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Morning Brew: RioCan CEO hates Toronto casino plans, convicted cab drivers still operating, Janet Davis turns to crimefighting, big snow coming, and a subway closure

Posted by Chris Bateman / February 7, 2013

toronto fogYou know who doesn't want a downtown casino? RioCan CEO Edward Sonshine, that's who. It's unusual because the chairman of RIoCan is also the chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Sonshine told city manager Joe Pennachetti in a letter signed by other RioCan brass that a casino in the core would lead to gridlock. Would a casino be better placed outside the downtown?

Cab drivers with criminal convictions for offenses as heinous as sexual assault, drunk driving, and threatening death are plying the city's streets thanks to the city's lax licensing policies, according to a Toronto Star investigation. Just 50 of the 340 drivers refused a taxi license was denied at an appeal hearing and licenses are only checked every 4 years. Some drivers have multiple convictions but still continue to operate legally.

The president of a taxi driver's association says cabbies with convictions should be taken off the streets immediately. Do you agree?

Cheese theft is apparently a big thing in today's world, and Toronto sees a fair amount of it according to the Star. The dairy product is top of the list for light fingered shoppers around the world, apparently.

Speaking of theft, councillor Janet Davis is being hailed a hero for scaring off a group of burglars raiding a Danforth Ave. toy store. Davis was walking with her partner past Silly Goose Kids near Woodbine when the pair made the discovery. Davis said she "yelled" at the group who fled the scene. Nothing was taken.

Found pictures gathered by Toronto camera collectors are on display over at the the Star. The photographs range from candid family shots to pictures of rockets at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Today is going to be a snowy one, according to a storm warning Environment Canada. An Alberta clipper capable of delivering up to 19 cms of snow will arrive in the GTA late afternoon and linger until early morning Friday. The storm could be the worst since 2011 if it packs the punch experts say.

Finally, the Bloor-Danforth line will be closed between Keele and Kipling this weekend to replace a crossover track at Jane. Steel, stone, and ties used in the track's construction have reached the end of their service life. Normal service resume Monday.


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

Image: "Hong Kong or Toronto?" by Jesse Herzog/blogTO Flickr pool.



Dan / February 7, 2013 at 08:21 am
I used to work overnights at a Metro in downtown Toronto, and cheese & meat were by far the biggest targets for all the shoplifters we had coming in, and I honestly had no idea why they wanted cheese so badly.
Xavier replying to a comment from Dan / February 7, 2013 at 08:26 am
Cheese is delicious
DL / February 7, 2013 at 08:58 am
RioCan bought the lot at Front and Spadina where the new Globe HQ was supposed to go, with big time retail development plans.

And we're wondering why they're anti-casino in the core?
Alan replying to a comment from Dan / February 7, 2013 at 09:29 am
*drools* cheese and beer *drools*
Really? / February 7, 2013 at 10:16 am
These developers are hilarious!
They are against a casino, but totally for plastering condos everywhere they can in the downtown core!
Mark / February 7, 2013 at 11:28 am
Who knew? Cab drivers are a bunch of criminals in addition to being incompetent.
Michael replying to a comment from Mark / February 7, 2013 at 11:51 am
Yes lets plaster all cab drivers as criminals. That'll help solve the problem.
the lemur replying to a comment from DL / February 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm
I don't know. Nothing they had planned would compete directly with a casino. Besides, the project is on hold, apparently.
Mark replying to a comment from Michael / February 7, 2013 at 01:33 pm
Until proven otherwise I'll assume their all criminals. Won't be far off.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Really? / February 7, 2013 at 01:42 pm
NEITHER type of building should be so prominent in the downtown core. A lot of the condos could be built in suburban Toronto, as I've said before. And casinos can go to hell.
Jakob replying to a comment from Dan / February 7, 2013 at 02:23 pm
Cheese is compact, easy to hide and comparatively expensive. Definitely an easier way to acquire ten dollars worth of goods than stealing a 12-pack of toilet paper.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / February 7, 2013 at 03:09 pm
But people buying condos or renting them from investors who buy them WANT to live downtown, NOT the suburbs. We can't build out, we need to build up in order to provide housing for the infulx of people (that being said, we do indeed also need to add a larger amount of affordable housing as well, not just condos and high end apartments).
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Mark / February 7, 2013 at 03:11 pm
"They're" not "their". When making a racist, sweeping generalization, please be certain to use proper grammar.
Mark replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 7, 2013 at 04:23 pm
Didn't know cab drivers are a 'race'. Why is it always about race with you people? Criminals are criminals whether they are white, black or yellow. Most of us don't see people as their skin colour. Too bad you can't get past that.
OMG replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 7, 2013 at 05:37 pm
It is the grammar nazis!
papasmurf replying to a comment from Mark / February 7, 2013 at 07:13 pm
Until proven otherwise, i'll assume you live under a bridge.

Do you ever contribute anything of substance to these discussions?
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Jakob / February 7, 2013 at 07:28 pm
The $64,000 question is, how do people shoplift with all of the security cameras and alarm devices in most supermarkets?
Tripper618 / February 7, 2013 at 07:46 pm
First the School Board now the TCHC. Wonder how many other Toronto agencies were left to rot by Miller because the costs submitted by his Building Trade union buddies meant throwing away 30% on the dollar.
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