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Morning Brew: Rob Ford pleads ignorance, a Port Lands development tax, Toronto Zoo could ditch city council, last chance to see new LRVs, and returning a lost iPhone

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 6, 2012

toronto rain umbrellasAs you may have heard, Rob Ford was cross-examined by lawyer Clayton Ruby in front of a packed courtroom of councillors, media and concerned citizens yesterday. In his testimony, the mayor suggested he was unaware he breached provincial conflict-of-interest legislation earlier this year and implied he follows his own, incorrect, version of the rules. A quick round-up of the day's events is available here.

The city could charge developers building anywhere in Toronto a fee that would be used to cover the enormous cost of flood-proofing and redeveloping the Port Lands at the mouth of the Don River. According to the National Post, the cost of building in the city could go up by about five-percent as a result. Is it about time developers chipped in for improvements in the Toronto?

The Toronto Zoo board endorsed plans to cut ties with council starting in December at a meeting yesterday. Under the changes, the six members of city council that sit on the board would be removed and all city funding cancelled in the coming years. The decision comes after council intervened in the transfer of two elephants to a California sanctuary earlier this year.

In case you missed it at the Ex, a mock-up of Toronto's new LRVs will be on display at the Evergreen Brick Works until the end of October. The short display vehicle carries a preliminary version of the green Metrolinx livery the Flexity Freedom vehicles will use when the cars enter service on completion of the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT in 2020.

Finally, an eagle-eyed nine-year-old who found an iPhone in a Centre Island lake, revived the soaked handset in a bag of rice, and tracked down the owner by email is getting plenty of attention on Reddit. The honest guy admits he considered keeping the phone but his parents persuaded him to do the right thing. What a champ.

*An earlier version of this post confused the LRVs vehicles on display at the Evergreen Brick Works for the new streetcars entering service next year. Apologies for the mix-up.


Photo: "Three's a crowd" by asianz in the blogTO Flickr pool.



BM / September 6, 2012 at 09:52 am
Victim in Toronto-area Danzig shooting shot again.

What a complete shock...I can hardly believe it. How could this have happened? What are the chances?

W. K. Lis / September 6, 2012 at 10:49 am
"The mayor suggested he was unaware he breached provincial conflict-of-interest legislation." First elected city councillor in 2000, re-elected in 2003, re-elected in 2006, and elected mayor in 2010. Each time he was given a opportunity to get a orientation meeting and receive their handbook. Was he unaware of the contents of the driver's handbook as well to excuse his driving habits of talking on his cell phone and reading his speech?
Jacob / September 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm
That wasn't a streetcar they showed off at the CNE. That was an LRT, the kind that won't be running until who knows when.
Khristopher / September 6, 2012 at 01:55 pm
There are two different vehicles we're getting. The ones for the LRT lines, and the ones that will replace the streetcars we currently have. The ones they are showing are the replacement streetcars, no? There seems to be a lot of confusion over this.
Joe replying to a comment from Khristopher / September 6, 2012 at 02:30 pm
From what i can gather...
The Green LRT (the one on display at the CNE this year) is for the crosstown? I figure this because when i visited it at the CNE all they mentioned was the Crosstown and had a few videos of it playing.
The ones that are going to replace the current street cars are supposed to come into service in 2013 and i believe are red and white but more or less the same thing.
Khristopher replying to a comment from Joe / September 6, 2012 at 03:03 pm
Hmmm yes actually I think you're right. These are the ones that are for the LRT. They will be much longer than what we see here. However the ones replacing the streetcars are shorter.
Jerald / September 6, 2012 at 04:10 pm
This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused.
Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.
..HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and
more than that, how you presented it. Too cool! / September 6, 2012 at 04:26 pm
Regarding the sentence, "The decision comes after council intervened in the transfer of two elephants to a California sanctuary earlier this year."

The Toronto Zoo was in the process of deciding where to send the three elephants when City Council voted (on 25-Oct-2011) to send the elephants to a California sanctuary.
Brad / September 6, 2012 at 04:50 pm
Those new LRT's are way smaller than a streetcar, they are hard to walk in too.
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