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Morning Brew: Jarvis Lane Reduction to Proceed, Shipwrecked Teens Arrive at Pearson, Pills Found in Allan Gardens Dog Park, University of Toronto Investment Strategy Failures, Great Lakes Cleanup, Storm Bringing Snow

Photo: "Boots in goal" by gardinergirl, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Jarvis Street, a major downtown traffic artery, will have its reversible center lane removed and the roadway effectively reduced from fives lanes down to four to accommodate bike lanes. The decision is highly controversial but the city is proceeding immediately. Estimates put the travel time increase between Bloor and Queen at just two to three minutes but I'm willing to bet my shirt that during peak traffic, the loss of a vehicle lane will have a much more profound effect than that.

48 Canadian teens, who survived a harrowing two-day ordeal aboard life rafts when their boat sank off the coast of Brazil, have arrived at Pearson Airport to be re-united with their families. Once the hugs and kisses and thank goodnesses subside many questions remain to be answered, including the whys of the ship sinking and the whys of the 19 hours that eclipsed before the Brazilians responded to their distress call.

Dog owners are concerned and police have been called in to do deeper analysis after about 50 pills were found strewn about in the off-leash dog park at Allan Gardens. It's too early to know if this was malicious intent or a case of accidentally spilled pills, but given the history of attempted animal poisonings in various Toronto parks, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being the former.

The University of Toronto will be revising its aggressive and risky investment strategies going forward, after losing about 30% of its entire pension and endowment reserves in just one year of failed hedge fund and private equity dealings. It may work for Harvard and Yale, but evidently the opposite is true here.

Lake Ontario is pretty dirty, but we may get lucky and see some osmosis benefit from proposed multi-billion dollar cleanup investment coming from the Obama administration in the US. Another potential source for funding might be found in the insane and hugely hypocritical $100,000+ annual pensions that former Reform Party politicians (including Harper) are slated to receive.

It's been a mild and nearly snow-free winter in Toronto this year, but brace yourselves - about 10-15cm are expected in the GTA by tonight, making the evening commute not-so-fun (because when it's not snowing, it's a breeze, right?).

And here's what blogTO was up to this lovely February weekend:

  • Tim filled us in on a bunch of upcoming new restaurant and store openings, inlcuding Korova Milkbar, Lab 651, Creme, City Store Groceries, The Saxony, FBIA, Hot Wings, The Spice Trader & The Olive Pit, Motel Breeze, Parts & Labour.
  • Matthew Harris updated us on the progress at the Trump International Hotel & Tower at Bay & Adelaide, which is poised be completed later this year.
  • And I got a serious dose of the unusual by attending the Northbound Leather 20th Anniversary Fetish Night (probably not safe for work!) at Revival.

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