Toronto Sports Fans Rejoice –Prizes and Giveaways at Yorkgate Mall

With the 2016 basketball season well underway, the Toronto Raptors sit in second place in the Eastern Conference breaking their franchise record of .675, marking the seventh time the franchise record has been above .500 in 21 years. As the only Canadian team in the NBA the Raptors have grown as a dominant force with powerhouse players like Kyle Lawry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas.

Fortunately, Downsview residents can celebrate their Raptors pride close to home at the official mall of the Toronto Raptors: Yorkgate Mall.

The mall is located at the northwest corner of Jane and Finch (1 Yorkgate Blvd.) and has been a popular centre for over 25 years featuring a unique blend of services including retail stores, medical offices, a grocery store and even a Seneca College campus.

“The mall encourages community spirit and fun while fostering opportunities and partnerships within Downsview,” says Kimberley Loftus, Marketing Manager for Yorkgate Mall.

The mall works in partnership with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), who has been a partner for three years. With this partnership, the mall hosts “Raptors Days” which features guest appearances and giveaways from the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak, players, coaches and the Raptors’ mascot.

During March break, Jonas Valanciunas, centre for the Raptors, paid a visit to the mall to sign autographs and take photos with fans. In the past, Yorkgate Mall has also hosted Jamaal Magloire, the Raptors’ assistant coach, team consultant, team ambassador and former professional basketball player.

During Raptors Days, Yorkgate Mall gives away Raptors jerseys, hats and water bottles and holds raffles where fans can win tickets to see a game.

On April 18, Yorkgate Mall launched their SHOP MORE WIN BIG contest. Visitors to the mall could enter to win a weekend getaway to Orlando, Florida to watch a TFC soccer match. The prize includes the flight, hotel, transportation and tickets to the Major League Soccer match.  To enter the contest, visitors must shop at their favourite stores in the mall and get a weekly password that they can enter online on the SHOP MORE WIN BIG website. “The more you shop the more chances you have to win!” said Loftus.

Other upcoming SHOP MORE WIN BIG promotions include a getaway to San Jose for Father’s Day, a getaway to Toronto for Canada Day and a getaway to Montreal for back to school.

Yorkgate Mall is also looking forward to launching their Mall Walker program in May, which helps promote an active and healthy lifestyle. This program features one stretch class a week and a group walk around on the second floor of the mall. It is a great way to meet members of the Downsview community and to get exclusive discounts from stores in the mall.

For more information visit their website:

Check out Yorkgate Malls social media pages to learn more about how to win tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Marlies, the Raptors and Toronto FC.




Nutritional alternatives for low-income households

Low-income families in the Downsview community have been overwhelmed with the rising costs of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the prices are only expected to get increase.

According to the University of Guelph’s Food Institute, the average Canadian family spent an additional $325, per month, on food in 2015. The prices of food are expected to rise another four per cent, which means families will likely spend an extra $345 on their groceries in 2016.

Since the majority of fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada are imported, the prices are vulnerable to Canada’s devaluing dollar. But there is a solution for low-income households insists Dr. Carol Greenwood, Senior Scientist at Baycrest Health Sciences and Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Toronto.
“People need to feel more comfortable consuming frozen and canned fruits and vegetables because they are actually healthy. They may not have the same taste or texture, but we should move over to these alternatives in the midst of the rising food prices.”

Dr. Greenwood explains that fresh and frozen produce are very close in the amount of nutrients they contain as they both experience loss through processing. Our frozen fruits and vegetables are picked when they are peaked and optimal then frozen and processed right away. Our fresh fruits and vegetables are picked under ripe to be transported and distributed amongst Canadian grocery stores. Both methods experience a loss of nutrients.

When picking out canned food, Dr. Greenwood states, “Do not buy canned fruits with added sugar or canned vegetables with added salt. Make sure you read the labels and go for sugar and sodium free.”
She also suggests that we “go back to our roots” when Canadians did not have as many food options in the winter months they consumed storage crops like cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts and potatoes –which are all reasonably priced year-round.

“We [seniors] need to go back to our youth and use the recipes our moms used to feed us,” she said.
Low-income earners, specifically seniors, should not skimp away from consuming all the necessary proteins and nutrients that they need to continue living a healthy life. Dr. Greenwood advocates moving away from expensive meats and poultries and instead getting protein from eggs, beans and lentils –all high-quality items that are inexpensive.
“Since this year is the [United Nations] Year of the Pulses [a movement to consume legumes as a primary source of protein] we should really consider incorporating more beans and lentils in our meals instead of meat,” suggested Greenwood.

To keep a budget and still have nutritional meals, Dr. Greenwood emphasizes that families shop the sales, eat foods that are in season, eat locally grown food and reduce our food waste [Canadians throw out more than $1,000 worth of food that goes bad or stale, per year.]

Although the cost of food and living has risen substantially there are many budget-friendly alternatives, like frozen and canned foods, that will keep families and seniors healthy and thriving.