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Chatr Releases Plan Details for Upcoming Merge with Mobilicity

Chatr Releases Plan Details for Upcoming Merge with Mobilicity

By Simon Hung

Ever since Rogers announced that they were shuttering Mobilicity and transferring existing customers to Chatr, customers have been left in limbo, wondering how the move will affect their current plans.

That period of uncertainty appears to be over, as Chatr has released details with a My Chatr Move page that shows the plans available to Mobilicity customers once the merge is complete.

Customers can log in with their Mobilicity number and PIN -- if you’re not sure of your PIN, you can visit a Mobilicity store, call (877) 866-2458 or *611 from your Mobilicity phone.

In most cases, there are two plans available -- an “Essentials Plan” with talk and text, along with a “Best Value Plan” with talk, text and data. Details for each plan include:

Essentials Plan

  • Unlimited in-zone talk and text
  • Unlimited in-zone province-wide talk
  • Unlimited in-zone North American text/MMS
  • International talk saver
  • Voicemail

Best Value Plan

  • Unlimited in-zone talk, text and data
  • Unlimited in-zone province-wide talk
  • Unlimited in-zone North American text/MMS
  • 6GB of data at 3G speed
  • International talk saver
  • Voicemail

All plans include unlimited incoming text, call display, call waiting, call forwarding and group calling.

Customers can choose from an Essentials or Best Value Plan (pricing varies by customer).

Plan specifics and pricing vary depending on your current Mobilicity rate, but based on reports in our forum, the Essentials Plan ranges from $15.00-$35.00 per month while the Best Value Plan ranges from $25.00-$45.00 per month. There are currently no reports of Chatr offering an unlimited data option.

Mobilicity customers who complete the transfer will also receive a $10.00 bonus credit and are eligible for a $10.00 credit every month (up to a maximum of $80.00) if they sign up for Chatr’s auto-pay pre-authorized payment plan -- click here to learn more about auto-pay. The credits cannot be used to pay your monthly bill, but they can be used for long distance calling, roaming or more data.

The Chatr plans do seem comparable to Mobilicity plans and offer a good value -- for comparison, Rogers currently offers a basic talk and text plan with only 100 local minutes for $25.00 per month while a smartphone plan with a paltry 1GB of data is $90.00 per month.

The general consensus seems to be that of relief, as many were expecting the worst when Rogers first announced plans for the merge, but it remains to be seen if these rates will remain unchanged, as Chatr does not use a contract model.

If you’re a Mobilicity customer mulling over your options, leave a comment with your thoughts on the new plans. You can also click here to view a full FAQ about the merge or view our forum thread about this topic for more insight.

Netflix Limits Playback to 720p in Most Browsers, but There’s a Solution

Netflix Limits Playback to 720p in Most Browsers, but There’s a Solution

By Simon Hung

Whether you’re buying a new car or Con Air on DVD, it’s natural for savvy shoppers to make sure that they can squeeze the maximum amount of value out of their purchase. Besides, you’d feel frustrated if that car ran slower than advertised or if there was critical footage missing on that DVD.

With that in mind, did you know that Netflix limits the playback quality on many browsers to 720p? Even if you’re subscribed to an HD plan and the content you’re watching is available in 1080p, Netflix still limits the resolution to 720p in most popular browsers like Firefox and Chrome.

Before you grab your pitchforks, this isn’t new information -- Netflix has a help page that details the maximum resolution on supported browsers, but it may rub some people the wrong way, especially those with super-fast internet connections and unlimited bandwidth.

Windows 7 users in particular are out of luck, as resolution is limited to 720p no matter which browser you use. However, if you use Windows 8 or higher, there is a solution, but it may go against everything you stand for as an internet connoisseur -- use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.

Windows 7
Windows 8 or higher
Mac OS X Yosemite or higher
Chrome
720p
720p
720p
Firefox
720p
720p
720p
Internet Explorer
720p
1080p
N/A
Microsoft Edge
N/A
1080p
N/A
Safari
N/A
N/A
1080p
Only Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge on Windows and Safari on Mac OS X support 1080p playback through the browser.

Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are the only browsers that support 1080p playback on Windows, along with Safari on Mac OS X Yosemite or higher -- all other browsers are limited to 720p. The Netflix app on Windows and streaming devices like Chromecast and Apple TV are also capable of playing 1080p content natively.

If you’re unsure of the maximum resolution on your machine, there is a way to test it. First, head over to your Playback Settings page and make sure ‘High’ is selected. Curiously, despite our more than adequate connection and unlimited bandwidth, the default selection was 'Medium' on our test account.

Next, load up one of the most boring Netflix videos in existence -- Example Short 23.976 or Multipurpose Chart: 3840x2160. Both are diagnostic videos that will display the current playback resolution in real-time in yellow text along the top.

You can view your maximum resolution by playing one of two diagnostic videos.

We suspect a major reason why Netflix would limit playback to 720p is the fact than many users have bandwidth limits and 1080p content can easily sap upwards of 3GB of bandwidth per hour. Limiting playback to a more modest resolution is a “better safe than sorry” approach. Other factors like software limitations may also play a role.

Nonetheless, whether this has lit a fiery rage within you or you’re indifferent to the news, this is an interesting tidbit for those who have unlimited internet plans, as it's important for many Netflix subscribers to get the most amount of value out of their subscription, especially after they raised the prices on grandfathered plans.

Now that you’ve put your pitchforks away, why don’t you stay a while and drop a comment or enjoy some 1080p content by taking a look at some Netflix titles that are available in Canada but not the US!

August 2016 Video Game Release Dates

August 2016 Video Game Release Dates

By Ambia Staley

If you could use a break from the sun, heat, and Pokemon GO, there are some brand new video game titles hitting shelves this August! The amount of releases has not slowed down for the summer, as we're seeing a list for August that is nearly as long as those in June and July. This month a few highly anticipated titles become available, including Bound for PlayStation 4, Metroid Prime: Federation Force for 3DS, and the first episode of Batman: The Telltale Series on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, Mac, and mobile. It's also worth noting that after a last minute delay, No Man's Sky will finally hit store shelves this month.

Without further ado, take a look below to see what's coming out this August:

  • Abzû (PS4, PC) - August 2
  • Battleship (PS4, Xbox One) - August 2
  • Cannon Brawl (PS4) - August 2
  • Don't Starve: Shipwrecked (PS4) - August 2
  • Gal Gun: Double Peace (PS4, Vita) - August 2
  • Livelock (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - August 2
  • Risk: Urban Assault (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360) - August 2
  • Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1 Realm of Shadows (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS, Android) - August 2
  • Mobius Final Fantasy (iOS, Android) - August 3
  • Overcooked (PS4, Xbox One, PC) - August 3
  • 88 Heroes (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux) - August 8
  • Bear With Me (PC) - August 8
  • Blade Ballet (PS4) - August 9
  • Brutal (PS4) - August 9
  • No Man’s Sky (PS4) - August 9
  • Uno (Xbox One, PS4, PC) - August 9
  • No Man’s Sky (PC) - August 12
  • Bound (PS4) - August 16
  • Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars (PC) - August 16
  • Death Stair (PC) - August 16
  • Grow Up (Xbox One, PS4, PC) - August 16
  • Inversus (PS4, PC) - August 16
  • Read Only Memories (PS4, Vita) - August 16
  • Ark: Survival of the Fittest (PS4) - August 19
  • F1 2016 (Xbox One, PS4, PC) - August 19
  • Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS) - August 19
  • Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax (PC) - August 19
  • Style Savvy: Fashion Forward (3DS) - August 19
  • Alone with You (PS4, Vita) - August 23
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbox One, PS4, PC) – August 23
  • King of Fighters XIV (PS4) - August 23
  • Madden NFL 17 (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360) - August 23
  • The Other 99 (PC) - August 25
  • Assetto Corsa (PS4, Xbox One) - August 30
  • Attack on Titan (Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Vita, PC) - August 30
  • Champions of Anteria (PC) - August 30
  • God Eater: Resurrection (PC) - August 30
  • God Eater 2: Rage Burst (PS4, Vita, PC) - August 30
  • Hatsune Miku Diva X (PS4, Vita) - August 30
  • Nebulous (PS4, PC, Mac) - August 30
  • Resident Evil 4 (PS4, Xbox One) - August 30
  • The Turing Test (Xbox One, PC) - August 30
  • Verdun (PS4, Xbox One) - August 30
  • World of Warcraft: Legion (PC, Mac) - August 30
  • Tahira (PC, Mac, Linux) - August 31
  • Are there any games that spark your interest this month? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

LCBO Unveils New Online Store, Letting Customers Purchase Beer, Wine and More

LCBO Unveils New Online Store, Letting Customers Purchase Beer, Wine and More

By Simon Hung

Residents in Ontario have a new way to buy beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks while in the comfort of their home, as the LCBO has launched a new online store at LCBO.com, where customers can buy drinks and have them delivered directly to their home.

