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Morning Brew: July 28th, 2008

Photo: untitled by PierreD., member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

Your Toronto morning news roundup for Monday July 28th, 2008:

First, flooding led to an explosion in an underground hydro vault which forced the evacuation and displacement of residents of a high rise building. Then, when inhabitants were allowed to return briefly to grab important items from the mess, they found that during their absence their apartments had been ransacked and burglarized. Three teens have been arrested, and much of the stolen property has been recovered.

Several drowning deaths in cottage country and near Toronto have prompted the predictably mildly paranoid voices at CityNews to give us a helpful tip sheet on how to avoid a miserable drowning death, because you could be next.

With population growth and the loss of arable land to urban development leading to concerns of a looming food crisis, should Toronto be looking to install vertical farming towers? The 1-mile diet is an intriguing concept, but reminds us of zany sci-fi scenarios like Soylent Green (is people) and The Matrix (people farming towers).

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Ontario is taking the safer (and much slower) route to allowing electric cars on Ontario roads. While Quebec and British Columbia have already made provisions to allow the slower-moving vehicles to legally enter the traffic mix, Ontario is hoping to complete its evaluation and make a decision in the near future. Read more about Toronto company Zenn's electric car and their struggles with the government.

High fuel costs, a strong dollar, and a looming global recession (and daily weather forecasts that predict sun followed by thunderstorms followed by sun and thunderstorms) are taking their toll on tourism in the peak of summer in Toronto. Torontonians themselves are also less likely to be tourists elsewhere, since we're now being ranked as the second most expensive city in North America, with only New York City being pricier.

And people driving cars adorned with "support our troops" stickers should be giving extra support today. Canadian soldiers shot up a civilian vehicle that was not yeilding to instructions to keep its distance, killing two children and injuring their parents. I guess things like this are "the cost of war" and necessary for "protecting our rights and freedoms" in Canada, right?


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