Morning Brew: TTC customer service report, G20 mass court appearances, earthquake crippled government web page, Pattison ads replaced by art, pizza eating contest wows Barrie
The long-anticipated blue ribbon panel report on the state of customer service at the TTC is due to be released today. The document will feature 75 recommendations for improvement and "cultural change" including easily implemented strategies (for example, having the sign on the front of a full bus indicate that it's full) to more complex, long-term overhauls (such as modifications to the hiring practice, to bring in more customer service-oriented people). Councillor Joe Mihevc says that "Torontonians will hear they've been heard," but hopefully this report won't simply be reiteration of what we already have said time and time again, without action.
The circus is back in town this morning. In what is being described as "one of the largest mass court appearances the city has ever seen," over 300 people facing charges stemming from the G20 weekend will all appear in court. Today. All at once and at the same place. Court staff are apparently prepared to handle the hundreds that will descend onto the Finch Avenue court house, but there will likely be logistical challenges. Why the heck would they hold proceedings for all 303 accused at the same time and place? Perhaps most will be processed quickly when charges are dropped? Will it look good or bad to have all the "anarchists" and "activists" herded up one more time for the media cameras?
Remember the rare, rather strong earthquake that shook Toronto back in June? Documents obtained via Access to Information show that the event caused major problems for the government of Canada's Natural Resources'website, which couldn't handle the influx of viewers.
Pattison Outdoor ad pillars and billboards, some of which the legality remains unclear, were the targets of guerrilla activists "Public Ad Campaign," this weekend. Armed with tools and works of art from around the world, a team of 15 activists quickly replaced ads in the downtown core. Comment from advertising company Pattison about the mission -- dubbed the "Toronto Street Advertising Takeover" (TOSAT) -- couldn't be obtained yesterday, although I suspect they'll have something to say (perhaps via the courts) if indeed their pillars and billboards are fully legal and were messed with in such great numbers.
Speaking of ad creep...here's a recent urban cool, street-level publicity stunt that managed to create a bit of a traffic snarl on Yonge Street:
And because advertising is everywhere and companies are working extra hard to attract our attention in an ad-heavy world, it makes sense to bring in a champion eater Takeru Kobayashi to Barrie to devour 40 slices of your pizza in 12 minutes. Food eating competitions are pretty disgusting but seem to be a trend gaining steam.
Photo: "St. George station" by asianz, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.
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