Toronto Haze

Saturday Brew: Toronto's Human Egg Market, York University BRT Opens, Cameron House for Sale, Leaf Request, ROM Crystal Among Ugliest Buildings

Photo: "Fuzzy Memory" by PJMixer, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

This week's entry in what appears to be an ongoing investigative journalism feature in the Saturday Star examines Toronto's black market in human eggs. Unlike the States, Canada has banned the sale of such eggs, leaving would-be parents with fertility problems to rely on the limited supply provided by altruistic donors. Or Craigslist. There is, of course, a host of problems associated with the unregulated sale of of such a sensitive "product" (which can cost up to $10 000), but those desperate to conceive have few other options within the current system.

Yesterday saw the opening of the York University BRT, which uses the hydro corridor north of Finch to shuttle passengers between Dufferin and Keele streets away from traffic. Although it's estimated that the BRT, which also uses dedicated lanes on campus and a special exit ramp from Downsview station, will shave up to 14 minutes off the previous trip time, I'm pretty sure this'll only be true during the height of rush hour. Having had a chance to ride it yesterday, I have to say that at 3 p.m. it wasn't more than a couple of minutes faster than normal. Maybe it was my bus driver, who was plodding along at a painful pace.

The Cameron House, a staple of the Queen West arts scene, is up for sale. Owners Cindy Matthews, Paul Sannella and Anne-Marie Ferraro hope they can find a buyer sympathetic to the role the Cameron has played in helping local artists and musicians gain both a sense of community and exposure. As their listing reads, "the hippest neighbourhood in the city awaits your style and imagination." That sounds a lot like a condo ad, and I have my suspicions that that's exactly what might eventually replace the arts hub.

Toronto Maple Leaf fans, myself included, are fed up. Despite the arrival of Phil Kessel, who's played well, the team remains abysmal. Last in the league, is it possible that we might see some changes? My personal request: send Jason Blake, Rickard Wallin and John Mitchell to the minors -- that's addition by substraction.

The ROM's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal has been voted one of the world's ugliest buildings by VirtualTourist. Citing the addition's lack of congruity to the original, the site compares it to I. M. Pie's pyramid at the Louvre. This is odd to me. I've always loved this building, exploding as it does out of the original structure. What do you think?


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