sailing toronto

Morning Brew: Kitchener gets Federal Economic Development Agency, Drinking and Driving a Bus, Councillor Vacation Limits, Toronto vs. Buffalo Homicides

Photo: "Sailing..." by Froz'n Motion / Cameron MacMaster, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Southern Ontario is really huuurting its way through this recession, but PM Harper has given us some vague hope - in the form of $1-billion (over 5 years) for the new Federal Economic Development Agency for southern Ontario. Centered in Kitchener, the agency aims to "support economic development, innovation and diversification." In related news, red tape and politicking means that the GTA hasn't seen a single penny in infrastructure stimulus funding since it was pledged 7 months ago. The good news is that it's coming soon.

Driving a public transit bus at 11:30am (or any time!) with three times the legal limit for blood alcohol is not acceptable. A Mississauga Transit employee is accused of just that. I wonder if a conviction is grounds for immediate dismissal, or if the union can manage to work some magic and keep him a cushy office job or something.

Should a city councillor be allowed to take 6 weeks of vacation all at once, or should there be restrictions to prevent those in the position from being absent for such a significant chunk of time? Kyle Rae (Toronto Centre Rosedale) is missing a lot of important action here in Toronto, but I bet the Tempranillo tastes remarkable over there in the Spanish sun.

The TTC is (sort of) opening its arms to artists and art-making institutions, and if there's enough interest generated, we'll see visually stimulating designs featured on TTC monthly Metropasses next year. I say "sort of" because images have to be evocative of Toronto, they clearly stipulate that no compensation will be awarded for artwork used, and submissions can't serve as marketing for the artists or institutions, which kinda leaves little left as motivation to submit, doesn't it? We may end up with nothing but school kids' crayon drawings of the CN Tower (which is ok, I guess!).

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing (let the debate begin), but I realized this morning that Toronto and Buffalo are pretty much neck-and-neck in homicide counts in 2009.

What happens when you don't renew a web domain (I'm looking at you, TTC)? It gets scooped up by someone else and then hacked into a very weird porn trap (safe for work on first click but beyond that it's your fault if you get into trouble)!

And in case you missed it yesterday (it went viral online and on before it made its rounds on local sites like, and, here's a Toronto blogger's story about backpacking in Europe and the hilarity/tragedy/emotional roller coaster that awaited him in his email inbox when he returned:

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