toronto

Morning Brew: Rob Ford drug tape leaked, taxpayers on the hook for service station renewal costs, U.S. issues travel advisory for Toronto, record Lotto Max jackpot tonight, Trillium island ferry celebrates 100th anniversary

The juiciest part of the Rob Ford drug tape has been posted online. On the recording, Dieter Doneit-Henderson (a pain-suffering, HIV-positive man) complains to mayoral hopeful Rob Ford about his inability to acquire OxyContin. Oddly, and in addition to having already enquired with his doctor, Ford initiates talk about obtaining it on the streets (i.e. illegally). After the details of the conversation were made public yesterday, Ford defended himself, stating that it was a good deed gone awry and that he went along with things because the man sounded disturbed and somewhat threatening. Listen to the "Rob Ford drug tape" here. Or, if you're not a World Cup soccer fan, here.

With so many highway service stations closed all at once, many drivers are annoyed by the huge gaps in fuel, food, and washroom stops along the province's major roadways. And now we've learned, contrary to what was previous declared, that taxpayers will be coughing up two thirds of the costs to renew the service stations along highways 401 and 400. Revenue-sharing will apparently return the investment in the long term, but the details of the repayment scheme aren't being released. Shouldn't the big, rich oil companies and/or fast food chains be in a position to kick in more for the upgrades?

The G20 is putting our city on the world map! But it's not the right map. The U.S. State Department has put downtown Toronto on its travel advisory list, warning American visitors to be aware of potential violence and to avoid the core for the duration of the summit. Mayor Miller isn't a happy camper.

Got your tickets for tonight's Lotto Max jackpot? There's plenty of lotto hype going on, because the $95 million prize pool is the largest lottery giveaway in Canadian history. Up for grabs: a $50-million jackpot, and 45 Maxmillion draws each worth $1 million.

And for the history and boating buffs out there, the Star has a great retrospective about the Trillium ferry, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Stories about Babe Ruth, abandonment, and ship sinking are a part of the boat's storied past and it's now "the only sidewheeler paddle steamer in North America still in regular use."

Photo: "Toronto!" by Neil Wadhwa, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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