LCBO's new online store lets you buy drinks and have them delivered to your home or an LCBO store.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa made the official announcement on July 26, stating “The launch of the online ordering is directly connected the government's priority to grow the economy...online ordering also supports our government's work to increase convenience and choice for consumers and to make every life easier."

LCBO President and CEO George Soleas added, "It's a very, very exciting day for all of us...online shopping at LCBO.com enables us to offer a convenient customer experience in a changing marketplace.”

At launch, the store is slated to carry 5000 products, but the LCBO plans to increase the selection to 16,000 products by 2017. Online orders must be a minimum of $50.00 and are shipped via Canada Post for a flat-rate fee of $12.00 or to an LCBO location for in-store pickup at no additional charge. Shoppers can browse and place orders from anywhere, but orders are only available to be delivered to Ontario addresses.

Payments can be made with VISA, MasterCard or American Express and a valid government-issued photo ID (driver’s licence, passport, citizenship card or BYID card) to show proof of legal drinking age is required to pickup orders in LCBO stores. For home deliveries, Canada Post couriers may also ask to view a valid photo ID before delivering the order.

While this is a convenient new way to shop for beverages, don’t expect to pickup your orders quickly, as in-store pickup orders can take upwards of four weeks to fulfill, so those needing drinks immediately will still need to endure chaos in an LCBO store. Home deliveries will take up to four days, depending on supplier availability.

LCBO.com is live now and you can click here to read the full press release or click here to read the FAQ section about the online store.

RFD Quick Tip: Earn Rebates When You Buy LED Light Bulbs in Ontario and Other Provinces

RFD Quick Tip: Earn Rebates When You Buy LED Light Bulbs in Ontario and Other Provinces

By Simon Hung

What a time to be alive -- the Blue Jays are in a playoff chase, Crystal Pepsi is in stores, Blink-182 has a #1 album and a Clinton is running for president. That may sound like a phrase straight out of 1992 and while each of those statements also ring true in 2016, a lot has changed in the past 20 years, including the maturation of energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

While LED bulbs are far more energy-efficient than their counterparts, the higher up-front cost and the abundance of cheaper alternatives has stunted their widespread adoption -- for example, there are currently 77 LED bulbs listed for sale at Canadian Tire, compared to 245 other varieties. Other factors like fixture incompatibility, uneven lighting and staunch objections to change also play a role in their slow growth.

LED bulbs are a great way to save energy without having to constantly turn off your lights.

But, that shouldn’t deter you from jumping onto the LED bandwagon if you haven’t done so already, since their lifespan of up to 20 years means you’ll buy less bulbs and have a lower electric bill in the long-run. Plus, you can even save some money if you live in Ontario or another province that offers a rebate on select LED light bulbs.

Currently, five provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Québec) and two territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon) offer rebates via coupon or mail-in rebate and we’ve listed the offers below.

  • New Brunswick -- up to $15.00 off LED light bulbs (beginning fall 2016)
  • Newfoundland -- up to $8.00 off LED light bulbs
  • Northwest Territories -- get 25% of your LED light bulb cost back
  • Nova Scotia -- up to $8.00 off LED light bulbs (during spring and fall only)
  • Ontario -- up to $8.00 off LED light bulbs
  • Québec -- up to $80.00 off lighting fixtures (for agricultural customers only)
  • Yukon -- $7.00 off LED light bulbs

If your province or territory isn't listed, there's no need to break out your pitchforks and storm your government building, as many rebates come and go regularly. For example, Québec had $7.00 rebates for all residents in 2014 and Manitoba had a 50% off rebate in 2015. Most provinces also have rebate incentives for other energy-efficient purchases -- click here to view a list of rebates via the Government of Canada website.

With most of the rebate offers, note that only select items qualify and that the rebates are only available for a limited time -- read the conditions carefully before making your purchase. Otherwise, a penny saved is a penny earned, so brighten up your day with the money that you saved by buying yourself a Crystal Pepsi, Blink-182 album or other stereotypical 90s accoutrements.

10 Essential Items for Every Budding Pokemon GO Trainer

10 Essential Items for Every Budding Pokemon GO Trainer

By Ambia Staley

(Pssst..... if you're a fan of Pokemon GO, head over to Facebook and enter our awesome Pokemon GO Giveaway!)

Pokemon GO may only been released in Canada a few days ago, but there are already thousands upon thousands of aspiring Pokemon masters across the country trying their hand at becoming the very best, like no one ever was!

Whether you're playing for fun, nostalgia, or competition, there's no denying that Pokemon GO is a game that's already getting people outdoors and moving more than ever. While the it may be all fun and games, it's important to remember that it's currently the middle of summer in Canada, and that means bright sun, and higher temperatures in many cities. So before you get outdoors looking to complete your extensive collection of Rattata and Drowzee, check out our list of 10 essential things every Pokemon GO trainer should bring along on their adventure.

1. Portable Battery Packs

It's no secret that Pokemon GO kills smartphone batteries. If you're actively out catching Pokemon, visiting PokeStops and battling in gyms, the constant use of the GPS and game features on your phone can kill a fully charged iPhone or Android device in just a few hours. While there is a "battery saver" option available in the game's settings, it still doesn't buy you enough time for extended gameplay. In order to avoid finding yourself all alone at night with a dead phone and surrounded by a crowd of angry Gengar, you might want to invest in a high quality power bank or portable charger to help keep you charged throughout the day.

2. Extra Mobile Data

While many news outlets have since dispelled rumours that Pokemon GO uses a large amount of data, the fact still remains that if you go from just checking Facebook a few times a day, to hunting for Pokemon for a few hours a day, you could see an increase in data usage that pushes you over your monthly limit. To avoid overage charges, be sure to keep track of how much data you are using. If you plan on playing Pokemon GO extensively, you may even want to be prepared ahead of time and opt for more monthly data allowance from your service provider.

3. Supportive Footwear

If you plan on hitting as many PokeStops and gyms as your legs will allow, you want to make sure you are wearing some comfortable footwear. You may be tempted to just sprint outdoors in your flipflops upon getting a notification that there's a Pikachu nearby, but by the end of the day, your feet are sure to be killing you. Avoid that problem in the first place by getting some quality sneakers and you'll be able to chase rare Pokemon all day long.

4. Jacket

If you're heading out to search for Pokemon in a park, forest, or another location farther from home, you'll want to have a jacket on hand just in case the weather turns. Try grabbing a packable jacket that can easily be stored in your bag, and then pulled out and worn once temperatures or rain start to fall.

5. Sunscreen

Make sure to protect your skin with some sunscreen if you plan to be outdoors all summer catching Pokemon! While you should be wearing some form of sun protection all-year long, you may want to increase your usage in the summer months if you don't want to end up looking like a Krabby.

