Toronto Harbour

Morning Brew: Cause of Wellesley fire still unknown, evacuated Loblaws to reopen today, Toronto is best for employers, Ford says take marathons off roads, a good edition of the Posted Toronto Political Panel

Days after the six-alarm fire broke out at 200 Wellesley Street, authorities still don't know what caused the blaze. Though firefighters tackled hot spots in the 30-storey building Saturday night, investigators still haven't been able to enter the unit where the fire started due to structural damage threatening the integrity of the building. Crews can only enter once the ceiling and floors have been reinforced with concrete, a process that began late Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the building's 1,200 or so residents are still displaced and still don't know when they will be able to move home. Donations are being accepted in the form of cheques made out to "City of Toronto, 200 Wellesley fire," and clothing, toiletries and gift cards can be dropped off at 519 Church Street.

The Loblaws store that was closed Saturday after staff and customers became ill is scheduled to reopen today. It was reported that a chemical leak forced the evacuation of the store at Broadview and Danforth, though a statement by the company claims that testing by an environmental company and the fire department found no such evidence. The six people who were taken to hospital after becoming ill at the store Saturday are said to be recovering and no new cases have been reported since mid-day Sunday. Loblaws said it will continue to work with Toronto Public Health to determine the cause of the outbreak.

A global report of 90 cities around the world has found Toronto to be the most attractive place for employers. The study by AON Consulting compared demographics, education, employment practices and government regulations to rank the most enticing places for employers to run businesses. The top ranked cities "typically have a government that is transparent, non-confrontational, and deal with employment issues fairly," said Rick Payne, the firm's chief research officer. (Just pay no attention that garbage strike last summer.) "Employers in these cities are less likely to be surprised by changes in government policies on employment, health care, and retirement," he said. "Therefore, they have fewer issues finding and retaining educated and experienced talent."

Mayoral candidate Rob Ford says that the city should do a better job of informing residents of road closures. He suggested, for instance, that this weekend's Waterfront Marathon be moved to parks, such as James Gardens, High Park or Downsview Park, instead of Toronto roads. Roads were closed yesterday from Queen Street down to Lake Shore Boulevard, and from Windermere Road to Neville Park to accommodate the marathoners. "I guarantee, if I'm fortunate enough to be mayor, I'll be studying the alternatives," he said. Everyone OK with running next year's marathon via laps in a shopping mall?

And speaking of Rob Ford and the mayoral candidates, the Posted Toronto Political Panel is particularly good today, featuring an intriguing discussion of the mentality of Rob Ford voters and why negative editorials on the front-runner's campaign only serve to strengthen his base.

Photo by syncros in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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