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Morning Brew: Rob Ford's libel trial continues, Trump Tower sheds glass, free GO rides, uranium plant tours, the bag ban lives, and sprucing up City Hall for xmas

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 15, 2012

toronto union tracksThe second day of Rob Ford's libel trial featured a strong exchange between the mayor's lawyer and George Foulidis, the owner of the Boardwalk Pub in the Beaches. Gavin Tighe, representing Ford, questioned whether Foulidis' reputation was genuinely hurt when the mayor criticized Tuggs Inc., his company, to the Toronto Sun editorial board. In 2010, Ford was quoted in the paper as saying the city's decision to award Tuggs Inc. a new lease on the Boardwalk Pub without seeking competition "stinks to high heaven."

Donald Trump isn't the only thing cracking up at his company. An accident at the International Hotel and Tower at Bay and Adelaide caused glass to rain on the street below yesterday. According to police, a construction worker dropped a sheet of glass that smashed a second pane during its fall. The intersection was closed during rush-hour as a precaution.

Start your watch. GO customers are now eligible for a full-fare refund if a train is delayed by more than fifteen minutes. The policy is expected to cost Metrolinx about a million dollars a year as 70 per cent of its current delays are covered under the guarantee. No cash back if the train is delayed by weather, a medical emergency, an accident, or police investigation. Will you be taking advantage?

A uranium processing plant in the city's west end opened its doors to the public yesterday in an attempt to prove its a safe, neighbourhood friendly operation. There's been concern about the General Electric-Hitachi plant near Dupont and Lansdowne since activist Zach Ruiter started a campaign to draw attention to the decades old factory.

Toronto's upcoming plastic bag ban cleared another hurdle at the public works and infrastructure committee meeting. Despite some opposition, the ban is still headed to city council later this month for final approval. Retailers will be able to use up existing stock until July 1st 2013 when the full prohibition on single-use bags comes into effect.

Sometimes its good to be a cyclist; you don't have to stop for gas, you can coast to the front at lights, and you don't have to ride on an elevated expressway held together with planks of wood [via Reddit.]

Is the pedestrian exit from Pearson "majestic in its carelessness"? Chris Turner from Atlantic Cities explores urban wildernesses and rates the shoddy sidewalks leading out of Toronto's international airport among the most remarkably inept environments for walkers he's encountered.

Finally, City Hall's giant white spruce Christmas tree is now in place in Nathan Phillips Square thanks, once again, to Weller Tree Service. The Grid found out exactly how one gets a 60-foot tree from its natural home in rural Ontario to downtown Toronto.


Photo: "Untitled" by Richard Rhyme from the blogTO Flickr pool.



EricM / November 15, 2012 at 08:22 am
As a resident near the GE/Hitachi plant who was at the community meeting as well that night, this is beyond much ado about nothing! It's pretty sad it has got so much play. GE should have been more open to start with but this Zach character (not from the area) is pretty half baked. GE gave facts about a plant less dangerous than a dental x-ray while Zach talked of another plant in another city doing something totally different.
Jer / November 15, 2012 at 09:15 am
I hope that the construction company that was involved in dropping that glass gets a huge fine/penalty or investigation in how they were doing their work. I imagine there should have been some sort of safety for this not to happen. It caused a traffic nightmare in the downtown core last night.
Margot replying to a comment from EricM / November 15, 2012 at 09:15 am
It's a hard line, activism is so important but when it is done by those who only see one side and can't see the forest for the 'tree' in this case it can be challenging. This guy looks like an anti-nuke nut from the outside. I'm always amazed at how much these folks have in common with some hardline conservative that they probably despise. Anyway, good luck! I hope you neighbourhood is effected.
Margot replying to a comment from Margot / November 15, 2012 at 09:16 am
lol NOT effected.
AV replying to a comment from EricM / November 15, 2012 at 09:16 am
Amen Eric. AMEN!
Keith / November 15, 2012 at 09:17 am
Christ Turner from Atlantic Cities might have taken the TTC or a cab or if he had a friend have them pick him up. Most intelligent folks would. Why in hell would there even be a pedestrian sidewalk out of Pearson. Hotel Shuttles pick up guests. It's not exactly High Park or Yorkville out there. If you can afford to fly you can afford public transit once you land. Chris Turner is a dimwit.
the lemur / November 15, 2012 at 09:27 am
I'm more concerned by the exposed rebar in that Gardiner pic. The bits of wood don't look structural, but in any event I can't tell if they're some sort of convoluted makeshift drainage system, an art project or homeless-guy bricolage.
Chris replying to a comment from Keith / November 15, 2012 at 09:37 am
Look at the source - Turner he lives in Calgary, but is a political candidate for the Green Party (talk about your lost causes). This is not a guy with a world view that is deeply rooted in reality.
JLanky / November 15, 2012 at 09:44 am
Looking forward to every GO transit delay being weather related somehow now.
Dan replying to a comment from the lemur / November 15, 2012 at 09:58 am
The wood is setup as a mold essentially. They inject concrete into the places they cut away and then the wood pieces keep it there while it dries
Paul replying to a comment from Keith / November 15, 2012 at 09:59 am
Right, because only people flying have to get in and out of Pearson. Nobody works there. If you live close enough to Pearson to walk, why wouldn't you? But that's ok, the most basic human form of transportation should just be abolished.
duder replying to a comment from Keith / November 15, 2012 at 10:08 am
I'm really trying to think of any major big city international airport where passengers simply walk out of, rather than taking taxi/bus/public transportation. I concur with the dimwit statement.
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from JLanky / November 15, 2012 at 10:24 am
Indeed, it will be interesting to hear what excuses they can come up with for a delay on a bright sunny day in the summer. Tracks are too hot? Conductor is blinded by the sun? The possibilities are endless!
Al / November 15, 2012 at 10:42 am
The window that fell had been installed weeks ago. I don't see how they can say the worker dropped the glass.
BrianK replying to a comment from duder / November 15, 2012 at 11:13 am
I don't travel much and I can think of several. Copenhagen, Washington, the old Hong Kong airport... Pretty much any airport that was built close to the city or that the city has grown around. If you were staying at a hotel just outside Pearson and travelling without much luggage, why not just walk out (if the walkways didn't completely suck)?
CanoeDave / November 15, 2012 at 11:54 am
The only way that Foulitis can clear his name is if he agrees to surrender the absurd Beaches' contract an let it be put out to public tender. And where is dear ex Councillor Bussin in all this mess. It is Bussin and Mayor Miller who pushed through a sole source contract who should be in Court answering question not Foulitis and Ford.
the lemur replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 15, 2012 at 11:58 am
Didn't they actually use the hot tracks excuse this past summer? The tracks expanded in the heat so the train had to slow down?
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from the lemur / November 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm
Haha, haven't experienced that one personally, but I have no doubt it's true!
duder replying to a comment from BrianK / November 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm
Have you seriously ever walked out of an airport - one that's super far from the city centre - and expected it to be pedestrian friendly? I understand if its smack in the centre of town, but Pearson's location, next to a bunch of intersecting highways and industrial boulevards, doesn't really lend itself to walking. It'd be a nice option to have, but I think that's the least of the airport's problems.
lizzy / November 15, 2012 at 04:29 pm
Weather, a medical emergency, an accident, or police investigation make up 95% of why GO trains are delayed.. and if it happens to be something else, GO transit can use any of the above as a reason the train is delayed.

Yes GO transit did use the excuse that the tracks were to hot and expanding in the summer - weather related. In the winter, it's the switches. Good luck getting refunds GO train riders.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Keith / November 22, 2012 at 04:01 am
Chris Turner is just looking for attention.
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