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Morning Brew: Ford trial latest, Chow's mayoral odds improving, TTC fare hike coming, health board against casino, a mayoral wager, and a toilet with history

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 20, 2012

toronto cityplaceThe judge presiding over a $6 million defamation lawsuit brought against mayor Rob Ford by Boardwalk Pub owner John Foulidis says he has to decide if Ford went "too far" while speaking about an untendered contract awarded to Foulidis' company. Speaking yesterday, the judge agreed Ford had a right to express an opinion on the contract as a mayoral candidate in 2010. The trial is expected to wrap up today.

A new poll suggests NDP MP Olivia Chow could win a mayoral election in Toronto even with a split anti-Ford vote, according to The Star. A survey by Forum Research found increasing support for Chow from Torontonians in the city and suburbs. The MP for Trinity-Spadina is rising in popularity with her name attached to the mayor's job.

Riding the rocket could be about to get a nickel more expensive as of January. The TTC is expected to approve a hike on Metropasses and other tickets, leaving cash fares unchanged at $3.

Also in trains, the Clean Train Coalition - an advocacy group fighting for electric trains on the under-construction air-rail link - is taking Metrolinx, the builders of the line who bought diesel vehicles, to court. Should we be fighting for electric trains even though it might push delay the project?

Toronto's board of health officially came out against a GTA casino yesterday, citing concerns over the negative impacts of gambling. OLG and several other casino companies have expressed an interest in developing a resort in the city. Could the tide be turning against a casino in Toronto?

Speaking of gambling, Rob Ford and Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi have agreed a friendly wager: the leader of the losing city at Sunday's Grey Cup has to donate his body weight in supplies to a local food bank and wear the jersey of the winning team at a council meeting.

Talk about flushing money down the toilet. A particularly dedicated (and rich) Maple Leafs fan has paid $5,300 for a salvaged dressing room toilet from the team's old College Street digs. It's safe to say numerous local hockey legends have defecated in this hallowed bowl over the years. Frankly, I'm not sure if that adds to the value.

Also in sports, the Jays monster trade with the Marlins has officially been confirmed after MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced he wouldn't stand in the way of the deal. The Jays also announced the signing of Melky Cabrera from the San Francisco Giants and it's rumored John Gibbons could return as manager.

Finally, here's a teaser for season two of hit web series The Avenue that is set for release next Tuesday. Filmed on location here in Toronto, the story follows Gregory Gorgeous and his circle of friends as they struggle with adult issues in the city.


Photo: "The view from their office" by michaelleckman from the blogTO Flickr pool.



Steve / November 20, 2012 at 08:26 am
The great thing about Olivia Chow is that she could make Rob Ford look intelligent and articulate
AV / November 20, 2012 at 08:34 am
The Avenue... HA! Hilarious
OS / November 20, 2012 at 08:45 am
I accept the TTC hike if they can prove that the new fare is going towards the DRL. If it's again going towards "operating costs", I call bullshit.
Mike / November 20, 2012 at 08:45 am
So the Avenue is a joke, right?
Arrow / November 20, 2012 at 08:48 am
If Mayor Naheed Nenshi was serious about the bet, he'd donate Ford's weight, not his own.
Ford4ever / November 20, 2012 at 08:56 am
The Avenue.

Indeed, it's hard to tell if it's satire, though I must say it seems to capture the essence of the people who are moving into Toronto's core these days.
Mike Polo replying to a comment from OS / November 20, 2012 at 09:05 am
pulled from The Star's article...

Effective Jan. 1, the hike is expected to generate $18 million annually, which still leaves the transit agency $10 million short of its operating budget. Cash fares won’t be affected but adult Metropasses will go up by $2.50 and other fares will experience a proportionate increase.

I just wish the TTC financials were public, maybe their operating costs aren't out of control and poorly managed, but that's not what I suspect.
Picard102 / November 20, 2012 at 09:11 am
Hit web series?
Ford4ever / November 20, 2012 at 09:21 am
Re: 5-cent hike.

