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Earth Hour 2014 in Toronto

When is Earth Hour 2014 in Toronto? What can you do during Earth Hour in Toronto? Are you ready for it?

"Dynamo Solar Crank Flashlight" image by Razor512 @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/13144581@N00/8433387855/in/photolist-dRejoT-5LgVLV-3ymiaW-83VWyN-6z6eV9-8ES3gx-7zbm48-6bsv7d-6bojKn-6bojKi-6bsv79-nvHWo-5VaLvm-dpM3L6-4RqDan-8pm2hC-9k2sW-9rfUC-6bsv77
“Dynamo Solar Crank Flashlight” image by Razor512 @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/13144581@N00/8433387855/in/photolist-dRejoT-5LgVLV-3ymiaW-83VWyN-6z6eV9-8ES3gx-7zbm48-6bsv7d-6bojKn-6bojKi-6bsv79-nvHWo-5VaLvm-dpM3L6-4RqDan-8pm2hC-9k2sW-9rfUC-6bsv77

When is the 2014 Earth Hour?

Toronto joins the world in celebrating Earth Hour 2014 on Saturday March 29. The most official time is 8:30-9:30pm, local time. That’s a bit after sunset, so you can enjoy the darkness in several ways.

Earth Hour is an annual spring event in Toronto and around the world.

What to Do during Earth Hour?

The usual advice to celebrate Earth Hour is to turn off the lights in your house, and take a stroll outdoors. In case the current weather forecast holds true, you can certainly walk through a bit of rain as the temperature eases down toward freezing. Just bundle up a bit and carry an umbrella.

It’s a great idea to spend that time with neighbours, relatives and friends. Spend time at someone’s home by candlelight, if you want to stay indoors.

Two Official 2014 Earth Hour Event in Toronto

Each Earth Hour event in Toronto offers a chance to learn and enjoy, but in very different ways.

Family-Oriented Arts and Crafts plus a Concert for Earth Hour 2014

Riverside TO offers an afternoon and evening of activities for Earth Hour 2014 in Toronto. From 2-5pm, you and your children can learn to make lanterns. From 4pm, either learn some arts & crafts, or walk the neighbourhood for an arts tour. In the evening, a 7:45pm concert at the corner of Queen and Saulter leads to the countdown to darkness at 8:30pm. Then enjoy the second half of the concert.

These Riverside TO events occur on Queen St. East in Toronto, between Broadview and Logan. Take the Queen 501 streetcar, or check the TTC for the best connections from the Danforth subway line.

The details, including the exact venues and the request to register for the afternoon activities, is on the Riverside TO Earth Day 2014 web page.

A Monk’s Vision for Sustainable Living

The “Switching off and Turning on: Transforming the outer and inner environment” event stays indoors, at 117 Dundas St. East (at Church St.) from 6:30-9pm. Admission is $10, but when else will you hear a monk, who graduated from Yale, discuss sustainable living and eco-farming. Plus there’s a vegan dinner.

Cranky about Candles? Try a Dynamo or Crank Flashlight

Personally, I’m annoyed by the idea of lighting candles during Earth Hour. Yes, we save a bit of electricity. In Ontario, we generate a lot of that electric power at Niagara Falls and at nuclear power stations. If we’re trying to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions, we have to hope that the natural gas power plants shut down for the hour. Otherwise, we’re generating CO2 right at each candle wick.

Perhaps you experienced the Christmas 2013 ice storm and power outage. Our home was cut off for a day, and then we “borrowed a cup of electricity” through a neighbour’s extension cord. While that kept the furnace running, we didn’t have lights at the flick of a switch.

My trusty go-to flashlight is a small hand-cranked dynamo flashlight. Crank it a few times; it retains the charge for days and works for over ten minutes without needing another crank. It’s a lot more eco-friendly than throwing away single-charge batteries or even rechargeable batteries; and does not emit CO2 to create light.

