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Morning Brew: Will Ford kill the stacked arena complex?, the pandas are coming, families march to prevent violence, Star lists potential contenders for TTC chair, deadly weekend fire in Scarborough, man shot in head and survives

Along with the gravy train, the car registration fee and the land transfer tax, Toronto mayor-elect Rob Ford may very well look to put an end to the stacked arena project in the Port Lands. Although city council has agreed in principle to the project, only 34 of the required $88-million in funding is in place. The Star also has a look at some of the other projects in Toronto's 2010 capital budget that Ford tried to stop as councillor.

After nine valiant years of feverish efforts, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti has confirmed that Toronto is finally getting what residents have long sought: two giant pandas. Yes, the cause has been a pressing one for most city-dwellers, rivaling concerns including the potholes on Lawrence and where to find a decent sub downtown, but according to the weekend Toronto Sun, Toronto will be getting its pandas for five years starting in 2012. Please try to contain your excitement. China will lend Canada the bears, one of which is supposedly named "Moi Moi," after former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman, for a total of 15 years--five years in Toronto, five years at the Calgary Zoo and another five years at the Granby Zoo, in Quebec. Mammoliti said sponsors are being sought to finance a $10 million "cave-like" home for the pandas at the Toronto Zoo.

Mothers and families gathered for a march and rally against violence this weekend, calling for Toronto to be declared a gun-free zone. Members of United Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere (UMOVE) paired with the Toronto Police Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) to march from Queen's Park to Yonge-Dundas Square yesterday will the message of reducing violence in the city and getting it on the radar at city hall. "We just had an election and crime and violence was nowhere on the agenda," Audette Shephard, one of the founders of UMOVE, told the Toronto Sun. "This city needs to have a heart and not watch every nickel and dime."

Well, it was a little off on that whole mayor thing, but the Toronto Star has released its list of potential front-runners to be the next TTC chair. The list includes Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence), who is rumoured to be a top contender, and Peter Milczyn (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore). "Dark horses" include Josh Colle (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence), Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre), and David Shiner (Ward 24, Willowdale), as well as "likely loser" Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul's). Job requirements include exceptional YouTube uploading savvy and a pocketful of taxi chits.

In brief:

An intense Scarborough fire killed two women and sent one man to hospital Saturday as a blaze ripped through a home near Finch Ave. and Kennedy Rd. About 50 firefighters and 12 trucks responded to the fire, the cause of which is still being investigated.

A 28-year-old man was shot Saturday night in the head--and survived. The man was driving in a parking lot near Jane and Sheppard when shots were fired into the driver's side of the car. A bullet was lodged in the man's jaw, but luckily, didn't penetrate his skull. Unbelievably, he was released from hospital early Sunday.

Photo by lily dustbin in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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