toronto street art

Morning Brew: November 19th, 2008

Photo: "KFC & PETA" by sniderscion, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA:

I learned something today. According to the Star, the only SWAT team in North America to be fully manned 24h a day is right here in Toronto. Each officer is sometimes weighed down by as much as 99lbs of gear. Check out their day-in-the-life-of article on the Toronto Emergency Task Force. And pray that they never have to show up at your door (unless, of course, they're coming to save you).

Students at Queen's University have apparently developed such a reputation as rowdy, insensitive, party-hungry jocks that they'll be given some very special treatment. They party way too hard, so fall homecoming will be cancelled until 2011. They don't speak with eloquence or sensitivity, so they'll have specially trained facilitators whose job it will be to step into conversations to help curb the improper uses of "homo" and "retard" and other words students use in everyday language. They'll also lose their morning recess, milk will be limited to white (with chocolate being revoked), and the number of students on each tetherball court will be limited to two.

Toronto Health is seeing an increase in instances of sexually transmitted diseases Chlamydia and Syphilis, which has some officials concerned. While rates of infection are still lower than in many world and Canadian cities, the goal of reducing overall instances is not being met.


On the lit scene... congrats to Toronto writer Nino Ricci, who has won the Governor General's Literary Award for his novel The Origin of Species.

Half a million dollars worth of cocaine was seized at Pearson airport, found strapped to the legs of a traveler entering via Mexico. Clearly, if you look nervous and walk like you've shit yourself, customs officials will pin you as suspicious and send you in for secondary inspection.

Speaking of white powder... it's coming. Watch for Toronto's first real accumulation of the cold white stuff of the season - tonight. And prepare to be greeted by it when you start your morning commute tomorrow morning. The hunkering down begins. See you in April, folks!

And finally, there's some really disturbing news coming from both sides of the city. In the Beeches, someone unsuccessfully attempted to pull an 11-year old into a van, and out in Brampton, an 18-year old was arrested and is accused of having put a 9-year old boy through living hell, sexually assaulting him for hours before releasing him.

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