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Morning Brew: Parade crashers weren't kidding, Blair's G20 admission questioned, restauranteurs enter back patio fray, TTC upgrades come into effect, Jays eye homer record

True to their word, Rocco Rossi and Sarah Thomson showed up to Toronto's Labour Day Parade on Monday, despite being called "unwanted guests" by union bosses in charge of the event. Both Rossi and Thomson used the occasion to push what they consider their pro-labour platforms. Joe Pantalone, perhaps slightly misjudging the privacy of parades, asked "Who goes to a party they aren't invited to?"

The rather startling admissions made by Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair surrounding his role in the G20 are raising a lot of questions amongst lawyers and experts, who see them as potentially damaging in light of the high-profile lawsuits that are now being brought forward by people affected by police action during the protests. Lawyers suggest that part of the criteria for approved class-action lawsuits - the potential to correct the defendants' behaviour in future - could be undermined by a statement such as Blair's, though they are quick to add that there is plenty more police behaviour that could have been "modified." Blair admitted to The Globe and Mail that some 250 protesters (and unlucky bystanders) corralled by police at Queen and Spadina "probably could have and should have" been released sooner.

Toronto restaurant owners are stepping up and having their say in the debate surrounding the bylaw banning new back patio developments south of Bloor and Danforth between Victoria Park and the Humber River. John Maxwell, owner of Allen's, says that without its back patio, "we'd close. No question" (though theirs is not in danger). The issue is a broad one, encompassing the entire issue of restaurants/bars and their relationships with neighbours and nearby residents. So the debate rages on: Are we fighting the good fight for a better night's sleep, or are we stifling an important, vibrant part of our city?

A large service upgrade comes into effect for the TTC today, which will improve the frequency of buses on a number of the busiest routes, as well as the 509 Harbourfront streetcar line and Bloor-Danforth subway, which will see increases during morning and afternoon peak periods during the week. Most of the service increases are during key weekday periods, though some are on weekends and off-peak times.

The Blue Jays are on their way to potentially surpassing their own franchise single-season home run record of 244 after their 7-2 win over the Rangers Monday. Three homers during that game brought the current running tally to 211. The next closest rival is Boston with 178 home runs. The Jays have hit 3 or more home runs in 32 games this season. The record was set by the 2000 line-up of the team, which included Carlos Delgado and Tony Batista.

Photo by Sara Collaton in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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