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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 427: Marc Weisblott

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 427In this 427th episode, Mike chats with with Marc Weisblott of 12:36 about the current state of the media in Canada. This episode is exactly 2:27:44.

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1236 and me

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My Priorities

It's cold out. How cold is it? It's too cold to bike, and that's a rarity for me.

Since I'm skipping my lunchtime ride today, I thought I'd take the opportunity to write here. I've simply had no time as I've been swamped with TMDS and fatherhood responsibilities. And when I do force myself to take a break, I choose to bike. But not today...

TMDS, as I may have mentioned, is my digital services company that has been feeding my family and paying my mortgage for the past five months. I'm quite pleased with how things are progressing on that front. I learned so much in five months, yet have so much more to learn. I'm very busy, but it's incredibly rewarding and fulfilling and I'm high on the potential I see before me.

If I were to prioritize everything, it would look something like this:

  1. My family - I would give up everything for my four kids. In a heartbeat. Everything I do, I do it for them and it would be impossible for me to love them any more than I already do.
  2. My health - Arguably, this could be #1, because without it, I can't be there for my family and help them the way I wish. Perhaps these first two are 1a and 1b. It's vital I do my best to remain physically and mentally healthy.
  3. Self improvement - I want to be the best me I can be. That sounds corny, but at its core is the golden rule. I strive to treat everyone fairly, be as kind as possible and help make this world better, not worse. This matters to me.
  4. Monetary gains - I want/need to earn enough money to provide for my family. With TMDS, I've bet on myself, and all revenue generated is to ensure my four children are given the best opportunity at having a successful life. I don't have rich tastes or extravagant desires, but I've chosen to live and raise my family in Toronto and that means I need to earn a sufficient amount of money. I'm not primarily motivated by money, but I acknowledge the necessary role it plays in my life.
  5. Fun - Let's not confuse fun with happiness. The first four items on this list all contribute to happiness, but fun is playing and watching sports, kicking out the jams, catching a good flick and enjoying our cycling trails. A deep playoff run for the Raps and Leafs would be great fun. Here's hoping.

The clarity I now have with regards to life priorities came with age. You really can't buy experience, and nor can you skip steps to achieve such perspective. On that note, you're never too old to change direction and leave your comfort zone. I have mad respect for people who change professions in their 50s or 60s. I think it's awesome when someone in their 70s takes up running or cycling. If you want to learn woodworking in your 80s, do it! Age ain't nuthin' but a number. I sincerely believe this. As my late grandmother would tell me, age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

If you're keeping score at home, I really dig the Jake Muzzin trade, I'm hoping the Raps land Anthony Davis, even if it means trading away Siakim, and I can't wait for the Vlad Guerrero, Jr. era to begin.

I sincerely like and admire all four of my children. Nothing fills me with more pride than that. The love is so intense, it almost hurts.

I need accounting help... so if you're an accountant or know a good one who will help the sole proprietor of a small business, I'd love to hear from you.

And finally, I'm sorry I haven't had more time to write here. As the podcast has taken off, it's absorbed the vast majority of my Toronto Mike hours. If you're a subscriber, thank you! And if you're a reader of this blog, thank you!

It's 12:15pm, so I'm going to make myself a pizza and get back to work. Peace and love to you all.

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James Ingram, Dead at 66

James IngramJames Ingram was 66. He was a two-time Grammy Award-winner and a two-time Academy Award nominee best known for "Baby, Come to Me", "Somewhere Out There" and "I Don't Have the Heart".

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 426: Jeff Simmons

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 426In this 426th episode, Mike chats with Jeff Simmons about Canadian sports media, why he left the industry, and his dad, Steve Simmons of The Toronto Sun. This episode is exactly 1:38:48.

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Jeff Simmons and me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 425: Mike Wilner Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 425In this 425th episode, Mike catches up with Mike Wilner as they talk Vladdy, Jr., Roy Halladay, Richard Griffin, JaysTalk, the broadcast booth, and Domer. This episode is exactly 1:29:42.

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Mike Wilner and me

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How important is the GMAT?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) is one of the most prestigious MBA entrance exams in the world. Its scores are considered for admissions into graduate management programs of the top business schools around the globe. But scoring well in the GMAT does not guarantee your selection in a business school, or that you will become a billionaire (or even that a person won't end up homeless!). Nor does a low GMAT score mean that it’s the end of the road for you.

Is the GMAT all that is?

GMAT scores are crucial for the applicant evaluation process as they offer a quantitative measure to compare applicants.

But no business school will allow or deny you admission based solely on your GMAT score, without carefully examining the rest of your application and your personality (provided you meet their cut-off criteria).

GMAT and Business Schools in Canada

Here are some top business schools in Canada, with the average GMAT scores they require. Apart from this, there are online MBA programs in Canada as well.

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Different courses demand different average scores. This is mostly dependent on the type of course, the hours required to graduate and the activities, practical and papers required. On average, however, anything above 600 is safe if you are aiming for a good tier-1 college.

But as stated before, no college will grant you admission based on your GMAT scores alone. They review the profiles for a holistic evaluation. Apart from one of the parameters being GMAT, they consider work experience (both duration and quality), undergraduate performance, extra-curricular/co-curricular participation, leadership skills, communication skills, the reason to pursue an MBA and the reason to apply to the program.

Most of the top B-schools compulsorily require one or more of the above qualifications like a minimum of 2 years of work experience, a minimum of 70% marks in graduation, etc.

There are MBA programs for Canadian professionals which also give admissions based on your GRE scores. Some notable ones are

  • Lakehead University, Thunder Bay

  • New York Institute Of Technology

  • Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops

  • Vancouver Island University

  • Alberta University

As you can see, you will have a limited number of options if you want to opt for a college without the GMAT score. So appearing (and better, performing well) in the GMAT will drastically improve your chances of getting admission in the Business School of your choice.

Things to keep in mind when applying for an MBA in Canada

  1. Don’t merely go by the rankings of the school. Instead, talk to an expert who will suggest you the best college keeping in mind a variety of factors.

  2. Aim for a school which is ideally suited to your profile or prior work experience. For example, if you have a strong background in Finance, going to Rotman School of Management would make more sense as it is based out of Toronto, a strong finance hub.

  3. Opting for Consulting and Finance is a much rewarding option as far as employment opportunities are concerned, as most of the Canadian schools have a majority of the graduating class working in Consulting (23%) and Finance (30%).

  4. If you can speak or learn to speak French (which is the second language), it would help you with better placement offers.

Working to improve your profile will help you in the long run. An excellent GMAT score is undoubtedly the best arrow in your quiver, but if you have a low GMAT score, it can be compensated by maintaining a good profile.


B-schools look for candidates that can add value to their MBA-class. Try and add some distinguishing factor in your profile. This can be excelling in extra-curricular activities, an initiative at work that increased your company’s revenues, enhancing leadership qualities, joining social initiatives like an NGO, etc.

