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Morning Brew: Zero hour for Ford Nation, Argonauts clinch Grey Cup, arrest in biker hit-and-run, radioactive dust, Bloor Street kissing stations, and goodbye GO POP

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 26, 2012

toronto city airportWe'll find out this morning if Rob Ford has flipped his last pancake as mayor. At 10, lawyers on both sides of the mayor's conflict-of-interest trial will send an email containing Justice Charles Hackland's decision. If found in breach of provincial rules, Ford could be thrown from office and banned from seeking re-election for seven years.

If Ford is terminated deputy mayor Doug Holyday would temporarily become leader. According to The Star, instead of appointing a new mayor from within Holyday would prefer to hold a fresh election. It's also possible the judge could find Ford breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act but leave him in office. Whatever happens, it's about to get interesting. We'll have more as soon as it happens.

It was about time Toronto had something to cheer about. Last night the Argonauts defeated the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 to win the 100th Grey Cup at the Rogers Centre. As a result, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi is now obliged to wear an Argos jersey at his next council meeting. A victory parade is scheduled for Tuesday, "Argonauts Day." There's also a commemorative stamp in the works.

Before the match, Ford appeared with Nenshi for some photo-friendly trash-talking. It's fair to say Nenshi seemed decidedly cooler in front of the media, perhaps because he's not facing a potentially career-ending court ruling. The Cowtown media were never the less happy to knock Ford; the Calgary Herald called the match-up an "East-West battle won." I think we can all agree on that.

Toronto police have arrested a man over a fatal hit-and-run on a cyclist on Friday. 22-year-old Miguel Oliveira briefly appeared in court charged with failing to remain at the scene of an accident, causing death. Tom Samson, a teacher, was struck at Davenport Road and Lansdowne Avenue.

Demolition was halted this weekend on a Victoria Street property over fears radioactive particles in the walls could be released into the air. Number 258, near Yonge-Dundas Square, used to manufacture radium-plated, glow-in-the-dark watch faces. Ideally, glowing faces will remain a thing of the past in that neighbourhood.

21 mistletoe-clad kissing stations on Bloor Street between Spadina and Bathurst haven't exactly been rousing festive cheer, according to The Star. According to the story, most of the marked areas are used only by inebriated overspill from bars and clubs. And they say romance is dead.

Finally, GO Transit's last remaining proof-of-payment machines are headed for the garbage over the next few months. The 350 metal devices, many of them over 15 years old, are now largely obsolete with the Presto system.



Chris Bateman is a writer for blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo: "180:365 - My Playground" by KatGatti in the blogTO Flickr pool.



Jer / November 26, 2012 at 09:32 am
It is a tragedy that another cyclist has died in this city but initial reports indicated that the cyclist went through a red light. If witnesses indicate that this is the case I think this should be brought to the general public attention so that other cyclists take intersections more seriously. Maybe they don't report this information not to make the cyclist look bad, but, I think it leaves cyclists thinking that cars are always in the wrong and just out to run them over.

As a recent new cyclist (using BIXI) and a driver/pedestrian in the city I am amazed at how many cyclists do not have front and rear lights. Even cyclists with rear lights often don't have front lights. This should be the number one priority for cyclist safety especially in the winter months with very little daylight. Cyclists need to know that it isn't for them to see the road but for others to see them. I am glad that BIXI has built in lights, I am surprised there aren't more bikes designed like that or better lighting systems in general.

Again, regardless of the reason of the accident I feel for the victims family.
CanoeDave / November 26, 2012 at 01:30 pm
Ford is now gone, and hopefully will stay gone and we can get a better candidate who will run the City better but with the same agenda of fiscal accountability.
So... / November 26, 2012 at 01:55 pm
Kissing station? So, in a time when even looking at a woman can get you charged with sexual harassment, people are encouraged to grab and kiss random strangers? Great idea, suuuuurrrrre it is.......
McRib replying to a comment from Jer / November 26, 2012 at 08:27 pm
you are only the second person i have come across that alludes to the cyclist running a red light, and being at fault for the collision. I'm wondering where you have gotten this information?

The main thing to consider is this: if the cyclist ran a red light, then so did the vehicle that hit him. Both were travelling westbound.
the lemur replying to a comment from McRib / November 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm
Both were travelling westbound? The initial reports, at least, had the cyclist heading north on Lansdowne. I'm not sure about that now, given the collision with the second vehicle, and the fact that the photos posted by NOW show the bike lying on the south side of Davenport, west of Lansdowne.
jer replying to a comment from McRib / November 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm
I don't know the exact details of which way he was crossing nor to I know the area well but initially reports said that witnesses mentioned he went through a red light.

I just googled and came across this more recent CBC article but I think the original article had actual witness quotes as well as an interview with the older gentleman that hit him the 2nd time.

My point is more to raise awareness to cyclists, again, I don't want to come across as "blaming" the victim, it is a traffic accident regardless... But, there are things that cyclists can do to help drivers see them better (I don't even know if this cyclists had lights on his bike, etc)
lights replying to a comment from Jer / November 27, 2012 at 10:13 am
I'm both a cyclist and a driver. With regard to your comment about bike lights, I completely agree that cyclists need to be reminded just how difficult it is for motorists to see them in the darkness. However I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck without useable bike lights after the batteries suddenly expire or the lights themselves just plain suck (too dim). Just this weekend I bought new lights as I was looking for something brighter. I was presented with a $60 option (apiece!), but opted for a $50 pair. I was warned they were a little persnickety to install, but I thought, how hard can it be? At the end of my restaurant dinner, I prepared for my night ride home by installing the batteries. I spent a good 20 minutes trying to get the stupid things to work to no avail, so I was stuck riding home without both front or rear lights. I was furious, as I will avoid night riding if I don't have a set of working lights. My point is, I think a lot of the time cyclists run into the same problems I have. I think it's time to invest in a pedal-powered option.
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