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Morning Brew: Hostage situation in Etobicoke ends with suspect's surrender, Maple Leaf Gardens renovation update, class-action lawsuit against Scarborough gynecologist, a poor piece of writing, G.I. Joe convention coming, drivers beware this weekend

A strange hostage situation took place yesterday evening at a Swiss Chalet in Etobicoke. After enjoying a meal at the restaurant (quarter chicken, perhaps?), a customer slid a note to his waitress asking that everyone but the manager exit the premises. Armed with a rifle, a three-hour stand-off ensued between the suspect and police. Just when witnesses say it looked like the police were going to initiate a "take-down," the gunman exited the building without incident at 7:38 p.m., with his one hostage following suit shortly thereafter. Okay, this whole story is fascinatingly strange, but more than anything, I want to know what the mystery man wanted with Siva Kugathasan, the manager of the restaurant.

The Globe gives an update on the renovations of Maple Leaf Gardens, an auspicious looking project that retains some of the original features of the building. Particularly cool is the preservation of the roof and the balcony-style seating at each end of the rink (far reduced in scale). Perhaps surprisingly, this is setting up to be a heritage preservation success story.

Back to bad stuff, 127 women are seeking separate lawsuits against a Scarborough gynecologist. The suits, of which only 29 have been officially filed, allege that Robert Austin committed "serious errors in judgment in the management of common gynecological conditions, from diagnosis to treatment of post-operative complications" and "repeatedly misread or misinterpreted, or failed entirely to perform, necessary diagnostic tests." Although these allegations are yet to be proven, the fact that Austin practiced at Scarborough Hospital for over thirty years and has already settled numerous cases out of court is troublesome to say the very least.

Worst thing I've read of the week goes to this editorial in the Star, which attempts to establish a connection between Conrad Black and "the black bloc." Not only is the black bloc repeatedly referred to as a group rather than a set of tactics, but Stephen Marche's article is littered with blanket statements about Canadians that sound like they've been resuscitated from the 1970s. Don't read this if you've recently eaten.

In Brief:

The Globe's Mark Schatzker gets to the Niagara ads story a half-week late with this break-up letter. It'd be slightly clever if the story had any relevance anymore.

The Ontario Place makeover gets the Saturday treatment in the Post, though it's still too early in the process to report on concrete ideas for the waterfront site.

A G.I. Joe convention is coming to Toronto. One word: scary.

Here's a breakdown of the road closures this weekend, which are sure to make driving an enjoyable experience.

Photo: "hybrid" by Ned Lyttelton of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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