6. First Aid Kit

No matter how many cautions have been given to Pokemon GO players over the past few weeks, there are still a number of Pokemon GO-related injuries being reported. From simple blisters and muscle strains, to falling down cliffs and crashing into police cruisers, the reports of injuries seem to outnumber the amount of Pokemon you can catch. While you should be careful of your surroundings at all times, you may want to pack a first aid kit with your belongings to treat simple scratches and blisters that may appear on your journey.

7. Water

It's important to remember that if you are going to be active outside during the summer, you need to stay hydrated. Your body will run through its water supply much faster than usual during hot days -- especially if you're also active. If you're not careful and forget to drink your liquids, you will greatly increase your risk of dehydration or heat stroke, so make sure to pack a water bottle when you leave home!

8. Hat/ Sunglasses

Also essential for sun protection, make sure to don a good hat and/or sunglasses when heading out during the day. Not only will these items provide some shade for the skin on your face, but they'll also help protect your eyes against UV rays and make it a little easier to view your phone. Bonus points if you don a Pokemon-related hat as you're out searching!

9. Backpack

With all of the essentials you need to carry with you on your Pokemon journey, you'll need a great bag to hold everything. Make sure to bring along a backpack or tote bag with all your essentials so that you can last all day long, be prepared, and have your hands free for your phone!

10. Pokemon GO Plus

Whether you're playing Pokemon GO in the city or out in the wild, it's important to keep your head up at all times to avoid accidents. If you want to remain cautious, but don't want to miss a chance to snag 17 more Zubats while on your commute to work, you might want to consider picking up the Pokemon GO Plus device when it hits store shelves July 31. While it does come with a price tag of $44.99, it will allow you to keep your phone in your pocket and notify you if you come across any Pokemon or PokeStops.

Most importantly, remember to stay safe while playing Pokemon GO! While fun is also key, it's not all fun and games once you, or someone else gets seriously injured!

Are you playing Pokemon GO? What are some essentials you'd suggest trainers bring along while out playing the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and good luck catching 'em all!

The Side-Effects of Sitting: Tips to Reduce Fatigue in a Sedentary Lifestyle

The Side-Effects of Sitting: Tips to Reduce Fatigue in a Sedentary Lifestyle

By Simon Hung

You’ll want to sit down for this. In fact, you probably already are. Many Canadians have adopted a sedentary lifestyle with office environments and the daily use of computers -- in other words, you’re sitting down a lot throughout the day and it could be slowly hurting you.

While comfortable, sitting for prolonged periods has been linked to long-term health problems.

From repetitive stress injuries to eye strain to fatigue through inactivity, the list of side-effects for extended periods of sitting is worrisome. A study conducted by Dr. David Alter of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute found that those who sit for eight to nine hours a day have a greater risk of long-term health problems. Specifically, the study found that prolonged sitting raised the risk of cardiovascular disease by 14%, cancer by 13%, diabetes by 91% and those who did not regularly exercise had a 40% greater risk of early death -- just look at this infographic via MedicalBillingandCoding.org to see some of the facts.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a gym rat or rekindle your days of high school physical education to add a little extra exercise throughout your day. We’ve listed a few different methods ranging from free to debatably overpriced that can help desk jockeys reduce fatigue on a regular basis.

Stand (FREE!)

Standing desks are becoming common in offices as a way to increase standing.

The most obvious way to avoid sitting for extended periods is to stand, although you may look a bit out of place if you choose to randomly stand in your classroom or office. However, you can alter your habits to accommodate more standing, such as standing if you commute via public transit, as well as standing to eat your lunch or during meetings. These small changes can help increase energy expenditure throughout your day, as standing upright uses 10% more energy than sitting.

Take the Stairs (FREE!)

They may be a pain, but taking the stairs uses four times more energy than sitting.

Climbing a flight of stairs uses 200% more energy than sitting and it’s an easy way to add some menial exercise to your day. While this may be a little impractical if you happen to work on a high floor in a tall building, climbing a few flights of stairs and then taking the elevator is one way to add little exercise to your routine. However, if you work, live or study on a low floor of a building, there are few excuses not to skip the elevator once in a while.

Play Pokémon GO (FREE! on Android and iOS)

Venturing into oncoming traffic is not recommended, even for Dragonite.

You may have heard about this mobile game that’s sweeping the nation and causing people to walk off cliffs, quit their jobs and actually go outside. It’s Pokémon GO and the much-anticipated app is now officially available in Canada. For those who haven’t heard about it, the game allows you to track, catch and train Pokémon in the real world. It’s a thrill for anyone who grew up playing the games and competition is fierce to catch the best Pokémon. It has stirred some controversy as people have been showing up in places they shouldn’t go to hunt rare Pokémon and the mechanics of the game requires you to get outside and walk -- just be sure you have a believable reason for taking those extended breaks, as “catching Blastoise along the highway” likely won't sit well with your boss. Be sure to read our guide with 10 essential items you'll need before you go hunting!

Use a Mechanical Keyboard (Around $100.00)

Many keyboard enthusiasts love mechanical keyboards.

Choosing the right keyboard to use with your computer can help to reduce strain on your hands and prevent fatigue. Most keyboards use a membrane switch, which use a flat film underneath the entire keyboard to detect keystrokes. Mechanical keyboards use individual switches under each key to detect keystrokes and there are a number of switch types suitable for different uses, but the main benefit is that you don’t need to fully press each key, as mechanical keyboards are able to register keystrokes after a certain actuation point. As a result, you can type quicker and move your fingers less in the long term. Although they are more expensive and generally marketed to gamers, mechanical keyboards are great for writers and typists, as they are known to help improve typing accuracy and reduce fatigue.

Use an Ergonomic Mouse (Under $100.00)

Your hand is almost always on your mouse, so you might as well use a comfortable one.

Along with your keyboard, your mouse is something that your hand will be resting on for most of the day, so it’s important that you choose a comfortable and ergonomic mouse to reduce the likelihood of repetitive stress injuries. While specialized mice do exist, they can be cumbersome and awkward to use. Logitech’s MX line of mice are popular, as they are ergonomic and provide some handy productivity features like a super-fast scroll wheel. A common option for spreadsheet warriors is to use a gaming mouse with programmable buttons and map actions like copy, paste and common formulas to specific buttons.

Improve Your Lighting (FREE! and up)

Staring at a bright screen can cause eye strain, but there are ways to help.

Computer Vision Syndrome is a real concern for those who use a computer on a regular basis, as the backlighting on computer screens can cause eye strain due to the unnatural levels of artificial light. Free programs like f.lux automatically adjust the colour temperature of your screen based on the time of day to help reduce eye strain with more diffused colours and softer tones. There are other accessories that can help to reduce eye strain, such as bias lighting and even specialized glasses that use amber lenses to block high-frequency lights, at the cost of looking like a pretentious hipster.

20/20/20 (FREE!)

Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and focus on something 20 feet away.

This simple exercise is another method to help reduce eye strain during the day and it’s even recommended by the Canadian Association of Optometrists -- every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and focus on something 20 feet away. This routine is meant to regulate your eyes and ensure that you aren’t staring at a screen for too long -- just be sure not to focus on a far-away co-worker during this exercise, otherwise you’ll probably receive a call from human resources.

Create Reminders (FREE! and up)

Drinking lots of water (or crab juice) is one way to guarantee that you'll get up constantly.

Many smartwatches and fitness bands have standing reminders integrated with their software, but you don’t need an expensive gadget to remind yourself to get up during the course of the day:

  • Set an hourly reminder in Microsoft Outlook to tell you to stand
  • Take a walk around the neighbourhood during your breaks
  • Drink copious amounts of water so you’ll require frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Attach a sticky note to your computer screen as a reminder to get up
  • Pick your loudest, most annoying co-worker and get up every time they start talking

Of course, the onus is ultimately on you to actually get up, but it is important to regularly stand, even if it’s for a short period of time.

