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Morning Brew: drive-thrus in residential areas, would Miller be reelected if he ran again?, residents vs. preacher video goes viral, arrests in GO parking lot thefts, Shakespeare on the subway, Darth Vader yoga and picnic

Posted by Jerrold Litwinenko / August 25, 2010

drive-thrus torontoYears ago, bylaws were introduced to prevent drive-thrus from permeating unchecked into residential areas. But along with an attempt to harmonize regional bylaws across Toronto, a tweak to the rules may also be coming. This might allow for companies to set up coffee shops, gas stations, and fast food outlets in residential areas previously safe from the fumes of queueing cars and the squawk of the ordering box.

A poll, well ahead of the October vote for Toronto's next mayor, indicates that Rob Ford (unbelievably, somehow) maintains a healthy lead. But an interesting twist is that were David Miller to throw his hat back into the ring, he might very well be re-elected with convincing numbers (despite his uncharacteristically whack handling of the G20).

Details are slowly emerging and bringing more context and understanding to a now viral video depicting a residents-versus-preachers showdown that occurred recently in Leslieville. While conducting an "open-air" sermon on the street, residents quickly moved in and confronted the group, accusing them of intentionally choosing to preach their word outside the home of a homosexual couple. The couple aren't convinced that this is the case, and the worshippers are standing by their right to conduct their rites as they have been for 70 years.

Two men have been arrested and are facing a whopping 408 charges stemming from ongoing thefts at Toronto and area GO stations. It's alleged that the pair worked quickly and efficiently, getting under parked vehicles and removing catalytic converters (a small but expensive part of exhaust systems) for resale or scrap metal sale. It not clear at this time if these two are responsible for all of the thefts, or if others are also carrying out the same crime. I suppose police will have to see if reports continue to come in.

A group of young theatre school graduates have been performing scenes from Shakespeare's works on the TTC subway system, much to the delight -- and fear -- of transit users. Some of the mixed reactions are interesting to read about, and include people being genuinely startled, the actors (unfortunately, in some rare cases) being yelled at and kicked, and more often smiles and applause.

Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, is in town and he's brought his stormtroopers! His arrival will be marked by a yoga session, followed by some tennis and picnic in Trinity-Bellwoods Park, starting at 11 a.m. Be sure to bring a camera, and drop your photos in the blogTO Flickr pool!

And... this is truly a bittersweet moment for me. After years of waking up at the crack of dawn almost every weekday, crusty-eyed, coffee mug in hand, and scouring the local news online to bring you the blogTO Morning Brew, it's with great sadness that I announce that this will be my final Morning Brew post. New opportunities will be taking me to new and exciting places, and I have great confidence that I'll be leaving the Brew in eager and able hands. I look forward to being an avid reader, and I'm sure you'll see me in the comments here and there. Thanks to everyone for all of your support, for keeping me in check, and for the the thousands of comments and contributions you've all made. See you around! :)

Photo: "Your Change Ma'am" by Tom Podolec, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.



TurdBurgle / August 25, 2010 at 09:08 am
The police should serve and protect our catalytic converters and beat down the thieves so hard and charge them to the fullest extent that the law allows them to be punished by. Petty thieves like this are scum of the earth and when they are caught and charged for theft under, boy will they get their just desserts.

Speaking of dessert, I am voting for Rob Ford.

Xavier / August 25, 2010 at 09:10 am
How was Miller's handling of the G20 anything but consistent? Has he handled anything well? Anything other than raising taxes and forcing bike lanes into places for the sole puropse of worsening the traffic situation?
Gerry / August 25, 2010 at 09:11 am
With this crop of losers, Ol' Davey might have a legitimate shot. That's sad. The fact that Ford also has a legitimate shot is sadder. The fact that Toronto is screwed no matter what is saddest.
Daniel / August 25, 2010 at 09:13 am
As cool as it may seem to have people perform shakespeare on the subway. Ultimately, I'd like it to be as quiet and calm as possible. Shakespeare's pretty intense.
David Toronto / August 25, 2010 at 09:14 am
The Leslieville evangelists are saying they've been doing
this for 70 years. If that's true, why is it coming to
light only now?
Rob / August 25, 2010 at 09:15 am
David Miller is a disaster. Between his absolute incompetence during the TTC strike, garbage strike, and G20, increasing property tax (and just about every other tax), and endless stories about council's wasteful spending, I find it truly hard to believe he would win we really have such short memories?
gw / August 25, 2010 at 09:21 am
Great work over the years, Jerrold. Thank you and best of luck in your future endeavors!
Mike / August 25, 2010 at 09:22 am
You will be missed Jerrold! Good luck with your new endeavors!
LJ / August 25, 2010 at 09:24 am
let me be the first to say thank you to Jerrold for his invaluable contribution to BLOGTO over the years! - cheers
Gerry / August 25, 2010 at 09:25 am
On a positive note, a Toronto mayor has never kicked a kid in the head.

