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Morning Brew: Contenders eye Doug Holyday's seat, big subway closure coming, more pressure to track doorings, fake monks, dead fish, and new TTC bendy buses arrive

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 7, 2013

toronto dogsJohn Nunziata and Sarah Thomson are among the non-council members vying to be appointed to the seat vacated by Doug Holyday. Former TDSB chair John Campbell and former councillor Mario Giansante are also interested in taking on the position for the remainder of the term. The remaining members must decide whether to hold a byelection or appoint someone to the role until Fall 2014. Another former Etobicoke mayor, Bruce Sinclair, is also in the running. Who would work best?

Transit riders still smarting from the loss of streetcar service as a result of the King and Spadina closure won't be catching a break this weekend. The TTC is shutting the entire portion of the subway south of Bloor (St. George to Bloor stations) as part of ongoing signal upgrades. Shuttle buses will cover the route on Saturday and Sunday. Normal service will resume Monday morning.

There's growing pressure on Toronto police to resume tracking the number of dooring incidents that occur on city streets. Cops stopped keeping stats on the number of cyclists hit by carelessly opened doors in 2012 in response to new provincial guidelines that say a "collision" must involve a moving car. The chair of the Police Services Board is pushing for better records of cycling incidents.

Cllr. Josh Matlow's getting hot under the collar about condo developers putting up "illegal" sales signs before securing building approval. Matlow tweeted pictures of signs for 2221 Yonge and 155 Redpath, one of which he removed, as examples of the confusing practice. Advertising units without a building permit isn't illegal but the councillor wants Queen's Park to force developers to make the building status clear.

Watch out for fake monks begging for money. Toronto Police say there's a bunch of people dressed up and asking for cash in Chinatown and other parts of the city.

Toronto EMS could be about to change its name, most likely to Toronto Paramedic Service, according to the Toronto Sun. A spokesperson said the new name would better reflect what the EMS service does, namely being paramedics. Before 2000 the organization was known as Toronto Ambulance Services.

Something's killed hundreds of sunfish in High Park's Grenadier Pond. The fish were found belly-up and pungent on the shore of the pond starting on 28 July with no apparent cause for mass the die-off. The Ontario Ministry of Natural resources is testing water samples and eyeing weather as a possible suspect.

Finally, the TTC's new articulated buses are beginning to arrive in Toronto. Reddit user and photog AlexT2 snapped pictures of the first of the new vehicles at Wilson. The TTC says the $24.3 million fleet will be used on the busiest routes, like 29 Dufferin, 7 Bathurst, 85A Sheppard, first.

IN BRIEF:

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

Image: Dominic Bugatto/blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

15 Comments

Jim Lewis / August 7, 2013 at 08:14 am
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Matlow never suggested that the 2221 Yonge sign was illegal because of the misleading advertising. That's another, albeit related, issue he's tackling. That specific sign is illegal because its too big for the city sign bylaw. Matlow's been fighting on behalf of residents to get it down. This should be corrected here.
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Jim Lewis / August 7, 2013 at 08:34 am
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Hi Jim. Josh Matlow's tweet specifically cites the 2221 Yonge sign as an example of unapproved condo sales (he only later mentions the bylaw infraction). The paragraph above is accurate. Thanks!
DL / August 7, 2013 at 08:46 am
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So we made bigger buses to block turning lanes for double the time they already do while loading and unloading? Progress!
yep replying to a comment from DL / August 7, 2013 at 08:59 am
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So you hate street cars and bendy buses, no winning with you is there?
Robert replying to a comment from DL / August 7, 2013 at 09:03 am
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It's progress for transit users.
Stan Smith replying to a comment from DL / August 7, 2013 at 09:19 am
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Just move to the suburbs already.
You sound like you hate anything to do with transit or traffic.
Move about 1 or 2 or 5 hours north and you wont have to deal with any of it. But dont worry about the snowfalls in the winter because i am sure your massive SUV will just plow right through it all.
DL replying to a comment from Stan Smith / August 7, 2013 at 09:48 am
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I'm for sensible transit, and the two words haven't gone hand in hand in this city since the 50s. The fact you have a bus blocking the turning lane on major arteries is almost as ridiculous as having a streetcar (which is about to nearly triple in size) stopping the one open lane of traffic on other major arteries. None of it is beneficial to either the transit user or the motorist - traffic works like that.

And I drive a Jetta TDI, and only use it for work because I need to while biking and taking the TTC the rest of the time. But nice try.
DL replying to a comment from Robert / August 7, 2013 at 09:49 am
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All the extra capacity will make it slower for transit users too during peak periods.
justin / August 7, 2013 at 10:29 am
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So DL selfdish solution is too put more smaller buses on routes with more drivers that will cost the TTC more. God forbid a bus gets in the way of Ford Nation drivers.
the lemur replying to a comment from DL / August 7, 2013 at 10:57 am
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'streetcar (which is about to nearly triple in size)'

That's not even close to being true. The existing single streetcars are just over 15 m long, while the new LRVs are a bit over 30 m (or a little less than 7 m longer than the current articulated streetcars).

If articulated buses block turning lanes when they make stops, where should they stop instead?
subways! replying to a comment from the lemur / August 7, 2013 at 11:23 am
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It sounds like DL wants subways to replace all bus and streetcar lines!

DL clearly hasn't thought through DL's position.
Ginny McTuberider / August 7, 2013 at 11:31 am
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Did BlogTO finally ban the many Daves I know? Discussion today is surprisingly on-point.

DL is not entirely wrong in not liking the new buses -- there is a reason that London got rid of articulated buses entirely. They don't work all that well in tight situations and are a band-aid for what really should be a rail line. But they will do in a pinch.
Jacob / August 7, 2013 at 11:40 am
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Bendy buses seem to work fine in Mississauga. I'm surprised they didn't implement them sooner, here.

But the herd mentality will still persist: If there's two buses in a row, everyone will cram onto the first and the second will be empty.
Dave's not here man! replying to a comment from Ginny McTuberider / August 7, 2013 at 01:19 pm
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and we are all better for it.
Molly / August 15, 2013 at 08:54 am
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I heard about the fake monks thing in Ming Pao ages ago, when they were in BC. Some pretend to be Tibetan monks but they were clearly ethnic Hans majority from Mainland who sometimes breaks into cursing in Mandarin.

If you want to give your money to actual Buddhist monks, Toronto has several temples. If you don't care to go on special occasions but you hate crowds, NEVER go near them on Lunar New Year because it would be full of people who go only once a year.

For the love of common sense, when a stranger accost you on the street, do NOT stop within grabbing/mugging range and take out your wallet.

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