Improve Your Posture (FREE! and up)

Good posture 101. (via Greatist.com)

You may have ignored parents pleas to “sit up straight” or “stop slouching” during your misspent youth, but as it turns out -- they were right. Poor posture and sitting like a contortionist decreases overall blood flow and increases the likelihood of joint pain. While maintaining a good posture is free, if you’re having trouble breaking your sitting habits, there are accessories that you can buy to help improve your posture, including wrist rests, back rests and foot rests.

Build a Costanza Desk (Likely not free)

George Costanza -- a true visionary in office-place laziness.

If you’re getting back pain because you own a wallet filled with receipts from the past 20 years, it may be time to take drastic measures to prevent fatigue while you work. George Costanza has made plenty of questionable decisions, but this is not one of them. If you have enough room under your desk (and a sizable budget), consider building yourself a “Costanza Desk” -- a little slice of office paradise where you can take a nap and relax. Impractical? Yes. Do we want one? You bet we do.

While you may not have the budget to build a Costanza Desk, it is important to take steps to mitigate the amount of fatigue you may encounter while sitting and we hope a few of these tips help you in your daily life.

Be sure to let us know in the comments if you use any of the tricks we mentioned or if you have any of your own. Now if you'll excuse us, there appears to be a Charizard in the middle of the road, so that's our cue to exit.

RedFlagDeals.com Warns of Sites Selling Fraudulent Wonderland Tickets

RedFlagDeals.com Warns of Sites Selling Fraudulent Wonderland Tickets

By Kate Musgrove

Recently, we received some complaints from users of a site called Red Group Deals. Some people are confused by the similarity of their name to ours and purchase items assuming the site is trustworthy. The site is attempting to sell Canada’s Wonderland tickets (among other things) at a discount and it turns out that the tickets are fake. RedFlagDeals.com is not associated with Red Group Deals in any way.

We’ve previously covered tips to avoid being scammed online. Here’s a quick rundown of what to keep in mind:

  • If you’re unfamiliar with a site, do quick search for reviews. Searching Red+Group+Deals+Scam brings up 2.8 million search results, with many recent news stories of people who have purchased fake Wonderland tickets.
  • Check the reviews on the site – if they are all recent, all positive, and all poorly written (or written with the same grammatical quirks) they could be fake.
  • If you're considering making a purchase from a website you're unfamiliar with, check out the same product direct from the source. If you look at the real ticket purchase page for Canada’s Wonderland, you’ll see a clear disclaimer that tickets from Red Group Deals and The Group Deals are not valid.
  • Don't be fooled by lookalikes. Shady brands will pick names that are similar to well-known, legitimate companies in the hope that consumers will be confused. Red Group Deals seems to be counting on people being confused by the similarity of their name to ours.
  • If the site has a lot of spelling errors or awkward writing (or it sounds like it just popped out of Google Translate), you'll probably want to beware. Red Group Deals has spelling errors and grammatical mistakes in almost every sentence.
  • A legitimate website will provide a variety of secure payment options. Red Group Deals only accepts Visa, and that’s a definite warning sign. Generally, legitimate websites accept a variety of credit, debit and electronic payments.

Here is a list of resources that you can contact if you suspect fraud:

Nintendo to Release the Mini NES Classic Edition This Fall

Nintendo to Release the Mini NES Classic Edition This Fall

By Ambia Staley

There's some great news for gamers looking to relive a bit of their childhood! Nintendo announced earlier today that the beloved NES is coming back to stores this fall -- just a bit smaller than you remember.

Dubbed the "mini NES Classic Edition", the new product looks like a smaller version of the beloved console many people played in their youth. The system will also come pre-loaded with 30 classic games, saving you the trouble of blowing on your cartridges to get them to work. In addition to the mini console, you'll also get an HDMI cable, AC power adapter and an NES controller that looks like the original iconic remote. The controller will also connect to a Wii Remote, so you'll be able to play Virtual Console games on your Wii or Wii U consoles.

The mini NES system is due to hit stores in North America on November 11. As of now, Nintendo has only given a $59.99 US retail price, but based on usual price differences of Nintendo games between the US and Canada, the mini NES will most likely be around $79.99 in Canada.

Here's a look at the games that will be included with the system:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • Final Fantasy
  • Galaga
  • Ghosts'N Goblins
  • Gradius
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby's Adventure
  • Mario Bros.
  • Mega Man 2
  • Metroid
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Pac-Man
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • Super C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Tecmo Bowl
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Will you be picking up the mini NES Classic Edition when it hits store shelves? What games are you looking forward to playing the most? Let us know in the comments!

PSA: The TTC Won't Mail Metropasses This Month

PSA: The TTC Won't Mail Metropasses This Month

By Kate Musgrove

In response to the negotiations happening at Canada Post right now, Toronto Transit Commission has issued a statement that they will not be sending out the Metropass Discount Plan (MDP) transit passes for August. The MDP program, which has about 53,000 participants across the GTA, allows people to get a discount on the price of each month's Metropass by signing up for a 12-month pre-authorized payment plan, and typically, the MDP passes are mailed out to consumers before the start of each month. For August, Metropass Discount Plan users are instructed to buy a Metropass at a TTC station or authorized retail outlet. The TTC will not make August's pre-authorized debit charge but instead credit MDP users for the price difference between the discounted Metropass and what one regularly costs. That's $11.75 for each adult Metropass holder and $9.25 for each student or senior pass.

The TTC will issue extra Metropasses to stations, Metropass vending machines and authorized retailers in the hopes of avoiding a Metropass shortage.

Canada Post Talks Extended for 30 Days, Mail Service Will Continue

Canada Post Talks Extended for 30 Days, Mail Service Will Continue

By Kate Musgrove

The threat of a Canada Post lockout or strike has been delayed at least 30 days as both sides agree to an extension followed by binding arbitration if an agreement is not reached during the extension.

While mail service is continuing as usual, already the threat of a strike had decreased both the parcel volume and general mail deposits more than 80%, as businesses and consumers alike were concerned that their mail may not be delivered before a strike or lockout took place. Canada Post hopes that this longer extension will allow mail volumes to return to normal. (I am skeptical that they will, as the threat of a mail stoppage pushed many consumers to sign up for online bill pay, get started with e-transferring money or explore other alternatives to Canada Post. What do you think?)

Remember that while pension and social assistance cheques (including disability benefits, veterans' benefits and child tax benefits) are guaranteed to be delivered during a strike or lockout, this does not include Employment Insurance Cheques and Service Canada urges all recipients to sign up for Direct Deposit to facilitate receipt of funds.

Free Family-Friendly Events Across Canada!

Free Family-Friendly Events Across Canada!

By Ambia Staley

Now that summer vacation is upon us, you may be wracking your brain for ways to keep the kids stimulated over the next few months.

Some of the most obvious options, such as summer camps and programs, may be a little costly for the average family, but luckily, there's a plethora of other free options available that will keep the kids happy and money in your pocket!

If you're eager to get the kids out and about this summer instead of letting them stay at home to play video games, check out some of the free events going on in your city's parks and libraries! Luckily, you don't have to search through everything, as we've sifted through the dark recesses of the internet for you and compiled a list of some free family-friendly events happening around Canada this summer!

