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Morning Brew: Toronto offers New York aid, Rob Ford nailed by Ombudsman again, dogs may run free in city parks, and the Raps are back

Posted by Derek Flack / November 1, 2012

Toronto streetcarHey, look at us — we're really good people. Both the TTC and the City of Toronto have extended offers to help New York City get back on track in the wake of Sandy's destructive visit on Monday night. It's not yet clear how these offers will manifest in aid to the flood-damaged city, but it's nice to see Toronto do the right thing.

Rob Ford's in hot water again (when isn't he?). Although the mayor characterized it as a "witch hunt," a follow-up debate on a report from Ombudsman Fiona Crean suggests that he was far too involved in the civic appointments process, right down to the existence of a list of potential candidates, all of whom received interviews for the positions in question. Despite the push-back from Ford and his allies, council ultimately voted unanimously to accept the report.

Dog owners rejoice! Maybe. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong has asked for a city report on the possibility of introducing leash-free hours at all city parks over and above the 54 currently designated parks. He proposes that dogs be able to run free between 9 p.m. and 9:00 a.m., so as to minimize overlap with peak usage by children. What do you think? Good idea?

Wanna buy a movie theatre? For the low price of $1,629,000 you could own what was once the Toronto Underground Cinema. Bonus: free popcorn! (via Torontoist).

No doubt there were some pretty fantastic costumes out there last night (and last weekend when most of the Halloween parties went down), but can anybody top this one for its local theme? Probably not.

There might not be hockey for quite some time, but sports fans can take solace in the fact that the Raptors are back. Although they lost their season opener to the Indiana Pacers — blowing a lead in the fourth quarter, no less — there were positive signs that supporters can cling to.

Photo by Ben Roffelsen in the blogTO Flickr pool



iSkyscraper / November 1, 2012 at 09:27 am
Hello from New York, which feels on 11/1 exactly like it did on 9/12. Things are seriously messed up here. Thought the BlogTO transit fans would find this new map of the New York subway system interesting:

Ford4ever replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / November 1, 2012 at 09:39 am
"Hello from New York, which feels on 11/1 exactly like it did on 9/12."

Er, what? I think that's a bit of an overstatement.
Brandon / November 1, 2012 at 10:00 am
Pretty sure NYC can handle the cleanup on their own, as they actually have a mayor that cares about his city's residents and a good infrastructure. Whatever means or funds that would be pledged could easily find use here instead - not like we really have them to spare at the moment anyways.
Alex / November 1, 2012 at 10:26 am
We could probably send them more pumps to help pump out their subway, if they need those. Or just general money and aid to help with the clean-up.

I can't believe Minnan-Wong is proposing off-leash hours in all parks. It doesn't even make sense, since off-leash parks should have fences around them and all parks don't have that. Besides, nobody cares if a small dog or well trained is off its leash in a park, so why bother changing the law? It's there to protect us from the large and unsafe dogs. Not like dog owners care or anything, the irresponsible ones let large uncontrollable dogs off their leashes all the time regardless of the law and don't clean up after them either. Nobody ruins a public space like a group of irresponsible dog owners.
mike in parkdale / November 1, 2012 at 10:43 am
re: off leash parks

There's a fenced in area in the South part of Stanley Park (on King West) and it seems like all the off leash dogs are outside of it. It always makes me scratch my head, because why have a fenced in area if everyone is just going to ignore it?
McRib / November 1, 2012 at 11:26 am
every time i pass Stanley Park there are owners and their dogs inside the off-leash zone and rarely any dogs outside of it, so not sure what you are talking about.

Unless its early in the morning, before the crowds arrive?
mike in parkdale / November 1, 2012 at 11:31 am
in the late fall, winter, and early spring, it's not uncommon to see a dozen dogs and their owners gathered in the middle of the park, well outside of the fenced area. Maybe in the summer they stick to the fenced area because there's more kids running around.
Eh? / November 1, 2012 at 11:45 am
Why have spent all that money on fenced in "Dog parks" if every park is going to become one?
Rich replying to a comment from Eh? / November 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Because Toronto City planners are idiots?
Chris replying to a comment from Rich / November 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm
No no, don't blame this on on the City planners - this is all DMW's idea. You know, because he's a dog owner and wants to look after his own. God forbid that city parks exist for anyone other than dog owners.
DuhYeah / November 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm
"Hello from New York, which feels on 11/1 exactly like it did on 9/12. "

"Hello from my kitchen. This is an apple and this is an orange."
riding bear / November 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm
so who is worse at following the rules - dog owners or cyclists?

steve replying to a comment from riding bear / November 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm
Motorists by far.
Ford4ever / November 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Folks, don't spend too much time debating this dog-off-leash thing.

It's just a red herring thrown out there to take some heat off Ford. Trust.
W replying to a comment from Chris / November 1, 2012 at 01:29 pm
The whole point is to allow people to enjoy parks during the day without having to worry about off leash dogs (which is the norm right now) while still giving dog owners a chance to properly socialize and exercise their dogs during a period that the park is not being used for anything else. To me it seems like the best of both worlds.
Niklas replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / November 1, 2012 at 04:42 pm
Because that dog park is all sand and the dogs get extremely dirty. Also, that park sometimes get very busy and small dogs like my little guy gets completely run over by the bigger dogs.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from DuhYeah / November 1, 2012 at 08:45 pm
I'm sorry, I should have provided more context for my analogy. I was here for 9/11 and I'm here now, and while of course the precipitating events are apples and oranges the present mood of midtown/uptown has some eerie similarities. Life is supposedly normal in these parts, with work and businesses and events and such, but how do you act normally when the other half of Manhattan is a wreck? Transit is cut off below midtown, traffic is a nightmare so people are walking miles over bridges to get home, tunnels are closed, residents are giving up and living with friends uptown or moving out entirely, elections are being postponed -- the mood of the city is quite dark in a way I have not seen for 11 years.
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