Miscellaneous


What Type of Lead is Best For My Dog

According to CAHI, there was an estimated 8.3 million cats and 8.2 million dogs in 2018, in Canada.

Leads help to keep your dog safe and under control when in public. There are many different lengths, widths, styles, and types of dog leads. Some leads are better for specific dog breeds, whilst other leads might be better for dogs who have different temperaments.

Check out the different types of leads that you can get for your dog:

  1. Standard Lead

A standard dog lead is the most common type of lead and is great for everyday use and training purposes.

Often these leads are made of Nylon or leather, which ensure that you have a durable lead. The materials are great for dogs of all ages and sizes.

Standard dog leads are between 4 and 8 feet in length. These leads are ideal for dogs who want some freedom and also for owners who want to have complete control if necessary.

  1. Chain Lead

If your dog tends to chew and destroy his/her lead, then the chain lead is an ideal replacement of the standard lead.

The metal chain will make sure that your dog can’t chew the lead and run away from you. Chain leads are available in different thickness and weight options, so you can choose a chain that is suitable for the size of your dog.

  1. Harness

Many dogs and owners prefer the harness to a traditional lead, because they offer more control over your dog and more comfort for your dog.

You can get no-pull harnesses, which are great for big dogs that tend to pull on the lead. You can also get back clip harnesses which are ideal for well-trained dogs. Whilst the front clip harness is ideal for dogs who tend to jump or pull.

If you are travelling in a vehicle with your dog, it is very important that you secure them in your car. A great way you can do this is by a car harness, which can be attached to a seatbelt and help keep your dog in one place. (Source: petsandpaws.ca)

  1. Adjustable Lead

Adjustable leads ensure that you have full control over your dog, because you can adjust the lead for different situations.

For example, you might want a shorter lead when you are training your dog. Whereas you might want to give your dog a longer lead length when you go for a walk.

These leads can typically be adjusted from between 3 and 6 foot, and this can easily be done by adding or removing a loop or clip on the lead.

  1. Retractable Lead

A retractable lead is popular among pet owners because the lead’s length can automatically be adjusted by pressing a button.

They work similar to a tape measure, with a nylon cord that has a length of anywhere between 4 and 30 feet. If you want your dog to stop, you can simply use the locking mechanism on the handle.

The retractable lead is ideal for dogs who want to have more freedom to go ahead, whilst not compromising the owner’s control over the dog.

It should be noted that untrained dogs might not learn how to walk well with this lead because it allows them to pull and not learn new behaviour correctly. These leads are best for dogs who are already trained and walk well on the lead.

Select the Right Type of Dog Lead

Four-legged friends can be part of the family too, which is why you need to look after your dog and make sure they are safe.

Keep your pooch safe, by finding the right dog lead for your dog. Remember you need to make sure your lead is the right length and type for your dog’s needs.

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How to Hold a Baby

According to 150 StatCan, there were 383,102 births in Canada, in 2016.

Newborns are precious and very delicate when you are first born, which is why you need to familiarise yourself with how to hold your baby correctly.

Our guide will help to give you more insight into how to hold a baby, whether you want to embrace your baby with a snuggle hold or a face-to-face hold.

How to Do the Snuggle Hold

The first step to the snuggle hold is confidently and calmly pick up your baby. Babies can sense if you are uncomfortable, so make sure you are confident with your abilities.

Then you need to support the babies head with one hand and support his/her bottom with your other hand. Make sure you are gentle when holding your babies head and neck, because your baby can’t hold up their own head, so you need to support their head.

Rest your baby against your chest. Babies are instantly comforted by hearing your heartbeat, so this will help to soothe your baby. Remember to keep your one arm under your baby and the other supporting his/her head.

Holding your baby in the snuggle hold can bring great comfort to your baby and can be a great way to entertain your baby, either by reading or singing etc.

Listen to your baby, if he/she doesn’t seem happy, then you might need to try holding them in a different position. When you need to switch hands or change position, make sure you always keep one hand on your babies head.

How to Do the Face-To-Face Hold

The face-to-face hold allows you to interact and entertain with your baby. To do this hold, firstly, you need to place one hand behind your baby’s head and neck. This will help to support your baby’s head.

Then you need to place your other hand under their bottom (just like you do with the snuggle hold). Position your baby out in front of you so you can look at one another. This position works best if you hold your baby below your chest.

How to Do the Cradle Hold

The cradle hold is one of the most natural ways that you can hold your baby, and thus one of the most common ways you’ll see other parents holding their babies.

To do the cradle hold, you need to lay your baby down and pick him/her up by sliding one hand under their neck and head. Your other hand goes under their bottom.

Then you need to spread your fingers as far apart as you can, which will help to support your baby. Slide the hand that was supporting their head gently along their back, so that their head is resting in the crook of your arm and elbow.