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The Finest Toronto Winner Magnets

It would be wrong to visit Toronto and ignore the casino culture it has. People in this city know how to have fun, and news about it traveled far behind Canadian borders. Toronto casinos are famous across the world for their winners, who managed to take jackpots, and for their outstanding convenience and variety within the city area. Every casino in Toronto tries to earn its reputation. Thus, the list of top recommended Toronto casinos are pretty extensive and have only the finest representatives here.

casino-niagara_2

1) Great Blue Heron Charity Casino

The casino is located about an hour outside of Toronto. It can be a big obstacle for some, but the casino offers buses for larger groups. It was established in 1997, and since those times it has been famous for the first-class entertainment and variety of casino games. The huge venue that spreads on 15,000 feet offers over 60 game tables and 535 machines where you can find whatever you like to have fun. Revenues from the tables are distributed among various organizations involved in charity. Thus, even if you lose, your money serves a good purpose. Moreover, the casino offers a great variety of eateries, where you can find anything you’d like to eat.

2) Woodbine Racetrack & Casino

The casino is located in a wonderful park where you can have everything you need to have fun out of the city. Its horse racing track has a lively calendar, so you have to plan this part in advance. Apart from that, the place has around 50 live table games where you can play everything from roulette to poker. Moreover, the gaming floor has recently been expanded and now includes electronic table games and slot machines. The food is incredible and can please everyone’s taste.

3) OLG Casino Brantford

This place can be found in a 90-minute drive from Toronto. The casino operates under a famous Elements Casino franchise and cares deeply about its reputation. It offers an exciting range of different table games as well as variously themed slot machines. You can bet for big winning options or have a lot of fun with small bids. In this casino, you have everything in control.

4) Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino

As a matter of fact, this casino is for people of different age. You can find teens slightly above 18 as well as old people who try their chances of winning big prizes. This casino offers a great variety of table games, some of which are not available in all other casinos. Here, you can play literally any game that comes to your mind as well as engage in a wonderful world of electronic slot machines.

5) Delta Bingo & Gaming

“A great place with a variety of slot machines and wonderful kitchen” – this is how visitors characterize this casino. Here, you may also get in touch with people who have similar gaming tastes. If you expect to have a good time while playing table games or the slot machines, this is the right place for you. Client loyalty programs and excellent cocktails will ensure that your stay is pleasant and comfortable.

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6 Cool Ways To Experience Toronto For Sports Fans

If you’re a sports fan visiting Toronto, you’re in for a treat. Whether your interest lies in watching the professionals, taking part yourself or trying exciting alternative activities like Diamond Beach’s batting cage, Defcon’s paintballing, Casino Niagara’s poker tables or Polson Pier’s Go-Karts, there’s enough to entice everyone.

Defcon Paintball

Conveniently located in Toronto, Defcon Paintball offers extreme sports fans the opportunity to go to war on a 40,000 sq-ft battlefield that has been specially developed by top industry professionals. Modern, first class equipment makes the experience more exciting with, for example, the latest Tippmann 98s and FT-12 paintball guns. On arrival, you’re greeted by friendly staff who will get you checked in, kitted out and well-versed in rules, safety and etiquette. You’ll also be guided on the types of games you can play and the strategy involved. And if playing entices you to come back for more, there’s a Pro-Shop to buy all your own gear on site. Great party packages are offered if you plan ahead including the Elite Package which offers food, party room for one hour and 400 paintballs per person.

Polson Pier Go-Karts

Located just south of Lakeshore Blvd, Polson Pier gives budding racing drivers the chance to hone their skills behind the wheel. The only downtown go-kart track in Toronto, you’ll get the opportunity to race at speeds of up to 40kph on the ¾ km long track. Open from March, the outdoor course offers speedsters the chance to race at $3 per lap or for 20 minutes at $27.

Casino Niagara

For some, a bricks and mortar casino is the only way to gamble. Many people prefer to play at a land-based venue because of the buzz of the live environment or because they feel their money is more secure. Of course, the likes of online platforms like LeoVegas, where Interac might be the easiest payment method because it offers a 100% safe deposit and fast withdrawals, have grown in popularity too, scoring more fans for the casino genre and even boosting land-based businesses in the process. When in Toronto, Casino Niagara, just a short drive outside the city, offers a spectacular place to hit the poker table or spin the wheel of over 1,300 slot machines. A stone’s throw from one of the great wonders of the world, this place is more than just a gamblers paradise.

Diamond Beach Batting Cage

Open during the summer – usually between late March and into the Autumn – the Diamond Beach batting cage gives you the opportunity to hit 20 pitches (either softball or hardball at varying speeds) for $3.50.

North Beach Volleyball

North Beach Volleyball is a great place to try your hand at this energetic and fun sport. Toronto’s largest indoor facility has been established for over 25 years and boasts eight indoor beach courts, two outdoor courts, and court-side food and bar service. Single and multiple courts are available for rent by the hour every day. There’s further opportunity to flex your muscles and get the adrenaline going thanks to North Beach’s table tennis, axe throwing, climbing wall and beach soccer. And once you’ve had enough, the North Beach Bar & Grill offers a tasty place to relax after an active day.

Rivoli Pool Hall

Get your cue out for some pool action at the Rivoli Pool Hall. The experience is enhanced by virtue of the tables being pieces of history in themselves as some are over 100 years old. An inviting lounge area and bar offers light bites and a drink to go with your game with the vintage tables offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For sports fans, Toronto is a dream. From baseball and basketball to hockey, soccer, casino gaming and even rugby, the city boasts everything from professional matches to opportunities to try your hand at major sports or exciting alternatives like paintballing and go-karting.

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Elliott Price No Longer on The Fan 590's Starting Lineup

In February 2017, following the Dean Blundell disaster, Greg Brady returned to The Fan 590 morning show with Elliott Price and Hugh Burrill. Elliott Price was brand new to this market, having spent his entire career in Montreal.

Less than two years later, Elliott Price is no longer at The Fan. Here's the official announcement from the man with the longest job title I've ever seen, Dave Cadeau.

I would like to thank Elliott Price for his passion and dedication to Sportsnet 590 The Fan listeners over the past two years. An excellent broadcaster with an incredible sports acumen, Elliott delivered the news, interviews and insights that mattered most to Toronto sports fans every morning. This past Wednesday marked Elliott's final broadcast on Sportsnet's Starting Lineup, but we wish him all the best and thank him for all of his contributions to the station. Sportsnet 590 The FAN remains dedicated to delivering the engaging conversation and first-rate content our listeners have come to expect, and we look forward to exploring new approaches to sports talk in the morning. Greg Brady and Hugh Burrill will continue to anchor Sportsnet's Starting Lineup moving forward with further details about the show to be confirmed at a later date.

- Dave Cadeau, National Format Director, Sports, Rogers Radio and Program Director, Sportsnet 590 The FAN

Having relocated from Montreal for this gig, it's difficult not to feel bad for Elliott Price. Here's hoping there's a silver lining in this one for the guy.

If you'd like to hear my two hour deep dive with Elliott about his career in Montreal and his decision to move to Toronto, here's episode 298 of Toronto Mike'd.

Elliott Price and me

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Darryl Dahmer Retires After 45 Years on Toronto Radio

Way back in March 2006 I wrote about Darryl Dahmer and Russ Holden. They were reporting traffic in helicopters above this city when I was a kid listening to 680 CFTR. I jokingly wondered if they might be the same person.

Russ Holden retired in 2017 after 50 years at the same station, and today Darryl Dahmer called it a career after 45 years on Toronto Radio. Darryl could be heard on 680 from the 1970s until today. That's pretty remarkable.