David Toronto / August 25, 2010 at 09:26 am
The very best to you in your future endeavours, Jerrold.

I always looked forward to your Morning Brew and it's
sad to learn that it's coming to an end with you at
the helm.

Thank you for all that Morning Brew has done for
all of us regular readers.
Tim / August 25, 2010 at 09:28 am
Jerrold will be missed by all of us here at blogTO. His contributions to the site are immeasurable and he deserves a lot of credit for the site's continued growth over the years. Hopefully we'll be able to lure him back here and there for a guest contribution. Fingers crossed.
cosmosuave / August 25, 2010 at 09:30 am
No more drive thru's infact there should be a $0.25 - $0.50 levy just to use one and use those funds for transit or food banks...
Mike replying to a comment from David Toronto / August 25, 2010 at 09:33 am
Because they didn't have YouTube back then. Read <i>The Star</i>'s article (I can't link to it, as <i>The Star</i> is blocked at my work) and it explains everything.

Basically, they're not homophobes, but equal opportunity haters. Just vocal, old school, fire-and-brimstone fundamentalists. I'm all for freedom of religion and freedom of speech, but you don't do it at the foot of somebody's lawn.

Also, good luck in your future endeavours, Jerrold.
Rob replying to a comment from cosmosuave / August 25, 2010 at 09:34 am
except much like the plastic bag levy, it will simply end up in the merchant's pocket.
Chris / August 25, 2010 at 09:42 am
Thanks Jerrold, good luck.
HUK / August 25, 2010 at 09:50 am
Bye Jerrold! I hope your G20 dreams come true!
Jebus / August 25, 2010 at 09:53 am
Those street preachers are as*holes.

I would suggest that people turn on their sprinklers in the front yard so the water hits the sidewalk.
Roger / August 25, 2010 at 09:57 am
Jerrold, you brightened many a morning for thousands of blogTO readers, myself included. I'm sure your talents will be much appreciated in the new and exciting places.
OTIS / August 25, 2010 at 09:57 am
Jerrold. You rock. Up and atom and all the best. Sacrifice Anton.
Langford / August 25, 2010 at 09:57 am
All the best Jerrold. Your Morning Brew made morning's more tolerable.
karl / August 25, 2010 at 09:57 am
In the religious mind, more they're told they're NOT wanted, it is only more evidence how much they're needed. And wait until the TTC adds cars that let you walk the length of the train. The preachers will be turning out in force.
LJ replying to a comment from HUK / August 25, 2010 at 10:03 am
Jerrold goes, but Huk remains, what a joke.
Lee Harvey / August 25, 2010 at 10:04 am
Jerrold, you brought so much to BlogTo, with your consistently great morning brews, argumentative comments, and great pictures. BlogTo won't be the same without your contributions. You should be proud of yourself with all of your hard work you put into BlogTo. Good luck in the next stage of your life.
elizabeth / August 25, 2010 at 10:06 am
Good luck Jerrold, thanks for the mentoring! All the best - E.
The Shakes / August 25, 2010 at 10:11 am
I always looked forward to reading The Morning Brew and the crazy comments that followed. Thanks for choosing such great stories about T.O. and for kicking off some great daily discussions. Best of luck.
Jibbly replying to a comment from karl / August 25, 2010 at 10:16 am
Yes, but they'll have to walk though hordes of Shakespeare scene-stagers in order to do so.
Ryan L. / August 25, 2010 at 10:17 am
One day I hope we will be able to look at this religious-based bigotry and be thankful we moved beyond it.

One day I hope criticism of certain religious 'beliefs' is taken seriously instead of being treated as some sort of religious persecution.

One day I hope that we stop letting people use the excuse of religion to get away with things that we wouldn't normally let people get away with.

One day we won't villainize one person for hate speech, but tolerate another because they claim to be doing it in the name of their god. Hate speech will be hate speech, no matter who says it.
KL / August 25, 2010 at 10:20 am
Good luck, Jerrold.
Jebus replying to a comment from Ryan L. / August 25, 2010 at 10:32 am
It's not religious based bigotry.

It's you're yelling on my street and it annoys me bigotry.

