street preacher toronto

Morning Brew: February 27th, 2009

Photo: "Street Preaching" by HighPlainsDrifter Photography, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

A confidential document by the province's transportation agency Metrolinx reveals some potentially shady practice. The Globe and Mail reports that a Metrolinx draft of their communications strategy suggests that supporters be "salted" at public consultations in order to avoid be mired in "an orgy of consultation" when "nimbies and local politicians on the make" get involved. This comes after the agency had already been accused of lacking transparency.

PM Harper spoke publicly about introducing new anti-gang legislation that focuses on making stiffer penalties for offenders, and also took the opportunity to speak for everyone who may be opposed to his proposals: "We know that we're going to hear these critics, and we know that we're going to hear the opposition parrot some of these critics because they all believe in soft-on-crime policies."

29 units are still available (starting at $1.4 million) in the snazzy Ritz Carlton development project in Toronto. Developers are confident that the building will sell through despite the economic dive. An interesting but not completely surprising revelation: only 20% of the buyers so far are Torontonians.

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Are retailers' fears that removing parking spots in favour of bike lanes will cause them loss founded in reality? A recent study in the Annex suggests otherwise. In my opinion, as long as we continue to hastily weigh economic earnings against environmental benefits, not much will get done.

Retail giant Walmart will be closing all 8 of its member-based Ontario Sam's Club stores in just a few weeks, but says it also has plans to open 26 new supercentre Walmart stores. Will competitor Costco buy up the locations? Will the staff be transferred to the new Walmarts? Some details have yet to be revealed.

And arts and crafts and fashion lovers might want to check out a pretty cool initiative that aims to highlight local designers and retailers, and get people to come back to their abandoned craft projects. Details are at Toronto Craft Alert.


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