On Monday morning, for the first time in my life, Toronto radio will be without Darryl Dahmer and Russ Holden.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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The Weight - The Band with The Staple Singers from The Last Waltz

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Roy Halladay Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Doc Halladay, who passed away in November 2017, has been elected into the baseball Hall of Fame. He's the first player drafted and developed by the Blue Jays to be inducted.

I have no doubts he'll go into Cooperstown as a Toronto Blue Jay. He's the greatest starting pitcher in Blue Jays history and I absolutely loved watching his entire career. We were lucky to have him. Here are a few of entries I wrote over the years about Roy Halladay:

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 424: Bif Naked Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 424In this 424th episode, Mike catches up with rock goddess Bif Naked before playing and discussing her 10 favourite songs of all-time. This episode is exactly 1:43:43.

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Happy 17th Birthday!

James and me

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How to Eventually Be Your Own Boss

There are many people who like the idea of becoming self-employed because it offers you control over your life, pleasure in what you do to make a living, and the possibility of a good income. The reason most people who like the sound of those benefits don’t take the plunge is simply the concern about financial security. You may feel unfulfilled in your job, but if you know you’re going to be earning a predictable sum of money each month, the idea of taking a chance with your future and ending up worse off or in debt takes the shine off the prospect of being your own boss. The good news is that you don’t have to give up one in order to pursue the other, and here’s how you can start working for yourself without risking your financial security.

Don’t give up your day job!

At least not yet! The key to successful self-employment is not to give up your job and then start working for yourself. First of all, you need to do some planning and preparation to make sure your desired form of self-employment is viable and stands a strong chance of succeeding.

Look at your existing financial situation. To reduce the risk of having a lower income, you should be looking at clearing existing debts while you still have a regular salary, so you don’t have the same financial burden when you do the switch. Concentrate on paying off credit cards and high-interest loans first, because they’ll be costing you the most. By clearing debts you’ll not only cut your expenditure, but you’ll open up resources that you can fall back on if you do hit a sticky patch in the early days.

As part of your financial makeover, check your credit rating and make sure all the facts on record with the credit bureaux are accurate. If there are any discrepancies, contact the credit agency concerned to have the information corrected or updated. Check with all three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, as your ability to borrow in the future is dependant on your credit score.

Paying off debts and getting your finances in order could take a while, so in the meantime, you can be preparing for the work you plan to do. The same principles apply whatever kind of job you’re considering, whether it’s as a self-employed tradesperson like a plumber or gardener, to working from your laptop as a website designer or personal assistant.

  1. You need to know if there’s capacity for your skills in your chosen market, so find out how many gardeners or plumbers there are in your area, or how much work is available in your online industry, and see if there’s space for you to earn a living offering the same services.

  2. If there’s already plenty of people doing the same work, think about how you can make your offer stand out. How could you attract people to choose you over your competitors? It could be the qualifications and achievements you’ve amassed, or it could be that you specialise in a specific niche that no-one else is covering, for example.

  3. Create a business plan that maps out the first three years of your proposed enterprise. You may not need a business plan if you’re going self-employed and not looking to borrow money for a business proposition, but it’s invaluable for helping you calculate what you can realistically earn and how much you’ll need to spend on materials and equipment. While expenses incurred for your work count towards claiming relief on your tax bill, you’ll still need to find the money up front, and you don’t want to be in a position where your cash flow is affected by having to spend on new equipment.

  4. Check all the regulations applicable to your work both federal and local. For instance, if you’re going to be handling food as part of your self-employment, you’ll need to observe the relevant hygiene legislation. There could be many regulations in place covering the work and where you’re doing it, and it’s essential to have all the necessary permits in place before you start.

Once you’ve got everything sorted out, then you take some time to test your plan by starting work on your new venture as a sideline to your day job. By looking for assignments that you can do when you’re not at work, you can get a realistic idea of how successful your idea is likely to be, and make any changes necessary to ensure success. Once you’ve established the viability of your work, then you can make the decision as to when to give up the day job, knowing you can make a good living from being self-employed.

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Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification: Be on Top of Your Career

Six Sigma is a multistage platform used by companies in order to solve their problems. It employs statistical methodologies to identify the problems and their root causes, provide the solutions and to sustain a consistent gain in improvements.

If you are interested in the sector of quality management and want to learn small but effective methodologies, then PrepAway Six Sigma Practice Test certification is ideal for you. It provides a basic understanding of how to implement, perform, and apply Lean Six Sigma on a small scale.

What can it be used for?

With Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification, one can implement the techniques to make the projects successful. If one has the credential, one can be selected as a project member who will assist the administration of projects headed by Six Sigma Green and Black Belts.

The eligibility criteria

There are no eligibility criteria as such for this certification.

Certification details

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Beltis provided by The Council for Six Sigma Certification (CSSC) and can be obtained in two different ways:

Option 1: Pass the single test - Official CSSC Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification exam, which contains 50 true/false and multiple-choice questions. The exam is an open-book format and has no time limit. To complete the exam, the candidate should score a minimum of 140 points out of 200 possible. The fee for the exam is $150, and the applicant is given 3 attempts to clear the test. In case if all 3 attempts were unsuccessful, the individual has to pay the fee again to retake the test.

Option 2: Take a series of 11 mini-exams using a free Self-Study Guide offered by Six Sigma. Each exam corresponds to a chapter from a book and consists of 10-15 questions. All the exams are available online and can be taken any time after completing the relevant chapter. The exams are an open-book format and have no time limit. The passing score for each exam is 70%, and the assessment fee is $500 USD. The candidates have an unlimited number of attempts for each exam, but the path should be completed within 12 months since the registering date.

How to prepare?

There are numerous training centers where qualified trainers provide the required information and training for the successful exam preparation. The official website of The Council for Six Sigma Certification and various other platforms provide the information which can be used as a guideline. There are also various online question banks which provide the relevant information required to clear the exam. These programs are not a necessity but are highly recommended.

The official site offers a free Self-Study Guide for Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification. You can also find a full list of approved training providers on sixsigmacouncil.org and choose the most convenient option.

Additional resources:

  • Yellow Belt Certification preparation offered by ASQ

  • Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt Question Bank by ASQ

Books and study material:

  • The Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt Handbook

What are these courses for?

During these courses, you will be introduced to the basic principles and implementation tools of Lean Six Sigma. Some of the concepts that would be presented in these classes are:

  • Waste identification and strategic reduction

  • Process variables mapping

  • Statistical and graphical analysis

  • FMEA – Failure Mode and Effect Analysis

  • Usage of PDCA (plan-do-check-act) methodology

Receiving the certification

After completing the exam, an official Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification is awarded to the individual. The credential allows the owner to use the respective titles and include the certification in resumes and professional profiles.

How can this certification help your profession?

Six Sigma certification has received recognition by businesses all over the world for the added efficiency it brings.

  • People reach high career goals faster: In today’s competitive world, people are achieving great heights. Upon acquiring this certification, one does not only stand out from the crowd but gets the benefit of being able to use the knowledge to solve the problems efficiently. Since this certification is versatile, it can be implemented in multiple fields.

  • Increased demand for the certified individuals: The availability of the advanced degrees like MBA is quite common in people’s resumes. When a certification like Six Sigma is seen alongside these degrees, the candidate’s resume naturally goes on top of the stack because there is a huge demand for people who can solve the problems and eliminate the errors.

