tilt shift toronto

Morning Brew: Adam Giambrone's fun continues, TPL wants people to "lose" books, family friendly condos, the tenants from hell, and GTA mover scams

It sure isn't fun to be Adam Giambrone these days. How well would anyone's record hold up under such scrutiny? Although the TTC is not looking for him to step down, the latest controversy involves a $10 cab ride he took on January 4, 2009 -- the day he had his first date with Kristen Lucas. Marked as a "ward visit," Giambrone has apologized for the error and donated the amount in question to the city. Hasn't everybody abused a taxi chit at least once?

The Toronto Public Library will start an intriguing program on Monday that encourages participants to "lose" books. For this year's Keep Toronto Reading Festival, the TPL has created 99 journals in which readers are asked to write about the books they love. Scattered across the city, the idea is that they will be passed randomly from person to person, eventually acquiring diverse insights and anecdotes from a variety of Torontonians. At the end of the festival, they'll try to track down the journals and display the reader interaction contained within their pages. Mayor Miller has already got the ball rolling with an entry in one of the journals. His choice? -- Minnow on the Say by Philippa Pearce.

Although condo units are still being snatched up like crazy, the City would like to see more families taking up residence in the downtown core. As Councillor Adam Vaughan explains, "You can't sustain a city with a monoculture; you can't segregate singles from families and seniors from young people. What we need when we build these buildings is to build vertical neighbourhoods, and that means we need to sustain economic diversity and social diversity." It will, however, be an uphill battle, as developers tend to shy away from the minimum three-bedroom requirement believed necessary to lure potential home-buying families into condos.

And the quotation of the day goes to Gregory WIlliamson, who's been referred to as a "tenant from hell." With a trail of debt hovering around $30,000 in unpaid rents over the past five years, Williamson and his ex-wife (who he still lives with) have been labeled masterminds when it comes to using the landlord-tenant system to their advantage. But when probed about his various evictions, foreclosures and bankruptcies, Williamson replied, "I'm no con artist. I think I'm bipolar." You can decide for yourself whether or not this an accurate diagnosis.

And speaking of potential con artists, a number of GTA movers are bullying customers into paying additional fees in the middle of loading their trucks. Ministry of Consumer Services spokesperson Sue Carroll reports that there are 10 "ongoing investigations" into companies accused of fleecing residents. According to the Sun, the majority of the "victims are newcomers and seniors" who rarely testify against the movers, which makes it even more difficult to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Photo: "Cafe Shift" by Chewie 2008, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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