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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

Rob 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.

IN BRIEF:

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

Image: Ben Roffelsen/blogTO Flickr pool.


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