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Morning Brew: Ikea monkey owner denies abuse, Ford gets media friendly, Gardiner ridership by the numbers, Marineland to be investigated, and Burke gets a medal

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 15, 2013

toronto captain john'sThe owner of Darwin the Ikea monkey has denied abusing the animal while it was in her care. Staff at the sanctuary holding the rhesus macaque allege Yasmin Nakhuda struck the animal with a spoon and threatened to remove its teeth in court documents. Nakhuda noted animal services said the animal was "perfectly fine" when it was picked up in an Ikea parking lot last year.

Looks like Rob Ford's decided what could be the final days of his mayoralty are the perfect time to drop a few quotes, cozy up to media, and sing the praises of arts spending. The National Post has a summary of yesterday's lines, but here's my favourite confident proclamation: "I can ensure you 100% I'm going to keep the Gardiner and I'm not going to toll the Gardiner." Can Ford realistically keep that promise?

Some really interesting data here from Planning Alliance. The TTC, GO, walkers and cyclists drastically outweigh the number of road users arriving downtown via the Gardiner Expressway each morning. The group of designers, planners, and architects believe the city uses a disproportionate amount of resources on the aging roadway. [via Reddit] Are they right?

It's January and that means it's time to for groups of pranksters in Toronto and Vancouver to lose their pants on the subway in the name of, err...

Is the University of Toronto is holding a student orgy? Well, it depends who you ask. Attendees of the annual Sexual Awareness Week have been invited to an event at the Oasis Aqua Lounge where people are allowed to get frisky on site. The organizers, however, maintain sex isn't mandatory and insist "there's no prodding or pushing in that direction."

In light of recent allegations of animal cruelty, the Ministry of the Environment has ordered Marineland to immediately stop burying dead animals on its land. The Niagara Falls attraction never obtained a permit for its burials and the ministry has ordered an assessment of the entire site.

He might not be a Leaf any more, but Brian Burke has been given the military's highest civilian honour, the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service. Burke was cited for his support of Canadian troops.

Finally, temporarily disbanded rockers Broken Social Scene will reunite for a one-off concert celebrating ten years of its Arts & Crafts record label. The band will reform, including Feist, on June 8 for the Field Trip Music & Arts Festival at Fort York. Tickets go on sale Wednesday.


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

Photo: "Captain John's" by Acid_Punk/blogTO Flickr pool.



Sacha / January 15, 2013 at 01:39 pm
"struck the animal with a spoon and threatened to remove its teeth"

How would they even know this?
Skye replying to a comment from Sacha / January 15, 2013 at 01:42 pm
I'm guessing they've been tipped off by a family friend. The courts probably have way more info than the media does...
Alex / January 15, 2013 at 01:57 pm
It's a monkey, it's not like it understood what she was saying when she threatened it. If it did and that is a real-life, english speaking, nice coat wearing monkey butler then that is even more awesome than I thought humanly possible.
M!k3 / January 15, 2013 at 02:08 pm
"I can ensure you 100% I'm going to keep the Gardiner and I'm not going to toll the Gardiner." Can Ford realistically keep that promise?

If he sells it, then yes, no? By "keep the Gardiner" did he mean keep it as a city-owned property, or did he mean, under his watch, it won't be torn down?
Cornelius replying to a comment from Alex / January 15, 2013 at 02:17 pm
Or that Planet of the Apes is closer than we thought ...
JB / January 15, 2013 at 02:34 pm
It's funny how all the other methods for getting downtown bring in way more people than the Gardiner, but the Gardiner is packed like sardines in a tin can for a few hours each morning and afternoon.

Efficiency at its finest. (I avoid driving downtown. I leave the car at home.)
Alex replying to a comment from JB / January 15, 2013 at 04:15 pm
So is the GO Train. It's packed like crazy during rush hour.
Rob replying to a comment from JB / January 15, 2013 at 10:56 pm
What kind of logic is this? Sure, all other methods combined obviously bring in more than the Gardiner, but looked at individually, the Gardiner has got to be near the top.
the lemur replying to a comment from Rob / January 16, 2013 at 10:45 am
Near the top of what? The Gardiner carries a lot of traffic, but if most of that traffic doesn't actually enter the city through the expressway's exits, why not turn it into a below-grade/underground conduit for traffic instead of keeping it as a crumbling elevated road?

mens edge / April 18, 2013 at 10:13 am
First of all I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which
I'd like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I've
had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to
15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to begin.
Any recommendations or hints? Cheers!
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