Morning Brew: MGM to release casino plans, Rob Ford subject of new complaint, Toronto's population passes Chicago, a big parade, and more worries for Kensington
MGM will unveil its vision for a casino and resort on the CNE grounds later today. Former Ontario PC leader John Tory said on his radio show that the plan involves bringing transit to the area, redeveloping the existing GO station, and moving the Midway event elsewhere. The company has met with the mayor and several city councillors in recent months to lobby for its proposal. Does it matter where a casino goes?
Also worth noting, the Globe and Mail is reporting the chair of Metrolinx is a registered casino lobbyist for MGM. Robert Prichard says he'll declare a conflict and leave discussions if the topic of GO stations at casino sites comes up during transit board meetings. If John Tory is right, Metrolinx could be involved in MGM's proposal if it develops.
More trouble for Rob Ford? Toronto resident Frank Trotz has submitted a complaint to the city's integrity commissioner over the mayor's recent letters to lobbyists soliciting donations to his football foundation. According to The Star, a reprimand is likely the most severe punishment Janet Leiper will mete out in the event she finds Ford breached the code of conduct. Ford's chief of staff Mark Towhey said the letters were sent in error.
Step aside Chicago - Hogtown's coming through. Toronto is now the 4th largest city in North America in terms of population behind only Mexico City, New York City, and Los Angeles (excluding metro areas). The latest figures from Statistics Canada show Toronto has roughly 2,791,140 residents while the U.S. Census Bureau's latest figures estimate 2,707,120 live in Chicago.
One of the largest military parades ever seen in Toronto will accompany the city's bicentennial commemorations for the war of 1812 in April. More than 1,000 sailors and soldiers will march from Queen's Park to Fort York. The event will also see an appearance from Prince Phillip, who will mainly be involved with his military duties.
First a Loblaws now a rent hike could drive out several Kensington Market businesses. The Casa Acoreana café and its neighbours could be forced aside if the owner of the building decides to sell, according to the store's operator. The location at Baldwin and Augusta is considered prime retail real estate and the value has risen significantly recently. Is a chain presence in Kensington inevitable?
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Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.