Toronto Beach

Morning Brew: The Boardwalk Pub scrutinized, hotel strike continues, Regent Park gentrification, the five point palm tree's actual cost, the Dalai Lama's entourage arrives

On Sunday, George Foulidis spoke out against council-hopeful Martin Gladstone, who held a press conference in front of Foulidis' restaurant, The Boardwalk Pub. Gladstone's conference aimed to expose the lease as a "sweetheart deal", granting Foulidis freedoms that others may not have been granted. Unfortunately, what Gladstone revealed was already known, the lease that extends to 2028 may be $1-million less than was bid in 2006, but actually works out to over $2-million dollars more than Foulidis paid in the previous twenty years.

The hotel-worker strike continues. Both sides maintain that it is the other party that has delayed negotiations. This weekend saw strikers in front of the Royal York Hotel, the Hyatt Regency, and the Holiday Inn on Bloor St. A provincial mediator has been requested to begin the negotiations and both parties say they are willing to negotiate, so it's just a matter of time before something actually happens.

The Regent Park revitalization project that began in 2005 is threatening to push out less-affluent residents in the area. Tenants of Regent Park were told that they had the right to choose a new unit that would replace their rental. The issue however is that 3,000 market units will also be added to the project in the hopes of gentrification taking place. Although the development of the area is still in its early stages and the return rate for displaced tenants is high, in the later stages lower-income tenants will likely be forced out of the downtown and into the suburbs.

The community group that was in favour of installing a metal palm tree at the busy Five Point intersection at Oakwood and Vaughan are alleging that the $100,000 price tag was inaccurate. The tree itself will actually cost $4,200, while the rest of the money would go toward the cost of renovating the entire crossing. Rob Davis, who is running for councilor of Ward 15, stands by statements he made on Friday that the tree will be a symbol of the city's wasteful spending.

The Dalai Lama's entourage arrived at Pearson Airport on Sunday to prepare for his upcoming visit. The monks will spend the majority of their time preparing about 30 statues for the Dalai Lama, which will include stuffing them with relics and pills containing sacred minerals. The Dalai Lama is scheduled to speak at the Air Canada Centre on October 22.

Photo by .pralinĂŠ. in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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