Canadians can choose from very popular crank flashlights and (batteryless lanterns for camping) through this Amazon.ca web page. The similar American page for crank flashlights has some different choices.

Remember: you don’t need to celebrate Earth Hour to need a flashlight! Any emergency will do. And if the emergency lasts long enough, then a battery won’t. (Am I a “crank” for saying this?)

Personally, I’ve had bad luck with no-battery “shake” flashlights, which stop working after a few sessions. Do I shake them too hard? Or are they just too fragile? I’d appreciate readers’ comments, although you have to pass the Captcha.

Links for Earth Hour and Earth Day

Last year I wrote “How to Celebrate Earth Hour 2013 in Toronto or Anywhere“, which explained more about Earth Hour.

I’d also been confused by “Earth Day” versus “Earth Hour”. Although the official 2014 Earth Day in Canada will be observed on April 22, the Earth Day Canada web site’s link to its events shows a hodgepodge of dates as it covers a variety of cities. The entire site is well worth a visit; but it’s tricky to find something in your own city.

Looking for More Annual Events or a Holiday in Toronto Canada?

You can find more annual events for your vacation in Toronto Ontario; or for local residents wanting things to do in Toronto this weekend.

This blog tracks many of the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, with ideas for free or frugal things to do in Toronto. I especially like to cover summer attractions and special events in Toronto Canada; but especially for Canadian holidays.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and other selected online sites. That’s why DeHaan Services highlights some of those online articles here.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about Earth Hour 2014 in Toronto.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2014 in Toronto

While Saint Patrick’s Day is always March 17, his annual parade in Toronto marches on a nearby Sunday. When is the 2014 St Patrick Day Parade in Toronto? What is the parade route?

@ www.flickr.com/photos/ykjc9/2580529097/”]"Shamrocks" by [puamelia] @ www.flickr.com/photos/ykjc9/2580529097/

"Shamrocks" by [puamelia

Quick Guide to the Toronto St. Patricks Day Parade in 2014

Last year I covered a lot more material about St. Patrick in “The 2013 St Patricks Day Parade in Toronto“, so today let’s focus on the 2014 parade.

The 27th Annual Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held Sunday, March 16, 2014.

The parade begins at high noon, starting at the intersection of St. George St. at Bloor St. (That’s a few steps west from the TTC St. George subway station).

The parade heads east along Bloor St., turns south on Yonge St., and heads east along Queen St. to University Avenue. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade should take about 90 minutes to pass any one spot.

The organizers ask that you bring non-perishable food donations to the parade. Toronto paramedics will be collecting this food for the Daily Bread Food Bank. They also suggest you wear bright green clothes, to fit in with the crowds.

As always, the St. Patrick’s Parade Society of Toronto’s web site has this information and more, including an introduction to this year’s Grand Marshall and to leprechauns.

Three Kindle Books for Saint Patrick’s Day

Amazon’s Kindle books cover a range of topics for Saint Patrick’s Day. This list shows Amazon.ca links for Canadians (and adds the USA’s Amazon.com link in brackets).

Looking for More Annual Events or a Holiday in Toronto Canada?

You can find more annual events in Toronto on many weekends.

My blog notes many of the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, with the focus on free or frugal things to do in Toronto. I especially like to cover summer attractions and special events in Toronto Canada; but especially for Canadian holidays.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science and Decoded Pregnancy.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles by category.

Thanks for reading about the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade 2014 in Toronto.


Make Time for 2014 Daylight Savings Time in Canada

Most of Canada and the USA switch between Daylight Savings Time and Standard Time on the same Sundays of each year. When do we “spring ahead” in 2014?

"Three Clocks Care Not for Daylight Savings Time"

"Three Clocks Care Not for Daylight Savings Time"

Spring Ahead by Setting Your Clock Ahead from 2am to 3am

In 2014, Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday March 9, at 2am in both Canada and the USA. (Some provinces or states may ignore DST; check the reference link below).

The phrase “spring ahead” helps remind us to move our clocks ahead one hour.

