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Morning Brew: January 1, 2009

Photo: "New Year Party at Nathan Phillips Square" by Medmoiselle T, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

Happy 2009! What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

Despite the cold weather Toronto rang in the new year with gusto. Nathan Phillips Square was rockin', and even the cast of Jersey Boys performed a few songs after the clock struck 12. I thought we were going forward in time, but apparently the new year brought us back 40 years. In any case, the uncertain economy took a back seat in peoples' minds at least for one night and 2009 arrived with big cheers (and an extra second for good measure).

The Barenaked Ladies cover of the Hockey Night Theme Song made its debut on TSN during the Flames - Oilers matchup. Not sure how many were watching that one after the so-called greatest game ever in the World Juniors between Canada and the USA. Canada came out on top and while it was great fun to watch, I'm not sure I'll call it the greatest game. And the victory would be even sweeter if anybody south of the border even knew the game happened.

Toronto's already-bumpy streets have seemed extra bumpy lately and apparently I'm not just imagining that I'm doing a pothole slalom on Dundas, the Gardiner and countless other roadways.

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The revamped Kingsway Theatre in Bloor West Village (if you can call Bloor & Royal York part of the Village) is getting ready to re-open tomorrow night. The uncertain economic times makes for a more dramatic story, but it seems a perfect location. The closest megaplex is always packed anyway, so a little quieter dinner and movie sound good to me.

One of the year's biggest stories around town was the Queen Street fire (man, it's hard to believe that was less than a year ago!). The cleanup was done a while ago, but now the official report is out and we officially will never know how the fire started. It's good to know Duke's is back on its feet (err, wheels), but the same can't be said for every business on the block, and it's still a bit eerie to pass by empty lots on prime Queen West real estate. This prediction may not exactly be going out on a limb, but one of the interesting news stories of 2009 will be what's to happen with those lots.

In case you're not cold enough, head out to Oakville today for the 2pm Polar Bear Dip. It's for a good cause, and who knows, you may even end up with a better story to tell than George Costanza.


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