Tips & Articles

2018-19 NBA GM Survey: Kawhi and the Raptors are… mentioned

But the story of the coming season still sounds like it’ll revolve around the usual suspects: the Warriors and LeBron.

Remember that old saying “it’s so-and-so’s world and we’re just living in it”? In the world of the 2018-19 NBA, the so-and-so’s are well known by now. With the release of the 2018-19 NBA GM Survey, care of NBA dot com, it’s clear the people at the very top of most franchises understand this reality too — LeBron James and the Warriors dominate the conversation.

And that’s fine! The Warriors, by dint of winning three of the last four titles, deserve the accolades and attention; meanwhile, LeBron is only one of the best players of all time. We should get it by now.

But let’s not mince any words here. What we really want to know is if the GMs are talking about the new-and-improved (on paper) Toronto Raptors. To which, we can now confirm: well, sort of. Let’s do a quick rifle through the questions and see were Toronto pops up.

Read the entire 2018-19 NBA GM Survey here.

Are the Raptors predicted to win the Finals? No. Make the Finals? No, again. (They’re favoured to finish second in the East behind the Celtics.) It’s not the best showing for our guys from Toronto.

How about Kawhi Leonard, though, surely he bears mentioning? Indeed he does! He’s at no. 4 for most likely to have a breakout season (tied with Aaron Gordon, Kyle Kuzma, Lauri Markkanen, Dejounte Murray, and Ben Simmons). OK, that doesn’t sound so special; where else does Kawhi make the cut? Three percent of GMs (so, uh, one; Bobby?) believe Toronto’s acquisition of Kawhi will have the biggest impact this season. The other 97 percent say guess who. At least 20 percent of GMs believe the Raptors made the best off-season moves though, which is nice. (70 percent believe the best move was, get this, signing LeBron James as a free agent.)

Wild swerve here: the most surprising move of the year was… not the Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade. It was, according to the GMs of the league, the Warriors’ signing of DeMarcus Cousins. Good to know.

But wait, there it is: boom, Kawhi tied for first (with Rudy Gobert) as the best defensive player in the league, and wholly acknowledged as the best perimeter defender in the league. (Though Kawhi’s stranglehold on the top spot is slipping — it’s gone from 72 percent last year to 60 percent this time around.) Taken together, NBA GMs agree: Kawhi is the second-most versatile defender in the league (behind, ah yes, the Warriors’ Draymond Green).

The only other Raptor who gets a mention in the survey? Squint and you’ll see in the “Also receiving votes” section of a couple questions the name Fred VanVleet. He’s there as the bench player who makes the biggest impact upon entering a game (no kidding), and as the active player most likely to make a good head coach one day (which, hmm, I can see that).

All of which is to say, as high as expectations are, as much as the buzz is building in Toronto about the Raptors: there is still a lot of work to do.

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Anti-abortion rally in Toronto gets ugly

An anti-abortion rally turned violent this past Sunday when a woman was roundhouse kicked by a man at the corner of Bloor and Keele. 

Around 76 people gathered at the intersection on Sunday afternoon for Life Chain, an annual anti-abortion protest held simultaneously across the country at over 200 locations. 

There was also a couple of pro-choice protestors (who were not affiliated with the attacker) counter-rallying peacefully against the Life Chain crowd on the same corner.

At around 2:30 p.m., a man with lip piercings and a purple zip-up hoodie approached the groups and allegedly used red and blue markers to deface protestors’ anti-abortion signs, at one point even scribbling on their clothing. 

He also approached the counter-protestors, who can be seen in the video deflecting his approaches. 

Organizer Marie-Claire Bissonette began to record the altercation on her phone and in the video, the man can be seen winding up for his attack before roundhouse kicking Bissonette in the shoulder, causing her to drop the phone on the ground. 

Police were called to the scene shortly afterwards, but the man—who told Bissonette he had meant to kick the phone but missed—had already fled the scene, heading east on Bloor.

According to Bisonette’s write-up on the incident for the pro-life website LifeSiteNews, policemen “rolled down their window but did not exit their vehicle” after arriving to the intersection.

The man has yet to be found, though the video has been circulated widely on social media. 

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Massive fireworks show announced for Toronto

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or at least, it will be soon.

Mark your calendars because next month, the Cavalcade of Lights will return to Nathan Phillips Square on November 24. This 52nd annual event promises bright lights, live music, skating on the outdoor rink, and an enormous fireworks show right in the heart of the city.