When Will Canada and the USA Return to Standard Time in 2014?

Just wait until Sunday Nov. 2, when we “fall back” by one hour.

What Else Should We Do When “Setting Our Clocks”?

(Added March 7, 2014): Add “change the battery in your smoke detector” as a semi-annual ritual, right beside “set the clock forward or back”. I was just reminded by a spokesman for the Toronto fire department, speaking to a news reporter after a fatal apartment fire.

If you’re planning ahead, I just checked Amazon.ca versus a couple of major Canadian hardware retail store chains. At this moment, their price for a 4-pack of Duracell 9 volt batteries is $12.47 in Canadian loonies. One neighbourhood retail store would charge $17.98 for two 4-packs; another retail chain lists a single 9v battery “from $8.79″, so $35 for four. Those prices are before HST (sales tax) or any Amazon shipping fees; retail prices may vary across Canada or over time.

Americans would find the Amazon.com price for a 4-pack of Duracell 9 volt batteries is $10.99 in $USD, at this time. (Just be sure to click the “Unit Count: 4” rather than “8” for your price comparison).

Anyway, change those batteries twice a year when you set the clocks. If you live without Daylight Savings Time, just pick a pair of memorable dates.

Do Other Countries Switch to Daylight Savings Time?

Some other countries also switch between Standard and Daylight Savings Time, although many do not. For example:

  • The United Kingdom’s DST and Standard dates are March 30 and Oct. 26.
  • Australia goes to Standard on April 6 and DST on Oct. 5.
  • New Zealand also switches to Standard on April 6, but hurries back to DST on Sept. 30.
  • Check the reference link below for any other country, and for regional exceptions.

Why do Australia and New Zealand change in the “opposite” direction from Canada, the USA and the UK? Since autumn is the next season in the southern hemisphere, Australia and New Zealand will indeed “fall back” on April 6. They actually follow the same pattern, since the switch between DST and Standard time is based on summer and winter hours of daylight… not the months.

References for Daylight Savings Time

I trust “Daylight Saving Time Around the World 2014” as my reference link.

Last year I’d noted some other facts and tidbits about DST in “Launch Daylight Savings Time 2013 in Canada and in the USA“.

Annual Toronto Events or Public Service Announcements?

The switch between Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time is an one example of an annual public service announcement.

Many of the articles in this blog focus on annual events in Toronto, especially the free or frugal Toronto events that deserve more publicity than they can afford to advertise.

DeHaan Services also writes web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, and some of its sister sites. That’s why DeHaan Services sometimes highlights these online articles on this site.

Thanks for reading about Daylight Savings Time in 2014.


How to Avoid Envy when Dividing the Spoils

Do you need to divide your inheritance with a sibling, or your property as part of your divorce?

My recent Decoded Science article, “How to Divide Indivisible Goods Fairly: Algorithm for Dividing Assets“, explains how to use one specific process of “dividing the spoils” between two parties, that avoids either party envying the other.

Three university professors collaborated to develop this algorithm, and to prove mathematically that it gives one of the best possible results if you want:

  • Each party will receive the same number of items.
  • Afterwards, when each party reviews who got what, paired in their own order of preference, then each party prefers his own first, second, third (and so on) item to the one the other party received.
  • Keep each item whole; do not divide any item into pieces, or sell it to divide the monetary value.
  • You can accept that some items will go to a “Contested List” rather than to either of the two parties.

I also made some spreadsheets to illustrate what the process might do to divide assets when inheriting an estate or negotiating a divorce.

"Allocation Results Example 2" : Image by Mike DeHaan
“Allocation Results Example 2″ : Image by Mike DeHaan

Canadian Content for a Fair Division of Goods

I also had a brief e-mail interview with Dr. Marc Kilgour, a professor of mathematics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He’s one of the authors of the underlying paper with the algorithm. One tidbit that didn’t get into my article, is that Canada’s NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) provided a grant which partially funded this “curiosity-driven research”.

