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Morning Brew: Ford set for final conflict hearing, group wants casinos for subways, fire crews urged to act faster, the man with a train in his basement, and Leafs in space

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 7, 2013

toronto allen gardensToday is another big day in court for Rob Ford as he prepares to appeal a judge's decision to remove him from office over a Municipal Conflict of Interest Act violation. It's unlikely the panel of three judges will make a decision today but experts believe they will work quickly and deliver a definitive verdict on the Ford saga by early February. If Ford's appeal is denied he will be removed as mayor, no more questions asked. If he wins, he stays. Here's a useful primer on the case. We'll have coverage of the hearing as it happens today.

The Toronto Star has a brief look at other public leaders ousted from office for breaching the rules. On the bright side for Ford, many were so popular they were re-elected second time around.

The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition, a right-leaning advocacy group, has an interesting proposition: using funds generated by a downtown casino to build new subways. According to the group, a casino could pull in more than $400 million a year for transit without raising taxes. Would it be right to build a subway on the backs of gamblers?

On the TTC this morning, 510 Spadina streetcars are diverting via King, Bathurst, and the Wolseley Street loop because of a broken water main. Shuttle busses are completing the route south.

A new site is demanding better response times from Toronto's firefighters who it says take on average 38 seconds longer to get dressed than 13 other North American cities. The answer, the group says, is simply better training for existing crews, not more firefighters. Thoughts?

Well, after months of endless back-and-forth, the Toronto Maple Leafs are heading back to the ACC after the NHL and player's union forged a deal to start a shortened season Sunday. From space, Commander Chris Hadfield, the Leafs' highest fan, renewed his allegiance on Twitter.toronto chris hadfieldFinally, some people really, really like trains but none more than Thornhill resident Jason Shron, the man with a Via Rail train in his basement. Shron built the replica car from scratch, complete with reclining seats, original garbage cans, lights, carpets, and first aid kit. Here's a guided tour of his four-year pet project.



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

Photo: "The Palm House" by cookedphotos from the blogTO Flickr pool and Twitter.



notahipster / January 7, 2013 at 08:19 am
Ford will easily win the next election!
EricM / January 7, 2013 at 08:20 am
I have to say, I am stunned 'The guy with the train in his basement' is married. The woman is a candidate for sainthood.
glenn storey / January 7, 2013 at 09:04 am
"Three stabbing victims walk into Mount Sinai hospital"
umm, is it just me, or does this read like the start of a bad joke?
choo choo / January 7, 2013 at 09:16 am
Good luck selling that house, train guy.
AV / January 7, 2013 at 09:33 am
Jason, aka Mr. Via: just wondering what its like to be forever single? I mean, at least you've got all those nifty Dr. Who toys to keep you company, but still.
the lemur replying to a comment from choo choo / January 7, 2013 at 09:46 am
With any luck he'll be able to disassemble it, and he won't have the problem this guy had:
Poopdawg replying to a comment from AV / January 7, 2013 at 09:56 am
I imagine his response would be something like: "Well, AV, I do mention that I am married in the video and my baby is seen crawling around on the floor of the train car at the end. That would indicate that I have been laid at least one more time than you. Take care and enjoy yourself doing a piss poor job of trolling the internet."
Todd Toronto / January 7, 2013 at 10:08 am
If a train without wheels stays in a Thornhill basement, and another leaves Union Station at 9:30am, which one gets to Montreal first?
Paul / January 7, 2013 at 10:58 am
I don't understand why the media gives these "Taxpayers' Coalition" type groups the time of day when they are so obviously nothing more than propaganda/astroturfing.
CanoeDave / January 7, 2013 at 11:09 am
Don't quite understand the legals in the Ford case. Last week the BC Court of Appeal overturned a fire arms possession conviction saying that the mandatory minimum sentence imposed was too severe and the Law was invalid. The present Ford Court case is a Division Court Judicial Review of his original conviction that does not allowed to Judges to question the validity of the Law itself. If Ford loses today's case does he not have recourse to the Court of Appeal to question the Law itself? or is that specifically excluded from Conflict of Interest legislation?
Yer fired / January 7, 2013 at 11:14 am
1 Drivers who don't pull over quickly when a firetruck approaches with its sirens blaring

2 People and cyclists who scurry/ride across the intersection instead of waiting 5 seconds for the firetruck to pass

3 Drivers going the opposite direction who don't pull over at all

These are the a.s.s.holes who are causing the delays, not some fireman not putting his boots on fast enough.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from AV / January 7, 2013 at 11:15 am
I, for one, have no snark for crazy projects that turn a basement into a conversation piece and awesome playground for the kids. Long live Guy with a Train in his Basement.

the lemur replying to a comment from CanoeDave / January 7, 2013 at 11:49 am
I don't think it's the place of the court or the judge to question the validity of a law itself in an appeal. Question the applicability of the law or the culpability of the defendant? Sure.
Tommy / January 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm
The Taxpayers Coalition idiot support group rushed this story out because of the report released last week saying that Toronto wouldn't be getting anywhere near $400 million for a casino. I'm sure they've been glued to their Casios for weeks, making up numbers, to have all their work ruined by the truth. But that never stopped them spreading lies before.
McRib / January 7, 2013 at 06:37 pm
The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition consists of one guy. he really does not deserve the media attention he receives.

Grimzeek replying to a comment from AV / January 9, 2013 at 04:36 am
What the hell business it is of yours speculating about his love life? The man wanted to build a tribute to the railways, and so, he did it! What makes this home reno project different from anybody else's that you have to be bringing his virginity into it?
Me / January 9, 2013 at 08:36 am
AV is just upset he/she/it has no basement in his/her/it's tent in the park.
Trevor replying to a comment from AV / January 13, 2013 at 04:12 pm
I don't think you know, but he IS married and has 3 Children.
Just because he likes trains doesn't mean he's single. I have a girlfriend and I have a model railroad layout. Do think before you speak.
Trevor replying to a comment from Poopdawg / January 13, 2013 at 04:13 pm
I love this comment! :D
Haha replying to a comment from Trevor / January 13, 2013 at 04:42 pm
Me too.
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