framed scene toronto

Morning Brew: December 11th, 2008

Photo: "found sunset" by li'l engine, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

Where have all the acorns gone? Arborists in parts of Canada, including Toronto, are wondering why this year the white oak had zero acorn production. They can't blame it on drought, since we just had the wettest year on record. Perhaps the giant squirrels will soon reveal themselves and take over the planet.

Despite a significant spike in homicides this year, Mississauga has been crowned with the title of Safest Large City in Canada for the 9th consecutive year (using 2007 crime data). Toronto comes in second, and Winnipeg continues to have far more serious problems than cold wind.

I'm heading up to Ottawa next week, and after making more phone calls than I wanted to, I've given up on looking to rent a car fitted with snow tires (none are available, even though I'm willing to pay a premium for safety!). On a related note, with Quebec entering mandatory snow-tire season, there's been a shortage of supply across the country.

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The BCE takeover by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is officially a dead deal. But even though the deal is off, the OTPP might be forced by BCE to pay a $1.2billion break-up fee. And I thought my last break-up was painful! :P

With the city scrambling to keep up with delivery of grey bins and garbage tags essential to their new fee-based garbage collection program, and with some garbage-makers attempting to skirt around paying higher pickup fees, some parts of the city are turning into nasty heaps of filth. Hopefully the transition period doesn't draw on much longer, and the city can curb illegal dumping.

Mayor Miller announced yesterday that the TTC will freeze fares for 2009, citing unstable economic times are ahead. It's better to impose any potential burden on the transit system and government than it is on us folks on the ground, right? Fares are already high, and with job losses inevitable and a downturn in effect, keeping transit accessible is essential.

And finally, the Toronto Raptors have snapped their dismal 5-game losing streak and gave new coach Jay Triano his first victory. Last night they took it to the Pacers and did it convincingly, injecting some much needed excitement onto the court, into the stands.


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