  • Increased salary: This feature cannot be left unnoticed. Once you are equipped with the knowledge that is not so common, your position in your organization becomes much higher. And of course, along with the position comes the pay. It is seen that on average, Six Sigma Certification holders are paid the salary of $60,000 to $70,000 per year, which is much more than what the salary of non-certified individuals working in the same field.

  • Job security: The certification is like a token that makes the specialist indispensable. When the individual stands out from the crowd and his/her services are valuable in the field, the person's position automatically becomes secure.

  • Leadership opportunities: When it is noticed that you can solve problems, identify errors, and run the projects efficiently, you may be offered a post related to leading projects.

Lean Six Sigma versus Six Sigma certification

While the two methodologies are quite similar, Lean Six Sigma focuses on highly streamlined processes. According to Six Sigma methodologies, only if the customers are willing to pay for something, it has a value. The methodology narrows down and cuts off unnecessary steps. Technically, both methodologies are effective in their own ways and provide a successful result. But, Lean Six Sigma is recommended for those who work in the public sectors.

Conclusion

The certification can change the professional life of the candidate. A small investment in getting certified can result in successful working on the important positions. Six Sigma Yellow Belt enables the individuals to apply their knowledge in the real life. The certified professional can increase the efficiency and productivity of every project. Undoubtedly, the certification is highly accredited and extremely beneficial to both the employee and the company. Six Sigma Yellow Belt can be really beneficial for all the individuals who are interested in the field of quality management and assessment.

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5 Popular Lifestyle Trends Torontonians will Follow in 2019

The new year is often an excuse for people to augment their existing lifestyles and while many only make small changes or adopt new fads, there are plenty of new lifestyle trends that can make lasting impacts on your life. This list features some innovative changes you can make to your life in 2019 to make your life even better.

1. Plant-Based Skin Products

The organic personal care market has exploded in growth in the recent years, with Grand View Research, a marketing consultancy firm, expecting the industry to be worth $25 billion by 2025. This rapid expansion has brought a plethora of companies to the foreground and has created a massive market for consumers to dip their toes into.

At their core, all plant-based skin products use combinations of natural ingredients from all over the world. These products can range dramatically in price, but offer a myriad of remedies for ailing skin conditions. A good chunk of these products are also entirely vegan, lending them further credibility for the eco-focused consumer.

2. Eco-Tourism

Green travel has been around since 2012, but according to several travel companies and research firms, the trend has finally reached the mainstream and is beginning to entice more traditional travellers. The prospect of leaving as little eco-footprint as possible, is quickly taking over most consumer industries and implementing it into vacationing gives travellers the ability to visit destinations in the most ecological way possible.

There are already a myriad of eco-tourism companies based out of Toronto, with many offering tailored excursions to remote environments around the world.

3. Non-Traditional Nicotine

Vaping and e-cigarettes have been around for some time now, but the technology driving the tech has never been more advanced. Recent innovations in the industry has focused more on portability and potency, allowing smokers to make an easier transition to non-traditional nicotine devices. Coupled with the rise in popularity of the JUUL, smokers now have less of a reason to discount the credibility of e-cigarettes.

Making the switch to vaping can be done entirley on your own, but visiting your local vape shop can provide valuable insights to finding a dependable device.

4. Virtual Reality Fitness

The bulk of VR products may be geared towards gamers and tech enthusiasts, but VR is begining to encroach into more aspects of regular life, especially in the health and fitness industries. By adopting VR tech into home fitness, users can eliminate the solidarity of home workouts, while adding a layer of gamification to their regular routines.

This lifestyle change will require a bit of a financial commitment, but for those looking to adopt innovation into their workout, there really is no better option.

5. Technological Isolation

This final trend may be the most drastic in the modern age, but it may just be the most rewarding. Technology has become incredibly integrated into our everyday lives, but many people are beginning to question whether it’s making us better and happier individuals. With nearly half of all Americans saying they feel lonely, some are looking at our connection with technology as the issue.

This lifestyle trend may be the hardest to accomplish, but by simply relying more on face-to-face interaction we may alleviate these symptoms on loneliness. This isn’t to say you need to throw out your smartphone, laptop, and computer, just a simple reduction can often lead to astronomical results.

Conclusions

While these lifestyle trends represent some of the most impactful for 2019, they are by no means the only changes you can make to your life. Instead of adopting overarching adjustments, focus on what you want to change most about yourself and make small steps towards larger progress. At the same time, it is important to keep sight of whatever goals you set,  there may be 365 days in a year, but everyday you put off meaningful change could be a day wasted.

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Peter Watts, Dead at 68

Peter WattsPeter Watts was 68. He was one of the original anchors on TSN’s SportsDesk during the network’s earliest years, starting in 1984.

Here he is trying to recruit you to Queen's University, assuming you can play football.

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Which Education System is Better: Canadian or American?

The difference between Canadian and American schools is hardly a faceoff– Canada is far ahead of the US. Whenever there are debates about which countries have the best school system, Nordic countries Norway and Finland and Asian dynamos Japan and Singapore come to mind. Silently, Canada has risen to the top tier and overtaken the US. It can stake a solid claim to having one of the best, if not the best education system in the world from a holistic standpoint. Aside from cultural diversity, a few other similarities are shared by Canada and the United States. For one, schools are administered by state/provincial governments with almost no intervention from the federal government. Both also employ a district system led by elected boards. In terms of performance, the difference lies in overall global competence, thus placing Canada at 7th and the United States at 15th. So it is worth discussing which education system is better: Canadian or American? Canada is better than America in that aspect and there is proof.

Comparison of Canadian and American Education Systems

1. The teachers

  1. Canadian education system vs. American education system = Canada’s teachers are far better trained than America’s. It is a must for teachers to have completed a three-year postgraduate degree from a reputable postgraduate institution and a teacher education course worth four semesters. Experience abroad is also a big plus.

  2. Better pay and treatment. It is commonplace for U.S. educated teachers to leave for a higher-paying post north of the border. Fully understanding the demands of the job, the Canadian education system equips teachers with better unionization and job security, which also involve much broader health care and social services.

2. Closing all gaps. While the American education system compared to other countries is still remarkable, it fails at what the Canadian education system consistently succeeds at – priority-oriented funding among school districts to ensure that no one is left behind. In the United States, there is a striking gap in the calibre of education between public and private schools. Provincial governments in Canada take initiative in maintaining the high quality of education and only increase spending in communities that are in greater need or for improvement. As a result, the gap between high performing and low performing students remains little.

3. Collaborative effort. In contrast to the American education system, the Canadian education system is not headed by a federal level Department of Education. Canada’s ten provinces and three territories each exercise self-responsibility and have their own representatives (Minister) in the education sector. While these 13 Ministers do regularly convene, they do not embrace a universal curriculum due to the distinctiveness of each state and territory’s ethno-cultural makeup. This approach is instrumental to Canada’s status as one of the best-educated and most well-rounded citizenries in the world.

