Toronto News

Morning Brew: Councillors fight fire alarm fines, sleeping TTC fare collector dies, bridge sabotage in the Don Valley, at home with Rob Ford

Toronto councillors Gloria Lindsay Luby and Peter Milczyn are going to bat for homeowners in hopes of getting rid of hefty fines that the fire department places on false alarms. "Homeowners are finding the fines so punitive they are cutting off the fire part of their alarm," says Luby. She wants the previous rule that allowed for one false alarm per year without a fine to be upheld. Constituents are complaining the fines are a "money-making exercise" and the $300 rebates promised for a new alarm system are taking "too long." But how about the response to a real fire being "too long" because of your false alarm? Huh?

The infamous napping TTC fare collector has died. George Robitaille, 55, who became an internet meme after being photographed sleeping on the job last January, suffered a stroke late Thursday evening and died Saturday morning, the president of his union local confirmed on Sunday. The viral image of a snoozing Robitaille became the knee-jerk for public complaints about transit service and workers in Toronto causing a frenzy of candid shots taken throughout the city, with the transit workers taking their own photos of passengers behaving badly and posting them on a Facebook page. The random photo-taking is gone, but the complaints remain the same one year later. Kinda makes the whole thing look rather silly now, doesn't it?

Cyclists are being warned to be cautious after a recent bridge sabotage in the Don Valley. Timothy Charles, founder of the Toronto Off-Road Biking Association, said the supporting beam of the ravine bridge appears to have been deliberately cut partway that couldn't be seen by anyone crossing above. A collapse could result in serious neck injuries, broken bones or worse. The incident has sparked concern in the biking community because vandalism targeting cyclists "has been going on for several years." Part of the problem is that unlike the paved paths and roads in area, the ravine trails aren't officially sanctioned by the city.

The National Post features an "at home" piece on Rob Ford, the citizen/husband/father, detailing little known facts on the mayoral-elect who's to be sworn in on Wednesday. Such tidbits include: he's a fan of "Seinfeld," Julia Roberts, "America's Most Wanted," having his own backyard and driveway, cooking bacon and eggs, and turning up the radio to Supertramp. Dare I say, Ford sounds a lot like my...Dad?!

In Brief:

Photo by gab|e in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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