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Morning Brew: February 6th, 2009

Photo: "Ruffie smells the duck eggs" by Magdalena O!, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Imagine driving into the city along the Gardiner in September and seeing pumpkins growing in rows on the side of the highway. FoodShare has shared some radical ideas that are bringing to the forefront the less radical and far more practical idea of using urban public space for food production.

A City of Toronto employee has been charged with fraud, after it's alleged that he was duping homeowners out of $400 cash to have their low water pressure remedied (an expensive fix that is free of charge to those qualifying legitimately).

The housing market in Toronto continues to make major adjustments (or take major dives, depending on your point of view). Sales in January of 2009 relative to January of 2008 are down a whopping 47%, while average price is down 8.2%, and the number of listed properties is up 29%. Yet we're still see cranes in action all over the city.

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The deep freeze is on its way out, and if tomorrow does get up to the predicted 6 degrees Celsius, we may see the lowest record high set. Is it just me, or does "the lowest record high" takes a second read and minor head wrapping to understand?

The jobless rate in Canada is soaring to levels not seen even during the last two recessions. At 7.2%, and mostly due to massive layoffs in the manufacturing sector, a lot of people are rightfully concerned for their jobs. And it may get worse yet.

Here's some great news related to being proactive rather then reactive to gangs in Toronto. A massive anti-gang pilot project, that aims to take a chunk out of the gang violence problem Toronto is facing, will steer at risk youth onto safer, more productive paths. It'll start with youngsters in Jane and Finch, Jamestown-Rexdale and Weston-Mount Dennis.


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