 voided and obscured critical sections of the Olympic Charter and the Olympic Games Framework, the IOC's two main documents for how to bid for and host an Olympic Games. It didn't just shake things up. It changed the entire game plan.