If You Don’t Have an App for That…

Even though their algorithm might not have been incorporated into a computer program or smartphone app (yet), you might still benefit from this research.

Ask your divorce mediator or estate planner to guide you through the steps outlined in the original research paper. There’s no guarantee that it will resolve all the items, but it can simplify the task of avoiding envy when dividing the spoils.

Professional Writing by DeHaan Services

DeHaan Services writes web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy, and DeHaan Fitness. That’s why we highlight these online articles on this blog page. I also add writing tips to my promotional posts in my Blog of Writing; see “Preview of Dividing Indivisible Goods Fairly” for an example.

To only see our Toronto events (for things to do in Toronto) or fitness articles, please click on the appropriate category in the “Categories” section at the bottom of the right-hand margin.

Thank you for reading my online articles about avoiding envy when dividing goods fairly.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used to guide your decisions without the benefit of professional advice. Any reader involved in property disputes or settlements should consult an appropriate professional.


Six Civic Museums for 2014 Family Day in Toronto

Need ideas for celebrating the 2014 Family Day in Toronto? Six of Toronto’s civic museums host special Family Day programs this year.

With one exception, each event takes place only on Monday Feb. 17, 2014, the upcoming Family Day in Ontario. Most are easily accessible by TTC, although the long, steep walk down Pottery Road to Todmorden Mills could be slippery.

Fort York for the 2014 Family Day in Toronto

Open from 11am through 4pm, Fort York invites children to participate in the Officers’ Sword Drill. If the weather cooperates, you may build snow forts. The kitchen will demonstrate how they made and served hot drinks and snacks. I assume regular admission costs apply.

"Guarding Fort York in Toronto Ontario" image by Bobolink (Robert Taylor)
“Guarding Fort York in Toronto Ontario” image by Bobolink (Robert Taylor)

Fort York is at 100 Garrison Road, off Bathurst and north of both Lake Shore Blvd and the CNE.

Read more about this Toronto landmark in “Historic Fort York, 1793-1993” (Canadian or American Kindle versions). Although Fort York lost its first battle in the War of 1812, it successfully defended what would become Toronto in 1812. What purposes has Fort York served since that time?

Montgomery’s Inn to Host an Irish Ceilidh for Family Day 2014

From 1pm to 5pm, enjoy an Irish Ceilidh dance workshop which is included in admission at Montgomery’s Inn. (It’s well under $7 for adults; and even less for children or seniors). The kitchen will make snacks; Nan Brien will tell stories by the fireplace at 1:30 and 3:30pm.

Montgomery’s Inn is at 4709 Dundas Street West at Islington Avenue.

Scarborough Museum Family Day Weekend Feb. 15-17, 2014

The Scarborough Museum is the only Toronto civic museum hosting a Family Day weekend in 2014, rather than concentrating on the Monday. So you have a choice of Saturday, Sunday or Monday from noon to 4pm. Make crafts or join a scavenger hunt. The kitchen will also be working on snacks appropriate for their historic period. Pay what you can.

The Scarborough Museum is at 1007 Brimley Road, just north of Lawrence Ave. Landmarks include: “northwest of the Scarborough Hospital”; “in Thompson Memorial Park”; and “just north of the Gatineau Hydro Corridor”.

The 2014 Family Day at the Spadina Museum

The Spadina Museum will conduct 5 tours between noon and 5pm (the final tour starts at 4pm). These highlight the Austin family’s life in the 1920s and 30s. What music did they enjoy? What toys did the children play with? Regular admission is under $10 adults and less for children & seniors.

The Spadina Museum is at 285 Spadina Road at Austin Terrace, just north of Casa Loma. By TTC, it’s quite a walk south from St. Clair Avenue, but it’s pretty flat. Both the 127 Davenport bus and 26 Dupont bus routes run south of Casa Loma, so that’s a steep climb uphill.

