Toronto pigeons

Morning Brew: Ford's election tactics, Toronto pandas, Yorkville's sidewalks, Library's human lending, clocks fall back

With cold and flu season arriving, Toronto is also suffering from the election that won't go away. Yesterday, Rob Ford's campaign manager Nick Kouvalis spoke candidly about the tactics of his team and took the opportunity to deliver a few potshots at the (former) competition. The highlights included a fake Smitherman-baiting Twitter account and Youtube campaign videos all in effort to keep potential candidate John Tory at bay. Perhaps the best thing to come from Kouvalis' reveal is his admittance of Ford's opponents in the race as, "more articulate than Rob. Most of those words when you are talking about transportation have four syllables, and those guys, Doug and Rob, don't do so well." Rumors are abound now of three syllable limit being enforced in all city council meetings.

Debate is now heating up over the proposed panda exhibit that may be coming to the Toronto Zoo in 2012. Buzz and commentary is abound such as the dreadful attempt at humor regarding potential comfort level of the pandas in their new confines as well as Toronto's dissatisfaction with returning exhibits. Ultimately these living, breathing animals are still commodities in the eyes of those both for and against the exhibit as Rob Laidlaw, executive director of Zoocheck says, "pandas have been done to death, it's not like they're as unique as they might have been 20 or 30 years ago."

Yorkville area residents can now rest easy as their costly makeover is finally complete. Alan Whitfield, manager of Harry Rosen says "there should be no hesitation in coming downtown any more." The $4 million over-budget project ushers in 11,000 square metres of granite, 20,000 tulip bulbs and wider sidewalks so we can all gawk at Bloor's Street's windows without colliding into shoppers carrying venti cappuccinos and designer handbags.

The Toronto Public Library will make its first attempt at lending a new product: people. At select locations starting today the public can "borrow" one of 60 people ranging from CBC News Toronto reporter Steven D'Souza, former sex trade worker and novelist Todd Klinck and Jamaican-born standup comedian Morgan Smith. Participating libraries include the Toronto Reference Library, the Bloor Gladstone branch, the Lillian H. Smith branch, North York Central Library, and the Malvern branch.

Finally, don't forget tonight that clocks fall back an hour. Now is the time to beef up your knowledge of Daylight savings time. It could come in handy this evening when small talk fails completely.


Writing by Elliot Pen. Photo by Metrix X in the blogTO Flickr pool

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