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Morning Brew: Toronto prepares shark fin appeal, new transit works for 2013, residents frown on revised LRT map, horses head Stateside, and finding the Avro Arrow

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 3, 2013

toronto icy alleyToronto plans to appeal the court ruling that killed the city's ban on shark fin projects. City solicitor Anna Kinastowski said her team has filed papers ahead of a deadline that sets the stage for a legal battle if council gives the thumbs up later this month or in February. The shark fin by-law was struck down by an Ontario Superior Court judge in November for being outside the city's jurisdiction.

2013 will bring plenty of subtle changes to transit in Toronto, including new articulated busses and renovations to Union and Pape stations. A new, more permanent rush hour traffic management scheme for Yonge-Dundas station is also in the works, hopefully at the expense of the current plastic barriers. New service interruption displays for the ticket halls are also coming soon.

Speaking of transit improvements, Metrolinx's plan to extend the buried portion of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT isn't proving popular with some local residents. Two sub-surface stops - Leslie Street and Ferrard Drive - will be cut from the route if the plan gets the go ahead. Should Metrolinx build as many stops as possible or is tunneling more important?

Two local steeds will be in the United States for Barack Obama's second inauguration. Honest Ed and Tecumseh, two Toronto police Clydesdale-Thoroughbred crosses, will march with horses from across North America down Pennsylvania Avenue on Jan. 21.

Meet the bike-riding lawyers who fought for two recent coroner's reports into cycling and pedestrian safety. Albert Koehl and Patrick Brown hope that by having statistics on the number of road injuries will lead to better equality and protection for all road users.

Everyone knows a major sporting event is nothing without a mascot, and that's why Pan Am Game organizers are throwing down the gauntlet to local children to design a cheery character to represent the 2015 event. Kids might consider designing some sort of cash cow, since the character is likely to be one of the event's highest earners.

Finally, somewhere in the murky depths of Lake Ontario lie nine Avro Arrows, the legendary Canadian supersonic fighter jet project abruptly cancelled in 1959. Despite promising tests, all existing prototypes, designs, and documents were destroyed and several hulls dropped into the lake. Since then, continued interest in the project has lead a team of enthusiasts to search the bed for the lost jet. No luck so far...


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

Photo: "Untitled" by Lisa on the Run from the blogTO Flickr pool.



ean farts / January 3, 2013 at 10:11 am
Doodz, The Avros are probably ground up and part of the Leslie Spit
mike / January 3, 2013 at 11:40 am
How much will this futile legal challenge cost us? The shark fin ban was overturned for legal reasons. You can't force your eating habits on others. If you don't like the idea of shark fin soup, you don't have to order it. I don't like noodles but I'm not going to make a federal case about it nor stop you from eating them.
Mmm sharks replying to a comment from mike / January 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Maybe if your noodles where mutilated at sea and left to drown and die, there would be a noodle ban. I hardly think that's a fair comparison you're making though. Although based on your comment about forcing food choices on other, perhaps you don't really understand why the ban was put in place to begin with.
Jim / January 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm
You mean Yonge-Bloor, correct? I wonder what that will entail. Hopefully less TTC officials standing around doing nothing.
Mike replying to a comment from Mmm sharks / January 3, 2013 at 01:19 pm
The shark fin ban is the militant vegetarians first strike against all meat eating. They want to ban shark fin because it is 'cruel' to the sharks. When successful they'll go after red meat or chicken as what is more cruel than killing? These eco-nazis must be stopped before they ruin everything. Shark fin bans are just their starting point.
Alex replying to a comment from Mike / January 3, 2013 at 01:43 pm
Cows and chickens aren't endangered, sharks are. Again, not a great comparison.

