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Saturday Brew: Mummified Cat at Toronto Humane Society, Arson at Buddhist Temple, Spadina Line Extension Breaks Ground, Snow-Free November, blogTO and Torontoist Featured in the National Post

Photo: "Baggage claim" by gorbould, member of the blogTO Filckr pool.

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

After the Toronto Humane Society was raided by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Thursday, the media was allowed into the building for a tour yesterday afternoon. What they found was a veritable house of horrors, complete with a mummified cat that had been left to die in a cage in the ceiling. Humane Society president Tim Trow maintains his denial of the allegations, but the profoundly disturbing image(s) pretty much ensures his and his staff's guilt in the court of public opinion. (Note: the video at the last link is graphic and potentially disturbing).

A Buddhist temple has been set fire to for the second time since May. The attack, which coincides with Martyrs Day, during which many Tamils honour those who've died in pursuit of a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka, where the Sinhalese make up the majority. Although far less damaging than the May blaze, chief monk Ahangama Rathanasiri is obviously concerned at the possibility that ethnic conflict in Sir Lanka is the reason that his temple is being targeted.

A small ceremony to inaugurate work (which will start next year) on the extension of the Spadina Line to Vaughan might have provided the TTC a public relations boost that it desperately needs. Mayor Miller was on hand for the event, and he and Adam Giambrone spoke of the degree to which the $2.4 billion dollar project will transform the city. "There's never been a moment like this in the history of this city," Miller gushed to reporters. He also spoke of the need for a Downtown Relief line. But before we start hoping for that, what are the odds that this first project is actually finished in 2015?

Believe it or not, Toronto is on the brink of the first snow-free November since 1937, the year Environment Canada started tracking snowfall statistics. Although we have three days left, the forecast makes it look like we'll make it. Warm currents have pushed back arctic air for longer than normal, meaning that we've seen a little rain, but none of the white-stuff. As nice as this is, nowadays news like this can't help but conjure up worries about global warming.

And, in a much appreciated move, The National Post gives blogTO and Torontoist some love in the form of an extensive feature that highlights both sites' commitment to local news reporting. Check it out here.

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