Toronto Island Change Room

Morning Brew: Luxury Condos on the Rise, Ignatieff Hurting, Bagshaw Sentenced, No Smoked Meat at Caplansky's, and Instant Starbucks

Photo: "Change Room at Night" by sevennine, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

More condos! The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton opened a presentation office, one of at least a dozen luxury condo developments on the go in Hogtown, suggesting this economy ain't so bad after all. I guess all the news about the recession being over is true... if you can afford a luxury condo.

The taxpayer-funded provincial Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is meant to award money to victims of crime, but the Star has found the money is doled out most readily - and perhaps inappropriately - to police officers. Joe Wamback's teenage son was nearly beaten to death in Newmarket but couldn't get any money from the Board; police officers have received money for getting bit not hard enough to break the skin, a fractured finger and more. It's not that these officers don't deserve consideration, but there's workplace insurance that already covers them; victims often need - and certainly deserve - financial support.

Thursday was to be Ignatieff's glory day, bringing down Harper et al and launching into an election he must have been sure he could win. Now that the NDP will support Harper - the government will stand - Iggy must be secretly counting his blessings as the Liberals have slipped in national opinion polls and the resignation of Denis Coderre as Quebec lieutenant and defence critic is a potentially crippling blow to the party. Ignatieff might just start to squirm in the leader's seat if he doesn't bring on more non-Torontonian advisors to his inner circle.

David Bagshaw pleaded guilty to murdering Stefanie Rengel and was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 10 years. Bagshaw is apparently deeply sorry for what he's done, which of course doesn't mean much to the Rengel family, who aren't thrilled with the prospect of their daughter's murderer being released in 10 years.

blogTO's best deli in town, Caplansky's, is temporarily not serving any smoked meat, the very foodstuff that earned them the top deli spot. "Better [to not serve any smoked meat] than feed them under-cured meat and have them never return," deli owner Zane Caplansky says on his blog. A new, better, larger smoker was acquired and Caplansky aims to start serving his slice of smoked heaven in a week or so. There's plenty left on the menu to leave one satisfied (Daily Dish thinks grilled versht) , yet I'm sure I'll be staying away until the smoke returns.

Instant Starbucks coffee coming to Toronto? Say it ain't so, Joe! Alas, Starbucks is releasing their instant coffee upon the rest of North America after giving it a shot in Chicago and Seattle, first via Marriott hotels and some airlines, and later in a grocery store near you. I wonder if serving up an instant brew was part of the much-trumpeted barista (re)training.

Can Bryan Colangelo get the Raptors back into the playoffs? His tenure with the Raptors may be over - Steve Buffery puts it in hot dog cart naming "rights" terms - if the team misses the postseason this year, but even if it isn't, the bigger storyline will be the players. Bosh has one year left on his contract and Colangelo is counting on a good year from the Raptors to entice the star to stay.

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