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Toronto’s official #Christmas Tree! ?#CavalcadeOfLights #HolidayFairInTheSquare #NathanPhillipsSquare #TO

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Also taking place at the Cavalcade of Lights will be the city’s tree-lighting ceremony. Last year, it took nearly 600,000 LED bulbs to cover the massive tree, and I don’t expect anything less this time around.

There is no official line-up of performers or special vendors yet, but a full schedule will be released in November. In past years, the square hosted performances on their main stage, as well as DJ sets.

Get excited for Christmas with more than 50,000 people at this annual event. Luckily, you won’t need to be up close to see the twinkling lights and colours, both on the tree and in the sky.

And the best part? It’s all free! Instead, spend your money on an extra steamy hot chocolate to warm your spirits and your hands.

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The Best Oysters in Toronto

The best oysters in Toronto bring a little taste of the sea to this lakeside town. The places that serve them well know how to properly source, shuck, and accompany these delicacies.

Here are the best oysters in Toronto.

6 – The Chase Fish & Oyster

This Financial District powerhouse pairs oysters with crudo, clams, shrimp and crab as part of elaborate $150 platters.
11 – Honest Weight

Part fish counter, part restaurant, you can pick your oysters right out of the case at this cozy seafood restaurant in the Junction to go or to stay.
3 – Rodney's Oyster House

Each day there are anywhere from nine to 26 varieties of West coast, East coast, Japanese or European oysters on the menu at this King West seafood institution, usually priced at an average of $3.
10 – Bar Neon

It doesn’t get much better than daily happy hour buck-a-shuck deals on oysters out on the patio at this Bloordale bar, usually fresh-shucked Malpeques with the simple accompaniments: lemon, mignonette and horseradish.
9 – Nome Izakaya

Don Mills and North York locations of this Japanese sharing restaurant serves Fanny Bay, Malpeque, French Kiss, Kusshi and Belon oysters by the piece, half dozen or dozen.
4 – Oyster Boy

You can not only eat, but also learn how to shuck oysters from the fine folks at this West Queen West bar. Sourced directly from East and West coast harvesters, the selection changes daily but you can expect to sample varieties like Cascumpec Bay, Colville Bay, Malpeque, St. Simon, La Caraquette, Black Pearl, Beach Angel and Kusshi.
5 – Diana's Seafood Oyster Bar

East and West Coast varieties of oysters available at Scarborough and Markham locations of this decades-old seafood shrine include Fanny Bay, Malpeque, Kusshi, French Kiss, Lucky Lime and Pacific Tiger.
8 – Pearl Diver

Once operated by the current Ceili Cottage owner, the shucking legacy of this place on Adelaide near Jarvis lives on with late night oysters for $20 a dozen after 10 p.m.
7 – Ceili Cottage

The proprietor of this Leslieville Irish pub is an international oyster shucking champion who’s written a book using his expertise, and people head here from all around to try Irish and PEI oysters when available. You can also take out unshucked oysters.

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Important Details About Caribana 2017!

Caribana weekend is one week away! Soon enough you’ll be celebrating alongside like-minded revelers for the annual Caribana Toronto Festival. With over a million tourists in Toronto this weekend, we want you to experience everything Caribana has to offer. To help you out, we’ve put together some key points below to help you make the most of your trip!

  • Double Check Event Details: Some event details may have changed since they were originally posted! Be sure to double check the venue, address and time of your event on our nightlife event guide here. Check the site for any updated information regarding as some events have changed names and venues.
  • Have E-tickets Ready: Be sure to save your E-tickets onto your phone and have them ready to scan at the door.
  • Dress Code: Please pay particular attention to the dress code of each event, as some venues will enforce a stylish dress code! You can find the dress code for each event listed beneath the event description on the website.
  • Arrive Early: We advise all customers to arrive at their events prior to midnight to guarantee entry and/or avoid waiting in long lines. Please note that all Caribana events over the course of the weekend are ticketed events, therefore having a ticket does not allow you to bypass the line!
  • Last Call: Last call for Toronto nightclubs and venues is 2:00AM. This means venues do not permit entry after 2:00AM. Please note that bar sales also end at this time.
  • Grand Parade: The grand parade starts at 9AM. The parade starts at Exhibition Place and will travel along Lakeshore Blvd.
  • HAVE FUN! There are a ton of Caribbean-inspired events and parties taking place this weekend to mark this year’s festival. From daytime boat cruise parties to a wide variety of nightlife events available, get ready to FETE and experience all that Toronto has to offer this weekend!

If you have any further questions regarding your Caribana trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at!

– The team

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