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Morning Brew: Ford lookalike "Slurpy" surfaces, mayor suspends aide Price, Toronto tops drinking poll, condo dig uncovers lost wharf, Lick's struggles, and bees attack

Posted by Chris Bateman / June 27, 2013

toronto ontario placeThe National Post has managed to track down "Slurpy," the Rob Ford lookalike whose bizarre nickname surfaced surfaced over a plot to film a fake crack video. Neil, to use his real name, lives north of Toronto and seems (naturally) keen to avoid being caught up in the Ford saga. The "Slurpy" moniker seems to stem from a speech impediment Neil has had since birth.

Naughty Ford staffer David Price has been suspended for a week for anonymously calling the Toronto Sun to complain about an article. Staying true to form, Price didn't properly identify himself while protesting a story about him not properly identifying himself on the Ford's weekly radio show. The mayor's office says Price won't be getting paid while he's at home.

Price - a 30-year friend of the Ford family - called the Newstalk 1010 show hosted by Rob and Doug 10 times before he was hired as the mayor's director of operations and logistics. He variously identified himself as "Dave from Etobicoke," "Dave from Scarborough," and "Dave from Georgetown."

Toronto and Mississauga are duking it out for the heavy drinking crown, according to Stats Canada. 19.3 per cent of people in the Toronto area and Mississauga-Halton said they have more than five drinks in one sitting at least once a month. Are you surprised by that figure?

Workers excavating the foundations for a condo complex on Harbour Street unearthed a buried wharf this week. The Harbour Square Wharf used to be on the waterfront beside the Harbour Commission Building but decades of infilling has pushed the shoreline south. The wooden foundation will be demolished in the coming weeks.

In other news: bed bugs are literally everywhere - there's no escape.

Could Lick's be licked? Eight GTA locations have been closed in recent weeks, including ones on Spadina Road and Queen East. In some cases franchise operators and building contractors say they haven't been paid. Would you miss the three-decades old burger biz?

Finally, a terrifying swarm of honey bees took up residence at a Union Station construction site yesterday. It's thought a queen strayed from one of the six hives on the roof of the Fairmont Royal York hotel, prompting a massive exodus. The TTC called in a "bee whisperer" to disperse the swarm off the arm of a backhoe.


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

Image: Mike Falkner/blogTO Flickr pool.



wut / June 27, 2013 at 08:50 am
Ford's approval rating up 5% to 47% from May:
Robert replying to a comment from wut / June 27, 2013 at 08:55 am
What do you expect from a poll conducted from the Sun News Media. I will put that together with other polls and see what comes up.
Dave replying to a comment from Robert / June 27, 2013 at 09:15 am
The poll is legitimate and his approval rating will continue to grow as the city continues to prosper under his government.
the lemur / June 27, 2013 at 09:22 am
Dave from *Georgetown*? People in Georgetown don't even get to vote here, although that kind of fits with the things I hear from people who live in Vaughan, Aurora, etc., who think Ford is doing a good job, except that they have no clue what he is actually (not) doing.

Fordbots don't try very hard to look believable.
Poll Henderson / June 27, 2013 at 09:31 am
Aren't most polls conducted by calling residential landlines? That means the responses are skewed towards middle-aged and older homeowners who still use landlines and exclude younger people who don't. That demographic is right in Ford's wheelhouse. His actual support among the broader voting population could be much lower.

