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Morning Brew: December 31, 2008

Photo: "Look! It's the CN Tower!!" by bensonkua, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Get those bottles of bubbly ready because it won't be long now before those corks get poppin'. If you still don't know where you're toasting 2009, Tim has the scoop on the parties. After record-setting highs a mere 4 days ago, we're back to sub-zero temps and CityNews offers tips to stay warm (although, c'mon, don't we all know to wear hats and gloves?). TTC service is once again free, but other transit agencies in the region are following suit, getting us all home safely. And what would New Years Eve be without some police tips? Now go get dressed, it's time to party!

In other TTC news, those under-serviced and over-crowded streetcar routes (you know, all of them) are going to have supplemental bus service in the new year. In the already-delayed best-case scenario, no new streetcars will show up until 2012. That's fitting. After a 30+ year wait, 204 will come at once. Or is that the 501 Queen?

To be fair, as far as existing TTC services goes, outside the streetcar issues, I've been happy with the TTC this year, and Spacing's Sean Marshall more than agrees in his look at the TTC's year that was. Despite the vocal kvetches, the TTC is still the Better Way.

A year ago I considered buying a house but decided that the bidding wars and market were too much in the seller's favour, so I opted to rent again. I also figured the market would have to cool down, finally, but wow, what a difference a year makes. There are no line ups at the bank for foreclosures (yet), but conventional wisdom suggests there will be some deals to be had in the coming months. And then let the bidding wars begin. Again.

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Somehow I missed that it was supposed to snow overnight. I guess I was getting ahead of myself with the 10+ degree weather coming on the weekend and thoughts of a snow-less city for a little while. Of course, what I'd really like is for the building on the corner of my block to clear the snow on its sidewalk. Failure to clear your walk is punishable with a $125 fine, but is the city inordinately punishing those in old Toronto and East York? The Star examined the statistics and figures out that if you don't want to shovel your walk, you best move to Scarborough or Etobicoke.

CuJo picked up his 450th career win, and his first with the Leafs in nearly 7 years. Believe it or not, 2008 (the calendar year) was a winning one for Leafs. And with the team a mere 3 points behind Buffalo there's no word yet on where to bring spent Christmas trees to recycle into a bandwagon.


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