Family Day 2014 at Todmorden Mills

Todmorden Mills puts the focus on the owls of the Don Valley from noon to 4pm. However, you can also tour the homes, and especially the kitchen. Admission is well under $7 for adults; and even less for children or seniors.

Todmorden Mills is at 67 Pottery Road, which connects Broadview Avenue (at Mortimer Avenue) with Bayview Avenue (well south of Moore Park and well north of Bloor Street).

"Map of Todmorden Mills, Toronto" image by Mike DeHaan
“Map of Todmorden Mills, Toronto” image by Mike DeHaan

Since I’d made this map for Todmorden Mills for a previous article, let’s use it here too.

Paper and Pop-up at the Zion Schoolhouse for 2014 Family Day

The historic one-room Zion Schoolhouse will highlight paper and paper crafts, from Victorian times to the present. Admission, but children must be accompanied by an adult; and they will accept donations.

What About Family Day in Canada?

Please see my recent article, “When is the 2014 Family Day in Canada?” for the different provincial approaches to this much-needed February holiday. Your province might give it a name or date different from Ontario’s.

How to Learn about Events at Civic Museums in Toronto

I referenced “What’s On at Toronto Museums” on Feb. 8, 2014. I clicked on the museum’s name, and then on the appropriate event title. My guess is that this page will change over time, so my future readers (from 2015 onward) should check it as the ongoing accurate source of information.

(Added Feb. 10, 2014) Two Other Family Day Attractions in Toronto and the GTA

If you’re willing to spend a bit more for your Family Day in Toronto, head to the International Centre for “Toronto Kids Fest“. It bills itself as “Canada’s largest inflatable festival”. It runs on Sunday (11am to 6pm) and Monday (9am to 6pm), Feb. 16-17, 2014. Admission is $5 for adults; $15 for toddlers under age 2 to play on the “rides”; $25 for children 2 and over; and the youngest who cannot go into or onto the inflatables are admitted free.

This event offers free parking, unlimited indoor rides with admission, and live on-stage entertainment. The International Centre is at 6900 Airport Road, at Derry Road East, so it’s technically part of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) in Malton.

Actually inside Toronto, at Downsview Park, the “Family Fun Fest” offers even more than inflatable rides and live entertainment. If you’ve watched any of the gold miners on Discovery Channel, you will want to try your hand at “gemstone mining”. Pan for minerals and an arrowhead. Tickets range from $8 general admission for adults, up to $50 for a child’s day pass with a bunch of pre-paid extras. There’s a discount for buying your tickets online. If I had children in the target age range, I’d read the web site’s explanations carefully to get the best deal.

“Family Fun Fest” runs Saturday through Monday, Feb. 15-17, at Downsview Park. The address is 40 Carl Hall Road, but it’s south of Sheppard Ave. West between Keele Street and Allen Road. They’re open 10am-5pm, 10am-6pm, and 9am-6pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday respectively.

(Added Feb. 16, 2014) Toronto Beach Village “Family Sunday in the Beach”

My apologies this delayed notice of the annual Family Sunday in the Beach, which runs from noon to 5pm in Toronto’s Eastern Beach neighbourhood. Head for Queen St. East and the eastern terminus of the 501 Queen street car at Neville Park Blvd. More free activities are located in Kew Gardens (south side of Queen, between Bellefair and Lee Avenues) and Ivan Forrest Gardens (north side of Queen, at Glen Manor Drive).

Looking for More Annual Events or a Holiday in Toronto Canada?

You can find more annual events for your vacation in Toronto Ontario; or for local residents wanting things to do in Toronto this weekend.

Ideas for a Toronto Vacation or Staycation

This blog tracks many of the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, and provides ideas for fascinating, free or frugal things to do in Toronto. I especially like to cover summer attractions and special events in Toronto Canada; but especially for Canadian holidays.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and my Fitness and Weight Control blog. That’s why DeHaan Services highlights those online articles on this site.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Thanks for reading about six civic museums where you can enjoy the 2014 Family Day in Toronto.

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