Alberta

Calgary (July 8) -- Stampede Parade
Calgary (July 1- 17) -- Free Stampede Pancake Breakfasts
Inglewood (July 30) -- Inglewood Sunfest
Edmonton (all summer) -- Spray Parks

British Columbia

Vancouver (July 5 - August 23) -- Outdoor movie nights
Vancouver (July 8- August 19) -- CBC Musical Nooners
Richmond (July 8 - August 26) -- YVR Take Off Fridays
Richmond (July 27- August 17) -- Summer Fun Nights

Manitoba

Dominion City (July 8 - 9) -- Summerfest
Winnipeg (August 6 - 27) -- Downtown Drive-in
Winnipeg (June 1 - August 30) -- CBC Music for Lunch

New Brunswick

Fredericton (May 27 - August 26) -- Main Street Summer Concert Series
Fredericton (July 2 - September 4) -- Under the Stars Classic Film Series
Riverview (July 8 - August 19) -- Movies in the Park
Saint John (July 13 - 17) -- Buskers on the Bay Festival
St. George (July 15 - 17) -- Granite Town Festival
Le Goulet (July 27 - 31) -- Le Goulet Sand Castle Festival

Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's (July 4 - 25) -- Reel Downtown Outdoor Movie Screenings
St. John's (August 5 - 7) -- Buskers Festival

Northwest Territories

Inuvik (July 11 - August 22) -- Reading Rascals
Inuvik (July 13 - August 24) -- TD Summer Reading Club
Yellowknife (July 6 - August 25) -- Summer Reading Club & Activities

Nova Scotia

Halifax (July 26) -- Air Canada enRoute Film Festival
Halifax (July 27 - August 1) -- Halifax International Busker Festival

Nunavut

Cambridge Bay (August 26 - 31) -- Nunavut Art Festival

Ontario

GTA, Assorted locations (May 26 - September 1) -- Free Outdoor Movie Screenings
Scarborough (July 2 - 31) -- Rogue Park Guided Nature Hikes
Oakville (July 10) -- Oakville Children's Festival
Whitby (July 23) -- Whitby Harbour Day
Toronto (June 29 - July 10) -- FringeKids! Festival
Toronto (July 24) -- Youth Day Toronto
Hamilton (June - September) -- Spray Pads
St. Catherine's (July 16 - August 27) -- Book Outlet Kids' Events
London (June 30 - August 31) -- Free Movie Nights in the Victoria Park

Prince Edward Island

Summerside (July 24) -- DiverseCity Multicultural Festival
Charlottetown (August 27) -- Art in the Open

Québec

Montréal (July 8 - August 31) -- Youth Activity Days at Grande Bibliothèque
Montréal (July 9) -- Stars, Telescopes and Fun
Montréal (August 2 - 10) -- International Percussion Festival
Montréal (June 14 to September 6) -- Movies in the Park
Shannon (July 9) -- Shannon Family Fest
Sainte Anne-de-Bellevue (July 9) -- St. Anne’s Market Family Day

Saskatchewan

Saskatoon (July 10) -- Pets in the Park
Saskatoon (July 8 - August 5) -- Performers on Parade
Calgary, Assorted venues -- Aboriginal powwow, interactive displays, live entertainment, fireworks
Regina (July 6 - August 24) -- Cinema Under the Stars

Yukon

Whitehorse (June 24 - August 12) -- Kids & Youth Reading Programs and Activities

Nationwide

Various cities (all summer) -- Kids Bowl Free

Note that while these most events are advertised as free, certain activities may require additional payment.

Summer is a great time to spend time as a family, meet new people, try new things, and soak up the sun! If you'll be attending any of these events, or know of other free events in your area, let us know in the comments below!

Amazon Prime Day Primer: 2016 Edition

Amazon Prime Day Primer: 2016 Edition

By Simon Hung

Amazon Prime is one of the most important primes in existence along with Optimus Prime and Star Trek's Prime Directive, so it's no surprise that many RFDers are eagerly awaiting the second annual Amazon Prime Day, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 12.

Last year, there were some great deals on diapers, diapers, a microphone and more diapers. While parents and those stocking apocalypse bunkers were delighted with the diaper deals, others felt duped and unsatisfied with the lackluster deals.

Prime Day 2015.

With Prime Day 2016 fast-approaching, we’ve compiled a list with a few FAQs and pointers to help savvy shoppers prepare for the big day.

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is a premium service provided by Amazon for $79.00 per year ($39.00 per year for students). With Prime, you’re entitled to free two-day shipping with no minimum order, unlimited photo storage and early access to Lightning Deals. Free two-day shipping is the most notable benefit, as you don’t have to worry about increasing your order to meet their free shipping threshold.

What is Prime Day?

Prime Day is described by Amazon as “the biggest global Amazon event ever, with one-day only shopping deals exclusively for Prime members.” Members can start shopping at 3:00 AM EST (12:00 AM PST), with 100,000 total deals and new offers starting every hour throughout the day.

How do I get Prime?

A free 30-day trial is available for accounts that have never been subscribed to the service, excluding Quebec residents. Accounts that have not been Prime members in the past 12 months should also be eligible for the trial, but YMMV. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the $79.00 annual fee to get Prime. Students are eligible for an extended six-month trial and a discounted fee of $39.00 per year thereafter. Note that you will be automatically charged the standard yearly fee after the trial ends -- a common method to avoid this is to cancel your subscription immediately after subscribing, as you’ll still get the 30-day trial but won’t be charged afterwards.

Is it worth it?

If you’re a student, the Prime Student offer is an excellent value. Otherwise, if you typically aim to spend more than $25.00 at Amazon to qualify for free shipping, Prime can be beneficial as you don’t have to inflate your order to get free shipping. On the other hand, if you don’t shop on Amazon regularly, it may not be worth the $79.00 annual price, especially with the other unimpressive perks of Prime.

What should we expect for Prime Day?

Like the Loch Ness Monster or Tunguska Event, nobody really knows. What we do know is that Amazon is currently holding daily Prime-exclusive deals of the day the week leading up to the event, with deals on electronics, Blu-ray sets, luggage and no diapers (so far). We expect Amazon to have learned from last year and will feature a more diverse range of deals, but our RFD Bold Prediction™ is that we’ll still see a few diaper deals on the big day.

What about the Canada Post stoppage?

The potential Canada Post service disruption should not affect any shipments from Amazon, as they have agreements with other couriers to help ship orders. In fact, they even have their own first-party courier in select regions. One thing to note is that they will not be able to ship orders to PO boxes, Canada Post Pickup Points or remote addresses in the event of a service disruption, so take that into account as there will likely have to be someone at your delivery address to accept your package.

Tips and tricks

Prime Day deals are added every hour, so be sure to remind yourself to check regularly!
  • Bookmark these pages -- Amazon.ca’s Prime Day page and our Hot Deals forum
  • Be the early bird -- Amazon has Prime-exclusive deals of the day the week leading up to Prime Day, so subscribe to Prime now if you want to take advantage of these daily deals
  • Update your credit card information -- make sure your credit card information is up-to-date so that your checkout process is quick and painless
  • Update your address -- similarly, make sure your default address is up-to-date to expedite your checkout. With the potential Canada Post disruption, consider adding a work address so that you won’t miss a delivery
  • Prime newbies -- don’t be afraid to place multiple orders. Remember that you get free two-day shipping for everything, so order as many times as you like and don’t worry about any free shipping thresholds
  • Sold by Amazon -- make sure that whatever item you’re buying is either sold and shipped by Amazon or fulfilled by Amazon and not by a third-party, as third-party items are not Prime-eligible
  • Don’t dawdle -- many items are limited in quantity and the hottest deals will likely be out of stock quicker than England is eliminated from major soccer tournaments
  • You snooze, you lose -- once a Prime Day deal is added to your cart, you have 15 minutes to complete your order or else the item is automatically removed from your cart
  • Does it hot? -- if you’re unsure if a deal is a good price, check our Hot Deals forum for feedback or a site like CamelCamelCamel to compare historical prices
  • Check every hour -- new deals are added every hour, so set a reminder on your computer or phone to check Amazon or RFD on a regular basis
  • 1-Click Ordering -- if you think that you'll be shopping a lot, consider turning on 1-Click Ordering, which lets you order with your default payment information in a single click without having to go through checkout
  • Download the app -- you likely won't be glued to a computer for the entire day, so download Amazon's app on Android or iOS so you can shop when you're out of the house or doing other activities

Prime Day is Tuesday, July 12, 2016 starting at 3:00 AM EST, so keep your eyes peeled for deals and your fingers spry and ready-to-buy! Now that you've made it this far, leave a comment with your own tips or thoughts about what you expect on Prime Day. Happy shopping!