If they were chanting about the Maple Leafs or G20 or the cost of ground beef I would tell them to stfu and move along.
Realist (mostly) / August 25, 2010 at 10:48 am
Why could Miller win? It's more of a comment on the candidates running than anything else. People want to go with the bozo they know.
Sameer Vasta / August 25, 2010 at 10:55 am
You'll be missed, Jerrold. Thanks for keeping up such an amazing tradition at blogTO.
Syncros / August 25, 2010 at 11:18 am
Thanks for the years of hard work Jerrold. You've always put good energy into what you've done and its appreciated!
Ryan L. replying to a comment from karl / August 25, 2010 at 11:24 am
About a year ago I was on a bus and as it slowly made its way through traffic and pulled up to one stop you could see a pair of 'missionaries' harassing people at the stop. Some people were clearly trying to get away from them, but the zealots wouldn't concede defeat. As people walked away the two guys followed them, and in one instance even grabbed the shirt of one of the people trying to escape to stop them from leaving.

After getting through the traffic jam and finally making our way to the stop the missionaries relaxed with their aggressive behavior and chose to illustrate their good Samaritan nature by letting everyone else on first.

Much to their surprise of the guys (and to the delight of the people who were wanting to escape the pair), the TTC driver closed the doors in the faces of the two men.

Then despite traffic clearing up the driver pulled a few feet up then stopped at the side of the road, but still beside the abandoned missionaries. They made no attempt to protest as I think they were well aware of why the driver didn't let them on.

And there we sat for 6 or 7 minutes with no explanation. At which point the next bus behind us showed up, slowed down as it passed to make sure nothing was wrong with our bus. Our driver responded by opening his window and waving the bus by in an 'everything's fine' gesture.

The driver made a fine point of illustrating that harassment on the TTC wouldn't be tolerated. If only other drivers had the balls to do this.
Fig / August 25, 2010 at 11:26 am
Congrats on your new opportunity Jerrold and thanks for helping make blogTO an enjoyable and thought-provoking daily read.
Jacob / August 25, 2010 at 11:40 am
Morning Brew has become a regular part of my morning.

Good luck, Jerrold.
Ryan L. replying to a comment from Ryan L. / August 25, 2010 at 11:53 am
I just realized that I didn't illustrate the point of the story that well. The driver purposely waited beside the road to block the view of the missionaries from the next bus to make sure the missionaries couldn't get on that one either. It put him behind schedule (which he made up for), and the majority of people on the bus (for probably the first time ever) were perfectly okay with the 7 minute delay.
Jen Tse / August 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm
GOODBYE JERROLD! :') Congrats and good luck, you'll be missed.
Dawn / August 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm
Just came to say goodbye Jerrold, you will be missed!! One of the few things I still read on here is the Morning Brew, good luck. :)
Basile / August 25, 2010 at 02:28 pm
Great job Jerrold and good luck in the future! I seriously admired this brew when you wrote it and was amazed with your tolerance of the losers online who like to nitpick just to bitch (hiding behind their screens).
Thought provoking snippets at the very least with a tongue in cheek style....the mornings will need some stronger coffee now...
EMS / August 25, 2010 at 06:28 pm
Jerrold - best of luck to you. I have always looked forward to your morning brew.
Thanks for your contribution - you are one of the reasons I kept coming back to BlogTO.
Later Jerrold / August 25, 2010 at 07:01 pm
If the door hits your ass on the way out, it's probably not a sadistic cop nor is it a conspiracy.

Maybe this place can start focusing on real issues, stay on the fence, and not only fly with one left wing.
shannon replying to a comment from Later Jerrold / August 25, 2010 at 07:48 pm
LATER JERROLD you are a idiot.

Jerrold i enjoyed your morning brews and wish you well.
mr comma / August 25, 2010 at 07:58 pm
Peace out Jerrold. I enjoyed the commentary!
thom / August 26, 2010 at 01:44 am

Even though I skipped town last year, still checked in for the 'brew every day. Awesome work Jerrold!
Rachel / August 27, 2010 at 01:17 am
A fond farewell, Jerrold! Many thanks and all the best.
Jerrold / August 27, 2010 at 09:56 am
Thanks so much for all of the kind words, everyone! (with the exception of the few bitter souls who troll these comment threads, of course) :P It's been an absolute pleasure engaging in meaningful discussion about our fair city and more, regardless of where our opinions/morals/ethics fall.

It felt quite strange waking up late today and looking forward to reading the MB rather than preparing it. But it also feels right.
Other Cities: Montreal