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How to encourage your child to read more



Reading books is one of the most important things that anyone can do whatever their age. Encouraging your child to read more is one of the best things you’ll ever do for them. Books can take you anywhere, whether it is action adventures on another planet, historical tales, comedies or mysterious tales of witches and wizards. What do you do though if your child prefers to play with their toys rather than open a book and start reading it?

Firstly take a look at what they love watching on television. If they like Peppa Pig then look for a book that is linked in with that series, check out some educational technology on sites like to keep up to date on the best apps you can utilise to incorporate reading through modern media that your child will find more engaging and exciting.. TV series always seems to have a book associated with them nowadays so this shouldn’t present you with any problems at all

It’s important that your child reads something that they already have an interest in. There’s no point trying to make them read something that they’re totally not interested in, make reading something enjoyable not a chore they want to get out of.

If your child loves sport then again there are plenty of opportunities to get your child reading more. It can be anything from books about their favourite team to the latest match reports or programmes.

Do you read your child stories? If you do then try and make it a joint effort and soon your child will see how enjoyable reading can be. There are so many children’s books available that the parent themselves probably read as a child. Relive your childhood days and pass that great book onto the next generation. For example, give your child an Enid Blyton book or perhaps ‘Winnie the Pooh’. Read books with your child, you do one paragraph they do the next or ask them questions about what you’re reading. Click here for plenty of reading material.

Just like when your child is playing but not actually realising that there’s an educational side to it, the same can happen with reading. Play board games that have written instructions, put subtitles on the television or leave your child reminder notes.

Motivating your child is always a way of making them achieve something. Keep a record of achievement for your child, draw a graph or chart marking the number of books your child has read. A sense of accomplishment always helps a child.

Local libraries can be great places to go to and regularly hold events for children. Again if it’s a fun environment then there’s more chance of your child starting to read more and more. There are so many books in a library there’s always going to be something that your child will want to read. Making regular and entertaining visits to the library will create something that your child will look forward to.

Reading is vitally important for your child, not just to entertain them but to educate them as well. Books can spark imaginative thoughts and help your child progress in their education. Therefore encouraging your child in the ways explained in this article can have tremendous benefits in the years to come.

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Ontario Line subway construction permanently shuts down beloved Toronto bakery



The Danforth is set to lose yet another neighbourhood favourite to the Ontario line subway construction as Greek bakery Akropolis Pastries prepares to close its doors for good after over 40 years in business. 

They announced on Instagram that they’ll shut down in mid-August, sharing a painting of the storefront alongside a simple message thanking their customers.

Dozens of people took to the comments to express their love for the establishment and their years of service to the community.

“Thank you for your friendly customer service & delicious goodies. You will be missed,” said one customer. 

Another added, “You always had the best akropolis pies and always great service. Good luck!”

Several more chimed in with hearts and crying emojis, as well as shout-outs to their favourite dishes. 

The bakery’s president, Bill Gekas, confirmed to the Toronto Star that he received official notice that Akropolis was to be expropriated in the winter of 2022.

He says that the offer from Metrolinx, who had previously promised to compensate affected business owners accordingly, was below market value and that he planned to take the company to court. 

He continued, further pressing the company for taking away affordable housing from his upstairs tenants without providing them a suitable replacement. 

Akropolis isn’t the first Greektown business to announce its expropriation, with Flox on Danforth and Home Hardware the most recent neighbour to share that they’ve fallen victim to the Ontario line.

They also certainly won’t be the last, as Metrolinx has confirmed that they’ll be shuttering 13 businesses on the Danforth to make way for construction. 

The forthcoming transit line is currently due to open in 2031 — although, if the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is any indication, that won’t be the case. 

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Canada considers capping international student visas to address housing crisis



The Canadian government is considering a cap on international student visas to tackle the housing crisis.

During a press conference on Monday, Housing Minister Sean Fraser told reporters that a cap is “one of the options” Ottawa is considering to address the lack of housing amidst the “explosive growth” of temporary immigration programs like the international student program.

“The international student program has seen such growth and in such concentrated areas that it is really starting to put an unprecedented level of demand, in some instances, on the job market,” he explained.

“But given the economic conditions we’ve been living with for the past couple of years, you see it in a more pronounced way on the housing market.”

Fraser stressed that the conversation isn’t about blaming newcomers for Canada’s housing challenges.

He acknowledged that these issues have been decades in the making and have been perpetuated by previous Liberal and Conservative governments.

“[Governments] retreated heavily from making the basic investments in social housing that is now revealing itself through the market today,” said Fraser.

According to official data, as of December 2022, there were over 800,000 foreigners with active international student visas in Canada.

Fraser says that before seriously considering a cap, the government plans to work closely with Canadian universities to ensure these students have a place to live.

He adds that that includes addressing some of these institutions’ exploitation of international students.

“When you see some of these institutions that have five, six times as many students enrolled as they have spaces for them in the building, and you see them continue to pop up in plaza colleges across the country, you’ve got to start to ask yourself some pretty tough questions,” said Fraser.

According to the housing minister, the government has no immediate plans to lower the number of international student visas.

Fraser says he’ll be discussing options with Immigration Minister Marc Miller.

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Toronto’s financial woes could mean delay of Eglinton LRT and Ontario Line opening



Facing a budget deficit of a whopping $46.5 billion over the coming decade, the City of Toronto and Mayor Olivia Chow have got their work cut out for them in trying to reduce costs and increase revenue during what is now being called an “unprecedented financial crisis.”

Among 13 suggested courses of action that staffers put on the table during an Executive Committee meeting last week are a new municipal sales tax, an increase in land transfer taxes for multi-million dollar homes, and permitting the Toronto Parking Authority to charge higher fees for on-street parking, which is currently capped at $5 an hour.

Though these very feasible options were the most widely-reported ones, there are a few parts of the new 192-page long-term financial plan that are quite concerningly being overlooked.

As local political expert and columnist Matt Elliott noted in the latest edition of his City Hall Watcher newsletter, the City Manager and Interim Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer have made a couple of pretty bold recommendations for paths forward, taking aim at the provincial government for not allocating more funding to the city.

Further down the list, we find a few items that feel more dramatic than the aforementioned levies, including, at number 11, a push to potentially refuse to fund the operation of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Finch West subway lines that the city is currently on the hook to pay for.

As Elliott illuminated, the document states that “It was never foreseen that these new operating costs would begin in circumstances when the City had such limited capacity to afford them. Deferring the launch of these two transit lines could reduce the 2024 pressure by up to $106 million.”

Similarly, item 12 advises that “City Council inform the Province of Ontario that in the absence of a new funding model for transit operations in the City of Toronto… the City will pause negotiation of further funding agreements for Provincial Priority Transit Projects and any future provincial transit expansion projects.”

These priority transit projects include the Ontario Line, on which construction has already commenced, most noticeably at Queen and Yonge.

Though these are only proposed ideas for ensuring a better fiscal future at this point, we will have to see which, if any, of the recommendations leadership heeds.

Though there would be inevitable backlash to pressing pause on the decade-plus-in-the-making Eglinton Crosstown LRT or the forthcoming Ontario Line, would anyone in the city really be surprised if a major public transportation project was delayed yet again?

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