Keep your other hand underneath your baby’s bottom and then bring your baby close to your body. The cradle hold can be a great way for you to relax your baby, this can be done by gently rocking them back and forth.

To help keep your baby safe when you are out and about research baby carriers.

Parenting Done Right

Parenting can be difficult, especially if you are a first-time parent, so take in as much advice as you can and always make sure that your baby is happy with whatever you are doing.

If you are a new parent, remember that there will be many new challenges, such as buying baby stuff, but just give it some time and you’ll soon become a natural.

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8 Ways to Lose Weight Faster

According to an online survey, over the past year, 42% of Canadians say they went on a diet with the intention of losing weight.

Losing weight can often be a very difficult thing for people to do. Often you need to make lifestyle changes, instead of just skipping a few snacks every few weeks.

But if you want to lose weight quickly, because you are going on holiday soon and want a beach body, there are a number of ways you can do this.

  • Supplements

Take supplements like creatine monohydrate, which will help to increase your muscle mass and improve your overall strength.

There are many different types of supplements and vitamins available that can aid in weight loss and muscle gain. Many athletes take supplements to help boost their performance.

  • Drink Water

Drink a glass of water half an hour before your meals. This will make you feel more full when it comes to eating your meal, which means you’ll eat less food.

You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day, because this will help to increase your body’s energy levels.

  • Protein Rich Food Eat a high-protein breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t skip it.

Instead, make sure you are eating foods which are high in protein, such as egg white scramble, or greek yoghurt and fruit. Food which is high in protein has been proven to reduce cravings and your calorie intake during the day.

  • Avoid Sugary Drinks Don’t consume sugary drinks. Drinks which are high in sugars, such as soda and fruit juices, are a big no-no if you want to lose weight fast.

Replace any sugary drinks that you usually drink with water, green tea, iced tea, or coffee. Due to the caffeine, tea and coffee can help boost your metabolism.

  • Eat Certain Types of Food Eat foods which help with weight loss. There are some foods which actually help you lose weight, such as eggs, salmon, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and soup.

Remember that it is important to have a balanced diet, so carefully plan your meals and make sure you are giving your body all the nutrients it needs.

  • Introduce More Soluble Fibre into Your Diet Eat soluble fibre. Soluble fibres are thought to help reduce fat, especially around the belly area.

Foods which have soluble fibre in include oatmeal, apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, beans, peas, lentils, and barley.

  • Exercise More Do more exercise. The more active you are, the healthier you will become. Adults are supposed to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

If you have a spare 10 minutes a day, why not go for a jog? Or you could introduce swimming in the morning, it will help wake you up and help you lose weight.

  • Sleep More Treat your body to a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown a correlation between sleeping poorly and weight gain. So make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

Lose Weight Faster

If you want to lose weight faster, make sure you implement the above tips and tricks which can help you keep the pounds off.

Use awareness as a weight loss tool. One of the best ways to lose weight is by being more conscious of what you are eating and when, and what exercise you are doing and how often.

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The Furniture Bank

This afternoon, I was given a tour of the Furniture Bank at 25 Connell Court near Kipling and Evans. It's quite remarkable what's happening there. Here's what they do in their own words, and then I'll follow that up with my own words and photos.

Furniture Bank is committed to offering a hand to the formerly homeless, women and children escaping abusive situations, and newcomer families and refugees. In fact anyone in need of a fresh start.

We work in partnership with over 90 community agencies and shelters to assist individuals who require furniture and household goods for their homes. All items selected by our clients are provided to them free of charge.

Our partner agencies play a critical role by helping to screen potential furniture recipients. This helps us focus on our commitment to ensuring those who transition out of displacement are given the best possible chance to succeed in life.

It all starts with you. Let's say you have a dining room table and chairs you no longer need, or a couch you're replacing, or a television you're upgrading, or dinnerware, or any furniture or household items you're willing to part with, you donate that to the Furniture Bank. You can drop it off, or pay a nominal fee to have it picked up. And before you squawk at having to pay a fee to get your donations picked up, just know that the bulk of their financing comes from those fees.

The Furniture Bank

Your donations arrive at the Furniture Bank and are inspected. Some may be ready for the showroom floor immediately, other items may need cleaning or some additional tlc. I saw chairs getting fresh paint, new upholstery, and other such repairs. Electrical items are tested by an electrician. Once the furniture or household items are deemed ready for primetime, they're put on display in the showroom.

The Furniture Bank

The Furniture Bank

The Furniture Bank

Here's a few pictures of the showroom. Shoutout to Endy Mattresses for donating every mattress that's returned within their 100 day window.

The Furniture Bank

The Furniture Bank

The Furniture Bank

Families in need book appointments through a partner agency and spend time in the showroom deciding what they want for their home. The chosen items are then delivered to the recipient.

