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Morning Brew: Ford floats tax freeze, TTC gets debit machines, power back downtown, explaining ferry delays, and Toronto Sun madness

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 6, 2012

toronto islands pier sun lake ontarioLooks like Rob Ford is ready to do battle over the fundamentals of Karen Stintz and Glenn De Baeremaeker's OneCity transit plan. The mayor has formally asked the city manager for a two-year property tax freeze starting in 2014, the year he will stand for re-election. Stintz and De Baeremaeker plan to fund their project, which the National Post is already calling dead, with, you guessed it, a property tax hike. The tax freeze will likely be one of the building blocks of Ford's campaign and puts him at loggerheads with the transit expansion plan.

Also in Ford news, the mayor has responded to Adam Vaughan's suggestion yesterday that he is a "part-time mayor" by claiming he is the hardest worker at city hall. Is that a bit of a stretch?

It might be 14 years behind the New York subway, but the TTC is planning to spend over half a million dollars installing temporary debit card machines in all its subway stations ready for the end of next year. In 2013, Metropass users will be able to pay by debit. All other fares will remain cash only until Presto arrives in 2015.

The power is back on after a blackout killed air conditioners, fans and other cooling devices for a large area of east downtown last night. Good thing too - it's supposed to be an absolute scorcher today with temperatures in the high 30s. Hydro Toronto says a fire in a circuit breaker caused the outage.

If you've had to wait in line for a ferry to the Islands this summer, here's why. Several of the City of Toronto's oldest boats, the William Inglis, Sam McBride, and the Thomas Rennie, are being forced to run at half the normal capacity by new federal marine safety standards. Boo! Safety!

The subway riders among you have probably noticed the confessional videos revealing everything from heroin addictions to uncontrollable farting at track level by now. Showing on the TV system roughly every 10 minutes, the short, real life admissions are part of a project called Confessions Underground that will be running until July 15.

Should we be installing fully separated bike lanes on busy streets like Richmond and Adelaide rather than relatively quiet Sherbourne and Harbord? Dylan Reid at Spacing thinks so. He explains it doesn't make sense to over-protect cyclists from relatively slow moving traffic in some parts of the city scheduled to get separated lanes.

And finally, more complete and utter idiocy from The Sun. Writer Lorrie Goldstein says the root of gang crime in Toronto is absentee black fathers who "impregnate as as many willing women as they can". Predictably, the editorial is filled with fallacies and prejudices that are both embarrassing and depressing.


An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the boats William Inglis, Sam McBride, and Thomas Rennie were the property of the Toronto Port Authority. They are owned by the City of Toronto.



Turns out I gave some bum clues yesterday that unfairly threw some people off the scent. Give this one a crack and I'll try to keep any clues accurate.toronto morning brew guess the intersection


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Photo: "Toronto Island 6" by Franco Cignelli in the blogTO Flickr pool.



Oh / July 6, 2012 at 08:35 am
Isn't "the hardest working person at city hall" setting the bar really low?
LOL! / July 6, 2012 at 08:47 am
Hardest working person at City Hall? LMFAO what a crock of shit!
Too bad he's not smart enough to realize that he is taking a shit on everyone else in City Hall with that stupid statement. What a class act.
Tax / July 6, 2012 at 08:51 am
Property tax freeze for two years, he has my vote.
Steve Otto / July 6, 2012 at 08:57 am
Bloor Street at Madison, looking north
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Steve Otto / July 6, 2012 at 09:08 am
Sorry Steve. Wrong answer! Must be a tough one if you're having trouble.
EE105 / July 6, 2012 at 09:12 am
Let's not be so knee-jerk about lower-income black family life, or the lack of it, being identified as a problem.

Oh no, if we pay attention to a very real cause of gang violence (but not the root), we may hurt some feelings!
Rick / July 6, 2012 at 09:18 am
Whats wrong with the Sun article? Part of the problem is an absent father. Lets call a spade a spade. They live in poverty and have no-one to look up to. Gangs provide a bond for them and easy money.
Rob / July 6, 2012 at 09:21 am
Unlike the pansies at The Star (and BlogTO, apparently), The Sun has the guts to actually discuss a major problem within the black community, which, by the way, is a) nothing new and b) is also largely spoken by many blacks themselves.
Mar / July 6, 2012 at 09:28 am
He is freezing taxes? That's amazing! Can he put inflation on hold while he is at it?
Alex / July 6, 2012 at 09:30 am
Mt.Pleasant and Stibbord?

The article didn't say specifically whether the new Ferry safety features are overkill or not. Could be we really do need them and we need to buy some more ferries. I don't like that the automatic response was that we should just cram as many people on as we can.
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Alex / July 6, 2012 at 09:33 am
Not Mt. Plasant and Stibbard either.
Matt / July 6, 2012 at 09:34 am
Toronto Hydro
Anna / July 6, 2012 at 10:17 am
That looks like Dundas E and Munro
Aaron / July 6, 2012 at 10:46 am
Kind of ironic that Ford would claim to be the hardest working person at city hall while at the same time campaigning for re-election... two and a half years from now. He might be working hard, but he's clearly not doing the job of a mayor.
Chris replying to a comment from Aaron / July 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm
So true - this request for a property tax freeze with "no reduction in services" is simply a rehash of the nonsense he spouted when he first ran, and clearly he's hoping (and counting) on the same people who fell for it in 2010 doing so again.

Sadly, there's enough people here who continue to look at this guy with blinders that he'll get his support (with the Toronto Sun and Sue-Ann Levy leading the way) - may not be enough to win, but that will all depend on who's running against him.

Sad, really, that we have a Mayor who has basically checked out less than 1/2 way into his term.
McRib / July 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm
he's the hardest working guy at City hall when he's on the toilet.
har replying to a comment from Rob / July 6, 2012 at 01:21 pm
Hey a-hole. Stop the racist 'blacks' language.
Rob replying to a comment from har / July 6, 2012 at 01:24 pm
White power! Oops..guess that was racist too...fine fine, replace "black" with "African American" point still stands.
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Anna / July 6, 2012 at 01:30 pm
Nope, sorry Anna. Keep the guesses coming.
jd replying to a comment from Rick / July 6, 2012 at 01:39 pm
Did you really just use the term "spade"?

And yes Rob, that's exactly what the black community needs. The Sun to tell them how to fix themselves...
Rob replying to a comment from jd / July 6, 2012 at 04:10 pm
Are you actually denying that this is a problem based on your inability to break with bullshit PC notions? If not the Sun, someone should "tell them" as the problem clearly isn't fixing itself
georges / July 6, 2012 at 05:56 pm
Spadina and College, looking north?
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from georges / July 6, 2012 at 07:57 pm
Nope, way off. Here's a clue: "Burlap city, Howard Hughes' folly?"
Me / July 6, 2012 at 08:12 pm
Howland and Barton
jd replying to a comment from Rob / July 6, 2012 at 08:45 pm
So by your standards Rob. Since most of the white collar crime (IE: Banking) going on is being done by white people. Maybe Asians should be telling white people the things they need to be doing to fix their community.
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Me / July 6, 2012 at 08:47 pm
Sorry, no. Did you read the clue.
Junior / July 7, 2012 at 06:26 pm
Spruce and Sackville?
Other Cities: Montreal