I'm all for it. Supervisors standing on the street corners counting the streetcars (like it's 1921) ain't free, you know!
WTF happened / November 20, 2012 at 09:39 am
just threw up. Love Toronto. Grew up here. CP24, King west and Liberty Village have been making me slowly hate this city more and more. I think this show may be the final nail.
McRib / November 20, 2012 at 09:45 am
so the blonde is a tranny
Josh / November 20, 2012 at 09:47 am
Just curious, how much does it cost to implement a fare hike? Advertising, signage, a dozen people to approve the signage, etc, all at inflated government rates.
Todd replying to a comment from WTF happened / November 20, 2012 at 09:51 am
What happened is Toronto turned its back on its blue collar roots... what's left is a self-conscious place that thinks it's New York City just because it's the largest city in the country, and it's full of transplants who are unaware of the local culture and history, and have in turn destroyed it by bringing in and cherishing the very worst of modern society.

I know exactly how you feel. Born here, raised here, currently living here... well aware of the fear of dying here. The modern Torontonian (via Ingersoll) 20-35 year old just sucks. They're vapid and empty. There's surely gotta be more to life than bottle service, overpriced shoeboxes, and working in a bank.
steve replying to a comment from Todd / November 20, 2012 at 09:58 am
Feeling like an old geezer? My parents used to talk like that. I learned long ago to go with the flow. It is all still there, I know people who still live in the 80's
steve replying to a comment from Todd / November 20, 2012 at 10:01 am
Food for thought, you did get were you are without changing the past.
Pudge replying to a comment from Arrow / November 20, 2012 at 10:22 am
Mayor Nenshi is a rather fat man himself.
AV replying to a comment from Todd / November 20, 2012 at 10:22 am
"There's surely gotta be more to life than bottle service, overpriced shoeboxes, and working in a bank."

Unfortuantely for some that is considered "living the dream"
Me / November 20, 2012 at 10:27 am
maybe we should get together and but the electric train protesters an electric train set.
Brandon / November 20, 2012 at 10:38 am
"Everyone thinks you're on crack, Rachel." Such deep, profoundly moving writing!
Richard the Cat / November 20, 2012 at 10:44 am
Never mind donating his weight in 'supplies', I think if the Argos lose, Rob Ford should donate his weight in Rob Ford to a Calgary food bank. Or how about one in Edmonton since that's even farther away.
WTF happened replying to a comment from Todd / November 20, 2012 at 10:50 am
Yeah its not all bad. born and raised in riverdale have a great world filled with awesome people who were born and raised here. The identity of toronto has just gotten so gross. the turning point was really moses znaimer selling city. But also, while I do believe Miller is the best mayor the city ever had he also made it very attractive to Ontario's most ambitious (read: money over everything) crowd. and the Condo owners building nothing but one bedroom apartments so they could make the most money off of the least space was another big problem. its not all bad. but this show along with that other pathetic crack at jersey shore north are so fucking embarrassing it makes one want to fuck off and not look back.
rjasonb / November 20, 2012 at 10:53 am
Maple Leaf Gardens is/was on Carlton Street, not College.
CanoeDave / November 20, 2012 at 10:55 am
Selling green space to fund School maintenance is absurd especially when it will not solve the problem. The only way to solve the problem is to clean up the union only monopoly tendering costs but Toronto Trustees are simply too feeble minded to confront the issue.
WTF happened / November 20, 2012 at 10:55 am
CP24 is the reason we have the stupidest man in the city as our mayor and the one bedroom condo phenomenon is the reason the city is so congested. not bikes or streetcars...
vampchick21 / November 20, 2012 at 11:00 am
Or, you know, we could accept that urban demographics change over the years. Did you want us to go back to the good ol horse and buggy? Yeah, I miss the days when The Ward was around, those were fantastic days!
McRib replying to a comment from Todd / November 20, 2012 at 11:03 am
if Toronto kept to its "blue collar roots" the city would be dead by now.
Miss Kriss replying to a comment from Todd / November 20, 2012 at 11:04 am
I am in that 25-35 year old box, and I would bet your ass I know more about this city's history and roots than you do. Don't paint a wide brush. It just makes your generation look like a bunch of entitled geezers saying "kids these days!" Is Toronto as blue collar as it once was? No. That does have to do with condo culture, cafes and people working in banks? Uh, no. It has to do with the changing economics of the city. Manufacturing is down, "creative class" jobs (whatever that means) are up. Get over it.