I hope this new debate in Metrolinx about changing the Eglinton LRT doesn't delay it further. Just pick a plan and stick with it. Numerous studies and debates have been done, it's long past the time when you should be changing the plan.
DL replying to a comment from Jim / January 3, 2013 at 01:49 pm
Having done a lot of work under contract to the TTC, that is precisely what a quarter of their employees are there for.
DL replying to a comment from Jim / January 3, 2013 at 01:50 pm
Putting an LRT station at Leslie doesn't make a lot of sense. That area is a no man's land.
Skye replying to a comment from mike / January 3, 2013 at 02:03 pm
Militant vegetarianism. RIIIIIIGHT. I'm a happy carnivore myself, but chopping off part of a live animal's body and then leaving it to die crosses the line into cruelty.
the lemur replying to a comment from Mike / January 3, 2013 at 02:07 pm
Shark fin barely qualifies as 'meat', it's pretty much cartilage. And yeah, it is cruel - without the dorsal fin the shark can't swim and drowns. I think that qualifies as killing it.
Mike replying to a comment from the lemur / January 3, 2013 at 02:18 pm
So what? Sharks are predators that kill other animals. Why are they so sacred and not to be killed? If they are endangered it would be illegal to hunt and kill them and illegal for stores to sell their meat. They aren't endangered, they are a meat source for many people. Racism is what is behind this too. White liberals can't stomach other cultures having different food choices. They love 'exotic' cuisine so long as it is chicken served in a different sauce.
scottd replying to a comment from Mike / January 3, 2013 at 02:42 pm
You dont have a clue what you are talking about. My family is Asian and they dont think Shark Fin soup is OK and dont see any racism at all.China has banned it from official functions and removing it from menus is becoming more common in Asia. Most people can tell the difference between animals eating each other in a natural environment (which balances out the food web) and shark finning which wastes the animal, leaves it to suffer and die,and needlessly unbalances the food web. You seem to be using the shark fin debate as a vehicle to showcase other issues you have.
Alex replying to a comment from Mike / January 3, 2013 at 02:55 pm
Yes, thank you. That is the point of banning them in municipalities. To get the word out that they are endangered and stop people from purchasing. This gets the ball rolling for higher and international governments to start following suit and ban these cruel practices.
Hmmm replying to a comment from Mike / January 3, 2013 at 02:59 pm
It's pretty clear which community Mike is coming from, because he's so defensive about the whole thing.

Mike, are you seriously making the argument that sharks can be killed cruelly simply because they are predators? Seriously? Shall we start killing tigers because they are predators? How about eagles?

And playing the racism card is hilarious. Yeah, let's defend a stupid tradition by accusing anyone who argues against it of being a racist. Yeah, I guess councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam is a racist, huh Mike? Um, who exactly is she racist against?

Thankfully, there are a lot of stupid cultural traditions from all over the world that have disappeared over the years. Let's hope shark fin becomes one more example.
the lemur replying to a comment from Mike / January 3, 2013 at 03:22 pm
They ARE endangered, but often just because an animal is endangered doesn't mean it's actually illegal to kill or trap it or that a ban on doing so is enforced, e.g., various animals hunted in Africa as bush meat.

Sharks are a meat source for 'many people'? Really? How many? Which kinds of sharks are most commonly eaten?

'White liberals can't stomach other cultures having different food choices. They love 'exotic' cuisine so long as it is chicken served in a different sauce'

Plenty of white people actually enjoy food from other cultures precisely BECAUSE it is often everything but chicken.
M1k3 / January 3, 2013 at 05:51 pm
I'm a little late to this debate, but c'mon Mike... Shark Fin (soup) isn't even a necessary food source in Asia, it's a "status symbol" dish for rich people to show how rich they are. The cruelty is disgusting, and it serves no valuable purpose. It's not unlike elephants being slaughtered for their ivory, only, in the elephant's case, ivory is actually useful (not an endorsement).

"White liberals can't stomach other cultures having different food choices."

Riiight... if this was the case there'd be a food battle happening everyday in Toronto. Something tells me your knowledge of this subject comes solely from the editorial section of the sun.
Alternative / January 3, 2013 at 06:21 pm
I'm not that interested to look it up but would it be possible to just farm sharks? Christmas tree style
alex replying to a comment from Alternative / January 3, 2013 at 06:53 pm
thank you for that laugh! I pictured sharks planted in acidic soil, growing in rows and smelling like pines. So dumb. lol
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