Front St. Bridge Streetcar

Saturday Brew: Possible Auction of Igor Kenk's Bikes, A New Twist in the St. Clair Streetcar Saga, Mandatory Metropass for Condos, Another Mariam Makniashvili Sighting, Girls to Get More Ice-Time

Photo: "Front St. Bridge" by stillsinflux, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Looking for a beater bike to help you commute during the salt-filled winter months? Or perhaps you've yet to recover one that was stolen from you in the last couple of years? Well, you may just get the chance to acquire one of the 2200 bikes that Igor Kenk stockpiled. Although no official decision has been made, the Crown has confiscated the bikes in a deal with Kenk and his lawyers. Two Toyota pickup trucks and his former bike shop on West Queen West will also likely be auctioned off.

As if there weren't enough problems with the St. Clair streetcar route, the Post is reporting that the high number of twists and turns along the line will make it a slow ride for commuters. Former chair of the TTC, Howard Moscoe, says this design flaw calls into question the very usefulness of the $100-million dollar dedicated lane: "They can't take those curves at full speed ... that almost negates putting them on their own right of way so they can get through quickly." Adam Giambrone disagrees with Moscoe's diagnosis, saying the problematic curves are "just an optical illusion," but there's no doubt that it would be a huge embarrassment if the tracks ultimately need replacement.

Sticking with TTC-related affairs, condo developers looking to build along Toronto transit lines will now have to purchase every unit a Metropass for one year in order to receive condominium approval from the city. City council voted in favour of the policy yesterday, but critics are questioning its logic. As Stephen Dupuis, the president of the Building and Land Development Association, puts it, "How does the city know that everyone is going to want or need a Metropass?" The aforementioned Howard Moscoe hypothesizes that the policy will lead these condo owners to "abandon their cars" but I can't imagine buyers are going to like having this forced upon them.

There's been another possible sighting of Mariam Makniashvili reported, this time in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Although the RCMP is stressing that this report is also uncorroborated, an employee at a Best Western in the city's north end confirmed that a person matching Makniashvili description was spotted at the hotel. But when the police arrived on the scene, she could not be found. Hopefully, this second report will, however, lead to some insight as to her whereabouts, if she is indeed in Alberta.

After a seven-hour debate at city council that took four days to complete, girls who play hockey around the GTA have something to celebrate. A 32-7 decision by council will take the ultimate authority for ice-time schedules away from eight arena management boards and place it in the hands of the city's parks and recreation managers. Boys house leagues are, however, unlikely to lose ice-time as a result of the decision. Instead, it'll be adult leagues that will see their times moved even later or cancelled altogether.

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