4. Strength in diversity. The Canadian approach with respect to educating all population groups is steadfast. Recognizing the educational attainment gap between native (referred to as Aboriginal or First Nations) and non-native population and the former’s population growth rate, there is increased emphasis on bridging the gap. Whether it is the presence of schools in reserves for Aboriginal peoples or increased assimilation of migrant students and their families into mainstream Canadian culture, the federal government lives up to the country’s status as a melting pot. Canadians, natives and non-natives alike, positively assert that Canada is more of a mosaic than a melting pot, enforcing the belief that the Canadian education system, as well as the country’s role as global power, becomes even stronger by converging native and migrant cultures for all Canadians to learn and benefit from. Hence, cultural differences only lead to greater cultural sensitivity. When it comes to utilizing ethno-cultural diversity for the overall advancement of its citizens, Canada is better than America.

5. Lower cost. Whereas the best Canadian universities and the best American universities consistently rank among the world’s top performing institutions, in which admission and scholarship require help from a top scholarship essay writing service, there is one glaring difference between Canadian and American universities – cost. Typically, a Canadian student at a Canadian university shells out only approximately $6,000 CAD a year. On the other hand, the median private university tuition in the United States is $35,000 CAD a year. For their part, international students have to pay around $12,000 to $20,000 CAD a year in Canadian universities which still pales in comparison to the average tuition cost in US universities. The catch? Most and the best Canadian universities are public and the best American universities are private. And thanks to the current value of the Canadian dollar, the cost of living in Canada remains lower than in the US.

6. Hotspot for international students. The vast gap in tuition cost remains the most conspicuous difference between Canadian and American universities. This explains the huge increase in the population of international students in Canada. And while the population of international students in America is still greater than that of Canada, the annual growth rate has remained somewhat stagnant, owing to tightened restrictions on student visa limitations. As for Canada, it has fully embraced its status as a global player in higher education for international students. From 2017 to 2018, the number of international students increased by 35%. In contrast to the US which currently does not have very welcoming policies for international students, Canada continues on. It has ramped up its appeal by offering postgraduate working permits and a vast array of opportunities for permanent residency.

Which education system is better: Canadian or American? Canada is better than America when it comes to education. The quality of Canada’s education can be attributed to a combination of political stability, ethno-cultural diversity, cultural sensitivity, and the consistent and relentless aim of providing for the population’s well-being. Canada is proof that a well-educated citizenry easily translates to a harmonious, thriving country.  

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 423: Heather Bambrick

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 423In this 423rd episode, Mike chats with jazz musician, broadcaster and voiceover actress Heather Bambrick about Newfoundland, music, the fall of JAZZ.FM91, the rise of JAZZCAST, and more. This episode is exactly 2:18:02.

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Breaking My Trump Silence

I have not written a word about Donald Trump since his inauguration. In fact, I've written about him only once since he was elected. That entry is here.

I personally find Trump as POTUS so distasteful and disappointing, I can't write about it. Remember when everyone was loving Alec Baldwin's portrayal of Trump on SNL? I couldn't watch. I find nothing funny about any of this, because the stakes are too damn high.

So why am I breaking my Trump silence and writing about him today? Because he's finally done something completely ridiculous and tone deaf that's equally harmless. This story doesn't end with anyone being deported or killed and doesn't infringe on anyone's freedom or rights. I'd insert a joke about one's rights to a healthy, decent meal, but this surreal happening was 100% optional for all attendees.

The NCAA champion Clemson Tigers football team were welcomed to the White House by Trump who greeted them with fast food. There was McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Dominos served on silver platters, behind a gilded candelabra.

cold

A few thoughts immediately come to mind:

  1. Imagine how cold that fast food was by the time the team got to eat. I personally need my McDonald's fries to be piping hot and fresh from the vat. This food must have been room temperature when the players got to it.
  2. Trump is using the Lincoln silverware and platters... for fast food. There's literally Lincoln gravy boats filled with Chicken McNugget sauces... in their plastic containers. That's ludicrous and perhaps as perfect a symbol of this administration's two years in power as anything I've seen yet.
  3. Close your eyes and imagine for a moment if Obama did this. Imagine Obama serving the national champions fast food burgers.
  4. Trump has been in power for two years now. Where on the list of Trump controversies would you rank this? Does it even crack the top 100?
When asked why he went with fast food, Trump said it was because the team featured "very large people that like eating." On that note, we now return to not writing about Trump.

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Carol Channing, Dead at 97

Carol ChanningCarol Channing was 97. She was the broadway legend best known for such musicals as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello, Dolly!.

carol

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 422: Ryan Wolstat

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 422In this 422nd episode, Mike chats with Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun about the Raps, TFC and 90s hip-hop. This episode is exactly 1:46:04.

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Brian "Henny" Henderson Dead

Brian Henny HendersonBrian "Henny" Henderson was on the air at 1050 CHUM for 27 years, from 1977 to 2004. In the 80s, I'd literally call a phone number in order to hear his excellent daily sports commentaries. I considered him, Rick Hodge, John Gallagher and Fred Patterson to be the four pillars of daily sports commentaries on the radio in this city.

Several years ago, Henny left a comment on this blog. Here's what he shared with me us.

Since I have no idea what "URL" and all that other computer mumbo-jumbo means, I'll skip straight to the meat.

Yes I have had, and to a lesser degree, continue to have health issues. The reason I was terminated at CHUM however had nothing to do with health.

I was fired because I was too old, making too much money. FULL STOP! In the meantime, I have grown quite comfortable in retirement. Comfortable because of the age old advice, "always marry a younger woman, so that even when you're downsized, at least one of you is working. All of the children have finally left home.

Oldest Gillian is back in school in Vancouver taking her masters. Youngest Erin has crossed the street and is now working for TSN, while Kyle, "The Wonderkid" has graduated with his teaching degree, right in the middle of an era when there are no teaching jobs, Just like his father, he too has a supportive wife with a good job, and so we're all doing fine. Except for the job part.

Anyone know of any teaching possibilities for Kyle? He lives in Burlington, but will eagerly travel.

HENNY

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 421: Sports Media Roundtable

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 421In this 421st episode, Mike chats with Mark Hebscher, Brian Gerstein and Milon Talsania about the current state of sports media in Canada. This episode is exactly 2:29:40.

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Understanding Gambling Laws and Regulations in Canada

The federal Criminal Code (the “Code”) is the overarching statute controlling gambling activity in Canada. Overall, all types of gambling, betting, and lotteries are defined as illegal by the Code, unless they fall into one of the exceptions defined by the Code. It is important to understand what the constitution of Canada establishes as legal and illegal to start or continue gambling within the country. This article is based on the 2019 issue of the Code, but keep in mind that the legal landscape may change rapidly and make the most well-informed articles outdated within a short span of time.

According to Play.Casino website, Canada is divided into 10 provinces including Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, and 3 territories of Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories, some of the laws and regulations between these provinces might differentiate. We will provide you with the most important definitions from the Code that you need to know for your legal safety.

Illegal In-House Gambling in Canada

Most forms of gambling were outlawed all throughout Canada before the 1970’s, due to which the act of gambling turned into organized crime. Everything changed when provinces and territories were given the right to oversee some gambling activities in 1985, mak1970sing gambling accessible to the average citizen. Still, Canada keeps very flexible but regulated laws to control gambling in the country.

The Code discusses many illegal gambling offenses thoroughly, but the most common ones are Sections 201-209, with four being the most important. See below.

