eaton centre makeover

Morning Brew: Eaton Centre facelift, saplings being removed for G20, police uniform thefts, guilty pleas in Aqsa Parvez case, arrest after hit-and-run on Dupont, street racing mom

The Eaton Centre is slated for its first major upgrades since opening in 1977. Owners Cadillac Fairview Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, will announce details of the $120-million facelift tomorrow. The renewal project starts on July 1st, and will not affect artist Michael Snow's iconic flying geese sculpture.

Small trees in the G20 restricted zone are the latest victims of heightened security, and an undisclosed number are being removed for the 3-day summit. Toronto Police spokesperson Wendy Drummond has suggested that if ripped from the ground, saplings could be used as weapons. Their removal puts a serious damper on the terrorists' plans to penetrate the secure zone, tear up saplings, sneak into the MTCC, and flog the world's leaders with leafy branches. Their eventual replacement following the summit is apparently part of the security team's plan (and $1-billion cost).

Did someone with a more sinister plan pull off the coordinated theft of police uniforms from various dry cleaners around the city? Or is 680news guilty of bad journalism? Police and the cleaners with the contract can't confirm the report.

In a surprising development in the heavily publicized and debated 2007 Aqsa Parvez homicide case, the father and brother of the murdered teen have both pleaded guilty to second degree murder charges. Both will receive automatic life sentences as a result.

Police have arrested a charged a woman with impaired driving after she allegedly struck a cyclist at Dupont & Dovercourt and then fled the scene. The incident lends credence to the adage that accidents can happen close to home; in this case the suspect was arrested just two blocks from the scene of the crime.

And a North York woman was pulled over on the 401 near London doing 157km/h, with four young children in the car. She faces charges of street racing, as well as several seatbelt offences. Talk about behaving recklessly, eh? Police haven't yet released the name of the accused, and even if she's an Andretti, she should hope they don't.

Photo: "Eaton Centre Geese" by kameo2010, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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