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Morning Brew: December 16th, 2008

Photo: "winter sun set" by Jeff-C-C, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

We talk a lot about Toronto's lack of a rail connection between the airport at city center, but little has been done to realize it, due to concerns and resistance from Weston residents. GO Transit has relinquished control of the project to Metrolinx, who are hoping to use their powers to fast-track the environmental assessment and community consultations and make the link happen. It would be a nice addtition, since our roads are a real drag and it takes over an hour by current public transit.

While brand new muscle cars are piling up in Downsview, one economist also foresees a huge crash in the Toronto condo market in the near future. Too many are being made, and the market is seeing huge changes that may result in a lot of buildings with empty units.

Mayor Miller and City Councillor Adam Vaughan are hoping to get Governor General Michaelle Jean to "prorogue" the underhanded effort to assign federal Conservatives to the Toronto Port Authority (TPA). Both are really pissed off that the Stephen Harper government, in the absence of transparency, has moved to stack the TPA in his their favour without consultation of the city, while parliament is prorogued. Want to see how upset they are? Check out the video below.

Riding the TTC will be free of charge from midnight until 4am on New Year's Eve, thanks to the support of sponsors from the alcohol and hospitality industries. GO Transit will also be treating riders to free rides starting at 7pm until service subsides that night. It's always good to have these options at no cost on a night when people are so wasted.

In related news, as anticipated, the TTC officially revealed the GPS-enabled info screen pilot project yesterday. The $5.2million project will provide riders with next train/streetcar/bus arrival times, and will roll out at all stations by the end of 2009. Toronto to TTC: give us access to the technology, so we can develop a kickass mobile data device app (not just SMS subscription service!).

A huge fireball of an explosion at a hydro vault in the city's east end at about 2am this morning resulted in about 3000 area residents losing power. Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident, which means that jokes about marshmallows and the like are fair game.

In sports, in looks like former Leaf captain Mats Sundin has narrowed down his suitors and may end up playing with either the New York Rangers or Vancouver Canucks.


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