Shop.ca Has Filed for Bankruptcy

Shop.ca Has Filed for Bankruptcy

By Kate Musgrove

Shop.ca -- the beleaguered storefront, reseller and ecommerce portal -- has filed for bankruptcy today after filing for creditor protection on June 7. The news broke first on BetaKit with some great reporting from Douglas Soltys.

The Shop.ca site went live in 2012 and the company raised $72.5 million CAD in equity financing between 2011-2015; currently they're down to about $1.5 million cash on hand and expect to be out of funds completely by August. (There's a in-depth look at their financials here; the quickest possible summary is that despite the $72.5 million in funding they lost $16.5 million in 2013, $21.6 million in 2014, $19.8 million in 2015 and about $2.2 million through April 2016.)

All things considered, I am mostly surprised that Shop.ca lasted as long as it did before filing. We did not post deals from Shop.ca on the RedFlagDeals.com homepage because the site never seemed particularly trustworthy to us -- they were beset with poor customer reviews, supply issues, poor stock and inflated prices. It seems likely to me that they tried to do too much too quickly and although they signed 850 retailer partners for their launch and offered extensive coupons, rewards and discounts, they weren't working from a solid foundation and they were unable to generate profit and experience real, sustainable growth. Much of the talk around their launch was about their aim to disrupt Canadian retail and become the Amazon.com of the north. $72 million dollars later they are out of business and Amazon.ca is the Amazon of the north.

According to BetaKit, Shop.ca laid off 28 employees in October 2015 and about 40 people remain on staff.

Canada Post Has Issued 72-Hr Lockout Notice; Mail Delivery Could Stop Friday -- Will it Impact You?

Canada Post Has Issued 72-Hr Lockout Notice; Mail Delivery Could Stop Friday -- Will it Impact You?

By Kate Musgrove

July 5 Update: Canada Post has issued 72-hour lockout notice which means mail delivery could stop as soon as Friday, July 8.

Originally posted July 4: Although July 2 came and went without a Canada Post strike or lockout, no resolution has been reached. There is a 72-hour notice period required before strike or lockout action, so at this point, the earliest that mail delivery could stop is July 7. Already, though, small business owners are feeling the pinch between anticipating a mail stoppage, making alternate (and more costly) delivery plans and even decreased business from wary consumers. Still, I wonder if the average Canadian will really be impacted by a strike. Canada Post guarantees delivery of social assistance and pension cheques and so many other bills, payments and communications can be handled online. Standard mail delivery is definitely on the decline overall -- Canada Post delivered 1.6 billion less pieces of mail in 2015 than it did 2006.

What do you think? Vote below, or leave a comment and let us know!

Canada Day 2016: Free Events Across Canada

Canada Day 2016: Free Events Across Canada

By Simon Hung

What do ketchup chips, Michael Cera, free health care and inflated cell phone plans have in common? They’re all hallmarks of Canada and any proud Canadian will know that July 1st is Canada Day.

With most kids out of school and the weather looking lovely, there’s no better way to spend time with your family and celebrate the birth of our glorious nation than to attend one of thousands of free events taking place across Canada.

If you want to spend a day outside instead of staying in to watch mesmerizing movies, be sure to visit the Government of Canada website to view a list of over 1300 events taking place across the country. We’ve done the heavy-lifting and listed a few events taking place in each province below.

Alberta

Banff, Assorted venues -- parade, live entertainment, fireworks
Banff, Cave and Basin National Historic Site -- free admission
Calgary, Assorted venues -- Aboriginal powwow, interactive displays, live entertainment, fireworks
Calgary, Bar U Ranch National Historic Site -- free admission
Edmonton, Art Gallery of Alberta -- free admission and art activities
Edmonton, City Hall -- live entertainment, craft workshops, giveaways, tours, chess tournament
Edmonton, Elk Island National Park -- free admission, live entertainment, cake
Edmonton, Mill Woods Park -- hay rides, petting zoo, live entertainment, fireworks
Jasper, Centennial Park -- parade, live entertainment, fireworks
Lethbridge, Galt Gardens -- live entertainment, family activities
Lethbridge, Westside Community Church -- free pancake breakfast
Peace River, Riverfront Park -- flag raising, parade, live entertainment, bouncy castles
Rocky Mountain House, Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site -- free admission, family activities, fireworks
Waterton Park, Waterton Lakes National Park -- free admission, live entertainment, bike parade, cake

British Columbia

Burnaby, Edmonds Plaza & Park -- live entertainment, family activities
Coquitlam, Town Centre Park -- live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Fort Langley, Fort Langley National Historic Site -- free admission, cake, scavenger hunt
Kelowna, Waterfront Park -- cake, live entertainment, kids’ activities
Penticton, Gyro Park -- cake, live entertainment
Richmond, Steveston Salmon Festival -- live entertainment, parade, arts shows, salmon-related festivities
Surrey, Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre -- live entertainment, science demos, bouncy castles, fireworks
Trail, Kiwanis Beaver Creek Park -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, cake
Vancouver, Canada Place -- live entertainment, parade, fireworks
Vancouver, Granville Island -- parade, family activities, live entertainment
Vancouver, North Vancouver -- live entertainment, games, family activities
Victoria, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites -- free admission and cake
Victoria, Legislature Building -- live entertainment, free t-shirts (1500 available), fireworks
White Rock, The Bay -- live entertainment, kids' activities

Manitoba

St. Andrews, Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site -- free admission
Wasagaming, Riding Mountain National Park -- free admission, live entertainment, cake, fireworks
Winnipeg, Assiniboine Park -- live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Winnipeg, Luxton Community Centre -- live entertainment, petting zoo, cake, fireworks
Winnipeg, Shaw Park -- free t-shirts (2500 available), live flag photo, kids’ activities
Winnipeg, The Forks -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, fireworks

New Brunswick

Aulac, Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland National Historic Site -- free admission, cake
Bathurst, Youghall Beach Park -- free cupcakes, kids’ activities, free boat rides, live entertainment
Fredericton, New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame -- free admission
Fredericton, Officers’ Square -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, cake, fireworks
Kouchibouguac, Kouchibouguac National Park -- free admission, cake
Moncton, Riverfront Park -- live entertainment, bike parade, kids’ activities, fireworks
Sackville, Bill Johnstone Memorial Park -- live entertainment, kids’ activities
Saint John, Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site -- free admission, giveaways, cake
Saint John, Market Square -- parade, family activities, free admission to New Brunswick Museum, free trolley rides

Newfoundland and Labrador

Corner Brook, Margaret Bowater Park -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, fireworks
Gander, Cobb’s Pond Rotary Park -- live entertainment, games
Harbour Grace, Francis Field -- live entertainment, bouncy castles, reptile show, cake, fireworks
St. John’s, Confederation Hill -- live entertainment, kids’ carnival, cultural showcase, fireworks

Northwest Territories

Yellowknife, City Hall -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, food vendors

Nova Scotia

Annapolis Royal, Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada -- free admission, family activities, cake
Baddeck, Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site -- free admission
Bedford, DeWolf Park -- pancake breakfast, live entertainment, teddy bear party, fireworks
Cape Breton Island, Cape Breton Highlands National Park -- free admission, family activities, cake
Halifax, Halifax Citadel National Historic Site -- free admission, live entertainment, cake
Halifax, Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site -- free admission, cupcakes
Halifax-Dartmouth, Citadel Hill -- pancake breakfast, live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Louisbourg, Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site -- free admission
Port Royal, Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada -- free admission, live entertainment, cake

