Santa Claus Parade

Morning Brew: Long Lines for TTC Tokens, Street Food Program Expanded (Too Late?), Dupont Station to Keep Name, Police No Closer to Makhniashvili, Leafs Thinking Too Much?

Photo: "Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2009" by, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

The TTC has taken strict measures to prevent fare token hoarding, but don't expect the lineups to buy tokens to dwindle because the TTC has no plans to increase staff selling tokens. With the TTC Commission set to approve the fare hike later today it's safe to say the lineups will be worse, if stations even have tokens at all. If the TTC doesn't like its fare system - and gosh knows riders aren't in love with the fare system - why not (finally) change to a modern fare-paying system?

The opportunity to pay 13% sales tax crept closer to reality yesterday, as Ontario Liberals introduced their HST bill legislation. The move, intended to increase provincial coffers, is unpopular with just about everybody except the Liberals. In fact, it's the NDP who may be speaking most loudly against the bill, which tells me that there must be better ways to get money into the province's hands.

The A La Cart program - bringing ethnic flavours to select streets - has been mired in problems that most of us would call predictable. But Toronto Public Health has now admitted many changes are necessary, and has made a number of them, including passing control of the food carts to the economic development department. More carts are authorized, but we'll just have to wait and see if the folks selling pad thai or biriyani can come back from the brink of bankruptcy.

"Don't do it," TTC staff says to Councillor Joe Mihevc, who thought that the Dupont subway station could (should?) be renamed to Dupont-Casa Loma. Although the station is relatively near the tourist attraction, the staff report found that very few people actually access Casa Loma from Dupont Station, and it would cost half a million bucks to make the change. Now if Apple were to come along and suggest a name change, would the TTC follow the Chicago Transit Authority's lead?

Police don't seem to be any closer to information about the missing Mariam Makhniashvili, despite extraordinary search measures. According to the article, "Police have no evidence to support theories that Mariam ran away, met with misadventure or was the victim of foul play." Do police need a new theory, or is there simply no evidence? Sounds like an episode of Law & Order in the making.

Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn blames his poor play on thinking too much - not something I think most fans would point to - while computer software programmer and stats man Ken Roberts points out on his website that the Leafs have a 1.7% chance of making the playoffs. But Roberts knows how to talk to Leafs fans: he counsels that if you think the Leafs have underperformed, a dramatic turnaround could be in store. Even so, I think it's best to keep the wood in the barn until quite a few more wins are notched.

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