  • Section 201 — mainly discusses the limitations and illegalities of common gaming and betting houses

  • Section 202 — defines illegal betting, book-making, and pool-selling

  • Section 206 — deals with offenses associated with lotteries and other games of chance

  • Section 209 - offenses for cheating at games of chance with the intention to defraud either the customer or the gambling house

These four sections were deemed as serious offenses by the Code in 2010. Gambling-related offenses are punished by imprisonment of up to 2 years and fines of up to $5,000. Online

Gambling in Canada

Local companies are not allowed to operate Internet Casinos in Canada, as web-waves casinos are considered a grey area in Canadian law. Today, according to the Code, hosting online gambling websites on the territory of Canada are considered illegal. Though the provinces and territories have their own rights to grant exemptions.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the main gaming regulatory body, who has the right to issue licenses and regulate online casinos. There are certain criteria that the casinos have to meet to receive licenses from the KGC, including fair gameplay, payouts guarantee, and geographical reference, so make sure to look at the regulations of the online casinos before you sign up.

Summary

Canada has strict laws regarding gambling, though they have become a little bit more flexible in the last years. The government wants to keep the citizens happy, but at the same time to provide them with enough regulations to keep them safe - which is the best thing they could do.

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10 Top Things To Do In Toronto

Toronto is one of the best cities you can visit in North America. This Canadian city has evolved into a tourism hotspot in the 21st century. There are many things you can do in Toronto. While the city is well-known for its cultural tourism and beautiful lake, there is also a fascinating food culture. Let us explore some of the things you can do in Toronto.

1. Shop at the St. Lawrence Market

This famous market in Toronto has been around for centuries. It is a well-known market place for shoppers who come to get the best food and other items. The market is a popular destination, visited both by local tourists as well as international tourists. The great thing about the market is that it has a wide range of products at competitive prices.

2. Sightseeing at Harbourfront Centre

Another interesting place you should visit while in Toronto is the Harbourfront Centre. This old shipping terminal is the perfect place to be if you love relaxing and enjoying a peaceful atmosphere. The area is packed with a number of eateries, small parks, and great lake views. An excursion at this site will prove to be inspirational.

3. Explore the vibrant casinos

Toronto is also known for its popular casinos. Visitors from around the world come to this city to experience the fun and excitement that comes with casinos in Toronto. Canadian online casinos are also a huge part of the daily life of Toronto. Not only is there a variety of slot machines, but the city is also moving with technology.

4. Visit the Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is probably the premier location to go if you love to see wild animals. Set in over 700 acres of land, this Zoo is a fantastic place to spend the day. The zoo is open every day for at least eight hours and during this time, visitors can expect to have an interactive wildlife experience. The zoo also has affordable access charges.

5. Casa Loma

Another popular spot you cannot miss in Toronto is Casa Loma. Built in the early 20th century, the magnificent castle at this location is home to great history. Whether you are a fan of museums of you just want to take the family for a fantastic weekend tour, Casa Loma will be a good option. Stables, secret passageways, and towers define this castle.

6. The CN Tower

There is nothing that typifies the Toronto skyline than the CN Tower. This tall tower can be seen in many pamphlets and publications promoting Canada as a tourism destination. The CN Tower has elevators that take visitors to the top in under a minute. The views from the various observation points in the tower will stick to the mind for a long time.

7. Royal Ontario Museum

There is no trip to any popular city around the world that is complete without a visit to a museum. For all the history buffs, the Royal Ontario Museum is the ideal destination in Toronto. This museum not only keeps the history of the city but also for the rest of Canada. The museum has a fantastic atmosphere and it is great for family visits.

8. Toronto Botanical Gardens

Nature visits in Toronto are also extremely rewarding. One of the best places you can be in the city is the Toronto Botanical Gardens. The beauty of the gardens will leave your mind at peace. The amazing flowers, nature camps, and the summertime markets are all great attractions that pull visitors to the gardens all year round.

9. Toronto Food Tours

Trips become iconic because of the food that characterizes them. Toronto is a fantastic destination for food lovers. There are dedicated food tours in the city which you can take to explore the rich and diverse cuisine. Neighborhoods like Greektown, Little Italy and Koreatown will introduce you to amazing exotic flavors that you have never experienced before.

10. Hockey Hall of Fame

For the sports fan, the best place to visit in Toronto is unquestionably the Hockey Hall of Fame. Hockey might not be the official sport of Canada but it has a following like no other sport in the country. The Hockey Hall of Fame will amaze you with the rich and excellent information and history about the sport both in Canada and the world.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 420: Tyler Stewart of Barenaked Ladies

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 420In this 420th episode, Mike chats with Tyler Stewart about a million things Barenaked Ladies related and otherwise. This episode is exactly 2:36:38.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 419: J Gold Kicks Out the Jams

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 419In this 419th episode, Mike catches up with Joel Goldberg before they play and discuss his ten favourite songs of all-time. This episode is exactly 1:42:20.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 418: Ashley Docking

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 418In this 418th episode, Mike chats with Fan 590 host Ashley Docking about her hall of fame collegiate career, her work on television and radio, the Gruber incident and diversity in Canadian sports media. This episode is exactly 1:35:59.

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5 Qualities That You Want in Your Next Pair of Shoes

Shopping for footwear requires the same level of care that you bring to selecting all the other elements of your wardrobe. Even when you come across a pair of shoes that look nice, it pays to spend a little time finding what other qualities they bring to the table. As you take a closer look at that great pair of Merrell footwear you’ve come across, look for these features. If they are present, your search is over.

A Little Extra Room For Your Toes

One of the more commonly overlooked qualities has to do with having a little extra room in the toe box. This is important, since you don't want to spend the entire day in shoes that leave your toes feeling numb or cramped. Aside from the discomfort, a shoe design without enough space for the toes to have a little room could lead to health issues later on.

As you learn more about that nice pair of Josef Seibel shoes you came across, make sure the sizing ensures your toes have enough space without being wedged too closely. You’ll find it easier to walk, the odds of pain in the toes is decreased, and you’ll feel better overall at the end of the day.

A Heel That’s The Right Height

How low or high should the heel be? That depends on where you plan on wearing the shoes and how tall you happen to be. Typically, a heel that’s a little lower is best for the workplace. You can save the higher heels for evenings out or for special events.

The good news is that you can find plenty of Merrell footwear with heels of different heights. That’s also true for all of the Josef Seibel designs on the market today. Take your time and consider the heel height based on if the shoe is for casual wear, part of your office attire, or something you need for a special event. Factor in your natural height and it won’t be hard to determine what sort of heel you need.

Cushioning That Absorbs the Shock

Does your work require being on your feet a good part of the day? You definitely need footwear that provides sufficient cushioning. Doing so helps to absorb the shock that comes from walking across hard surfaces. That translates into less pain in your lower legs at the end of the day.

You’ll find that the better brands like Merrell footwear and Josef Seibel are known for providing the right type of padding in each shoe design. That gives you lots of choices to consider.

Materials That Allow Your Feet to Breathe

Circulation around your feet is important for a number of reasons, including being comfortable. Pay close attention to the materials selected for any pair of shoes that seem like a good choice. By sticking with brands like Merrell footwear or Josef Seibel, the materials will be high in quality. That’s a good thing, since they are more likely to age well along with allowing your feet to enjoy a reasonable amount of air circulation.