Nunavut

Iqaluit, AWG Arena and Nakasuk School -- pancake breakfast, parade, kids’ activities

Ontario

Ajax, Ajax Downs -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, fireworks
Barrie, Heritage Park -- live entertainment, face painting, wildlife displays
Brampton, Chinguacousy Park -- live entertainment, family activities, free transit shuttle, fireworks
Burlington, Spencer Smith Park -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, dog show
Cambridge, Riverside Park -- parade, carnival, live wrestling, fireworks
Hamilton, Bayfront Park -- live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Hamilton, HMCS Haida National Historic Site -- free admission, family activities, cupcakes
Kanata, Walter Baker Park -- live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Kingston, Assorted venues -- parade, live entertainment, kids’ activities
Kingston, Bellevue House National Historic Site -- free admission, historical demonstrations, cake
Leamington, Point Pelee National Park -- free admission, family activities
London, Harris Park -- live entertainment, cake, fireworks
London, South London Community Centre -- live entertainment, cake, inflatable rides, fireworks
Markham, Milne Dam Conservation Park -- parade, live entertainment, citizenship ceremony
Mississauga, Celebration Square -- live entertainment, fireworks
Newmarket, Newmarket Riverwalk Commons -- live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Niagara Falls, City Hall -- parade, live entertainment, free cake
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort George National Historic Site -- free admission, cannon firing, fireworks
North Bay, Waterfront Park -- cake, live entertainment, museum exhibit, sailboat regatta, fireworks
Oshawa, Lakeview Park -- live entertainment, midway, family activities
Ottawa, Canadian Museum of Natural History -- free admission, family activities
Ottawa, Laurier House National Historic Site -- free admission, family activities
Ottawa, Major’s Hill Park -- live entertainment, family activities, food sampling
Ottawa, Ottawa Rowing Club -- family activities, free cake and lemonade
Ottawa, Parliament Hill -- live entertainment, fireworks
Prescott, Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada -- free admission, cannon firing, family activities
Sault Ste. Marie, Roberta Bondar Park Tent Pavilion -- live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Scarborough, Scarborough Museum -- live entertainment, pie eating contest, food sampling
St. Catharines, Rennie Park -- live entertainment, free cake pops, family activities, puppet kissing booth
Thousand Islands, Thousand Islands National Park -- free admission, kids' activities, cake
Toronto, Fort York -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, mirror maze
Toronto, Harbourfront Centre -- live entertainment, history exhibit, fireworks
Toronto, Mel Lastman Square -- live entertainment, circus act, fireworks
Toronto, Queen’s Park -- live entertainment, midway, craft workshops
Toronto, Woodbine Park -- live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Vaughan, Mackenzie Glen District Park -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, free shuttle bus
Waterloo, University of Waterloo -- live entertainment, family activities
Whitby, Victoria Fields -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, petting zoo, fireworks

Prince Edward Island

Cavendish, Green Gables Heritage Place -- free admission, cake
Charlottetown, Victoria Park -- live entertainment, cake, petting zoo, fireworks
Summerside, Green’s Shore -- live entertainment, family activities, freebies, fireworks

Québec

Coteau-du-Lac, Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site -- free admission, kids' activities, cake
Gatineau, Parc Jacques-Cartier -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, fireworks
Howick, Battle of the Châteauguay National Historic Site -- free admission, family activities, cake
Lévis, Lévis Forts National Historic Site -- free admission, fun fair, cake
Montréal, Old Port of Montréal -- live entertainment, cake, family activities, fireworks
Montréal, Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site -- free admission
Québec City, Dufferin Terrace and The Plains of Abraham -- live entertainment, family activities, fireworks
Saint-Ours, Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site -- free admission, family activities, cake
Sherbrooke, Parc Jacques-Cartier -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, circus, fireworks
Trois-Rivières, Forges du Saint-Maurice National Historic Site -- free admission, cake, unmentioned surprises
Ville-Marie, Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site -- free admission, historical demonstrations, cake and tea

Saskatchewan

Fort Saskatchewan, Legacy Park -- pancake breakfast, car show, parade, free cake
Moose Jaw, Crescent Park -- live entertainment, cake, fireworks
Prince Albert, Kinsmen Park -- live entertainment, kids’ activities, fireworks
Prince Albert, Prince Albert National Park -- free admission, parade, cupcakes
Regina, Legislative Building -- pancake breakfast, live entertainment, strongman competition, fireworks
Saskatoon, Diefenbaker Park -- buffet breakfast, cake, live entertainment

Yukon

Dawson City, Assorted venues -- parade, cake, Gold Panning Championships
Whitehorse, Shipyards Park -- parade, kids’ activities

O Canada!

Canada Day only happens once a year, so be sure to get out and celebrate! Drop a comment if you'll be attending any of the events listed or another celebratory patriotic festivity! Happy Canada Day!

Mass IKEA Dresser Recall; Many Dressers Sold Between 2002-2016 are Eligible for a Full Refund

Mass IKEA Dresser Recall; Many Dressers Sold Between 2002-2016 are Eligible for a Full Refund

By Kate Musgrove

IKEA Canada has announced this morning that they're offering a voluntary recall on many dressers manufactured between January 2002 and June 2016. All dressers that do not meet North American ASTM free-standing stability requirements are included in this recall. IKEA is not requiring a proof of purchase or receipt for the refund. If your dresser was manufactured prior to 2002, you'll be eligible for partial store credit instead.

If you'd like to keep your dresser, you can also pick up a free wall attachment kit at any IKEA or request one (for free, including shipping) using the form on this page or by calling 1-800-661-9807.

About half of all IKEA dressers fall under this recall/repair effort; view a list of the dressers here or read on to see the affected product line names.

Alesund, Alleby, Alvesta, Aneboda, Angus, Ånes, Arup, Askedal, Askvoll, Aspelund, Balstar, Bankeryd, Bergsmo, Bialitt, Birkeland, Blimp, Boj, Brett, Brimnes, Boksta, BJÖRN, BÖRKVALLA, Brusali, Busunge, Diktad, Edland, Elis, Engan, Eksil, Fjell, Fjord, Flaten, Fridolin, Granås, Gute, Haddal, Hajdeby, Hemnes, Hensvik, Herrestad, Holleby, Hovdal, Hopen, Hosteland, Hurdal, IKEA PS 2012, Kabin, Kirkenes, Knot, Koppang, Kullen, Kusk, Kurs, Kviby, Leksvik, Lo, Lomen, Mac, Mast, Malm, Mammut, Mandal, Meråker, Midsund, Natura, Narvik, Nordli, Nornas, Nordnes, Nyvoll, Ottenby, Rakke, Ramberg, Ranvik, Rodd, Robin, Rustik, Sala, Skarnes, Sandefjord, Stuva, Stranda, Sundvik, Sveio, Stavanger, Tarva, Tassa, Tovik, Trogen, Trysil, Trandum, Trondheim, Tyssedal, Undredal, Varde, Vajer, Vallvik, Vestby, Vinstra, Visdalen, Vollen.

July 2016 Video Game Release Dates

July 2016 Video Game Release Dates

By Ambia Staley

If you're still feeling the excitement left over from this year's E3 conference, you may be eager to hit the shops and pick up a few of the latest games to play over the summer. While the amount of games being released this July quite a bit less than June's release schedule, there are a number of games to look forward to, including Monster Hunter Generations for 3DS, I Am Setsuna for PlayStation 4 and PC, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force for PlayStation Vita.

