Railway Toronto

Morning Brew: Residents return to 200 Wellesley, mayoral campaign signs go up, Rossi staffer in talks to switch camps, Run for the Cure breaks fundraising record, stolen puppies return home

About 340 residents were allowed to return to their units this weekend after the fire at 200 Wellesley left them displaced for over a week. Some south tower residents were given the green light to return to their homes, but officials say certain units in the north tower may not be ready for another month due to extensive water and soot damage. The tenants who did move back in were given "welcome-back" kits with information on fire safety and cleaning tips, cleaning supplies, grocery store gift cards and laundry gift cards. The investigation into what caused the eight-hour, six-alarm fire continues.

As of 12:01 a.m. today, campaign signs for the October 25 municipal election began popping up around the city. That's right, it'll get that much more difficult to ignore the campaign trail circus. The Smitherman camp says it is focusing on quality over quantity, opting for "larger signs on the major arteries as opposed to smaller ones on people's front lawns." Rossi, on the other hand, has planned a "sign-hammering blitz" for today, and Ford has already started running radio ads on AM 640 with "thousands and thousands" of signs ready to obnoxiously clutter up your neighbourhood. So, ready for some more propaganda, Toronto?

Speaking of which, one of Rocco Rossi's campaign co-chairs has allegedly pledged support to the Rob Ford team should Rossi jump ship. According to the Globe and Mail, John Capobianco met with Nick Kouvalis, Ford's deputy campaign manager, at an Etobicoke Tim Hortons on Sept. 29 to discuss a possible change of allegiances. Capobianco has since said he would only consider switching teams if Rossi decides to back out of the race, which he doesn't believe will happen. Sorry, Toronto Star.

This year's CIBC Run for the Cure in support of breast cancer research saw more than 20,000 people turn out for the event in Toronto. A record-breaking $5,234,197 was raised in this city alone, a 28 per cent increase over last year. About $33 million was raised nationwide, also setting a new record with a 25 per cent increase over last year. Among the participants in the 18th annual march were George Smitherman and Rob Ford, who showed up despite the occupation of city roads.

The three 8-week-old English Bulldogs who were snatched from an East York backyard this weekend returned home late Saturday night. Abigail, Mildred and Winston were found near Lawrence Ave. W. and Avenue Rd., two in a black duffel bag outside a convenience store and one wandering nearby. Police called owner Anne Liu, who raced to the scene with mommy Matilda who began nursing the pups upon reunion. As far as information on the dog-napper, police believe the individual who was low enough to actually pluck puppies from a backyard is a smoker, but have few other leads. English Bulldog puppies are usually sold for about $3,000.

In brief:

The trial for David Chen, the Chinatown shop owner who was charged with assault and forcible confinement after nabbing a shoplifter, begins today. Chen apprehended Anthony Bennett on May 23, 2009, after he attempted to steal items from Chen's store. Police charged Chen with kidnapping, carrying a dangerous weapon, assault, and forcible confinement after arriving on the scene.

About 60 pigs began wandering the Gardiner Expressway early this morning (please resist the urge to make cop comments) after a tractor-trailer flipped just before 4:30 a.m. The driver, who was not injured, has been charged with careless driving. Meanwhile, the ramp from southbound Highway 427 to the Gardiner Expressway eastbound will be closed while authorities try to herd the animals.

And here's what we were up to this weekend (over and above trekking around all night to see public art):

Photo by stillsinflux in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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