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Morning Brew: Torstar bids on Canwest newspapers, iPad not cool in Hipsterville, McGuinty the back-stabber bumper stickers, toddler killed on driveway, the fate of an historic smokestack on Lansdowne

Torstar Corp. has confirmed that it has joined forces with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and made a bid to purchase the newspaper assets of Canwest Global Communications (which include the National Post, 10 city dailies and 35 other community publications). Would this acquisition be a positive for the industry and for consumers of news, or is this an amalgamation worthy of concern? I'm on the fence.

Although it was announced several weeks ago and although it's not yet available in Canada, the iPad is still a rather hot topic. Apparently it's so hot that when the device is brought from abroad and visits Toronto it's able to regenerate the East versus West Toronto divide debate. When a tech writer visited cafes on both side of Yonge Street and gauged interest levels and reactions to his playing with an iPad, empirical evidence (from what was clearly not an experiment without flaw) suggested the following: East-siders show genuine interest and enthusiasm for the device, but in West Queen West the hipsters are largely indifferent.

City councilor Howard Moscoe is taking the bloodsport political battle for Transit City funding to the streets... via bumper stickers that pointedly portray Premier Dalton McGuinty as a back-stabber after the province announced major delays to promised funding. But it's not likely that McGuinty will drop his gloves and react to the jabs by lobbing a few of his own. As holders of the money, the province is more likely to continue to balk until the city tires and gives up.

Tragedy struck in Markham yesterday when a 2-year old was hit and killed by a car in the driveway of his home. Speculation is that the mother was backing in, unaware that the toddler was in the path of the vehicle. Police are not treating the incident as suspicious.

Residents in the Lansdowne and Davenport area have been trying to save an historic smokestack from being demolished by developers, and yesterday the Globe published a piece describing the fight and how down-to-the-wire things were. It was scheduled to be destroyed yesterday, but being out of visual range and seeing that there hasn't been a follow-up story to confirm the smokestack's fate, I'm not sure if they were able to save it, or it was knocked down as planned. Anyone nearby and able to confirm whether or not it's still standing?

Photo: "Free Steaming" by sjgardiner, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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