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Morning Brew: February 5th, 2009

Photo: "Snowy outfall" by inventor_77, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Toronto firefighters fought a stubborn blaze in the city's east end, into the night, and in seriously frigid conditions. They're now suspecting that the location may have been a marijuana grow-op, which may explain why it took so long to extinguish and may also explain the vast quantity of hot chocolate and cookies consumed in the process.

The future of Yonge & Eglinton could be taller than planned, if developers are able to squeeze more floors into proposed condo projects than was bargained for. Here's the rub: the land that these buildings are going to be erected on are part of "Build Toronto", a city hall initiative to monetize unused city land, and Build Toronto's objectives may end up clashing with the restrictions wanted by the community.

The suspects are still on the loose after a double stabbing forced the lockdown of three schools in the College and Shaw area yesterday. The craziest part of this story is that one of the stabbing victims went, bleeding and in need of medical attention, to a co-op job interview he had scheduled. Now that's dedication... or perhaps desperation.

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Further analysis of Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation data is now suggesting that a heck of a lot more prize money was doled out to so-called "lottery insiders" (vendors, OLG staff, friends and family of OLG staff) than previous thought. Could it be that the tax on the stupid is the windfall of the smart/sneaky/dishonest?

Despite major cutbacks for most retailers, Columbia Sportswear is in a more favourable position and is set to open a giant retail store in King West. It will likely represent stiff competition for Mountain Equipment Co-op and Europe Bound.

And subsidized daycare in Toronto may be in for trouble. As many as 6000 spots are in danger of being lost due to lack of both federal and provincial funding. Think the federal Conservatives will jump in with rescue funds? Or will Flaherty be on TV today wagging his finger and telling us to get our own fiscal ducks in a row?


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