The Furniture Bank

It's remarkable what's been happening a short 15 minute bike ride from my home without me realizing. If I was clueless, you may be as well. The Furniture Bank needs your furniture and housewares, but they could also use your money. To donate money, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/create-a-home/. All donations come with a tax receipt.

The Furniture Bank

If you're in the GTA and would like your donation picked up, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/furniture-pickup-request-2/. If you'd prefer to drop it off yourself, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/furniture-dropoff/.

The Furniture Bank furnished the homes of more than 10,000 marginalized neighbours in 2018 and provided meaningful work for over 20 individuals facing barriers to employment. I tip my hat to them!

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How Can Toronto Close Gender Gap in the Workforce?

Last month, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report of Canada’s 26 biggest cities, and it found that Toronto was one of the worst cities for women in the workforce.

The results confused many Toronto residents on the street as the city is known for its liberal attitudes and cosmopolitan ideals of equality and empowerment.

But the report puts Toronto as the third-worst city for women in Canada in terms of the gender employment gap.  The gap also increased from 2013 to 2017 indicating that trend is getting worse.

Researchers cite the difficulties many immigrant women face in entering the labor force as a reason for Toronto’s declining female workforce participation numbers.  According to the report, immigrants account for 47% of the greater Toronto area, and Toronto has also seen a recent influx of new immigrants. For a variety of factors, these women participate less frequently in the labor force, and more work needs to be done to provide these women with better opportunities.

Toronto has some of the highest childcare fees in Canada, and many women with partners in the labor force may not be able to get a job because of the high cost of sending their child to daycare.  The lowering rate of female workforce participation comes despite the fact that Toronto is experiencing strong economic growth, and rerouting this prosperity into childcare services could be a strong policy proposal to increase woman in the workforce.

In other areas, Toronto ranked near the middle of other Canadian cities, indicating that workforce participation is one of the city’s biggest issues when it comes to female empowerment.  Toronto ranked second in security and third for education, and women in Toronto are more highly educated than men.

However, the government has to step in to ensure that highly educated women and new immigrants to the country are able to participate in the workforce on a more level playing field to their male counterparts.

Lorena Castillo of ABOUTWOMEN argues that women are vital to the workforce especially in industries that make products for women.  Her employer reviews products for women, and she said, “it is important to have a female perspective in all industries, but especially in spaces that are for women.  If a woman wants to select a beauty product then she should hear what a woman thinks about it instead of having a man trying to describe how the product works.”

Other than government support for more women in the workforce, societal changes also need to occur before Canada reaches a more equitable working world.  According to Plan International Canada, women become less confident about their prospects as they get older. 60% of girls aged 14-17 reported that they feel they have the same opportunity to lead as men, while only 38% of women aged 18-24 say the same.

Perhaps younger generations will do more to change the stigma against women in leadership roles, and with more women in high positions, there are now role models for young women to look up to.  But Canadians need to work harder to make sure that women and young girls feel they are welcome in the workplace and can achieve the same success as men.

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Will Canadian Alcohol Brands Break Through Internationally?

Canadian drinking enthusiasts may be dismayed at rising taxes on alcohol and spirits, but Canadian alcohol brands may be looking to grow business abroad for a multitude of reasons.

Canada is now known as one of the countries with the laxest laws on marijuana after the federal Cannabis Act came into law on October 17, 2018.  Thus, the country is growing a reputation in the marijuana industries as one of the most important countries for developing products and brands related to cannabis.

On the other hand, Canadian alcohol has yet to break through into the international market.  A quick look at the highest grossing alcohol companies shows that Western Europe, the United States, and Japan dominate a large portion of the global market.

According to research, the most popular beer in Canada is even an American product, Budweiser.  Big American beer companies have also announced plans to further enter the Canadian market after the ruling on cannabis in hopes of selling alcohol products infused with cannabis.

But, are there Canadian companies attempting to break through and break this global dominance?

Unfortunately for Canada, much of the beer market has been swallowed up by large American companies and other multinational corporations.  But that does leave room for Canadian companies in other markets.

Perhaps Canada’s biggest hope to break through in the world of alcohol is in whiskey.  One of the top whiskey critics in the world crowned Canada's Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye the World Whisky of The Year, earning a record-high score.

Canadian whiskeys are becoming more popular and several are produced by multinational corporations such as Japanese company Suntory Beverage & Food and England’s Diageo.  These companies rely on Canadian distilleries to produce top quality whiskey.

Also, smaller distilleries are popping up around Canada similar to the trend of beer’s microbreweries.  These smaller establishments typically have less desire to become a massive worldwide name, but they still can produce high-quality products that may soon become popular in America.

Jannik Lindner of canadiangentleman.ca commented on the future of Canadian whiskey, “the new emphasis on whiskey in Canada indicates that foreign companies and consumers are catching on to the popularity of Canadian whiskey.  With whiskey, it is often about presentation, and if companies begin designing their own glasses and accompanying products, these new up-and-comers can really build a strong Canadian brand.”

