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
The 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.
- Teen fatally struck by Junction train; alcohol a factor [The Star]
- Toronto doctor sex assault trial: Patients abused during surgery, judge told [The Star]
- SIU sees no grounds for charges against Toronto officer [CBC]
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.