Let's hope so.
AV replying to a comment from Dave / June 27, 2013 at 09:45 am
Dave you were supposed to be taking the week off bro
Malcolm replying to a comment from AV / June 27, 2013 at 09:52 am
Paul / June 27, 2013 at 09:59 am
I wish all these polls were required to show the actual poll question together with the results. I'd like to decide if they were leading questions or they used loaded words: "As RoFo has saved the city $1 billion since taking office, would you agree with the majority of intelligent voters that he deserves to be re-elected?"
Robert replying to a comment from Dave / June 27, 2013 at 10:25 am
How do you figure that what the Mayor does today affects what happens today? Development, whether private or public starts at a planning stage, it takes years before a shovel hits the ground. In other word all the prosperity you are seeing in the city is a from a different mayor. RoFos effects will be felt long after he is gone.
Dave replying to a comment from Paul / June 27, 2013 at 10:33 am
Paul a little research would have avoided your post.
Dave replying to a comment from Robert / June 27, 2013 at 10:51 am
Robert, as a person that has been involved with land purchases and aquisitions withing the city for over two decades, a signifigant portion of the new investment in Toronto has everything to do with the policies that Ford has been advocating for.
The cost of doing business and expediting projects under Ford is superior than any Mayor since Lastman.
poh / June 27, 2013 at 10:58 am
I'll bite on the Lick's story. Good riddance. They made awful overcooked, mealy and dry burgers that merely served as barely edible plates for the various (and rarely fresh) toppings they offered. Really grateful that Big Smoke Burger, Holy Chuck, Burger's Priest, and Five Guys have arrived on the scene and showed how a hamburger is truly made.
John replying to a comment from Poll Henderson / June 27, 2013 at 11:02 am
Some survey companies do call cell phones. All of them know about the problem, so they also can do weighting of responses so that it does take into account the difference. Of course, there is also the fact that the people with landlines, who are older, are also the people who are much more likely to vote, so it may not be as simple as that even.

Really, the only time polls are really worthwhile is that if one company keeps doing the same poll over and over, and then you can get a reasonable idea of the general up/down trends.
Malcolm replying to a comment from poh / June 27, 2013 at 11:13 am
Lick's was great back in the day when they were just a burger joint on Queen E. Then they franchised, which gradually but inevitably ruined them, as all franchising does.
Dave is lying replying to a comment from Dave / June 27, 2013 at 11:21 am
You can't spell "within" or "significant" and yet you want people to believe you are some kind of real estate big shot.

Sorry, "Dave", but it appears you are too stupid to hold such a position in real life.

Now get back to work, "Dave". That mail's not going to sort itself, you know.
EricM replying to a comment from Dave / June 27, 2013 at 11:40 am
You may have had a leg to stand on except it's brought to you by the good folks at Forum Research. The same folks who predicted a sweeping majority for Wildrose in Alberta, a huge majority for the PQ in Quebec and the demise of Christy Clark. As a business person you are aware that the current mayor is ruining the conservative brand right? Not that I personally care, but you'd do well to jump before the stink gets on you and all the others associated with the guy.
Dave replying to a comment from Dave is lying / June 27, 2013 at 11:47 am
Never implied that I am a real estate "big shot". I have however sat on committees that invest in real estate and other ventures with the city and province. Working with Hazel would be ranked number one, but Ford is a definate close second.
Paul replying to a comment from Dave / June 27, 2013 at 11:54 am
Yeah Dave, I looked at the Forum Research site, and a few other news articles that quoted the results. I could not see the "actual" questions that were used in the polls. I think good reporting would show (a) the question (b) breakdown of the results. If you can point me to the details I would be very appreciative. Thanks!
Dave replying to a comment from Paul / June 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm
The polls generally tend to be non leaning. The questions that are traditionally asked are based on policies, effectiveness on the mandate and overall political performance. For Ford to gain 5% with the past 6 months of constant left media badgering is quite encouraging for his relection campain next year.
LicksLicked / June 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm
It was time for Lick's to die, simply because they didn't keep up with the competition. I do have to give them credit though. Before the fairly recent good burger craze in TO, Lick's was really the first gourmet fast food burger chain around. Then they switched over to making their burgers in a factory and sending them to the stores frozen. That was the beginning of the end.
Jacob / June 27, 2013 at 01:01 pm
I'm sad about Licks. They have a certain flavour to their patty that I love. I hope some locations manage to stay open...

Anyway, Pizzaiolo is heading down that path, too. Rapid expansion is lowering their quality. They were way better when they just had a few locations downtown.
Dave's not even really called Dave replying to a comment from Dave / June 27, 2013 at 02:16 pm
Well, then you're too dumb to be on such committees. "Definite".

Seriously, you're not smart enough to convince anyone that you have anything at all with that kind of business world.
Dave replying to a comment from John / June 27, 2013 at 02:28 pm
Well stated John, I have also received polling calls at my place of business. They normally ask anywhere between 5 and 20 questions. The science is somewhat accurate as most candidates that run in a mayoral election drop out based on their poll ratings.
Dave / June 27, 2013 at 02:49 pm
You found me out, I live in my moms basement and work at Tim Horton's. The truth is out!
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