Morning Brew: May election polls reveal many undecided voters, Torontonians want TTC board reform, DVP to become "Route of Heroes," no luck for the "Fixer," First Canadian Place losing its marbles, and an unhappy ending in Oakville
An Environics poll conducted throughout May suggests that voters are far from decided on who will be Toronto's next mayor. Although George Smitherman is still reported to have the lead at 34 per cent, of the 485 participants, 44 per cent remain undecided. Following Smitherman are Rob Ford (27 per cent), Sarah Thomson (14 per cent), Rocco Rossi (13 per cent), Joe Pantalone (9 per cent), and Giorgio Mammoliti (4 per cent). Perhaps most notable about the new ranking of the candidates is the surge by Thomson, who was at 7% of the decided vote in a Toronto Star-Angus Reid poll conducted last month.
Also interesting are the responses to questions on some of the policies that have been bandied about over the course of the campaign. Some of the highlights: 69 per cent of those interviewed are in favour of TTC reform that would see the board populated with private members as opposed to politicians, 44 per cent would ban the building of bike lanes on major routes moving forward, and 45 per cent like the idea of putting a $5 toll on the Gardiner and Don Valley Parkway during rush hour(s) so as to fund subway extension.
Speaking of the DVP, it's about to receive the additional designation "Route of Heroes." Although Mayor David Miller was against the idea of completely renaming the parkway when it was proposed by veteran groups three years ago, he's on board with the new "dual-name" system. Along with this additional designation, the DVP will also be dotted with "Lest We Forget" signs and pictures of poppies on exit ramps. The change comes as part of a plan to raise public awareness of the sacrifices made by our armed forces and will also feature the placement of poppy signs on approximately 100 other city streets.
Meanwhile, the Star is trying to address the early removal of garbage bins from Queens Quay as part of G20 security measures. The bins, many of which were taken away on May 26, have been replaced with plastic bags affixed to hydro and utility poles. Unfortunately, I think this is one situation in which the "Fixer" is in over his head.
As many have likely noticed from the scaffolding that surrounds it, First Canadian Place is getting a makeover. Far from just cosmetic, however, the work on the exterior of the building has much to do with protecting city-dwellers from falling pieces of marble. The Globe has a lengthy feature on the undertaking and how it will modernize the building, which is in fact only 35-years-old.
Is Oakville the GTA's very own Amsterdam, complete with a red-light district? Well, not quite. But, three women have been charged after a massage parlour -- the aptly but crassly named Sapid Sweets -- was determined to be a common bawdy house earlier this week. I guess that's not much of a happy ending for the accused or their clients.