Style and Colour That’s Just Right

Do you have a general colour range in mind? Perhaps a certain style of shoe would be right for an upcoming occasion. Take a good look at the current seasonal designs offered by Merrell footwear as well as Josef Seibel. You’ll find colours that work well with the outfits you wear on a regular basis. In terms of style, there will be enough diversity to ensure you find something that looks great on your feet and happen to be appropriate for the occasion.

When shopping for new shoes, don’t feel pressured to make a purchase quickly. Compare designs, colours, and features before making up your mind. In the long run, you’ll end up with a pair of shoes that will serve you well for years.

Walking On A Cloud
Riocan Marketplace 2181 Steeles Ave W‎
North York
ON
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(416) 514-1779

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Top 5 Qualities to Look For In Health Related Plans For Your Employees

You want to provide your employees with a reasonable range of benefits. That includes different plans that make it easier for them to take care of their health. From HSA accounts to the best in group health insurance, it pays to put some effort into the plans you select. Here are some qualities that the ideal plans will possess.

Annual Limits

With group health insurance plans and even health savings plans, you want to have an idea of what sort of annual limits apply to different forms of treatment. Some plans will have limits on a per instance basis. Others will have a limit for all services related to a specific health issue that applies to the entire year. You want to know in advance how the limits are set and what those limits happen to be. That will make it easier to compare the plan with other options and see which one provides the best coverage for your employees.

Scope of Coverage

Along with limits, you also want to know what sort of health issues are covered. You may be surprised to learn that many group health insurance plans do not provide coverage for dental or eye care; those have to be purchased outside the scope of the basic policy. You may find that setting up HSA accounts for your employees helps to provide coverage for alternative health services like acupuncture or chiropractic treatments. Some of those health savings plans may also provide support for things like basic dental care and annual eye exams.

Co-Pays and Deductibles

The limits and scope of coverage is great, but how are the deductibles and co-pays? These will tell you how much your employees have to pay out of pocket before the benefits in the plans begin to kick in. There may be a co-pay for medications while there’s a deductible that must be met if an employee goes to the emergency room. Check the provisions of any HSA accounts and group health insurance plans that you are considering and see how low you can get those co-pays and deductibles.

Cost Per Employee

Do you plan on sharing the cost of offering HSA accounts and group health insurance plans with your employees? While some employers cover all of the monthly premiums and other fees, some choose to split the cost, with the company paying the larger share of each premium. Look closely at how to balance the total expense so your employees pay as little for the coverage as possible. That will be one more way you demonstrate that they are important to the business.

Acceptance By Medical Practices

Does a large percentage of local doctors, dentists, and specialists accept the plans you are considering? How about the local hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, and providers offering outpatient care?

Unless the HSA accounts and group health insurance plans are readily accepted in the local community, your employees may have to pay for services up front, file their own claims, and then wait to be reimbursed. A better approach is to select plans that are readily accepted by all the local health care facilities. Doing so means one less hurdle your employees have to make in order to receive the care they need.

Remember to look deeply into the terms and conditions related to all plans that you are considering. Try to come up with scenarios in which the coverage would be used and ask how it would play out. If you like the way the plans work and they will be good for your employees, the search is over.

Benecaid Health Benefit Solutions Inc
185 The West Mall #80 Etobicoke ON M9C 5L5 Canada‎ 877-797-7448

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5 Things to Remember As You Create Your Home Gym

There’s nothing like having a home gym where you can work out in private. It’s never closed and it’s always ready when you want to get in a short workout or spend an hour or more going through your routine. As you begin the task of creating your home gym, remember these tips. They will help you develop space that is all set to go when you decide to get dumbbells from Fitness Avenue or add any other fitness equipment to the mix.

It’s Okay to Start With the Basics

There’s no rule that says you can only stock a home gym with buy exercise equipment that’s bulky and complex. You can start with simple things that take up very little room. For example, jump ropes, chin-up bars, and medicine balls could be the first things you buy along with those dumbbells. Add in some mats so you can do some basic exercises like push-ups and the gym will be ready for some use.

Lay Out the Space Wisely

Look around your space and decide how to lay it out in a practical manner. One area could be reserved for resistance machines while another is where you will set up your weight bench. When you get dumbbells from Fitness Avenue, make sure there’s room for a weight rack so you can make good use of the vertical as well as the horizontal space. As you buy exercise equipment like mats, make sure there is space to use them for stretching, yoga, and other types of workouts.

Make Sure There’s Something for Each Part of the Body

Variety is good for more than one reason. You do want to get dumbbells from Fitness Avenue that help tone and build muscles. There also needs to be something to strengthen your core, equipment to help build and tone leg muscles and glutes, and even something that helps with any particular problem areas that resist toning.

Along with weight loss and building muscle, you also want to buy exercise equipment that helps keep the workout interesting. Machines designed to help you perform a number of different routines is a great idea. Keeping it interesting increases the odds that you don’t skip workouts because you are bored with what you do.

Don’t Forget Something For Rainy Days

As you design the layout, include some machines that are great substitutes for what you normally do outside. For example, do you usually include a run in your workout time? That’s great unless it’s raining or it’s too cold to complete the run comfortably. Having a treadmill in the gym allows you to run no matter what the weather is doing.

Check into treadmills the same time you get dumbbells from Fitness Avenue. There will be models that work quite well at home. You may even be able to buy exercise equipment like bikes and other things that will allow you to do all the exercises that normally take place outdoors in the comfort of your home gym.

You Can Always Add More Equipment Later

You can afford to get dumbbells from Fitness Avenue now along with a few other things. While that doesn’t complete the gym, it does get you started. Go ahead and buy what you can and get into the habit of working out now. When and as you are able, buy exercise equipment one piece at a time and incorporate it into the workout.

There’s a lot to be said for having your own private workout space. Consider converting a spare room, the basement, or even the garage into this type of space. Outfit it properly and commit to using it at least three times a week. It won’t take long before you look and feel better.

Fitness Avenue
267 Champagne Dr North York ON M3J 2C6 Canada‎ (647) 729-9048

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Top 5 Reasons You Should Take Up Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a martial art that involves using the feet and legs as well as the arms and hands for combat. Often offered at gyms and fitness centres that specialize in mix martial arts, kickboxing provides quite a few benefits. Here are five of the top reasons why you should think about taking up kickboxing and making it a part of your MMA plan this year.

Great Way to Work Off Stress

Everyone deals with some level of stress. It may have to do with home life, events at work, or other aspects of your day. In any case, you need some type of outlet for that stress. You'll find that choosing to take mixed martial arts classes at the Revolution MMA gym in Toronto is a great way to blow off some steam and protect your emotional well being. Make sure you include kickboxing in that round of classes, since it’s one of the most effective ways to get rid of stress.

Excellent for Your Heart

There’s no doubt that kickboxing is great for your cardiovascular system. A heart that functions more effectively and can circulate blood more efficiently protects your health in a number of ways. Along with minimizing the potential for a heart attack, the fact that the blood is circulated effectively means nutrients are carried to all your vital organs properly. See those trips to the Revolution MMA gym in Toronto as one of the best things you can do for your heart and in turn for your entire body.