But yeah, the web series looks pretty dumb.
Todd replying to a comment from WTF happened / November 20, 2012 at 11:16 am
It sure is fun having unpopular, but correct observations.

Al / November 20, 2012 at 11:18 am
Rob Ford, Adam Vaughan and Olivia Chow? I think I'll sit this one out.
iSkyscraper / November 20, 2012 at 11:23 am
Enough with fighting the airport link! Don't people ever leave their parents' basements and learn how this works in other cities?

It seems that what people really want is electric mass transit to the airport -- ok, great. That's a nice goal and serves a strong base of workers, budget travelers, etc. Everyone loves taking subways or LRT to airports in Vancouver, New York, Atlanta, etc. Go for it. But not by blocking the diesel ARL on the GO tracks, which are heavy rail and cannot be used by light rail or subways and won't be priced like subways anyways. These activists should be pushing for an extension of the Eglinton LRT to the airport - impossibly expensive if Ford buries the whole thing but totally achievable if on the surface using the Richview Expressway right of way.

There is nothing wrong with an airport commuter rail link using diesel trains -- 13 other cities in North America do this, it works. The only commuter trains that run to the airport on electric systems are New York and Philly, because of the century-old need for electric trains in tunnels in those cities.

Toronto cannot go any longer without a proper rail connection to Pearson. It is a big enough city to have both an express commuter rail connection and a local mass transit connection (just like Chicago, Boston, London, etc.) Get the ARL done now, and push for Eglington LRT next. Stop screwing around!
Helen / November 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm
The Avenue - Describes down towners very well, drama queens. This great city is going down the toilet.
Alex / November 20, 2012 at 01:16 pm
Judging an entire city based on a web series = hilarious. If you do actually live in the city try walking outside and hanging out with friends instead of sitting at home watching a "web series". Maybe you'd get a more accurate picture of the city that way. If entertainment were reality then New York would have been reduced to uninhabitable rubble a hundred times over...and then invaded by ghosts.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Alex / November 20, 2012 at 01:36 pm
Then built over a thousand years from now with suicide booths on every corner and robots running wild in the streets. Also floating talking brains and tube transit and Fishy Joes.
Daryl replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 20, 2012 at 02:21 pm
"Tubes! Tubes! Tubes!" -- Future Rob Ford's head in a jar
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Daryl / November 20, 2012 at 02:32 pm
Can you imagine the conversation between Rob Ford's head in a jar and Fry?
WTF happened replying to a comment from Helen / November 20, 2012 at 08:43 pm
It describes king west/liberty village that's about 5% of downtown. Easy
Me / November 20, 2012 at 09:01 pm
What Avenue? Avenue Road?
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from WTF happened / November 21, 2012 at 09:07 am
Y'know, NOBODY said that you had to watch said series at all. Just find something else to watch.
WTF happened replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / November 21, 2012 at 04:31 pm
Where did I say I would be watching titmilk? I think you have missed the point of the discussion Simon
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Ford4ever / November 22, 2012 at 03:26 am
Like the idiots (you included) who voted Ford into office? At least the people in this webseries aren't as destructive to their own interests and their city's as people like you are.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from WTF happened / November 22, 2012 at 03:28 am
And you are making a mountain out of a molehill over a web-based TV show about some upper class Torontonians.
realityCheck / November 23, 2012 at 03:08 pm
@Iskyscraper... enough with your unwarranted support for the Union-Pearson link... the bottom line is that there was an opportunity to build a line that would substantially boost local as well as airport-downtown transit... and the province chose to go with the white-elephant, high-priced option that will be sure to attract few riders. This is not a good use of public space or public monies given the pressing transit issues across the GTA.
Me / November 23, 2012 at 04:00 pm
Ah, a "webshow", so not a real show. No matter then.
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