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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

Posted by Chris Bateman / March 6, 2013

toronto housesMGM 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?


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

Image: "time.stain" by jonathancastellino/blogTO Flickr pool.



Kensington Shmensington / March 6, 2013 at 08:33 am
Re: Kensington:

"On Tuesday morning, he learned the owner of his building plans to jack up the rent"

After being in the same spot for 50 years, after watching downtown real estate prices and rents skyrocket for 50 years, after seeing other properties in the market undergo entirely typical increases in value, what has he done to increase his business? What has he done to negotiate a longer term lease at a rent more affordable for him?

It's hard for me to feel sorry for him or any of the other businesses in the market that barely sell anything.

And of course, Friends of Kensington Market expect landlords to give long time tenants a break on rent because they're charming little holes in the wall or something.
DL / March 6, 2013 at 08:37 am
Just wait, the lefties are going to go all pinko witchhunt again on Rob Ford. The same old same old, usual b.s. we can expect from the latte-sipping Adam Vaughan lovers.

Get a life, people.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from DL / March 6, 2013 at 08:49 am
Drop the stupid rhetoric and try actually engaging intelligently in a political discussion.
Robert replying to a comment from DL / March 6, 2013 at 09:00 am
Get a life, people.

Might say the same for you, your non nonsensical rhetoric with no basis in reality, are you really that lonely that you have to rant to the walls.
golden pancake replying to a comment from DL / March 6, 2013 at 09:17 am
the irony of your comment is as bright as the sun
Marty / March 6, 2013 at 09:25 am
With this casino business, I'm 95% certain that Rob Ford traveled into the past to give himself a Sports World Almanac from the future.
Sriskandakumar OMalley / March 6, 2013 at 09:59 am
Came here looking for re-confirmation as to why we as a species cannot have nice things. Was encouraged to find uninformed opinions peppered with baseless ad hominem attacks aimed at pointlessly tearing others down. 7.6 out of 10 bummers.
Sousedbergin / March 6, 2013 at 10:06 am
Yeah if I had choice of some meaningless metric like population including metro areas or no idiot voters I'd pick de-amalgamation.

/Prove me wrong suburbs, prove me wrong
visit-van-can replying to a comment from Sousedbergin / March 6, 2013 at 10:18 am
Why not move. You have nothing to tie you down here. Clearly you were not born/raised in this city. Leave. Go now. live in the land of the hipsters run wild.

This is a city of banks, business, and real estate. Everything else is not important.
Duggan replying to a comment from Sousedbergin / March 6, 2013 at 10:22 am
We in the suburbs are stuck with you too, we did not ask for this nor want it. Much prefer to have things before the harris era.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Duggan / March 6, 2013 at 10:51 am
Or, outrageous, wild, crazy thought here, since we are stuck with each other we could try to learn to work together to really build this city. I know, nuts, eh? Working together, who does that?
TDotRome replying to a comment from DL / March 6, 2013 at 11:40 am
The same old mean like calling people who oppose Ford lefties? pinkos? latte-sippers? Witchunters? Vaughn-lovers?

Yeah, neo-cons never say that stuff.
FU replying to a comment from DL / March 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm
Alex replying to a comment from vampchick21 / March 6, 2013 at 01:18 pm
Except when you want two different things, you can't really work together. People in the suburbs don't want transit, they'd prefer to be real suburbs and travel everywhere by car. People downtown want to be able to walk and take transit, so we would rather have less car lanes and more sidewalks, bike lanes, dedicated transit lanes, etc. It's not that either one is wrong or right, it's just that we want opposite things. In some cases there is no compromise and you just have to choose one, so it would be so much better if we could separate and each choose specifically what we want. I guess that won't be happening anytime soon.

Generally, a more cohesive city is better, but people choose to live where they do for a reason. I feel like the city is just growing, so the old suburbs will be more intensified, and people who want to live in real suburbs will have to move further out to them. It sucks for them but that's what happens as we grow and change.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Alex / March 6, 2013 at 01:23 pm
Well, we have two options here. Either collectively we pressure the Provincial Goverment to de-amalgemate us, or, we grow up, recognize each other's needs, stop sticking our fingers in our ears and screaming "I can't hear you!" and figure a way to make things work.
Rob Ford / March 6, 2013 at 05:42 pm
Loves me the gravy!

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