Canadian whiskey brands will also have to differentiate themselves from American bourbon in order to better infiltrate foreign markets.  The product has to be distilled, fermented and aged in Canada, and it has to contain at least 40% alcohol.

Marketing Canada as a center of whiskey production may seem like a punt, but it would be easier than fighting with the massive corporations in control of much of the beer market.

Toronto has its own quirks when it comes to beer and alcohol, but could the next big drink come out of our city?  It might be wishful thinking, but there might be an enterprising Canadian whiskey seller out there looking to change how the product is viewed on the world stage.

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Federal Agency Researches Tracking Employees Health with Watches

According to reporting from CBC, a federal agency is doing exploratory research into tracking public employees with smartwatches in order to lower healthcare costs.

The Impact and Innovation Unit is doing the research, and it is part of Prime Minister Trudeau’s Privy Council Office.

In West Virginia, a teachers’ strike was in part mobilized by the state’s plan to track teacher’s health with smartwatches and adjust health care costs levied against their employers accordingly.  The plan caused a fervor, and the state was forced to scrap the plan along with offering the teachers’ union more concessions on pay and healthcare.

Fortunately for Canadian, the standard and cost of healthcare is much better than their American counterparts.

Fitbits, Apple watches, and other smartwatches are able to collect health data ranging from heartbeat, steps and general exercise down by the user.  Several American insurance companies are offering incentives for customers to share their healthcare data with them.

In the case of Canada, researchers are looking if implementing a smartwatch policy for public employees would reduce healthcare premiums for active and healthy employees.  The Impact and Innovation Unit lists several drawbacks to having smartwatches on public employees, including pushback from employees about their privacy being breached.

The research unit is also looking at other incentive programs to make employees eat and live healthier.  This could take the form of a mobile app or website that offers discounts on products and other bonuses for making health-conscious choices.

This incentive-based system contrasts with other policy solutions such as making it more affordable to eat healthily or providing more health education.  Nudging is another somewhat controversial policy solution where policymakers design laws based on creating psychological nudges that increase outcomes without offering any incentive.

Many Canadians are likely to be wary about any sort of program that tracks health data through smartwatches, and if the policy was implemented it might face harsh pushback.  And in terms of improving health and fitness, there are likely better options.

Alexander Eser of FITBOOK remarked that increasing fitness is often personal, “someone has to have the desire to improve their health in order to see real results.  No one will make massive life changes and buy into a healthier lifestyle if they receive small or negative incentive to do so.”

Policymakers are often attempting to change bad habits of citizens either through increasing taxes on unhealthy products or subsidizing public transport.  While the smartwatch policy is still in the exploratory phase, and it may never see the light of day, Canadian politicians will continue to look at how they can improve their citizens’ health.  So far, the committee has only done initial research on the fitness tracking policy, but they will continue to look for solutions.

Eser added, “I would advise more of a focus on education if people know more about the health impacts of different products and foods that are available to them, then they can make more informed decisions.”

Canadian employees are unlikely to be forced to wear a smartwatch to work any time soon, but the public will have to hold their policymakers accountable for providing better alternatives than tracking their every move.

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Flying Drones in Canada Legally and Safely

There are new rules for flying drones in Canada. These come into effect on June 1, 2019. Before we look into these new rules, let's understand that "drone" is a term used to refer to any type of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

You're not going to be able to legally fly your drone without a drone pilot certificate. it's just a question of whether you need advanced training or basic training. You need advanced drone training if:

  • You are 16 years old or older;
  • Your drone weighs between 0.25 – 25 kg;
  • You want to fly in controlled airspace;
  • You always stay under 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level;
  • You want to fly within 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders or fly over them; and
  • You will always keep your drone in sight.

Find a dependable drone training expert and learn to fly your done safely and legally.

Drone pilots must follow the rules in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Part IX – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems contains most of the rules that apply to drones. You should read these regulations in full before you fly your drone for the first time.

Drone pilots must carry a valid drone pilot certificate and only fly drones that are marked and registered.

home-training

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Mimico Mountaineers vs. St. Michael's College Kerry Blues

In my hood, many kids grow up playing lacrosse. It's not uncommon to spot automobiles sporting a Mimico Mountaineers bumper sticker.

Forever I've seen the St. Michael's College Kerry Blues logo. I just assume these cars belong to the proud parent of a St. Mike's student athlete.

Only recently did I realize how similar these two logos are, and that I often don't really know which one I'm seeing. Here's a quick comparison.

Mimico Mountaineers Logo

mimico

St. Michael's College Logo

st-mikes

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I Choo-Choo-Choose You

HeartHappy Valentine's Day. I choo-choo-choose you.

I Choo-Choo-Choose You

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