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Morning Brew: Rob Ford's parking data released, Doug Ford wants small council, religious leaders slam casino, High Park oaks doomed, and weekend subway closures

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 5, 2013

toronto snack cartRob Ford regularly shows up for work around midday and typically stays in the office for just four hours, according to the mayor's city hall parking records obtained by the CBC. Though Ford does occasionally put in a long day, it seems most of the time he arrives late and leaves in time for dinner. Are these records any indicator of Ford's work ethic?

Doug Ford says he'd push to halve the size of city council and give more power to the mayor if he's elected an MPP. Speaking with Global News, Ford said Toronto could stand to trim its decision-making body by half, bringing it in line with the number of federal and provincial MPs and making it more like Chicago, New York, and LA. But not when it comes to transit taxes, of course.

A group of 265 Toronto religious leaders say they're against a casino in the city, claiming it would lead to problem gambling and social issues. The group representing a cross-section of various faiths made their announcement at city hall during yesterday's council meeting. Rob Ford maintains the majority of people want the casino. Is he right?

The Toronto movie scene is mourning the loss of much-loved critic Roger Ebert this morning. Ebert was known for his TV program At the Movies and was regular at the Toronto International Film Festival. "Film festivals, principally Toronto, owe a great deal for his early enthusiastic and constantly loyal support," Helga Stephenson, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television CEO, told the Associated Press.

56-year-old swimmer Kim Lumsdon will suit up for another crossing of Lake Ontario this summer in an attempt to reclaim her record as the oldest woman to make the 51-kilometre crossing from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park. Lumsden set the record back in 2006 aged 49 only to be pushed back into second weeks later by 54-year-old Colleen Shields. Wind and weather make the crossing particularly grueling.

Is that... is that an inflatable Marge Simpson riding with two fellas in a toy Mini at King and John? This is surely a contender for the weirdest Toronto moment caught on Google Street View [via Reddit].

A grove of old-growth black oak trees near High Park looks doomed to become matchsticks when construction work begins on a new condo. The Daniels Corporation project, which markets the building as "where modern urban meets mother nature," appears unwilling to spend the $300,000 (the cost of one condo) to save the trees. Will anyone stand up for the trees?

GO Transit is making several changes to its schedule effective tomorrow, adding some trips and tweaking others. Several train journeys will be shifted forward or back by a few minutes. Check the website for details.

Finally, subway service is going to be patch this weekend as the TTC carries out track replacement work and signaling upgrades. The Bloor-Danforth line will be out between Jane and Kipling on Saturday and the Yonge line will be closed between Bloor and Union. Shuttle buses will be running.


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

Image: Ben Roffelsen/blogTO Flickr pool.



gravyboat / April 5, 2013 at 08:17 am
Yes get rid of elected officials and hire more former football associates with no clear job description.

Go Fords!!
Al / April 5, 2013 at 08:18 am
New York has borough councils and Los Angeles has neighbourhood councils to handle local matters on top of the city councils. It's not an accurate characterization to say that they have smaller councils. If Doug Ford wants to create local councils for North York, Etobicoke etc., then we could reduce the number of councillors at city level, we would be like New York and Los Angeles (and Montreal, Paris and London).
McRib / April 5, 2013 at 08:30 am
yep i agree with AI, borough councils for borough matters and a smaller Metro council for matters city-wide would be an idea.

It still doesn't reduce the number of elected officials, in fact it probably raises it.

I believe Doug Ford just doesn't know much of what he is talking about.
McRib / April 5, 2013 at 08:32 am
also its hard to come to work before noon when you are suffering from a crippling hangover.

Jacob replying to a comment from McRib / April 5, 2013 at 09:10 am
But their dad was an MPP! They instinctively know how to do government things!
Aaron replying to a comment from Al / April 5, 2013 at 09:47 am
I'd be all for that. It would basically get us back to something similar to the Metro Toronto days before Rob and Doug's dad helped Mike Harris amalgamate Toronto.
the lemur / April 5, 2013 at 10:20 am
Looks like it's not just Marge but Maggie as well!
Mark Moore / April 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

Re - Rob Ford parking hours.
You know that he's up at 6 am working at home all morning.
And after dinner, working until all hours.
Can't wait for the 'A Day in the Life of Rob Ford' doc.
Alex / April 5, 2013 at 10:32 am
The Union-Bloor closure is on Sunday, not Saturday.
A different Alex replying to a comment from Alex / April 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

No, indeed it's a Saturday closure. Unless of course, the TTC is lying.
ooops replying to a comment from A different Alex / April 5, 2013 at 10:51 am
That's Kipling to whatever. My bad. Sorry
EricM / April 5, 2013 at 10:59 am
The whole Ford parking data thing would be completely insane to release... except that he is also the first Mayor to not release his schedule. Basically we pay the guy a very good salary and have no tangible idea what he is doing most of the time. All of his other issues aside, that is a pretty major problem and something most people would be fired for.
Al replying to a comment from Al / April 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm
I should add that Chicago has 50 councillors, so he is wrong about all three cities.
glenn storey / April 5, 2013 at 02:48 pm
does ANYBODY with a functioning brain care what doug ford wants. he's an idiot. anybody who voted for him is, that's right, an idiot.
Jay replying to a comment from glenn storey / April 5, 2013 at 02:49 pm
As are the people who voted for mister scandal smithy as well.
tommy / April 5, 2013 at 04:23 pm
"subway service is going to be patch this weekend"

What does this mean? Patch?!
Spectator / April 5, 2013 at 06:12 pm
Awesome comeback jay!
jer / April 5, 2013 at 10:02 pm
They are just figuring out now that the ring is missing in the case of the dead couple down in Florida??? What is up with the detectives down there. Would have been nice to have this info a day or two after the killing!

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