Toronto Architecture

Morning Brew: TTC conflict probe, Igor Kenk released from jail, nine Toronto schools receive top ranking, Porter opens new terminal at island airport, Winter not done, graffiti-proof mailboxes

The TTC has launched a conflict probe into one of its senior managers who's alleged to have helped a female friend land a contract with the commission. Project manager, John Cursio, is suspected of helping to administer a 50,000 contract for Robin Thoen to photograph meetings and building sites. "We are looking at billings signed off (by Cursio). We already know there is a conflict of interest concern, but we are reviewing the billing to see that there was value for the money that was obtained (by Theon)," confirms TTC spokesperson Brad Ross.

And, in case you missed it on the weekend (I did), notorious bike thief, Igor Kenk, was released from jail after serving a two-and-half year sentence. Kenk is the subject of an upcoming graphic novel by Richard Poplak titled Kenk: A Graphic Portrait. We've been in touch with the author, and will bring you more information about the project in the coming weeks.

Nine Toronto schools have received top ranking from the Fraser Institute's analysis of elementary-level education in Ontario. The report, which measures whether academic performance is improving or declining, uses nine indicators derived from province-wide tests of reading/writing and math. Some of the "winners" were Denlow Public, Seneca Hill Public, St. Michael's Choir Junior School, and Blythwood Junior Public. The full report can be found here.

Although it surely won't please CommunityAIR, Porter's new terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has officially opened. Of the terminal's 150,000 square feet of space, spokesperson Brad Cicero says about 75% is in use. With the upgrade, the airline expects that more than 1.3 million passengers will use the island airport this year.

As wonderful as the weather has been of late, climatologists are warning that winter has yet to throw in the proverbial towel. "We're being seduced by Mother Nature," says David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada. "But if you're realistic about it, you really have to expect some more winter." Though we've had a low-snow winter, in a typical year, about 20 per cent of the annual snowfall occurs after March 7. That David Phillips, always a spoil sport...

And Canada Post is using a new kaleidoscope pattern on mail boxes in a bid to discourage graffiti. 1,500 of the new boxes are coming to Toronto. What do you think? Is this a good use of money? I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I often enjoy the tags on mailboxes.

Photo: "Mies'" by Danielle Scott, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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