Improves Your Coordination and Balance

Precision and balance are key to mastering the art of kickboxing. The control you develop over your movements will also mean that you enjoy a greater sense of balance when you are out of the gym. That can come in handy in just about every aspect of your life. It will certainly come in handy if you encounter any event that makes it more difficult to remain on your feet. See that time in the Revolution MMA gym in Toronto as another way to protect you from whatever life happens to bring your way.

Tones Your Muscles

As you get into those kickboxing classes and learn more stances and routines, something wonderful will happen to just about every muscle in your body. They will become more toned and even begin to grow a little. That’s because this martial art works everything from your lower legs to your neck muscles. It won’t take long before your arms, legs, chest, and even your abdomen are harder and more toned than you thought possible. The fact that you are getting in better shape while having a lot of fun certainly makes those trips to the Revolution MMA gym in Toronto worth it.

You Get to Meet New People

Between work and family, it’s not that easy to meet new people. In particular, it’s harder to meet people that have some of the same interests that you enjoy. By choosing to enroll in kickboxing classes, it’s possible to meet and get to know people who have similar goals in terms of fitness. That may turn out to be a great foundation for a friendship.

Why wait another minute? Visit the Revolution MMA gym in Toronto and learn more about the classes that are about to begin. Along with kickboxing, select one or two more that will help you feel better in body and in mind. In just a few short weeks, you’ll be amazed at how much those trips to the gym add to your life.

Revolution Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness
150 Lesmill Rd North York ON M3B 2T5 Canada (416) 847-1020

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5 Simple Ways to Prepare For Your Next Dental Check-Up

After being a little lax with scheduling dental appointments the last couple of years, you finally called the dentist and scheduled a dental check-up, What happens next? There are some things you can do to prepare for that appointment. Theses five tips will make things go more smoothly for you and for the team at the dental clinic.

Confirm the Appointment the Day Before

These days, it’s not unusual for a Mississauga dental clinic to reach out to patients with reminders of upcoming appointments. These usually occur the business day before the actual appointment. While some are simply messages left on voice mail, there are clinics that send out reminders by text.

If the message indicates you should respond to confirm the appointment, do so. When it indicates that you only need to call if there’s a need to reschedule, do nothing. The assumption with the latter is that you will be there if you don’t return the message.

Remember that you can always be proactive and call yourself a day or two ahead of the check-up. The staff will be happy to confirm the date and time.

Make a List of Things You Want to Ask the Dentist

It’s easy to think of all sorts of things you want to mention or ask the dentist during the dental check-up. If you want to ensure that all of those questions are actually asked, make a list and take it along for the appointment. You can use the memo feature of your smartphone to make the list. Since you never go anywhere without your phone, there’s no chance of leaving the list on the kitchen counter.

The dentist and the other team members at the Mississauga dental clinic will be happy to answer your questions or provide advice on any dental topic you want to discuss. See this as a good time to ask questions about what type of bristles your toothbrush should sport, how often you should floss, and anything else that comes to mind.

Brush and Floss Before the Appointment

Getting ready for a dental check-up does involve making sure your mouth is clean and fresh. Start by brushing thoroughly. Follow up with using floss and then rinse vigorously.

This is actually good for the dentist as well as for you. The brushing and flossing help to remove residue so it’s easier to examine the teeth and gums. The results are that the dentist and anyone else at the Mississauga dental clinic participating in the check-up will appreciate the effort. For your part, you will feel less self-conscious knowing the teeth are clean and your breath is fresh.

And Don’t Forget the Mouthwash

Do you still wonder if your mouth is as fresh as possible? Follow the brushing and flossing with mouthwash. Choose one that has a reputation for getting rid of bacteria that can cause bad breath. Along with making sure your mouth is fresher for the dental check-up, you get to enjoy that tingling sensation while you make your way to the Mississauga dental clinic.

Be a Few Minutes Early

It never hurts to be a few minutes early to the dental check-up. This gives you time to sign in, verify your dental insurance or other method of payment, and provide any updates to your patient file. That increases the odds of being in an exam room when the actual time for your appointment arrives.

When was the last time you had a check-up? If it’s hard to remember, call your Mississauga dental clinic today and schedule an appointment. This could be the beginning of getting back into the habit of being more diligent with your dental health.

Skymark Dental
25 Kingsbridge Garden Cir unit 10 Mississauga ON L5R 3K7 Canada 905-890-1100

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PowerBear Battery Case for my LG G5

I'm old enough to remember a time when my phone battery would last the entire day. Seriously! I'd charge it while I slept, wake up with 100% and go to sleep without having to charge it once. That, sadly, is no longer the case.

I always said I'd sacrifice phone size for battery life. Manufacturers are focused on making phones thinner and lighter when I'd gladly double (or triple!) the thickness for a better battery. I've probably said this a dozen times in 2018 and my wife must have taken a note, because for Christmas she got me a PowerBear for my LG G5 phone.

powerbear

It's essentially a battery case. Yes, it's pretty heavy, and yes, it's at least tripled the thickness of my phone, but I just love it. With this case I never have to worry about my battery dying, and charging the case is effortless because it charges along with the phone when you plug it in.. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike for two hours while running three battery-chewing apps (MapMyRide, Stitcher and Google Maps) and thanks to PowerBear I arrived home with a full battery.

This isn't a paid endorsement, and my wife paid for the gift, I just like to share when I have a piece of tech that truly improves my daily life. This case is right up there with the best headphones I've ever owned.

I'm still wearing those headphones daily, too...

Update: Got a tweet asking about the price. My wife got mine for $20 on Kijiji but I see on Amazon that my LG G5 model retails for $50 CAD.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 417: Stacey Thompson

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 417In this 417th episode, Mike chats with radio host Stacey Thompson about being the last voice on 1050 CHUM, working at Flow, The Move and Boom, whether the Breeze is coming and so much more. This episode is exactly 1:55:59.

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Stacey Thompson and me

Toronto Mike'd is proudly brought to you by Great Lakes Brewery, Palma Pasta, Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repair, Property in the 6ix, Paytm Canada and BUKL. Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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"Captain" Daryl Dragon, Dead at 76

"Captain" Daryl Dragon was 76. He was one half of popular '70s duo The Captain & Tennille, best known for "Muskrat Love," "Do That to Me One More Time" and "Love Will Keep Us Together.".

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Bob Einstein, Dead at 76

Bob Bob Einstein was 76. He was best known for creating and performing the satirical stuntman character Super Dave Osborne and for his roles as Marty Funkhouser in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Larry Middleman on Arrested Development.

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Mean Gene Okerlund, Dead at 76

Mean Gene OkerlundMean Gene Okerlund was 76. He was the wrestling interviewer and announcer best known for his years with the World Wrestling Federation.

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Adam Wylde is the New Virgin Radio Morning Show

In a move that's surprising nobody, Virgin Radio 99.9 in Toronto has unveiled their new morning show. It's Adam Wylde and TJ O'Halloran.

You may recall Tucker in the Morning was turfed back in November. That's when Scott Tucker, Maura Grierson, and Andy Wilson received the bad news that their services were no longer required at Bell-owned Virgin. Adam Wylde, you will recall, quit his gig at Rogers-owned KiSS 92.5 back in June.

Virgin Mornings with Adam Wylde and TJ debuts tomorrow. Adam will be working down the hall from his mom who hosts the CHUM morning show with Jamar McNeil.

adam

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