If you're itching to get some last minute pre-orders in, take a look below to see what's being released in July:

  • Ethan: Meteor Hunter (Xbox One) - July 1
  • Lost Sea (PS4/ PC) - July 5
  • Furi (PS4/ PC) - July 5
  • Rocket League: Collector's Edition (Xbox One/ PS4/ PC) - July 5
  • Megadimension Neptunia VII (PC) - July 5
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13 (PS4/ PC) - July 5
  • CastleStorm (Oculus Rift/ Gear VR) - July 7
  • Inside (PC) - July 7
  • Nurse Love Addiction (PC) - July 7
  • Trizeal Remix (PC) - July 7
  • Carmageddon: Max Damage (PS4/ Xbox One) - July 8
  • Hawken (Xbox One/ PS4) - July 8
  • The Other 99 (PC) - July 11
  • 7th Dragon III Code: VFD (3DS) - July 12
  • Ghostbusters (PS4/ Xbox One/ PC) - July 12
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force (PS Vita) - July 12
  • Moon Hunters (PS4) - July 12
  • Necropolis (PS4/ Xbox One/ PC) - July 12
  • Song of the Deep (PS4/ Xbox One/ PC) - July 12
  • Videoball (PS4/ Xbox One/ PC/ Mac/ Linux) - July 12
  • Crush Your Enemies (PC/ Mac/ Linux/ iOS/ Android) - July 13
  • Infinium Strike (PC) - July 14
  • Monster Hunter Generations (3DS) - July 15
  • Obliteracers (PS4/ Xbox One) - July 15
  • 10 Second Ninja X (PS4/ Xbox One/ PS Vita/ PC) - July 19
  • Ark: Survival of the Fittest (PS4) - July 19
  • Gal Gun: Double Peace (PS4/ PS Vita) - July 19
  • I Am Setsuna (PS4/ PC) - July 19
  • Kill Strain (PS4) - July 19*
  • Human Fall Flat (PC) - July 22
  • Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force (PS4) - July 26
  • Obduction (PC/ Mac/ Oculus Rift) - July 26
  • The Banner Saga 2 (PS4/ Xbox One) - July 26
  • Batman: Return to Arkham (PS4/ Xbox One) - July 26
  • Shiren the Wanderer (PS Vita) - July 26
  • Valentino Rossi: The Game (Xbox One/ PS4/ PC) - July 26

Dates TBA:

  • Fallout Shelter (PC)
  • Pokemon GO (iOS/ Android)

*PlayStation Plus Members can access Kill Strain starting July 12.

Is there anything you'll be playing this July? Let us know in the comments below!

What Brexit Might Mean for Canadian Consumers

What Brexit Might Mean for Canadian Consumers

By Kate Musgrove

Brexit -- what we're calling the United Kingdom's recent vote on the question of leaving the European Union -- has been all over the news today, and I was curious to how it might affect Canadians. So far, the primary points of impact seem to be:

  • An even stronger US dollar -- even though USD is already crushing CAD, a number of factors tied to the economic upheaval caused by Brexit could mean the US dollar get stronger while the Canadian dollar gets even weaker.
  • A weaker British pound -- shortly after the results were announced the British pound tumbled to at a thirty-year low. If this were happening in a bubble, we could look forward to cheaper travel and shopping opportunities in the UK, but I assume the Canadian dollar will drop along with the pound and I'm skeptical we'll see any real deals.
  • Adjustments on the trade side -- currently, the United Kingdom is Canada's third-largest trading partner. In 2015, Canada exported $16 billion (CAD) worth of products to the UK. Canada and the EU have a trade agreement called Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), but now that the UK is leaving the EU, they'll need to strike a new, separate agreement, which could take years.
  • A drop in the CPP -- about $20 billion of the Canada Pension Plan's assets are invested in the UK. Fortunately, that's only 7.5% of their total assets, but the value of those investments could certainly be expected to drop.
  • You might see more Brits in your neighbourhood -- okay, this last one is pretty unlikely, but according to the Washington Post, UK-based Google searches for "move to Canada" increased 100-fold today.
Across the board there were sharp drops in stocks markets across the world today and it will be interesting to see if they stabilize or continue to drop.
The Canadian Price Matching Cheat Sheet

The Canadian Price Matching Cheat Sheet

By Simon Hung

Whether you’re buying a new television or National Treasure on DVD, there are two important questions every shopper should ask themselves before making a purchase -- is it posted on RFD and is it cheaper anywhere else?

Price comparisons are a must when shopping and price matching has become ubiquitous for many savvy shoppers. To help you find the best deals, we've created this handy cheat sheet so you can see the price matching policies of over 40 stores in Canada at a glance.

While every store will have their own guidelines for price matching, there are a few common rules found in many stores.

  • Products must be the same model, in stock and sold by a Canadian retailer
  • If a store price matches Amazon.ca, the product must be sold and shipped directly by Amazon
  • Limited-time or limited-quantity promotions usually aren't eligible
  • Major holiday sales like Boxing Day or Black Friday are usually excluded
  • Most stores don't price match wholesale stores like Costco

Before you embark on your price matching journey, take a look at the table below to see which stores beat or match competitor pricing (we've omitted stores that do not price match) and read our tips on how to do it effectively.

If we're missing any stores, let us know in the comments -- we'll continually update this table to help with your price matching research!

Store
Beat
Match
YMMV
Notes
2001 Audio Video
Will match competitor pricing.
adidas
Price protection up to 14 days after purchase.
Amazon.ca
Only televisions officially eligible for price matching, but some have had success PMing other items via Live Chat.
Babies R Us
Will match competitor pricing.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Will match competitor pricing.
Best Buy
Will beat competitor pricing by 10% of the difference.
Canada Computers
Will match competitor pricing.
Canadian Tire
Will match and "beat" the price by giving you 10% of the difference on Canadian Tire money.
Dell
No official PM policy on Dell.ca, but some have had success PMing via Live Chat.
FreshCo
Will beat competitor pricing by $0.01.
Henry's
Will match competitor pricing.
Home Depot
Will beat competitor pricing by 10%.
Home Hardware
Will match competitor pricing.
Hudson's Bay
Will match competitor pricing.
IKEA
Price protection up to 45 days after purchase. Some have had success PMing product prices from other stores.
Kitchen Stuff Plus
Will beat competitor pricing by 10% of the difference, excluding appliances and Henckels merchandise.
Lenovo
Will beat competitor pricing by $20.00, but only for Lenovo Affinity members.
Linen Chest
Will beat competitor pricing by 10% of the difference.
London Drugs
Will match competitor pricing.
Lowes
Will beat competitor pricing by 10%.
MEC
Will match competitor pricing.1
Memory Express
Will beat competitor pricing by 10% of the difference.
National Sports
Will match competitor pricing.
NCIX
Will match competitor pricing only after approval at their discretion.
Newegg.ca
Will match competitor pricing on select items and issue the difference on store credit after approval.
No Frills
Will match competitor pricing, up to a maximum of four per item.
PartSource
Will match competitor pricing.
PeaveyMart
Limited-time price-matching promotions are occasionally held.
PetSmart
Will match competitor pricing.
PetValu
Will match competitor pricing at the store’s discretion.2
Real Canadian Superstore
Will match competitor pricing.3
Reebok
Price protection up to 14 days after purchase.
Rona
Will beat competitor pricing by 10% of the difference.
Sears
Will beat competitor pricing by 10% of the difference for appliances or mattresses only; will match otherwise.
Sport Chek
Will match competitor pricing, in-store only.
Staples
Will match competitor pricing.
The Brick
Will match competitor pricing.
The Source
Will match competitor pricing.
Town Shoes
Will match competitor pricing.
Toys R Us
Will match competitor pricing.
Walmart
Will match competitor pricing.
Visions Electronics
Will beat competitor pricing by 15% of the difference.
Last updated: June 23, 2016