toronto humber

Morning Brew: Nathan Phillips Square gets Hero Burger, Ford hires his football coach, Doug Ford goes provincial, churches told to move, and hydro bills set to spike by $3

Nathan Phillips Square will get a Hero Burger after all. After a two-hour debate, city council voted 22-16 to put the homegrown hamburger outfit in the new concession stand building after a committee had earlier rejected the brand. The debate went on so long the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty were forced to return today to hear council discuss shelter beds.

Rob Ford's old high-school football coach Dave Price is his new "director of operations and logistics," a job the mayor's office is refusing to provide any details about. Price was also was also Doug Ford's campaign manager during his successful 2010 campaign. Should the mayor's office explain the role?

Speaking of Doug Ford and elections, the Etobicoke North rep says he'll run for the Ontario PCs at the next provincial vote. The party is apparently "thrilled" to have the older Ford on the ballot, though he hasn't started the nomination process. He'll have to quit city hall if an election is called before the next municipal election. Could Ford succeed at the provincial level?

Speaking to the Toronto Sun, Ford claimed he and his brother had saved the city over $1 billion since they were elected in 2010. Wait, what?

Churches located in heavy industrial areas will have to move now that a new bylaw has been approved by city council. Places of worship often seek properties on industrial lands for the cheap lower rent. 414 churches are located in industrial areas in Toronto, but it's not clear how many are on properties designated for heavy industry.

Charging road users a per-kilometre fee to use GTHA roads was one of the transit taxes pitched by Metrolinx earlier this week. A 3-cent fee, tallied up at the gas pump, could yield $1.9 billion a year for new transportation projects and improvements. The Star found out more about GPS tracked road tolls.

Hydro bills are likely to jump by around $3 a month now that the Ontario Energy Board is close to signing off on a $750-million spending plan to upgrade the city's aging electrical infrastructure. $184 million will go to building a new transformer on Bremner Blvd., just south of the Rogers Centre, the first to be built in the city for more than 50 years.

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IN BRIEF:

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

Image: Subjective Art/blogTO Flickr pool.


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